Bengaluru is served by Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR/VOBL) located at Devanahalli, about 40 kilometers (just over one hour transit time) from the city center and the conference venue, The Leela Palace, Bangalore.
A facilitation desk for participants to AIB 2015 Annual Meeting will be setup at the Arrivals terminal, between Gates 13 and 14, starting at 00:01 on Jun 25th and running until 23:59pm on Jun 28th. If you have already booked an airport transfer, the desk will lead you to your vehicle. For the rest of the participants, the desk will be happy to answer your questions regards transportation into the city.
For those who have not booked an airport pickup, or are arriving outside of the AIB 2015 desk dates, you may take a taxi to your hotel. Taxi counters are directly outside the terminal. The taxis are metered, air-conditioned, and will give receipts if requested. DO NOT take a taxi from agents / drivers who may approach you inside or outside the terminal. Head to the counters directly. The following are licensed taxi companies at the Airport: Mega Cabs/ Airport taxi / Easy Cabs / Meru Cabs. These taxis are available round the clock. A taxi ride to the AIB 2015 hotels should cost about Indian Rupees 1000-1200, depending on the distance to the particular hotel. Please note that an 25 percent additional night charge is applicable between 10pm-5am.
The legal tender is the Indian Rupee (INR). Only Indian Rupees may be used for commercial transactions in India. Most large stores, restaurants, and hotels will accept Credit Cards, but smaller stores, restaurants and taxis will not. Therefore you may wish to exchange your currency for some Indian Rupees at the Foreign Exchange counter arrival area. There are ATMs around the city (and one in the shopping plaza connected to Leela Palace), however please note that most ATMs will charge a transaction fee, in addition to any fees your personal bank may charge. Most ATMs have a 10,000 Rupee daily withdrawal limit.
Normal commercial banking hours are from 10:00 to 16:00 hours from Monday to Friday and 14:00 hours on Saturdays. Banks are closed on Sundays and on public holidays.
Though Kannada is the official language of the state, English is spoken at offices and commercial establishments, as well as in all major hotels and restaurants. Hindi is also widely spoken in the city.
Bengaluru is 5 1/2 hours ahead of GMT. For more information, please see India Standard Time (IST).
India operates on the GSM 900 Mhz/1800 Mhz network. So most GSM world phones should operate in India. You can buy local SIM cards, relatively easily. A copy of your passport may be requested.
In late June, the temperature in Bengaluru will be pleasant with a high of 30 degrees C and a low of 20 degrees C, with little rain. However, there could be a chance of short evening rains as it is the shoulder season for Mansoons.
Tipping is not compulsory in India. However, good service is generally rewarded with a nominal tip. In restaurants, typical tip is about 10 percent. For hotel porters, 50 Rupees per bag is appropriate. Most hotel staff will also expect some nominal tip for things like room service, laundry service, and such. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but may appreciate it if you round up the amount.
As with travel into any foreign country, some basic precautions are useful to ensure you remain healthy during your visit to Bangalore. Do not eat or drink anything from roadside vendors. Drink only bottled water and ensure that the seal of the bottle is in place (that it was not refilled with tap water). Try to avoid uncooked foods such as salads and raw fruits and vegetables unless you are in a 5-star hotel (they have their own filtration systems).
While the risk of Malaria is considerably lower in Bangalore than many other places in India, wearing clothes that cover a large portion of your body is still recommended. In addition, carry and use a mosquito repellent.
Carrying and frequently using hand sanitizers is recommended. You may also wish to carry anti-diarrheal medicine with you.
As with any large city in the world, caution is recommended when wondering around in Bangalore. Do not ride in unmarked taxi cabs, always call for a licensed one. Do not venture alone into secluded places, particularly during nighttime. Always try to stay in groups. Do not wear revealing clothes, it's generally recommended to keep your shoulders and legs covered. Public display of affection should be generally avoided. Do not flaunt valuables such as expensive jewelry and watches and high-end cameras.