The 5 best ways to spend your days in Ubud, Bali

If you’re in Bali and looking for some more wholesome activities, away from the hardcore instagram spots and beach clubs of Canggu and Seminyak, Ubud is your place to go. No hate to the beach club insta girlies – if I had the patience to sit in the sun all day, and the genuine power to look that good in 35 degree heat, I’d be one of those too. You could spend weeks in Ubud mooching your way around all the amazing activities that there are to do. Here are some of my favourites.



Touch up your cooking skills in a traditional Balinese Cooking Class

There are so many different cooking classes to choose from across Airbnb Experiences, Trip Advisor, tour sellers in the city, and through your hostel. So, there’s a few things to take into account when deciding: the length of the class, what’s included, if it caters to your dietaries, and most importantly, if you will cook your favourite meal.

We went with Cobek Bali Cooking Class on Airbnb Experiences, for £18 per person. For the time of the class (3 hours), it had the most included and the best suited to our dietaries. We wanted a trip to the local market included, and we also needed it to be pescatarian suitable – both those were included! 

What’s included:

  • Pick up and drop off if you’re staying in/near Ubud central 
  • Tour around a local market (morning class) 
  • How to make a traditional Balinese offering, and the meanings behind each part of it 
  • Walk around the rice fields 
  • 7 different traditional dishes that can be tailored to dietaries, with recipe book to take home
  • Juice / tea / water / breakfast snacks, and all food that you cook

What to expect:

Our day started by being picked up at the hostel, and taken to the market. We were extremely lucky and had a group of just the two of us, but the groups are generally larger. Whether it be 2 or 15, the staff are amazing and you will learn equally as much either way! 

When we went to the market, a slight nightmare struck. You see, I have a thing with fainting, and it sometimes comes out of nowhere. One second I was fine, and the next I was sitting on the floor close to passing out. When I tell you our teacher for the day SPRUNG into mother action, I mean it. Before I could pass out, I had a sweet tea, a bottle of water, and tiger balm massaged into me. We were offered to change to the next day, but after my fuss on the floor, some fresh air saved me and I was ready to cook. 

The maternal treatment didn’t stop there, I wasn’t allowed to step foot in the sun all morning, and when I was cooking over a hot pan for a while, I got fanned. Extra special treatment. Me being dramatic aside, the cooking class was so informative and we tried each different process and tried everything along the way. I’ve been to cooking classes before where they have everything pre-chopped and you just shove everything in a pan with no explanation, and eat it all at the end – this was not one of those classes! 

I couldn’t recommend this experience enough.

    Where: Jl. Nyuh Bojog, MAS, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia


    Price: £18 pp


This is your sign to get yourself to Bali and up this mountain whilst you still can. With impending rules of tourists not being able to hike mountains anymore in Bali, there’s no certainty how much longer you’ll have this opportunity. 

Where to book:

Like the cooking class, almost every other ‘tourist attraction’ in Ubud has tonnes of different places to book. However, with the Mount Batur Hike, from what I’ve heard from other backpackers when travelling, and what I saw, almost every tour seems exactly the same. So, basically, just try and avoid being scammed and overpaying. Otherwise known as the constant daily challenge whilst backpacking.

We booked our hike through our hostel, and it cost us 400k pp (around £20).

What’s included:

  • Pick up and drop off from the hostel. The journey is around an hour drive from Ubud central, depending on how many people you pick up along the way, and how crazy your driver is.
  • Head torches.
  • Water, coffee/tea and snack upon arrival at the base. We got fried banana, which wasn’t great fuel for a hike. We took cereal and pastry with us and it was quite possibly one of my wisest decisions ever… don’t rely on their snacks.
  • ‘Lunch’ at the top. It was a boiled egg and a banana sandwich. Again, not good fuel. But every tour seemed to do the same.

What to expect:

A sunrise hike means one thing – dragging your ass out of bed at a ridiculous hour (2:00am to be exact), and plodding up a very steep mountain in pitch black. But let me tell you, it’s SO worth it. Now listen, I am NOT a hiker. I have done some hikes. Purely for the views, and not the enjoyment of the hike. Honestly, I actually actively dislike hiking. I’m scared of heights, and scared of a big gust of wind coming and blowing me off the side of a mountain. Because my feary little brain has convinced me that it’s a common occurrence.

Truthfully, the hike itself isn’t awfully bad. There’s about an hour walk up the road, and then you start the hike up which takes around an hour and a half. The second part is more of a slight climb and you go up super slowly. Almost like a queue up there with all the other hikers. 

Once you get nearer to the top, you’ll begin to see the sunrise, then you’ll get to see the final thing above the clouds. The hike down is much quicker, but it’s very slippy on the way down since it’s a dirt track. You may fall victim to a playground style scraped knee like I did. I also wouldn’t recommend doing it in converse because my toes were ruined by the end. That being said, we went up there with two girls wearing crocs, so I don’t worry too much about your choice of footwear.

    Where: Batur Selatan, Kintamani, Bangli, Bali, Indonesia

    When: Daily

    Price: Approx. £20 pp


Ubud Art Lessons

From all my scouring online (mainly on Tik Tok) Ubud Art Lessons seemed to be the best value jewellery making class, and very conveniently, it was a 5 minute walk from the hostel I was staying at. They also have other artsy classes that I was dying to try but didn’t have time, so definitely check them out if you have the chance. I would try to book a couple of days in advance to get the time that you like, as it does book up!

What to expect:

I’m going to preface this by saying that I truly underestimated how difficult this would be, but after some blood, sweat and tears I made a ring. Admittedly there was no blood, but there was definitely sweat, and definitely a paddy or two. So, choose your design wisely.

When you first arrive, they briefly explain the process, then you choose your ring size and pick your design from some example designs, or create your own. Then you will go through the process of melting the silver, ‘squishing’ it into a square, flattening it to your desired width (this part was EXTREMELY tough), and then stamping your designs in. The final touches of welding it together and buffing it up will be done for you.

When I decided on a cute sun design, I foolishly thought that I’d just have to bash a sun shaped stamp in. How wrong I was. They handed me some curved tools, a pencil, and a very un-reassuring ‘good luck’. But your girl pulled through… I only gave up when they told to write something inside and I politely declined. There’s only so much a girl can do without completely losing the will to live. But, you know what, my ring came out cute as hell.

The 2 hour class was 300k (£16) for 5g of silver, which is plenty to make a ring. You can pay for extra silver or gems if want to make something a little more fancy.

    Where: Nyuh Kuning Rd, MAS, Ubud, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80571

    When: Daily

    Price: £16

TOP TIP: The studio is also above a yummy Mexican restaurant, and you get a discount off the bill if you go after a class! They also do Taco Tuesdays, where you can get some tacos for 15k, so if you tie them in together, you’ll get a class and a very cheap lunch afterwards.


For some reason, when I’m travelling I decide that I’m way more adventurous than I am. So of course I signed up for an ATV adventure. An OFFROAD adventure. I had never in my life stepped foot on an ATV – for good reason I believe – and decided, you know what? Of course I can drive off road.

Again we booked at our hostel but there are tonnes of options to choose from within Ubud. We paid 500k (£26) for a 2 hour trip, including pick up and drop off. There are also packages to do the ATV tour and white water rafting afterwards. Honestly that would be a brave move because we were absolutely SHATTERED. We didn’t move for the rest of the day

What to expect:

After the world’s shortest safety briefing, i.e. a little video that showed no safety tips at all, and a 5 minute explanation of how to go and break, we were well on the way. First up, I drove through the rice fields on normal road to get used to the ATV. It was absolutely beautiful. You can bet your bottom dollar that I hardly looked around because I was concentrating so damn heard on driving.

In the quickest 0 to 100 that I have quite possibly ever experienced, we went straight from road to RIVER. We were driving through a steep, rocky river. After I got over my initial fear, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole way through. We got to go through so many different jungle routes, and he took us around the fun parts more than once – Example A to your left.

The guide offered to take my phone and he took some SCENIC videos. They were honestly quite comical, but the pics were unreal. Again, please refer to Example A.

Long story short, if you want to do something a little different, and a lot ridiculous. ATV your heart out. 

    When: Daily

    Price: Approx. £26.


How else would you get around Bali?

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I also booked this through the hostel. But there are lots of options to hire a driver for the day to take you around to the spots in and around Ubud. This is the best idea if you’re short of time; most of the spots you’ll go to will only be quick stops. If you’re braver than I am, hire a bike yourself!

We paid 350k (around £18) for a driver to take us around to all of these spots, we didn’t choose which, we just said we wanted to see the rice terraces, a waterfall and a temple. Then we left it up to them! We were out on the bikes the whole day, and lunch was included, so it was well worth the money!

Where to go:

  • Ceking rice terrace – You’ll have seen these all over Instagram, they’re pretty spectacular, but VERY touristy.
  • Bayad Waterfall – This wasn’t so much a swimming waterfall, so head somewhere else if you want a dip.
  • Gunung Kawi Sebatu Temple – A very beautiful temple, amongst many beautiful temples.
  • Coffee/tea tasting – Here we got to try about 20 different teas and coffees. You could also try the Luwak poo coffee, but I’m not promoting that. I personally think that it’s gross and completely unethical. Consider being fed caffeine whilst trapped in a small cage your whole life before you buy it. You do you though.
  • The Monkey Forest – Do you even go to Ubud if you haven’t done the monkey selfie? Apparently we didn’t. Those monkeys gave me the absolute fear. The whole place did truthfully.

Now you know how to mooch around Ubud, surely you it’s essential that you find know where to munch too? Fun filled days, and food filled bellies = happy travellers. Whilst you’re in Ubud, it’d be rude not to visit Nusa Penida.

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