top of page

Top 5 Things to Do in Bengaluru

Updated: Feb 15

Top 5 Things to do in Bengaluru

If you want to explore and get to know the soul of Bengaluru, it is best to do non-tourist things and do what a local would. If I had to guide a person new to Bengaluru, I would not give them a Googled list including Lalbagh, Cubbon Park, and Bangalore Palace. Instead, I would help them step into the shoes of a local and do these things in Bengaluru :

1. Eat Benne Masale at CTR, MTR, or Vidyarthi Bhavan

CTR Central Tiffin Room or Shri Sagar in Malleshwaram Bangalore

One of the most quintessential things to do in Bangalore would be to eat a Benne Masale Dose at one of the three restaurants mentioned above. Central Tiffin Room (CTR) has the best Benne Masale in town (according to me). Before Rameshwaram Cafe leaned into the trend of adding ghee to everything, CTR used a generous amount of ghee for their Benne Dose. They are crisp golden and served with amazing chutneys.

Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR in Bengaluru Lalbagh Road)

The Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) is famous for inventing the Rava Idly during the rice shortage prevalent during World War II. The restaurant that started it all is based near Lalbagh, close to the Passport Office. They serve great benne masale but what I love about their offerings is their Kesari bath whose texture is just sublime.

The MTR brand was taken over in 2007 by Orkla ASA, a Norwegian industrial investment firm. Now the founders of MTR have opened another brand named Maiya's.

Vidyarthi Bhavan in Gandhi Bazar Bengaluru

Vidyarthi Bhavan is aptly named as students used to flock to its gates for a tasty Dosa and other breakfast snacks. Based out of V V Puram, this restaurant serves great food such as their Benne Masale and other breakfast snacks. Many people love their dosa, but I myself think CTR makes it the best.

Many famous people ranging from Chief Ministers to literary figures come here to eat along with hardcore foodies. I once saw a guy eat three kesari bath plates after two dosas in front of my eyes.

Things to do in Bengaluru 2. Watch a play

Bangalore has a rich theater scene provided you know where to look. Anyone who is not really into the theater will usually suggest Atta Galatta, Rangashakara, or Jagriti Theater. These places are what people think plays should be like or go to be seen and talked about, but it's not where you get to see good plays.

Ranga Shankara when it opened allowed only great productions to stage a play at their venue. Now their apparent "democratization" ( or more accurately monetization ) puts your chances of catching a good play at below 20%. Also, the ticket prices, are highly inflated, which is not what theater is about.

ADA Rangamandira J C Nagar Bengaluru

The great theater venues in Bangalore include:

  1. Malleshwaram Seva Sadan,

  2. H N Kalakshetra,

  3. A. D. A. Ranga Mandira,

  4. KH Kala Soudha,

  5. Ravindra Kalakshetra

Ravindra Kalashetra Bengaluru

While these venues don't guarantee a great play, the chances of you catching a good play are exponentially higher. The ticket prices are also reasonable compared to other venues. I have detailed tips on how to choose a good play in another article.

3. Drink beer at a microbrewery or Coffee at a local Cafe

Bangalore is littered with microbreweries and cafes and any local will give you a list of their favorites. My picks are:

a. Microbreweries

  • The Bierre Club,

  • Toit,

  • Commmuniti

b. Cafe

  • Dyu Art Cafe

  • Rasta Cafe

This does not require much effort and any Bengalurean worth their salt will show you which ones to visit. The cafes here focus on the experience by combining activities and themes with their places such as art, music, or something else recreational or creative.

Dyu Art Cafe is focused on art and literature with a mini library of physical books for patrons to read when they are waiting for their table.

Pubs stand out here using microbreweries that make their own beer. As of today some of these pubs have started bottling their beers and selling them alongside big-name brands such as big-name Budweiser and Heineken. Toit is one such pub that is now selling their bottled beers.

4. Visit Bugle Rock Park, Bull Temple, and Yoga and Bhoganandeeshwara Temples

One of the most unique places to visit in Bangalore would be the Bugle Rock Park in Basavangudi. Bugle Rock Park has giant Bats living on huge trees and is cool even in the Summer months. The whole place has a dark and damp feel to it, making it feel like a micro rainforest. It also has a flower garden that is quite beautiful and maintained well.

Bull Temple in Bengaluru

Bull Temple is historically significant as it was built in 1537 by Kempe Gowda, a Chieftain under the Vijayanagara Empire. Kempe Gowda founded Bengaluru and defined its city limits by placing four pillars at Mekhri Circle, Lalbagh, Gavipuram, and Ulsoor.

Yoganandeeshwara Temple

Shri Yoganandeeshwara Swamy and Shri Bhoganandeeshwara Swamy Temples are at the foot of Nandi Hills and is over 1200 years old. Built to honor Lord Shiva, the Nolamba Dynasty constructed this temple to pay respect to the Yogi form of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer God of the Hindu Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara (Shiva).

5. Go Cycling at Turahalli Mini Forest or Explore Avalahalli Forest

I have never been to Turahalli but have heard of many cyclists raving about the beauty and serenity of this mini forest. It does not allow motor vehicles, but if you want to use a manual cycle, you are welcome to it.

While Turahalli is probably known to cyclists Avalahalli forest is probably not known to many. It is full of wildlife, especially snakes. I chanced upon it by accident while on a drive and found it really interesting. The best time to visit it would be during the winter months when it is cool and dry. Summer months offer great visibility on the forest trail, but it is extremely hot during that time as there is not a lot of shade.

It is about 5 square kilometers of area which I have not fully explored. Be sure to go there before noon as it would be too hot to walk or run.

If you are from Bengaluru and want to share your experiences, do mention it in the comments.



bottom of page