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Planning Your Trip

Bangalore is the capital of the southern Karnataka state; it is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India, thanks to its lightning-fast high-tech development in recent years. But with its charming architecture, important historical landmarks and lush greenery, it also lives up to its other moniker: Garden City. Here’s a packing guide for your vacation.


Exploring the City

From shopping sprees on Commercial Street to tours of Bangalore’s many museums, palaces and buildings, there is much to see here. Pack versatile basics to easily get around town.


  • You’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so choose comfort over style in your shoes and opt for flat sandals or sneakers.
  • Bangalore is at an elevation of about 3,000 feet, the highest of India’s major cities, which means its temperature is relatively moderate with winters in the 60s Fahrenheit and summers in the 80s. However, it’s still prone to heat waves and rainfall, so be prepared with a few waterproof pieces and plenty of sun protection.
  • Bring along an extra carry-on for all the souvenirs you’re going to want to bring home.

Day Trips

Bangalore already has lots of green, but venture outside the city limits and you’ll find breathtaking hills and landscapes. Whether you want an easy stroll, a fabulous sunrise view or a visit to a temple, the hills are a magical escape.


  • Bring a pair of sturdy sneakers or hiking boots to climb the trails, even if you plan on doing one that is nonstrenuous.
  • Pack workout clothes (keep them conservative, no midriff-baring sports bras and micro shorts), along with a hoodie or sweater to account for temperature drops.
  •  A light backpack will hold your essentials, like water, a camera and bug spray.  
An ornate piece of Indian jewelry against a colorful Indian fabric

Cultural Considerations

Bangalore’s strong and innovative tech sector makes it very westernized. Still, modesty is highly encouraged here and is also a way to show respect for India’s customs.



  • There’s no rule against wearing shorts and tank tops, however keeping in respect for the local culture, visitors may want to opt for maxi skirts, tunics and loose trousers in breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.
  •  You’ll be required to take your shoes off when visiting temples. Leave complicated contraptions at home.
  • Embrace bright colors! They’re a big part of traditional Indian attire.


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Don't Forget:

As befits any cosmopolitan city, Bangalore is dotted with trendy restaurants and bars. To partake in the nightlife offerings, bring a few sophisticated separates: skirts, blouses and strappy sandals for women, and trousers and button-down shirts for men.  

With a rich cultural heritage and all the trappings of a modern metropolis, Bangalore is a perfect combination of old and new. From grand palaces to avant-garde art galleries, here are a few suggestions for your itinerary.

Dining Reservations

Inspired by New York’s quintessentially bohemian East Village neighborhood, Toast & Tonic is a fun, chic gastropub that features local Indian ingredients and freshly made products. You’ll be served an inventive seven-course menu using only the freshest ingredients, which you can enjoy alfresco in the garden. To sample the cuisine of northwest India in an upscale setting, book a table at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore’s restaurant Riwaz and pair your dishes with a creative cocktail derived from indigenous flavors.  

Spa Appointments

The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore’s massive 17,000-square-foot spa is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing or to take a quick breather before your next jaunt. Restore the equilibrium in your body with the Jaali Embrace, a two-therapist, four-handed massage that uses warm oil and hot volcanic stones. And partake in India’s most famous practice with the Manoyana, which begins with a yoga expert sharing meditation techniques and ends with warm oil poured on your third-eye chakra. Need an emergency blow-out? The Rossano Ferretti Hair Spa is on-site.

Museum Tickets & Cultural Sights

Bangalore’s greatest landmarks are undoubtedly its incredible architectural masterpieces. There’s the 45,000-square-foot Tudor-style Bangalore Palace, which the Maharaja of Mysore bought from the British and which the royal family still owns. Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, built in a different Indo-Islamic style, belonged to the Mysorean ruler and national hero. Attara Kacheri, with its eye-catching red color, is hard to miss and its European classical building is now used for the High Court. Finally, Bangalore’s architectural pièce de résistance is the Vidhana Soudha, home of the state legislature and an icon of Dravidian architecture. To see works by India’s most famous artists, pay a visit to the National Gallery of Modern Art. And make sure to take a stroll around Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, a beautiful 18-gallery complex in the center of the city.  

Day Trips

The area surrounding Bangalore is a true nature lover’s paradise, ripe with verdant hills, hiking trails, waterfalls and dramatic views. Savandurga, said to be Asia’s largest monolith hill, actually consists of two hills, making it great for both those looking for an easy climb and those wanting something more adventurous. Afterward, you can visit the temples nestled at its base. At Hogenakkal Falls, also known as the “Niagara Falls of India,” the force of the water rushing down the rocks makes it look like white smoke — a haunting and mesmerizing sight. Finally, set your mind to do an early morning hike of Nandi Hills and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of the sunrise.

Once known as the Garden City of India because of its glorious parks, Bangalore today has emerged as the country’s technological hub. It is the fastest-growing major metropolis in the country, and a hotbed of Fortune 500 companies that have infused the city with creativity and wealth. Past and present collide here; plan a day trip of temple hopping and touring raj-palaces by day, before exploring brew pubs and star chef restaurants filled with the city’s tech elite at night. Scratch the surface and you’ll discover there’s more to Bangalore than its tech reputation.

Culinary Tour

Bangalore is a foodie’s paradise. Your senses will be in overdrive as you tour the bustling markets, full of fragrant spices and exotic ingredients, and sample iconic dishes like the dosa, a pancake-like snack beloved by locals. From family-run restaurants that have been around for decades to modern eateries embracing an organic-local ethos, you’ll find plenty of options for dining out. India may be known for tea, but in Bangalore, locals are more likely to embrace craft beer.

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Cultural Treasures

On the surface, Bangalore is a buzzy, modern tech hub. But the city remains steeped in Indian mythology and raj-era history and still lives up to its name, the Garden City. Beautifully landscaped parks provide pockets of peace amid the urban chaos, and you can travel back in time visiting Bangalore’s magnificent raj-era palace and many temples. Catch an evening show in a violin-shaped theater and be prepared to have your taste buds dazzled with bold flavors.

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