The nightlife in India is pretty wild. Despite restrictions on time and noise, party culture is indeed blossoming all over the country. And while the weekend claims its victims, weekdays are now catching up. Who doesn’t like blowing off steam in the middle of the week? The overall party vibe does of course vary between cities as a whole. Hopefully, the list below, not in any particular order, will give you a good idea of the most sought out party spots in two cities, and one State.
Mumbai is known for its face-paced, hustle-bustle, lifestyle. Much like New Yorker, this city always seems to be on the go. While this isn’t personally my ideal lifestyle, Mumbai makes for an interesting visit, partying aside. There’s lots of food, culture, and opportunity in Mumbai. But we’re here to cater to the reveler within you. So here are a few popular places in Mumbai that you could check out. You may actually bump into celebrities at some of them.
The Bar Stock Exchange (TBSE):
If you failed econ class, don’t worry. I’m sure that you’ll learn something at TBSE, at least you’ll learn the basics of supply/demand, and perhaps some trading as well. You can trade for your drinks through an app or at the bar itself. All alcohol is first sold at a base price, and then with increased demand, prices go up. So, if you don’t really care about what you’re drinking, you can order the drink that is least in demand. TBSE is not too expensive, on average you would probably spend around Rs.800 on yourself.
Known for expectational live music, “The Frog” is a popular spot for many in Mumbai. They have live music 6 nights a week, every week, with international artists featured regularly. Genres of music range from jazz, blues, funk, soul and afro/Latin to electronic, club, rock, folk and lots more. I believe my friend said she once met Deepika Padukone at Blue Frog. I have not been fortunate enough to encounter such chance occurrences. Anyway, you should expect to spend around Rs.1,500 for a decent night.
Toto’s Garage is an old dive bar that has apparently become somewhat of a tradition in Mumbai since 1992. It is dark, dingy, with a consistent classic rock theme for music. This one won’t hurt your wallet as much as Blue Frog. You could probably expect to spend around Rs.900 on yourself.
“The Shack” has become one of the most popular bars in Mumbai, also deemed the coolest, most chill, hangout spot. In its entirety, Hawaiian Shack professes acceptance and modesty. Sadhana Romy’s now sadly deceased husband opened The Shack in response to a disappointing experience the couple had.
Having finished their daily walk, the pair wanted to get a quick drink at a club in Bandra. However, they weren’t allowed in on account of Sadhana Romy’s shoes. She was wearing sneakers. So her husband decided that he would open a bar for her, where people were free to dress as they pleased.
I really like this story. I was once not allowed into a club because I was wearing slippers. To be precise, open-toed slippers, which were against the dress code apparently. I remember this experience made me feel quite disrespected, especially given the air of arrogance that surrounds such restrictions.
Anyway, you should be able to have a good time at Hawaiian Shack with around Rs.1,250.
Word of caution, this place is expensive as its name would suggest. It is luxurious and it oozes opulence. the champagne lounge and speakeasy-style bars serve the most exclusive selection of beverages known internationally, making you feel like royalty. This one will cost you around Rs.3,800, ouch.
Pune has grown significantly in the last decade, as has its nightlife. A lot of new places are popping up, giving people a great variety to choose from. I have only mentioned one club in the suggestions below, here are a few others: Penthouze, Euriska (outdoors, less ‘clubby’ than others), Oak Lounge, Mix @36, and Area 51. You can follow this link for more options and details on all.
Probably the most popular, or at least the most well-known, bar around town, High Spirits is an oldie. They host tons of gigs throughout the week, including a Souk Night on Sundays, and a Cookout Buffet with live music as well. High is not too expensive, around Rs.600 should be okay.
As the name suggests, Hidden Place is rather hidden but makes for a super cozy, super fun, experience. The place is dimly lit, with loud music from the early 2000s that sometimes prompts the whole bar to sing aloud. Drinks are cheap, food is decent, and they have funny quotes on their menu. You could get two shots of tequila for just Rs.250. Plus, they have beer towers. I would say Rs.1000 is enough for one person unless you’re trying to go super hard. I suppose the same applies to all the other places I’ve listed as well.
Elephant & Co (ECO):
Relatively recent, ECO has already generated a reputable name for itself in Pune. With a great gastropub vibe and a somewhat interesting choice in music, ECO has become the go-to spot for many. Already, they have opened in two locations on opposite sides of town. Bear in mind that it gets very crowded, very quickly. But this is not surprising given that their service and food are also pretty good, combined with some great variation in drinks. For instance, they have a drink called, Beer Knees, an unusual mixture of beer and gin. Actually tastes really good. You should be able to have a good time at ECO within Rs.1000.
The club has nothing to do with Miami, or sunlight and beaches. It is actually located underground, at the JW Marriot hotel. Miami is super posh, very dark, very expensive, requires mandatory identification, always has a high cover charge, and usually does not allow stag entries. Miami is typically open till 3am, if you want to keep the party going. On the weekends, they have Bollywood night, which does attract a decent crowd. They also host Ladies Night on Wednesday, which is popular. However, like I mentioned earlier, it is expensive. I suppose you would need at least Rs.2000 for a night at Miami.
The Daily All Day:
Daily, in short, turns it out on the weekends like a pro. Inside, you have a dance floor, outside you have a nicely lit seating area and a bar that connects both spaces. Daily also has excellent food, really good service, and is shockingly reasonable with its prices. On weekdays, you can have a lovely dinner with drinks without burning a hole through your wallet. Plus, they have these “Unlimited Alcohol Deals” on weekdays from 12pm to 5pm. The beer and sangria deal is only Rs.1000 if you want to get your day drunk on in the middle of the week. On any other night, Rs.1000 should still be good for drinks.
Goa is great for a number of reasons, the beach being one. But Goa is also full of life, food, music, and freedom. I personally prefer a relaxed night of partying, contradictory as this may seem, to going clubbing where you can barely hear yourself talk. A word of caution, some of the nightclubs mentioned below fit the bill, they are loud and very crowded. But if you’re into that kind of thing, then party night away!
Whenever I think of Cantare I immediately begin to hum the Gipsy Kings rendition of the song, Volare. It goes, “Volare, oh-oh… Cantare…oh-oh.” I find it very catchy. Anyway, getting back to place, Cantare is great. The food, in particular, is amazing, the service is extremely good, and each drink is made with such care and attention. Monday nights are especially vibrant, with a live band playing and people gathered around, dancing, singing, eating, drinking. Make sure you make a reservation on Monday, all other days you don’t need reservations.
Opposite, you will find an alcohol shop attached to a small restaurant, both owned by an affable old man. If you want to keep the party going, pick some extra beers from across the street! Cantare is not the cheapest place, but it’s worth it because the vibe is great. To have a great time, carry at least Rs.1,500.
Cavala is actually one of the more popular resorts in Goa. But, it also has an outdoor restaurant and bar, with live music and a dance floor. Personally, I like the food at Cantare better. Having said that, however, Cavala has become extremely popular. Owing to such popularity, it is generally choc blocked. You have to make a reservation, especially on the weekend, unless you prefer standing by the bar all night.
Cavala has been open for over 30 years now! You’ll find local bands playing rock and retro, couples jiving away to the music, and overall genial atmosphere. Weekends do get a bit crowded, but it’s great fun. Again, Cavala is on the pricey side, for just drinks I would say carry at least Rs.1,500
Only open on Sunday’s, Hilltop gives you a whole day of partying starting from 4pm. The venue is rather big, and is, as you may have guessed, on top of a hill. There’s lots of room to dance and have a good time. While there are time restrictions in Goa, given that the party starts so early, I’m sure you can get in your fair share of fun. Hill Top looks really cool at night, it has all this glow the dark paint everywhere, giving it a psychedelic trance kind of vibe. You should probably expect to spend around Rs.1000 if you’re looking to have a super good time.
Tito’s has become one of the well-established brands in Goa, located on Tito’s lane on Baga Beach. I do not like Tito’s. It is loud, and always too crowded with a lot of shady people. But that is my opinion. Tito’s does draw different kinds of people, this, of course, includes a lot of tourists as well. They do tend to play mostly Bollywood and commercial music and are open almost all days of the week. The entry fee is Rs.1,500 for both, couples and stag. Inside, Tito’s is large and roomy, with a spacious dance floor. Bartenders perform for the crowd, putting on all kinds of shows, and apparently, now serve people on skates. On Wednesdays, women can enter and drink for free. While that may sound like a good deal, the general vibe of Tito’s is far too commercial and superficial. Having said that, a lot of people still go there to party.
One of the finer clubs in Goa, SinQ is quite ostentatious, exuding luxury and extravagance. In other words, SinQ is a posh nightclub, that also has a pool deck and cabanas opening into the water, I might add. If you don’t feel like squeezing your way through the herd on the dance floor, you can go to the island bar! I love island bars. SinQ does get very crowded, which means it also gets very hot indoors. Now, I know you might be thinking this place is way too expensive. But, surprisingly, the menu is priced rather reasonably. I would say carry at least Rs.1,200.
A few other major cities that I have not talked about are Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore. Delhi can be pretty dangerous, so please exercise caution. In fact, just exercise caution whenever you go out partying. You want to have fun, but you also want to be safe. Here is a link for more suggestions, including the cities I have left out.
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