Bangalore is one of India’s most cosmopolitan cities. Its soothing climate and vibrant local culture draws people from all over the world. Known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India,’ and as its ‘Garden City,’ the city may not be known for its tourist spots, but there are still many fascinating things to do in Bangalore.
However, the city is known for its excellent restaurants, quirky cafes, local craft beer and a wide range of pubs. Be sure to head to the centre of the city to check out some striking Victorian-era architecture.
Here are 30 more things to do in Bangalore
1. Bangalore Palace
Inspired by Windsor Castle, this splendid palace was built in 1878 as the private residence of the Wodeyars. They were the maharajas of the state of Mysore. The palace features beautiful carvings both inside and outside, as well as paintings by the famous Raja Ravi Varma. Explore the lavish furniture and hunting memorabilia. You can even get an audio guide to better provide details of the palace.
Entrance Fee: ₹230 (Indian) and ₹460 (foreigners)
2. Lalbagh Botanical Gardens
Spread over 96 hectares, the wonderfully landscaped Lalbagh Botanical Gardens are filled with amazing trees and over 1,800 species of plants from all around the world. It was commissioned in 1760 by the famous ruler Hyder Ali. Try to visit in the morning when you can see the many birds that live here. Don’t miss the famous Lalbagh Rock and the stunning views from the top, as they are among the top things to do in Bangalore.
Entrance Fee: ₹10
3. MG Road
This is one of the busiest roads in Bangalore and is often considered the hub of the city. Here, you can find everything from traditional shops to busy malls (especially on the nearby Brigade Road) and a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and pubs (found on Church Street). Originally known as South Parade, it was renamed Mahatma Gandhi Road in 1948.
4. Bull Temple
Known to locals as “Dodda Basavana Gudi,” the 16th-century Dravidian style Bull Temple holds a massive monolithic statue of Nandi (Shiva’s bull). It was built by Kempegowda (who is said to have founded the city) and the idol is carved from a single granite rock. It is regularly adorned with oil, butter, and flowers.
5. Bannerghatta National Park
Located just outside the city, the Bannerghatta National Park is home to a large variety of flora and fauna. Spread over 104 square kilometres, it has a number of different sections. These include an elephant sanctuary, a zoo, and a butterfly park. You can also go on a jungle safari and see the animals in their natural habitat, or take part in a variety of adventure activities that are among the most popular things to do in Bangalore.
6. Janapada Loka
Located on the road between Bangalore and Mysore, this museum has a wonderful collection of objects and items that are meant to preserve the local rural culture. These include a collection of musical instruments, festival costumes, folk-art objects, shadow puppets, a temple chariot and a replica of a traditional village.
Entrance Fee: ₹20 (Indian) and ₹100 (foreigners)
7. Cubbon Park
Spread over an area of 300 acres in the heart of Bangalore. Covered in rich green foliage and over 6,000 trees that support a vibrant ecosystem, the park is full of things to do. There are many structures scattered around the park, such as the Attara Kacheri (High Court), Cubbon Park Museum, the Bangalore Aquarium, and the Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Park. On the weekends, there are also many concerts, events, and markets here.
8. ISKCON Temple
This temple was built by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) also known as the Hare Krishnas. Located in Rajajinagar, this impressive hilltop temple was inaugurated in 1997. The lavishly decorated temple also holds regular concerts and lectures. There are also many delicious food stalls located around the temple.
9. Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
This popular attraction is perfect for science enthusiasts. The main attraction is the Sky Theatre, but there are also numerous other fun experiences and exhibits about scientific phenomena. It is one of the most interesting things to do in Bangalore.
10. National Gallery of Modern Art
Located in a restored heritage mansion, the National Gallery of Modern Art is a world-class art museum with an impressive collection of modern art, as well as many temporary exhibitions. There are over 14,000 works across the Old and New Wings, including pieces by Raja Ravi Varma, Abanindranath Tagore, Vivan Sundaram, Amrita Sher-Gil, and Rabindranath Tagore.
Entrance Fee: ₹20 (Indian) and ₹500 (foreigners)
11. St Mark’s Cathedral
This atmospheric cathedral was originally built in 1812 and was inspired by St Paul’s Cathedral in London. However, the church was ravaged by a fire in 1923 and restored between 1926 and 1927. It is located to one end of MG Road, and its peaceful grounds which are filled with trees offer a refuge from the crowds around it.
12. Art of Living
Established by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1986, this ashram has a variety of programmes and activities that aim at creating a stress-free society. Among these are yoga, meditation, Ayurveda treatments and much more. It is set amidst a tranquil backdrop of flowering gardens and serene lakes on the Kanakpura Road. A retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is one of the most relaxing things to do in Bangalore.
13. Bangalore Fort
Initially built in 1537 by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, this imposing structure was expanded upon in the 1790s by Haider Ali. However, only about 5 per cent of the fort remains standing today, as the British dismantled much of it to make way for roads and buildings.
14. HAL Aerospace Museum
This fascinating museum explores the aeronautical history of HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and of India. Here you can check out some amazing indigenous aircraft models designed by the company, as well as a variety of vintage crafts and exhibits. For an extra fee, you can also take part in mock dogfights at the simulator machine on the top floor.
Entrance Fee: ₹50
15. Jamia Masjid
Located near the Bangalore Fort in the vibrant and crowded Krishnarajendra Market is the impressive Jamia Masjid. One of the largest mosques in the city it was built in 1940 and dedicated to the famous Tipu Sultan. Its five stories can accommodate up to 10,000 people. Make sure to check out the surrounding market which sells everything from fresh produce to spices and copperware.
16. Vidhana Soudha
Just to the north of the lush Cubbon Park lie the colossal legislative chambers of the state government. Constructed in the neo-Dravidian style, it was completed in 1954 and is the largest state legislative building in the country. It is often called the “Taj Mahal of South” and is one of the city’s most impressive sights.
17. Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace
Hidden in the busy KR Market, this elegant palace was built by Mysorean ruler Tipu Sultan in 1791. Used as a summer retreat, its teak pillars with elegant arches and frescoes also contain a museum and an art gallery dedicated to Tipu Sultan. It is also located quite close to the Bangalore Fort.
Entrance Fee: ₹15 (Indian) and ₹200 (foreigners)
18. Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technical Museum
This outstanding science museum is filled with interesting electrical and engineering displays as well as various hands-on exhibits. These include a walk-on piano, fun-house mirrors, a small planetarium, and virtual gaming zone. There is also a replica of the Wright brothers’ famous 1903 flyer, Kitty Hawk.
Entrance Fee: ₹40
It often seems like Bangalore has a mall on every corner. They are often seen as venues for entertainment and dining as well as shopping. While it is true that they are a good place to shop, those looking for a more traditional experience are better off visiting other shopping venues such as KR Market, Commercial Street, or MG Road.
20. Pub & Resturants
Just like malls, Bangalore is absolutely crawling with hundreds of pubs, restaurants, and cafes. You can find everything from high-end dining to gastropubs and cheap local eateries. The city is also full of chic bars, trendiest nightclubs, and cosy microbreweries, making it the perfect place to indulge in a session of pub-hopping.
21. Gavi Gangadhareshwara Cave Temple
This temple in old south Bangalore is an architectural marvel. Built in the 1500s by Kempe Gowda, it features traditional rock-cut temple architecture. Set in a natural cave, it is dedicated to the god Shiva, and during the Makar Sankranti festival in mid-January, the rays of the sun fall perfectly between the horns of the stone bull outside the temple, illuminating the idol within.
22. Government Museum
Bangalore’s Government Museum is housed in a beautiful red building that dates back to 1877. Though not as popular as the other museums in Bangalore, it’s full of fascinating ancient carvings and artefacts from the ruins of Halebid, Hampi, and Attriampakham. Be sure to visit amidst all the other things to do in Bangalore.
Entrance Fee: ₹10
23. Venkatappa Art Gallery
Right next to the Government Museum sits the Venkatappa Art Gallery. It houses many works from the personal collection of K Venkatappa the court painter to the Wodeyars. There is also a collection of his memorabilia.
The ticket to the museum is included in the admission to the Government Museum.
24. Ulsoor Lake
Ulsoor Lake may be one of Bangalore’s more famous landmarks, but it is one that is often overlooked by tourists and locals alike. This beautiful blue lake, with its numerous artificial islands, was constructed by Kempe Gowda II in the 16th century. Today, its serene banks are also the site of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara.
25. Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath
This excellent gallery is filled with a wide range of contemporary art, both Indian and international. There are also many permanent displays of Mysore-style paintings and folk art from all around Asia. Among these are works by Russian master Nicholas Roerich and Indian progressive artists SG Vasudev and Yusuf Arakkal.
Entrance Fee: ₹50
26. Lumbini Gardens
Located on the banks of the Nagawara Lake in Bangalore, the serene Lumbini Gardens serve as a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Apart from the lush greenery of the park, there are also many attractions and activities within the park. There is a boating club, children’s parks, gorgeous fountains, beautiful statues, and many delicious food stalls. It is one of the top things to do in Bangalore.
Entrance Fee: ₹50
27. Innovative Film City
Just on the outskirts of Bangalore sits the Innovative Film City. This theme park is an extremely popular attraction and is full of amusement park rides, adventure activities, and museums. Visit the many sections of the park, such as Wild West Wind, Cartoon City, Dino Park, Aqua Kingdom, Haunted Mansion, Mirror Maze, Petting Zoo, and much more. You can also find cuisines from all around the world while you experience the world of movies and glamour.
Entrance Fee: ₹600
28. VV Puram Food Street
This is the place to go to experience some of the most delicious street food in Bangalore. It offers everything from crispy samosas, dosas, and chaat, to piping hot jalebis and gulab jamun. Also known as Thindi Beedi (literally “food street” in Kannada), it really comes to life in the evenings, especially after 7 pm. Be sure to try this delicious stop while you check out all the things to do in Bangalore.
29. Wonder La
Wonder La is said to the best amusement park in Bangalore. It features an exciting collection of rides perfect for those looking for a rush of adrenaline. There is something for everyone, from thrilling roller coasters to more relaxed water slides and pools. The park also features a resort and various restaurants.
Entrance Fee: Weekdays – ₹590 (Adults) and ₹460 (Children); Weekends – ₹730 (Adults) and ₹540 (Children)
30. Venkataramana Temple
This ornate Hindu Temple is located next to the Bangalore Fort. It was built in 1689 by the Wodeyar dynasty, merging Dravidian and Vijayanagara styles. The temple is located next to the old fort that was once the residence of Wodeyar royal family and if full of beautiful ornate pillars and halls.
While these are the top things to do in Bangalore, you might also want to visit these 11 unusual places to see in the city.
Of course, there are lots of other things to do in Bangalore, and if we’ve missed any, be sure to share them in the comments below.