Tourist Places to visit in Karnataka (2022)

  • Post last modified:19 March 2022
  • Reading time:19 mins read

Karnataka is a state in south India that emits the rich cultural heritage of ancient India. The state is dotted with culturally and historically significant sites and monuments. Karnataka is the 4th most tourist state in the country and is the only state in the south to share its borders with all other states. The place is also home to serene beaches, beautiful gardens and advanced cities.

The state has been home to the mighty Vijayanagara Empire, Nanda Empire, Mauryan Empire, Chola Empire, Hoysala Empire and many others. The rich cultural past of the state has left it covered in captivating monuments and architectural wonders.

Karnataka has the second-most number of protected monuments in India. In this article, find the places to visit in Karnataka to make your trip to the state easier.


10 Places to Visit in Karnataka

  1. Bangalore

  2. Mysore

  3. Hampi

  4. Ballari

  5. Mangalore

  6. Chikmagalur

  7. Coorg

  8. Udupi

  9. Shimoga

  10. Gulbarga

Bangalore

Dubbed the ‘Garden City of India’ and the ‘IT Capital of India’, Bangalore is one of the top metro cities of the country. Presently known as Bengaluru, Bangalore is the largest and the capital city of Karnataka. Apart from tourism, the city also attracts students and employees from various sectors. Numerous MNCs have got their operations base in Bangalore.

The city is flooded with gardens and palaces. Each garden is unique in its own way and one can choose to visit any of those to spend a peaceful evening or a nice morning walk. Located on the Deccan Plateau, Bangalore is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year. The city is also perched at a considerable elevation (900m above sea level). Bangalore is certainly one of the top places to visit in Karnataka.

Best Time To Visit: From October to February

Major Attractions: Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bannerghatta Biological Park

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Relaxing, Photography, Experience Metro life

Mysore

Mysuru or Mysore is called the “City of Palaces” for a reason. The city is home to an infinite number of palaces that would teleport you to ancient India. Having been the centre of the Vijayanagara Empire, Mysore is embellished with architectural marvels. If you are a history buff, then a visit to Mysore is just what you need.

Mysore radiates the rich artistic culture that existed in South India. A trip to this city is certain to polish your knowledge about the incredible arts and crafts that existed in the past. Recognised as one of the cleanest cities in India, Mysore is also a heritage city. Mysore should surely be added to the list of places to visit in Karnataka.

Best Time To Visit: From October to February

Major Attractions: Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Learn more about various dynasties in India, Photography

Hampi

Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. The city is dotted with ruins that still emits the rich talent of craftsmen and architectures of the past. Hampi is situated close to the Tungabhadra River and held a significant place in world trade during 1500 CE. Recognised as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Hampi is home to royal palaces, massive temples and majestic forts.

Hampi is a favourite destination among backpackers and solo travellers. However, the town is visited by all sorts of tourists include families. Hampi is nothing less than an open museum willing to be explored. The town is visited by people from all parts of the world and remains one of the top attractions in Karnataka. Visiting Hampi is like knowing the heart and soul of the South Indian culture.

Best Time To Visit: From October to February

Major Attractions: Sree Virupaksga Temple, Vijaya Vitthala Gudi

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Learn about India’s rich cultural past, Photography, Backpacking

Ballari

Ballari is one of the major and most populous cities in the state of Karnataka. Known as the cultural city of Karnataka, Ballari is also known as Bellary. The city is famous for its cotton processing and garment manufacturing industries. And of course, tourism is a major significance of Ballari. This historically significant place is home to many neolithic archaeological sites.

Major attractions over here include the Ballari Fort, Bellary Zoo, Kumbara Rock Hills, ash mounds at Sanganakallu among others. In Ballari, you can find a rare mix of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as the city shares its borders with both these states. Ballari will hold a special place in every history buff’s heart for obvious reasons. It is one of the top destinations in Karnataka.

Best Time To Visit: From October to March

Major Attractions: Ballari Fort, Dr Rajkumar Park

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Learn Medieval Indian History in depth

Mangalore

Mangalore aka Mangaluru is a coastal town and one of the most preferred places to visit in Karnataka. Mangalore is known for its beautiful beaches, landscapes, temples and scenic points. However, this town has a lot to offer than what’s on the books. Mangalore is a tropic town and one must be prepared to face the heat while wandering around. However, regardless of its heat, Mangalore welcomes tourists around the year.

Situated about 250 kilometres west of Bangalore, Mangalore is a go-to weekend destination for Bangaloreans and for the visitors over there. The town welcomes its patrons with an array of scrumptious seafood to choose from. Visit the beaches during the evening to enjoy a nice walk and witness the sunset. Mangalore is well-connected via air, land, sea and rail to other parts of the state.

Best Time To Visit: From October to February

Major Attractions: Panambur Beach, Tannirbhavi Beach

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Food Tasting, Weekend Getaway

Chikmagalur

Find yourself amidst the magic of mist and coffee while in Chikmagalur. Perched at an elevation of 3,400 feet, Chikmagalur is blanketed with mesmerising coffee and tea plantations. Known as the ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’, the quality of coffee from Chikmagalur is famous worldwide. Wake up and breathe the fresh clean air mixed with the invigorating coffee aroma.

The lush green backdrop in every nook and corner of the city makes Chikmagalur a perfect tourist spot in Karnataka for tourists who fill their Instagram with travel stories. Apart from coffee plantations and calming weather, Chikmagalur is also home to majestic waterfalls, lakes and ancient temples. Chikmagalur is also a favourite spot among trekkers.

Best Time To Visit: From September to May

Major Attractions: Gandhi Park, Mullayanagiri Peak

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Coffee Tasting, Trekking, Photography

Coorg

Kodagu, popularly known as Coorg, is a misty landscape and arguably one of the most beautiful places in Karnataka. Popular for its coffee and spice plantations, Coorg is also famous for its hospitality. Choose from a wide range of homestays while in Coorg to feel as close to home as possible. Known as the ‘Scotland of India’, words cannot do justice to this place that is an experience in itself.

The city is a mixture of beautiful landscape, history, luxury and adventure. On your way towards Coorg, do not miss out on halting at scenic towns of Gonikoppal, Somwarpet, Kushalnagar, Pollibetta, and Virajpet. Take a break from your mundane life to visit Coorg. The weather and the scenic beauty of Coorg are enough to rejuvenate you for the rest of the year.

Best Time To Visit: From September to June

Major Attractions: Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Coffee Tasting, Trekking, Photography

Udupi

Udupi is a peaceful beach town in Karnataka. Apart from its beautiful beaches and striking temples, the town is also famous for its scrumptious vegetarian cuisine that is famous countrywide and has become nothing less than being a brand. Udupi is a haven for ‘beach people’ as well as ‘mountain people’ as it is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. The multiple facets of Udupi make it one of the top places to visit in Karnataka.

Udupi is also a holy town that is dotted with magnificent temples. Visit any of the beaches in Udupi to relax by a shack while enjoying delicious seafood. The top beaches in Udupi are Malpe Beach, Maravanthe Beach and Kapu Beach. Meanwhile, the Krishna temple is a must-visit destination as well. Make sure you visit St. Mary’s Island to see its famous black rocks.

Best Time To Visit: From June to February

Major Attractions: Shri Krishna Matha, Anantheshwara

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Pilgrimage, Enjoy Seafood

Shimoga

On the bank of the Tunga River, one can come across the small city of Shimoga. Officially known as Shivamogga, the city is nicknamed “Gateway of Malnad” for being the gateway of Western Ghats. Located 267 kilometres from the state capital Bangalore, Shimoga is covered in green paddy fields, areca nut and coconut plantations. Shimoga can be a part of your things to see in Karnataka. Do not miss out on visiting the Shimoga Zoo.

Shimoga has a place in India’s freedom movement as Mahatma Gandhi had visited the city during the Satyagraha movement. Shimoga is home to numerous cultural activities due to its deeply rooted religious and cultural history. The city is home to breathtaking hill slopes, waterfalls and a peaceful climate. Shimoga can be accessed with utmost ease from any part of the state.

Best Time To Visit: From October to March

Major Attractions: Shimoga Zoo, Sakrebyle Elephant Camp

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Photography, Trekking

Gulbarga

Gulbarga is a city renowned for its cultural heritage. This historic city is encompassed with historical monuments, shrines and tombs that could take you back in time. A majority of these monuments are inspired by Hindu-Muslim religious influences. Gulbarga was once an important religious centre of Sufism. The city has too many attractions to be seen. The Gulbarga Fort is a must-visit.

The city is one of the go-to destinations in Karnataka for history buffs. Do not miss out on tasting some of the local dishes while in Gulbarga. Even though the city is visited by all sorts of travellers, it is mostly visited by backpackers and solo travellers. Gulbarga is a year-round destination but is at its best during the winter.

Best Time To Visit: From October to March

Major Attractions: Gulbarga Fort, Dargah Hazrat Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz RH

Ideal duration to explore: 6-8 hours

Things to do: Explore Karnataka’s rich cultural past, Photography

Karnataka has enough to quench the thirst of the traveller within you. The state is dotted with religiously and culturally prominent destinations. From backpackers to families, Karnataka is ideal for every kind of tourist. Visiting Karnataka during winters would be the best time.

From busy cities like Bangalore and Mangalore to cultural towns of Hampi, Coorg and historic cities of Mysore and Bellary, Karnataka has a plethora of sites to visit. A proper itinerary would help one to make the most of their days in Karnataka.


FAQ

Which place is best for 2-day trips in Karnataka?

Major cities or attractions in Karnataka can be visited within two days with ease. A combination of Bangalore-Chikmagalur or Bangalore-Hampi can be covered in two days. Another good option would be the Mangalore-Mysore trip which can also be covered in 2 days.

Which is the best place for a family trip in Karnataka?

Karnataka has a place for all. The state is covered with places suitable for families. Places like Hampi, Mysore, Bangalore, Mangalore, Gokarna among others fall under the places to visit in Karnataka for families.

Which place is best for 3 days trip?

A three-day trip would be enough to cover top destinations in Karnataka. Within three days, one can cover places like Bangalore, Mangalore, Chikmagalur, Hampi among others.

How can I go to Hampi from Bangalore?

The fastest way to reach Hampi from Bangalore would be via Hubballi Airport. From Airport, it takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach Hampi. Another option would be by bus which takes around 6 and a half hours.

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