These must-see temples in Ubud offer a glimpse into historical Bali through their ancient reliefs and classical Balinese temple architecture. Some are among Ubud’s central landmarks and are easily accessible, while others around the neighbouring villages of Tegallalang and Tampaksiring are hidden within mountain valleys, which add a bit of mystery to your adventures in Bali’s so-called ‘cultural heartland’.
Add these most beautiful temples to see and visit in and around Ubud on your fun sightseeing days out. Just remember to not only get your camera and spare memory cards ready, but also to wear a customary sarong and sash around your waist whenever visiting any temple in Bali. Consider yourself lucky if a colourful temple anniversary takes place!
- Bali Hai Sunset Dinner Cruise
- Bathe & Breakfast with the Elephants
- Royal Mengwi Temple, Monkey Forest & Tanah Lot Excursion
- Quad or Buggy Driving Adventure & Tubing Excursion
- Romantic Aristocat Evening Cruise with 5-Course Dinner
- Bali White Water Rafting at Telaga Waja River
- Fast-Track Waterbom Bali Admission
- Lembongan Island Leisure Day Trip
- Private East Coast Tour
- Highlights Of Bali Full-Day Tour
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
Tirta Empul is a beautiful temple complex and holy mountain spring that’s also a national cultural heritage site. If you ask a local, they’ll tell you that it also serves as a legendary setting for the traditional tale of ‘Dharma’ (good) against ‘Adharma’ (evil). The 10th-century temple bears silent witness to the old Balinese kingdom years, particularly the Warmadewa Dynasty.
The main highlight here is the series of freshwater pools, lined with over a dozen fountains where pilgrims wade through and seek spiritual purification by ritually praying and going under each fountain in succession. On the hills nearby is the presidential palace, Istana Tampaksiring. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
- Location: Jalan Tirta, Manukaya, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Often translated as ‘Elephant Cave’, Goa Gajah doesn’t have any pachyderms roaming its grounds. This archaeological site is some 6 km east from the Ubud hub. It welcomes you to a relic-filled valley with its centrepiece bathing pool, a temple complex and the namesake carved stone cave that was formerly a meditation site for Buddhist and Shivaite priests.
The 11th-century hermitage was excavated in 1954. You can peek inside the shallow cave to find stone idols and indentations that served as seats for meditating priests. If you have the time, you can venture further south of the complex to a rainforest trail with many other relics scattered along the Petanu River. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 4pm
- Location: Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Pejeng Kawan, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali 80582, Indonesia
Gunung Kawi is a unique temple complex that’s ‘hidden’ in the Pakerisan River valley. It’s one of Bali’s significant archaeological sites which welcomes you to a collection of ancient shrine reliefs carved into the face of a rock cliff. You can reach the temple several minutes’ drive north from the Tirta Empul temple and half an hour from Ubud central.
Not far from the massive stone reliefs, you’ll find a more contemporary temple complex. You can reach both sites down a 300-step descent from the starting point that’s lined with art shops and rice fields. Local legend goes that these stone shrines are memorials built to honour the deified Balinese King Udayana and his royal family. Read More...
- Location: Banjar Penaka, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia
Gunung Kawi Sebatu, locally referred to as Pura Tirta Dawa Gunung Kawi Sebatu, is a beautiful water temple that boasts an impressive set of bathing and purification pools. All water features are naturally fed by a mountain spring. Even if its one of the least-visited temples in Ubud, a day trip here lets you enjoy a very quiet and serene highland atmosphere, with well-manicured gardens and lawns where fowls roam free.
Several large garden ponds are filled with blooming lotuses and carp (you can buy fish food on-site), while the sanctified inner pools are sources of holy water and places for purification rituals. Read More...
- Location: Sebatu, Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali 80511, Indonesia
You can make a brief stopover at the beautiful Taman Saraswati temple on your leisure walks through the centre of Ubud town. The temple boasts classical Balinese architecture and is surrounded by blooming lotuses in its ponds. The ‘water temple’ is accessible right in from the Jalan Kajeng side street, just off the main Jalan Raya Ubud road.
Alternatively, you can also book a table for an evening at Café Lotus, to enjoy the best views facing the temple’s open stage, where regular traditional Balinese dance performances are held to accompany your dinner. Visiting the temple by day lets you admire the sandstone bas reliefs that honour the Hindu goddess Saraswati from up close. Read More...
- Location: Jalan Kajeng, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia