48 Hours in Pune: Your One-stop Guide

Photo of 48 Hours in Pune: Your One-stop Guide by Ragini Mehra

The long-due Pune trip happened only when a friend decided to choose the city as his wedding venue. And I am glad he did! Pune is a great place to unwind and gives you a good break from the mundane everyday life. My trip definitely started on a high as I experienced a Marathi wedding for the first time. That made me so curious about the city and its ways that I decided to extend my trip for a couple of days.

After making mental notes of all the touristy and non-touristy suggestions about Pune I could gather from the wedding and the internet, here’s how my next 48 hours looked like.

Day 1: We checked in to Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre and fortunately that worked as a very comfortable base to explore the city.

10:00 a.m.: After getting some random pictures in the hotel lobby, we planned the itinerary for the next two days and were all set to make the most of this beautiful city.

11:00 a.m.: Getting around Pune has been made very easy with Ubers available 24x7. We booked ours to the iconic Aga Khan Palace, one of the top things to do in Pune. Built in 1892, this was where Mahatma Gandhi was kept under imprisonment during the Quit India Movement. Walking down the corridors here opened a lot of chapters from the Indian freedom movement and each of them was very touching.

Photo of Aga Khan Palace, Palace View Society, Kalyani Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Ragini Mehra

The palace museum has displays related to the life and times then, handwritten notes by Mahatma Gandhi, Mahadev Desai and more, and a well-stocked library and documentation centre. If you are interested in Indian history too, this place is a must visit when in Pune.

2:30 p.m.: After the intense morning excursion, we decided to head to German Bakery, one of the most popular cafes in Pune.

Photo of German Bakery, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra by Ragini Mehra
Photo of German Bakery, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra by Ragini Mehra

Thronged with tourists from around the world and boasting of a vibrant decor, the place was buzzing with life. We couldn’t help but spend some extra hours here as we soaked in the vibe of the city, enjoying portions of the Mediterranean platter and cappuccino.

4:00 p.m.: A trip to Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple was next on the cards. We were amazed to see how well organized everything was despite the crowd. While you’re here, don’t forget to buy beautiful handmade Ganpati idols as souvenirs.

4:45 p.m.: Very close to the temple is yet another important historical site called Shaniwar Wada. The erstwhile seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire, it is nothing but a huge garden complex with ruins of once-a-magnificent fort. While the site has not been maintained very well, we learnt that the Sound and Light Show held at 8:15 p.m. every day is a must experience. We definitely have it on our list for when we visit Pune next!

Photo of Shaniwar Wada Fort, Shaniwar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Ragini Mehra

5:30 p.m.: With just two days in Pune, you wouldn’t want to waste a minute! A leisurely stroll took us to Laxmi Road. The next couple of hours went scouting for the best Nauvari designs. The traditional Marathi sarees are available in abundance here and you won’t be able to resist buying some for yourself and friends back home. Valisha, Vama, Peshwai and Kasat are some of the oldest and most famous shops here.

7:00 p.m.: We had no ordinary dinner plans and thus decided to café hop to make the most of the evening. We began the crawl at 11 East Street Café in Camp. As soon as you enter the café, you’ll feel like you’re walking on the streets of London, with the iconic Red Bus display as well.

7:15 p.m.: Once you’re done posing with the London specials, order your favourite beer to go with their sinful pizzas or burgers.

P.S.: Ask around for 'Garden Vada Pav' when in Camp and try out the city's much loved local delicacy as you take a stroll in the park.

8:00 p.m.: Head straight to Koregaon Park and you’ll truly be spoilt for choice when it comes to bars and pubs. We made our way to Effingut Brewerkz for their house specials and brewery feels. The jukebox adds to your overall experience, guaranteeing a super fun evening!

Photo of Effingut Brewerkz, Lane Number 6, Ashok Chakra Society, Koregaon Park, Serene Bay, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Ragini Mehra

10:00 p.m.: If you’re feeling up for it, try out any of the eateries situated at walking distance from Effingut Brewerkz. You can pick from Harry’s Bar & Kitchen, Murphies, Malaka Spice or The Bar Stock Exchange.

Day 2: We rented a cab for the day as it was going to be a long one for us.

9:00 a.m.: We started our day on a high note as we headed to Brugge, a quaint little café cum chocolate shop, for an early breakfast.

Photo of Brugge, Paud Road, Mahaganesh Colony, Kothrud, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Ragini Mehra

Pro tip: Pick a table right next to the large windows here, order a fulfilling burger along with the good ol’ cold coffee, and pack yourself some homemade chocolates.

11:30 p.m.: We were super excited for our excursion to Sinhagad Fort. Located 30 kilometres southwest of Pune, this 17th century fortress is on a hilltop thus making it a great getaway option from Pune. As we completed the trek, we were rewarded with a number of stalls selling local delicacies like Kandha Bhaji, Kacchi Ambi and Bhakri. Local Maharashtrian food had never tasted better!

6:30 p.m.: On our way back from the fort, we requested our driver to take us to Baner for some puppy therapy! Whether or not you have a dog, you must pay a visit to Café Two’s and Four’s, a concept café in Baner. This one is definitely for all dog lovers out there. Sip on some masala chai and enjoy a quick meal as you play with Chica and Ash, the adorable resident dogs.

8:00 p.m.: We saved the best for the last and dined at The Sassy Spoon in Koregaon Park before leaving for home the next morning. The caravan-style bar, a fairytale staircase leading to a world of books and the beer-mug chandelier worked together to create a picture straight out of our dreams. When you're in such a place, what's not to love?

Credit: http://www.thesassyspoon.in

Photo of The Sassy Spoon, Lane Number 7, Ashok Chakra Society, Meera Nagar, Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Ragini Mehra

And that’s a wrap! With so much to do, we are definitely going back to Pune soon! If you have time, here are some more things to do in Pune on your next trip:

1. Trek to the nearby Mulshi Dam if you’re a nature lover.

2. Visit Where Else Café & Bar to enjoy the company of beautiful Persian cats.

Photo of 48 Hours in Pune: Your One-stop Guide by Ragini Mehra

3. Head to Pataleshwar Cave Temple, a rock-cut cave temple dating back to the 8th century.

4. If you're into street shopping, head to FC Road and MG Road for some good bargains.

5. Plan a day trip to Imagica Theme Park if you’re an adventure buff.

6. If you’re visiting during February-March, plan a weekend getaway to Panchgani or Mahabaleshwar for the annual Strawberry Festival.

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