The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is the perfect example of a contemporary city in India where tradition, culture and modern-day living can be witnessed together in harmony. With the many cultural, historical and adventurous places to visit, a trip to Pune is going to keep you very busy. Between itineraries and flight tickets, remember to book one of the hotels in Pune since it is frequented by travellers throughout the year.
Things to do in Pune:
1. Enjoy a Light and Sound Show at Shaniwar Wada Palace
One of the most popular historical centres in Pune, the Shaniwar Wada Palace was built in 1732 and remained the erstwhile seat of the Peshwas until 1818. The monument is a fine example of Maratha architecture and art. It’s said that the palace was constructed using teakwood brought from the jungles of Junnar and stone from Chinchwad.
Albeit in ruins, the palace has a lot to explore including its majestic gates, audience halls, pillars and bastions adorned with intricate carvings, well-manicured gardens, and the fountain shaped like a lotus. Spend an evening here to enjoy the mesmerizing light and sound show, which takes you back to the era gone by.
- Ticket Booking Timings: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
- Show Timings:
Marathi – 7:15 pm to 8:10 pm
English – 8:15 pm to 9:10 pm
- Ticket Price: INR 25 per person
2. Explore the History of Aga Khan Palace
A majestic structure in white, the Aga Khan Palace was constructed in the year 1892 by Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan. It served as the living quarters of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi, and Mahadev Desai, who was his close associate, post Quit India Movement. Since Kasturba Gandhi spent her last few days here, her memorial is built within the grounds in a quiet garden and is said to preserve both hers and Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes.
The palace is maintained by the Gandhi Memorial Society and observes all events related to the leader’s life. There is a museum hall within the complex that preserves pictures, letters, books, and other memorabilia from Gandhi’s life and is a treasure to explore.
- Timings: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
- Entry Fee: INR 5 (Indians); INR 100 (Foreigners); INR 2 (Kids)
For a glance into the history of the city, you can read our blog on top historical places in Pune.
3. Seek Blessings at Dagdusheth Halwai Temple
One of the most prominent shrines in Pune, the Dagdusheth Halwai Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The inception of the temple is shrouded in mystery but the most popular legend is that it was established by Shri Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife Lakshmibai after the loss of their only son because of the plague epidemic.
The widely-celebrated Ganpati festival also saw its inception here when Lokmanya Tilak wanted to develop a feeling of unity and patriotism during the freedom struggle. Visited by thousands every day, the temple is highly revered and a definite visit when you are in Pune.
- Timings: 6:00 am to 10:30 pm
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4. Pay Tribute to War Heroes at the National War Museum
Built in the year 1998, the National War Museum is considered to be the only museum that has been established with the support of only public funds. Situated in the quiet and peaceful area of Pune Cantonment, the museum is away from the chaos of the city.
The most important display in the museum is the MIG 23 BN, which was used in the Kargil War. Another highlight is the replica of the warship – INS Trishul, used during the Portuguese-Indian war. The stone galleries display the details of various battles as well as commemorate the lives of heroic soldiers who fought for the country over the years.
- Timings: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm; 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Closed on Tuesday
5. Find Some Solace at Osho Ashram
Pune is famous for many attractions but the Osho Ashram boldly stands out and its popularity is spread far and wide. The sprawling ashram is a haven for foreigners and Indians alike and offers an experience which must not be missed.
Whether you come here out of curiosity or to seek answers to your worldly queries, the ashram welcomes everyone without any discrimination. You can explore the beautiful gardens, spa and swimming pool on its premises, spend some quiet time in meditation halls or undertake courses on Osho Nadabrahma, Osho Kundalini. The registration process here is a bit extensive so carry two passport-size photographs and valid ID proof.
- Timings: 6:00 am to 10:30 pm
- Entry Fee:
INR 870 (Indians); INR 1790 (Foreigners)
Discounts applicable on entry for more than 2 days
6. Admire the Mastani Mahal at Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Art has a different meaning for different people, and the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum is a fine example of this. Established by Baba Dinkar Kelkar in 1962, this museum houses rare artefacts dating back to the 14th century including coins, sculptures, paintings, terracotta objects, and arms and ammunition.
However, the highlight of the museum is the Mastani Mahal, which is a recreation of the palace using original furnishings. In its formative years, the museum had over 21,000 antiques but only a fraction of this beautiful collection is on display today.
- Timings: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
- Entry Fee:
INR 50 (Indian adults); INR 5 (Indian kids)
INR 200 (Foreign adults); INR 50 (Foreign kids)
7. Indulge in Shopping at Tulsi Baug
Is a holiday ever complete without a shopping excursion? We think not! And what is better than enjoying an afternoon at Pune’s busiest shopping street – Tulsi Baug. A favourite among locals, the market is lined with shops on both sides selling brass items, copper goods, jewellery, shoes, chappals and a variety of knick-knacks.
A tip for you… the market is quite reasonable, so don’t forget to bargain to your heart’s will!
8. Treat your Taste Buds at German Bakery
The German Bakery in Pune, unfortunately, rose to popularity due to the infamous bomb blasts of 2010. However, the undying spirit of the city has revived this iconic eating joint. Go here for its beautiful, warm ambience and the local crowd buzzing across the place. Their fish and chips, keema pao and cold coffee are absolutely amazing and a must-try. Head here late afternoon or early evening to experience the laidback and chilled-out vibe that Pune is known for.
- Location: Koregaon Park
- Meal for Two: INR 1000
- Must-Try: Fish and chips, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Classic Italian Tiramisu
9. Go for Paragliding at Kamshet
If adventure is on your mind, head to Kamshet located around 50 km away from Pune. The little hamlet offers paragliding options, varying from beginner to expert difficulty levels. The trainers here are very experienced, which makes it perhaps the best place for beginners. If you’d like to learn paragliding, you can also enrol in a short course here.
If paragliding is not your thing, you can also try rock climbing and water sports like rafting here under expert supervision. Keep aside an entire day if you want to completely enjoy your trip to Kamshet.
- Distance from Pune: 49 km (approx.)
- Paragliding Cost: Starts at INR 1000
10. Take a Trekking Trip to Lohagad Fort
Located around 60 km from Pune, Lohagad Fort is a popular trekking destination for locals and tourists. Offering breathtaking views of the surroundings, the fort is just the right mix of nature, architecture, and history. Lohagad Fort is also a preferred spot for beginners to try their hand at trekking since the route is far easier than most trekking routes.
The fort itself was built in the 18th century and one can still see the remains of what was once a beautiful citadel. The route to the area is stunning and you’ll find many locals heading here on their bikes. Monsoon is definitely a preferred time to visit since the whole area is enveloped in lush greenery.
- Distance from Pune: 65 km (approx.)
If you think this is it, then you’re mistaken! There’s a lot more to do in Pune no matter whether you’re travelling alone, with your partner or with family or friends. Check out our list of top fun things to do in Pune if sightseeing is not something that interests you!
Also Read: Best Places to Travel in April in India
11. Camp under the Stars near Pawna Lake
Who hasn’t dreamed of watching the stars twinkle in a clear sky unfettered by towering apartments or skyscrapers? Make this urban dream come true by the banks of the Pawna Lake on your Pune holiday. Make a day of it by reaching early and spending a few hours boating or kayaking and settling down to listen to the crickets chirp as you swap stories by the bonfire. This experience definitely deserves to be among your top things to do near Pune with family.
- How to Reach: 2 hours’ drive from Pune
- Fees: Packages start at around INR 2000 per person and vary as per the facilities and activities offered.
12. Soak up the Gorgeous Views from the Sinhagad Fort
Climb up a scenic hill, take in the gorgeous panorama, marvel at the historical remnants and take a moment to feel proud of Indian heritage: these are the experiences that await at Sinhagad Fort, 35 km from central Pune. Though it is also possible to drive to the top of the hill, the full experience of this beautiful destination comes from a trek to the top, which amateurs can also undertake with ease. Take advantage of the snack stalls en route to catch your breath and relish some of the mouth-watering local delicacies. A visit to Singahad Fort is even more magical during the monsoon season.
- Location: Sinhagad Ghat Road
- Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Entry Fee: INR 20
13. Awaken your Inner Explorer at Pataleshwar Cave Temple
Almost in the epicentre of the city of Pune sits this 8th-century temple, carved out of a single monolith and dedicated to the Lord of the Netherworld – Pataleshwar or Lord Shiva. Visit this historic site not just for spiritual upliftment, but also for the natural beauty around it and the inscriptions, carvings and serene atmosphere. The sculptures on the walls and the statue of Nandi are awe-inspiring.
- Location: Jangali Maharaj Road
- Timings: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
14. Learn about Native and Exotic Flora at Empress Garden
A sprawling 39-acre vista of green, Empress Garden, named after Empress Victoria, was established almost two centuries ago. The park is now home to over 150 varieties of trees and houses a Children’s Park and several gardens dedicated to exotic plants. If you are looking for activities to do in Pune, this should be on top of your list! Enjoy leisurely strolls and picnics as you breathe in the soothing air amid the lush greenery. The park also has open spaces for a game of football or cricket.
- Location: Kavade Mala
- Timings: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Rs. 20/-
15. Take a relaxing walk in Saras Garden
Manicured lawns, a magnificent Ganapati Temple and a serene lake are the main attractions in Saras Gardens or Sarasbaug as it is known locally. The garden is named after the beautiful Saras cranes that frequent the lake during their migratory season. The Talyatla Ganpati Temple in the premises was constructed in 1750 and served as a site for strategic planning for the Marathas in their wars against the Nizam and the British. A popular hangout spot among Puneites, this garden is worthy of a relaxed afternoon during your holiday in Pune.
- Location: Saras Baug Road
- Timings: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm (temple timings may differ)
- Entry Fee: Free
16. Revel in the Magic at Adlabs Imagica Amusement Park
If you have a weekend in hand and are looking for things to do in Pune with friends, you cannot miss out on the experience of visiting Adlabs Imagica Amusement Park. An entertainment city spread over 130 acres, this magical land has three separate parks dedicated to fun and adventure – the Theme Park, Water Park and Snow Park. In addition to this, there are other attractions like Glowmagica, Eyelusion and House of Stars. Reserve the entire weekend if you want to cover all the attractions.
- Location: Sangdewadi
- Timings: 10:30 am to 6:00 pm
- Entry fee: Each park is ticketed separately and starts at INR 1499 per person
17. Walk and Experience Pune’s Vibrant Culture at Koregaon Park Road
Among the most attractive things to do in Pune at night, walking down Koregaon Park gives you a taste of life as the residents of the city enjoy it. The area boasts several top-notch restaurants and cafes, including the iconic German Bakery and is also a hotspot for the most happening street food. Famous for being home to Osho Ashram, the area is replete with spas offering premium international services too. To round up the experience, start early and get in a yoga session before heading out to appreciate art at The Monalisa Kalagram.
18. Relive the glory of Marathas at Shinde Chhatri
Shinde Chhatri is one of the most famous landmarks in Pune and is a testament to the glory and bravery of the Marathas. The Chhatri is dedicated to Mahadji Shinde, a commander-in-chief of the Peshwas, who was also the founder of the Gwalior state. The ornate structure, built in the 18th-century, fuses elements of Hindu temple architecture with Islamic and Rajputana styles, making it a stunning visual treat. The monument was restored to its past glory in 1965 after being in ruins for decades. Visit to get a feel of life in times gone by.
- Location: Wanwadi
- Timings: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
19. Be awed by the Mystique of Karla Caves
The ancient Buddhist rock-cut cave temple complex called Karla Caves is said to date back to 160 BC. The scenic hills and the air of solemnity and spirituality are a balm for troubled minds. While it is possible to drive to the base of the hill and walk up the roughly 300 steps to the top, trekking to the caves is among the most amazing things to do in Pune with friends. You could plan it as a day trek or even break it up over two or more days, taking in the Bedsa Caves, Visapur Fort and Lohgarh Fort on the way.
- Location: Karli
- Timings: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Entry fee: INR 25
20. Explore the many Natural and Man-made Wonders at Parvati Hill
A hill that doesn’t tax you too much on the climb; offers a heady mix of spirituality and history and is also the tallest view point in Pune – are you ready to explore Parvati Hill yet? This is definitely an activity that tops the list of things to do in Pune for youngsters. At 2100-ft above sea level, the hill offers a spectacular view of the city and green vistas around. The pathway consists of 103 steps that are laid out four or five feet apart, making it an easy climb for any age group. At the top of the hill, you can simply admire the view or get a taste of history in Peshwa Museum or worship at Parvati Temple.
21. Spend a Day at Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park
Round off your activities to do in Pune with a relaxed day in the sprawling Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park. Initially established under the Peshwa as a limited menagerie on 7 acres of land, the zoo is now spread over 130 acres and provides naturalistic enclosures for a wide variety of mammals, reptiles and birds. A Snake Park and Animal Adoption Centre also function within the complex. Be prepared for extensive walks or opt for cycling or a battery-operated buggy to go around the well-maintained premises. The zoo is closed on Wednesdays.
- Location: Katraj
- Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (between April and June); 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (between June and April)
- Entry fee: INR 40 for adults and INR 10 for kids
22. Have a Taste of Tandoori Chai at Chai La
If you are racking your brains for all the things to do in Pune for one day, here is an easy hack to get an authentic experience of the city: get a Tandoor Chai! A concept that originated in the city, the chai is poured into a hot clay pot or kulhad that has been roasting in a hot tandoor. The heat causes the tea to froth over and takes on the smokey flavour of the kulhad. This is then poured into another clean kulhad and voila! You have an Insta-worthy memory of this beautiful city! Although there are many places serving Tandoori Chai now, try out the real thing at the place where it all started: Chai La.
- Location: Kharadi
- Timings: 6:00 am to 11:00 pm
- Price: INR 20
23. Get Adventurous with River Rafting on the Kundalika River
If you have had your fill of the cultural and historical sights in Pune, head out to nearby Kolad for the adrenaline rush of river rafting. Counted among the most exciting things to do in Pune for couples, the river Kundalika offers some heady rapids though not extreme. For greater thrills, visit during monsoons, but even in the dry seasons, the river offers up some unforgettable moments.
- How to Reach: Kolad is a 3-hour drive from Pune on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. If taking the Tamhini Ghat road, it takes slightly less time. There are also trains between Pune and Kolad.
- Cost: Starting range of INR 800 per person. Cost varies according to operator and facilities offered.
- Tip: If you are on a budget, go rafting on a weekday as it is cheaper compared to weekends.
24. Enjoy a Picnic at Pashan Lake
Once a drinking water reservoir, the man-made Pashan Lake near Pune is now a tourist destination where people enjoy the clear skies and sparkling waters while indulging in photography and birdwatching. In the winter months, several migratory birds call the lake home. Park benches give you the perfect spot for quiet contemplation. There is also a well-laid out track around the lake for a long solitary walk if the mood catches you.
- Location: 12 km from Pune
- Timings: 6:00 am to 11:00 am and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
25. Get Acquainted with Tribal Culture at the Tribal Cultural Museum
Maharashtra has the second largest tribal population in the country and the Tribal Cultural Museum is a priceless window to the tribal ways of life. The museum introduces visitors to the distinctions between the 18 tribes that call the state home and displays everything from costumes, weapons and jewellery to arts and artefacts. The exquisite metalwork undertaken by the tribes and their musical instruments and masks is awe-inspiring. A visit here should definitely make it to your list of activities to do in Pune.
- Location: Band Garden Road
- Timings: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm on weekdays; Weekends closed
- Entry Fee: INR 10 for adults; INR 5 for children
26. Explore Old Pune at Kasba Peth
‘Peth’ means locality in Marathi and Kasba Peth is the oldest residential locality in Pune. It is thought to have been settled as early as the 5th-century! Kasba Peth is said to have got its name from Kasba Ganpati, the favourite deity of the locals whose temple was established in the 17th-century. The locality bears the stamp of Chhatrapathi Shivaji who was devoted to Kasba Ganpati as well as the Peshwas who developed the area after him. Spend a leisurely evening exploring this historic township and discover the wealth of street art that thrives in its lanes.
27. Hang Out and Shop at Phoenix Market City Mall
What’s a trip without a spot of retail therapy? Sometimes it’s just comforting to be surrounded by familiar sights and signs and that is exactly what Phoenix Marketcity Mall offers you – all your favourite brands and restaurants under the same roof, allowing you to feel right at home. While there, don’t forget to sample local delicacies in the food courts and experience the feeling of watching a movie with the local crowd in the multiplex theatres.
- Location: Viman Nagar
- Timings: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
28. Visit the Mock Village at Gram Sanksruti Udyan Village Park
Get a taste of rural life at Pune’s Late Sanjay Mahadeo Nimhan Gram Sanskruti Udyan, which has a complete representation of life in the agricultural villages of Maharashtra. The mock village depicts every aspect of a rural community – from village management to cultural practices, religious rites and farming practices – in minute detail. The houses with life-like statues show people going about their daily routines and every kind of profession that is practised in the village is represented. A visit to the village is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life and evokes a sense of nostalgia.
- Location: Someshwar Wadi, Pashan
- Timings: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Entry Fee: INR 50 for adults; INR 30 for children
29. Catch the sunset at Khadakwasla Dam
If you were to ask around for recommendations on things to do in Pune for couples, a visit to Khadakwasla Dam is sure to pop up high on the list. There are two factors that make this trip even more magical: the monsoon rains and the colours of sunset. It is an absolutely gorgeous location to enjoy the sunset. Make sure to take your cameras along to capture the memorable scene.
- Location: Khadakwasla Village
- Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Entry Fee: Free
30 Sample Treats at Kayani Bakery
Every city has an iconic bakery that somehow defines the spirit of the city itself and in Pune, this is Kayani Bakery. Don’t be surprised by the fact this looks like a simple bakery with no frills or by the fact that there is a queue there from morning! Pune’s oldest bakery is famous for its Shrewsbury biscuits, mawa cakes, speciality bread and other delicious treats. Imbibe a bit of the city’s spirit by getting your hands on some of their baked goodies to take home for friends and family.
- Location: East Street
- Timings: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm; 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm
- Average Cost: INR 240-280 per kg
31. Buy an Original Poona Saree in Laxmi Road area
The ‘Poona saree’ is a local brand of silk and cotton sarees sporting traditional motifs and much favoured by the local population. Take a walk down Laxmi Road and check out the ubiquitous saree shops offering not just the Poona Saree, but also other Maharashtrian favourites like Paithani or Narayanpeth sarees. You can also find big brands offering sarees from all over India, like Kancheevarams and Banarasi sarees too. Buy a few as souvenirs from your trip. They make for great gift items too.
Average cost: INR 550 onwards for cotton sarees; INR 900 onwards for silk sarees
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