Bangalore itinerary: one day in Bangalore
This post is a Bangalore itinerary about how to spend one day in Bangalore. Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka and one of the largest cities in South India. It is also a very modern and progressive city famous for its information technology and known as the Silicon valley of India.
Why visit Bangalore
Bangalore might lack any big tourist attractions, but it is a pleasant city to spend some time in. First of all, Bangalore is less chaotic and hectic as some other big Indian cities like Delhi. Second of all, Bangalore is a green city full of lush gardens and beautiful parks. At last, Bangalore’s higher elevation means a moderate climate.
Bangalore is also a very dynamic city with a young population. As a result, the city has lots of trendy cafes, beer pubs and a great choice of restaurants. As Bangalore attracts people from all over India, you can find every regional cuisine there is.
With a few historic sights and lots of culture and food, Bangalore is definitely worth a visit. In this post I will explain the best way to spend one day in Bangalore.
A one day in Bangalore itinerary
Spending one day in Bangalore is enough to see the city’s attractions and include some of it’s best culinary experiences. Bangalore is a great city for those that love food. In this one day Bangalore itinerary I will focus mostly on South Indian cuisine, but you should know that in Bangalore you can get anything you want.
If there is one reason to spend more than one day in Bangalore, it is the food. Ever wanted to try Gujarati or Bengal cuisine? There will be a restaurant in Bangalore for sure. And if you are tired of Indian food and want something else. Bangalore has that too.
I personally love the tastes of South India that are so different from the north. Bangalore is a great city to explore the variety that exists in South Indian cuisine and therefore I will share the best places to try some of my favourite South Indian dishes in Bangalore.
Breakfast at Airlines Hotel
There are so many great breakfast places in Bangalore that it will be hard to say what is the best. My personal favourite is a South Indian breakfast of Idli Vada with sambar. Airlines Hotel is conveniently located near Cubbon Park where you can start your one day Bangalore itinerary
The best place to start your one day Bangalore itinerary is the greenery of Cubbon Park. This park is 150 years old and is home to hundreds of plants and flower species. It is very popular among Bangaloreans and you can join the locals on their early morning walk.
Cubbon park is a gentle introduction to Bangalore and is centrally located near some of the most popular shopping streets like MG road and Brigade road. The park has a colonial history and is surrounded by other british era historic buildings such as the vidhana soudha, the high court and the library.
Nearest Metro station: Cubbon Park or Ambedkar Vidhana Soudha
If you leave Cubbon park at the southern entrance near Kempegowda tower and the Hudson Memorial church it is a 30 minute walk to the Raja market. The biggest reason to visit this bustling part of Bangalore is to see the famous flower market.
KR Market is a multi floor building where almost every vendor at the ground floor sells flower garlands. It is a fragrant and colorful sight that is best seen from above. Personally, I always love the hustle and bustle from the markets in India and this was one of my favourite places in Bangalore.
I decided to walk from Cubbon Park to the KR market. You can also opt to take the metro or an uber. If you plan on taking an uber you should take into account that the Raja market area is a labyrinth of narrow and crowded streets that are hard to navigate for vehicles.
Walk: 30 minutes from Cubbon Park
Nearest Metro station: Chickpet
South of the KR market along busy NR road and SJP road is the muslim area of Bangalore. A great place to explore on foot. As a non vegetarian it is in the muslim areas that I often find the best meat curries and kebabs and Bangalore also did not dissapoint in that regard.
At first sight the area around NR road is not very scenic, but look closely and you will find some interesting muslim shrines and several mosques. At last, the jamia masjid is hard to miss. This is the largest mosque in Bangalore and can accommodate up to 10,000 devotees.
The mosque is quite impressive. It was designed by an architect from Hyderabad and is made from white marble from Rajasthan. There are special prayers on the death anniversary of Tipu Sultan when thousands of people gather at the mosque
Walk: 10 minutes from KR flower market
Nearest Metro station: Chickpet
Bangalore Fort is one of the oldest structures in Bangalore. It’s history goes back to Kempe gowda. A chieftain from the Vijayanagara empire, the same empire famous for the magnificent ruins of its capital Hampi.
Kempe Gowda is the founder of Bangalore and was the first to build fortifications. His vision was to develop a new city that would equal Hampi. The original Bangalore fort was from mud with a trench and nine entrance gates.
In 1758 Hyder Ali, the ruler of the kingdom of Mysore, captured Bangalore. He decided to renovate the fort and strengthen it with stone. His son Tipu Sultan further extended the fort and even built a summer palace.
He could only enjoy his palace in Bangalore for a short while as the British army took hold of Bangalore fort in 1791. Now all that remains is the Delhi gate and some parts of the thick fortress walls.
Walk: 10 minutes from Jamia Masjid or flower market
Nearest Metro station: Krishna rajendra market
Tipu Sultan’s Summer palace
A 7 minute walk down the road from the Bangalore Fort is Tipu’s Sultan summer palace. This short walk gives you an idea how large the Bangalore Fort was as the palace was once within its walls.
Tipu Sultan’s summer palace was built completely from teak wood, just like his summer palace in Srirangapatna. Tipu Sultan was known as the tiger of Mysore and fought several wars against the British army. He was eventually killed by the British in his fort in Srirangapatna in 1799.
The small, but beautifully decorated palace also has a small museum about Tipu Sultan and his achievements.
Walk: 7 minutes from Bangalore Fort
Nearest Metro station: Krishna rajendra market
Lunch at Vidyarthi Bhavan
After a long morning of walking and sightseeing it’s time for lunch. The South Indian restaurant of Vidhyarti Bhavan is on the way between Tipu Sultan’s palace and Lalbagh botanical garden. It’s the perfect lunch stop, not only because of its location, but most of all because of its excellent butter masala dosas.
Dosas are south indian rice pancakes and they are one of my favourite lunch dishes when in South India. Vidhyarti Bhavan has served them for more than 75 years now. Many say they are the best you can get in Bangalore. The benne dosas are indeed very delicious and a must try.
Walk: 10 minutes from National College Metro station, 30 minutes from Tipu Sultan’s palace (best to take the metro from Krishna rajendra market to national college metro and then walk, or take an uber).
Nearest Metro: National college (green line)
Lalbagh Botanical garden
After a full stomach you can choose to either walk 20 minutes to Lalbagh garden or take an uber. Lalbagh garden is even older than Cubbon park. It was Hyder Ali that planned the botanical garden, but like the renovation of the Bangalore Fort it was Tipu Sultan that finished it.
Tipu Sultan wanted it to be like the Mughal gardens from Persia that also adorned many of the Mughal architecture in places like Delhi and Agra. He imported plants and trees from different countries.
When the British Army took over Bangalore they also took over the management of the garden. They planted more trees and added a bandstand as well as a glass house.
Nowadays the garden is a very popular place for Bangaloreans and tourists. Although there are still bonsai, rose and lotus gardens, other parts feel more like a huge park with walkways and vendors selling cold drinks and snacks. Nevertheless it is a very nice place to hang out in Bangalore
Walk: 30 minutes from Vidhyarti bhavan (consider uber)
Nearest Metro: Lalbagh (green line)
Bangalore palace. I am still not sure whether I liked it or not. I thought it was a weird structure that seemed out of place even in a city as eclectic as Bangalore.
The massive palace grounds were bought by the Mysore Royal Family that wanted to have a place to stay for the Maharaja prince that was going to Bangalore for his education.
In 4 years they built a somewhat pompous palace. Apparently the building was inspired by Windsor castle in England which explains the towers. Part of the palace is open to visitors.
Inside you can visit an open courtyard on the ground floor. A decorated staircase with paintings leads to the yellow Durbar hall. The interior sometimes reminded me a bit of Mysore Palace because of the use of bright colours and pillars.
The palace is still in the hands of the Mysore royal family. To earn money the palace also has an attraction park for kinds. Besides a well mainted small garden, most of the public grounds are neglected and only occasionally used for public events.
Nearest Metro: there is not really a nearby metro station within walking distance, best to take an uber.
Dinner at Mavalli tiffin room
Mavalli tiffin room (MTR) is Bangalore’s oldest and most famous restaurant. It is so popular that it is recommended to make a reservation in advance. There are several branches in Bangalore and they even went abroad to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.
The restaurant at Lalbagh is where it all started in 1924. The menu is mostly South Indian dishes, but with some local specialities and inventions. Apparently Rava idli was a MTR invention during World War 2 when rice was in short supply.
MTR is the best place to try food from Karnataka. One of their specialties is Bisibele bath. A rice dish with lentils, vegetables, nuts and spices. You can’t really go wrong with a South Indian thali either.
Nearest Metro: there are several branches throughout Bangalore. Close to Bangalore Palace is Namma MTR
More than one day in Bangalore
What if you have more than one day in Bangalore? Although with this Bangalore itinerary you have seen most of what the city has to offer there are also a number of day trips you can take. One of the most popular day trips is to the scenic Nandi hills or the ancient temple complex in Lepakshi.
Bangalore itself also has a number of museums and temples that are not included in this itinerary. It would take years to visit all of Bangalore’s temples. Some noteworthy temples are the new and impressively large ISKCON temple, the Nandi temple with a large statue of nandi the bull and the Kote Venkateshwara temple, the oldest temple in the city.
One day in Bangalore travel tips
Where to stay in Bangalore
Where to stay in Bangalore depends a lot on how long you will stay in the city. If you are staying only one day in Bangalore I would choose a central location. Bangalore is a big city and with the congested traffic it is very easy to underestimate the time it takes to get around.
Locul central is close to Cubbon Park and is a clean and professional hostel if you don’t mind staying in a dormitory. Locul uptown from the same owner is near Bangalore palace and has both dormitories as well as private rooms.
Because of my internship I had to stay for extended times in Bangalore. A great budget option that was not too far from the place I worked was the Little blue window hostel at BTM lay-out. A safe neighbourhood with lots of restaurants and trendy cafes.
Other safe neighbourhoods with great facilities for long term stays are Koramangala and Indiranagar.
How to get around in Bangalore
The thing I remember most about Bangalore is the traffic. When I was in Bangalore I travelled every day from my hostel to the office. On the map it only looked like a small distance, but it almost took me an hour by bus. It probably would have taken the same amount of time if I had simply walked.
If you have only one day in Bangalore you should take this into account. Getting around Bangalore isn’t always easy and might take longer than you expect. I also have good news though. The best tourist attractions are not that far from each other.
This one day Bangalore itinerary can almost all be done on foot. Otherwise it is just a short uber ride to the next place. Only Bangalore palace is a bit out of the way and would probably involve the typical Bangalore traffic experience.
The Bangalore metro, or Namma metro started in 2011 and is a great way to dodge the crazy Bangalore traffic. Most central locations and tourist sights are within walking distance of a metro station. So far there is a green line and a purple line.
My recommendation is to travel by metro if you can. It is a safe and quick way to get from A to B.
Uber and Ola
Uber is a good way to get around in Bangalore for short distances. India has its own similar business called Ola cabs that is even more popular. The good thing about both Ola and Uber is that it is cheaper than a tuk tuk and you do not need to negotiate the price. Both offer a pool option in which you share your ride with others that makes it even more affordable.
Ola also has a tuk tuk option that is one of the best and most affordable ways to travel for shorter distances. I never had to wait long for an Ola or Uber to come and most of the time when I ordered the pool option I had no other passengers.
I travelled a lot by bus in Bangalore, but it honestly took me a while to figure things out. If you are staying only one day in Bangalore I can’t really recommend taking a bus. Because of the traffic they are slow and the timings on google maps aren’t always right. I sometimes had to wait a long time for the right bus to arrive.
How to get to Bangalore
Bangalore is a city that has great connections by trains and buses from all over India. Convenient night trains run to Hampi, Chennai and Goa, but you can go as far as Mumbai and Delhi if you want to.
You can check the train time tables and book your tickets online directly through the Indian railways (IRCTC). Unfortunately this is not always a straightforward process. For a small extra fee you can use 12goAsia or Makemytrip.
When to visit Bangalore
The best time to visit Bangalore is from September till March when the climate is pleasant. In April and May it starts to get very hot in Bangalore and in June it is the start of the monsoon season when rain becomes more frequent.
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