The ultimate travel guide to Bangalore
How many times have you noticed that people start suggesting the places around Bangalore when asked about things to do in the city of Bangalore? At least 60 to 70% of the people do that. And that is because even though there are plenty of things to do in Bangalore, the locals try to head out of Bangalore over the weekends. But Bangalore as a city itself has plenty of things to do and explore and this post is my attempt in documenting the things one can do and the food one can try in the city.
For one day trips from Bangalore, visit the section One day trips from Bangalore.
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Where is Bangalore?
Bangalore, officially now known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of Karnataka state in India. Bearing lots of titles like city of lakes or Garden city, the city is a hub for the Information Technology (IT) industry in India. The city is also famous for its night culture.
Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India.
How to get to Bangalore?
There are four ways one can get into Bangalore city.
- Flights – As Bangalore is the IT hub, almost all flights operate through Bangalore airport. Bangalore airport is called Kempegowda International airport. The airport operates as International and Domestic airport. The airport is around 35 kilometres from Bangalore city.
- One of the cheapest airlines to travel domestically is Go Air.
- Trains – There are plenty of trains connecting the main cities. One can book the train tickets on Indian railways through the IRCTC website.
- Buses – There are many buses that connect Bangalore to the other cities and towns. Bus tickets can be booked on the Redbus website.
- By road – One can drive from other cities into Bangalore.
How to get from Bangalore airport to the city?
There are two ways to get to Kempegowda International airport (Bangalore airport):
- Airport Shuttles: The cheapest way to get to the airport is by the BMTC airport shuttles called the Vayu Vajra. They are the Volvo buses that run through 11 routes and are very frequent from various main bus stops across Bangalore. The latest and up-to-date information can be found on their website.
- The cost for one ride between Airport and Majestic is about INR 270.
- The timings from the Kempegowda bus stop are as below:
- Taxi: The quickest way is to take a taxi. Ola and Uber taxis are allowed inside the airport. They are cheaper than other taxi providers.
- Meru Airport cabs are easier to get of the lot. There are more cabs that are available.
- Cost to the airport is around INR 1200 to 1500 per ride.
I have tried all the above transportation methods and I personally like Meru Airport cabs. This is simply because the buses take a lot of time and Uber/Ola cab drivers sometimes reject the trips and this causes confusion.
Things to do in Bangalore
Bangalore is much more than the weather, pubs, traffic and IT. It is a city that has so much history and culture.
For a delicious food journey, read Bangalore's food guide.
A few things to note before visiting the landmarks:
- For religious places, ensure to dress appropriately.
- There are rules for taking pictures in India, make sure to check with security guards or the staff before capturing pictures.
- Beware of the pickpocketers and take care of your belongings.
- Do not feed wildlife such as monkeys.
- Be kind to stray animals.
- Do not throw garbage and dirty the places.
- Be careful at nights. Do not hail into taxis or auto rickshaws without using a proper booking providers such as Uber or Ola.
- Use metros as it is way safer.
Do you just have one day to explore Bangalore? Then I suggest reading my post One day in Bangalore for the perfect itinerary.
Bangalore Fort was built by Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore, in the year 1537. It began as a mud fort. The closest metro station is the KR Market metro station. The fort is just about few hundred metres from the metro train station.
- There is no entry fee to visit the fort.
- Timings for visiting the fort:
- Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM.
The main post office in the city is the Bangalore General Post Office (GPO). It is the head office. The building has a pin code of 560 001.
- Note: The Bangalore GPO is a working office.
- There is no entry ticket to go inside.
Bangalore Palace is the most prominent landmarks of Bangalore. The construction of the palace was completed in the year 1878. It was built in Tudor Revival style architecture.
- The Bangalore Palace is open to visitors between 10 AM and 5:30 PM.
- An entry ticket needs to be purchased to go inside the Bangalore Palace. The ticket can be bought at the entrance of the palace.
- INR 225 for Indian nationals.
- INR 450 for Foreign nationals.
Loved by the art lovers, Chitrakala Parishath is an art museum and a gallery. There are 18 galleries in the complex and frequent exhibitions are conducted at the complex.
- The Chitrakala Parishad is open to visitors between 10 AM and 5:30 PM.
- There is an entry fee of INR 50 per adult.
The Government museum is one of India’s oldest museums and South India’s second oldest museum. Established in the year 1865, the museum has a collection of archaeological and geological artifacts.
- The museum is open between 10 AM and 5 PM everyday.
- There is an entry fee of INR 10 per adult.
HAL Aerospace museum
Established in the year 2001, the HAL aerospace museum is India’s first aerospace museum.
- The museum is open between 9 AM and 4:30 PM everyday.
- There is an entry fee of INR 50 per adult and an extra INR 20 for camera.
Opened in the year 1884, a working judicial court of Bangalore is the High Court of Bangalore.
- Note: This is a working government office. So be respectful and know what you can/can’t do.
Indira Gandhi musical fountain
Inaugurated in the year 1995, the Indira Gandhi musical fountain is the first computarised fountain park in India.
- The timings of the fountain park are:
- 10 AM to 4 PM and 5 PM to 8:30 PM Wednesday to Sunday.
- 10 AM to 4 PM and 5 PM to 6:30 PM Tuesday.
- Closed Monday.
- There is an entry fee of INR 30 per adult.
National gallery of Modern art
The National Gallery of Modern art is an art gallery, inaugurated in the year 2009. The museum is home to some of the most beautiful paintings by Raja Ravi Verma, Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore and others.
- The timings for the museum are:
- 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM Tuesday to Friday.
- 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM Saturday and Sunday.
- Closed Monday.
- There is an entry fee of INR 20 for Indian nationals and INR 500 for Foreigners.
The Planetarium is my most favourite place in Bangalore. It is a planetarium that has shows and is a science centre administered by Bangalore Association for Science Education (BASE).
- The planetarium is open between 10 AM and 5:30 PM Tuesday to Sunday.
- Closed Monday.
- There is an entry fee of INR 75 per adult.
Rangashankara is a well known theatre in Bangalore and it is the place to see the best plays. It was opened in 2004 by a famous Kannada film star Arundathi Nag.
- The ticket and timings depend on the play.
Sandesh museum, a museum of communication
Sandesh museum is a museum dedicated to the history of how Indian communication has evolved over the years. It is located on the museum road and is housed in heritage building dating back to 1804.
- The museum is open between 10 AM and 4 PM Monday to Saturday.
- There is no entrance fee.
Nestled in Bangalore’s Cubbon Park is the State library, a historic building built in the honour of the longest serving Dewan of Mysore.
- The library is open between 8:30 AM and 7:30 PM Tuesday to Sunday.
- Closed Monday.
- There is no entrance fee.
Tipu Sultan’s summer palace
Completed in the year 1791, the Tipu Sultan’s summer palace was the summer palace of Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan. It is a perfect example of Indo-Islamic architectural style.
- The palace is open between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM everyday.
- There is an entry ticket of INR 20 for Indian nationals and INR 200 for foreign nationals. There is no charge for a still camera but for a video camera, there is a ticket of INR 25 and a permission need to be obtained.
The Vidhana Soudha is a seat of bicameral state legislature of Karnataka. Constructed in 1956, the architecture of Vidhana Soudha is Mysore Neo-Dravidian style.
- The Vidhana Soudha is open between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday to Friday.
- There is no entry ticket and it can only be seen from outside for tourists. However, one can enter with permission or with any government work.
Amoeba is a fun entertainment complex in Bangalore city. It is a cool hangout place where one can enjoy pin bowling and other entertainment activities.
Fly a plane
Micro light flying at Jakkur is one of the must-have experiences in Bangalore. A small flight which can accommodate only 2 people, the pilot and the co-pilot.
- The experience costs about INR 3500 (approximately USD 50) for the experience.
- For bookings, you can reach out to them on their Facebook page, Micro light flying adventures or on their website.
Fun World is an amusement park in Bangalore, which is situated in palace grounds. The park has lots of rides, and a water park.
- The entry tickets vary between INR 499 to INR 999 per adult.
- The ticket can be purchased online.
The streets are filled with cute locals and furry balls. Definitely stop by and say hello to one of them and you will be surprised by the love you get reciprocated with.
Bangalore has plenty of street art. The city is beautified by these various street art. They are everywhere around the city. Some of the most beautiful street art can be found in Malleshwaram. Other places to see the street art in Bangalore are on Church Street and MG Road.
Dodda Ganapathi temple
Dedicated to the Lord Ganesha, the Dodda Ganapathi temple is one of the most famous religious places in Bull Temple road.
- The temple is open between 6:30 AM and 1 PM and between 4:30 PM and 8 PM everyday.
Dedicated to the beautiful couple Radha and Krishna, Iskcon is a famous temple on the West of Chord Road.
- The temple is open between 7:15 AM and 1 PM and between 4 PM and 8:20 PM weekday and is open between 7:15 AM and 8:20 PM weekend.
Male Mahadeshwara temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Male Mahadeshwara Temple is another beautiful and ancient temple to visit in Bangalore.
- The temple is open between 6 AM and 11 AM and between 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM.
St Andrew’s Church
The St Andrews church is located on Dickinson Road. It is a Presbyterian church, consecrated in the year of 1866. The church was initially known as St. Andrews’s Kirk. The church is named after the patron saint in Scotland.
The Shiva Temple
Built in the year 1995, the Shiva temple has the biggest Shiva statue in Bangalore. The statue is 65 feet tall, showering the symbol of hope. It was created by sculptor Kashinath.
- The temple is open 24 hours everyday.
- There is no entry ticket to get into the temple.
Parks and lakes
Bangalore is also known as city of lakes because of the beautiful lakes it has around the city.
The Cubbon Park, also known as Sri Chamrajendra Park is a historic park in Bangalore city.
- The park is open between 6 AM and 6 PM.
Also, read 6 things to do in Cubbon Park.
Created in the year 1537 by Kempe Gowda, Hebbal Lake is a great place to see sunsets and watch the beautiful birds of Bangalore. The lake is around 13 kilometres from Majestic bus stop.
- Hebbal lake is open between 7 AM and 8 PM.
Lalbagh is a botanical garden in Bangalore. Lal Bagh literally translates to “Red Garden” and “Beloved Garden”. The garden has more than 1000 species of plants.
The botanical garden holds two flowers shows annually.
- The gardens are open between 8 AM and 6 PM.
- There is an entry fee for botanical gardens of INR 20 per person.
Constructed in the year 1882 by Co. Richard Hieram Sankey, Sankey tank is a beautiful lake in the suburbs of Malleswaram and Sadashivnagar. It is a famous spot for morning jogs and evening walks.
Be careful of snakes. I have spotted one during an evening walk. Just ensure you do not harm them, they will not come near you.
- Sankey tank is open between 6 AM and 8 PM. There is boating available too and boats can be hired at the park.
A historical lake, Ulsoor lake was the centrepiece of cantonment town built by British. It is one of the largest lakes in Bangalore.
- The Ulsoor lake is open between 6 AM and 8 PM everyday except Wednesday.
Shopping and street markets
According to Mercer’s 2020 Cost of living survey, Bangalore has been rated as the fourth most pricey city in India. So beware that the shopping is definitely not cheap.
Commercial street or the Comm street is one of the most famous shopping streets in Bangalore. The vibrant colours of jewelry or clothes are the main attractions of the street. There is an entire street dedicated to the shops.
Malleswaram is one of the areas where one can find the born and bred Bangaloreans. It belongs to the old Bangalore region. The 11th cross of Bangalore is the shopping centre where there are plenty of street vendors.
Jayanagar 4th block
A very popular spot for shopping and food is the Jayanagar 4th block shopping complex. Definitely visit the complex for some street shopping.
Shopping centres and malls
Bangalore has plenty of shopping centres and malls. All the brands and huge shops are available in these shopping centres. If you are looking for a standard price and good branded clothes and things, then you can visit the malls.
Note: One cannot haggle in these shopping centres and malls.
Discover Bangalore by walk
Bangalore suburbs/ areas are best explored and discovered by walk. There are many walks that cover the heritage and history trails. Bengaluru Prayana, an initiative by me, aims at taking tourists and locals on a regular weekend walk exploring a trail and discussing about the culture and history.
For a list of all the one day hikes around Bangalore, refer hikes/walks in and around Bangalore section.
Gallery walk between Trinity circle and Church street
One of the beautiful walks to discover the museum and gallery is the walk between Trinity circle and Church street. It is a short walk of just 2.5 kilometres that can be done at a relaxed pace.
- Starting point: Trinity Circle.
- Finishing point: Church street.
- Total distance: 2.5 kilometres.
- Grade: Very easy.
Walk covering the 3 churches of MG Road
The walk covering the three churches around MG Road is very easy and can be done by inexperienced walkers as well. It is a relaxed walk that requires very minimal time. The churches covered during the walk are Holy Trinity, East Parade, and St Andrew’s Church.
- Starting point: Trinity Church.
- Finishing point: St Andrews Church.
- Total distance: 2.2 kilometres.
- Grade: Very easy.
MG road and Brigade Road night walk
The walk on the MG Road and Brigade road used to my most favourite things to do after work on a Friday night. The roads are buzzing with people and the city comes to life with people enjoying the weekend and the nightlife.
Note: Be careful if you are walking alone.
Walk between Malleshwaram and MG Road
Of all the walks, this walk is a bit longer but definitely has a rewarding sightseeing places. The walk between Malleshwaram and MG Road covers a lot of landmarks and heritage buildings.
- Starting point: Malleshwaram.
- Finishing point: MG Road.
- Total distance: 13 kilometres.
- Grade: Moderate.
Safety for Solo female travelers
Bangalore is relatively a very safe city in India for solo female travelers. However, be cautious and know your surroundings especially at nights. And do not hail the auto rickshaws or a taxi (without booking it online) for night rides. Always keep a friend or a family member informed about your whereabouts.
Bangalore is a very lovely city and it has a character of its own. I would definitely spend at least a week as a traveller or a tourist to explore the places in and around Bangalore.
Have you visited Bangalore yet? Which of these places have you already seen? Let me know in the comments below.
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