Ubud is super touristy, let’s face it. Traffic can really kill your holiday if you don’t map you itinerary well. Here is a rundown of my favorite spots in Ubud that can be covered over a day trip. If you are put up at Nusa Dua or Semniyak, you will be able to visit all of these on a day tour to Ubud, just as we did.
Tip: Follow the same order, incase you are planning a day long trip from Nusa Dua
Pura Taman Saraswati Temple
Set right in the heart of the city, the Pura Taman Saraswati Temple is the most easily accessible temple in Ubud. This temple, as the name goes, is a Balinese Hindu temple and a place of worship for Goddess Saraswati. As per Hindu beliefs, Saraswati is the Goddess of wisdom, knowledge and the arts.
The magnificent lotus pond serving as an entrance to the temple complex is the biggest attraction at this temple. The pond is flooded with blossoming pink lotuses, adding a divine aura to the setting. With the traditional Balinese architecture as a backdrop, this is excellent picture spot in Ubud – one not to be missed.
Entry to the temple is free though tourists are prohibited from entering the inner temple. Traditional Balinese dance shows are usually performed daily, buy your tickets at the entry gate if you are looking at spending a cultural evening in Ubud. There is a Starbucks Café just at the entry of the temple complex.
Ubud Royal Palace – Puri Saren Agung
A short stroll away is the Royal Palace, right across the road from the famous ‘Art Market’. The local royal family still lives here and is one of the most highlighted landmarks in downtown Ubud. The Royal palace is quite different in architecture for that matter. Lavish stone carvings, large thatched roof styled open air courts, grand wooden doorways are in every bit an essence of Balinese royalty and extravagance.
The king’s throne is exhibited at the visitor’s side of the palace.
I recommend hiring a guide here, it’s an excellent way to understand the history and features of this palace. Only a small part of the palace is open to public, entry is free.
Catch a breadth at this all-day café, right on the main road leading to “Saraswati Temple” which would be your next stop, for optimal route planning. Chances are that you will already be hungry by now and a lunch is all that you need at this point in time. It’s easy to get lost for there are plenty of choices on this street. But I highly recommend Watercress café if you are in for a continental fare.
Rustic breakfast, appetizing salads, protein shakes and plenty of vegetarian options, all made with organic, fresh, locally sourced ingredients. I found the portion sizes very generous, practically everything we ordered tasted 10/10 and there is plenty of room for everyone whether you are travelling solo, as couple or family. This café is spread over two floors and is overall a very good food experience.
Add a bit of shopping to this, at Bali’s popular art markets and your day will be full to the brim. Wondering what & where to shop in Bali, read all about it here – Where & What To Shop In Ubud, Bali
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