The language spoken by people in Vadodara varies, but almost everyone speaks Gujarati and Hindi. Marathi community is also on a large scale in the city. 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, Subway, CCD, Barista, Barbeque Nation etc.), stores (Adidas, Nike, Metro, etc.), etc. This area is frequented by highly affluent individuals and you can generally find English speaking people on a large scale.
Recently the city has been attracting many International IT Companies to invest in the area to set up operational hubs, including L&T, Collabera, and TCS. Many people from IT centers in India like Bangalore prefer working here because of the simple life, but with all resources like schools, water and electricity.
More information at the Vadodara's official page by Gujarat Tourism
Relevant tourism information can be obtained by contacting Gujarat Tourism's local office.
Vadodara's airport, also called Civil Airport Harni currently operates domestic flights only. Airlines like Air India, Jet Airways and Indigo operates direct flights to and from Delhi and Mumbai. The nearest international airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport which is about 100 km away in Ahmedabad and is served by Air India, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
The Vadodara Junction Railway Station (Indian Railways station code: BRC) 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 towards Delhi and Mumbai. 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.
This railway station has 7 platforms. Exits from platform no. 1 to 5 and 7 will lead you to Sayajigunj, and exit from platform 6 will lead you to Alkapuri.
Train schedules can be found at the Indian Railways website and tickets can be booked online at Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) webpage
The National Highway no.8 passes through Baroda. 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.
Bus timetable and online booking at Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) webpage.
Vadodara can be accessed by travelling in river Mahi in a boat from Savli.
Local transport consists mainly of City Buses and three-wheelers called auto-rickshaws which are very cheap and easily available. Always insist on meter usage and the rate payable is 10 times the amount shown plus 1. (for example, if it shows 2.80, the fare is 28+1 = 29Rs for a 4-5km journey). The fare is meter reading plus 5. An extra Rs 5 is charged if there are 4 passengers.
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. It costs Re. 1/- per 1.2 km. Bus routes can be found here.
There are quite a few sights worth taking a look at such as the Lakshmi Vilas Palace and the old zoo. 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, Baroda is a good place to be. You can learn classical dance, pottery, drawing, mehndi tattoo, traditional music and singing fairly inexpensively and from very good teachers.
Vadodara has companies like L&T, Xylem water solutions, IOCL, ABB, SIEMENS, ALSTOM, GSFC, ONGC, IPCL (now Reliance), Bombardier, General Motors, Kemrock, Alembic and Jyoti. Many other petrochemical companies like GACL and pharma companies like Sun Pharma, Alembic and Sarabhai of the city are also well known. It is also considered a good location for IT companies with coming SEZ. Also, a new biotech park is coming up in the city. Quickstart Global has set up its operations in the city as well and have provided employment to more than 800 people.
Camel leather and related arts of embedding pure gold and stone colors, on camel leather and hide vessels are well known here.
Visit Nava Bajar area for cloth and handicraft shopping.
There are plenty of eateries in and around the city and getting good food is not a problem.
Eggetarian delights @ Raju Omlet, in Karelibaug and newely opened in VIP Rd.
Chaat at Mirch Masala.
Most popular Biryani at Millenium Restaurant (Fatheganj & Alkapuri)
Frankies recommended at Frigtemp (Fatheganj, Karelibaug & Old Padra Road)
Pooran Singh's kababs and parathas near the Barista Lavazza coffee bar by the Chakli Circle at Race Course Road. He's an ex-Welcomgroup chef who runs his own place now
Nayab at Akota recommended for non-veg fare
In the Mid-range
Don't forget to try the famous 'Gujarati Thali'
Also try the thali at Kismat dhaba (on the expressway) in typically rural ambience. Meal for 2 at 100 bucks. Must visit!
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 allowed to buy a limited quantity - 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 hrs and can always issue a permit.
Accommodation can be a problem for foreigners in Vadodara, with the majority of hotels and lodges refusing customers who are clearly non-Indian or lack Indian proof of identity. This concerns a requirement for the lodges to obtain and submit various forms to the local police, and appears to be strictly enforced. The cheapest rooms available to non Indians (in the popular region near the railway station) are typically around 1200, with a handful at around 950.
Choose any of the hotels available besides the railway station. This option is not available to foreigners as of Jan 2013, see above.
Vadodara is generally a safe city. Typical rules and regulations apply here just like traveling to any other city.
Vadodara is heavily secure by the local cops( may be in yellow-ocker, black, white or in formal dress but in yellow-ocker socks). If you have any trouble you can call on 108 (emergency number). but almost the people of vadodara may not cause any damage to traveler. and you can enjoy the city with out any problem.Sometimes you may not even need to call, people of vadodara will help you in many respects.