I fell in love with Bali when I first visited about a year ago. At the time, I wasn’t that fussed about visiting Ubud, but my bestie and travel buddy was keen, so off we went for a few days. Ubud is known as a relaxing city with good food (especially veggie and vegan options) and a chilled, yoga/wellbeing vibe and of course for featuring in Eat, Pray, Love. Despite my misconceptions, Ubud quickly became one of my favourite spots in Bali! I was surprised by the number of live music venues I had absolutely no idea of until I wandered into them and I felt that they deserved some online recognition. So here we have 5 of the best venues for live music in Ubud.
Perfect if you like: Sensational covers (some are better than the originals)
General vibe: Loud, party atmosphere
Location: Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud, 80571, Indonesia
The Laughing Buddha Bar is just a stone’s throw away from Ubud’s Monkey Forest, in the heart of the city. A popular evening go-to, you’ll likely be seated on a table with other people as it fills up very fast. One of their regular bands TuDe are incredible and the lead singer has such an amazing voice, I’m honestly not sure how she’s not an international star. They’ll do all your favourite covers from across the decades, spanning pop, rock, indie, chart and classic anthems, creating a real party atmosphere. The cocktails are also super tasty and it’s a great place to meet people and make some new friends.
Perfect if you like: Quirky, arty and unusual
General vibe: Laid back
Location: Jalan N Sinta, Keliki, Tegallalang, Ubud, 80571, Indonesia
Ok so this one is a little out of the way, off the beaten track but it’s well worth a visit. It’s absolutely stunning both internally and the views its surrounded by. Take a 15-minute tuk-tuk/grab/scooter north of Ubud through the gorgeous rice paddies and tropical forests and you’ll arrive at Akasha Restaurant & Juice Bar. The whole structure is made of bamboo and filled with lanterns, giant dreamcatchers, and comfy cushions. The food is delicious and everything about it just feels so zen. On top of the usual activities and performances, Akasha is one of the venues for New Earth Festival from 19th-25th June 2019, so there’s an extra excuse to swing by if you’re in the area.
Perfect if you like: Making new friends
General vibe: Casual backpacker
Location: Jalan Jembawan 1, Ubud, Indonesia
With the nickname “Reggae Bar” I’m sure you can guess what's mainly on offer here. Napi Orti is cheap and cheerful with plenty of backpackers and locals to share stories with. There’s a real social vibe with long shared tables downstairs and a cushioned seating area upstairs, either way, it’s a place to come together as you share the space and enjoy the live music. In addition to Reggae, they’re also known for Rock and Jazz bands and there’s a small dance floor to dance your heart out on.
Perfect if you like: Great music and bright colours
General vibe: Chilled
Location: Jl. Sukma Kesuma No.45, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Lovin Bar and Restaurant is ‘made by love, from love, for love’ and that's shows in the multiple 5 star reviews it’s received. The venue is beautifully decorated with bright colours, giving it a really upbeat and feel good atmosphere. The music is nice and varied at Lovin, offering everything from salsa dancing to open mic nights, plus incredible local artists. It’s really easy to see why so many people love it here.
Perfect if you like: Day to night transformations
General vibe: Party Party Party!
Location: Jalan Wenara Wana, Ubud, Indonesia
CP Lounge is your all-in-one stop. With a mix of tables and cozy corners, there’s plenty of space to relax and have fun either in or outdoors at CP Lounge. A classy venue with stunning views looking out over rice paddies by day turns into one of the only late night music venues in Ubud. Every night is kicked off with a killer live band (usually reggae) who perform outside until around midnight before the party is taken indoors. Once inside ‘the Fishbowl’ (a soundproof club) they really step it up a notch, with a DJ smashing the tunes until 4 in the morning. As it’s one of the few late night venues, there's a great mix of locals, backpackers and expats to party with.