It just takes experiencing a day in Bangalore, to realize how much the city has to offer. Bangalore actually has multiple names. Like the Silicon Valley of India, the Garden City and the City of Lakes. Bangalore has become quite famous for its cafes and microbreweries in the last few years. Plus the city is also adored for its great weather.
Bangalore is an urban melting-pot which has a lot to offer. A single day can never be enough. But if that’s all you had, figuring out where to start can be confusing. Ideally, your day should have a mix of different experiences. So to make the most of your time, here’s how you should be experiencing a day in Bangalore.
Mornings in Bangalore
There are many beautiful places in and around Bangalore which are perfect to experience the sunrise. There’s one place in particular which will definitely be worth the journey. It’s really worth waking up super early in the morning for this.
Experience sunrise at Manchanabele Dam
Just about 39 kms away from Bangalore. Manchanabele Dam is located in the town, Magadi. The drive takes about one hour and fifteen minutes. Depending on where you’re staying in Bangalore, the distance can be lesser. But the road to the Dam is really good and enjoyable. We especially love the part where we had to drive through the countryside road, amidst the greenery surrounding us. Especially early in the morning, with the cool breeze embracing us.
We would suggest reaching there by 6-6:30 am. Yes, that’s really early but trust us, it will be worth your while. You will surely love the view of the sun rising over Arkavathi river and the hills in the backdrop. Spend a good hour here and then head to Lalbagh main road for some scrumptious south indian breakfast.
Breakfast at MTR Restaurant in Lalbagh
You might know MTR as the brand that’s famous for their packaged instant food. MTR however, has a rich legacy behind it. They have been around since 1924 and their restaurant was shifted to Lalbagh in 1960. Today, it’s arguably the most iconic restaurant in Bangalore. In fact, the existence of the delicious Rava Idli is also thanks to the Maiyas family of MTR.
Be it the variety of dosa, idli, vada, kesari bath or anything else, everything tastes really good. Even the chutney and sambar they serve are very flavourful and authentic. MTR has many restaurants across Bangalore and they’re all pure vegetarian. Do keep in mind that the one in Lalbagh is the original one and it’s often crowded so you might have to wait a little.
While you’re in the area, you should totally check out the amazing Lalbagh Botanical Garden. It’s a great place to simply chillout and enjoy a few amazing sights. Within the garden itself, there’s a lake, a glasshouse and a temple which is situated on top of a stone hillock of sorts (Peninsular Gneiss Rock). There are a few other cool things also within the park and just the beauty of the garden is really charming and relaxing. It’s definitely worth spending a couple of hours here at the park and just soaking in the vibe of the place.
Head down to Vasanth Nagar to witness this royal structure. The Bangalore Palace elegantly flaunts its medieval British architecture. As cool as its exterior is, the interiors of the palace is a different world altogether. This is a great place to learn a little about the city’s history and its connection to Mysore. Bangalore Palace is definitely an underrated monument which you should take time out to visit.
Afternoons in Bangalore
By this time, you would’ve definitely started to feel a little hungry. For lunch, the small local restaurants here serve really good food. So don’t underestimate them. But there’s one place we recommend to everyone who goes to Bangalore.
Our personal favourite for sure. Nagarjuna is that place where we’ve seen a group of Indians and foreigners using their hands to eat food. Where the foreigners keep licking their fingers and constantly say, “man, this is good”. Nagarjuna is a restaurant famous for Andhra style cuisine. They often serve food in a banana leaf. If you want to experience food coma, go for their Andhra Meal. They serve generously. And the food being so good makes it hard to stop.
We love their fish fry and their spicy andhra style chicken starter Pacha Karam Kodi too. Their Biryanis are also really delicious. Over the years, we’ve come across a lot of people who have visited Nagarjuna. But we’ve not come across a single person who didn’t like the place. If your spice tolerance is low, do inform the staff first so they can help. The staff here is also really polite and helpful, so that’s a bonus. The nearest one would be in Residency Road.
Shopping at Brigade Road/Commercial Street
You need to digest that heavy food you ate. So why not head to either one of the famous shopping streets in Bangalore? Both Brigade Road and Commercial Street are at a walking distance from the Nagarjuna in Residency Road. Both these areas have everything from stores of huge brands to tiny streetside shops. You can get clothes, footwear, accessories, electronics and a bunch of things in both these areas.
And there are many street food stalls too in case you feel like munching on something. You will easily get everything from chat to momos. Visiting these streets is not just good for shopping. It’s also a great way to get a feel of Bangalore and its locals. You can also locate a Chai Point nearby and enjoy some warm evening tea. Or even any cool beverage. They have some good flavours. Do try their Banana Cake for sure.
Evenings in Bangalore
One of the best ways to start your evening is by visiting the Ulsoor Lake. It’s pretty, it’s famous and it’s not too far from Brigade Road or Commercial Street. We’ll admit, the lake is not half as charming as it used to be a few years ago. For years now, the lakes of Bangalore have been suffering and even dying due to various reasons. Efforts have been made to restore these lakes and maintain them. That’s also one of the reasons to visit Ulsoor Lake.
To appreciate what we have. It is still a charming lake though. And Ulsoor Lake also has tiny islands of its own. It’s popular between both the younger and older generations. This is also a good place for people watching in general.
Dinner & Nightlife in Bangalore
Depending on your preference, you can do all of it or just some of it. Bangalore definitely has a lot of great brew pubs and restaurants. Here is a short list of places you can visit, depending on your preference.
Vapour Pub & Brewery (Indiranagar) – They have some nice beers. Good pizzas. Their Bacon wrapped Prawns is one of our personal favourites. The rooftop area is really nice.
Truffles (Koramangala/Indiranagar) – This place is really famous for their Burgers and Pastas. They have this All American Cheeseburger, which is insanely delicious.
Nasi & Mee (Koramangala) – If you can afford to splurge a little, go to this place. They serve authentic Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, amongst others from south east asia. Nasi & Mee is a little expensive but the food here is so good that it feels worth spending.
Taco Bell (Koramangala) – This might seem like an unconventional choice, but trust us. This is not your typical Taco Bell. It’s a full fledged restaurant with an open balcony area. Don’t go there if you’re not a smoker or have a problem with that. The menu is interesting, they also serve Bira beers. But for us, the show stopper was the Jack Daniel Milkshake. That’s all we’ll tell you.
Honourable mention – Tharuni Andhra Mess in Koramangala It’s a very tiny, cheap local place. Super rustic vibes. You might not like the look and feel of the place. Keep an open mind though. Their food is good. You get simple but flavourful desi Andhra food.