15 Places to Visit in Pune

July 1, 2019

by Chase Koob

Pune, located four hours inland from Mumbai, is a buzzing city full of young students and foreign expats. While Pune doesn’t have the celebrity presence of Mumbai, the international recognition of Delhi, or the beach party reputation of Goa it’s a cultural mecca of amazing food, lush greenery, and niche Indian heritage. I’ve compiled a list of 15 places to check out in Pune–things to do, where to eat, and places to drink.


Things to Do

Osho Gardens

Located in Koregaon Park. For those of you that have seen the Netflix documentary Wild, Wild Country the name Osho will sound all too familiar. Osho Teerth Park is a beautiful 12-acre green escape from the hectic city life. The gardens offer a quiet oasis for tourists and locals to relax, hang out, and walk through the dense green space. Word to the wise: when walking through the more isolated corners of the park, be prepared to happen upon couples enjoying some rare, unsupervised alone time.

Shaniwar Wada

Located in Shaniwar Peth. This fort was once the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire, now it is another green escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is a perfect stop for a relaxing stroll through the forts landscaped interior. Pro tip: many locals believe the fort to be haunted by the spirits of those that perished in the fire that destroyed a significant part of the fort in 1828.

Aga Khan Palace

Located in Kalyani Nagar. This palace acted as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife, and secretary from 1942 to 1944. The interior of the palace acts as a museum of Gandhi’s life while the exterior is a meticulously maintained garden. Often times, local women’s groups will be selling beautiful handmade products in a pavilion in the garden. I highly recommend checking this out for some souvenirs!

Sinhagad Fort

Located approximately35 km outside of Pune. There are two ways to reach the fort—a road in which you can hire a driver to bring you to the base of the fort or a trekking path situated at the base of Sinhgad village. Once you’ve made it to the fort, there are plenty of sections to explore, grab a drink or snack, and take some awe-inspiring photos of the valley below.

Laxmi Road

A very popular shopping market for locals and tourists alike. This immense tangle of streets offers just about anything you are looking for, from locally made art, handmade shoes, spices, fruits and vegetables, and countless shops of bronze, silver, and gold. Word to the Wise: because this is such a crowded area it is a popular spot for pickpockets.


Where to Eat

Roopali

Located off of FC Road in Deccan. An open-air restaurant that is best for quick bites and a coffee or tea. This isn’t the place to sit down for a long chat. The turn over is quick so make sure to chug down your chai and continue exploring the shops on FC!

Sagar

Located in Station, across from the main train station. This small restaurant is tucked away on a bustling street filled with food stalls, bodegas, and other small restaurants servicing the thousands of locals coming and going from Pune’s train station. Seemingly innocuous and not particularly catching to passersby, this restaurant makes an amazingly quick and filling lunch.

Malaka Spice

Located in Koregaon Park. If you’re looking for a laidback space with stunning outdoor seating that serves almost every type of Asian cuisine then this is the place for you! A little more upscale than the rest of the list, Malaka Spice offers good drinks, great food, and an amazing place to enjoy cool nights in Pune. The Top Hats and Prawns off the appetizer menu are killer!

Shisha Jazz Café

Located in Koregaon Park just down the street from Osho Gardens. Another more upscale joint, this café is best for its late night snacks, drink specials, and live music. Between the hummus and Baba Ganoush and the raised beds for seats, this place is a go-to spot to end your drunken bar crawl.

Café Goodluck

Located at the end of FC Road in Deccan. This café is frequented by the masses of students on FC Road. It offers quick bites and unbeatable tea and coffee. While the food is not especially noteworthy, this place is more about the atmosphere. From a quick glance at the exterior of the building, you will quickly realize that personal space is not a concept at this establishment.


Places to Drink

Effingut

Multiple locations throughout Pune. This bar/restaurant makes the list with its amazing drink deals (you can’t miss Ladies Night on Wednesdays!) and surprising playlists. They have events every night of the week so you’ll have every opportunity to get some cheap drinks and show off your dance moves!

Independence Brewing Company

Located in Koregaon Park. While I’m not much of a craft beer drinker myself, this place is a haven for those that enjoy a local microbrewery. Make sure to stop by before 5 pm to take advantage of some of their best deals.

The Bar Stock Exchange

Multiple locations throughout Pune. This place takes the cake for cheap drinks. The premise of the bar is that of the stock exchange: as the demand for certain drinks rises so does their price. Screens throughout the bar (and the app if you are able to download it) display the current price for drinks. I was able to get a Jack and Coke for less than $1 USD.

Daily All Day

Located in Koregaon Park. While the drinks are a little more on the pricey side and guys might find it difficult to get in without girls in their party, the tropical beach bar outside coupled with the American club-like atmosphere inside makes this bar an interesting stop for a night out.

SMAAASH

Located in the lower level of Phoenix Market City in Viman Nagar. I thought we would end the list with an experience like no other: SMAAASH. This place offers everything we miss from our childhoods—bowling, arcade games, pool, and foosball—accompanied by lots and lots of alcohol.

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