The best things in life are free. Quite simply, some of the best experiences in Pune can be enjoyed without spending a penny. You don’t have to splurge on a six-course meal at JW Marriott or go to a nightclub to enjoy the live music scene in the city. There are so many activities that you can do in the Oxford of the East totally free of cost.
Places to Visit
Khadakwasla Lake is one of the major sources of water supply to the city of Pune. In addition to this, it makes for a picturesque and serene day trip. With a scenic view of blue waters, lush greenery, and the dam itself, it is the perfect spot to catch the sunrise or sunset. Whether you want to enjoy this by yourself with your feet dipped in the water or with a group of friends enjoying the various snacks and chaat available, it is completely up to you.
The Khadakwasla Lake is particularly beautiful during Monsoon, so make sure you plan a trip soon.
Stroll down Koregaon Park
One of the most expensive and plush localities of Pune, Koregaon Park is home to some of the best restaurants, pubs, hotels, and residential complexes. This leafy neighborhood has quiet, tree-lined avenues that are great for a long walk. If you have nothing else to do and are too broke to spend money on any activity, head to Koregaon Park for a stroll, alone or with a friend.
Visit the Osho Ashram
Situated right behind the Osho Ashram is the Osho Garden, a Japanese Zen garden built by the Shunyo Foundation. For all those who enjoy both spirituality and nature, visiting the Osho Ashram and Garden should be on top of the bucket list.
Raja Kelkar Museum
Turn back time and revisit the different eras of exquisite Indian craftsmanship at this historic museum. The Raja Kelkar Museum contains the collection of Dr. Dinkar G. Kelkar dedicated to the memory of his only son, Raja. The three-storey building houses various sculptures dating back to the 14th century. The impressive museum collection of 21,000 priceless artefacts recalls the historic Indian culture and traditions; creations in stone, wood, metal, ivory, fabric and clay. The Museum contains variety of every day artefacts, which includes lamps, palanquins, carved woodwork, tin ware, hookahs, musical instruments, miniature paintings, glass paintings, intricately carved wooden doors and windows among others. Even if you didn’t like history in school, we promise you that you’ll enjoy this visual delight.
Plus, Mastani Mahal is also inside the museum and has its own dedicated room. Kelkar had dismantled whatever remained of the mahal and brought it inside the museum.
If you’ve got no money to spend to visit an art gallery, head to Kasba Peth and do an art hop by yourself. You’ll spot works by various street artists from the 2013 Pune Street Art Project. About 100 metres away from the main entrance of Shaniwar Wada, you’ll start spotting graffiti that’s cool. There are a ton of nooks, so keep your eyes wide open for some art. There’s no map to follow, but you can make a trail of your own and hop around the peth.
The Aga Khan Palace
This Italian-style compound is not only architecturally impressive, but also historically significant. This is where Gandhi was imprisoned along with his wife during India’s bid for independence. Today the place is run as a Gandhi memorial by a trust that espouses his principles; the room he stayed in is preserved so you can see his books and other effects. The gardens are lovely and a store that sells hand spun khadi cloth and other crafts is worth the price of admission.
This small hillock is an easy climb, and from the observation deck, you can get a lovely panoramic view of the city below. One hundred and three steps up the Parvati Hill will take you to an 18th-century temple complex. Five temples, the largest of which is dedicated to Parvati, the goddess of love and fertility, beckon the devout as well as the curious. A small museum close by showcases the dynasty that built the temples. There’s also an eighth-century Buddhist cave halfway up the southeastern slope.
Blades of Glory Cricket Museum
Yes, Sachin’s bat is here (unsurprisingly, there’s a whole bunch of Tendulkar in this museum), but so is memorabilia from other players from across the globe in the world’s largest cricket museum. There are lots of signed balls, bats, and wicket stumps, sure, but also team jerseys to bowl you over. A highlight amidst all the autographs and cricket paraphernalia is the exhibit depicting the evolution of the bat.
A serene and scenic hill station dotted with numerous lakes, waterfalls and mountains, Malshej Ghat is a divine getaway from the city’s humdrum. Mulshi, on the other hand is an eco-tourism hot-spot, an ideal retreat to the Sahyadri ranges, Koraigadh and Dhangad fort.
Gyaan Adab Centre
Snuggled in a corner of Kalyani Nagar, Gyaan Adab offers a warm and conducive space where readers can engage with a reading of their choice. The centre has a well-stocked library and reading room where people of all ages can read, engage in a dialogue and share the exciting experience of literature. From book readings to heartfelt discussions on art, music, and theatre, they conduct various workshops from time to time. You can find books in four Indian languages besides English.
Must Try Food in Pune
- Vada-Pav At JJ Garden
- Misal Pav At Bedekar
- Bun Maska At Vouhman Cafe
- Kheema Pav At Goodluck Cafe
- Patti Samosas At Akhtar Samosa
- Cheesy Deep Dish Pizza At Baked & Wired
- Sinful Nolen Gur Rasgullas At Calcutta Sweets
- Delectable Lemon Tarts At Diamond Bakery
- Chicken Kathi Rolls At Kapila
How To Get Here
Pune Airport is located at the heart of the city. It’s an international airport, busy with flights from all around the world. Direct flights to Pune are available from all major airports in India. How to reach Pune in the shortest time is to take the aerial route.
Travelling to Pune by road is the best option for those travelling with family or kids. Pune car rentals are available for those who want to drive and explore by themselves. The advantage of travelling to Pune by car is that the vehicle can be stopped anytime and anywhere as desired. Pune travel cabs are available for hire which is the most efficient way to cover the entire city.
Pune is well-connected by rail as well. Local as well as express trains run throughout the day. Trains to Pune are available from all major railway stations in India. Some of the popular Pune trains are Pune Duronto Express, Puducherry Express and Tirunelveli Express. Pune train timetable can be checked if unfamiliar with the trains and its timings.