Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is a fascinating city located in southern India. As an expat living in Bangalore for over 3 years now, I’ve grown to love this vibrant, cosmopolitan hub.
In this article, I’ll give you an in-depth look at what it’s really like to visit or live in Bangalore today. We’ll cover everything from transportation, culture, weather and more!
Getting There: Bangalore is Extremely Well-Connected
One of the best things about Bangalore is how easy it is to get around, both within India and internationally.
The Kempegowda International Airport is modern and efficient. It offers direct flights to major cities across India on carriers like IndiGo and Air India.
Bangalore is also well-connected to popular tourist destinations like Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan and more. Domestic flights are affordable, with fares as low as $50 USD each way.
For international travel, Bangalore has direct flights to Dubai, Singapore, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur and more.
Most exciting for me as an expat from Amsterdam is the new direct flight to Amsterdam on KLM airlines! It makes visiting home much easier.
Beyond flights, Bangalore has excellent train and bus connections too. You can easily visit northern cities like Delhi or southern destinations like Kerala by train. Buses connect Bangalore to popular places like Mysore, Ooty and more.
With its central location and transportation links, Bangalore serves as a perfect base to explore India. Wherever you want to go, it’s easy to get there from Bangalore.
Bangalore’s Vibrant Startup Culture
Bangalore is known as India’s startup capital, with a vibrant culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Many global tech companies have branches in Bangalore, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and more. Homegrown startups like Flipkart, Swiggy and Ola also started right here in Bangalore.
While Bangalore has moved beyond being just India’s “Silicon Valley”, its entrepreneurial spirit remains.
Coworking spaces and startup incubators abound in Bangalore. Just visit a trendy area like Koramangala to find young entrepreneurs and developers launching the next big thing.
As an entrepreneur myself, I found Bangalore’s energy and “anything is possible” attitude infectious. The startup scene here inspired me to launch my own business after moving to India. There’s support and funding available if you have a good idea and determination.
Bengaluru truly fosters innovation. From aerospace to biotech and more, all kinds of cutting-edge research happens here. The talent pool is deep, with graduates from top institutes like IIM and IISc based here.
Don’t be surprised if the next billion-dollar “unicorn” startup emerges from Bangalore!
Rich History Meets Modern Comforts
Many visitors and even locals focus only on Bangalore’s modern conveniences, IT industry and nightlife.
But beyond the glittering malls and skyscrapers, there’s a long cultural heritage here waiting to be explored.
Bangalore has centuries-old Hindu temples, mosques, churches and Buddhist monuments. Exploring these beautiful religious sites provides a glimpse into the city’s storied past.
Markets like Krishna Rajendra (KR) Market and Gandhi Bazaar showcase local Kannada culture. You can find fresh produce, sarees, spices and traditional snacks here.
No trip to Bangalore is complete without visiting Lal Bagh – the 240 acre botanical garden that dates back to the 18th century. Walk under centuries old trees and enjoy the blooming flowers.
When it comes to food, Bangalore’s old-school restaurants and street food joints serve delicious regional cuisine. Try a crispy dosa at places like Vidyarthi Bhavan or Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR).
An Eclectic Mix of People
Bangalore attracts migrants from across India and around the world. About 40% of the city’s population hails from other parts of India.
This gives Bangalore a wonderful cultural diversity. One can find food, fashion and festivals of various Indian states here.
There’s also a sizeable international expat population working in Bangalore’s tech companies and startups. You’ll meet people from all walks of life and over 50 countries here!
The welcoming and open attitude of Bangaloreans make it easy for newcomers to settle in. language is rarely a barrier as English is widely spoken across the city.
Clubs, co-living spaces and meetups in Bangalore bring together young Indians and expats alike. It’s easy to make new friends here, either local or international.
Personally, I connected with people through yoga classes, travel groups and startup events after moving to Bangalore. I now have an awesome, diverse friend circle here that makes Bangalore feel like home.
Bangalore’s Amazing Weather
If there’s one thing everyone loves about Bangalore, it’s the fantastic weather!
Bangalore enjoys a moderate climate all year round, unlike much of India which gets very hot or very wet.
The city sits 3000 feet above sea level on the Karnataka plateau. This altitude means that temperatures typically range from 20°C to 30°C.
You can comfortably be outdoors any time of the year in Bangalore. Summer highs around April-May reach 35°C at most. Even at the peak of monsoon season around July-August, the steady rain rarely shuts down outdoor activities.
Winter in Bangalore from December to February is perfect, with blue skies and cool breezes. Nighttimes can drop to 15°C at the coldest.
You won’t find snowfall or subzero temperatures here like in northern India. But you’ll never have to deal with extreme heat either. No more sweating through 45°C summers like in Delhi!
Bangalore’s moderate climate lets you dine al fresco at MG Road cafes or take leisurely walks in Cubbon Park year-round. The weather here is a real luxury.
The Downsides: Traffic and Crowds
With its many advantages, Bangalore does have some downsides too. The main issues are traffic congestion and crowds.
Being India’s IT capital, Bangalore saw rapid growth over the past two decades. Unfortunately infrastructure did not keep up.
So despite having a modern airport and metro system, driving on Bangalore’s roads can be frustrating.
Peak hour traffic is terrible, with major thoroughfares like Silk Board to Koramangala completely choked up. What should be a 30 minute drive can take 2 hours when roads are crammed.
Avoid travelling between 8-11 AM and 5:30-9 PM if possible. Opt for the metro which cuts through heavy traffic. Or use ride sharing services like Ola.
Crowding is the other issue Bangalore grapples with. With 13 million residents, certain areas can get very packed.
Restaurants and malls overflow during weekends and holidays – so plan accordingly. Getting a reservation at a popular eatery can take weeks.
Parks and nature spots like Lal Bagh can resemble carnivals when school tours arrive.
Seek out quieter neighborhoods like Indiranagar for a meal instead of always heading to crowded MG Road or Koramangala. Go early to attractions before the tourist buses arrive.
While crowded at times, Bangalore still offers plenty of tranquil pockets and escapes. From meditation ashrams to Bannerghatta’s nature reserve – there are many ways to find serenity in the city.
Recommendations to Make the Most of Your Visit
If you’re planning a first trip to Bangalore, use these tips to make the most of your time:
- Avoid traffic jams by using the efficient metro system. Buy a rechargeable metro card to save time and money.
- Book accommodations in central areas like Indiranagar or Malleshwaram to minimize travel times.
- Have local currency on hand as many smaller shops don’t accept cards. Carry smaller bills as change can be hard to find.
- Download food and transport apps like Swiggy, Zomato, Ola and Uber for ease of getting around.
- Dress modestly when visiting temples and traditional areas as a sign of respect. Carry a scarf or jacket for places that require head/shoulder covering.
- Check event calendars and book tickets in advance as popular happenings sell out quickly.
- Pack an umbrella or light jacket – Bangalore can see impromptu showers year-round.
- Carry masks – pollution in Bangalore has increased in recent years, so masks are recommended for long walks/outdoor excursions.
With an open mind and sense of adventure, you’re sure to fall in love with Bangalore just as I did.
Let the city’s friendly people, finger-licking food, startup buzz and pleasant climate work their magic on you!
I hope this guide gave you useful insights and inspiration to plan your own Bangalore trip. Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments!