Arriving from other parts of Bali, Ubud will seem like a refreshing change with a calm pace of life and roads much less congested. This is one of the few places in Bali where one way systems actually seem to work.
Driving around in the vicinity is a delight with stunning rice field views everywhere and undulating river gorges. The town centre itself is quite compact and best explored on foot. In fact there are several cobbled lanes running off Ubud High Street which are car free and a great place to explore leisurely by bicycle.
Public transportation In Ubud is a little limited. The main mini bus (bemo) station is some distance away in the south of the village of Batubulan which requires a change here if venturing to south or west Bali. The main drop off point in town is outside the market on Ubud High Street and from here you can take direct bemos to Kintamani for visits to Lake Batur and Gianyar for onward services east to Padangbai and Candidasa. Short hops within town are easy and frequencies are genertally every half hour until mid afternoon.
Surprisingly there are no metered taxis based in Ubud and the only option is to negotiate with the ever present transport touts who wait on every street corner. Fares from Denpasar are about rp150,000, and rp200,000 from Kuta. Bargain hard wheb catching a taxi back. Car and motorbike rental is available everywhere and, on Monkey Forest Road in particular, there are dozens of operators. Prices are similar to those offered in Kuta or Sanur. Most can also provide a driver for the day, however you will probably find keener prices dealing with the transport touts.
Outside of Kuta, Ubud has the best network of scheduled tourist shuttle bus services and there are dozens of competing companies with regular departures island wide. Ubud is also the epicentre of Bali’s tour bus circuit and an essential stop on any full day island tour.
The Ubud area is renowned for its sumptuous five star spa resorts and holistic retreats located out of town in many surrounding hamlets. Virtually every mid-range or luxury hotel will lay on transport to and from Ubud town centre for guests from early morning until late at night. Ubud’s central location makes it such an attraction for exploring elsewhere in Bali and it is handy for the main highways heading direct to south Bali’s beach resorts and eastwards to the island’s best dive sites.