Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka, known for its pleasant climate, lush green spaces, and booming tech industry. For those considering things to do in Bangalore, exploring the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, a haven of tranquility with a variety of flora and fauna, and visiting the Bangalore Palace, an architectural marvel inspired by England’s Windsor Castle, are top activities.
The city’s bustling MG Road offers a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, making it a popular hangout spot for both locals and tourists. Nearby, the innovative Art of Living International Center provides a space for spiritual growth and meditation, set amidst a serene landscape.
Beyond its urban attractions, Bangalore is also renowned for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous pubs and bars offering a taste of the city’s modern and youthful vibe. For those seeking the best places to visit in India, Bangalore’s blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and contemporary culture makes it a must-visit destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Bangalore, India
1. Bangalore Palace
Bangalore Palace stands as a testament to the opulence of the Indian royal families, with its Tudor-style architecture and beautifully manicured gardens. Built to resemble Windsor Castle, the palace houses an impressive collection of art belonging to the former royal family.
Travel Tip: Photography is allowed on the palace grounds, but it may come with an extra fee, so carry some cash and inquire beforehand.
2. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens offer a serene retreat from the bustling city life. Established in the 18th century, it features a diverse collection of flora, a lake, and the iconic glasshouse that hosts flower shows twice a year.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to enjoy a peaceful walk and to spot various bird species that inhabit the gardens.
3. Cubbon Park
Cubbon Park is a sprawling green space in the heart of Bangalore, often called the “lung area” of the city. It is home to numerous plants and trees, beautifully laid out walking paths, and historic statues.
Travel Tip: The park is closed to traffic on Sundays, making it the perfect time for cyclists and families to enjoy the space without the concern of vehicles.
4. Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum
Named after a renowned engineer, Sir M. Visvesvaraya, this museum is a haven for science enthusiasts with its interactive exhibits focusing on engineering, technology, and applied science.
Travel Tip: Plan your visit during a weekday to avoid school crowds that frequent the museum for educational trips.
5. ISKCON Temple Bangalore
The ISKCON Temple in Bangalore, situated on the Hare Krishna Hill, is a magnificent cultural complex that blends modern technology and spiritual harmony. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is known for its grandeur and peaceful ambiance.
Travel Tip: Try to catch the evening aarti (prayer ceremony), which is a spiritually uplifting experience.
6. National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA)
Housed in the elegant Manikyavelu Mansion, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) showcases Indian art from the 18th century until today. It’s a beautiful walk through the history of Indian modern art.
Travel Tip: Look out for temporary exhibitions and guided walks which are often held here and can greatly enrich your experience.
7. Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace
This historical residence of the ruler Tipu Sultan is noted for its Indo-Islamic architecture and well-preserved artifacts from the era of the Sultanate of Mysore. The palace’s wooden structure is adorned with intricately carved pillars and frescoes.
Travel Tip: It’s quite a small palace, so it won’t take long to visit; try to combine your trip with a visit to the nearby bustling KR Market.
8. Commercial Street
Commercial Street is a bustling shopping district with a variety of shops selling clothes, jewelry, accessories, and more. This area captures the commercial vibrancy of Bangalore.
Travel Tip: Bargaining is common here, so don’t shy away from negotiating prices to snag some great deals.
9. Bannerghatta National Park
Bannerghatta National Park is a biodiversity hotspot situated on the outskirts of Bangalore. It features a zoo, a butterfly park, and a safari park where visitors can see tigers, lions, and elephants in a semblance of their natural habitat.
Travel Tip: Opt for the safari rides early in the morning when the animals are most active and the park is less crowded.
10. Wonderla Amusement Park
Wonderla is a state-of-the-art amusement park on the edge of Bangalore, known for its thrilling rides, clean water park, and high standards of maintenance. It’s a fantastic way to spend a day of fun, especially if traveling with family.
Travel Tip: Buy tickets online in advance to avoid long queues, especially on weekends and holidays.
11. The Heritage Centre & Aerospace Museum
For aviation enthusiasts, The Heritage Centre & Aerospace Museum offers a glimpse into India’s aerospace history with exhibits of aircraft, helicopters, and flight simulators.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to try the flight simulator and check out the outdoor display, which features several models of aircraft.
12. ChitraKala Parishath
ChitraKala Parishath is an art complex and cultural organization that promotes Indian art forms. It has a college of fine arts, several art galleries, and a museum that hosts art exhibitions.
Travel Tip: If you’re looking to purchase authentic Indian art, the complex has an annual sale where artists sell their work directly.
13. Nandi Hills
Nandi Hills, a short drive from Bangalore, is a favorite getaway spot for locals and tourists. Known for its panoramic views and the pleasant climate, it’s a great location for hiking or simply enjoying nature.
Travel Tip: Plan to arrive for sunrise, as the views are spectacular, but be sure to check the opening times as they can change seasonally.
14. Innovative Film City
Innovative Film City is an entertainment park offering a range of attractions, from museums to adventure sports, and even has a section where you can see sets used in Indian films.
Travel Tip: Allocate a full day to explore the park fully and consider visiting on a weekday to avoid crowds.
15. Ulsoor Lake
Ulsoor Lake is one of Bangalore’s largest and oldest lakes, offering a tranquil escape with its picturesque promenades and boating facilities.
Travel Tip: The lake has designated boating times, so check the schedule beforehand, and visiting during the week can mean a quieter experience.
16. Bangalore’s Street Food
Exploring the street food scene is a must-do activity in Bangalore, with VV Puram Food Street being one of the most famous spots. Here, one can savor a variety of traditional Karnataka delicacies as well as other Indian street food favorites.
Travel Tip: Go with an empty stomach and an open mind, and don’t hesitate to try small portions from multiple stalls to taste the diversity of offerings.
FAQ About Things to Do in Bangalore, India
What are some must-visit places in Bangalore for a first-time visitor?
Bangalore offers a blend of historical and modern attractions. Don’t miss the Bangalore Palace, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Cubbon Park, and the innovative science gallery at the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum.
Is Bangalore a good place for tech enthusiasts?
Absolutely! Known as the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore has numerous tech parks and innovation hubs. You can visit the IT capital’s corporate campuses like Infosys and Wipro, and participate in tech events and meetups that are frequently held across the city.
Are there any outdoor activities in Bangalore?
Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Bangalore. You can take a walk in Cubbon Park, go bird watching at Hebbal Lake, or enjoy boating at Ulsoor Lake. For the more adventurous, there’s rock climbing at Turahalli Forest.
What cultural experiences does Bangalore offer?
Experience Bangalore’s rich cultural tapestry by visiting the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath for local art, enjoying a classical dance performance at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, or exploring the local markets like Commercial Street for traditional crafts and silk saris.
Can I find good nightlife in Bangalore?
Bangalore has a vibrant nightlife with a number of pubs, microbreweries, and live music venues. Popular spots include Toit, Arbor Brewing Company, and The Humming Tree.
Is there any wildlife to explore near Bangalore?
Yes, for wildlife enthusiasts, the Bannerghatta Biological Park is just a short drive away, offering safari experiences with a chance to see tigers, lions, and elephants. For a more serene experience, visit the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary.
What are the best places for shopping in Bangalore?
Bangalore is a shopper’s paradise. Visit V.R. Bengaluru and Phoenix Marketcity for high-end shopping, or explore local markets like Chickpet and Majestic Market for budget-friendly options and regional handicrafts.
Are there any famous food spots in Bangalore?
Bangalore is known for its diverse culinary scene. Enjoy the South Indian cuisine at Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR), try the steaks at The Only Place, or indulge in the diverse street food offerings at V.V. Puram Food Street.