Ubud is a remarkable town in the middle of the island of Bali. For more than a century, it has been the island's preeminent centre for fine arts, dance and music. While it once was a haven for scruffy backpackers, cosmic seekers, artists and bohemians, Ubud is now a hot spot for literati, glitterati, art collectors and connoisseurs. Famous names walk its busy sidewalks everyday. Elegant five star hotels and sprawling mansions now stand on its outskirts, overlooking the most prized views in Bali. Nonetheless, Ubud is still popular with backpackers, mystics and all the finest fringe elements of global society. Ubud is not "ruined". Its character is too strong to be destroyed. It still draws people who add something; people who are actively involved in art, nature, anthropology, music, dance, architecture, environmentalism, "alternative modalities," and more.Located on a higher altitude with a pleasant climate, some 25 kilometres north of Denpasar, Ubud has become known worldwide as a centre and haven for the arts. Ubud's Museum's "Puri Lukisan", "Neka Museum", Rudana museum and the amazing ARMA display a permanent collection of Balinese art dating from the turn of the century. There are also several art galleries and homes of famous artists here, including that of Dutch-born Hans Snel and the American Antonio Blanco. The "young artist" style now popular in Balinese painting was introduced by the Dutch painter Arie Smit. In the past, other foreign painters inspired Balinese artists to adopt western techniques but traditional Balinese paintings are still made and sold.
With a spectacular setting among lush rice paddies and the stunning hillsides of central Bali, Ubud offers a special atmosphere. Here you'll find wonderful palaces and temples, museums, dozens of shops and excellent restaurants. There are nightly performances of traditional dances. Accommodation ranges from cheap to very exclusive and expensive.