Planning a business trip or holiday travel to Bangalore, capital of Karnataka? Or maybe visiting South of India during your next visit in India? If any yes, read below for your next journey. If any no, read too – it might inspire you for your future travel plans! 🙂
I have been visiting Bangalore since 2009. During my 10th visit here: I got married. During my 12th visit here: India became my second home, completing nearly one year here by now. I love when family or friends visit me here. Yes, I miss them immensely. And additionally, I love to share with them my India. Feeling ‘half local’ by now and with my ‘external’ tourist perspective, I have some ideas for you: how to spend an amazing weekend here. Discover nearby places and Bangalore during your business trip or holiday travel.
Bangalore, officially known as Bengaluru, has a population of over twelve million people. Wow, this mega-city has as more habitats than entire Belgium, Greece, Sweden or Portugal. And that’s only one city! It is easy to reach it, as it has direct flights from 80 destinations in 20 countries. Each year Karnataka region is visited by 450-500 thousand foreign tourists. It has also become a busy destination for business travelers as many IT corporations or other sectors businesses are located here. If you are planning to visit for 2-3 days only… extend your stay! You are coming to India, incredible India, and it is really worth spending few more days here.
But what to do during these extra days in Bangalore during business trip or maybe simply your holiday travel? I will help you! And let’s start big!
DISCOVER ANOTHER COUNTRY: SRI LANKA
Travel abroad. In 1 hour and 25 minutes from Bangalore you can reach Sri Lanka by plane! And this is not to run away from India. 😉 If you stay and budget allows and you love visiting new countries – you can do it easily from here! Flight tickets to Colombo, capital of the island, from Bangalore are also at reasonable prices. Additionally, it is easy to visit Sri Lanka from visa requirements perspective. Only 21 countries require visa in advance. Remaining citizens can obtain visa on arrival or electronic travel authorization. Check it here. What to do in Sri Lanka? Will tell you more in a future post, promise!
VISIT CLOSE-BY REGIONS: KERALA OR TAMIL NADU OR…
Kerala: there are many ways to reach Kerala region. The fastest one is by plane, you can be there in 1 hour and 5 minutes. Kerala is famous for its beaches, mountains, wildlife centuries, tea plantations and backwaters. National Geographic Traveler named it as ‘one of the ten paradises of the world’ and also included it in the list of ’50 of the world’s top destinations’. Place that each traveler should visit in a lifetime.
Tamil Nadu: that’s one of my favorite suggestions! Bangalore borders with Tamil Nadu so you can be there even in 1 minute if you stay in the South-East part of the city. From city center, that’s about 1 hour to 1.5 hour drive depending on the traffic hours. My recommendation is: visit Hosur city and its temple on the top hill. Sri Chandra Choodeswara temple has over 800 years! It is a magical place to visit, to pray or contemplate, to admire archaeology or simply spend a little time on a hill top with a great view on Hosur city. In the background you can also see Karnataka…
Go to Goa: In 1 hour and 5 minutes from Bangalore you can also reach famous Goa (yes, by plane). So why not to be a bit more adventurous and travel to this amazing location for a quick weekend break? Yes, this would require additional budget, however it is worth it! Plus prices in Goa are very reasonable so the entire cost can balance out. Additionally, you could plan your return from Goa to Bangalore a few hours before your flight back. Sea, sand, breeze, slippers and coconut trees are waiting for you!
EXPLORE THE REGION: KARNATAKA
Karnataka region is immense. So focusing more on what you could do starting from Bangalore during your business trip or holiday travel during potential weekend visit. Again, tested and fully recommended places!
Nandi Hills: if you love nature and beautiful views, you shouldn’t miss Nandi Hills. It is an ancient hill fortress situated near Bangalore, 4700 ft / 1432 meters high above the sea level and approximately 60 km from Bangalore. People like to visit Nandi Hills to view the beauty of the stunning sunrises and sunsets above the clouds. It is important to plan your journey well, to see the sunrise one needs to leave from Bangalore around 4:30 am. And, that’s a place where you can meet monkeys. Watch out for your belongings! 🙂
Mysore: if you love palaces, architecture, famed silk sarees or sandalwood, Mysore is the travel destination you can’t miss. About 150 km away from Bangalore, half way to West coast of India. Journey might take between 2.5 – 4 hours one way, depending on travel time. Best is to travel to Mysore at 6 am, before morning traffic to avoid extra time in the car. Best is to travel there by taxi, Uber and Ola provide outstation services. Mysore Palace, magnificent place, is worth seeing in the evening during light show. Unforgettable.
Bheemeshwari: another location for nature lovers, this time for 1 night stay – Bheemeshwari. Jungle Lodge Resort, adventure and nature camp, is situated there. Located just next to Cauvery River is about 110 km away from Bangalore, 2.5 to 3 hours drive. Stay at the camp includes full experience: not only nature and morning hike in the nearby hills but also boat rides, kayaking, zip line, rope walking. The best time to visit is just after monsoon season, between August and February, when river is alive and nature is all green again.
STAY IN BANGALORE: UNLIMITED OPTIONS
Simply, my quick top 5! (I love them all, no preference) Follow based on your travel spirit and taste, available time, budget and curiosity level for unknown! Make your time in Bangalore during your business trip or holiday travel unforgettable!
City attractions: you can dedicate a day or half a day to see key city attractions. Don’t book any day tour. Simply, mark on the map locations of your personal interest (palaces, parks, museums, temples) and get on rickshaw (here called as ‘auto’). A good alternative is also booking Uber or Ola taxi. Renting an auto for a day is very optimal, most of the drivers can turn into your personal tour guides! Important: find one that speaks English 🙂
Shopping: one of my favorite ones (as you can imagine). Exploring Commercial Street, MG Road, Brigade Road or Jayanagar 4th Block can be not only an opportunity to buy things but also to explore local culture, take amazing pictures or practice own negotiations skills when bargaining for the right price. Many shops are opened till 9 or 10 PM so you can easily make it also after your working day.
Food: enjoy Indian and Asian food. To stay healthy and ready for your travel back home, I recommend visiting more restaurants than tasting street food. Unless you know your taste buds and your potential, then go for street food. There are many great restaurants in the city, especially in Indiranagar. You can taste here Indian, Chinese, Burmese, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian food among many. I just love having here all these options! Important, if you do not like spicy food, remember to say “zero spice”. Saying “less spice” will end up with spicy food arriving at your table 😉
Wander and admire: especially if in love with India and Indian culture, you can just go out and wander. India is so unique that each corner of the street, passing by person or vehicle can be a real attraction – to admire, to see another culture, to take beautiful pictures. So go outside and explore, it is incredible India!
Relax: jet lag? tired after travel or after business meetings? If you get a chance to stay in 5 or 4 star hotel, you can just merge into your hotel’s attractions and facilities. If not in India then where can you get best ayurvedic massage or treatment, or maybe try yoga? Check your hotel offering! Disappear by the pool, away from all the beeps of the street and feel a bit of relax and zen.
See, in fact you should extend your stay further! Bangalore, Karnataka and nearby places have much more to offer than one weekend stay! And be careful visiting India 10th time. It extended my stay significantly 😉
Moments that matter, no matter the plan.