Ubud, Bali Weekend Itinerary

3 Days in Ubud: The Perfect Weekend Itinerary

Think of Ubud and you probably picture lush green rainforests teeming with wildlife, cute cafes filled with digital nomads, and bustling markets laden with all kinds of handmade trinkets. That image is probably a lot more accurate than you may think!

Secluded from the rest of the world in a mountainous region of Bali, Indonesia, Ubud is anything but a hidden gem. Ever since the movie adaptation of Eat, Pray, Love came out in 2010, it’s been a hugely popular place for visitors – but that doesn’t mean it’s lost any of its charm. Even if it’s not really your thing, it’s worth watching the movie before your weekend in Ubud to see how many places you can spot when you arrive!

This enigmatic city is the perfect vacation destination if you’re looking for the best of all worlds. It’s bursting with rich Indonesian culture, ancient weathered temples, and incredible Balinese cuisine that’s so amazing you won’t be able to get enough of it. 

And since Ubud is a well-established tourist destination, you’ll quickly find that locals speak great English, you’re surrounded by excellent accommodation options, and you’re spoiled for choice with everything there is to see and do.

Follow our guide to plan your perfect 3 days in Ubud then start getting excited as your mind brims with pictures of verdant paddy fields, sunrise yoga classes, and a dynamic vibe that will sweep you away with it! 

If you’re still deciding where to stay then make sure to check out our article on the best luxury hotels in Ubud!

How to Spend a Weekend in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Getting Around Ubud

Getting Around Ubud, Bali: Perfect Weekend Itinerary

Ubud is incredibly compact and most people choose to get around on foot. Not only does this method let you enjoy the gorgeous Balinese sunshine and get some fresh air, but it also means you can explore clandestine streets and discover parts of the city you’d never be able to get to otherwise.

If you’re staying on the outskirts of the city or you want to pack as much into your trip as possible, rent a moped or motorbike instead. You can easily rent something cheap for as little as $3 per day, but you may want to fork out a little more on something safer and more reliable, unless you’re familiar with the streets.

Many of the main streets throughout Ubud operate a one-way system. Very few people actually obey it, so stay vigilant when you’re on the road. This applies whether you’re a driver or pedestrian!

Take an Ubud All-Inclusive Tour


Ubud Itinerary – Day 1

Kaukau Restaurant

3 Days in Ubud Itinerary: Kaukau Restaurant

Start your Ubud itinerary with a breakfast experience like no other at Kaukau Restaurant. This culinary haven offers a remarkable spread each morning that will have you jumping out of bed with excitement on your first day. 

Indulge your taste buds with everything from freshly-baked pastries, tropical fruits, and made-to-order omelets with every filling you can imagine to seared salmon steaks, banana pancakes, and Balinese coffee that’s too good to pass up.

If you’re not much of a breakfast person, we still definitely recommend checking this restaurant out. It’s open for lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, too, giving you plenty of opportunities. 

Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Next, it’s onto one of the most popular attractions in the city – the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. This huge, dense forest is teeming with monkeys of all ages and sizes. Far from any kind of zoo, the sanctuary doesn’t keep the animals in cages. They’re free to come and go as they please and choose to stay here because they really like it. 

Walking around and experiencing the sanctuary is an incredible feeling. Just make sure you hold onto your belongings because you never know when a daring monkey may try to grab your stuff! 

As well as all the monkeys, the sanctuary is also full of mesmerizing sculptures, towering temples, and secret caves. There’s even a funeral spot that’s regularly used for cremations today.

Get a Monkey Forest Sanctuary Ticket

Saraswati Temple

Most attractions in Ubud are surprisingly affordable. The Saraswati Temple is an exception — because it’s completely free! Just a short walk from the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, this stunning temple is instantly recognizable thanks to its giant pond laden with lily pads. 

It may look ancient, but it was actually built in the 1950s and is dedicated to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of art, literature, and learning. Make sure you get up close so you can see the intricate carvings on the doors that were done completely by hand. 

If you need a break, there are loads of cafes, bars, and restaurants directly opposite the temple. Grab something to eat or drink from anywhere around here and relax while enjoying the view. 

Ubud Palace

3 Days in Ubud Itinerary: Ubud Palace

The final attraction on day one of your weekend trip to Ubud is Ubud Palace. One of the most iconic attractions in the city, Ubud Palace invites you to learn more about fascinating Balinese culture and how the country’s royal family used to live. Make sure you’ve got plenty of space on your phone because there are countless courtyards and endless examples of detailed architecture that you’ll want to capture forever. 

It’s important to know that only a small part of the palace is open to the public, and because of this, it can get crowded very quickly. To avoid the crowds and get the best pictures, we suggest either arriving early before all the other visitors or late in the day when they’ve mostly gone. 

Alternatively, make plans to visit in the evening and watch one of the traditional dance performances. They take place every day at 7:30 pm and last for 1.5 hours. You can only buy show tickets at the entrance, so make sure you swing by after the Saraswati Temple. 

Visit the Ubud Palace

Tropical Bali Restaurant 

Ubud 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Tropical Bali Restaurant

End your first day with a decadent dinner at Tropical Bali Restaurant. Located in the heart of the city, this culinary gem offers a feast for the senses and the soul. The menu is a tempting fusion of traditional Balinese flavors and international cuisine, curated to satisfy even the most discerning palates. 

With an enticing selection of fragrant curries, succulent grilled meats, and fresh seafood delicacies, the menu offers a tantalizing array of options to suit everyone. After such a busy day, treat yourself to one of the restaurant’s fantastic cocktails made with fresh fruit juices!


Ubud Itinerary – Day 2 

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

3 Days in Ubud Weekend Itinerary: Tegalalang Rice Terrace

The next day on your 3-day trip to Ubud starts off with a tour of the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. Easily one of the most beautiful places in the city, this rice terrace is incredibly popular, so get up as early as you can and head there first thing to avoid the crowds. Its unparalleled beauty makes it a hit with everyone, from Instagrammers and nature lovers to sunrise watchers and everyone in between. 

Almost too gorgeous to be true, the rice terrace is known for its cascading rice fields, dense tropical jungle, and towering palm trees that sway in the breeze. This is a place where you definitely don’t want to forget your phone or camera! 

You can explore the Tegalalang Rice Terrace on your own. Or, if you’d rather someone else take over the organizing and driving for you, you can join a guided tour

Weekend in Ubud 3 Days Itinerary: Tegalalang Rice Terrace

When you’re done exploring the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, make sure you stop by at least one of the swings. Note: if you’re planning on doing the above tour, you don’t need to worry about this part of the itinerary. The tour includes a photo opportunity at one of the swings.

There are four swings within the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, all of which you can access for a single fee. Most of the swings are for individual visitors, but there’s one that you can sit on as a family or a group for a one-of-a-kind picture. A member of staff will push you on the swing while another one takes your photo. It’s really efficient and you get professional-quality snaps.

If you’ve got some spare time and your swimming gear, check out the infinity pool at Tis Cafe. Here you can swim right up to the edge and admire the views from a whole new angle. It’s also a great place to grab an icy-cool drink and something local for lunch. 

Explore Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Pura Tirta Empul Temple 

Just a short distance from the Tegalalang Rice Terrace you’ll find the Pura Tirta Empul Temple, also known as the Holy Spring Water Temple. This religious complex is home to several pools fed by intricately sculptured fountains. The water is said to have remarkable healing powers, and it’s common to see locals dressed in traditional clothing bathing in the waters and praying throughout the complex. 

The temple was built over 1,000 years ago and continues to be used as a place of worship today. As well as the pools, there are many other parts of the temple you can visit, including beautiful courtyards where you can see giant statues and stunning carvings. 

There’s a handful of restrictions you’ve got to follow to bathe in the holy waters, including a dress code. To save yourself time and hassle, you can sign up for this tour which guarantees you’ll get everything right the first time.

Visit the Sacred Temple of Tirta Empul

Tegenungan Waterfall 

Ubud 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Tegenungan Waterfall

After all the sightseeing, it’s time to cool down with a trip to the Tegenungan Waterfall. This natural wonder stands almost 50 feet tall and is the perfect place to escape to when you need a break from Bali’s intense heat. 

Depending on the time of year you visit, the cascade could be gentle enough to stand under like a powerful shower, or it could be a fierce thundering of water that you can’t get close to. Whatever the condition it’s in, the pools surrounding the waterfall are always calm and ideal for bathing. 

End your second day with an early dinner at Bumbu Asli International Warung. Just opposite the Tengenungan Waterfall, this stunning outdoor restaurant boasts dazzling views of the waterfall and surrounding forest. Don’t worry about the heat; the restaurant provides a huge umbrella over each table, so you can enjoy your meal in the shade while still appreciating the view. 

Here you can choose from a massive range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, plus all kinds of local specials, such as seafood laksa, gado-gado, and beef rendang curry. There are plenty of international options, including ribs, burgers, and chicken wraps, too, if you’d prefer a taste of home.

Experience Tegenungan Waterfall


Ubud Itinerary – Day 3

Mount Batur

3 Days in Ubud Weekend Itinerary: Mount Batur

The final day of your 3-day Ubud vacation is a bit of a challenge, but it’s definitely worth it. Put out your hiking boots, set your alarm for the middle of the night, and get ready to hike to the top of Mount Batur. 

You’ll need to set off at 1 or 2 am to be at the summit for sunrise. But if you set off any later, you’ll be really sorry you never made the extra effort. Watching the sunrise from this spot will be something you’ll be telling friends and family about for years to come. 

Mount Batur is an active volcano with a huge crater. It’s around an hour’s drive from Ubud, so we suggest renting a moped or joining a guided tour to get started. The mountain stands at an incredible 5,633 feet above sea level, and it takes around 2 hours to reach the top, depending on your speed and fitness level. When you reach the summit, you’ll be wowed by 360° views that seem to stretch on forever.

You’re sure to be hungry after your long trek, so make sure you bring some food. There’s nothing like setting up a romantic picnic for two and enjoying it as the sun rises. If you sign up for a guided tour, you shouldn’t have to worry about food. Almost all of them provide you with a local Balinese breakfast when you reach the top.

Hike the Ancient Mount Batur

Spa Sessions

Next on your 3-day Ubud itinerary is something much more laid-back and relaxing. It’s time to pamper yourself with a spa session. Ubud is absolutely teeming with excellent spas that offer every type of massage and treatment you can imagine. 

The ultra-luxurious Maya Resort is known for having one of the best spas in Bali. Here you’ll find individual treatments as well as spectacular packages to make you feel like a whole new you. We recommend the River Side Special, which includes the Maya massage, body scrub, flower bath, and facial.

The Forest Spa is an excellent alternative. Nestled in the middle of a lush, tropical jungle, this spa invites you to relax and enjoy a world of physical indulgence. After your therapeutic treatment or massage, you can get back to nature and enjoy an outdoor shower experience with the natural water of the area. This spa also has a forest swing so you can snap fun selfies while you’re feeling your best.

Weekend in Ubud: Forest Spa

End your epic weekend in Ubud with a night you’ll never forget at Dumbo. Definitely one of the coolest bars in the city, Dumbo is well-loved by visitors and locals thanks to its eco-friendly dishes made in the open kitchen and expertly crafted cocktails. Here you can choose from a huge menu laden with Brooklyn-style pizzas that come straight out of the wood-fired oven.

Everything is 100% vegetarian, and there are loads of vegan and gluten-free options, too. All the dishes taste so superb that you really won’t miss the meat. The braised beet cheeks with soft polenta are better than any beef cheeks you’ll ever have!

If you’re not too exhausted from your early start, it’s worth hanging around until closing time. They’ve got an excellent 2-4-1 happy hour offer beginning at 10 pm. Their cocktails are made with homemade bitters and infusions and are mixed at your table!


More Places to Eat & Drink in Ubud

3 Days in Ubud Itinerary: Mozaic

Have an afternoon free? Then spend it at the Kelusa Restaurant at Samsara Ubud Villa Resort:
Here you can indulge in a tropical afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes, puddings, and desserts, some of which will be familiar and some of which will be completely new to your taste buds. You get to enjoy the fancy meal picnic-style, surrounded by Ubud’s unprecedented beauty. Booking is mandatory, so don’t forget! 

Often cited as the best restaurant in Ubud, Mozaic is an excellent place to go if you enjoy the finer things in life. This gourmet restaurant showcases seasonal ingredients and innovative cooking techniques to create a multifaceted dining experience. Add into the mix more than 200 unique wines from all over the world and a mixology lounge, and you’ll never want to leave. 

For some of the best views in Ubud, make plans to visit Naga Rooftop Bar and Lounge by Sthala Ubud Bali:
This dazzling bar boasts a spectacular rooftop floor that not only has sprawling forest views, but fun swing chairs, too! Here you can treat yourself to specialty cocktails, wines, and beers while enjoying the views and listening to the live Balinese music played each evening. 

Ubud 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Naga Rooftop Bar and Lounge by Sthala

What to do if you have more than 3 days in Ubud 

Ubud Art Market

3 Days in Ubud Weekend Itinerary: Ubud Art Market

Discover loads of weird and wonderful trinkets by shopping at the Ubud Art Market. Just a short walk away from the Water Palace, this colorful market is always heaving with locals and visitors. You can pick up everything here – from quirky bohemian clothes and handmade jewelry to souvenirs and gorgeous artwork. While it’s definitely worth haggling, make sure you keep your head about you. Haggling over 10,000 Indonesian Rupiah may sound like a lot, but it’s not even $1.

Discover Art & Handicrafts at Ubud Art Market

Balinese Cooking Class

Weekend in Ubud 3 Days Itinerary: Balinese Cooking

Learn how to make all the delicious dishes you’ve tried in Ubud at home by taking a cooking class. This half-day cooking class starts with a trip to a local market where you can pick up fresh ingredients before stopping off at a rice plantation to learn more about one of the most common ingredients in Balinese cooking. After that, it’s time to follow the directions of an excellent local cook as you create four main courses and one delicious dessert.

Learn the Secrets of Balinese Food

Campuhan Ridge Walk

3 Days in Ubud Itinerary: Campuhan Ridge Walk

Ubud is teeming with magical treks and the Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the best. Don’t worry if you’re not much of a hiker – this route only takes around one hour to complete and it’s pretty mellow. What makes the walk so special is that the scenery along the way is spectacular for the entire walk. From swaying palm trees to sweeping rice fields and lush green hills – you’ll be surrounded by so much beauty that you won’t know where to look!

Take a Campuhan Ridge Walk

Goa Gajah

Weekend in Ubud: Goa Gajah

You’ll find spectacular temples everywhere you look in Ubud. But one that’s worth purposely seeking out is Goa Gajah. Also known as the Elephant Cave, this religious temple is decorated all over with stone carvings and paintings representing elephants. The colossal elephant carved into the rock at the entrance is amazing. It dates back to the 11th century and makes for a great selfie.

See the Temple of Goa Gajah

Gianyar Night Market

3 Days in Ubud Itinerary: Gianyar Night Market

Try loads of different Balinese delights in one place by spending some time at the Gianyar Night Market. Nestled on the outskirts of the city, this thriving market is an excellent place to find out which aspects of the local cuisine you love and which ones you’d rather avoid. Try to only order small portions of things. This way you’ll get to try lots of individual things instead of getting full after your first dish.

Try Street Food at Gianyar Night Market

We hope you enjoy your weekend trip to Ubud! Should we add something else to our 3-day Ubud itinerary? Let us know in the comments.


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Author

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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