Pune is a chill metropolitan city in the state of Maharashtra and many people tend to undermine its charm. The city has a great cosmopolitan energy to it but remains relatively undiscovered by the mainstream traveler because the spotlight tends to always be on Mumbai.
But worry not! In this blog, we’ll take Pune out from the backburner and look at all it has to offer as we browse through the top 7 things to do in Pune.
If you’re obsessed with history and trekking, you’ll definitely be heading straight to Pune. This city is where Maratha, Mughal, and many rulers came, saw, attacked and conquered several forts. Here are the ones that you shouldn’t miss seeing:
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born in this 17th-century fort where he spent 6 years of his life. The well-fortified Shivneri was essentially built by Chhatrapati Shivaji’s father to protect his pregnant wife Jijabai. You can explore the childhood home of Shivaji and admire the infrastructure as well.
Sinhagad is another ageing mighty fort just 35 km away from Pune. Many trekkers find this fort interesting because you get to capture views at an elevation of 594 meters. The strong walls of Sinhagad witnessed plenty of battles and it’s worth reimagining its glorious past by paying it a visit.
City dwellers from Mumbai and Pune rush towards Lohagad Fort during the monsoons to capture the dramatic landscape that surrounds this fort. The history lesson on Lohagad could be 2 or more chapters since it was occupied by Mughals, Marathas, and more. It’s still pretty intact for its age which is impressive to see yourself.
Also read: Mumbai Travel Guide.
Pune is called the cultural capital of Maharashtra and upon visiting these heritage sites that the city offers, we’re sure you’ll be saying the same too. It was the center of the Maratha Empire. These are the top heritage sites, showing that various historical rulers of the past called Pune home.
Way back in history (17th century or so), Shaniwar Wada stood strong and served a seven-storey building of the Maratha Empire. But in 1828, most of this structure was destroyed in a fire.
Today, parts and pieces of this fortification still manages to have a presence in Pune. It’s truly fascinating to explore the fort complex that’s featured in several blockbusters like Bajirao Mastani and Panipat.
Wondering what luxurious mansions looked like in the 18th century? Then Vishrambaug Wada is the home you need to check out. It was the residence of Peshwa Bajirao II and it took 6 full years to be built. The number of intricate wooden carvings on the mansion justifies why it took so long!
Another example of early 18th-century architecture is Nana Wada that sits extremely close to Shaniwar Wada in Pune. If you personally have a great time visiting old architectural buildings then you should definitely visit Nana Wada. You’ll have a great time gazing upon wall paintings, the beautiful patterns carved on ceilings and balconies.
Established over a thousand years ago, Kasba Peth is the oldest residential area in Pune. It is considered to be the heart of the city and is a must-visit when you come to Pune. By simply strolling around, you’ll find several centuries-old temples and wooden houses too.
In a few pockets of Kasba Peth, you’d also meet a community of craftsmen. Don’t forget to buy their clay pots, lamps, idols, and more as a souvenir of your trip to Pune!
Also read: Delhi Travel Guide.
Like we said earlier, the city of Pune is nothing if not for its historical significance, especially with regard to the Maratha Empire. So make sure visiting these places is among your things to do in Pune and observe a slice of history.
Aga Khan Palace
Aga Khan Palace is not only a place of historical importance but also national. The palace was built by Sultan Muhammad Shah in 1892 to give the villages an opportunity to earn for themselves during a famine. It is also where Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba and members of the Quit India Movement were imprisoned.
Shinde Chhatri is a memorial dedicated to Mahadji Shinde (Maratha leader) and is an extremely serene historical site to visit. The place is not crowded, well-maintained, and the atmosphere is peaceful. The entire architecture is a reflection of a glorious bygone era.
Lal Mahal is another place of residence in which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj lived with his parents until he left home to find his own fort to live in. It’s a popular tourist attraction in Pune and inside the palace, you’ll see several paintings depicting the various significant events in the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Pataleshwar Caves is located amidst the bustle of Jangali Maharaj Road and will have you say that India is truly incredible. It is an 8th-century temple carved completely out of the rock from the caves. It’s quiet and peaceful with plenty of trees encircling the temple.
Also read: 7 Best Rooftops Restaurants And Cafes In Pune.
When you want to cut off from the city life and just go picnicking, there are plenty of spots around Pune where calmness abounds. These are the top picks for when you wish to turn down the urban chaos almost completely:
Many residents and travelers visit Parvati Hill to see the skyline of Pune from a height. It’s almost like this hill is the one that is watching over the entire city of Pune. You can see the skyscrapers, the rough patches of greenery, and take in the image of the city from here. Another interesting hilltop that features the breathtaking view of Pune is Taljai Hills.
Locals know Pashan Lake as the place where time and again there’s a pre-wedding photography shoot going on. Even for those not getting married, it’s the perfect spot to take a short break from the city chaos. The lake is also famous for people and bird watching.
Osho Teerth Garden
Tired of city noises like car honking and street vendors yelling? Osho Teerth Garden is the place for you. It’s a great place to stroll and enjoy the sunset. The garden is Japanese-style, maintained well, and just the park to have your own space in the city.
Koregaon is a posh upscale residential neighborhood in Pune and the park here features huge banyan trees and quiet lanes to walk on. It’s a charming, upmarket locality with lots of cafes and bakeries. It lacks the urban sprawl and is a calm and relaxing place to explore on your two feet.
Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden
One of the largest gardens that Pune has to offer, located on Sinhagad Road, Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden is surprisingly clean, green, and neat as a button. The garden design is superior to normal parks. It features several small canals through which fresh water flows. The walking paths, lawns, shrubs, flowers, and everything else is super well-maintained.
Looking for absolute tranquility in Pune? Consider joining a Vipassana workshop in the city!
If you’re looking for a place where you can observe historical artifacts, you can do so at the many museums in Pune that have unique exhibitions.
Vikram Pendse Cycle Museum
A 3 storey museum dedicated entirely to the history of cycles is an extremely unique place to visit in Pune. The museum displays vintage bicycles and other antique items too. So you won’t just find cycles but rare home items, lamps, and so on. If you’re visiting with kids or see yourself as a kid at heart, do make some place on your Pune itinerary for Vikram Pendse Museum.
Blades Of Glory Cricket Museum
Founded by Rohan Pate, a former cricketer, this museum has everything that a cricket lover will go gaga about. The museum has a collection of cricket memorabilia and even a bat held by the great Sachin Tendulkar himself.
Joshi’s Museum Of Miniature Railways
Similar to what happens in the movie Honey I Shrunk The Kids, this museum has miniature replicas of real size railway stations. The entire working of a railway system is shown through a 30-minute show at the museum and is particularly a great educational experience for kids.
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum showcases various artifacts related to Maharashtrian heritage. For a minimal fee, you can spend some time understanding and learning about the collection in this old massive mansion. This museum is a must-visit if you wish to know why everyone keeps calling Pune the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
Also read: Homestays In Pune.
Wish to indulge in a little retail therapy? Then head right to the most famous streets to shop in Pune where it gets hard to take control of your wallet.
Fergusson College Road
FC Road is a fun and vibrant street shopping spot in Pune, extremely close to none other than Fergusson College. (no points for guessing that!) This shopping street is lively and filled with youngsters. The reason for this is that there are several renowned college institutions in the area.
Tip - Don’t forget to eat at Vaishali, a famous South Indian restaurant that is a must-try at Fergusson College Road.
Hong Kong Lane
Hong Kong Lane is a tiny but action-packed shopping strip in Pune. It’s famous for books, accessories, bags, watches, and more. If you want to find that funky phone cover or some sunglasses, this is the place you’ll find them.
Mahatma Gandhi Road
MG Road is a commercial street dedicated to branded and local stores where you can get anything and everything. There’s something for everyone and every budget. Spend your time walking around and entering stores that have what you’re looking for.
Juna Bazaar literally translates to ‘Old Market’ and is where you’ll realize that you’ll find the oldest and rarest items to purchase. Many of the street vendors sell antique clocks, royal cutlery, vintage decor, and more. Over here you can also expect reasonable prices on gym equipment and hardware items.
Shopping Malls To Consider -
Also read: 9 Best Bars And Pubs In Pune.
After all the sightseeing and shopping when you just feel like plonking down anywhere with a chilled drink and good company, Pune doesn’t disappoint. Here are the best hangout spots in Pune:
Independence Brewing Company
This is among the best pubs in Koregaon Park where you can hang out with a chilled in-house brewed beer. If crafted beer is your thing, make sure to visit Independence Brewing Company.
Located on MG Road which is a pretty centralized area in the city, 1000 Oaks is a very old and popular pub in Pune. Besides the drinks, food, and music we’re sure you’ll really enjoy the ambience and setting of the place.
When you just feel like chilling out without a worry in the world then Effingut is a great bar to relax at. It is also situated in Koregaon Park which is the hotspot for pubs, restaurants, and breweries in Pune.
Other Pubs To Consider -
Also read: The Best Forts In Pune.
We’ve covered quite a bit here, but there are so many more things to do in Pune that you’d definitely want to extend your trip to more than 2 days. You have cultural sites to see, places to unwind at and stunning landscapes to explore because of the close proximity to the Western Ghats. Yes, Pune has a little bit of everything!
What Is Pune Famous For?
Pune is referred to as the Queen of Deccan because you get majestic views of the Deccan Plateau from here. The city also features various sites that are significant to Maharashtrian heritage and has a huge concentration of top educational institutes.
How Can I Spend One Day In Pune?
If you have just one day in Pune, it’s best to plan your time around Parvati Hill, Shaniwar Wada Palace, and the Pune-Okayama Friendship Garden. With the time you have left over, consider spending in Koregaon Park which is a lively hotspot with pubs and restaurants in Pune.
Where Can I Go With My Girlfriend In Pune?
Pune has several serene locations that you can visit with your significant other on a weekend. You can visit Osho Garden for a walk and stroll through Koregaon Park to unwind at an upscale restaurant. If you love treks, there are several options like Lohagad, Raigad, Kalsubai, and more. You can also consider driving to Lavasa for a vacation from Pune.
What Can We Do In Pune This Weekend?
For adventure junkies head to Della Adventure Park or Imagica. You can also stroll on Fergusson College on an empty stomach and try several eateries. For an oxygen-rich and quiet place, go to Osho Teerth Garden or drive outside the city to Kamshet, Panchgani, or Lonavala.
What Is Famous In Pune For Eating?
Pune is famous for a variety of Maharashtrian category dishes and snacks like Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Samosa, Pohe, and Pav Bhaji. Fergusson College Road is the perfect street to hit for the classic foods of Pune.
What Can I Buy In Pune?
When you go to Pune, you should consider picking up snacks from Kayani, Imperial, or German Bakery. These are some of the classic bakeries in the city. You can also shop till you drop at shopping streets like Mahatma Gandhi Road, Tulsi Baug, and Juna Bazaar for items like clothes, accessories, and decor. For souvenirs, we highly recommend going to the iconic store called Either Or.
What Is The Special Thing In Pune?
The special thing about Pune is the meditation centre or resort called as Osho Ashram. Accompaning to the ashram there is also Osho Teerth Park having forest trails and beautiful views attracting tourits around India.
Is There Any Beach In Pune?
Yes, Mandwa Beach is one of the most calmest beach in Pune. A great treat of water sports for all the adventure lovers and an alluring view of the the sea for all the nature lovers.