Best Tourist Destinations to Visit in Karnataka, India

Best Tourist Places to Visit in Karnataka

The land of India’s glorious past, Karnataka is a state with much to keep tourists with varying interests busy. From its rich heritage and culture to the variety in landscape, the state offers something for every visitor. It attracts sightseeing lovers as much as adventure enthusiasts. With the immense variety on offer, Karnataka is the third most popular state in India among tourists

The capital city of Bangalore has a unique cosmopolitan lifestyle woven in culture and traditions. Mesmerizing palaces and fascinating monuments at Mysore take you back in time. The beaches of Gokarna and the hills of Coorg attract tourists from all parts of the country. Hampi boasts of the relics of a glorious past preserved effortlessly across the town. Other attractions include Udupi, Chikmagalur, Murudeshwar, and Badami. Here is a list of the best places to visit in Karnataka for an enriching trip.


Coorg (Madikeri) Best Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Coorg / Madikeri Best Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India (courtesy: ravigopalkesari)
  • Best time to visit: September to June
  • Places to visit: Abbey Falls, Talakaveri, Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort
  • Ideal trip duration: 1-2 days

Coorg is Karnataka’s most popular coffee-producing hill station and tourist destination. Nestled amidst misty mountains, Coorg is home to some of the most beautiful green hills and streams cutting right through the jungle. The hill town is known for its rich culture and hospitable members of the Kodava clan who specialize in martial arts.

Coorg is also a popular honeymoon destination in South India. The breathtakingly beautiful scenery and lush greenery of Coorg make it one of the best hill stations to visit in India with your life partner. You can enjoy hiking up the forest covered hills or enjoy a tour of the spice and coffee plantations.

Some of the prominent tourist places to visit in Coorg are Raja’s Seat, Namdroling Monastery, Madikeri Fort, and Gaddige Raja’s tomb. Nature lovers can spend their day at the Abbey Falls, Honnamana Kere Lake, and Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Adventure seekers can experience trekking at Tadiandamol Peak, Iruppu Falls, Kotebetta Peak, and Pushpagiri Parvatha. White water rafting is also available at the Barapole River.


Mysore - Best Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Mysore – Best Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India (courtesy: chaitanyarayampally)
  • Best time to visit: November to February 
  • Places to visit: Mysore Palace, Brindavan Garden, Mysore zoo, Somanathapura Temple, Chamundeshwari Temple, Shuka Vana
  • Ideal trip duration: 3-4 days

The City of Palaces, Mysore is replete with history and architecture. Located amidst the Chamundi Hills, the city of Mysore is among the best places to visit in Karnataka during Dussehra. The elegant architecture of the city draws millions every year.

The popular monuments of Mysore are Mysore Palace, Somanathapura Temple, Jaganmohan Palace, and  St. Philomena’s Church. The Mysore Palace stands out for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can explore the history of Mysore.

Another popular tourist attraction of Mysore is the Ashtanga School of Yoga. It draws visitors and yoga practitioners from around the world. Nature lovers can spend time amidst the Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, Shuka Vana, and Bonsai Garden. Mysore Rail Museum, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, and Karanji Lake are popular places to visit with family and friends.    


Chikmagalur Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Chikmagalur Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India (courtesy: mayankagarwal)
  • Best time to visit: September to May
  • Places to visit: Baba Bundangiri, Mullayanagiri, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Kudremukh National Park
  • Ideal trip duration: 2-3 days

The land of coffee, Chikmagalur is a small town with endless breathtaking views that attract tourists and nature lovers alike. The tall mountains of Chikmagalur are covered in lush forests and coffee plantations. It is known as “The Coffee Land” for being one of the highest producers of coffee in the state.

Chikmagalur boasts of numerous trekking trails, such as Mullayanagiri, Kemmanagundi, Jenukal Gudda, Kudremukh, and Baba Budangiri. The popular places to visit in Chikmagalur include the highest peak of Chikmagalur, in Mullayanagiri which offers astounding views of the sun rising from behind the mountains. Adventure lovers can indulge in rafting at the Bhadra River. Wildlife spotting and birdwatching can be enjoyed at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and Kudremukh National Park.


Hampi Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Hampi Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India (courtesy: sameersm)
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Places to visit: Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple, Lotus Temple, Hampi Bazaar, Hippie Island
  • Ideal trip duration: 2-3 days

Few tourist places in Karnataka are as captivating and charming as Hampi. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, the ancient town is known for its ruined temples. Hampi is the world’s largest open-air museum popular among history buffs and spiritual seekers. 

The town of Hampi has impressive structures of temples from the 15th Century. You can visit the Virupaksha temple, Vithala temple, Yantrodharaka Hanuman Temple, and Lakshmi Narasimha Temple. Other popular places to visit in Hampi are Lotus Palace, Queen’s Bath, Elephant Stables, and Zenana Enclosure. A climb up Matanga Hill offers the best views of the mesmerizing ruins of Hampi.

Hiking, coracle riding, bouldering, cliff jumping, and rock climbing are popular tourist activities in Hampi. Backpackers can visit Hippie Island across the Tungabhadra River for a laid-back experience amidst the natural abundance of Hampi. 


Gokarna Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India
Gokarna Tourist Destination to Visit in Karnataka, India (courtesy: danieldara)
  • Best time to visit: October to March
  • Places to visit: Om Beach, Mahabaleshwara Temple, Paradise Beach, Kudle Beach, Gokarna Beach
  • Ideal trip duration: 2-3 days

Gokarna is a scenic Hindu pilgrimage town located on the coast of Karwar. It is among the best beach destinations to visit in South India owing to its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes.  Full of coconut and palm trees along the shoreline blanketed with glistening sand, Gokarna is a ‘one of a kind’ place in the country. It is an ideal spot for travelers and also home to those seeking sanctity in their leisure time away from the hustle of work. 

You can laze around at Kudle Beach or enjoy water sports like surfing, water-skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides at Om Beach. Paradise Beach is perfect for a rejuvenating swim while you can indulge in hippie-style parties at Gokarna Beach. 

Other prominent tourist attractions at Gokarna are Mahabaleshwar temple, Yana Cave, Bhadrakali Temple, Mirjan Fort, and Koti Tirtha. Though a small town, Gokarna is the perfect place in Karnataka for a slow-paced and relaxing holiday. Beachside camping and trekking are popular activities in Gokarna among adventure seekers.