Bangalore’s airport, the swanky Kempegowda International Airport is located around 40km from the centre of the city. Said to be one of the busiest and most upscale airports in India, it serves nearly one lakh people per day. The airport has direct flights from several domestic cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai to name a few. Some popular domestic airlines that fly here regularly are IndiGo, Spicejet, GoAir, Air India, and Vistara. There are also numerous international airlines that connect the city to various destinations worldwide. Airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Thai Airways, Air Asia, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and British Airways travel to Bangalore regularly.
Outside the airport, there are airport city taxis that are very safe and usually cost Rs.1000. There’s also Ola and Uber which cost a little less. Another option to reach the city at a much lesser cost would be the Vayu Vajra buses which don’t cost more than Rs. 260 per ticket. The buses run 24/7 so no matter what time your flight lands, you can still get a bus into the city. There are plans for Metro connectivity in future which will make getting to the airport a far easier task.
By Bus - Bangalore is well-connected to several cities by bus. Bangalore’s main bus stand is Kempegowda Bus Stand, but it is also known as Majestic and it is right in front of the City Railway Station. Travelling to Bangalore by bus is quite convenient with many options such as luxury, AC, semi-sleeper and sleeper buses that are available. Both government and private buses are available, and they offer services to and from various cities such as Chennai, Mumbai, Goa, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Trivandrum to name a few. Bus tickets can be booked on the KSRTC website or third-party websites and the tickets are quite economical. Bus journeys to Bangalore can be quite interesting but do try and avoid travel within the city during peak office hour traffic.
By Road - A road trip to Bangalore can be a great experience for those who have their own cars or have hired rental cars as the highways are well-developed. You can travel to Bangalore from nearby cities such as Mysore, Goa, Chennai, Coorg and Mangalore. The drive is quite pleasant and since the climate is excellent, a road trip indeed becomes an enjoyable experience for many. At present, you can hire rental cars with drivers or even opt for self-drive cars from providers such as Uber, Meru and Zoomcar.
Bangalore is well-connected to the rest of the country by trains and there are several railway stations here that service the city. The main railway station is the City Railway Station and it is located at the heart of the city. Local and long-distance trains arrive and depart from here often and there are daily trains to Chennai, Mysore, Trivandrum and other cities. Other trains depart on certain days only. Some of the trains that arrive here commonly are Shatabdi Express, Kanyakumari Express, Hampi Express and Tippu Express. There is great connectivity to the city just outside the station. Either hop into an auto or get a bus from Majestic bus stand which lies just opposite. Ola and Uber are also present and make life easy for passengers. Touts are aplenty outside railway stations so avoid them as far as possible.
The other railway station of note is the Cantonment Railway Station which is central to MG Road and nearby areas. Of late, terminals such as Yashwantpur Junction Rail Terminal and Krishnarajpuram are also being used.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to get around the city is by local bus. Buses travel to every corner of the city and it’s very easy to get onto one. Route numbers are displayed on the front of the bus on top while the routes themselves are depicted in Kannada. Hence, if you are unaware of the language, you would need to know the route number before getting onto one. Nevertheless, there are also digitized boards these days which make it easier for travellers. The local bus network is operated by BMTC and you can check their website to get an idea of fares and routes too. Some of the buses are air-conditioned and their tickets cost considerably more. Regular city buses are white and blue in colour. Buses are used by everyone and tend to get quite crowded with the regular people using them to commute and thus, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
When you have to get across the city from one end to another or go within the city, the good old auto-rickshaw is your best bet. You can hail these autos on the roads directly. However, be ready to negotiate the fare. Especially f they sense you are new to the city. It would be a good idea to learn a few words of Kannada so that you can converse with them easily and not get taken for a ride. Autos are available at any time of the day but after 10 pm they add a 50% surcharge to the meter. Nowadays, since Ola and Uber both offer auto services, it has become easier and hassle-free to book an auto on the app directly.
Taxis have become popular in Bangalore since the Ola/Uber explosion and it’s common to see these cars on the city roads, ferrying commuters and travellers to various locations. Carpool options have also made it easy these days to travel around the city on a lower budget. There are other taxi services too such as the airport city taxi services which are airconditioned and take you to and from the international airport. These taxis can be booked in advance. You can also rent taxis for the day or by the hour and there are several such services available in the city. Do note however that the traffic situation in Bangalore is can be unpredictable, so leave early if you don’t want to reach late.
Bangalore’s Metro is quick, efficient and clean but unfortunately, services only certain parts of the city. There are only 2 lines that serve a total of 41 stations as of now. The purple line connects the eastern, central and western areas of Bangalore while the green line connects the northern, central and southern areas of the city. The metro service has made life easier for the many commuters who can escape the traffic of the roads.
There are guided walking tours for those who wish to see the city at a slower pace. These help you reconnect to the old charm of the city when it used to be known as the Garden City of India.
If you have your own car, then you can use that to navigate the streets of Bangalore. However, do be prepared for long stretches of traffic where you can do nothing but wait. Also, Bangalore is famed for its one-ways and road digging, so driving here can be an adventure of a different kind!
Cycling through the city lanes is not an easy thing in Bangalore these days. If you plan to stick to the suburbs, then you can use a cycle to explore the lanes. Rental cycles are available and there is a good range of cycles to choose from.
Motorcycles and even scooters can be rented in Bangalore. Look up the popular service providers online and choose the type of vehicle you prefer.