Travelling to Bangalore, you’re set with a list of places a traveller simply has to visit – the palace, the art galleries, and some temples inside Bangalore, and an ashram, a zoo, and a dam a little way away from the city. When you’re a true traveller, however, spending your nights in a hostel and wanting to make your way around the city like a local would, you seek a completely different experience.
Get the best local food, brewed beer, inexpensive shopping, and opportunities to meet some interesting people the true-blue Bangalorean way. Depending on which part of the city you’re in, you’ve got different things to do. Explore roads with some of the oldest houses, attend events and gigs, and have leisurely lunches.
Early to Rise
If you’re one to enthusiastically wake up early in the mornings, the parks and lakes of Bangalore welcome you. Especially on Sundays, you have a great chance of meeting some like-minded people at these places. Start the day with bird-watching at Jakkur Lake, Madivala Lake, Sankey Tank, or Lalbagh, or a ride/drive to the outskirts. Cubbon Park will sometimes surprise you with a Shakespeare in the Park play or slack-lining workshops. (Meet some very social dogs here on Sunday mornings!)
Breakfast in Bangalore
For the best South Indian breakfast, MTR (Mavalli), Brahmins’ Coffee Bar (Shankarapura), or Janatha Hotel (Malleshwaram) will serve you well – don’t forget the filter coffee in the end. For a fulfilling American breakfast, The Hole in the Wall Cafe (Koramangala) will satisfy your cravings. A delicious continental breakfast can be found in Zoey’s (Sarjapur Road) and 154 Breakfast Club (Koramangala).
Shopping and Exploring
Shop in Bangalore the way we used to before the malls came about. Commercial Street has an assortment of shops where you can spend half a day tirelessly. And when you need a place that has everything, enter the labyrinth of KR Market and Chickpete, where aged buildings share space with new shops, and where shopkeepers surprise you with their wares. Take with you your trusty tote bag and shop to your heart’s content!
Leisurely lunches make a holiday more relaxing. Some of the offbeat places you can try lunch at are Rogue Elephant (Basavanagudi), Go Native for some organic goodness (Jayanagar), Coast II Coast for a Mangalorean cuisine (MG Road), Phobidden Fruit for some Vietnamese dishes (Indiranagar), The Only Place for some old-time feels (Museum Road), and Oota Bangalore (Whitefield). If you’re craving for a good biryani, however, Shivaji Military Hotel (Banashankari) is arguably the most popular place to have this meal. Failing to get there on time, you can find a great substitute in Nagarjuna.
The Pub City
Bangalore is dotted with breweries to quench our thirst for a good time. And even more so with old and new pubs. Drink your fill at Arbor Brewing Company (Ashok Nagar), Brewsky (JP Nagar), Windmills Craftworks (Whitefield), Toit (Indiranagar), or any of the dozens of places that brew their special beers. When it comes to pubs for a very casual evening, true Bangaloreans swear by Pecos (Brigade Road), Scottish Pub (St Mark’s Road), Watson’s (Ulsoor), Plan B (pick your branch), or that nice pub down the road for a memorable time.
Spending an Evening
You can choose between arts, food, among books, and some time with nature to spend your evenings. An insightful play at Ranga Shankara (JP Nagar) or Jagriti (Whitefield) or a walk along Rangoli that runs along MG Road is sure to refresh you. Check the events at Urban Solace (Ulsoor) to see if you can spend an evening meeting like-minded people there. Satisfy your taste buds at Food Street in VV Puram, Hari Super Sandwich (pick your branch), Mosque Road in Frazer Town, or the multitude of unassuming cafes and dessert places. If you’re an avid reader, you simply mustn’t miss a long visit to Blossom Book House, The Bookworm, and Goobe’s Book Republic on Church Street or Bookfair in Koramangala. The Garden City, as Bangalore used to be called, has lovely parks and lakes in almost all its areas with trees with characters and birds that entertain you with their antics.
An early-to-bed rule imposed on the city doesn’t dampen the spirits of its residents! Pubs and restaurants are open until 1am, and everyone makes the most of it. Thursday nights at Hard Rock Cafe (St Mark’s Road) have some brilliant musicians performing at the pub for music lovers. Choose the best night to karaoke at Opus (Sarjapur Road) or groove to live music at Fandom (Koramangala). DJs of the city play tracks you’ll fall in love with as you dance at the clubs of Indiranagar. Food trucks and dosa gaadis station themselves around popular pubs after midnight to serve some scrumptious street food – a welcome sight after hours of thorough enjoyment.
So make your own itinerary depending on your interests and areas. The BMTC buses, auto rickshaws, and Namma Metro will take you around the city in comfort. Leave your luggage bags in your room, pack your backpacks for the day, and live the best life Bangalore has to offer!