5 mins read
20 Things to Do in Bangalore
By Avilasha Borthakur
16 Jun, 2023
From “Silicon Valley of India'' to “Garden City”, Bangalore is known by many names and familiar to all. With humble beginnings as a simple mud fort, established by Kempe Gowda - a chieftain of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1537, Bangalore has risen as one of the top cities in the world. Home to HQs of the biggest tech giants and 38% of India’s IT export, the city is a techie’s paradise. But just as parallelly, greenery, lush public parks and sanctuaries dot the entire place, giving it the nickname of “Garden City’. Hip and happening, the city is also the birthplace of thriving contemporary art and entertainment, as well as a bustling pub culture. With everything that it offers, Bangalore is an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.
But there’s a lot more than meets the eye of this beguiling city, and if you look a bit harder, you’ll find some great experiences and sights that will take your breath away. So the next time you’re there, here’s 20 of the coolest things to do in Bangalore.
1. Daria Daulat Bagh
Bask in the grandeur of Tipu Sultan’s summer palace, Daria Daulat Bagh, which was created in 1784 as a sign of his victory against the British. Made entirely of the finest teakwood and a blend of Indian and European architecture, the monument is a sight to behold, especially at dusk.
Locals enjoying a walk in Daria Daulat Bagh
2. Malavalli Tiffin Rooms
Originators of the Rava Idli and home to some amazing snacks, Malavalli Tiffin Rooms is one of the top Indian fast food joints in the world. When in Bangalore, grab a taste of their world famous rava idlis at their first store, started in 1942, located in Lalbagh Road.
A crispy dosa being served up in Bangalore
3. Bangalore Fort
Created by Kempe Gowda, the founder of the city, the ruins of Bangalore Fort is a major historical landmark. Legend has it that during its construction, the southern gate would keep collapsing and the only way to solve it was human sacrifice, to ward off the evils. When Kempe Gowda wouldn’t agree, his daughter-in-law secretly beheaded herself at the gates to fulfil his dream.
An archway door at the Bangalore Fort
4. Bangalore Palace
Built in 1887 by King Chamarajendra Wadiyar, the Bangalore Palace is a lavish Gothic-style palace. With tall glass stained windows, towers flanking the sides and intricate decor, it’s quite a cultural landmark. Fun fact: Descendents of the King Wadiyar continue to reside in a section of the palace!
Front facade view of the grand Bangalore Palace
5. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
Created almost 200 years ago, under the commandership of Haider Ali, the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is a major reason behind Bangalore’s nickname as “Garden City”. With over 1000 species of plants spread over 240 acres, this is a Bangalore sightseeing must!
Purple hues skies behind the glass greenhouse in Lalbagh
6. Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath
If you’re an art enthusiast, you have to check out the Karnataka Chitrakala Parisath. Established in the 60s, this art institution houses paintings and sculptures from not only the state, but all over Asia as well. They also host a variety of exhibitions, so keep an eye out for what’s coming.
Rockcut entryway to the Chitrakala
7. Cycling in Turahalli Forest
Turahalii, Bangalore’s only surviving forest, is home to a picturesque cycling trail that extends for about 3.7 kms and offers a wonderful view of the greenery around. Entry is free, so grab a bike on rent and add this to your list of things to do in Bangalore. You can easily rent a bike from The Hosteller Bangalore under Rs 300.
One of the many leave stricken cycling trails in Turahalli Forest
8. Bannerghatta National Park
Bangalore sightseeing isn’t complete without a visit to Bannerghatta National Park. Say hi to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including lions, tigers, elephants, and 48+ species of butterflies. You can choose to take a safari trip, tour the zoo, or explore the butterfly trail of about 1 km on foot.
A Royal Bengal tiger splashing around in the Bannerghatta Park
9. Pyramid Valley
Experience inner calm and spend your day meditating in Pyramid Valley, situated just outside the city. Home to the world’s largest meditational pyramid, it is abundant in sacred energy allowing visitors to be able to ground themselves easily, and is also scattered with high-energy spots for ideal meditation.
View of the expansive gardens and large pyramid in the meditation center
10. HAL Centre and Aerospace Museum
First of its kind in the nation, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited aka HAL Centre and Museum is paradise for aviation enthusiasts and history nerds. Check out real-life exhibits and photographs that take you through the aviation industry’s life and heritage.
Top view of the display at HAL Aeronautics Center
11. Innovative Film Museum
If you are a hardcore entertainment buff and looking for fun things to do in Bangalore, head to Innovative Film City - a movie and tv-show theme park that boasts wax figures, museum displays, a traditional “talkies” movie house and even a behind-the-scenes tour of the reality show “Bigg Boss”!
Wax idol of Frankenstein's monster
12. Cubbon Park
Experience the “just right” Bangalore weather to the fullest at Cubbon Park - 200 acres of fresh greenery smack dab in the middle of the city, and home to joggers, yoga sessions, book club meetings and more. Not only that, it’s also home to the State Library located in the Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall, as well as an aquarium!
Serene paths inside the Cubbon Park
13. MG Road
From homeware, silk sarees and handicrafts, to the oldest and largest bookstore in the city - Higginbotham, MG Road is a shopper’s paradise. Once you’re done, head over to any of the cafes and restaurants around including Le Jardin, Cafe Mosaic and more.
A streetview of the iconic Higginbotham's bookstore
14. Nandi Hill
If you need a break from the city, one of the best things to do in Bangalore is to head up to Nandi Hills. At 4800+ feet, it offers gorgeous views of the misty sunrise and the glowing sunset. Take a long drive for a day-long affair, or stay the night and camp out!
Mesmerizing view of Nandi Hills just before sunset
15. Pub Hopping at Indiranagar
Bangalore isn’t known as the “pub capital” for no reason now, is it? For a cold one, head over to Indiranagar which houses some of the coolest and most hip bars that boast a selection of brews for you to choose from. Check out Toit’s for craft beer, Peco’s for a vintage vibe, and Watson’s if you want something casual.
Dance your way among the vibrant choices of pubs
16. VV Puram Food Street
Amongst the many things to do in Bangalore, filling your belly at VV Puram is a must. A haven for the tastiest street food, you will find sweet buns, dosas of every kind, a variety of chaats including rasgulla chaat and floating pani-puri, as well as pasta, manchurian rolls, fire paan, and much more!
Vendor frying up some delicious crispy treats in VV Puram
17. St. Mary’s Basilica
Oldest church in the state, and the only one that has been awarded the status of minor basilica, the St. Mary’s Basilica is a beauty to behold. First built as a hut in the 17th century, it now towers tall with glass windows and intricate design. Fun fact? It hosts an annual feast in September which sees visitors from in and around the city.
A beautiful sermon taking place inside the Cathedral
18. Dodda Alada Mara
Locally known as “Dodda Alada Mara”, this 400-year old banyan tree is a Bangalore sightseeing staple. It single-handedly covers 3 acres, and is steeped in legend. Locals believe that the root, stem and branches of the tree represent the trinity of Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Whereas some believe that it is a haunt for witches, which frequent the area in the dead of the night.
Monkey resting on the famous Dodda Alada Mara banyaan tree
19. KR Flower Market
One of the largest flower markets in Asia, the KR flower market which opens at 4 am everyday (yes, you read that right!) is a symphony of colours. Find everything from roses, carnations, marigolds and more - arranged in large woven baskets. Do head there early to watch vendors bring in their flowers, and get first pick too!
Early morning colouful chaos at KR market
20. Devanahalli Fort
Located 35 kms outskirts of Bangalore, the Devanahalli fort is a 500-year old citadel which stands tall even today. Built by the Saluvas in 1501, it was taken over by Haider Ali, Tipu Sultan’s father, and became the the birthplace of one of Indian history’s greatest warriors.
Entrance to the giant Devanahalli Fort
So the next time you’re planning for a trip, check out this list of 20 great things to do in Bangalore. Our pro-tip here would also be to stay in a backpacker hostel in the city! That way, you can meet new travellers and buddies to check out these places with, and save on money so that you can explore more!