Low on cash and in the City of Lakes? Here's a rough guide to your rendezvous with Bengaluru, its stubborn traffic, places to shop at, and where to experience nightlife and nature.
Travel Like a Local
The local bus service (BMTC) is your best bet when it comes to traversing the city. Not only is the bus connection efficient, it is well connected to every corner of the city. Consult Google Maps to check for the bus number that will take you to the nearest bus stop of the place you want to reach, and keep an eye out for the number that is highlighted in orange in the front.
Take it from a person who learnt it the hard way, never leave without an umbrella. It will rain when you least expect it to and Ola and Uber will take a while to reach as you drip and soak.
If you come to the city with a license, scooty renting services are the best bet. You could even book a Rapido ride which charges almost half the rates that app cab services do. Chances of getting stuck in the traffic are always high. The metro construction in the city is still underway and while some major areas are connected by metro, many still aren't. A two wheeler is your best shot at reaching a place on time. Take all those memes on Bengaluru and its deadly traffic very seriously.
Hit up the hip district
Koramangala is the happening part of the city. The area is dotted with clubs and pubs. Drinks are free for women every Wednesday at most. You'll just need a valid ID to show you are above 21. Some clubs charge entry fees only after 9pm. Many pubs have happy hours where you get a drink free for every drink you pay for. Weekdays aren't very crowded, especially in the early evenings. All those videos of your favourite stand-up shows you've been watching on YouTube mostly happen at the clubs here.
Go on a Shopping Spree
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Commercial Street, Church Street and MG Road are very close to each other and are the perfect spots for shopaholics. From earrings as cheap as Rs10, and clothing and dressing items available at half the price of boutiques, it's the place to upgrade your wardrobe. You could spend an idle afternoon here, snacking at eateries and taking in the sights.
Your Royal Stop
With a mix of Tudor and Scottish Gothic styles, the architecture of The Bengaluru Palace will leave you awestruck. Be sure to view the famous Coat of Arms, a gift of the British to the Wadiyars while you are there. It is open between 10am to 5:30pm. It would ideally take you two hours to explore the palace which is well connected via buses.
Commune with Nature
How does the idea of a lazy afternoon spent in lush green landscapes with a pond and for company sound? Cubbon Park is that much-needed respite from the pollution and noise of the city. You could even rent a bicycle and go cycling here. Lalbagh is another wonderful place for a walk. A short drive will take you to the closest lake, and you'll be surprised at how many there are because Bengaluru is known as the city of lakes.
Nandi Hills is a must visit for every Bengaluru visitor. The sunrise and sunsets are the best part of the experience.
Immerse in the Kannadiga Culture
The Kempegowda Museum has a huge collection of paintings that will take you through the city’s past. With pictures of forts, temples and historical artifacts from as early as the 16th century, this museum is a sight for sore eyes for history enthusiasts. The glass flooring of the museum has on it an 18th-century map of the city.Open from 10am to 5pm, entry is free here.
How to get there: Bengaluru is well connected via air. The Kempegowda Airport has exclusive airport buses. Hop onto one of those and head over to the main city for as little as Rs750.
Where to stay: College students can find hostels ranging from Rs 10,000 to 20,000 per month. Prices vary based on the location.
The New Era Girls Hostel (+91 89706 47201) would be a perfect fit if you're looking for something cheap, with average sized rooms and good food. If you have a slightly higher budget, you can look for Oxford Caps (1800 5724 888) which offers facilities like gym and pool, and has decent quality rooms.