City Guide: Pune, The Oxford Of The East

Embark on a journey through Pune, a city that seamlessly blends its rich historical legacy with a thriving modern ethos
An aerial view of Pune city
An aerial view of Pune cityShutterstock

Pune, often called the Oxford of the East, is a dynamic city that combines tradition and progress. As the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune has a rich history dating back to the Maratha Empire. Today, Pune is a hub for education, technology, and cultural endeavours. It has many historic landmarks, bustling markets, and a vibrant spirit among its residents. All these elements combine to create a truly captivating, unique narrative.


Pune has a rich history that dates back to the Maratha Empire, which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Peshwas ruled. The city played a vital role in India's struggle for independence, serving as a base for several prominent freedom fighters. The Aga Khan Palace, which witnessed pivotal moments in history, stands as a testament to Pune's contributions. Pune's past resonates in its architectural heritage and cultural legacy, from the serene Sinhagad Fort to the academic excellence of institutions like Fergusson College.


Shaniwar Wada
Shaniwar WadaShutterstock

Shaniwar Wada: Once the seat of the Peshwas, Shaniwar Wada is an iconic fort palace known for its intricate architecture and historical significance. The fort complex includes the imposing Thorlya Rayancha Diwankhana and the beautiful Hazari Karanje.

Aga Khan Palace
Aga Khan PalaceShutterstock

Aga Khan Palace: Built in 1892, the Aga Khan Palace is not only an architectural marvel but also a symbol of India's freedom struggle. It houses a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and his followers.

Sinhagad Fort
Sinhagad FortShutterstock

Sinhagad Fort: Perched on the Sahyadri range, Sinhagad Fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Steeped in history, the fort has witnessed numerous battles and stands as a testament to Maratha valour.


Popular Restaurants

Dorabjee & Sons: A Pune institution, Dorabjee & Sons has been serving Parsi delicacies for decades. The berry pulao and dhansak are must-try dishes.

Address: 845/846, Dastur Meher Rd, Camp, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 10 am to 7 pm

Cost: INR 1500 for two

Vaishali: A favorite among locals, Vaishali is renowned for its South Indian and North Indian fare. The masala dosa and filter coffee are iconic offerings.

Address: Fergusson College Rd, Ganeshwadi, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411005

Timings: 7 am to 11 pm

Cost: INR 500 for two

German Bakery: Located in Koregaon Park, the German Bakery is a popular spot for delicious baked goods, sandwiches, and a cosy ambience.

Address: 292 Kharose Apartment Ground Floor North Main Road, Pune 411001 India

Timings: 9 am to 9 pm

Cost: INR 1000 for two

Shabree: Specialising in Maharashtrian cuisine, Shabree offers a culinary journey through the state's diverse flavours. The puran poli and misal pav are highly recommended.

Address: 1199, 1A, behind Tukaram Paduka Temple, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411004

Timings: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm to 11 pm

Cost: INR 800 for two

Malaka Spice: For those craving Asian flavours, Malaka Spice in Koregaon Park serves delectable Pan-Asian dishes in a vibrant setting.

Address: GVPW+VRH Siddharth Chambers, Lane, off North Main Road, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 11:30 am to 12:30 am

Cost: INR 1,800 for two

Popular Street Food Joints

Vohuman Cafe: This iconic Irani cafe is known for its bun maska, chai, and a nostalgic ambience that transports visitors to a bygone era.

Address: Millenium Star, Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj Rd, near Ruby Hall, Sangamvadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 6:30 am to 7:30 pm

Cost: INR 500 for two

Joshi Wadewale: Indulge in the crispy and spicy delights of Puneri wadas at Joshi Wadewale, a popular street food joint.

Address: Congress House Rd, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411005

Timings: 7 am to 10 pm

Cost: INR 400 for two

A shop in M. G. Road, Pune
A shop in M. G. Road, PuneShutterstock

M.G. Road Street Food Stalls: The street food stalls along M.G. Road offer a variety of snacks, from pav bhaji to pani puri, capturing the essence of Pune's street food culture.

Bedekar Misal: A culinary gem, Bedekar Misal is celebrated for its fiery misal pav, a traditional Maharashtrian dish with a flavourful kick.

Address: 418, Munjabacha Rd., Narayan Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411030

Timings: 7:30 am to 6 pm

Cost: INR 400 for two

Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale: Satisfy your sweet tooth with the delectable sweets at Chitale Bandhu, known for its bakarwadi, bhakarwadi, and other Maharashtrian treats.

Address: 777, Bajirao Rd, near Bank Of Maharashtra, Sadashiv Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411030

Timings: 8 am to 8 pm

Cost: INR 500 for two


Darshan Museum: Dedicated to the teachings of Sadhu Vaswani, the Darshan Museum showcases multimedia exhibits, creating an immersive experience for visitors.

Address: 10, Sadhu Vaswani Rd, near G.P.O, Agarkar Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

Tilting Art Gallery: Nestled in Ishanya Mall, Tilting Art Gallery features contemporary art exhibitions, providing a platform for emerging artists and diverse artistic expressions.

Address: HV4W+J3G, Shastrinagar, Yerawada, Pune, Maharashtra 411006

Timings: 11 am to 8 pm

Street Art in Koregaon Park: Explore Koregaon Park to discover vibrant street art, murals, and installations that add a creative touch to the city's urban landscape.


Monsoon in Kamshet
Monsoon in KamshetShutterstock

Paragliding at Kamshet: Just a short drive from Pune, Kamshet is a paragliding paradise. Adventure seekers can soar through the skies and enjoy breathtaking views of the Western Ghats.

Rajmachi Trek: Embark on the Rajmachi trek to explore ancient forts and picturesque landscapes. The trek offers a blend of history and adventure, with the reward of stunning sunset views.

Pawna Lake, Pune
Pawna Lake, PuneShutterstock

Pawna Lake Camping: For a serene getaway, camping by Pawna Lake is a popular choice. Enjoy the tranquility of the lake, indulge in water activities, and savour the beauty of the surrounding hills.


Tulsi Baug: A bustling market, Tulsi Baug is known for its vibrant stalls selling clothing, accessories, and traditional Maharashtrian jewellry.

Timings: 9 am to 11pm

FC Road (Fergusson College Road): Fergusson College Road is a shopping hub, featuring a mix of branded stores, boutiques, and street vendors. It's a favourite among college students and fashion enthusiasts.

Juna Bazaar: Explore Juna Bazaar for a traditional shopping experience, with stalls offering antiques, vintage items, and a variety of goods.


Osho Teerth Park, Pune
Osho Teerth Park, PuneShutterstock

Osho Teerth Park: Formerly known as the Osho Commune, this park offers a serene environment with lush greenery, meditation spaces, and tranquil pathways.

Address: GVPR+89R, D. H. Dhunjibhoy Road, Between Lane Number 2 and 3, Koregaon Rd, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 6 pm

Nightingale at Pashan Lake
Nightingale at Pashan LakeShutterstock

Pashan Lake: A birdwatcher's paradise, Pashan Lake is a peaceful retreat with a diverse avian population. It's a perfect spot for nature walks and bird spotting.

Pashan Lake: A birdwatcher's paradise, Pashan Lake is a peaceful retreat with a diverse avian population. It's a perfect spot for nature walks and bird spotting.

Timings: 6 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 6 pm

Khadakwasla Dam, Pune
Khadakwasla Dam, PuneShutterstock

Khadakwasla Dam: Surrounded by hills, the Khadakwasla Dam is a picturesque destination for a day outing, offering boating and stunning views of the landscape.v


Osho International Meditation Resort: Immerse yourself in meditation and wellness at the Osho International Meditation Resort, known for its tranquil surroundings and a variety of meditation programs.

Address: 17, 1st Ln, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 6 am to 11 pm

Cost: INR 1950 per day

The Four Fountains Spa: With multiple locations in Pune, The Four Fountains Spa offers a range of spa therapies, massages, and wellness packages for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Address: First Floor - Artha Vishwa, Lane 5 Opp. The Great Punjab Restaurant, Off North Main Road, Koregaon Park Opp. The Great Punjab Restaurant, Off North Main Road, Koregaon Park, Pune 411001 India

Timings: 7 am to 9 pm

Atmantan Wellness Retreat: Located near Pune, Atmantan Wellness Retreat provides a holistic wellness experience with spa treatments, yoga sessions, and healthy cuisine.

Address: Ganraj Chowk, Lane 4, Shreenath Nagar, Baner, Pune, Maharashtra 411001


Shaniwar Wada Light and Sound Show: Experience the history of Shaniwar Wada come alive through a mesmerising light and sound show that narrates the tales of the fort.

High Spirits Cafe: A popular venue for live music and performances, High Spirits Cafe hosts gigs, open mic nights, and cultural events in a lively atmosphere.

Address: 35A, 1, N Main Rd, next to The Westin, Koregaon Park Annexe, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: 12 pm to 11:45 pm

Cost: INR 1500 for two

The Mills: Located in Undri, The Mills is a cultural space featuring theaters, art installations, and a vibrant community of artists. It hosts film screenings, plays, and art exhibitions.

Address: 5, Raja Bahadur Mill Rd, Behind Hotel Grand Sheraton, Sangamvadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Timings: Open 24 hours

Cost: INR 1400 for two



JW Marriott Hotel Pune: A luxurious retreat, JW Marriott Hotel Pune offers elegant rooms, fine dining experiences, and a central location in Pune's upscale Koregaon Park.

Address:Senapati Bapat Rd, Laxmi Society, Model Colony, Gokhalenagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411016

Cost: INR 18,499 per night

The Westin Pune Koregaon Park: Nestled in the heart of Koregaon Park, The Westin Pune offers upscale accommodations, modern amenities, and a serene ambience.

Address: 36/3-B, Mundhwa Rd, Koregaon Park Annexe, Ghorpadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

Cost: INR 13,400 per night


Shantai Hotel: A budget-friendly option, Shantai Hotel provides comfortable accommodations, essential amenities, and a convenient location in the city.

Address: 10/3, Off. Moledina Road, Camp, Rasta Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411011

Cost: INR 1,832 per night

Hotel Sapna: Situated near Pune Railway Station, Hotel Sapna is a budget hotel offering affordable stays and easy access to transportation.

Address: 573/7, Jangali Maharaj Rd, next to Sambhaji Park, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411004

Cost: INR 2,150 per night


SaffronStays Calvin & Hobbes: Experience homely comfort at SaffronStays Calvin & Hobbes, a homestay with cosy rooms, personalised service, and a tranquil setting.

Address: 186 - 188 Hill Street, Lavasa 412112 India

Cost: INR 5000 to INR 60,000 per night

Serene Villa: Tucked away in the hills, Serene Villa offers a homestay experience with spacious rooms, a garden, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Address: HQ5V+RXH, Kapil Tranquil Greens Rd, Riviresa Society, Baner, Pune, Maharashtra 411045

Cost: INR 10,000 per night


The Orchid Hotel: Embrace sustainable living at The Orchid Hotel, a LEED-certified property with eco-friendly practices and a commitment to environmental responsibility.

Address: Adjacent Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex, Pune-Banglore Road, Balewadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411045

Cost: INR 5,500 per night

Fort JadhavGADH - A Gadh Heritage Hotel: While not in Pune city, Fort JadhavGADH offers a unique stay in a heritage fort with a focus on sustainability and responsible tourism.

Address: Hadapsar - Saswad - Jejuri Rd, Jadhavwadi, Maharashtra 412301

Cost: INR 9,300 per night

Getting There

Air: Pune is well connected with the entire country through domestic airlines. Lohegaon Airport, or Pune Airport, is an international airport located 15 km away from Pune city centre and has flights connecting to all the major cities.

Rail: Pune Junction railway station connects the city with all the prime Indian destinations. Some of the prominent trains operating to/from Mumbai are the Deccan Queen and Shatabdi Express, which take around three-and-a-half hours to reach Pune.

Road: Pune enjoys excellent connectivity with neighbouring cities and towns by a well-maintained network of roads. Mumbai (140 km), Ahmadnagar (121 km), Aurangabad (215 km) and Bijapur (275 km) all are well-linked to Pune by several state and roadways buses. Those driving from Mumbai need to take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway route, which takes barely 2 to 3 hours to cover a distance of about 150 km.

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