Bangalore might be the least „Indian“ city in India. The influence of the western world and the international companies is huge, and as a foreigner you’re not gonna miss anything in Bangalore. Nevertheless there will be days where you might find it hard to handle the big city: Especially during rush hour there’s a huge amount of traffic, chaos and smog in the streets. Fortunately there are many ways to escape the madness for a little while. These are my favorite locations for a little city break.
1. Sankey Tank Park
Sankey Tank is located in the western part of the city and one of my favourite parks in Bangalore. There is a big lake located in the heart of it, which is surrounded by nice walkways. Sankey Tank is also surprisingly clean and very well maintained, with many benches and shady spots to read and relax. Don’t forget to check the opening hours though, because on some days the park is closed during the day.
Yogisthaan Café in Indiranagar is one of the most beautiful cafés in Bangalore. There’s delicious, vegetarian food, fresh smoothies and a reading corner to relax. If you’re into yoga, you can also join a lesson or spend a night in the guesthouse.
3. The spa places
There are day spas all over Bangalore. From massages over facials, manicures and ayurvedic treatments, wellness junkies like me will find everything they’re looking for. My favourite place is the O2 Spa in the shopping centre Mantri Square. Not the cheapest place, but the quality is exceptional.
Whenever I just want to leave the crazy streets behind for a little while, I visit one of the temples in the city. There are so many different religions in Bangalore – that way it never gets boring. Most of the time you can just enter the temples without any problems. Just make sure to take off your shoes and wash your hands and feet.
5. Leela Palace
This may sound a bit weird, but sometimes I just love to hang out in a nice hotel. Especially in Asia many of the five-star-hotels offer beautiful parks, nice cafés and little boutiques to do some shopping. My favorite place in Bangalore is the Leela Palace, because it’s one of the few historic buildings in the city.
I love the little cafés and restaurants in Bangalore. Whenever I’m getting tired of Indian food, I take the auto rikshaw to Church Street. My favorite place is called Matteo. A nice café with delicious milk shakes, burgers and pasta. The audience is international and many people come here to work – a wonderful place to make some new friends.
7. Chitrakala Parishath Art Museum
The Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Art Museum is an art and cultur organisation in Bangalore. In addition to the museum, there are amazing exhibitions and events on a regular basis. If you’re interested, you can even take short term art classes.
8. Ulsoor Lake
With around 50 hectares, Ulsoor Lake in the Ulsoor district is one of the biggest lakes in Bangalore. Just like Sankey Tank, Ulsoor Lake offers nice walkways to take a little stroll. Unfortunately the park is a little bit messy and you will find a lot of rubbish lying around.
9. Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens
The Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens host more than 1.000 different plant species, one of the most extensive collection of trees in the world, an aquarium and a lake. The park is beautiful and it’s definitely worth spending a couple of hours in this place just to breath through and relax. Admission is free from 6am to 9am in the morning and from 6pm to 7pm in the evening.
10. The countryside of India
If you want to escape the city altogether, you can go on a weekend trip into the countryside. The cheapest options are the overnight coaches, that will take you to Goa, Coorg, Kerala or Hampi for little money. If you would like to travel more comfortable, you can also book a cheap domestic flight with Air Asia or IndiGo.