The language spoken by people in Vadodara varies, but almost everyone speaks Gujarati and Hindi. Most young people speak passable English, and in certain areas you will meet people that are fluent in English. Alkapuri is heavily frequented by NRI's (non-resident Indians) and has western restaurants (Pizza Hut, McDonald's, etc.), stores (Adidas, Nike, etc.), etc. This area is frequented by highly affluent individuals and you can generally find English speaking people by a large scale.
You can get into Vadodara on a domestic flight, and it is reasonably connected to the rest of the country by domestic airlines like Indian Airlines, Kingfisher, GoIndigo, Air Deccan and Jet Airways (there are several smaller and cheaper operators, too. The nearest international airport is about 100 km away in Ahmedabad to which is served by Air India, Emirates Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
The Vadodara Junction Railway Station is the busiest Railway Station in Gujarat. It is situated on the Mumbai - Delhi Western Railway Main Line. You can get premium trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani from Vadodara. Humble Mail/Express Trains are also available which connect you to almost the entire country. Passenger Trains are also available which take you to small villages and towns nearby Vadodara and even in Gujarat.
The National Highway no.8 passes through Vadodara. It is connected by excellent roads. There is an express highway to Ahmedabad, and highway travel is fairly speedy by road, at least to other places in the western part of the country. Its going to be a 6 Lane road soon.
The main bus station is the STC bus station that is a stone's throw away from the railway station (Vadodara Junction). Non-airconditioned buses leave from here which connect you to all the parts of Gujarat and the major cities of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Intercity Buses leave every 15 minutes to Ahmedabad, taking 2 hours on the expressway and costing Rs. 68 per person (Jun 08). These buses are available right opposite to the Vadodara Railway Station after crossing the Road opposite to the Station.
Local transport consists mainly of City Buses and three-wheelers called auto-rickshaws which are very cheap and easily available. Rate cards are available with rickshaw drivers.
The VITCOS City Buses take you to all parts of the city and the VITCOS Bus Stand is right opposite to the Railway Station. The buses are very comfortable and cheap.
You can easily move about in Vadodara by Car. There are many car rental companies available which provide world-class services.
Enterprises Car Rental
Savaari Car Rental has a reputation for providing quality luxury car rentals Vadodara. For more information on online booking of Rental Car in Vadodara, Hertz Car Rental.
Vadodara has an excellent golf course- "The Gaekwad Baroda Golf Club".
The world famous Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) is in Vadodara and has one of the largest campuses in Gujarat.
Travel to Sankheda near Vadodara to see the making of lovely lacquer coated furniture.
Travel to Champaner to be at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the remains of medieval mosques and a medieval city whose architecture is special because it was Islamic buildings executed by Hindu and Jain workmen...a very unique style.
Visit the Fatehsingh museum, to view several Raja Ravi Verma originals- the royal family of Vadodara has a notable collection of his works.
Check out the Tribal Academy at Tejgarh, near Chota Udepur.
There are quite a few sights worth taking a look at such as the Lakshmi Vilas Palace and the Sayaji Garden . The garden occupies a total land area of 113 acres and lies by the pleasant river Vishwamitri. It has earned a reputation as being the biggest garden in Western India. This attractive garden boasts an extensive range of flora of over 98 species of trees.
The garden features a zoo, museum, gallery, a museum for health and hygiene, a toy train for children, a floral clock, and various types of fun rides, artificial ponds, a planetarium, a birdâ€™s avenue, a bridge and numerous stone structures.
Inspired by the Victoria and Albert Science Museum of London, Vadodara Museum and Picture Gallery at Sayaji Garden was built in 1894. This well known museum preserves a large collection of important sculpture, art, ethnography and ethnology. The museumâ€™s highlights include work created by the renowned British painters Turner and Constable, the Egyptian mummy and the remarkable skeleton of a blue whale.
The air conditioned planetarium positioned near the main entrance of Sayaji Garden can accommodate a total number of 200 people. Apart from Thursdays, this unique planetarium offers 3 shows in the evenings throughout the week.
If you're headed here plan a trip that lasts not more than three days because then you'll run out of things to do. And because of the fact that it is cosmopolitan, infrastructurally decent and well connected by rail, road and air, this is a good place to have as your 'hub' and make day trips to other places.
If you want to learn anything related to the arts, Vadodara is a good place to be - you can learn classical dance, pottery, whatever ... fairly inexpensively and from good teachers.
Vadodara has companies like L&T,IOCL,ABB, GSFC, ONGC, IPCL (now Reliance), Bombardier, General Motors and Jyoti. Many other petrochemical companies like GACL and pharma cos like Sun Pharma, Alembic and Sarabhai of the city are also well known. It is also considered as good location for IT companies with coming SEZ. Also, a new biotech park is coming up in the city.
Camel leather and related arts of embedding pure gold and stone colors, on camel leather and hide vessels are well known here.
Dal vada, sev usal, kulfi, bhajia, khakhra, bhurji at Raju Omlet, the best chaat at Mirch Masala. Azure is one of the most popular and favourite eating destination of Vadodara. It serves Indian, continental, Gujarati, Punjabi, South Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian delicious dishes at a very reasonable price. The ambience of the Hotel is one of the most beautiful site in and around Vadodara. This Hotel is just 0.9 km from the railway station and can be accessed by Taxi, Auto, town bus. The Hotel has an open air restaurant and a beautiful indoor restaurant with pleasant ambiance. The service quality and courtesy of the Hotel staff is excellent. This is one of the most popular destination in the city.
There are plenty of eateries in and around the city and getting good food is not a problem.
Vishal Sandwich, near Vadodara High School in Alkapuri. Try their Samosa Sandwich
Goodies, in Fatehganj and Natubhai Circle.. Excellent food.
Kalyan Restaurant, near the Railway station and the Central Bus Station. Here you can get a variety of food choices from Chinese to continental along with Chats, South Indian foods etc. Its a self service restaurant with good quality food.
Dairy Den,Sayajigunj area. This is Vadodara's first ice cream parlor that serves soft cones. You can enjoy a variety of flavors over here.
Mahakali Sev Usal Delicious Sev Usal near Kirti Stambh, Old City,Vadodara
Vanity-At Sayajigunj near railway station; tasty non-vegetarian food.
Decent-At Lalbaugh. Only vegetarian food.
Hotel Sayaji-Offers buffet at Rs. 250 on weekdays and at Rs. 275 on Sundays. You get non-vegetarian delicacies also. For people who prefer something other that buffet, there is a rooftop restaurant.
Havmor (Near Kalaghoda Circle)-Offers excellent variety in non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian delicacies. Try there Chicken Tikka Masala is too good to resist. Plus they have there own Havmor ice-cream joint outside, so you can chop onto it outside. Try Cookie Crunch or Coffee flavoured one they are the ones to fall for.
Zaika-Good taste. Recommended for non-vegetarian food.
Periyaar-The only award winning restaurant of the city and the only place where you get non vegetarian food from South India.
Goodies Cafeteria-Decent Bakery and food to suit different tastes: Vadodara's take on a 'modern' eatery. Don't forget to try the famous 'Gujarati Thali'...it is heaven on a plate :)
Pooran Singh's kababs and parathas--near the Cafe Coffee Day by the Birds' Circle at Race Course Road. He's an ex-Welcomgroup chef who runs his own place now...very good food!
The Gujarati (veg) Thali, at the Express Hotel (First floor). At 150 Rs is delicious and exceptional value in delightful surroundings. Opens at 19.30 for dinner. Recommended by locals.
Splurge Peshawari, at the Welcomgroup.
STIR, at Taj Residency, Vadodara.
It is a nice place to be but lacks a nightlife altogether because of a blanket ban on alcohol that coats Gujarat. Foreign nationals can procure alcohol after getting a permit, but this procedure is not without its headaches.
You will need your passport plus a photocopy of your passport data page and your visa. You must ask your hotel to stamp this photocopy and write a simple statement to say that "xxx is residing at this hotel room xxx. The fee for the permit is 100 Rs. The permit is valid for one month during which time each person is limited as to the quantity you can buy - 10 units at a time (one unit is 10 large bottles of beer, or 3 bottles of wine or 1 bottle of spirits), no more than twice in six days. This should satisfy all but the heaviest of drinkers. You can use the permit at any location that sells alcohol.
The wine shop at the Hotel Kaviraj (the hotel is currently being refurbished but the wine shop is open on the side of the building) is open from 12.00 to 20.00 and always can issue a permit.
Choose any of the hotels available besides the bus station.
ITC Welcomgroup Hotel.
Taj Residency Vadodara.