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Bengaluru is very much a developing city, but that's not to say expats can't lead a comfortable lifestyle the Karnataka capital. Known as the Garden City for its leafy avenues and quiet suburbs, Bengaluru was the first city in Asia to be lit by a streetlamp and has since continued to spearhead India's technological boom.
The ensuing influx of Westerners and a rise in wealth have contributed to an open-minded city culture, and its sprawling layout makes for a calmer environment in certain suburbs than other Indian metropolises.
Though it isn't a major tourist hotspot, there are still great shopping opportunities, an excellent range of restaurants and an active bar scene. For a break from the city, there are also great options for weekend getaways.
Nightlife in Bengaluru
While Bengaluru nightlife may not be comparable to that of Mumbai, expats will find that there is a fair amount to keep one entertained after the sun goes down. The city has numerous entertainment venues, including open-air lounges, sports pubs and chic rooftop bars on some of its tallest structures. For a hipster crowd, hop over to Indiranagar where scores of craft breweries and lively pubs abound.
Eating out in Bengaluru
Like most big cities, Bengaluru has a lot to offer in terms of dining options. Whether expats are on the lookout for authentic local street food, a fine dining experience or something in between, one is sure to find it in Bengaluru. Thanks to the city's large expat population and exposure to international cultures, residents will find that there are a wide variety of different cuisines on offer.
As the population of people with a high disposable income grows in Bengaluru, the city has also seen the rise of more and more innovative experimental and premium restaurants.
Shopping in Bengaluru
Shopping enthusiasts in Bengaluru won’t be disappointed. The city has something for everyone, regardless of their budget or preferences – from narrow market lanes to swanky shopping malls.
Commercial Street is one of the most popular shopping spots, stocking a wide range of clothing, textiles, footwear, jewellery and sports equipment. Mahatma Gandhi Road offers a more authentic Indian shopping experience, where expats can find good deals on silk saris, antiques and local handicrafts.
Expats with children will enjoy shopping centres such as Garuda Mall and Phoenix Marketcity which are full of entertainment facilities for the little ones as well as plenty of shopping opportunities.
Sports and outdoor activities in Bengaluru
Expats with a taste for adventure can find various sports and outdoor activities to try out in Bengaluru. Not far west from the city lies Savandurga Hill, which offers great nature trekking routes, and there are several other hills and mountains with great hiking trails, caves to explore and opportunities for easy walks as well as rock climbing.
Dirt biking is a popular outdoor activity with centres such as Dirt Mania Outdoor Adventures, and paragliding from Nandi Hills has been a unique way for new arrivals to see the city. There is so much to see and do in Bengaluru that an expat can never get bored.
Are you an expat living in Bengaluru?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bengaluru. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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