For all you Bangalore lovers and maniacs, here’s everything you need to know that is Best of Bangalore. Right from places to visit, things to do, where to eat and shop, we have you covered! It’s time to dust your travelling pants!
Here’s the Best of Bangalore:
Places to see
Don’t be fooled by Bangalore’s modern architecture. The city has a rich past and many beautiful monuments dot the landscape. The Vidhan Soudha, the state’s Legislative building, is a good place to start. Continue on your historical adventure at Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, the Devanahalli Fort and the Bangalore Fort.
Museums and galleries
The city has a vibrant art culture with a gamut of styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. Most noteworthy is the Vishweshwariah Museum that showcases the scientific history of Bangalore. Its neighbour Venkatappa Art Gallery, houses over 600 paintings. The State Archaeological Museum is one more home to many ancient artefacts.
The art institution set up to spread art and culture awareness, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, is also a must visit.
Parks and lakes
The parks and lakes of Bangalore City contribute to its enviable weather. The 240-acre Lalbagh Botanical gardens are home to over a 1,000 varieties of flora. In addition, it has several medicinal trees that have their roots spread here for centuries.
The Cubbon Park is perfect if you are looking for a brisk walk in the heart of the city. Another famous park here is the Cariappa Memorial Park. It is an oasis for migratory birds who flock to its serene environs.
Bangalore is a city where people of many faiths have lived together in peace and mutual respect. The Iskcon Temple is a blend of modern and contemporary architecture. It is one of the largest temples in the world with a gold-plated flag post that is 56 ft high.
The beautiful Infant Jesus Shrine welcomes people from different faiths. Similarly, the Jama Masjid, Bangalore’s oldest mosque, with its stunning jaali work and floral motifs is a peaceful sanctuary for all.
The city has many theme parks and activity centers which the kids will absolutely love. Most noteworthy is the Innovative Film City, which offers a full day of adventure with fun rides, haunted houses, and a Wax Museum.
Another popular pick is Wonder La, a water theme park loved by kids and adults alike. Inevitably, it has many rides and attractions that entice you to celebrate with a splash.
Things to do
Apart from being known as an IT hub and a garden city, Bangalore is increasingly gaining fame for the abundance of exotic microbreweries. A new microbrewery pops up in Bangalore almost every second month. So if you find yourself relatively free or in the need for relaxation on any evening in Bangalore, make it a point to go microbrewery hopping. A few must try hangouts are – The Biere Club, Vapour, Prost, Windmills Craftworks, District 6, Bierre Republic and Brewsky.
A walking tour of the city
Your holiday in Bangalore wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t walk around the famous streets of Bangalore, after all it is the garden city! There are lush parks and regal Victorian architecture that abound in Bangalore will haunt you if you just whiz past them without soaking up their elegance. So take a day to go on a green and nostalgic walk around the city. There are multiple organizers who help put together these walks and you could also avail the assistance of expert tour guides to make your experience even more memorable. Here are a few tour guides you could reach out to – BangaloreWALKS, Green Heritage Walks, Unhurried and Weekend Walks.
Tour a vineyard
Experience a sojourn in the beautiful vineyards on the outskirts of Bangalore by taking the Grover Vineyards wine tour. You can sign up online on the Grover wines website and they will arrange the tour for you. The vineyard is about 70kms from the main city in a town called Ramanagar and the tour organizers take care of transport too, so that you can truly relax and enjoy your day out in the vineyards!
The biker experience
If you happen to be in Bangalore on a weekend you could even experience the thrill of bike riding. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a bike, you can rent out Harley Davidsons, Triumphs, Royal Enfields and other bikes from Wicked Rides. So find a biker group and enjoy the outdoors on a motorcycle.
Be a bookworm in Blossoms
Located in an inconspicuous building on Church Street, Blossom Book House or Blossoms, as book lovers in Bangalore fondly call it, is one of the few surviving second hand book stores in Bangalore. Always welcoming and accommodating, it‘s an institution that has achieved cult status – it has reunited people with lost books, heard screams of delight when customers discover an out-of-print autographed book, and even has a blog dedicated to it by a passionate ‘Blossommer’ http://overheardatblossoms.tumblr.com/
What to eat
Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) is a must visit to experience authentic local Bangalore cuisine. The restaurant is 75 years old and has a rich legacy of serving a wide array of delicious food ranging from the local Benne Dosas to the quintessential Bisi Bele Baath. The highlight of MTR, however, remains the frothy piping hot filter coffee served in traditional silver tumblers.
VV Puram Food Street is pretty much a food map of India put together in one place; from Masala Dosa to Pav Bhaji this is where you get all kinds of chaat. It also tops the list when it comes to sweets and savouries. Although VV Puram Food Street doesn’t serve non-veg, eat lovers can head to Sivajinagar to enjoy a meaty binge.
Bangalore’s pub culture is probably growing faster than it’s IT Industry. You can go out drinking in almost all areas in the city, however, to ensure an exceptional drinking experience, pubs in areas such as Koromangala, Indranagar and Whitefield are recommended. Make sure to visit the microbreweries, which are the city’s latest craze. Arbor Brew Company, Toit, The Big Pitcher and 3 Monkeys Brew Pub are a few examples of very popular microbreweries in Bangalore.
For a delicious meal and limited pocket burn, you could visit any of the ‘Sagars’ in Bangalore, Shanti Sagar, Sukh Sagar and Sandhya Sagar to name a few. These restaurants offer a variety of south Indian food and of late they have been serving many delicious north Indian delicacies too. For a continental fare, try Thulp, Hole in the Wall and Smally’s.
If you’re looking to seriously pamper your taste buds as well as yourself in Bangalore without worrying about the spend, here are a few recommendations. There’s nothing like downing your favourite brew, enjoying a balmy Bangalore evening and watching Bangalore’s night sky come alive at the Ultra High Lounge, La Cirque Signature, Caperberry and Shiro. Needless to say, these restaurants define the luxurious fine-dining experience in Bangalore. And finally, The Lantern at The Ritz-Carlton has a great brunch deal.
Where to shop
Channapatna toys, bangles and home decor remain the popular choice for ethnic souvenir shopping in Bangalore. For these, and other souvenirs, you may head to either Cauvery Emporium or Natesan’s – both on MG road. However, if you’re looking for a more modern interpretation of the Channapatna craft, head to the Varnam Store in Indira Nagar.
From linen shirts to khadi trousers and from cotton kurtis to hand woven tops, you can shop for traditional ethnic clothes and accessories at Margosa and Sampige roads in Malleshwaram. Both these roads are lined with shops and street hawkers on both sides. Do try Girija Silks for the famous Bangalore silk and chiffon sarees.
Bangalore has a lot of shopping districts you could go to. A good starting point is Majestic, where every street is filled with shops with attractive wares. Right from clothes to electronics. For a more spaced-out, upmarket retail experience, enjoy a leisurely stroll down the 100ft road in Indira Nagar. And if it’s shockingly affordable fabric shopping you’re after, do visit Ramachandra Puram behind Mantri Mall.
Of course, Bangalore has more than one area dedicated to shoppers. If your sole objective in Bangalore is shopping, visits to Commercial Street and Brigade road are in order. Both these streets are a shopaholic’s paradise, with a mix of Indian and international brands. You could also explore Chikpet and Balepet areas – warrens of affordable retail therapy. Rest assured, if you look hard enough you’ll find almost everything at unimaginably low prices.
Practically every area in Bangalore city has a mall, where you can get your fix of the best of Indian and International brands, be it in clothing, footwear, apparels or electronic goods, as well as enjoy lip-smacking food and drinks. Above all, some of the biggest and most popular malls in town are – Orion Mall, Phoenix Market City, Forum Mall and Mantri Square Mall.