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Discovering Pune: 7 Unmissable Things to do in Pune for First-Time Visitors

Discovering Pune: 7 Unmissable Things to do in Pune for First-Time Visitors

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a nature lover, or an adventurer, there are a wide range of things to do in Pune that cater to all interests. Undoubtedly, there are a number of things to do in Pune and we will discuss the top ones here.

Nestled in the Western Ghats of India, Pune is a vibrant city thatseamlessly blends its rich cultural heritage with modernity. Fondly known as the “Oxford of the East,” Pune is a hub of education and technology, attracting students, entrepreneurs, and visitors from all around the world.

From historical landmarks to lush gardens, from street food to shopping, Pune has something for everyone.  You can enjoy a couple of things to do in Pune. For instance, you can indulge in authentic Maharashtrian cuisine, explore the rich history of the Maratha Empire, or take a stroll in the lush green parks. With its rich cultural tapestry and modern amenities, Pune is a city that guarantees a memorable experience for all its visitors.

Here we bring you 7 unmissable things to do in Pune if you are a first-time visitor.

Things to do in Pune as a Tourist

Visit historical landmarks – Things to do in Pune for history buffs

Visiting historical landmarks in Pune is a must-do activity for tourists who are interested in exploring the rich cultural heritage of the city. This Maharashtrian city has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century, and there are many historical landmarks that offer a glimpse into the city’s past.  From the imposing Shaniwar Wada, which was once the seat of the Peshwa Empire, to the elegant Aga Khan Palace, which played a significant role in India’s freedom struggle, these landmarks are a testament to Pune’s rich cultural heritage.

Things to do in Pune
Shanivar Wada – Visit the historical landmarks in the city of Pune – Exploratory things to do in Pune

Tourists can take guided tours or explore these landmarks on their own to get a sense of the city’s past. It will offer them a great experience while indulging in top things to do in Pune. Each landmark has a unique story to tell, and visitors can learn about the architecture, culture, and historical significance of each site. From the imposing forts to the palaces and temples, these historical landmarks offer a glimpse into Pune’s glorious past, and are a must-visit for tourists who want to immerse themselves in the city’s rich cultural tapestry.

Explore the local food scene – Things to do in Pune for foodies

Pune’s rich food culture is a mix of authentic Maharashtrian cuisine and influences from other regions of India, and exploring the local food scene in Pune can be a delightful experience for you. The city has a range of restaurants and street food vendors that offer a diverse range of dishes, from spicy and tangy street food to rich and flavorful curries.

So, if you are a foodie, exploring the local food scene is a must among all things to do in Pune. Every dish has a unique flavor and aroma that reflects the local ingredients and cooking techniques.

Things to do in Pune
Misal Pav! Explore the local food scene when in Pune – Top things to do in Pune as first-time visitor

One of the must-try dishes in Pune is Misal Pav, a spicy and flavorful dish made with sprouted beans, lentils, and spices, served with a bread roll called Pav.

Vada Pav is another popular dish that tourists can try, which is a local version of a burger made with a deep-fried potato fritter sandwiched between Pav.

Bhakarwadi is a savory and spicy snack that originated in Pune, made with a crispy outer shell and a filling of spiced coconut and sesame seeds.

Things to do in Pune
Bhakarwadi – Explore the local food scene – Top things to do in Pune as first-time visitor

These are just a few examples of the many delicious local dishes that tourists can try while exploring the food scene in Pune.

In addition to the popular street food, Pune also has many fine-dining restaurants that offer a more upscale and sophisticated dining experience.

These restaurants offer a range of cuisines, from Indian to international, and use local ingredients to create unique and innovative dishes. So, there are many things to do in Pune for people who are absolute food-lovers.

Here are some popular fine-dining restaurants in Pune that you might want to check out:

  • Paasha: Located on the rooftop of the JW Marriott Hotel, Paasha offers stunning views of the city and a range of North Indian and Mughlai cuisine.
  • Baan Tao: This restaurant, located in the Hyatt Pune, offers a wide range of Asian cuisines, including Thai, Chinese, and Japanese.
  • Shakahari: This vegetarian restaurant in the JW Marriott Hotel offers a range of Indian and international dishes made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. You can enjoy the best of all things to do in Pune while visiting the local restaurants.
  • Malaka Spice: This restaurant offers a range of Southeast Asian cuisine, including Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese dishes, in a cozy and eclectic atmosphere.
  • Arthur’s Theme: This restaurant offers a range of international cuisine, including Italian, American, and European dishes, in a sophisticated and elegant setting.
  • Kangan: Located in the Westin Pune, Kangan offers a range of North Indian and Punjabi cuisine in a luxurious and modern setting.
  • The Sassy Spoon: This restaurant offers a range of modern European cuisine, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, in a colorful and chic atmosphere.
  • Whether you’re looking for a quick bite on the go or a fine-dining experience, Pune’s food scene has something to offer for every taste and budget.

Take a stroll in lush gardens – Things to do in Pune for peace lovers

Take a stroll at the lush green gardens of Pune – Things to do in Pune

Pune is blessed with a multitude of beautiful gardens that offer a serene and peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Taking a stroll in the lush gardens of Pune is an experience that rejuvenates the senses and soothes the mind. The gardens in Pune are not just a great spot to unwind and relax, but they also offer a glimpse into the rich flora and fauna of the region. So, it is definitely worth an exploration, among other things to do in Pune.

Osho Teerth Park is one such garden that is a must-visit for tourists in Pune. The garden is spread over 28 acres and is home to more than 200 species of trees and plants. The park has a beautiful lake, and visitors can take a relaxing boat ride while admiring the stunning views. The garden is known for its meditation centers and is the perfect spot for those looking to connect with their inner self. If you are looking forward to being in the best state of your mind, meditating in this garden can be one of the top things to do in Pune.

Saras Baug is another popular garden in Pune that offers a respite from the chaos of the city. The garden is spread over 25 acres and is home to a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The garden also has a beautiful fountain and a jogging track that is perfect among all things to do in Pune for fitness enthusiasts. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the stunning views of the lush greenery and flowers. The garden also has several food stalls that offer delicious local snacks, making it a perfect spot for a quick picnic with family and friends.

Things to do in Pune
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the stunning views of the lush greenery and flowers – Saras Baug Pune – Things to do in Pune

Attend cultural events – Things to do in Pune for culture lovers

Pune is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and there are many cultural events that take place throughout the year. From music festivals to film festivals, Pune has something for everyone.  Attending cultural events can be a great way for you to immerse yourself in the local culture and get a glimpse of the city’s vibrant spirit.

Some of the popular cultural events in Pune that tourists can attend while enjoying the top things to do in Pune include:

Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav – One of the most popular cultural events in Pune is the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, a music festival that celebrates the legacy of classical Indian music. This festival attracts music lovers from all around the world and features performances by some of the most renowned classical musicians of our time. The festival takes place every year in December and is a must-visit event for those who appreciate the art of classical Indian music.

Things to do in Pune
Attend one of mang events in Pune like Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav – Things to do in Pune as visitor

Pune International Film Festival – It takes place in January every year. This festival showcases the work of both national and international filmmakers and provides a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase their talent. The festival attracts film enthusiasts from all over the world and offers a unique opportunity to experience cinema from different parts of the world, among other things to do in Pune.

Pune Festival – A cultural festival that takes place in August and features a range of activities such as music, dance, food, and crafts.

Vasantotsav – A classical dance and music festival that takes place in February and showcases the work of local artists.

Cheti Chand – A festival celebrated by the Sindhi community in Pune in March.

Ganesh Chaturthi – A popular Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha and is celebrated with great fervor in Pune.

There are many more cultural events that take place in Pune throughout the year. Whether you’re a music lover or a film enthusiast, Pune has something for everyone.

Visit museums

The museums in Pune are a must-visit for any tourist who wants to explore the city’s rich past and learn more about its diverse cultural heritage. The city has museums that cater to different interests, from art and history to science and technology. Visiting the museums is one of the top things to do in Pune. Visitors can spend hours exploring the exhibits and learning about the different aspects of Pune’s culture and history.

Things to do in Pune
Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in Pune showcases an impressive collection of more than 20,000 artifacts that include paintings, sculptures, textiles, and musical instruments – Things to do in Pune

The Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is one of the most popular museums in Pune, showcasing an impressive collection of more than 20,000 artifacts that include paintings, sculptures, textiles, and musical instruments. The museum is a tribute to Dr. Dinkar Kelkar, who spent his life collecting artifacts that represent the rich cultural heritage of India.

While exploring the top things to do in Pune, visitors can explore the different galleries, including the Mastani Mahal, which displays artifacts from the Peshwa dynasty, and the Warli paintings gallery, which showcases the art of the Warli tribe.

Another must-visit museum in Pune is the National War Museum, which honors the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. The museum features several galleries that display weapons, uniforms, and other artifacts used by the Indian armed forces during different wars.

Visitors can also watch a 25-minute documentary about the Kargil war, which pays tribute to the martyrs of the war. The museum is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of India’s armed forces and their contributions to the country, while also making the best out of things to do in Pune.

Visit National War Museum Pune – Things to do in Pune

The Tribal Museum in Pune is a unique museum that showcases the rich cultural heritage of India’s tribal communities. Located in the heart of the city, the museum displays an impressive collection of artifacts that represent the lifestyles, traditions, and art of various tribes from Maharashtra and other parts of India.

The museum is spread over two floors and has six galleries that feature exhibits such as clothing, jewelry, hunting equipment, musical instruments, and household objects used by different tribes. Visitors can also watch a short documentary that provides insights into the history and culture of the tribes.

The Tribal Museum is an excellent destination for anyone interested in learning about India’s diverse tribal communities and their ways of life. It is one of the best activities you can add to your things to do in Pune list.

Pay a visit to Tribal cultural museum Pune – Things to do in Pune

Shop for souvenirs – Things to do in Pune for shopping enthusiasts

Visiting the markets and bazaars in Pune is a must-do activity for any tourist who loves shopping for unique souvenirs and local handicrafts. The city has a plethora of shopping destinations that cater to different interests and budgets. So, if you like to shop, you must definitely consider this among other things to do in Pune.

The Juna Bazaar, for instance, is a popular flea market that sells a range of vintage items such as old coins, stamps, cameras, and furniture. Visitors can explore the maze of narrow lanes and shops to find rare treasures and bargains to enjoy the top things to do in Pune.

Tulsi Baug is another popular market in Pune that is known for its local handicrafts and traditional clothes. The market has several shops that sell handcrafted items such as jewelry, pottery, textiles, and souvenirs. Visitors can also find a range of spices, sweets, and snacks that represent the local cuisine of Pune. Shopping at Tulsi Baug is a perfect way to experience the vibrant culture of the city and take back some authentic souvenirs.

Things to do in Pune
Tulsi Baug has several shops that sell handcrafted items such as jewelry, pottery, textiles, and souvenirs – Things to do in Pune

Fashion Street is yet another famous shopping destination in Pune that is popular among fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters. The street has several shops that sell trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories at affordable prices.

Visitors can browse through the collections of the latest fashion trends and negotiate prices with the vendors. Shopping at Fashion Street is a fun and exciting experience that allows visitors to indulge in retail therapy and take back some stylish souvenirs.

Take a day trip to nearby destinations

Pune is blessed with a stunning location, surrounded by many beautiful destinations that are perfect for day trips. Lonavala is a popular hill station located about 65 kilometers from Pune. The hill station is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular destination among nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Visitors can explore the lush green hills, waterfalls, and valleys of Lonavala, which offer a serene and picturesque experience. It is one of the best things to do in Pune for nature enthusiasts. The hill station is also famous for its chikki, a sweet snack made from jaggery and nuts, which is a must-try for any tourist.

Lavasa, on the other hand, is a well-planned city located about 57 kilometers from Pune, known for its picturesque landscape and serene environment. The city is built around a beautiful lake and is designed to resemble a European town. Visitors can spend a day exploring the city’s many attractions, such as the lakeside promenade, the waterfront shawarma stalls, and the adventure sports activities.

Lavasa is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a relaxing and peaceful day out exploring relaxing things to do in Pune.

Things to do in Pune
Visit Lavasa – Things to do in Pune

Mahabaleshwar is another popular hill station located about 120 kilometers from Pune, known for its beautiful scenery and pleasant climate. The hill station is home to several viewpoints, such as Arthur’s Seat, Elephant Head Point, and Wilson Point, which offer breathtaking views of the valleys and hills.

Visitors can also explore the many waterfalls, lakes, and temples of Mahabaleshwar while indulging in the top things to do in Pune. The hill station is also famous for its strawberries and cream, which is a must-try for any tourist.

Overall, visiting these destinations from Pune is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty and serenity of the Western Ghats. These places offer a refreshing break from the city and provide a chance to reconnect with nature and relax in a peaceful environment. Whether it’s exploring the hills of Lonavala, enjoying the European charm of Lavasa, or taking in the breathtaking views of Mahabaleshwar, a day trip from Pune is sure to be a memorable experience for any tourist.

Wrapping Up!

From exploring the city’s rich heritage at the museums and historical sites to experiencing the local cuisine and shopping at the bustling markets, there is something for everyone in Pune. Not to forget the day trips to the beautiful hill stations and lakeside towns around Pune.  The city’s unique blend of traditional and modern culture, coupled with its warm and friendly people, makes it an ideal destination for anyone looking for an authentic Indian experience and enjoying the top things to do in Pune.

So, pack your bags and head to Pune for a trip that will undoubtedly leave you with a greater appreciation of Indian culture and a desire to return again and again. Also, explore the top things to do in Pondicherry we covered earlier.

FAQ

  1. <strong>What are the top tourist attractions in Pune?</strong>

    Some of the top tourist attractions in Pune include the Aga Khan Palace, Shaniwar Wada, Sinhagad Fort, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, and the Pataleshwar Cave Temple.

  2. <strong>What is the best time to visit Pune?</strong>

    The best time to visit Pune is between October and February, when the weather is pleasant and cool.

  3. <strong>Is Pune safe for solo travelers?</strong>

    Pune is generally safe for solo travelers, but it is always recommended to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.

  4. <strong>What are some popular food items to try in Pune?</strong>

    Pune is known for its street food and some of the popular food items to try include vada pav, misal pav, bhel puri, and pani puri.

  5. <strong>What is the local language spoken in Pune?</strong>

    The local language spoken in Pune is Marathi, but Hindi and English are also widely spoken and understood.

  6. <strong>Are there any day trips that can be taken from Pune?</strong>

    Yes, there are several day trips that can be taken from Pune, including trips to Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, and Lavasa.

  7. <strong>What is the local currency used in Pune?</strong>

    The local currency used in Pune is the Indian Rupee (INR).

  8. <strong>Are there any adventure activities to do in Pune?</strong>

    Yes, there are several adventure activities to do in Pune, such as trekking in the Sahyadri Mountains, paragliding at Kamshet, and camping in the wilderness.

  9. <strong>What is the best way to get around in Pune?</strong>

    The best way to get around in Pune is by local buses, auto-rickshaws, or taxis. Uber and Ola are also popular options.

  10. <strong>Is Pune a good place for shopping?</strong>

    Yes, Pune has a vibrant shopping scene and there are several markets and malls where you can buy everything from clothes and accessories to handicrafts and souvenirs. Some popular shopping destinations in Pune include MG Road, Laxmi Road, and Phoenix Market City.

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