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Bengaluru Travel Tips

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The capital of India’s southwestern Karnataka state, Bengaluru is an immense and sprawling city. Its centre is a thrilling mishmash of restaurants, markets, theatres, and temples, and it seems that around every corner you’ll run into an ornate religious building or historic landmark. If all this urban energy gets too much, you’ll never be far from one of Bengaluru’s Eden-like green-spaces, which offer tranquil areas to unwind.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

Bengaluru enjoys a year-round tropical climate, meaning that whenever you visit, you’ll not encounter any chilly weather. If travelling during the summer - the peak month is May - be prepared for a very hot and humid atmosphere, and make sure you’re well equipped with drinking water. August, September, and October constitute monsoon season - if visiting then, expect to see plenty of rain and thunderstorms. Whenever you travel, you’re sure to run into a vibrant festival, such as the Lal Bagh Gardens flower festival in January, or the historic Bengaluru Karaga festival in March.

 

Not to Miss

 

With its array of inspirational museums, lush gardens, and jaw-dropping temples and palaces, Bengaluru is not the kind of city you can see in a single day. Be sure to amble around the Lal Bagh Gardens - stippled with bright exotic flowers - and to check out the mighty ISKCON Temple, a bustling religious centre that blends ancient heritage with modern design. Trendy shoppers should visit the mad markets and hip clothing stores of Commercial Street, whereas history-buffs should head to the grand, red-walled Government Museum.

 

Getting around

 

Central Bengaluru is based 40 kilometres from Kempegowda International Airport, a sleek, modern airport serving flights to and from top destinations across the globe, such as Dubai, Paris, London, and Hong Kong. You can get from the airport to the city centre via affordable taxi or air-conditioned bus. Bengaluru is a sprawling city, and not easily explored on foot. A metro rail offers speedy but limited transport, while the extensive bus service and inexpensive automated rickshaws provide convenient connections. Taxis are available too, but need to be booked in advance.

 

Cuisine

 

Like any bustling Indian city, Bengaluru boasts a taste-bud-tingling cuisine culture. From tempting takeaway to fine dining, the city provides plenty of dishes for even the most demanding palette. Try some seriously sumptuous street food, from lemon rice to crispy dosas, or indulge in some aromatically spiced high-end Sattvic cuisine. Bengaluru also celebrates international foods, and you’re sure to find an array of influences, from classic Western fare to mouthwatering sushi.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Bengaluru’s official language is Kannada, but Hindi is also widely spoken. Many transactions in restaurants and shops - and particularly at tourist attractions - will be dealt with in English, but it’ll be handy to pick up a few Kannada phrases. The effort will go a long way, and it’s always enriching to learn a little of the local language. Bengaluru is a safe city, but be aware that it’s central streets - and particularly its residential areas - become very quiet before midnight, and when walking alone it’s best to exercise caution.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 10.1 million

Spoken languages: Kannada, Hindi, English

Electrical: India runs on 230V, 50 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +91 80100