2-Day Ubud Itinerary: 48 Hours of Bali’s Spiritual Hub

If there is one place that has captured my heart on my trip to Bali, it is Ubud – the spiritual hub of the island. This quaint town, nestled among lush rice fields and steeped in tradition, is full of cultural attractions, artistic flair, and natural beauty.

That is why we have decided to write this 2-day itinerary in Bali, so that you can experience some of the best things to do in Ubud like I have! We’ll talk about monkey sanctuaries, epic rice paddies, ancient temples and more. Let’s dive in!

2-Day Ubud Itinerary: Day 1

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Home to over an incredible 1260 long-tailed macaques, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is the first place you should be heading to if you want an instant flavor of what this central Balinese city is all about.

Situated at the end of one of the major shopping streets, the forest and the monkeys are considered sacred due to being owned and managed by the village of Padang Tegal, whose graveyard and associated temples are within the forest grounds.

Dating back to the 14th century, there are three temples in the thick jungle which you can see and the medieval, other-worldly atmosphere combined with the packs of monkeys roaming around make this Monkey Forest a fascinating and unique insight into the culture and way of life on the island.

Aside from the temples, the monkeys are the obvious attraction here, and as you wander the forest, you’re guaranteed to encounter these playful and sometimes mischievous creatures.

Whilst these monkeys are completely used to human presence (and sometimes interaction) it’s important to respect their space, avoid direct eye contact, and put all loose belongings away.

The last thing you want to be doing on your first morning in Ubud is chasing after a monkey that has stolen your expensive sunglasses!

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

After witnessing some of Ubud’s mischievous monkeys, the next destination on our 2-day Ubud itinerary takes us to one of the entire island’s most famous and popular attractions – the incredibly picturesque Tegallalang Rice Terrace, aka Ceking Rice Terrace.

Carved into the rugged hillside, these multi-tiered rice paddies create a jaw-droppingly beautiful visual effect, with vibrant lush greenery extending out like a winding giant staircase.

This unique irrigation system, known as ‘Subak’, has been used by the Balinese for centuries and is still widespread throughout Bali and the rest of Indonesia today.

These beautiful and serene rice paddies provide visitors with a gorgeous setting for breakfast, lunch, or a few drinks and, of course, the chance to one-up all of your friends back home with a memorable Instagram photo opportunity.

If you want to combine these beautiful rice terraces with the ultimate day of relaxation, make sure to head over to Cretya Ubud, a luxurious day club that makes the most of the natural setting of the rice terraces with several intricately designed swimming pools, two restaurants, and sprawling grounds to explore. It is one of the most stunning infinity pools in Bali!

Ubud Art Market

Once you’ve explored the rice fields and terraces and find yourself back in Ubud, check out Ubud Art Market. This is one of the best places to buy souvenirs from Bali with an incredible number of shops selling all kinds of handmade goods like wood carvings, Balinese art, and dream catchers.

Campuhan Ridge Walk

Rounding out your first day of activities in the magical city of Ubud is a relaxing and leisurely stroll along the Campuhan Ridge Walk, just in time for the sunset.

Starting at the beginning of the Green Tunnel along Ubud’s main street, you’ll follow the Campuhan River as it winds through the hilly terrain of central Bali but from the top of the ridgeline.

It provides a unique perspective of the surrounding area, towering above the palm trees and offering panoramic views of the landscape with the gushing river below.

Keep following the trail and you’ll eventually come to solid ground with vast, open expanses of gorgeous rice paddies and swaying palm trees.

It’s not a particularly long walk by any stretch but if you find yourself needing a break or a refreshment of some sort, several quaint restaurants line the route where you can stop off and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and serenity of the hills of Ubud with a drink or a bite to eat.

You can do the Ridge Walk at any time of day, however, I suggest doing the walk at dusk, an hour or two before it gets dark.

You’ll get the stunning views the walk is popular for, but at a quieter time and with the warm colors of sunset creating an amazing backdrop over the hills and valleys for your pictures.

2-Day Ubud Itinerary: Day 2

Tirta Empul Temple

There’s no better place to start your day 2 Ubud itinerary than by visiting the wonderful Tirta Empul Temple, which is just over a 30-minute drive (or ride) away from the center of Ubud.

An early morning visit to this unique temple will be an experience you will never forget. This holy temple is beautiful and unique with its sacred spring water, which is believed to have magical purifying properties.

Consisting of a series of spring water pools, devout Balinese Hindu followers and tourists alike can participate in a purification ritual by dousing themselves in the holy waters under several fountains, each signifying a cleansing.

Once you have dipped your head under all 11 spouts, you are now completely pure and have left all bad feelings and energy behind. Make sure not to dip under the last two fountains, however, as these are reserved for funerary purposes only.

Aside from this unique purification ritual open to tourists, the temple itself is a stunning example of traditional Balinese architecture featuring ornately carved statues, shrines, and even a large gathering pavilion and beautiful gardens.

The history is fascinating too, dating back to the 10th century, and is believed to have been created by Indra, the God of the Deities.

Tegenungan Waterfall in Bali
Tegenungan Waterfall

What’s a visit to Ubud without stopping off at some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali? Tegenungan Waterfall is a 25-minute drive from Ubud and easily accessible by car or scooter and worth the trip south.

After parking your car or scooter, you’ll descend into a large valley where the waterfall will soon appear if you cannot hear it already. Once you set your eyes on it, it’s hard to take them off as the waterfall is gigantic and without a doubt one of the best in central and southern Bali.

As you cross several tributaries of the main waterfall, you will find yourself at the base of the waterfall and if the spray isn’t enough to keep you away, the gushing water certainly will be.

If you visit during the dry months, you can swim in the pool of the waterfall however during the wet season this is not possible due to the sheer force of the water.

After crossing the water on wooden planks, you can climb up to the top of the waterfall via a staircase which provides you with amazing picture opportunities of the valley below.

Once you’ve finished with Tegenungan Waterfall, you’re going to want to head over to Tibumana Waterfall, which in my opinion, is one of the best things to do in the Ubud region. It is far less commercialized than Tegenungan it seems much more like a hidden gem within central Bali.

Waterfalls In Ubud Bali Tibumana
Tibumana Waterfall

After parking in the small car park and paying the cheap entrance fee, you’ll follow the snaking path to the waterfall, leading you deeper and deeper into the jungle canopy. Once you reach the end of the path, you are greeted with a small but mighty waterfall with a stunning pool for you to swim in.

It’s an ideal spot for those wanting to visit the waterfalls of the area but are cautious of the sheer number of people at Tegenungan.

As your Ubud adventure draws to a close, there’s one final must-do on any visit to Bali’s capital of culture and that is to witness the captivating Legong dance performance at the Ubud Palace. 

Tucked away in the very heart of Ubud center, you’d be forgiven for not even noticing it was there, but this historical complex was once the official residence of the royal family of Ubud and dates back to the 17th century.

Today, it is the host venue of several traditional Balinese dance performances, including the Legong, complete with gamelan percussive orchestras.

Legong is one of Bali’s most famous dances, known for its intricate movements depicting traditional stories from Balinese mythology or folklore. Wearing elaborate costumes and makeup, the storytelling of the performances is unique to the region and is worth visiting before leaving the city.

Performances run every evening and tickets can be bought during the day by the Palace, and usually always sell out.

How To Get Around Ubud

Scooter is the easiest way to get around Ubud

Ubud is a super easy town to get around, even on foot, due to its compact size. You can reach all major attractions in the center of town on foot which should come as a relief as the traffic in Ubud is no joke.

Whilst it’s not as crazy as Canggu or Seminyak, the narrow streets get congested very easily and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a road in the center that’s not at a standstill during the day. It’s also very pedestrian-friendly with lots of pavements, alleys, markets, and shops for you to explore.

With that being said, some attractions like the waterfalls we’ve mentioned, Tirta Empul temple, and the Tegalallang rice terraces are all quite far away so you will need either a car or scooter to get to them, unless you want to fork out for a taxi. 

Renting a scooter in Bali is the cheapest method of getting around, like in most places in Southeast Asia. You can explore at your own pace, and forge out your route without relying on anybody else.

Having a scooter allows you to explore off the beaten path in Ubud

Whilst it is the easiest way to get around, if you’ve never ridden a scooter before, Bali is not the place to learn. Traffic and road conditions are challenging with barely any rules. If you do ride a scooter, ALWAYS wear a helmet and rent from a well-known company.

If you don’t fancy tackling the roads yourself, you can always hire a car with a driver. This is useful for long day trips if you know you will be out and about all day and would like your journeys to be hassle-free.

Depending on your accommodation type, you may even be able to rely on a hotel shuttle service which can take you into the center of town and perhaps to nearby popular attractions. You’ll likely find these services in high-end, premium hotels, resorts, and private pool villas in Bali.

Getting From Bali Airport To Ubud


There are several options to get from Ngurah Rai International Airport to Ubud. Airport taxi is of course going to be the easiest method, with a whole horde of taxis waiting to whisk you away to all corners of the island from the moment you land.

They’re super convenient, the majority is very trustworthy and you won’t need to negotiate fares as they will have set prices for each destination. Keep in mind that airport taxis will almost certainly be the most expensive option.

📚 Read More: Is There Uber In Bali?

If you don’t fancy getting an airport taxi, ride-hailing apps Grab and Gojek operate in Bali and the fares are usually a good price and quite a bit lower than airport taxis. Grab even has a dedicated ‘terminal’ for those booking through the app where you can relax on comfy chairs and await your driver.

Shared shuttles operate between the airport and popular destinations like Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud. They are a very cost-effective way of getting to and from the airport, however, these buses may not be as flexible as say a taxi will.

They will run at certain times of the day, perhaps on the hour, and if you’re late you can be guaranteed that it won’t wait for you.

Best Places To Eat In Ubud

Herbivore by Locavore is one of the best restaurants in Ubud. It uses the best of locally sourced, high-quality ingredients and their menus are completely vegetarian. Their five-course or seven-course tasting menu both come complete with rice-based alcoholic pairings.

Don’t expect a cheap bill, some say the food here is Michelin-star-worthy so the menus are priced to match. This is Indonesian food, elevated.

If you’ve been traveling for a while and want some international cuisine, Warung Citta Ovest is the best place to come for freshly made pizza and pasta but in local setting.

I’ve traveled extensively in Southeast Asia over the years and Warung Citta Ovest is up there with some of the best pizzas in Asia I’ve ever eaten, which to be honest, was quite unexpected.

It’s a quaint little roadside warung with several tables overlooking the busy road in front and did I mention the pizza is incredible? It’s a freshly baked thin crust base that’s baked in the wood-fired oven ever so slightly too long which gives it a wonderfully crisp crust, and there’s a huge variety of toppings available.

I have yet to try the pasta, but Warung Citta Ovest was worthy of a spot for the pizzas alone.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, not another Western restaurant! We’re in Bali! Well, technically, this is Balinese BBQ, with the region actually famous for its smoky barbecued pork ribs that you can find in select BBQ restaurants in and around Ubud.

Similar to Babi Guling, the pig is slow-roasted and the ribs are chargrilled on the open fire and then doused in a delicious BBQ sauce, and then served piping hot alongside some tasty fries.

Cupit is also famous for its grilled chicken too, also BBQ’d until tender and is served alongside a salad and fries.

I originally came across this BBQ restaurant on the scooter coming back from Tibumana Waterfall, and it was instantly recognizable as it’s based right in the middle of a gorge and the unmistakable aroma and sight of bellowing smoke from the BBQ drums was enough to tempt me in.

Where To Stay In Ubud

There are many amazing places to stay in Ubud, but given its natural surroundings, we recommend picking a place nestled in nature. Here are some of our recommended accommodation, but you can also use sites like Cozycozy to find your own!

Best Hostel In Ubud – Kuna Bali

Best Hostel in Ubud Nungnung Waterfall
Hostel In Ubud Bali Nungnung Waterfall

Created for backpackers and Bali budget travelers, Kuna Bali is a top choice for accommodation in Ubud. Its boho chic design showcases white concrete, natural wood, and a lush garden, exuding a unique charm not often found in hostels.

The hostel boasts a stunning swimming pool, rooftop, and lounge area, providing opportunities for guests to connect with fellow travelers.

Situated near the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Kuna Bali offers convenient access to the best attractions in Ubud, making it an ideal base for exploration.

Best Hotel In Ubud – Chapung Sebali Resort & Spa

Luxury Hotel In Ubud Bali

If you seek luxury, the Chapung Sebali Resort & Spa is an ideal choice. Tucked amidst Bali’s lush jungles, guests can unwind and reconnect with nature in this serene setting.

The resort provides private suites and pool villas, offering guests a range of accommodation options. Its standout feature is the Jungle Fish pool bar, home to one of Bali’s renowned infinity pools. Guests can enjoy a refreshing drink while basking by the pool, indulging in relaxation.

2-Day Ubud Itinerary FAQ

Is 2 Days Enough In Ubud?

2 full days in Ubud is just enough to experience key highlights such as the Monkey Forest, Ubud Art Market, Tegalalang Rice Terraces, traditional performances, local cuisine, and relaxation. If you want to travel a little more leisurely, we recommend spending at least 3 days in Ubud.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Ubud?

The best time to visit Ubud is during the dry season from April to October when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Final Thoughts: 2 Days In Ubud

48 hours in Ubud might not be a long time, but with our 2-day itinerary, you can definitely experience some of the best this region has to offer. If you have any questions about our Ubud itinerary, please leave a comment below!

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