If you are one of those people that like to get away from the normal tourist tracks and attractions, and really get a local experience, Pune is just the place. Although not the top attraction in India, there are plenty of places to visit in Pune that will give you a real taste of life as a local.
There is something to be said for places that aren’t built around tourism, or meant to cater to foreigners, because then one can see how the culture really is, what the food is really like, and experience the living conditions and habits how they really exist on a day to day basis.
In this guide you will find many of the top attractions of Pune, and we will list some must-do experiences as well. Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything!
Places to Visit in Pune, India
1. Shaniwar Wada Palace
Built in 1732, the Shaniwar Wada Palace served as the sear of the Peshwas (chief minister) of the Maratha Empire until 1818 thanks to the Third Anglo-Maratha War. The majority of the fort was destroyed by a fire in 1828, however the sections that remain have been preserved for touristic purposes.
2. Parvati Hill
A hill in Pune that stands 650m above sea level. At the top is the Paravati Temple which is known to be the oldest heritage structure in all of Pune. There is an observation point here along with four other temples. It’s one of the most scenic and peaceful places in Pune.
3. Laxmi Road
Laxmi Road is the main shopping road in Pune. It gets its name from Laxmi the Goddess of Wealth. The road stretches for about 4km with shops lining both sides. There’s a little bit of everything here but it is known for its textile and garment shops which change stock every season.
4. Aga Khan Palace
The Aga Khan Palace is considered to be one of India’s most important landmarks. It was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Phan III who, according to local legend, built it to provide employment to the villagers who were suffering from the famine. The Agar Khan Palace is also linked to the freedom movement as it served as a prison for Mahatma Ghandi.
5. Osho Ashram
Pune’s Osho Ashram is a meditation centre meant to harmonize body, mind, and soul. There are a variety of meditation resort activities to take part in and a guesthouse on site as well available to visitors. You can also sign up for a Living In Program.
6. Lal Mahal
Lal Mahal, or the Red Palace, was originally established in 1630AD. Sadly, the original was ruined and demolished but a reconstruction took its place and the current Lal Mahal is now one of the most famous monuments in Pune. The current Lal Mahal is a memorial and houses statues, carvings, and oil paintings based on the life events of Shivaji, whose father built the original.
7. The Fish Bowl Restaurant
Located at the Hyatt hotel in Pune, The Fish Bowl Restaurant is a chic pace to get dinner and drinks. This contemporary restaurant is known for its cocktail menu.
8. Dagdusheth Halwai Temple
Dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesh, this temple gets thousands of visits from pilgrims every year. The temple was built by a rich businessman who lost is son to the plague. The family guru urged the business man and his wife to build a Ganesh temple to help heal them of their depression. The Indian Nationalist Leader at the time, who was also a friend of the businessmen, saw his devotion to building the temple and came up with the idea of having a public Ganesh festival which still takes place today.
9. Peacock Bay
Named after the large number of peacocks found around the shores of this area, Peacock Bay is a popular place to partake in watersports. The bay hosts a number of swimming competitions and offers boating and sailing to visitors. It’s a relaxing place to come for a few hours or even to spend the day.
10. Baneshwar Temple
A small temple surrounded by Jungle about 35km from Pune. Baneshwar Temple holds an important bell which was captured after defeating the Portugese in 1739. Baneshwar Temple is also a small bird sanctuary and is home to a number of crown hornbills.
11. Vetal Tekdi
The highest point in Pune, Vetal Hill is a scenic place for those looking for a nice walk or jog in natural surroundings. There is also a temple on top of the hill, Vetal Temple. Locals advise to go early in the morning when its quieter to get a nice view of the city.
12. Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Cafes can be found around the world, and Pune is no exception. If you are craving an American style restaurant/bar then this is the place to come for a meal or some drinks.
13. Pashan Lake
Pashan Lake is a natural lake just outside of Pune. While it is no longer a clean water source for the local population, it is a natural habitat for migrating birds. Bamboo and other plants have been planted in the area to help encourage the bird populations. Locals or visitors interested in bird watching can walk along the trail here.
14. Mi a Mi Club
Located at Pune’s Mariott hotel, the Mi a Mi Club is a fun place to go if you are looking for a night out. The club is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights and features local DJs and an impressive cocktail list. The party starts around 11pm.
15. Empress Garden
Nicknamed the jewel of Pune, the Empress Garden covers 39 acres of land and holds several rare species of trees and flowers. Lush, manicured lawns, plenty of flora and fauna, and a play area for children make it a popular place for families, couples, and friends to spend the day.
16. Trek to Andharban
If you are a avid trekker, then you should definitely add Andharban to your list of places to go in Pune. Andharban means dark forest and is one of the most beautiful treks in the area. Ridge walks, valleys, evergreen forests, and distain mountains add to its allure.
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17. Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum
Dr. Dinkar Kelkar began collecting objects in 1920, and amassed a huge collection of interesting artifacts. This museum showcases his collection of about 15,000 objects including musician instruments, ornaments, carvings, and more. The museum was dedicated to his only son, Raja Dinkar Kelkar.
18. Pataleshwar Cave Temple
A carved out temple dating back to the 8th century, Pataleshwar Cave Temple is dedicatd to the Hindu god Shiva. It’s a protected monument of the government and a popular place to visit. The cave temple itself is quite impressive and the surrounding gardens add to the tranquility.
19. Shinde Chhatri
Shinde Chhatri is a memorial dedicated to a military leader from the 18th century by the name of Mahadji Shinde. It’s one of Pune’s most important landmarks thanks to its stunning architecture and historical value.
20. Adlabs Imagica
If you are looking for a fun day out, especially if you are a family and have children, then consider heading to Adlabs Imagica. This theme park is about 2 hours away from Pune city centre and offers plenty of rides and shows suitable for everyone.
21. Appu Ghar Amusement Park
A small and basic amusement park near Pune, Appu Ghar is best suited for children. The park is a popular place for morning walks and even family picnics. A good spot if you only have a couple of hours to spend rather than a full day.
22. Ohel David Synagogue
Ohel David Synagogue was built in the English gothic style to resemble a church. It’s an important heritage part of India and is known as one of the main tourist attractions in Pune.
23. Sandhan Valley Trek
Another fun option for adventurous travellers in Pune is to head to Sandhan Valley for trekking. Along with trekking, you can also try rappelling and camp in the area. It’s a scenic spot with gorgeous canyons and a few temples as well.
24. Kalsubai Peak Trek
Located in the Western Ghats, Kalsubai Peak is the highest peak in Maharashtra at 1646m high and a popular spot for avid trekkers. According to local legend, the mountain is named after a woman who was forced to leave her village so climbed the mountain and lived there until she passed away.
25. Mushli Lake and Dam
A beautiful natural getaway for a day from Pune, Mushli Lake and Dam is a large lake surrounded by rolling green hills. There are a few resorts and restaurants in the area as well. Locals say that Mushli Lake is best seen during monsoon season when small waterfalls form off of the nearby hills.
26. Shabree Restaurant
One of the best places to get authentic Masharashtrian food in Pune, especially for vegetarians. Good ambience, fast service, reasonable prices, and delicious food make it a favourite.
27. Buleshwar Temple
An impressive Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, Buleshwar Temple dates back to the 13th century and was originally a fort. Part of what makes this temple special is its unique architecture which looks Islamic thanks to the rounded tops and minarets. The area is also popular with bird watchers as many birds migrate to the area in the summer.
28. Classic Rock Coffee Co
A favourite hangout spot in Pune for the evenings. Don’t let the name fool you though, this is more a bar than a café. A fun ambience, live music, and good food make it a popular spot for those looking for a casual and fun night out.
29. Panshet Waterpark
One of the most popular outings in Pune is to go to Panshet Waterpark. It’s about 45km from Pune and located within a scenic mountainous area. You can do pretty much anything watersport related here from kayaking to swimming and even wind surfing. It’s fun for people of all ages who enjoy watersports.
30. Malshej Ghat
Malshej Ghat is a favourite place to visit, especially during monsoon season when everything is a lush, vibrant green, and waterfalls form on the hills. A beautiful place to drive and take in the scenery, or for trekking. There’s a resort in the area as well for those who want to turn their visit into a bit of a getaway.
31. River Krishna Camping
If you are looking for a camping experience while in Pune, head to the small town of Wai for camping along River Krishna. Boat rides, bamboo raft rides, swimming, barbeque, and bonfires make it a fun experience to remember.
32. Darshan Museum
The Darshan Museum is an interesting and unique museum. It’s hi-tech using light and sounds shows along with HD videos and holographic images to convey the teachings of Sadhu T.L. Vaswani. The use of technology and realistic backdrops and sets make this museum truly come to life to create an interesting experience.
33. Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railway
This interesting museum claims to hold India’s only miniature city. It’s considered to be one of the best miniature train layouts on the world; very detailed and full functioning. The set-up includes everything from lamp posts to swimming pools and even a roller coaster.
34. Ranjanagon Ganpati Temple
Ranjanagon Ganapti Temple is one of the Ashtavinayak, meaning one of the eight Ganeshas or one of the temples in India that house a distinct idol of Ganesh. The temple dates back to the 9th century and is a popular pilgrimage spot for those doing a Ashtavinayak trip. It’s a beautiful building that has become popular for tourists to visit as well.
35. ISKCON NVCC Temple
The ISKCON NVCC Temple is one of the top places to go in Pune. One of the biggest comments here is about the relaxing and peaceful feeling you get when visiting the temple. Beautiful decorative idols, silks, and gardens. A very spiritual place in Pune.
36. Rajgad Fort
This historic hilltop fort was once the capital of the Maratha Empire. Today just the ruins remain, but if you are up for a bit of an adventure visiting Rajgad Fort makes for a fun excursion from Pune.
37. Katraj Jain Temple
One of the most architecturally interesting temples in Pune, the Katraj Jain Temple is a major pilgrimage site in June. The temple dates back to the 20th century and is considered to be the best Jain Temple in Pune due in part to its cleanliness and the calming atmosphere.
38. Sinhagad Fortress
Sinhagad Fortress is believed to have been built over 2000 years ago. It’s perched on an isolated clifftop and has seen and been involved in many historic battles over the years, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. It’s a popular spot to visit for those who enjoy hiking and trekking.
39. Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary
A great place in Pune for those who are looking for an adventure, the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary is filled with wildlife and natural attractions. The areas tallest mountain, Kalsubai, is located within the sanctuary along with a number of species of birds, reptiles, and mammals. The best time to visit is monsoon season when everything is lush and green.
40. Osho Teerth Gardens
A quiet and romantic place to escape the crowds and noise. There’s a bamboo forest, jogging path, several benches and a gurgling stream. The gardens stretch for five hectares.
41. Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Located 122km from Pune, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is the perfect place to go if you are looking to excape the chaos of the city. It’s popular for hiking, bird watching, or even just having a picnic while enjoying natural surroundings. This sanctuary is also known for being the home of the Karnala Fort.
42. Karnala Fort
Locaarted within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, this historic fort dates back to the 11th century. It played an important role in the area’s history throughout the different eras. Today, the remains of Karnala Fort are a popular hiking destination. It takes approximately one hour from the base of the hill up to the fort, and there are five rest points along the way.
Forests, valleys, hills, and waterfalls add to the allure of this beautiful sanctuary located about 130km outside of Pune. The area is home to the giant Indian squirrel and is a favourite destination for travellers who like to explore.
44. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
Surrounded by the Western Ghats and Shivasagar Lake, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is best known for its wild cat species including the Bengal tiger and Indian leopards.
45. Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is a peaceful natural place that attracts many visitors from Pune looking to experience more of the natural area. There are several impressive species to be found here including hyenas, barking deer, wild boar, and panthers.
Bhigwan is another gorgeous bird sanctuary located near Pune. It’s best known for its flocks of flamings, of which there are hundreds, but you can also see ducks, raptors, heros, and egrets among other bird species. The best time to visit Bhigwan for bird watching is between December and March.
Like the other wildlife sanctuaries on this list of places to visit in Pune, Mayureshwar is home to a number of different animal, bird, and reptile species. However, what makes this wildelife reserve special is that it is one of the few sanctuaries in India that visitors can actually explore using their own vehicle.
48. Malaka Spice Restaurant
A popular southeast Asian restaurant offering up a variety of dishes from curries to noodles to stir fries. Plenty of seafood options. The majority of the ingredients used by the chefs here are local, many of which come from their own farm.
49. Independence Brewing Company
If you are a beer enthusiast and looking for a fun place to grab a beer, then head to the Independence Brewing Company. This laid-back beer garden offers seven craft beers on tap that they switch out regularly.
50. Torna FortFlickr Credit: Nilesh Walimbe
This fort was built by the followers of Shiva in the 14th century. It’s 4600 feet above sea level and also goes by the name Prachandagad. Its best experienced during the winter months as the trail up can be very slippery during monsoon season.
Craving Italian while in India? No problem at Dario’s’ Italian restaurant. Located at the back of Hotel Sunderban this vegetarian restaurant has made a name for itself as one of the city’s most elegant dining experience. Pastas, pizzas, and salads fill up this menu, including gluten free and vegan options.
52. Tung Fort
One of the easiest treks near Pune and suitable for families with older children. Tung Fort is a small fort about 3000 feet above sea level and goes back to the Maratha Empire. It’s about an hour hike from the base of Tungwadi village.
53. The National War Museum
Pune’s National War Museum is a memorial to all of the fallen Indian soldiers who fought for their country. Uniforms, weapons, tanks, and a MIG BN fighter jet are all on display here. This museum is the only museum in South Asia that was funded by the citizens.
54. Pune Tribal Museum
Dedicated to the Wagdheo, Danteswari, Bahiram, and Marai tribes from the Sahyadris, this museum contains a variety of items to teach visitors about the native cultures. You can find everyday items like clothing and tools to beautiful masks, musical instruments, and even full size replicas of people.
A popular hiking destination with waterfalls, lakes, and stunning viewpoints overlooking the Western Ghats.
56. Phoenix Market City
A massive mall in Pune, Phoenix Market city has all kinds of shopping and entertainment. Clothing stores, restaurants, movie theatres, and a gaming zone suited to both adults and children make it a popular place to go in Pune.
57. Chokhi Dhani
An entertainment village that allows visitors to dive into the Rajasthani culture. Here you can try Rajasthani food and see performances of regional dances. It’s very kid friendly and also has a few rides, puppet shows, magic shows, and a toy train.
Kolad is a fun adventure destination outside of Pune. They offer a variety of activities making it suitable fpr all ages. From hot air balloon rides to rock-climbing to white water rafting, there is tons of fun to be had here. There are eco-lodges here as well so you can stay overnight.
59. Blades of Glory Cricket Museum
This is a private museum which is owned and operated by an avid cricket fan by the name of Rohan Pate. It’s not a huge museum, but it’s perfect for cricket enthusiasts. The museum contains a variety of memorabilia that has been signed by famous cricket players from around the world.
60. ABC Cheese Farms
Love cheese? Then this is the place for you. ABC Cheese Farms makes 70 different types of cheeses and cheese products (including cheesecake!). You can take a tour of the farm during your visit and try some of the products.
Have you been to any of the places in Pune listed above? Let us know in the comments section below! Also, if we missed any must-see attractions in Pune, let us know that too! We love hearing feedback and travel tips from our readers!