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Situated in Karnataka, one of India’s southwestern states, the cosmopolitan city of Bengaluru offers something for everyone, from its green spaces and outdoor activities to the tech hubs and the buzzing nightlife. Also known as Bangalore, the city boasts pleasant temperatures year-round.
Living in Bengaluru as an expat
At first glance, the metropolis is a patchwork of bad roads, low-slung buildings and general urban sprawl, but there is much more to it than that. As those who live in Bengaluru know, in the many software industrial parks there is enough microchip, software, computer and brainpower to make the whole city spin out to space.
Expats moving here can look for work in the transport, travel and tourism, as well as hospitality, design, marketing, banking and call centre sectors. That said, Bengaluru is perhaps most famous for its information technology industry, so much so that it’s received the nickname of India’s Silicon Valley. The area known as Electronic City is a major IT hub, and many expats moving to Bengaluru will find employment in this sector.
The city has tons of options for expat accommodation. From freestanding houses to gated communities, high-end apartments and even ‘independent floors’, which are entire apartment floors being rented out, Bengaluru has something for everyone. That said, most expats prefer the mega-complexes, as these provide them with multiple convenient amenities and many options to socialise.
Road congestion is a nightmare and while there are many transport options, getting around the city isn’t always easy. Despite this, the city has a convenient metro system and an extensive network of buses. Taxi cabs are also an option but can be quite expensive. Scattered around the city, expats can also find three-wheeled auto-rickshaws, but most foreigners tend to avoid them.
There are many healthcare facilities in the city, but the quality of public hospitals often varies. Private hospitals are often excellent and affordable, though, making private care a popular option among expats. That said, we nonetheless recommend having comprehensive health insurance to cover all eventualities.
Cost of living in Bengaluru
The city offers a reasonably cheap cost of living paired with a generally high quality of life. Most of an expat’s paycheck will most likely be spent on items from markets, especially those who prefer imported items. With affordable accommodation and healthcare, expats can expect a balanced lifestyle and easy budgeting.
Expat families and children
There are some established schools where expat children can receive a well-rounded education in the metropolis, but public facilities tend to be somewhat underfunded. Private schools offer better-equipped facilities but follow the Indian curriculum. Choosing this option may help children integrate into local culture quickly, though, so some expat parents prefer this route. Though pricey, international schools, offer expats the choice of foreign caurricula, allowing children to continue with their home country’s schooling system.
For those who want to unwind from a busy working day, Bengaluru is known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, with cafés, shops, countless entertainment options and a vibey nightlife that present the city as modern as any other. The city is also known as the Garden City, full of parks and green spaces, such as Lalbagh Botanical Garden. This, along with the open-minded people, makes for a welcoming environment for families as well as expats who enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, this bubble contrasts the reality of poverty faced by many living in the surrounding areas, and this can be a major element of culture shock.
Climate in Bengaluru
The city and its surrounding regions have a tropical savanna climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Bangalore has a generally moderate climate throughout the year, though occasional heatwaves do happen. Between September and February the weather is usually at its mildest in the city and the hottest time is between March and May.
The city can be a hardship posting for some, while others find it presents a real chance for career development and an opportunity to discover an exciting new country. Despite the pros and cons, expats who move to Bengaluru with an open mind can truly enjoy all there is to see and do.
►Check out some Frequently Asked Questions about life in Bengaluru
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