Bali was absolute paradise for us! We were able to cross off so many bucket list items, such as climbing a volcano and learning to surf. We’ve put together this handy guide containing some key information to make your stay just that much better.
Language: Although the main language is Indonesian, you’ll also hear the locals speak a mix of Balinese and Indonesian. Don’t worry if you don’t speak either of these as pretty much everyone on the island speaks English (and some even French and German too!).
Currency: Indonesia’s currency is the Rupiah (IRP). Remember to always have cash on you as most places do not accept cards – Bali is a cash-centric society! We would recommend bringing 2-3 million IRP to start off ($200-300 CAD) and take out more cash once you arrive on the island. You can easily withdraw cash from ATM’s which can be found on almost every street corner (just be sure to have the ‘PLUS’ sign on your debit card!). We had the best luck with Mandiri ATMs.
Weather: Ubud generally has a warmer climate so you’re sure to get a tan on your visit there! However, note that Bali’s rainy season is Jan–Apr, Oct & Nov so we wouldn’t recommend visiting during those months (low season). The driest months are May-June (shoulder season). We visited at the beginning of August and had great, albeit humid, weather. The catch is that July-August is high season so prices go up and you should book in advance whenever possible.
How to Get There
Try to organize transportation through your hotel/hostel before you arrive if possible. It will make your life so much easier as it is absolute madness at the arrival gate at the airport. At the very least, have your hotel’s address and phone number written down to give to the driver. Ubud is approximately 1 hour away from the airport, so having a driver that already knows where you are staying will ensure that they do not get lost along the way – especially if you are arriving late at night! We paid 350 000 IRP for a ride to our hotel from the airport and the same to go back to the airport (a little on the pricey side but we had lots of luggage so we needed something really convenient).
As an alternative, you can also take a shuttle bus to/from the airport for around 60 000 IRP each way.
Where to Stay
We absolutely adored our hotel in Ubud, Sapodilla Hotel. We cannot recommend it enough! Not only does it have a pool, it also offers free breakfast (that can also be brought up to your room), an Ubud-area shuttle, amazing staff and a great location. All for a very reasonable price of $80/night. Book with them now through Airbnb!
How to Get Around
- Walk – Be warned, there aren’t really great sidewalks in Ubud, but this was still the safest way to get around the city. If you stay at Sapodilla Hotel everything will be only a short walk away.
- Rent a Motorcycle – Probably the fastest way to get around, especially if your hotel is on the outskirts of town. However, the roads are very crowded and traffic is quite heavy at all hours of the day. If you are the least bit nervous behind the wheel this is not the place for you to test out your driving.
- Hire a Driver – Best if you wish to see the surrounding areas of Ubud or would like to go to another city. For example, a driver for the entire day (which brought us to 6 different sights) only cost 550 000 IRP ($55 CAD)! That said, we wouldn’t recommend this as a way of getting around Ubud due to the heavy traffic.
How Much to Budget
Bali in general is quite inexpensive, so if you are a budget conscious traveller you will certainly be able to stick to your numbers during your vacation to this beautiful island. For 10 days in Ubud, we spent an average of $65 per day.
Here are a few average prices:
- Dinner in a local warung: 55 000 IRP (this includes fresh fruit juice, an appetizer, meal, and dessert)
- Lunch at a ‘Western’-style restaurant: 110 000 IRP (this includes fresh smoothie and meal)
- Silver ring: 70 000 IRP
- Tour to hike Mount Batur: 300 000 IRP
- Cooking Class: 350 000 IRP
- Entrance fee to Goa Gajah temple: 15 000 IRP
Keep in mind that you could always pay less/more depending on how much you shop around for prices and when you visit (and how good you are at haggling!).
What to Do
There are endless amounts of activities in Ubud, from yoga classes to temples to hiking. A few highlights of our trip were:
- Taking a cooking class with Paon Bali Cooking Class
- Exploring the Tegalalang Rice Terraces
- Spending a day at the spa at Jaen’s Spa Shanti
- Hiking to the top of Mount Batur at sunrise
- Biking through the Balinese countryside with Bali Eco Cycling
Where to Eat
There is no shortage of restaurants to try in Ubud! From French bakeries to vegan cafes to traditional Balinese warung’s, everyone’s palate is sure to be pleased. A few of our favourite restaurants were:
- Who’s Who – a quiet little restaurant with fantastic European-style dishes
- Alchemy – a vegan cafe with all of the healthiest (and tastiest) food you could imagine
- Sari Organik – a beautiful restaurant surrounded by rice paddy fields (they also have a location in Kintamani overlooking Mount Batur!)
Have you been to Ubud?
What are your tips for the perfect stay?
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