10 things to do in Hampi For The Perfect Holiday in 2021

Created by Priyanshi Thakkar,

Last Updated on September 21, 2023

Hampi is home to some of the most splendid remains of a powerful kingdom which later disintegrated into 5 small kingdoms. This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site was also ranked no. 2 on New York Times’ list of top places to visit in 2019! Hampi is the ideal destination for history enthusiasts, adventurers or those in search of peace. It has tons to offer for all kinds of travellers. So If you’re travelling to Karnataka, be sure to add Hampi on your travel itinerary. This list, of the top 10 places to visit & things to do in Hampi in 2021, is ideal if you’re running short on time and wish to make the most of your holiday.

Ruins of Hampi Hampi – the historical, aesthetic & miraculous place of India!

Hiking up Matanga Hill

An experience we highly recommend, would be to hike up Mantanga hill. Climb up in time to witness the spectacular sunrise and get a panoramic view of the town. There is a temple right at its peak and the view from the rooftop makes for the ideal view point. While you sit here and watch the sunrise, bring out that camera or pen down your thoughts. Meditate or just soak in the harmonious experience, while sipping on that cup of chai and stocking up on your internal hard drive. So if you’re in Hampi, even if its just for a day, be sure to add this hike to your list of things to do in Hampi.

sunrise at Matanga Hill Looking for some peace and solace? Hiking up Matanga Hill is the ideal remedy

Hire a Bicycle and explore the region

You can hire a cycle for just INR 100 – 250 for the day and it is a great way to explore the local villages and engage with the local communities. An insight into the local culture. A way to go explore the off beaten path route. You could also do a cycling tour if you’re looking for some company instead of heading out on an excursion all by yourself. 

If you hire a bike you can explore the ruins and more! A bicycle ride to explore the Hippie Island should definitely make it to your bucket list. There’s not much to see, but the experience is what makes it worth it. Riding past the vast stretches of rice paddies and the small villages dotted along the route, exposes you to an entirely different side of this city, usually associated with it’s rich history. 

Bicycle is the best way to explore Hampi’s history, culture and nature (Photo Credit – Ronaldo de Oliveira)


After the film ‘Pilgrimage’ was shot here, Hampi became popular destination among the rock climbing enthusiasts.

If climbing up a rock without a rope, harnesses etc. is the thrill you are looking for head over to the Hippie Island! You can ask your accommodation to help you get to the best places and if you need any equipment but we recommend carrying your own as they always have limited stuff and may not have what you are looking for.

Bouldering in hampi - adventure activities in hampi A mecca for bouldering enthusiasts – Endless stretches of hills adorned with boulders. An activity sure to get that adrenaline pumping

Cliff Jumping

Not known to many but you can actually go cliff jumping in Sanapur Lake on the Hippie Island. It’s said that crocodiles generally swim here, but the locals here say its just a rumour made up by the local government. Undoubtedly an exciting experience but a word of warning – All you thrill seekers, please do this at your own risk!

cliff jumping in hampi If you’re seeking adventure, this is where you ought to be!

A day trip to Badami

Part of the 5 kingdoms, Badami was the capital of one such kingdom and has its own unique story. It is known for the Agastya Lake and the sandstone rock cut temples that have an influence of both the North and the South Indian architecture. These are bound to fascinate you despite your interests. If you’re seeking that adrenaline rush, you ought to give rock climbing a try here! However, Badami is generally not very popular among foreign tourists but does get a lot of local tourist so you will have people staring at you or asking for pictures! 

A unique experience altogether! Badami Cave Temples is an excellent example of Indian rock cut architecture (Photo Credit – Ananya Anand)

Coracle rides 

Another unique experience you have to indulge in, during your stay in Hampi, is a coracle ride in the Tungabhadra river. This country boat is shaped like a bowl, similar to the ones that were used by the empire in the 14th century and they can carry upto 4 to 6 people. The coracle ride is a wonderful experience. If you’re looking for something fun yet unique, this is one activity we highly recommend. Experience serenity at its best while basking in the midst of nature.

Coracle ride in hampi Coracles have been in use for over centuries now. A coracle ride along the Tungabhadra river, makes for a unique and fascinating experience

Mango Tree – Heaven for your tummy

Hungry? Head to Hampi’s most popular restaurant, Mango Tree, and expect the unexpected! This restaurant is in the lane right next to the Virupaksha Temple and serves great vegetarian South Indian food. Having a meal here is an experience by itself. The place is nothing like you’d expect and you’re bound to be left in awe. This restaurant is run by 3 generations of the same local family. A tented restaurant set in the bazaar with a  soothing vibe. The South Indian thali and some of the Mediterranean dishes are some of the highlights of this charming restaurant. 

South Indian thali at Mango Tree An authentic, vegetarian South Indian thali that will only leave you craving for more

Grab a bite at Aradhana’s rooftop restaurant 

Overlooking the banana plantations and the river, this lovely family run restaurant serves some delicious food! They serve continental food for breakfast but their lunch menu is restricted to South Indian food.

Do try their Dosas and Masala Omelette for breakfast and if you’re here for lunch their Thali is a must. It might just leave you coming back for more if not for the food then the view. If food is an important aspect of your travels to understand the local culture be sure to read our guide on the best dishes try while you’re in South India. 

Feel the essence of the city with a delicious South Indian breakfast (Photo Credit – Roland Tanglao)

Temple Hopping 

Looking to explore the rich history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site? This is for all the history enthusiasts! Spend a day exploring the marvelous temples of Hampi. Each one with its own unique architectural style, with carvings that tell a tale, bound to leave you in awe and wonder! Do keep in mind to be dressed appropriately when entering religious premises. While you can explore the place on your own, we highly recommend taking a guide! Here are some of the temples you must visit:

  1. Achyutaraya Temple
  2. Hazara Ram Temple
  3. Hanuman Temple
  4. Prasanna Virupaksha
  5. Chandikesvara Temple