The capital of the Karnataka region in India, Bangalore (currently known as Bengaluru), is a frequent stopover for travellers visiting South India. What can you see there, especially with a short time? Find the best places to visit in Bangalore in one day (or with only a few hours) and then take some much-needed rest before your next adventures!
Third biggest city in India, with the population of 8,5 mln. Large, cosmopolitan and busy, with a booming IT industry, that brings Bangalore a name of “Silicon Valley of India”. Great dining, shopping and even drinking scene are combined with constant development, big traffic congestion and rising pollution. It’s an interesting city and although Bangalore sightseeing doesn’t include world-class sights, you can still find many places there worth visiting and chill before your next destination.
Read more: Going to Asia? Check the best tips on how to plan the perfect trip to Asia here
Best places to visit in Bangalore in a day
Bangalore is a huge city and if you are short on time, you need to make a good plan on what you need to do. Traffic might be very bad, especially during the peak hours and commuting from one place to another can take you hours.
It has happened to me, as I got delayed on the way to Bangalore, and after I reached the city centre, it was already afternoon, so I just had a few hours in the city. I managed to see only some of the main places, but I had much more on my list! My Indian friends living in Bangalore recommended them, so if you have time, try to see them all.
Location map below.
Hare Krishna Temple is built on a hill and located in the North Bangalore, around 8km from the centre of town. It’s handy when you are coming or going to the airport, which is also in the north. The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) manages the temple, hence its name.
Unfortunately, when I got there, the temple was just closing, for a mid-time break, that lasts from 1pm-4:15 pm.You can find the exact schedule here. However, I managed to convince the guards to let me in just to the complex for a few photos and walk around. They were very nice and showed me the best photo locations, giving some traditional Indian snacks on the way. The temple towered above me and I could clearly see its unusual style, which combines contemporary and traditional influence.
After I took my photos, the temple workers invited me for the free lunch in one of the rooms downstairs, where people visiting the place were finishing their worships. I wasn’t sure at first (like, I can afford to pay for my own food, maybe it’s better to leave it for people who can’t), but they were so happy to have me there, that I couldn’t say no. I didn’t eat much anyway, being busy looking around and answering the questions of the delighted women sitting next to me 🙂
During my stay in India, I’ve visited quite a lot of temples, thanks to my friends’ wedding. Every time it was a very interesting experience. I’m sure ISKCON temple would be great to see when people are worshipping inside – so try to go there, just choose your time wisely 😉
The Bangalore Palace was for many years closed to tourists, however, not anymore. It was constructed by the Maharajahs of Mysore and modelled on the Windsor Castle in England. I found it quite funny since I’m living in the UK and I wanted to see it myself. The Palace looks nice, however, it was full of people inside and seems to be a bit overpriced for the Indian standards. The fee is Rs 225/450 Indian/Foreigner and Rs 625 to take photos. It’s worth to mention, that apparently you can’t even take photos of the exterior of the Palace without the ticket, which obviously I didn’t know about 😀
Vidhana Soudha is the seat of Karnataka’s Legislative assembly. This massive building is located opposite the red High Court of Karnataka and Cubbon Park. I was just passing by with a rickshaw, so I stopped for a couple of pictures. Hindu temples interest me more though 😉
Other points of interest in Bangalore worth a visit:
Tipu Sultan’s Palace
Tipu Sultan’s Palace was high on my list of places to visit in Bangalore, together with a Bangalore city market. Unfortunately, because of their location, a bit more in the south, I couldn’t reach there on time. The Palace dates back to 1790 as the summer retreat for Tipu Sultan. All the wooden pillars, balconies and arches look very atmospheric and I can just imagine the sultan walking majestically in between the floors. The tickets to the Tiu Sultan’s Palace are also much cheaper than to Bangalore Palace – Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 100 for foreigners.
Bangalore city market Krishnarajendra
Located not far from the Tipu Sultan’s Palace, a vibrant market full of fresh produce, spices and flowers is bustling with colours. I love any type of Indian markets and they definitely are a photographer’s paradise – with all the shapes, colours, flavours and scents. In the centre, there is a beautiful flower market, where girls can buy fresh jasmine flowers to put in their hair. We did that for my Indian friends’ wedding a few days before and the cloud of a sweet smell was surrounding us everywhere we went. So pretty!
Shiva Temple (Shiv Mandir)
Another of many temples in Bangalore, this one stands out because of the massive sculpture of Lord Shiva, located in the middle of an artificial pool in front of the building. There’s an entrance of Rs.150, camera fee Rs.25, and even slipper stand fee – Rs.5.
Bull temple – Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Nandhi Temple)
The Bull Temple is known for the huge bull statue, carved from a single boulder. It’s dedicated to the sacred bull – Hindu god Nandi. It’s the biggest temples to Nandi in the world (well, the bull statue looks massive!).
- St. Mary’s Basilica
If you are interested in seeing the combination of the European and Christian influence with Indian culture, you can experience it in some of the churches in the South India. St.Mary’s Basilica, the oldest church in Bangalore, is one of them.
A map of the best places to visit in Bangalore in a day:
Flying from Bangalore? Rest before travelling!
My days in India were very intense. After an amazing wedding in Tumkur, I had only a few hours to visit Bangalore, then I was flying to Singapore, spending one day there, after that travelling to Bali, Gili islands and East Java in Indonesia.
My flight from the Bangalore Kempegowda International Airport to Singapore was at 1 am. The airport is located 35km from the city centre and it takes 1,5h by bus to get there. I was tired, travelling alone and wanted to recharge my batteries for another busy day in Singapore. I didn’t really want to travel alone in the middle of the night and wanted to make sure that I’m there on time for my flight. Luckily, I found out that I can just take an earlier bus, stay at the airport and rest in the “Day Hotel”.
Day Hotel is a concept, that I haven’t used before, so I was very excited to try it. It works on hour basis. You can rent a room for three, six or more hours and pay depending on the time used.
The first Day Hotel at the Bangalore airport was opened by the Plaza Premium Lounge. You can find it in the domestic departure check-in area, but it’s also accessible to international travellers. However, only passengers who hold onward boarding passes or flight tickets can access it. It works the same for the airport itself.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Plaza Premium Lounge Day Hotel, but, as always, all the opinions are my own.
There are 20 rooms to choose from, either single, bund double, twin or family. Apart from that, the hotel also has a massage availability, shower service, kitchen with freshly prepared food, access to the snacks (cookies!), free tea and coffee, and a working space. They also offer access to the Lounge, which is located after the security check.
I had an opportunity to try the single room at the Plaza Premium Lounge Day Hotel. It was compact but cosy with attached bathroom and a rain shower (my favourite!). There were a work desk, decent speed wi-fi and a TV (that I never use anyway). The bed was very comfortable and I couldn’t wait to catch few hours of sleep. However, before that, I went for a refreshing back massage, that helped me to relax and rest my shoulders after carrying my backpack around Bangalore.
After the refreshing sleep, I quickly went through the security check to find out that my Singapore flight got a 4-hour delay! Oh, my, I love budget Asia airlines… Luckily, I could stay in the Plaza Premium Lounge for that time, enjoying great food – with the last masala dosa before my departure and selection of snacks and drinks.
How to get around Bangalore
Like in any other Indian city, there are rickshaws that can bring you around. Most of them should have meters on and you can easily insist to turn it on if they don’t. Otherwise, you can also propose an amount that you think it’s reasonable for the distance. Beware, that sometimes drivers might try to take you around for a much longer ride. That happens, especially when the meter is on. It’s always worth monitoring the way on your phone (use maps.me for that)
Another option is buses, taxis or metro. Metro is the best for avoiding the terrible Bangalore traffic.
How to get to Bangalore airport Kempegowda International
To get to the airport in Bangalore (or from the airport), there are two options. You can use the regular buses running from the Bus station, that cost Rs 233. They have AC and take around 1-1,5 h. That’s what I took. Or you can also take a taxi. It will be easier to find one at the airport, than in the opposite way. You can either ask your hotel to book one or try to flag it on the street and negotiate the price.
Have you been to Bangalore? What else would you recommend to see there? Have you tried a Day Hotel concept before? Let me know in the comments!
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