One of the best ways to experience Ubud, Bali, is through the captivating cultural activities on offer here. Whether you’re looking to watch traditional performances, learn a local craft or even try spiritual healing, these activities will grant you a remarkable insight – and sweet memories – of Ubud.
With Culture Trip, you can enjoy a traditional Balinese cooking masterclass in Ubud as part of our immersive 12-day Bali adventure.
Watch the Ramayana Ballet in Ubud Palace
The ancient epic Ramayana doesn’t only make for a dynamic theatrical performance, but the story inspires the life of many Balinese Hindu and helps shape their everyday customs. Ramayana Ballet is one of the most popular performances in Bali; catch it at Ubud Palace, your experience will be intensified by the grand backdrop.
This cultural-spiritual activity has become more popular among tourists since the movie Eat Pray Love (2010), which shows Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) visiting healer Ketut Liyer in a village in Ubud. While this respected medicine man from Bali passed away in 2016, the traditional healing scene has thrived. Whether or not you believe in this kind of thing, meeting a traditional shaman here can enrich your perspective on life, wellness and – at the very least – culture. Many even come with real-life problems and swear by its efficacy.
Sign up for a cooking class
It’s no secret that food can tell us a lot about a culture. So, why not take it up a notch and learn to cook local dishes instead of just eating them? Many restaurants and villas in Ubud have cooking classes you can join – conveniently, all materials and ingredients are provided. And who knows, maybe you can entertain family and friends back home with excellent Balinese dishes. With Culture Trip, you can enjoy a traditional Balinese cooking masterclass in Ubud as part of our immersive 12-day Bali adventure.
Visit the Saraswati Palace
One of the most iconic attractions in Ubud, this temple was built to honour Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, literature and art. Also known as the Ubud Water Palace, it has grand, traditional architecture plus a delicate lotus pond and water garden. This palace is also one of the best spots to catch traditional performances. If dressing up sounds like a cultural experience you’re all for, rent traditional Balinese attire on site.
Undergo a cleansing ritual at Tirta Empul Temple
Tirta Empul Temple is one of the most prized water temples in Ubud, and not just for the beautiful architecture and adornment. It is known for its purification ritual, which can be done in the ornate bathing pool. The pool has water spouts, each symbolising elements of cleansing. Tourists are welcome to join the procession as long as they follow the rules — don’t hesitate to ask around or, even better, ask a local to join or guide you through.
Visit the museums
Ubud is considered the art and culture capital of Bali for a reason. It’s hosted, nurtured and inspired artists from across the globe, whose works are available for mortal eyes to see and appreciate. Blanco Renaissance Museum houses the works of renowned artist Antonio Blanco and is actually located in the artist’s own mansion. Agung Rai Museum of Art, on the other hand, showcases collections from various artists from around the world and across different genres and eras.
Explore Tegalalang Village
For years, the name Tegalalang has been almost synonymous with rice terraces, but that’s not all there is to it. It’s a fascinating village of farmers and artists, where you can observe the captivating local culture. Stop by one of the art shops or traditional warung, and interact with the resident farmers.
Learn traditional crafts
True, you can buy lovely handmade souvenirs in the lively traditional market in Ubud, but learning to make one is surely more eye-opening. Not only will you go home with an authentic craft of your own making, but you’ll also have learned a new skill and perhaps found a new hobby. Take your pick from pottery, batik-making, wood-carving or crafting jewellery from silver.
Explore Ubud Monkey Forest
This attraction in Ubud is mainly known as a calming lush forest with hundreds of monkeys – but this forest was not built just for fun. The compound follows an ancient traditional philosophy called Tri Hita Karana (the three causes of wellbeing), which include harmony with God, with other people and with nature. You’ll find the trio in the forest, sacred temples, town halls and thriving nature here.
Get on the yoga mat
For the people of Bali, yoga is more than a fad. As Hindus, they practise yoga in a spiritual manner that will present you with a unique experience and perspective. People come from all over the world to learn and teach yoga in Ubud, so you’ll get a whole spectrum of options according to your taste and preference. Among the excellent yoga studios in Bali are a couple of local favourites: Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive. Sound like your kind of thing? Our exclusive small-group Bali trip includes a Flying Yoga class in Ubud, giving you the chance to learn a unique kind of aerial yoga which was pioneered in Ubud in 2012.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.