With its abundance of palaces, historic university, and thriving nightlife scene, Pune is a great place to spend a few laid-back days. With three days, you’ll have time to check out architectural and spiritual highlights, immerse yourself in local culture, and take a day trip out into nature. Here’s how.
Day 1: Palaces, Architecture, and Spiritual Attractions
Devote your first day in Pune to the city’s top attractions. Begin at the Osho International Meditation Resort, a popular residential ashram founded by Osho (formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh), a spiritual leader and the subject of the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country. Visit independently, or book a guided tour to learn about the group’s beliefs. Then visit 19th-century Aga Khan Palace and Pataleshwar Cave, a rock-hewn temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that's believed to date to around the eighth century. From here it's a short jaunt to Shaniwar Wada, a former Peshwa palace that's allegedly haunted. When night falls, join a walking tour of Koregaon Park, a posh neighborhood that’s beautifully illuminated at night.
Day 2: Pune Through the Eyes of Locals
Spend your second day in Pune checking out the city as locals experience it. Start with a visit to Savitribai Phule Pune University, one of India's best-known colleges. The giant campus is filled with greenery and British-colonial architecture, and bicycle tours are a good alternative to exploring on foot. Move on to an afternoon food tour where you can try traditional Maharashtrian food such as vada pav, a local veggie-burger alternative featuring a fried potato patty served in a fluffy white bun. In the evening, head back to the Koregaon Park area, this time to check out local nightlife; join a pub crawl to see where locals like to hang out.
Day 3: Day Trip Into Nature
Spend your last day getting out into nature. Popular nearby options include Mahabaleshwar, known for its scenic views and thriving strawberry industry, and Matheran, a car-free getaway where visitors have to get around on foot, by bicycle, or on horseback. Wildlife lovers might opt to visit Yashwant Sagar lake, near the town of Bhigwan, a bird sanctuary home to ibis, storks, spoonbills, and spotted owls and best-known for its huge flamboyances of flamingos. Along the way stop by Bhuleshwar Temple, a 13th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Return to Pune in the evening and grab a last dinner at the famous German Bakery, an international restaurant in Koregaon Park.