Have you ever dreamed of a walk through a lane covered with lush greenery with slight drizzles? A place where culture and nature dance in perfect harmony? If you just answered yes, plan your next trip to Bangalore.
Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru), a city with the perfect blend of quaint landmarks and modern architectural marvels, is close to my heart for several reasons.
What is Bangalore famous for? From wildlife parks and sanctuaries to theme parks, waterfalls to rivers, clubs, and pubs to peaceful temples, the garden city has it all. The pleasant weather all year round, quirky cafes, a dynamic and diversified blend of people, art galleries and culture are just a few to name.
A little hustle bustle, a tad bit of nature, lot’s of coffee shops and friendly faces is why Bengaluru should be on your bucket list this year.
Bengaluru (also called Bangalore) is the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. Here are 13 places you must not miss to visit when in Bangalore.
1. Nandi Hills
Situated at a height of 4851 m above sea level, Nandi Hills is a favorite destination of nature lovers. This hillock is a must visit when you are in Bangalore.
Trek through the paved roads, rocky terrain, small streams, and grasslands to reach the top of the hills to catch the sunrise and to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city.
The view of clouds like cotton candy can drift you to a poetic place you could never imagine. Escape from the chaos of everyday life with a cup of chai by the floating clouds.
Tipu Sultan’s Fort is a significant attraction atop the hill. The beautifully designed towers and archways of the fort are fine illustrations of the architecture of the bygone era.
Travel Tip for Nandi Hills: You can also plan an afternoon visit to one of the vineyards nearby and enjoy a glass of wine to finish off the day.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PMThe Hills remains closed on December 31 & Jan 1.
Entry fee: INR 20
How to reach Nandi Hills: Busses are available from the Kempegowda bus station. You can also ride/drive as the roads to the top of the hills are excellent.
2. Manchanabele Dam
Built across the Arkavathi River, Manchanabele Dam is a perfect location to unwind. The lush greenery is accompanied by a wide range of fauna enhancing your experience here.
Some of the birds which can be spotted here are Marsh Harrier, Blue Kingfisher, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Brahminy Starling, Common Tailorbird, Ringed Plover, Purple Heron, doves, and many more.
If you are looking for fun-filled activities like trekking, rappelling, swimming, kayaking, this is the ideal spot for you.
Travel Tip for Manchanabele Dam: The ideal time to visit Manchanabele dam is post monsoon between the months of August and January.
How to reach Manchanabele Dam: Buses to Manchanabele Dam are available from Majestic bus station. Alternatively, you can rent a cab.
3. Lal Bagh Botanical Garden
When in “Garden city” you cannot miss this 240 acres lung space of Bangalore. Lalbagh holds a great historical significance as it houses one of the Kempegowda towers built to mark the boundaries of old Bangalore.
The botanical garden is internationally famous for its scientific study and conservation of plants.
This vast stretch of greenery houses a 3000 million years rock also recognized as “the Lal Bagh rock” which is a unique site that interests the crowds.
You can find vendors serving hot snacks and beverages around which makes this a perfect picnic spot.
The famous glasshouse, which is inspired by London’s Crystal Palace hosts two annual flower shows (26 January and 15 August).
People travel from all over the world just to witness this show.If you are living around the area, try to fit in an early morning jog by Lalbagh lake.
The migratory birds, lush greens and fresh air are just what you need to start your morning right. You can head over to MTR for a hearty breakfast after that refreshing walk.
Travel Tip to Visit the Lalbagh Botanical Garden: Throughout the year. If you are visiting in January or August, do not miss the flower show.
Entry fee: INR 20 per person for visitors above 12 years of age. Visitors are allowed to take a camera inside with an extra charge of Rs.50
How to reach Lalbagh Botanical Garden: The nearest metro station to Lalbagh Botanical Garden is Lalbagh metro station. Alternatively, you can hire a cab and enter the park through the east gate.
Beat the sweltering heat the fun way at one of the largest amusement parks in India – Wonderla.
With more than 60 exhilarating rides, this park has been a world in itself. With thrilling land and water rides, you wouldn’t want to spend anything less than a day here.
You can spend the night at Wonderla resorts to relax after a fun-filled day at the park.
Recoil, India’s first reverse looping roller-coaster ride is sure to satisfy your adrenaline cravings. Dance away at the Rain Disco or enjoy the wave pool, which is an absolute treat for people missing the beaches.
Travel Tip for visiting Wonderla: It is advisable to reach the spot as early as 11 AM.
It is mandatory to change into a nylon outfit before you enter water rides. If you don’t have one, you can buy a pair of a nylon shirt and trousers at INR 150 just outside the park.
Entry fee: There are two types of tickets – Regular and Fastrack.
Wonderla Offers Regular Tickets and Fastrack Tickets.Fastrack Tickets allow you to enjoy the rides with a shorter queue. Fastrack Tickets are sold in limited numbers.
How to reach Wonderla: Pick up and drop facility is available from various parts of the city.
5. Bannerghatta National Park
When you are looking to get away from the urban chaos, there is nothing more refreshing than this 25000 acres of wilderness.
The best part of the Bannerghatta National Park is the Lion and Tiger Safari which provides a rare opportunity to see a family of White Tigers.
It also houses an animal rescue center, Butterfly Park, and a Bear Safari.
The safari rides begin at 10 in the morning and I recommend you start the day with it. The most pocket-friendly option is to take the buses.
Bannerghatta Zoo is sandwiched between 2 hills and houses nearly 1300 animals from 80 species.
The most popular animals to be spotted at the Zoo are King Cobra, Panther, Hornbill, Malabar Squirrel, Nilgiri Langur, Lion Tailed Macaque, Emu, Crocodile, and Wolf.
Entry Fee: Grand Safari which includes Tiger, Lion, Bear, and Herbivore costs INR 260, 130 and 150 for Adults, Kids aged 6-12 and senior citizens respectively.
There is a Grand Combo entrance fee of Rs 500 for adults and 300 for kids, which would include Safari in an AC vehicle, Zoo, Camera fee, and Butterfly Park.
Camera charges for the National Park are INR 25 and 200 for Still and Video respectively.
Timings: 9.30 am to 5 pmBannerghatta National Park is open on all days except Tuesdays
Nearest Metro Station: Bannerghatta National Park
6. Brigade Road and Commercial Street
Welcome to the shopping paradise of Namma Bengaluru. Commercial Street and Brigade Road, at the heart of the city, is a great place for street shopping and eye-popping bargains.
You’ll find narrows lanes crammed with stores. From top retail brand outlets to traditional markets and everything in between, this is where Bangaloreans swarm to shop.
It is the right place for people who like to experiment with new designs and have a completely updated, vibrant wardrobe.
Do check out The Qurio City Antiques Shop in commercial street. When on a budget, this is your place for guilt-free indulgence.
Bangalore, also known to be a city with the highest number of pubs in Asia, has one of the exceptionally best pub crawls.
From the traditional, light India Pale Ales to chocolatey stouts and everything in between, you have to taste the beers brewed in this city. You’ll find at least 10 to 15 pubs at Brigade road alone.
Best time to shop: In general, the earlier you arrive, greater the selection. Mornings are good to browse at a slower pace too. The later you go, the better the bargain as the closing time gives you a slight bargaining advantage.
Nearest metro station: MG Road
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7. Cubbon Park
Offering peace and serenity amidst the mad hustle of urban chaos, Cubbon Park is truly a picturesque tourist spot.
Mornings in Bangalore doesn’t get better than a stroll through Cubbon Park or perhaps a short bicycle ride.
There are so many unique and fun things to do such as poetry reading, vegan picnic, and community hangouts.
Within the campus of the park, there are some interesting points like Cubbon Park Museum, Attara Kacheri, Ringwood Circle, the bamboo grove nook, lotus pond, dancing fountain, and Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Park.
If you wish to cover the entire park, hop on the toy train and tour around in the most fun way.
Cubbon Park is a pet-friendly area that opens for your four-legged friends every Sunday.
So, if you have a dog, make sure you head over to the park on Sunday and give your canine the natural space it needs amidst the concrete jungle.
The famous theatre troupe Bardolators is active in Cubbon Park and is dedicated to the world-renowned playwright William Shakespeare.
The troupe has a range of productions in the park with the latest one being A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pmRemains closed on Monday.
Nearest metro station: Cubbon Park
8. National Gallery of Modern Art
The National Gallery of Modern Art encapsulates the art and cultural trends of the Karnataka region as a whole.
Surrounded by greenery and housed in the two-storeyed colonial-style building, this Gallery showcases modern Indian art and houses paintings by many contemporary artists.
The phenomenal photographs of earlier times, paintings, sculptures, and graphic prints are displayed.
Travel Tip for National Gallery of Modern Art: There are regular gallery walks (every Wednesday and Saturday), film screenings, talks, and workshops happening in the premises every now and then.
The visit isn’t complete without trying snacks from their cafe. From steaming coffee to sandwiches and pasta, they have it all.
Entry fee: INR 20 for Indians and INR 150 for foreigner nationals Professional Photography: INR 1,000/- per image
Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PMRemains closed on Monday
Nearest metro station: MG road
9. Pyramid Valley
Constructed based on the inspiration by one of the wonders of the world, the pyramid of Giza, Pyramid Valley is an international meditation center and is home for the largest meditational Pyramid.
A Maitreya pyramid of 102 feet stands soaring in the middle of the valley nestled between lush green surroundings and rocky hills.
The interiors and exteriors of the Pyramid disperse energy that instills calm inside you.
There are numerous paintings, statues, and murals of Lord Buddha.
A flight of 21 steps leads you to the core of the Pyramid, which is strategically lit up to filter the right amount of light inside.
They conduct regular classes, workshops, and seminars on Science of Meditation and New Age Spirituality
How to reach: Pyramid Valley is around 35 kilometers from the city Railway Station and Majestic Bus stand
Timings: 9 am–6 pm
10. Turahalli forest
Recognized as the city’s only surviving forest, Turahalli Forest range is a stretch of greenery perfect for a day trip.
The lush vegetation makes this spot a hit among cyclists. It boasts of one of the most scenic views and a variety of flora and fauna which makes it a must-visit location in Bangalore.
Cycling through the rustling leaves almost feels like listening to nature’s whispers. Start as early as possible and reach the viewpoint in time to witness a stunning sunrise overlooking the city.
Thurahalli forest is also famous among the birdwatchers and photographers. You can easily spot Bee-eaters, Bulbuls, Kites, Cuckoos, Babblers, Drongos, Peafowls.
If you are lucky, you can spot peacocks cooing and falcons hovering in the sky.
Get those backpacks ready, lace up those shoes and set out to enjoy a day at the Turahalli forest cycling trail. And I assure you, you will not be disappointed!
Best time to visit: Post monsoon
Timings: open 24 hours
Nearest metro station: Yelachenahalli
11. Bugle Rock
Also known as the peninsular gneiss, this massive rock formation is estimated to be 3000 million years old.
One of the four watchtowers in Bangalore was built here by Kempe Gowda I. The watchtower was where the sentry would blow the bugle and it’s believed that the torchlight was visible from the other watchtowers in the city. Hence the name Bugle Rock.
Adjacent to the park is the bull temple or the Dodda Basavana Guddi, which houses one of the largest idols of Nandi in the world.
With an amphitheater, three temples, walking and jogging track (and an open gym) in the park, amidst serene surroundings, the area is frequented by locals every day.
Travel Tip Bugle Rock: I particularly love the musical fountain here. If you do visit the place, I would highly recommend watching this show.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year
Timings: 5–10 am3:30–9 pm
Nearest metro: National College metro station
12. VV Puram for
Bangalore, an ever-changing city with unique culture, unmatched attractions, and a world-renowned gastronomy scene, has a street assigned just for food.
Yes, you read that right.
VV Puram/food street offers an endless array of things that will satisfy any appetite.
A pure dreamland for any street-food lover, this long aromatic lane is an absolute gastronomic fairyland.
From Jalebis to Rasgulla Chaat, Pasta to Fire Paan, they have it all. I’d recommend you start from V.B Bakery, one of the oldest bakeries in the city, and walk your way through the stalls.
End the day on a sweet note with Gulkand topped with Ice cream and freshly cut fruits.
Travel Tip for visiting the VV Puram Street Food: The food street hosts the “Avarekai Mela” annually in the winter months of December/January when varieties of dishes are prepared using Avarekai (hyacinth beans).
Timings: 6 pm–12 am
Best time to visit: throughout the year
Nearest Metro: National College
13. Bangalore Palace
Inspired by the Tudor style of architecture, Bangalore Palace makes it’s a way to the list of must-visit tourist attractions in Bengaluru.
It is believed that king Chamarajendra Wadiyar built the palace after visiting London and being inspired by European castles.
This palace is filled with fortified barricades, spiraling towers, and ornate windows just like medieval times. The colorful courtyards and gardens are a treat to urban eyes.
This Castle is sure to blow your mind with antiques and architecture. The palace serves as a venue for several exhibitions, concerts and cultural programs held in the city belonging to our culture.
There are guides available at the venue, however, you can take an audio guided tour. You need special permission to click pictures inside the palace, so make sure you get the token when you reach the venue.
Timings: 10 am–5 pm
Entry fee: Entry ticket to the Bangalore Palace is priced at INR 230 for Indians and INR 460 for foreigners.
INR 638 for digital camera
INR 230 for mobile photography
No photography allowed outside the palace without permission
If you would like to know more about the Bangalore Palace read this post for detailed information – Is the Bangalore Palace worth visiting?
Bangalore Hop On Hop Off bus
Are you in Bangalore for a short duration? Want to visit the tourist spots without having to worry about booking cabs and catching metros? Worry not. Bengaluru Darshini is here to your rescue.
BMTC is operating “Bangaluru Darshini” service with 2 air-conditioned vehicles.
Bangaluru Darshini-01: Starts at Kempegowda Bus Station in the morning at 08:40 hrs.
Bangaluru Darshini-02: Starts at Kempegowda Bus Station in the morning at 08:25 hrs.
Make sure you book in advance from the KSRTC website.
Adult: INR 400
Child: INR 300
For Advance seat Reservation, please visit any KSRTC reservation counters or visit www.ksrtc.in.’
In KSRTC online booking web portal (www.ksrtc.in) enter “BNG” or “BENGALURU” in “From” field and “BNGCR” or “BENGALURU DARSHINI” in “To” field.’
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In a city that offers something for everyone, the list is never-ending.
However, there are a few more things that shouldn’t be missed.
Take a breakfast tour around the city, spend a day at a flea market and listen to local bands, check out plays at Ranga Shankara, visit quirky/artsy cafes, try microlight flying at Yelehanka and last but not the least, take a nice, long walk around the lakes.
Hope this article comes in handy the next time you are visiting Bengaluru. If you have been to Bangalore before what would you suggest we add to our list? Don’t forget to mention it in the comments.