If you’re looking for the perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary, you’ll be pleased to know you’ve come to the right place. After spending over 2 months in this part of Bali, we can share what we got up to, and what we consider to be the essentials when spending 3 days in Ubud. We also include where to stay, where to eat, and all of our top tips, so you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying what this beautiful part of the island has to offer.
Nestled in the Balinese jungle, Ubud is the cultural and spiritual hub of Bali. Rich in lush nature, traditional architecture and vibrant culture, it’s our favourite place to base ourselves when we are on the island.
Made famous by the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘, many visit Ubud in search of spiritual transformation. Whether that be at one of the many yoga & meditation retreats, visiting a local medicine man, or simply spending time in nature. There’s something incredibly healing about the vibe in Ubud, and I can safely say it’s unlike anywhere else in Bali.
If you’re wondering what 3 Days in Ubud might look like, think majestic waterfalls, lush rice terraces, ornate temples, and phenomenal food. Ubud is a wonderland, and you’d be missing out if you excluded it from your Bali itinerary.
So let’s get to it. Here’s our perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary to help fuel your wanderlust.
The Perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary
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The Best of Ubud in 3 Days
Here is a quick overview of the Ubud highlights, in case you don’t have time to read through the whole itinerary.
- Chase the 7 Incredible Waterfalls near Ubud
- Take an early morning stroll on Campuhan Ridge
- Climb Mount Batur for sunrise
- Visit the famous Tegalalang Rice Fields
- Brave the mischievous monkeys at Monkey Forest
- Shop for local souvenirs at Ubud Market
- Have a floating breakfast at Kamandalu
- Discover Ancient Bali at Pura Gunung Kawi
- Stay in a unique eco-friendly treehouse
3 Day Ubud Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1: Ridge Walks, Waterfalls, and Monkeys
- Day 2: Climbing Volcanoes, Hot Springs and Shopping
- Day 3: Ricefields, Floating Breakfasts, and Temples
Where to Stay with 3 Days in Ubud
We’ve done the rounds in Ubud, returning 3 or 4 times in the past two years. With this in mind, it’s not too difficult for us to recommend great places to stay, especially if you’re on a budget.
That said, if you plan to treat yourself when travelling in Bali, I would say that Ubud is the place to do it. There are so many fantastic options in Ubud. From luxury wilderness hotels to traditional Balinese homestays, and quirky treehouses in the heart of the jungle. Not to mention affordable private villas with private pools, so you won’t be stuck for choice regardless of your budget.
The only thing worth considering when booking your accommodation is where to be located. If you have access to a scooter or don’t mind getting transport, it’s not so much of a big deal. But if not, you’ll want to be close to the town centre where you’ll find the majority of shops, restaurants and nightlife.
Best Hostel in Ubud: Pillow Inn Ubud
Staying in a hostel in Ubud doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on those lush nature vibes. Here at Pillow Inn Ubud, you can enjoy a serene environment in the heart of the jungle, with a swimming pool overlooking the rice paddies. It doesn’t get more Ubud than that. Not only that, the hostel hosts yoga classes several times a week, as well as weekly BBQs and movie nights. All this, located just 1KM away from the town centre – a great find!
Best Homestay in Ubud: Donald Homestay Ubud
Homestays in Bali are our favourite places to stay on a budget. Not only are they great value for money, but you often get to experience the local culture in a way that’s not possible at hotels. We’ve stayed at a few during our different stints in Ubud, but Donald Homestay stands out. The rooms were spotless, the owners were gems, and the location was perfect. Of course, the swimming pool was just a bonus, as was the inclusive breakfast of fruit and banana pancakes!
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Ubud: Villa Kayu Lama
If you’re seeking luxury, but without the hefty price tag, Villa Kayu Lama offers unbeatable value for money in the heart of Ubud. Set in amongst the rice fields, it’s a good 15-minute drive outside of the city centre; however, to experience such peace and tranquillity, it’s worth the slight inconvenience. Pick from a deluxe double room or a private villa and enjoy the incredible facilities, which includes a pool and spa.
Best Luxury Hotel in Ubud: Kamandulu Ubud
As I say, there aren’t many places better than Ubud where it’s worth spoiling yourself, and Kamandulu is a perfect example. You can expect nothing but the celebrity treatment at this impeccable resort in Ubud, where traditional Balinese architecture meets 5* luxury. Enjoy a floating breakfast in the infinity pool overlooking the jungle. Treat yourself to a massage at the onsight spa or sample a variety of cuisines at the onsight restaurants. There is nothing not to love about this hotel!
Best Air BnB in Ubud: Hars Garden Treehouse
If you’re seeking a unique accommodation experience in Ubud, how about a stay in an actual treehouse? Unlike some of the treehouse experiences in Bali, this one is strangely affordable. Solar-powered and built amidst an organic vegetable farm, it’s an eco-friendly and family-run resort made up of just two treehouses. Each treehouse comes fully equipped with AC, hot water shower, and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. Use our discount link above!
3 Day Ubud Itinerary
OK, when putting together this Ubud Itinerary, I’ve endeavoured to cover as much as possible. There’s a lot to see and do. Some of you will be more enthusiastic than others to cram a lot into the three days. Don’t exert yourself; this is your holiday after all. I’m just here to guide you based on our experiences, but feel free to rejig the itinerary as you see fit.
Ubud Itinerary Day 1
Ridge Walks, Waterfalls, and Monkeys
Assuming you stayed the night in Ubud, you’ll be up bright, breezy and ready to explore. If you haven’t already had breakfast at your hotel, you needn’t worry. There are tons of great cafes and restaurants in Ubud centre serving a wealth of international fayre. You’ll find a section dedicated to our favourite places to eat in Ubud further down in the article. Let’s get to our first day in Ubud Itinerary.
Campuhan Ridge Walk
One of our favourite ways to start the day in Ubud, Campuhan Ridge is a scenic walking trail located just minutes from the town centre. If you have an Instagram account, there’s no doubt you are familiar with this spot already. However, there’s actually a lot more to the trail than the Insta-famous stretch with the palm trees.
What’s great about this hike, is that it’s easily accessible and not so strenuous. Meaning it can be great fun for all the family. The most popular trail is 2km in length with some steady inclines. Or if you fancy the challenge, you can continue for up to 9km. Admire the breathtaking vistas as you walk, or stop off for a refreshment at the tranquil Karsa Cafe.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 2-3 hours
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Tukad Cepung Waterfall
Next up we have one of our favourite waterfalls near Ubud – Tukad Cepung. This waterfall, located approximately 45-minutes drive from the town centre, is lesser-known than most; however, the Instagram game is rapidly changing that. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali and an essential addition to your Ubud itinerary.
The highlight of these falls is the incredible sun rays that shoot into the canyon around 10 am on a sunny day. These rays create a magical scene as they hit the waterfall, and many consider the location to be one of the most instagrammable spots in Bali.
The hike to reach the falls is easy enough. The trail follows a scenic jungle area involving 100 or so stairs down into the canyon. From there, you have to wade through water and around obstacles to find the waterfall.
Entrance: 15,000 IDR/Allow: 1-2 hours
Need more information? Check out our guide to Tukad Cepung Waterfall here.
By this point, you’ll be ready to cool down, so thankfully your next stop is an ideal spot to take a dip. Many regard Tibumana to be one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Bali, and we’d have to agree. It’s also an excellent one for swimming thanks to the broad and deep lagoon that lay at the bottom.
Until recently, the majestic falls were considered somewhat of a hidden gem in Bali. However, after an influencers photo went viral, the picturesque location has since shot to Insta-fame.
Despite its newfound popularity, Tibumana is well worth a visit. It is accessible via an easy 10-minute hike, so it’s suitable for all ages and capabilities. The straightforward trail leads you through the jungle, making for the perfect mini-adventure for little ones.
Entrance: 10,000 IDR/Allow: 1-2 hours
Need more information? Check out our guide to Tibumana Waterfall here.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
By the time you’ve finished up at Tibumana Waterfall, it’s likely to be lunchtime. From what I can remember, there’s not a lot around the waterfalls in terms of decent food. We usually just stock up on fruit, nuts, and biscuits to see us through from breakfast until dinner. But if you want a proper meal, you can stop off in Ubud Town Centre on your way to the Monkey Forest.
The Monkey Forest is a top tourist attraction in Bali, and will generally land a spot on most Ubud itineraries. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with hundreds of the Balinese long-tailed Monkey who are undeniably cute but equally naughty. We’ve learnt since travelling in Asia that the term ‘cheeky monkey’ is certainly no accident.
Nevertheless, the monkey forest is an enchanting place to explore. The entire area is a nature reserve and Hindu temple complex, with the ornate temples and 100 species of trees creating a giant playground for the monkeys. Not only that, the reserve acts as an important educational, spiritual and economic centre for the local villages.
A fair word of warning though, the monkeys are not afraid to interact with humans and will not hesitate to clamber all over you – particularly if you have food. It’s also not uncommon for them to snatch loose belongings, so it’s wise to keep sunglasses, hats, phones and the like secured.
Entrance: 80,000 IDR/Allow: 2-3 hours
Ubud Town Centre
A nice way to round off your first day in Ubud is to meander around the town centre. You could pass by a local temple such as the picturesque Water Palace, do some shopping at the various markets or boutiques, or sink some happy hour cocktails at the bars. All I’ll say is that you’ll want to be well-rested, as it’s a disgustingly early start in the morning!
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Ubud Itinerary Day 2
Climbing Volcanoes, Hot Springs and Shopping
Day 2 in Ubud and you are in for an action-packed day! If you thought yesterday was adventurous, today is going to blow your socks off. The first activity is optional, and will heavily depend on a) if you can get up on time, and b) if you are up to the challenge. But if you consider yourself an adventurer, you won’t want to miss what we have in store. First up, Hiking Mount Batur for Sunrise.
Mount Batur Sunrise Trekking
Out of all the magical mornings we’ve experienced in Bali, hiking to the peak of Mount Batur for sunrise is one of our favourites. At 1717 metre above sea level, Mount Batur is the 2nd tallest volcano on the island. Only the notorious Mount Agung proceeds it at 3031 metres.
What can you expect from this hike? An unearthly early start and a challenging 2-hour climb in the darkness. When I say early, I’m talking about a 1.30 am collection from your Ubud hotel kind of early. But we consider this hike to be one of the top things to do on this Ubud Itinerary. Watching the sunrise atop an active volcano is an experience you’ll never forget.
All in all, I would say the level of difficulty for this hike is moderately difficult. The trail starts at a steady incline, winding through the cover of the forest. It’s only for the final leg of the trek that it gets particularly steep, but nothing too extreme and it’s only for half an hour or so. So long as you’re off a reasonable fitness level, you’ll complete the hike with no trouble.
As we approached the summit, any exhaustion we felt quickly melted away. The sun rose from behind Mount Agung, transforming the sky into a plethora of colour while we perched ourselves on the crater rim for the show. We could see all the way to the summit of Rinjani on Lombok Island. It is quite some view.
Please note, it’s mandatory to trek to with a guide to the summit of Mount Batur. Several tour operators are organising this activity; however, we can personally recommend Bali Sunrise Trekking & Tour. If you contact our friend Ari via What’s App on – +62 8133 8668 454, to make your booking, you can mention Our Taste For Life for a small discount.
Need more information? Check out our guide to hiking Mount Batur with Bali Sunrise Trekking here.
Batur Natural Hot Springs
You can expect to be back at base camp post-hike by latest 9-10 am. That is unless you’re like us and hang around for far longer to take photos. Anyway, I digress. The natural hot springs are an optional add on to your hiking package and are ideal for soothing the weary muscles. Though, I should mention that the name ‘natural’ hot springs is quite misleading, as it’s in-fact very commercial.
We read a ton of mixed reviews before our hike, where some were raving about the incredible view and relaxing pools. Others complained about dirty facilities and unfriendly staff. We decided against visiting so cannot speak from personal experience; however, you should read the views and decide for yourself if it’s worth paying the extra few dollars on top of the hike.
Depending on how long you spend at the hot springs, you should be back in Ubud around lunchtime-ish. I know the first thing on our agenda was a big feed and a nap; you might be different. But either way, you’ll inevitably want a relaxing afternoon involving nothing too strenuous. If that’s not the case, you could check out some of the other waterfalls near Ubud. Otherwise, it’s a leisurely stroll around the Ubud market.
Ubud Market is probably the most famous market in Bali. Famed for its endless market stalls selling everything from local handicrafts to tourist souvenirs, and collections of unique clothing that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. It’s a bit like Aladdin’s Cave, where you’ll have to hunt through the unworthy treasure in order to find your lamp. But if you’re a keen shopper, you’ll doubtlessly be in your element.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 1-2 hours
One of the essential things to do on your 3-day Ubud Itinerary is to have a traditional Balinese Massage followed by a flower bath. And is there any better time than after a challenging hike summiting a volcano? Whether you’re looking to splash the cash in a luxurious spa, or merely wanting a cheap and cheerful massage, there is no shortage of wellness centres in Ubud.
The traditional Balinese massage style is quite gentle, focusing on the entire body and encouraging general well being in both body & mind. If you’re like me and prefer a firmer deep tissue massage, let your masseuse know at the start, and they’re generally happy to accommodate.
Price: Varies/Allow: 1-2 hours
Ubud Itinerary Day 3
Ricefields, Floating Breakfasts, and Sacred Places
OK, the third and final day, and hopefully you’re fully recovered from yesterdays antics. Today we’ll be busy covering the final Ubud highlights, but none of the activities are too strenuous, so it’s going to be relatively laidback. Again, we suggest starting your day at sunrise for reasons I will get into; however, if you don’t fancy the early start, you can restructure the day as you see fit.
Tegalalang Rice Terraces
Our first stop on day 3 of our Ubud itinerary is the famous Tegalalang Rice Terraces. What was once a mere source of income for local farmers, has since become one of the most photographed spots in all of Bali. And the local farmers are making a killing from it too, charging up to 50,000 IDR to access the fields for the iconic photo!
We’ll be honest with you guys. We have a bit of a bugbear with these commercialised spots in Bali and refuse to pay for a photo. Don’t get me wrong; we have no qualms with anybody who does, but it’s just not for us. Nonetheless, the Tegalalang rice terraces are utterly beautiful and well-worthy of a visit.
The best time to visit the rice terraces is first thing in the morning. Not only will you skip the crowds – this spot gets incredibly busy after 10 am – but the golden hour glow creates a magical scene of the valley. You’ll also find the iconic Bali swings and ‘I Love Bali’ signs, which again are very popular for taking photos.
Price: 10,000-50,000 IDR/Allow: 1-2 hours
Pura Gunung Kawi
Drive 20 minutes North East of the rice terraces, and you’ll reach the first sacred spot of the day. Pura Gunung Kawi is one of the largest temple complexes in Bali and is said to date back as early as the 11th century. Out of the thousands of temples on the island, this one is arguably the most interesting. That’s because it’s quite a mystery as to how the temple came to be and what exactly was its purpose.
The temple consists of 10 seven-metre high shrines, known as candis, which have been carved out of the rock face. For a while, many believed the candis were tombs, housing the remains of ancient royal families; however, that later proved not to be the case.
Nonetheless, set amidst a lush jungle environment, there is something mysterious and magical about the temple complex. You’ll have to be blessed using holy water before you can enter the grounds, before wandering through a picturesque trail of rice fields and palm trees to the candis. Again, arrive as early as possible to skip the crowds at this one.
Price: 15,000 IDR/Allow: 1-2 hours
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Tirta Empul Temple
Next up we have the Tirta Empul Water Temple, just 5-minutes drive South of Pura Gunung Kawi. Balinese Hindu worshippers have been visiting this temple for thousands of years, which they believe to be a sacred pool of purification. Today it’s a top tourist attraction, and locals & tourists alike, gather for the spiritual ceremony.
Bathing in the blessed waters is not mandatory when visiting the temple complex. You can also come as a spectator and to admire the centuries-old Balinese architecture. As with all sacred temples on the temple, it will be required to wear a sari before entering the complex. The sarongs are available for rent at the temple’s entrance in exchange for a small donation.
Price: 50,000 IDR/Allow: 1-2 hours
In recent years, floating breakfasts have become a quintessential Bali experience. If you followed our morning itinerary, you might just make it back in time for a floating brunch or lunch, which will be even more enjoyable after a morning of exploring.
Natalie treated me to our first floating breakfast at the iconic Ubud hotel, Kamandalu. We rarely spoil ourselves when we travel, but it was my birthday, so in this instance, a one-off splurge was deserved. The overall experience was terrific. The fantastic selection of food and inclusive bottle of champagne certainly helped with that.
While we can highly recommend Kamandalu for a floating breakfast or brunch, it’s on the higher-end of the scale price-wise. It needn’t be expensive if you shop around, as many hotels in Ubud offer a similar experience.
Yoga & Meditation
I mentioned earlier that Ubud is the spiritual heart of Bali. With that, countless yoga and meditation classes are held daily throughout the town. The studios here make the very most of Ubud’s tranquil settings, with astonishing views over rice fields or jungles. In our opinion, there’s no better place on the island to connect spiritually, and if you’ve never tried yoga before, now’s the time to start.
Unfortunately, we’ve never tried out any of the classes in Ubud as we carry our own yoga mats to save money. However, I suggest reading this guide to Yoga in Ubud which will help find a class suitable for you.
It’s your last night in Ubud, so I think you deserve to let your hair down and sink a few Bintangs. The last thing that Ubud is known for is its nightlife; however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. Sure, it’s more low key than the likes of Kuta or Uluwatu, but there are a few quirky bars where you’ll find a great atmosphere of an evening. Our favourites include Laughing Buddha Bar, or for late-night drinks, CP Lounge.
Best Places to Eat in Ubud
There are so many incredible places to eat in Ubud: from brunch spots and quaint cafes to high-end restaurants and local warungs. We recommend this article by Honeycombers if you’re a real foodie, but in the meantime here is a handful of our favourites:
- Mexican Food: Taco Casa
- Date Night: Watercress
- Breakfast: Milk & Madu
- Indian (Veggie): Roti Daal
- Local Food: Sawobali
- Desserts: Caramel Patisserie & Cafe
How to Get to Ubud in Bali
Ubud is one of the more significant touristic hubs in Bali, but getting there from the likes of Canggu or Uluwatu can be an expensive affair. It’s unlikely you will want to travel with luggage by scooter, so your options are Grab, Go-Jek, or a local transport company. In our experience, local transport companies charge extortionate rates, so we recommend using one of the taxi apps instead.
Top Tips for 3 Days in Ubud
Here are some useful tips that I hope will enhance your travel experience in Ubud.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Ubud will be in the dry season, which runs from April to late September. While there is always a chance of the odd rainy day, generally you can expect ideal conditions for all the top activities and attractions.
July and August are considered the high season in Bali, as well as Christmas, New Year, and Easter. Bali is at its busiest during this time, and prices rise at an alarming rate. With this in mind, April, May, June and September are the best months to visit.
On a side note, we always like to visit the waterfalls in Bali towards the end of the wet season. The influx of rain causes all the rivers to overflow, resulting in some pretty impressive waterfalls!
Getting Around in Ubud
Like the rest of Bali, the best way to get around in Ubud is on two wheels. Being able to ride a scooter in Bali is a valuable skill. Not only will you save some serious cash, but you’ll get to experience a sense of freedom that’s hard to achieve without one.
If you’ve never driven a scooter before, I don’t suggest trying it out for the first time in Bali. The roads are in good condition, but the Bali traffic can be intimidating to even the most experienced of drivers.
On the other hand, if you are a safe and confident driver, cruising the scenic roads of Ubud is an adventure all on its own. To rent a scooter in Bali will set you back around 60,000 IDR per day. And it is usually possible to negotiate a discount if you rent for more extended periods.
Of course, we advise exercising caution when driving in Bali. Always wear your helmet, and carry an international license should you be pulled over by the local police.
If renting a scooter isn’t an option, you can opt to use GoJek or Grab which work in the same way as Uber. You can even get motorbike taxis in Bali, which is a great way to avoid the inevitable traffic.
Alternatively, if you need a driver for the whole day, this offer for a Private Car or Minibus Charter is highly competitive relative to local transport companies. Click the link to read thousands of positive reviews, check the latest prices, and to make a booking.
There are a lot of fun activities to do in and around Ubud; however, with adventure always comes risk. With this in mind, you will want to have adequate travel insurance that covers you for any tricky situations.
We always recommend World Nomads for travel insurance, as they are affordable, offer a variety of packages and add ons, and allow you to make amendments to your policy while travelling. Say, for example, you go scuba diving or hiking a mountain, World Nomads will amend your plan accordingly. It’s a super handy feature that we’ve used numerous times including the time we trekked to Annapurna Base Camp.
If you need further convincing, read our article on why you need travel insurance. Or get an on-the-spot quote from World Nomads using the form below.
Staying Connected in Bali
If, like us, you rely on the internet when you travel (let’s face it, who doesn’t anymore), we have the perfect solution. After coming home to too many hefty phone bills and buying countless international sim cards, we were desperate for an affordable solution. That’s when we discovered TravelWifi. TravelWifi’s portable pocket wifi allows us to quickly and securely connect when we need it the most. Click the link for more information on coverage, packages, and the latest offers.
As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly. We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there. There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller. Read our guide on eco-travel to learn more.
More on Bali
Planning a trip to Bali? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
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- Gay in Bali – LGBT+ Travel Guide
- 18 Unmissable Things to do in North Bali
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Did you enjoy our Perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary?
Let us know! That concludes our Perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical Island. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Our Taste For Life