Bengaluru: The Pleasure-Packed Indian City With A Community-First Culture

Home to sprawling green spaces, craft markets, playful cocktail bars and one seriously sustainable neighbourhood kitchen, this Indian city makes for an inspiring spring adventure


Bengaluru, India.

Why now?

If, like us, you consider yourself a digital nomad, then you’ll
know that there’s no better time for a far-flung adventure than the
month of March. Disappearing for a few weeks and securing yourself
a fast-track ticket to British Summer Time? It’s too tempting to
resist. It turns out we’ve found just the place that you’ll want to
make tracks for, plus all the must-visit spots to put on your

Enter, Bengaluru – the capital and largest city of India’s
Karnataka state. This buzzy metropolis has attracted a fresh breed
of earth-conscious travellers of late, in part, thanks to the
arrival of its community-first restaurant The Circus Canteen – a
dynamic farm-to-fork set-up crafted from reclaimed materials. But
Bengaluru also tempts with its culture-rich markets, nature-led
hotels, happening cocktail bars and sprawling green spaces. Read on
for our picks on where to get started.

A hazy aeiral view of Bengalaru, left, and a snapshot of a
buzzy street. | Photo credit: Saransh & Andrea /

Don’t miss

Carve out time to visit the Chickpet district. One of the city’s
oldest neighbourhoods, it’s the place to browse bold, indigenous
handmade silks. While you’re in the area, also check out the ornate
jewellery on sale at nearby Raja Market. Elsewhere, Lalbagh
Botanical Garden makes for a verdant refuge from the hustle and
bustle. It’s home to tropical greenery and a glasshouse built in
1889 to mimic London’s Crystal Palace – be sure to pick up some
fresh fruit and veggies from the farm shop, too. For a culture fix,
swing by Bangalore Palace. The former residence of the royal
Wodeyar family, it showcases an eclectic mix of artworks and hosts
regular music events.

Where to stay?

The 25-key Soukya hotel makes for a holistic, nature-rich escape
with its healing therapies, medicated oils and ancient naturopathy
practices. Bedrooms come with lush private gardens and spacious
verandas, while pared-back interiors feature dark woods and
jewel-toned fabrics. The food is mostly vegetarian, using
ingredients freshly harvested from the on-site gardens to offer
balanced, low-salt-and-fat dishes.

What about food?

Don’t miss The Circus Canteen. Injecting a fresh dose of
community spirit into the local dining scene, this farm-to-fork
restaurant in the Yeshwanthpuris neighbourhood is the result of a
collaboration of pioneering creatives. The two-floor set-up,
crafted from the ground up using reclaimed materials, is an
eco-friendly, contemporary space. We love the puzzle-like flooring
created from mosaic tiles taken as samples from nearby ceramic
stores, the oil barrels that double up as tables and the spotlights
fashioned from discarded drinks cans – it’s hardly surprising to
learn that it has received multiple award nominations for its
sustainable interiors. Start by ordering a lemongrass tea, followed
by the tofu and garden greens stir-fry. Then, it’s all eyes on the
banana walnut cake. It’s worth noting that there’s a co-working den
on the upper level for digital nomads seeking a new hangout.

Bengalaru, Market
Bengalauru, Street Scene

Colourful scenes at Raja Market, alongside a retro car. |
Photo credit: Denis / & Aatur /

And for a drinkā€¦

Come sunset, slip on your dancing shoes and twist and twirl down
to Toast & Tonic. There, chipboard walls are
illuminated by handcrafted pendant lights and a locally sourced
menu sees pomegranate and feta-stuffed salads paired with
refreshing G&Ts. If you enjoy a dash of live music with your
cocktails, it’s over to no-frills Sly Granny bar for DJ sets and fruit-infused
concoctions. We loved the “taste of Casa Blanca” – a blend of
bourbon whisky, almond syrup, spices and bitters stirred to

Who to take with you?

Your friend who is up for trying the wildest and wackiest
wellness-led activities. The opportunities for them to discover
some centuries-old ritual or emerging practice here? Endless.

Essentials to pack

Bengaluru in March means sticky temperatures. Keep things
easy-breezy while pounding the pavements by packing a pair of these
S.S. Daley Josephine high-rise linen wide-leg
. Skincare junkies, meanwhile, should snag the Dr. Barbara Sturm Hydrating Face Mist for a
revitalising boost. It’s packed with active ingredients that
protect against environmental pollutants and tackle first signs of
ageing – think invigorating lemon blended with aloe vera.

How to get there

British Airways flies direct from London Heathrow to Bengaluru’s
Kempegowda International Airport, from where it’s just under an
hour’s drive to the vibrant city centre.

Main photo credit: Cedric Weber /

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