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Moving to Bengaluru

Situated in Karnataka, one of India’s southwestern states, the cosmopolitan city of Bengaluru offers something for everyone, from its green spaces and outdoor activities to the tech hubs and the buzzing nightlife. Also known as Bangalore, the city boasts pleasant temperatures year-round.

Bengaluru is perhaps most famous for its information technology industry, so much so that it’s received the nickname of India’s Silicon Valley. The area known as Electronic City is the major IT hub, and many expats moving to Bengaluru will find work in this sector. At first glance, the metropolis is a patchwork of bad roads, low-slung buildings and general urban sprawl, but there is much more to it than that. As those who live in Bengaluru know, in the many software industrial parks there is enough microchip, software, computer and brainpower to make the whole city spin out to space.

For those who are less computer savvy or want to unwind from a busy working day, Bengaluru is known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, with cafés, shops, countless entertainment options and a vibey nightlife that present the city as modern as any other. Unfortunately, this bubble contrasts the reality of poverty faced by many living in the surrounding areas, and this can be a major element of culture shock.

Bengaluru is also known as the Garden City, full of parks and green spaces, such as Lalbagh Botanical Garden. This, along with the open-minded people, makes for a welcoming environment for families as well as expats who enjoy the outdoors. That said, road congestion is a nightmare and while there are many transport options, getting around the city isn’t always easy. Heavy traffic is a major cause for frustration and something expats need to be aware of, particularly in their search for accommodation.

Expats who move to Bengaluru must adjust to a new environment and way of living. While there may be many roadblocks, a good quality of life can be experienced. There are excellent healthcare facilities and some established schools where expat children can receive a well-rounded education.

The city can be a hardship posting for some, while for others it presents a real chance for career development and an opportunity to discover an exciting new country. Despite the pros and cons, expats who move to Bengaluru with an open mind can truly enjoy all there is to see and do.

Working in Bengaluru

Affectionately referred to as India's Silicon Valley, Bengaluru has a thriving tech industry that plays an important role in the national economy. Expat job hunters will likely find employment opportunities in Electronic City, Bengaluru's IT hub, though the job market is not limited to this sector or area.


Job market in Bengaluru

Bengaluru is known for its fast-growing IT sector. The city hosts some of IT's most recognisable names, and hundreds of tech start-ups have boomed into existence. Those with skills in programming, software development and systems analysis will find that there are plenty of great opportunities for them in this city. 

Many large global players in the tech sector are based or have offices in Bengaluru, including both foreign-owned and Indian-owned companies, such as Amazon, Samsung, Google and Infosys. The major pull factors are relatively low labour costs and a highly qualified workforce. Though locals usually fill mid- to lower-level positions, expats are often hired in management, quality assurance and translation posts, among others.

Jobs in transport, travel and tourism, as well as hospitality and design, abound in Bengaluru, often in connection with the tech industry. Online opportunities, such as ride-hailing apps, have greatly contributed to marketing these services.

Expats are also known to work in Bengaluru's marketing, banking and call centre sectors. Given the growth of the city in terms of job opportunities and its population, the real-estate and housing sector has also been booming.


Finding a job in Bengaluru

Many expats working in Bengaluru are transferred by their home country employer, but it isn't unheard of for Indian companies to hire promising foreign talent. Bear in mind that the job market is competitive: young graduates are more likely to find part-time or internship positions, while those with more experience can land managerial positions.

Online job portals, such as Placement India, Monster India and Adzuna, are a good starting point, as are company websites which may contain listings of the latest vacancies. Relocation companies and specialist recruitment agencies can also be a great source of information and tips on how to secure a job in Bangalore.

Note that, regardless of their country of origin, expats will need the appropriate Indian visa to work in Bangalore.


Work culture in Bengaluru

On the one hand, Bengaluru boasts technological innovation, is flush with venture capital and abundant in start-ups, all of which seemingly make for a fresh, progressive and exciting business habitat. On the other hand, the work environment is far from progressive. Business culture, especially in start-up firms, has been widely criticised for archaic hierarchies, and other outdated company structures. The focus has been on succeeding as a company, unfortunately, at the expense of morale and employee well being.

Of course, this varies across firms, but expats may need to prepare themselves for the fast pace of work and the pressure of their jobs while trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Accommodation in Bengaluru

The capital of Karnataka state has become a major economic hub and international companies are increasingly establishing operations in the city. Consequently, there's a huge demand for commercial property and residential accommodation in Bengaluru, both within the city limits and on the outskirts.

Construction projects are constantly being undertaken to meet the increasing demand for real estate in Bengaluru, but not all housing options will necessarily meet expats' standards.


Types of accommodation in Bengaluru

Housing in Bengaluru comes in the form of apartments, independent floors, townhouses, bungalows and villas. Apartments usually come at a reasonable cost and renting an independent floor – an entire floor of an often low-rise building, as opposed to a single unit – is another option.

Many expats choose to live in independent (freestanding) houses for the space and freedom they offer. That said, independent houses, as with villas and bungalows, often don't have amenities attached to them, so homeowners must make arrangements for amenities, such as security.

Many expats feel more secure living in gated communities or large apartment blocks. These mega-complexes provide convenient access to social activities with other residents and can be a welcoming space for expat families.

Residential property prices in Bengaluru vary widely. Most high-end apartments offer facilities such as clubhouses, swimming pools and tennis courts. Luxury bungalows and row houses are available for expats with an above-average budget, but these exclusive properties don't stay on the market for long due to the high demand. 

Housing in Bengaluru can be unfurnished, semi-furnished or fully furnished so, while shipping is an option, expats can leave many of their belongings at home if they want to.


Finding accommodation in Bengaluru

Companies in Bengaluru often purchase suburban villas or high-rise apartment blocks and hold them for employees in top-level and management positions, so expat employees may not even need to look for accommodation when relocating.

For those who do, housing agents can provide a listing of available rental properties in the city and point out popular areas and suburbs to focus on. House hunting can be exhausting, daunting and time-consuming, so it's a good idea to consult a reputable real-estate company.

Online property portals, such as 99acres.com, makaan.com and Magicbricks, are a good starting point. Online real-estate listings can give an idea of popular areas and estimates of expected rental prices.


Renting accommodation in Bengaluru

Some landlords may try to rent out their property informally to side step tax. This arrangement is not encouraged as expats could be left without legal tenancy support. We recommend that expats familiarise themselves with all aspects of renting in Bengaluru before signing any lease.

Leases

Expats are likely to find 11-month lease agreements in Bengaluru, and those staying for a year or more can sign longer rental agreements. Note that leases valid for more than 11 months must be registered with the relevant authorities.

Lease disputes are not uncommon, and we recommend analysing all regulations on the rental agreement to avoid potential future disputes.

Deposits

Landlords in Bengaluru are known to charge the highest fee for security deposits. India has no standardised rental law regarding deposits, and tenants can be charged up to 10 months worth of rent to cover this. While this is a hefty fee for most, it can be negotiated and local real-estate agents can provide further advice on this.

Utilities

Tenants usually cover the costs of utilities, including electricity, water and any maintenance charges. Be sure to negotiate this in the lease agreement. Bengaluru has encountered some electricity outages and expats may also consider buying a back-up electricity generator.

Notice periods

If tenants or landlords wish to terminate the lease early, usually they must give at least 15 days notice, but this may vary according to the lease arrangement agreed upon.

Areas and suburbs in Bengaluru

The best places to live in Bengaluru

One of the foremost concerns in an expat's mind when choosing an area or suburb in Bengaluru is likely to be the city's famously congested traffic. For many, the deciding factor when choosing a house to rent is proximity to work and schools to avoid wasting several hours commuting every day. Predictably, the most popular expat areas are those close to centres of business and international schools.


Residential living

Ratul Ghosh

Jayanagar

Jayanagar is a largely residential area in Bengaluru and is bursting with culture. Its traditional feel with bungalows and low-rise housing can make for the perfect home for a well-off expat family. The area is calmer than the hustle and bustle of city-centre living and offers great opportunities for strolls in nearby parks such as Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

Whitefield

Whitefield is an IT hub that hosts the headquarters of many software companies. There are a number of modern apartment complexes and gated communities here. While expats usually find it easy to integrate into the communities at these complexes, good things come at a cost. Rental costs for villas and apartments in this area can be exceptionally high, though fortunate expats may be able to secure moderately-priced accommodation. Whitefield has several large shopping malls and excellent medical facilities. 


Cosmopolitan areas

Charan

Koramangala

Known as an IT hub and software centre that’s well-connected to Electronic City, Koramangala is a cosmopolitan area buzzing with activity. It’s packed with restaurants, shopping malls, gaming arcades and live music venues. Noise levels here can be high, though, especially during peak office hours. Expats looking to live here will be able to choose between bungalows and luxury apartments.

Indiranagar 

Young expats looking for a hip and modern atmosphere with an exciting nightlife find that Indiranagar offers a fair share of restaurants, bars and craft breweries. This trendy area suits a range of expat needs, but not necessarily everyone’s budget; real estate in the area boasts high-end and luxurious living.

Kammanahalli 

Kammanahalli boasts a multicultural cosmopolitan suburb aptly nicknamed Kammanhattan. Close to international schools, restaurants and retail outlets, this area northeast of Bengaluru is suitable for young working professionals as well as families and students with a range of budgets. 


Affordable areas

Shreshth

Yelahanka

Situated close to the city's Kempegowda International Airport, many of the expats who live in Yelahanka work in the vicinity. The area is a travel hub with easy connections to road-, rail- and air transport. There are temples, trees and lakes here and new developments are constantly springing up.

Malleswaram

Expats looking to balance their budget and desire for a truly unique Bangalorean experience can search for accommodation in Malleswaram. Reasonably-priced properties can be found in this area alongside a host of ancient temples, traditional eateries and markets.

Banashankari

Southwest of Bengaluru’s CBD lies the large locality of Banashankari. Expats find affordable housing in this area and stay well-connected to key parts of the city. Those looking for a neighbourhood boasting a peaceful lifestyle and an interesting history will be content with Banashankari, which is home to one of the city’s oldest Hindu shrines, Banashankari Amma Temple.

Healthcare in Bengaluru

The quality of healthcare in Bengaluru varies, particularly when it comes to public hospitals. Fortunately, private sector hospitals offer expats and local residents relatively affordable treatment at a high standard. The city has positioned itself as a medical tourism destination and many of its hospitals offer specialised care for various ailments.

Despite the relatively low costs, expats should still ensure they have comprehensive health insurance. In cases where health insurance is provided by their employer, it's worth remembering that they may be limited to certain hospitals.

Below is a list of some of the city's most prominent private hospitals.


Private hospitals in Bengaluru

Bangalore Baptist Hospital

Website: www.bbh.org.in
Address: Bellary Rd, Vinayakanagar, Hebbal, Bengaluru

Fortis Hospital

Website: www.fortisbangalore.com
Address: 154, 9, Bannerghatta Main Rd, Opposite IIM, Sahyadri Layout, Panduranga Nagar, Bengaluru

NU Hospitals

Website: www.nuhospitals.com
Address: 6 15th Main, 11th Cross Rd, Nisarga Layout, Padmanabhanagar, Bengaluru

Vikram Hospital

Website: www.vikramhospital.com
Address: No.71/1, Millers Road, Opp. St. Anne's College, Bengaluru

Education and Schools in Bengaluru

Expat children can attend numerous schools and nurseries in Bengaluru but, as is usually the case, finding the right fit depends on the family's priorities and preferences.

Location can also affect which school expat parents choose for their children. It's important to find one close to home or work because transport congestion often makes commute times across Bengaluru painfully long. As learning environments are becoming increasingly dynamic, many schools offer distance learning and parents opt for homeschooling and tutoring alternatives.


Public schools in Bengaluru

There are a few quality public schools in Bengaluru, but many don't have basic facilities such as computer labs or sports fields. As a result, expats usually send their children to private or international schools, which generally uphold higher standards but are more expensive.

That said, many private and international schools may follow and incorporate India's national curriculum into their teaching environments. The Indian curriculum helps students prepare for tertiary education and could be helpful to consider. Several school boards set the curriculum, including the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE). Exams are sat in grades 10 and 12, while vocational learning certificates are also available.


Private schools in Bengaluru

Residents of Bengaluru value education and those that can afford to are often willing to invest large sums of money to send their children to a private school. These schools are generally better equipped in terms of facilities and teaching capabilities. However, the pressure for students to perform academically is often high and many students, especially those who have been previously educated in the West, might not adapt very well to local learning methods.

On the other hand, for families staying in India for the long haul, private schools can be a good way for an expat child to experience and become integrated into the local culture. 


International schools in Bengaluru

The major benefit of sending an expat child to an international school in Bengaluru is that this enables them to continue studying a curriculum they were used to from their home country. These schools tend to be less academically pressured than Indian private schools and enable children to pursue their skills in other areas such as art, music and sport. 

The standard of teaching is generally excellent and class sizes are small. Expat parents should note that places are often limited and waiting lists can be long, especially at the more popular schools. So it's best to start applications as early as possible. While admission requirements do vary, tests and interviews are common.


Nurseries in Bengaluru

Bengaluru offers numerous playgroups, daycares and nurseries. Many kindergartens in the city are affiliated with EuroKids, a chain of preschools and playschools in India, and some are attached to a larger international school.

Given the wealth of options for nurseries in Bengaluru, location will be a major determining factor. We recommend searching for a preschool in an area or suburb near an expat's home or workplace, as traffic around the city can be disruptive.


Homeschooling in Bengaluru

Despite vague laws surrounding homeschooling in India, Bengaluru's homeschooling community has grown over the years. Foreign families on short stays in the city may opt to homeschool their children, as may expat and local long-term residents. Given the high costs of international schools and lower quality in the public school system, homeschooling has become an increasingly preferred alternative. We suggest searching for online resources and support through Swashikshan Indian Association of Homeschoolers website and social media pages.


Special needs education in Bengaluru

Bengaluru offers both specific centres dedicated to persons with disabilities and inclusive schools offering integrated classroom environments. Governmental special needs education policies are often unclear, and it follows that both public and private schools do not always meet desired inclusivity standards.

That said, parents of children with disabilities will likely find an international school in Bengaluru that provides a certain level of support. As this varies widely, we suggest exploring each potential school's website and contacting them directly. Some schools that claim to be inclusive may simply admit students with disabilities to their classrooms, but not go much further. Reasons for this include a lack of qualified professional support and holistic understanding of what is needed. More inclusive international schools offer assistance to students with a range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioural difficulties, with services including specialised or assistant educators, counsellors and extra tuition.


Tutors in Bengaluru

It is easy to find a tutor in Bengaluru for expat children and adults alike. Online platforms, such as BharatTutors, TeacherOn and FabTutor, are a great way to search for tutors by focusing the search to Bengaluru. Increasing numbers of organisations and companies, such as Vedantu, are offering free access to interactive live online classes, and are popular learning resources.

International schools in Bengaluru

Expat families will find that there are plenty of international schools in Bengaluru to choose from. Schools offering the Cambridge curriculum, including the IGCSE and A-levels, are a popular choice, as are International Baccalaureate schools. Many international schools in Bengaluru offer a combination of both of these curricula.

International schools in Bengaluru are diverse and are usually attended by students of dozens of different nationalities. For the expat child, being around other expat children can ease the adjustment period. In addition, expat children often find comfort in continuing with a familiar curriculum, and expat teens will be well prepared for university applications thanks to the globally recognised qualifications granted by international schools. Expat children will still get to socialise with locals, as wealthy Indian families often prefer to send their children to private international schools. 

There generally isn't a set period during the year for applying to international schools in Bengaluru. Most schools accept applications year round, assuming there is space. To ensure a spot in their desired school, expats should start the process of application well in advance.

Below is a list of some of the city's most prominent international schools.


International schools in Bengaluru

Canadian International School (Bangalore)

Canadian International School (Bangalore) is located in Yelahanka, close to Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru. The school offers the well-respected Cambridge and International Baccalaureate curricula, as well as the Ontario curriculum. Boarding facilities are available. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Canadian (Ontario), Cambridge Primary and Secondary, IGCSE and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18

Candor International School

Candor International School has been recognised as one of India's best international schools by prominent organisations such as Forbes, Times of India and Education Today. The school's diverse student body is made up of over 600 students of 19 nationalities. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate, Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels
Ages: 3 to 18

Ebenezer International School Bangalore

A day and boarding school, Ebenezer is well equipped to meet the needs of modern learners. Technology is integrated throughout the school – all classrooms are fitted with Apple TVs, and the school operates a 1:1 Apple programme where each student in grades six to 12 has their own iPad. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Indian (ICSE), International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Primary, IGCSE and A-levels
Ages: 3 to 18

Indus International School Bangalore

This non-profit school offers a high quality of education and operates both as a day school and a boarding school. Facilities are excellent and include smart classrooms, an auditorium, an open-air amphitheatre, specialised activity rooms and more. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate and Cambridge IGCSE
Ages: 2 to 18

The International School Bangalore

The International School Bangalore is a day and boarding school founded in 2000. The school's curriculum is a dynamic blend of the best aspects of various educational systems, giving children a well-rounded education. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: English National Curriculum, Cambridge Primary, IGCSE and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18

Inventure Academy

Offering a combination of Indian and Cambridge curricula, Inventure Academy is highly regarded as one of Bengaluru's top international schools. Backed by a strong academic programme, the school values holistic development. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Indian (ICSE), Cambridge Primary, Secondary, IGCSE and A-levels
Ages: 3 to 18

Stonehill International School

This school offers the International Baccalaureate Early Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. The average class size is 18, allowing teachers to give each student individualised attention. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18

Trio World Academy

Trio World Academy offers high-quality education based on the well-respected Cambridge and International Baccalaureate programmes. An innovative approach to extra-curricular activities sets this school apart. Read more

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Secondary and IGCSE
Ages: 3 to 18

Lifestyle in Bengaluru

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.

Weekend breaks in Bengaluru

Bengaluru is a city that combines the promise of what India might become with all the challenges of the country’s present-day creaking infrastructure and its hurried expansion. Needless to say, it’s a great city to live and work in with plenty of cultural events and nightlife to keep residents entertained, but sometimes one needs a weekend break from Bengaluru.

As the metropolis is landlocked in India’s southern region, expats may feel their well-deserved escape will necessitate a flight; however, travel to the airport and delays will often inevitably be just as long as a comfortable drive to Chikmagalur or Wayanad, two prime places to unwind. Alternatively, for those expats keen for a bit of sun, sand and sea, Pondicherry offers a great seaside diversion for overworked city dwellers (and reduced taxes on alcohol).

Regardless of where one ends up though, it's important that when planning a weekend drive away from Bengaluru, expats make sure to hire a driver who knows the roads or commission a regular driver they are familiar with. We'd also recommend hiring a comfortable car, packing plenty of bottled water and negotiating the cost of the driver’s needs (accommodation and meals) beforehand. 


Recommended weekend breaks from Bengaluru

Mysore

The closest city for a weekend trip out of Bengaluru is Mysore, which is about 100 miles (160km) away and holds a reputation for being one of the cleanest cities in India. 

Expats will definitely want to consider a weekend break in September and October during the Dasara festival when the magnificent palace is completely enshrouded in almost 100,000 fairy lights. Also, the local flower market is beautiful and smells divine, and it is possible to visit factories producing Mysore silks. 

Chikmagalur

Known for its coffee, Chikmagalur is a hill station less than 160 miles (255km) from Bengaluru. The lovely scenery and low temperatures that come with a visit to this part of the Mullayanagiri Range provide instant relaxation. Popular as a summer destination, expats may nevertheless find it an ideal escape at any time of the year. 

Embark on jungle hikes to see incredible waterfalls or take a visit to some of the local temples. If truly wishing to unwind and give the mind a break, stay at one of the nearby spas and take in the serenity and luxury that can only be found in India.

Wayanad

Wayanad, just 180 miles (290km) to the southwest of Bengaluru, will really take expats out of the hustle and bustle of Bengaluru. Rural life, centred on agriculture and framed by mountains and rivers, provides a real retreat.  

The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, panthers, snakes, lizards and monkeys.  Expats can spend time spotting elephants in the distance. Get close-up views of these animals by hiring a guide. Expats will also see amazing birds and plants. However one chooses to explore the area, they are sure to catch a glimpse of the India that Rudyard Kipling saw before writing The Jungle Book

Pondicherry

Those yearning for a visit to the sea should give Pondicherry a go. The city is a former French enclave, and there are still many French passport holders living there today. Beaches, shopping and nightlife are the key opportunities for entertainment, and Pondicherry is popular with expats as it summons the kind of nostalgia reminiscent of summer weekends by the sea.

See and Do in Bengaluru

Also known as the Garden City, there is plenty to see and do between the lush gardens and leafy avenues found all over Bengaluru. The state of Karnataka capital is also a springboard for exploring the surrounding villages and countryside.


Recommended attractions in Bengaluru

Bangalore Palace

One of the city's top attractions is this royal palace. Expats can learn about the history and architecture of the building or enjoy a popular concert held on the palace grounds.

Bull Temple

The Bull Temple, perched on Bugle Hill, famously houses a 16th-century black granite statue of a bull known as Nandi. According to one legend, the area's agriculture was being destroyed and when one local farmer hit and killed what they thought was the culprit behind the destruction, it turned out to be a bull. The bull transformed into stone and this became a shrine. The people organised a groundnut festival around this – an event that still takes place today.

Cubbon Park

This central park provides a place of relaxation for early morning walkers and residents who want to escape the city bustle. Not only does it provide an attractive respite for the civil servants who work in the surrounding administrative buildings, but it's also the platform for many of the city’s cultural institutions.

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

This splendid botanical garden has expanded from a Mughal-style private garden to showcase close to 2,000 species of flora. The gardens also boast a beautiful glasshouse which plays host to Bengaluru’s famous biannual flower shows. 

Vidhana Soudha

In the heart of Bengaluru, within Cubbon Park, the great Vidhana Soudha shouldn't be missed. It is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka state. To highlight its significance and design, Sundays and public holidays see the building well-illuminated.

Ulsoor

This is a historic neighbourhood, renowned for its numerous colourful temples, narrow lanes and massive lake, which is perfect for boating. The fish market is sure to be a highlight for fans of seafood while shoppers can enjoy browsing the boutiques that sell unique saris.

Wonderla

One of India's leading amusement parks, Wonderla provides a fun-filled day out for the whole family. There's something for everyone here, with an assortment of water-, thrill- and children's rides on offer.

What's On in Bengaluru

Bengaluru embraces the colour and commotion that can only be created by the age-old festivals that link this modernised city to its traditional past.

Below is a list of not-to-be-missed yearly festivals and celebrations.


Annual events in Bengaluru

Lalbagh Flower Show (January and August)

Held twice each year, the Lalbagh Flower Show is a popular event on the Bengaluru events calendar. Attendees can wander among themed arrangements and take in Bengaluru's natural beauty.

Karaga Festival (March/April)

The Karaga Festival or Bengaluru Karaga is one of the city's oldest festivals and is celebrated to honour the goddess Draupadi. A visually impressive nighttime procession takes place, where an earthen karaga pot is carried through the city.

Ganesh Chaturthi (August/September)

Ganesh Chaturthi and its 11-day Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava celebration form one of Bengaluru’s most famous festivals. Many of the city's temples are devoted to the elephant deity and the holiday is enthusiastically celebrated by the Hindu population. Clay statues are erected, worshipped and paraded through the streets accompanied by music and fanfare.

Kadlekai Parishe (November)

One of the most popular fairs held in Bengaluru, Kadlekai Parishe, or the Groundnut Fair, is held each November. Guests can sample hundreds of types of groundnuts and several other foods. There are also a whole host of vendors operating and selling foodstuffs and trinkets in and around Basavanagudi.

Shipping and Removals in Bengaluru

Infrastructure in Bengaluru has developed over the years to meet the city's growing demands, and this includes options for shipping and removals. Expats should consider the urgency for shipping goods into the city and the related costs.

With the obvious exception of airfreight, shipping routes include shipping to an Indian port and then overland to Bengaluru. This can be time-consuming and possibly work out more expensive for expats moving to Bengaluru.


Hiring an international removal company

We recommend comparing quotes and prices from a selection of reputable removal companies. Check that each firm offers the desired services, such as helping with packing and unpacking as well as temporary storage.

Often, expats working in Bengaluru, particularly those moving as part of an intra-company transfer, will receive a relocation package with support services provided by a relocation company. This may include an allowance for shipping – a perfect opportunity for an expat to save money when they move to Bengaluru.


Shipping duty-free to Bengaluru

When shipping goods to Bengaluru, there are some general customs regulations to be aware of, such as what is allowed, restricted or prohibited from importation. Expats face a limited amount of household goods and items they are allowed to bring into India duty free, and so should carefully evaluate what they choose to bring overseas.

Indian citizens and expats planning on becoming formal residents of India may be granted greater exemptions and duty-free shipping allowances on personal items and household goods.

There are many options for furnished accommodation in Bengaluru, and buying the odds and ends and electronics in the city that can't be shipped over is often more cost-effective. For smaller items, airfreight is a faster means of shipping to Bengaluru although it is more expensive than sea-route shipping.


Shipping pets to Bengaluru

Pets can be shipped to Bengaluru as long as their health checks and vaccinations are recent and in order. Regulations must be followed carefully, however, and the process may be best left to a pet relocation company to avoid any hassles with customs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bengaluru

Relocating to a new country can be daunting, as it's hard to know what to expect. To make things a little easier, here are some answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about expat life Bengaluru.

Is Bengaluru the high-tech capital it's made out to be?

Yes and no. The contradictions and stark   signs of inequality typical of big cities in developing countries, such as high rises alongside slums, do exist in Bengaluru. But the high-tech boom is a real phenomenon, and Bengaluru's economy is largely driven by software companies and innovative start-ups.

What jobs can expats expect in Bengaluru?

Most opportunities are in IT-related industries. Expats often find positions in management, quality assurance, translation and marketing. There's stiff competition from locals in many other fields, and expats should make an effort to learn the ins and outs of doing business in India

Is a car necessary?

A car is convenient but not strictly necessary. Driving in Bengaluru can be stressful, so many expats try to live close to their jobs to minimise the time spent on the road. This makes it possible to catch carpools, taxis or the metro. Leasing a car is an option, and some expats hire a driver too. For expats with family, schools often have bus services that pick students up. 

What are the schools in Bengaluru like?

Many expats choose between several well-respected international schools in Bengaluru. It's a good idea to make finding one a priority before the move, but some expats would rather visit a school before making a final decision.

Getting Around in Bengaluru

Although Bengaluru is known for its green spaces and also considered India's 'Garden City', it is ranked as one of the world's most traffic-congested cities. Getting around in Bengaluru can be chaotic – with vehicles and pedestrians ignoring the rules and vying for dominance on the road.

Bengaluru's public transport and road networks are more limited than that in Mumbai and Delhi, but the city remains well connected to the national rail network through the main stations, such as Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (Bengaluru Station), Yesvantpur Junction railway station and Bengaluru Cantonment. 

The metro, which is continually developing, is a convenient way to avoid the roads and one of the more efficient ways of getting from A to B. Still, most people get around using auto rickshaws and buses. Expats may prefer to travel by car, but driving oneself in the city can be nerve-wracking. For this reason, most expats prefer to hire an Indian driver who is familiar with the various areas as well as the driving style of locals.


Public transport in Bengaluru

Metro

The Bengaluru Metro is also known as Namma Metro. The network consists of two main lines (purple and green) which serve about 40 stations.

Those travelling on the metro infrequently can opt to buy tokens which are valid for a single trip. For expats who plan on making regular use of the system, the best option is to purchase a contactless smart card, known as VarshikVarshik allows passengers to load and recharge credit easily and make considerable savings.

Trains on the Namma Metro generally run from 5am to 11pm and are relatively frequent with a train arriving between every 4 to 20 minutes. 

Buses

The local bus network is extensive and covers most of the city and its suburbs, while a comprehensive regional bus network offers transport to areas beyond Bengaluru. Inter-city buses are operated by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) as well as several private companies.

Although local buses tend to be very crowded at rush hour, especially in the city centre, buses in Bengaluru are a cheap way of travelling and used by many of the city's residents.


Taxis in Bengaluru

Taxi cabs are more expensive than buses and rickshaws, but are a more comfortable way to get around. They run on a meter and are usually modern, air-conditioned cars with drivers who know the city well.

Passengers may need to book their services over the phone, usually in advance, especially if they plan on travelling during rush hour. Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Ola Cabs are also operational in the city.

Auto rickshaws

These ubiquitous three-wheeled vehicles are a quick way of getting around, but it can be a hair-raising experience. Although they operate on meters, be sure to agree on a price before going anywhere. There has been a move for pink autos directed at female passengers in Bengaluru, however, progress has been slow.


Driving in Bengaluru

Expats who plan to be in India for an extended period of time often rent or buy a car and some hire a car and a driver. Local drivers generally know their way around and can get around quicker than an expat would.

Numerous companies offer these services, but expats should make sure they go through a reputable one and check the car for scratches and dents beforehand so they don't end up paying for any existing damage.

Expats who attempt to get behind the wheel themselves may struggle. Road conditions in Bengaluru aren't always good, local drivers are often erratic and signage isn't always clear. Bengaluru also ranks as one of the world's most congested cities and traffic becomes gridlocked during rush hour.

Some foreign driving licences will allow expats to drive in Bengaluru with an international driving permit. We recommend confirming this with the relevant government department or embassy.


Cycling in Bengaluru

The roads and traffic in Bengaluru don’t make for a cycle-friendly city. Expats who want to get around by bike are advised to wear a helmet and be vigilant of pedestrians and other road users.

On the other hand, cycling is a great way to explore the region and make friends. New arrivals can find cycling groups on social media pages and easily arrange meetups. There are also great areas off the main roads where cyclists can explore new routes and even venture out of the city, such as Ulsoor Lake or Nandi Hills.


Walking in Bengaluru

Walking may not be the best option for getting around in Bengaluru, in terms of safety and speed. The roads are nightmarish and pedestrians are not safe from this chaos. Expats who opt for walking must do so with caution, particularly when crossing busy streets. 

That said, new arrivals can familiarise themselves with the city by taking a tourist walking tour. The Garden City also offers great parks, such as Cubbon Park and Jaya Prakash Narayana Park, with great trails for casual strolls as well as jogs.

Walking around neighbourhoods in Bengaluru give a great sense of what they have to offer – historically, socially and culturally, such as the ancient temples in Malleswaram, as well as the nearby local markets.