The Ubud Royal Palace is one of the most prominent places in Ubud, as it is smack-dab on the main Jalan Raya Ubud road and intersection. The palace can also be regarded as the focal landmark of Ubud. The Ubud palace was built during the lordship of the late Ida Tjokorda Putu Kandel (1800-1823), and is well-kept by his successive heirs.
A visit to the Puri Saren is on many of the itineraries to the Ubud area. It has well-preserved Balinese architecture and charming garden settings, and is best known among lovers of Balinese arts as one of the main sites to view dramatic evening dance performances.
Puri Saren Ubud is reachable after an approximate hour’s drive north from the provincial capital of Denpasar. Many visitors find the palace a convenient stopover, as it is strategically the focal point of Ubud, with the Ubud Art Market, various local and international restaurants just steps away along the main Jalan Raya Ubud.
The community meeting hall or bale banjar is just across the road, with the famous Babi Guling Bu Oka, serving acclaimed spit roast pig, alongside. The sacred monkey forest of Padangtegal is just down the southern intersection, following through the Jalan Monkey Forest Road.
The performance stage, with a backdrop of ornate angkul-angkul traditional gate and guardian statues, hosts nightly dance performances with gamelan orchestras. The palace provides a great setting with a gorgeous entrances and exotic architectural elements. Tickets to these performances usually start to be sold in the afternoon.
The front section of the palace is open to the public. Walkthroughs for viewing and photos during the day are complimentary. A local guide can be occasionally met around the wantilan pavilions, who will be able to assist with visitors’ inquiries about the history and features of the palace.
While in Bali you will frequently encounter palatial structures boasting historical significance prefixed with the word Puri, literally Balinese ‘royal palaces’. Puri in general is a house of nobility in Bali especially of Balinese rajas and their kin.
The Puri Saren Ubud Palace currently also serves as a cultural repository of arts, dance and literature. The palace’s stage and meeting halls are also host international events, such as the opening ceremonies of the annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.