The Ultimate Guide To Ubud Palace: Puri Saren Agung Explained

The Ubud Royal Palace is in the centre of Ubud and it’s home to some amazing carvings and gorgeous courtyards.

It is the family seat of the Ubud Royal Family and it’s very much worth a visit when you’re in Ubud.

In fact, we’d combine a visit to the Ubud Palace with a visit to the Ubud Art Market and the town center.

Our guide to the Ubud Palace will explain what you can expect on the royal palace grounds, how you should behave/dress and much more.


Where Is Ubud Royal Palace Puri Saren Agung?


The palace is on the main shopping street of Jalan Raya Ubud. It’s not far from Ubud Market and it’s easy to find.

However, you should know that it bears almost no resemblance to places like Buckingham Palace and it’s a rather more modest affair that revels in Balinese architecture rather than colonial work.

Address: Jl. Raya Ubud No.8, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

How To Get There

If you’re in Ubud, then we’d recommend you walk to the palace. It’s going to take about 5-10 minutes from anywhere in the town center and it means you won’t need to spend any time worrying about parking, etc.

If you’re driving from Canggu, Kuta, etc. then it will take about an hour to get there.

You might want to consider staying in Ubud for a couple of days, however, though the palace won’t take more than an hour or two to visit – there’s a lot to see in this part of the country.

When Is The Ubud Royal Palace Puri Saren Agung Open?

The Royal Palace is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The only time that the palace is likely to close is during a time of crisis for the royal family.

When Should I Visit Ubud Palace?

We’d recommend getting to the palace very early in the morning. That’s because it’s a popular place with tourists and it can get very busy inside.

We prefer being able to wander around without being jostled because the light is better in the early part of the day for taking photos, etc.

How Much Is The Entrance Fee?

There is no entrance fee to the Royal Palace. In fact, it’s free to go in and it’s free to park a motorcycle at this attraction.

However, if you want to park a car, you will need to use the Ubud Central Parking facility and which costs 10,000 IDR (about $1).

Ubud Royal Palace Dress Code

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The Ubud Palace is a rather less formal affair than say the Dusit Palace in Bangkok.

You can find plenty of people inside the grounds wearing shorts and thongs, but we’d recommend dressing a little more respectfully.

Cover your legs, and upper arms and wear shoes.

You can always buy a sarong at the Ubud Market nearby (70,000 IDR) which will not only cover you up here but is a great garment for the beach too, where it can double as a towel for lying on the sand.

About Ubud Royal Palace Puri Saren Agung

The official Balinese name for this place is Puri Saren Agung and it’s the official residence of the Ubud Royal Family.

It’s said that Rsi Markandya travelled far and wide in Indonesia and after his visit to Java, he came to Bali.

It was in Bali, that the gods came to him and told him that he had to bury his recent find of five precious metals on a mountain.

That’s where the Besakih Temple stands today. However, while working on this project – Rsi Markandya became attracted by a beacon of light and energy which he followed to Ubud.

On arriving in Ubud, he came to Campuhan Ubud and built a temple there called Pura Gunung Lebah.

It was the temples of Ubud that saw the area grow in influence. Rsi Markandaya might be considered the father of Balinese Hinduism and his influence was very important to the local people.

Many came to Ubud to bathe in the sacred waters of the Wos River by the temple in order to cleanse and purify themselves.

Then, in the 15th century, the Mahapahit Empire of Java collapsed and many of the former nobles of this empire fled to Bali.

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A new kingdom was formed, Gelegl, on the East Coast which offered sanctuary to those fleeing the dying empire.

In turn, these people brought with them a huge and gifted artistic legacy and, rather less charmingly, the caste system.

200 years later, they had changed Bali so much that it now had countless kingdoms across the island and several royal houses chose to base themselves in Ubud.

As you might expect, this led to a fair amount of fighting and conflict as each tussled for supremacy over the others.

It was in 1700 that it was first decided to build a palace in Sukwati and artists from all over the island arrived to aid in its construction.

The Sukawati Area remains an important part of the Balinese culture today and it’s home to many artists and artisans.

However, it soon saw more conflict and war as two brothers tried to fight over the greater Ubud area.

In the early years of the 18th century, a new palace, the Ubud Royal Palace, was created in Ubud with the aim of securing the area, as well as giving the town’s people somewhere to come together for security and trade.

Under Dutch Rule, the Ubud Royal Family was able to continue as their old enemies fell one by one to the colonizer’s influence.

A final battle between the Dutch and the Balinese was eventually fought at Puputan and by then, the Ubud Royal Family was fighting for its life too.

It survived the battle and the family’s legacy lives on at the Royal Palace to this very day, however, their “royal” status was severely diminished at this time and there are no official royal titles in Indonesia today.

So, though the Royal Palace remains the home of the Ubud Royals, it’s very much a ceremonial role and a ceremonial building. That doesn’t mean that the local people don’t take royalty seriously, but it does mean there are very definite limits to the Ubud King’s power.

The Traditional Balinese Dance Performance At Ubud Palace

Ethnic girls dancing traditional dance

There are traditional Balinese dance performances every night at the palace and they begin at 7.30 p.m. each night with a ticket price of 100,000 IDR per person.

On Sunday you can see the Legong Mahabrata dance, on Monday Legong Dance, on Tuesday is Ramayana Ballet, Wednesday Legong and Barong, Thursday has Legong Trance, Friday is Barong night and Saturday is another Legong Dance night.

A traditional Balinese dance performance is a great way to better understand Bali and the Ubud area.

These dance performances aren’t quite as dramatic as the kecak fire dancing at the Uluwatu Temple but they are impressive and authentic.

We think that they represent excellent value for money too.

What To Expect When You Visit Ubud Palace

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Back in the 1800s, when Puri Saren Agung was first being built, it attracted important Balinese artists to Ubud to demonstrate their skills and, of course, ingratiate themselves with the royal family.

Thus, this is one of the most ornately decorated places you’re going to see on the island. However, it’s not the biggest of palaces and it won’t take very long to walk all around and see what you can see.

You should be aware, that this is the home of the royal family and as such, some areas of the grounds are not open to visitors and the on-site temple is permanently out of bounds to tourists.

However, it’s a great place to enjoy if you love to see art and architecture and it’s best done slowly, with some care and attention to the details that you see before you.

Look out for the demon-like toad faces that are carved into the niches in many walls and doorways.

The door at the back of the main courtyard has some amazing stone monkey carvings on it too.

Things To Do Nearby To The Ubud Palace

There are plenty of interesting things to do nearby to the palace too including:


What Do You Wear To Ubud Palace?

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The Ubud Palace has no formal dress code and as long as you’re not running about exposing parts of you that ought only to be seen in the bedroom – you should be fine to wear whatever you please, there.

However, it’s nice to show a little respect for the local people and the royal family and just make sure to cover your legs (to below the knee and upper arms (shoulders to elbows) as well as your feet (wear shoes not thongs).

You won’t get into trouble for wearing shorts and thongs, but people may not think very highly of you for it, either.

How Long Does It Take To See Ubud Palace?

That really depends on you and how you like to experience places. Ubud is the spiritual heart of Bali and the Ubud Palace matters in the cultural and historical record of this land.

However, if you’re just trying to tick a site from a list of things to see – you can easily be in and out of the palace grounds in 15 minutes and then move on with your day.

If, on the other hand, you’re a keen photographer or student of Balinese culture, you might spend considerably longer here, trying to better understand the things you see before you.

There’s nothing wrong with either approach – in our busy world, sometimes we just don’t have time to spend hours at each place we visit. But if you can spend longer, you might learn more.

How Old Is The Ubud Palace?

The Ubud Palace has been an important historical landmark in Bali for a long time, now.

The compound and grounds were used as a palace during the 1800s and it was first constructed during the reign of Tjokorda Putu Kandel who lived from 1800-1823.

However, due to severe volcanic and tectonic activity in 1917. Many of the original buildings were destroyed.

Thus, the majority of structures that you see today were built in the 20th century.

Who Is The Current King Of Ubud?

Officially, there is no royal family in Indonesia and that means the Ubud King is not an official title.

However, there is an Ubud King, King Sukawati. His Royal Highness’s Balinese Title is Tjokorda Putra Sukawati. Tjokorda has a meaning closer to “prince” than “king”.

It’s worth noting that because there are no official titles in Indonesia for royalty, generally, the people respect the status of their royal family but don’t tend to pay much attention to them on a day-to-day basis.

The royal family remains an important part of the local business and community landscape, however, and it would be foolish to assume that they no longer matter.

How Much Is The Entrance To Ubud Palace?

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Unusually for Bali, there is no entrance fee to Ubud Royal Palace and you can enter the grounds for free and park a motorcycle nearby for free too.

What you can’t do, is park a car for free. But the cost of just 10,000 IDR for car parking is unlikely to break the bank.

As a major sight in a popular tourist destination like Ubud, this is incredibly good value for money and is another good reason to put the palace on your “must-see in Ubud list”.

How Do You Book A Trip To Ubud Palace Puri Saren Agung?

If you want to visit Ubdu and the palace, the best place to book your trip is the Bali Res Centre.

We are huge fans of the Bali Res Centre as they are a local and highly respected travel agent that specializes in all things Balinese.

They can arrange transport, a private car, and hotels, and ensure you have an amazing cultural experience while you’re in the city center of Ubud.

Better still, because they are a local firm, they get the best deals on accommodation, etc. and can always get you a highly competitive quote for your trip.

Final Thoughts On Ubud Palace

If you’re a fan of Balinese culture or if you’re just passing by on your way to Ubud Art Market Puri Saren Agung or Ubud Palace is definitely worth a visit.

After all, you came all the way to Ubud, Bali, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy what the town has to offer? And if you really want to get the most out of a trip to the place – we recommend coming back in the evening for the traditional dance performances, they’re really awesome.


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