I remember as a young traveler I told myself “I am never going to travel to the same place twice. This way I am going to experience more different places and explore the whole world.”
Fast forward a decade.
Having traveled to every continent in the past 10 years, seen lots of stunning monuments, mountains, beaches & landscapes, trained Yoga in 5 different countries and lived in about 4 different ones, I am now the most content person if I get to go to the SAME PLACES all over again.
There are a few places in this world where people don’t wear watches, but know what time it is. Where plant based nutrition and ecstatic dance are as normal as brushing your teeth. Where Yoga is not physical exercise but a lifestyle. Where people from all over the world find each other to live as a community & support each other’s evolution of consciousness.
One of these places is Ubud in Bali. Having been there 5 times now, I feel like it is a place where I will touch base for the rest of my life. It makes me feel at home and supports my personal path on a deep level.
So here is my Yogi’s guide and the TOP locations where you will find me hanging out in Ubud.
My favorite Raw Food Cafe/Restaurant is the SEEDS OF LIFE on Jalan Gootama. I used to go there every day (!) to have the Wu Wei Zi Tonic (it’s a medicinal mushroom cacao mint concoction with Raw Vegan Ice Cream served in a Martini glass- and yes it is as good as it sounds) and the SOL Bowl (signature Salad with ALL the toppings).
The owner Ben is also running yearly Raw Food Chef Trainings in Ubud. Highly recommended!
Location: Jalan Gootama Nr 2
Alchemy is not only the place for cold pressed Juice and colonics (I know, what a combo:), but also has the ultimate raw vegan breakfast and salad bar. You can create your own salad with super fresh ingredients and choose your preferred dressing (Go for Honey Mustard ;), or order off the Raw Food Menu. For sure, you’ve got to stop by the the raw vegan desert counter and try the Bounty, Mint Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cup! If you are looking for a place for a juice fast, order your liquid there followed by 1-2 colonics from the well-known therapists upstairs.
Location: Jalan Penestanan Kelod
Owned by Japanese muse Sayuri Tanaka, this high vibe place serves an abundance of Raw Food dishes, daily specials as well as delicious Raw Cheese Platters. For the not so raw friends there are also some cooked macrobiotic dishes on the menu that can be washed down with an amazing Rosella Kombucha.
Location: Jalan Sukma Nr 2
This was one of the first healthy & Raw Food places I had discovered in Ubud about 7 years ago. The menu is extensive. From healthy smoothies and juices, to salads and experimental veggie food all the way to yummy raw desserts and chocolate, this place will make you happy. The sitting area is open and makes you feel comfortable enough to spend hours there reading a book.
Location: Jalan Gootama
Atman just opened a second restaurant on Jalan Hanuman, so you can opt for whichever one is closer to your Yoga studio 😉 It is a super popular hang out place for Yogis, freelancers, digital nomads and travelers- don’t be surprised to meet familiar people at this place. Atman Kafe serves amazingly fresh wheatgrass shots and an amazing Gado Gado (traditional steamed veggie dish with peanut sauce)!
Location: Jalan Hanuman
This very popular restaurant has an outlet on Jalan Hanuman and a second Garden Kafé at Yoga Barn. Don’t miss the very popular Sunday Brunch as it serves an array of vegan Indian, Balinese and Raw Food dishes. If you are eating off the menu try Meg’s Salad Bowl, the vegan Nasi Goreng with grilled veggies and the crunchy tempeh chips.
Location: Jalan Hanuman
At this amazing Warung (local restaurant) you will find the most amazing as well as cheapest JAMU in the area. JAMU is an anti-inflammatory health drink based on Curcuma and a daily ritual for me when in Bali. Dayu’s also serves amazing organic vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as insanely big pieces of cake.
Location: Jalan Sugriwa No.28
This place has THE BEST COFFEE in Ubud. Probably all of Bali. All the coffee beans and blends come from Indonesia and are roasted locally. The variety of coffees is large and will make you want to explore. My favorites are the cold-brew coffee on the rocks (on ice) or the signature Cappuccino with fresh coconut milk. If you fancy a bite to eat, try the Gado Gado rolls! They are the best version of a Gado Gado that I have ever tried.
Location. Jalan Sriwedari No.5
For years this has been my favorite family homestay. I have got to know the family so well that every time I go to Ubud I have to pass by and spend some time there. Papa, the grandfather of the house, is a famous reflexologist and will make you scream and cry while working on your feet with a sharp wooden stick.
The place is very affordable and central. Pool available. Breakfast included.
From 250k INR / tell them Alex said hi 😉
Location: Jalan Sugriwa
This place was recommended to me by a good friend who loved her stay there. Closer to Monkey Forest and little further down on the main road, this place is still walking distance to every Yoga school and shopping street.
Location: Jalan Hanuman, Padang Tegal Kelod
This is my homebase. I did 2 Advanced Level Yoga teacher trainings with Radiantly Alive and usually meet a bunch of friends, colleagues and my teachers at the studio. The Signature RA classes are dynamic Vinyasa classes that really get you moving. However, you will find lots of different style classes on the schedule that serve every level, person and focus.
This Yoga palace is home of Yoga, holistic healing and ecstatic dance. Next to 2 busy Yoga shalas, you will find offers for massages, detoxes, healing sessions, workshops etc. Every Friday at 7pm and Sundays at 11am the (almost) world famous ECSTATIC DANCE takes place at the big Shala. To get into this high vibe barefoot dancing Yogiparty you have to queue up at least 90 minutes before! YES, it is THAT popular! Don’t miss it!
Dragonfly village is a retreat centre in the middle of the Rice paddies. Go take a walk there, have lunch at SARI ORGANIK and spend your evening at the Dragonfly Sauna on Wednesdays and Sundays (silent). From the rice paddy sauna straight into the pool, back to the camp fire. It’s a funky meet up place for people from all over the world.
Rainbow Spirit Crystal Shop
Right next to Atman Kafe (on Jl Hanuman) you will find this beautiful shop that sells Gem stones and handmade jewelry. Blessed by a priest, this jewelry really is something special that will choose you rather than the other way round.
This shop sells Yoga clothes for women. Stylish leggings, bras and beachwear that will last a very long time. I keep going back to by basics and they never get old. (Jl Hanoman)
The high-quality yoga wear on sale here is made by family-run workshops around Bali, adding an ethical dimension to every purchase (24 Jl. Hanoman).
Sang Spa is known for its great traditional Balinese massages. Very nice staff and owners who try to make sure you have an amazing spa experience. Sang Spa is also a good place for manicure and pedicure or any facial treatment.
This is THE place for a good deep tissue massage. After touching base in Ubud, I always go there on a daily base until I feel like my body turns into butter. Amazing place for deep massages and flower baths after 🙂
I recommend NUR if you are looking for an extensive wellness treatment. By that I mean, massage, scrubs, flower bath, lotion etc. a whole 2 hour session. These treatments are all done outside/open doors but still private in a beautifully designed garden and will leave you feel like a new person. The intense smell of frangipani in the gardens might make you come back more regularly.