Mumbai is the city that never sleeps. And for those that love the nightlife, it’s the hottest spot in India. Mumbai has the wealthiest population in the country, which means there are plenty of luxe bars and elegant clubs. The city is also home to Bollywood and the Indian film industry. That makes it the perfect place to spot a celebrity or Bollywood legend in the clubs and bars. Don’t worry, there are also some fantastic down-to-earth bars too, where drinks don’t cost a fortune!
The city has a fine reputation for exciting nightlife. Today, we’re taking a trip through the very best in Mumbai. From the luxe, chic lounges, to the hole-in-the-wall local favourites. You’re spoilt for choice in this Indian metropolis. And, after riding the ferocious public transport here, you’ll need a drink or two!
We’ll start with one of Mumbai’s most elegant and luxurious spots, Exo. At only two years old, the club has already welcomed some of the biggest DJs on the planet. It also has an exclusive guestlist at weekends, and you’ll have your work cut out getting in on a Friday! If you do make it through the doors, expect decadent chandeliers and glistening decor. The best feature, however, is the floor-to-ceiling glass. With an incredible view out over the city, you’ll want to book a booth by the window.
If you’re looking for a pure club experience, head to Trilogy. There are no chandeliers or great views here. Instead, it has an underground club feel, popular with the younger city-goers. The music here is strictly modern and international. You’ll find EDM, commercial dance and hip-hop blasting out of the speakers most nights. Trilogy also has a hidden gem up its sleeve. The entire ceiling is lit with LED lights to create a moving, throbbing experience. Don’t look up if you’ve had one-too-many drinks!
Back to Mumbai’s elite bars, Aer is considered one of the most luxurious in the city. It certainly has the best view, that’s for sure. Set on the rooftop terrace of the Four Seasons Hotel, Aer is a premier, luxe destination. There’s a strict dress-code here, so don’t turn up in your trainers. Expect fine suits and dresses. Sip a cocktail while the sun goes down, and then turn your attention to the dance floor. Aer is a favourite for Bollywood legends, so you’ll be rubbing shoulders with the stars.
4. Villa 69
Villa 69 has a much more relaxed and chilled-out atmosphere than the previous three. Head here is you’re looking for a quick drink and a bite to eat after a long day. The bar has a strong filmi theme, and it’s another favourite for actors and Bollywood industry types. Things get a bit more exciting in the evening, when a small dance floor takes centre stage.
Poison is Mumbai’s ‘superclub’. It’s an enormous space, attracting thousands of clubbers every night. The playlist is commercial dance and huge club anthems. The decor is plasma screens, strobe lighting, and enormous sound systems. It attracts the coolest and trendiest clientele from Mumbai’s suburbs, and a celebrity or two on the weekends. It won’t win any awards for cosy ambience or style, but it will make sure you have the time of your life.
6. Vie Lounge
One of the city’s most exclusive and elite bars, drinking in Vie Lounge is a wonderful experience. The bar overlooks Juhu beach, and it is packed out at sunset for the stunning views. There’s a wooden deck stretching out through palm trees, and reaching down to the beach. It’s a tropical paradise that leaves you thinking of the Caribbean. As for the music, it is balearic in style, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Ibiza.
Ghetto is a dive bar. You can’t talk up the decor in this place; in fact, you enter through a hole in the wall! It’s a world away from the luxurious, chic rooftop bars in Mumbai, but it’s still one of our favourites. The shabby interior gives it a rustic appeal, and there’s a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere. You’ll find some of the most stylish students and media types propping up the bar stools. It’s dark and eerie, while rock ballads pour out of the speakers. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s probably the most fun!
WTF! is another dive bar, and certainly not much to look at. Locals will tell you it looks like the inside of a student’s bedroom, with Bob Marley posters all over the wall. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be found here. With pop-culture references all over the place, it’s the younger generation’s watering hole of choice. In the summer, the dance floor spreads to the courtyard. The music pumps until about 2 am or 3 am, whenever the police shut it down!
Back in the old-money district, Amadeus is another chic, stylish bar. With velvet interiors, classy lighting, and lounge style decor, it’s a firm favourite for after-work bankers. The music is a mix of international dance and Bollywood favourites. It’s certainly a more traditional bar and club, and visitors will appreciate the Spanish sangrias! It can get very busy, but it’s a friendly crowd (much like all of Mumbai, really).
10. Toto’s Garage
Toto’s Garage is probably the most eccentric and creative bar in town. You’ll find the body of an old Volkswagen Beetle hung over the bar as decoration. There are also classic car license plates and hub caps adorning the walls. The atmosphere is lively and friendly, buzzing with locals grabbing a quick drink after work. Our advice is to get there early. It quickly fills up, and you’ll be left standing! As the night draws on, stools and tables are shuffled to one side to make room for a dance floor. It’s intimate and cosy, but full of life! It’s a firm favourite of ours.
Mumbai’s nightlife is a wonderful mix of luxurious chic and rustic charm. Which bar is top of your list?
Image Credits: ncpamumbai.com, buzzintown.com
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