Ubud is Bali’s cultural hub, a royal village situated at the confluence of two rivers on the southern edge of the Balinese heartland. A haven for local and foreign artists since the 1930s, it is now a conglomeration of villages and the island’s centre for fine arts and cultural performances, attracting art collectors, connoisseurs, writers, mystics, and people who are actively involved in art, anthropology, music, dance, architecture, environmentalism and alternative healing.
Ubud is the seat of the Sukawati Royal Family; the palace is centrally located and open to the public, while in the surrounding villages visitors can watch the island’s most accomplished painters, stonemasons, woodcarvers, mask makers and silversmiths at work. As well as numerous shops, galleries, studios and a market, Ubud even has its own sacred monkey forest. Restaurants are plentiful, but nightlife is limited with the majority of places closing around midnight.
Ubud is the perfect area to use as a base when visiting Bali, the town is surrounded by most of the attributes that entice people to this exceptionally beautiful island – emerald rice terraces, traditional art and craft communities, ancient temples, palaces, and breathtaking river gorges. In fact, the Sayan Ridge is home to some of the best hotels in the world. Ubud’s central location makes it very easy to get to the mountains and all of the major tourist attractions. It also has a cooler, fresher and generally more pleasant climate than the southern coastal regions.