Poor infrastructure, early curfew and maddening auto drivers aside, we believe our city still has a lot to offer to the tourists. But don’t take our word for it. Read what the tourists have to say.
In 2012, Lonely Planet awarded Bangalore third place in its list of must visit cities for that year. They called us “the undisputed Elvis of South Asian mega cities” and “the capital of cool.” They also said we were “perpetually drunk on the good life” and that we have “the hippest population you could hang out with.”
A year later, we like to think our city’s still got it. Do the tourists think the same?
Travel Blogger, Shivya Nath, who admittedly can’t keep her itchy feet from staying in one place, says her two-day visit to the city had her head over heels. “I fell in love with Bangalore. Even on a summer afternoon, Bangalore was a breath of fresh air. People hung out on the streets, quaint cafes lurked around in every corner, breweries served up handcrafted beers and the cool weather was perfect for pleasant strolls,” she says with fervour.
The city’s consistently pleasant weather definitely makes it a good place to visit at any time of the year.
When it came to sightseeing, we found that a visit to the Tipu Sultan palace received a tick on everybody’s to do list. “The architecture and décor of the palace took me back in time,” says Ashford Fernandez, a video editor from the UK.
Simon Lemouret, an art teacher, is here from southern France. As an artist, he finds Bangalore’s history as well as greenery inspiring. “I like to go out to different spots for sketching and I really like the Tipu Sultan palace and Cubbon Park,” he says.
Looks like our reputation as the garden city of India is still being celebrated. Cubbon Park along with Lalbaugh are the two green spots tourists can’t seem to get enough of.
Fernandez says he also visited the bull temple and Bangalore Palace. “I heard The Rolling Stones played at the palace grounds. I thought that was pretty cool,” says Fernandez, who is clearly a music enthusiast. We had to tell him about the other international acts that performed there, which got him all the more excited.
Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) tops the list for traditional south Indian fare. Known to serve since 1924, the Tiffin Room is where tourists can get a bite of crisp, buttery dosa and the famous filter coffee. “I would choose this over Starbucks any day,” says Ridhan Assadi, a copywriter from Dubai.
Shivya Nath took a liking to Meghana Foods, which is popular for its Hyderabadi biryani, during her stay. “I loved it so much, I had it twice in two days,” she says. Bon South is on her list of restaurants to try for her next visit.
But more than the restaurants, what the tourists seem to be flocking towards are the watering holes, especially the brewpubs.
“I went to Toit the other day because I heard they brew their own beer. I thought the beer was as good as the ones back home. It’s very well priced too. I wouldn’t mind sitting there for hours just having a snack and enjoying my beer,” says Leopold Kammeras, a student from Frankfurt.
Georgina Bishop, a university professor from Melbourne, had a taste of Bangalore’s beer too. “My friends took me to The Biere Club. The ambiance was so relaxed and warm, it was hard to believe we were right opposite a high-end mall. We did go to the mall later though. We ate at the Italian restaurant, Toscano. Beautiful food,” she says.
Garden City, Music Capital, Pub City, IT Hub – the list of titles we have acquired seems to go on. Whether we deserve them, we can’t really say. But if these tourists’ experiences are anything to go by, we’re definitely trying to live up to them.