Ubud may be best known for the Monkey Forest, royal palace, and multitude of temples, art galleries and handicraft shops, but what a lot of people don’t know is that it is also a great place to catch some live music after dark. From funky shisha bars to chilled-out artist’s haunts and late-night clubs, these are some of the best places in Ubud to hear live bands and DJs.
By daytime CP Lounge is a chilled and classy place to have a relaxing bite to eat and a glass of wine in the breezy bales that overlook the picturesque rice field. After the sun goes down, the garden tapas bar kicks off with live bands under the stars every night of the week. After the bands finish, the party moves inside to the nightclub for late night DJ and dance sessions, friendly pool games, and creative cocktails. This is one of the only places that stays open super late, so there is always a great mix of locals, expats and tourists at the bar.
Laughing Buddha Bar
Right in the middle of the Monkey Forest Road, Laughing Buddha Bar is a small but friendly restaurant and bar draws in the crowds for its soulful live Jazz, Latin Rhythms and Blues performances and great cocktail list. Take advantage of the late afternoon happy hour while watching the Monkey Forest parade go by. By night, it’s all about squeezing in a seat at one of the communal tables or at the cosy bar and sampling jamming along with the lively bands.
XL Shisha Lounge
The décor alone is enough of a reason to head to XL Lounge, with its harem-style rooms, comfy silk cushions, and intriguing artwork. Settle in at one of the comfy couches with a beer and indulge in a fruity shisha pipe, as you listen to local bands play nostalgic Classic Rock and Blues numbers and contemporary hits. XL also offers a good selection of small tapas plates for sharing, as well as sandwiches, steaks and burgers. When the bands aren’t playing, this is a great place to take in live football matches on the big screen TVs.
Located where the old Coffee & Copper used to be on the backside of Monkey Forest, Bali Bohemia’s two-storey building is covered with colourful murals on the walls and features cozy tables and comfy cushions to sink into. Nearly every night of the week they have bands like the Funky Baba Trio and Maha Balkandara play, and they also offer open mike nights, West African drum classes, and spoken word sessions. The events change from week to week, so be sure to check out their website to stay in the loop about the latest goings on.
For Reggae, Blues and Rock, you can’t go wrong with laid back Napi Orti. Grab a seat on one of the plush cushions in the upstairs seating lounge, or rub elbows with the locals at one of the long wooden tables under posters of legendary musicians, twinkling Christmas lights and ornate Ganesha statues. This chill restaurant and bar serves Indonesian and Western food all day, and late into the evening. After dark the drinks start flowing, the music is thumping and happy customers shake their thing on the small dance floor in front of the band. As an added bonus, the bar stays open until the last people leave.