Pune is the epitome of ‘new India’. With a bizarre mix of old and modern traditions, Pune is becoming India’s most forward-thinking city. It comes as no surprise that Pune is home to some of the best modern clubs and bars in the country. The city itself is buzzing full of students and entrepreneurs that keep the nightlife in business! It’s a far cry from the traditional capital of Kolkata, and Pune brings modern India to life.
Pune is perhaps the most liberal city in India, which means the bars stay open late, and there’s plenty of fun to be found! We took a trip through the city, stopping at all the bars and clubs along the way. Creating a top-ten list was no easy feat; there are so many fantastic options out there! But, we managed to narrow it down. Here are our favourites.
Swig is probably the most well-known bar in the city. With regular live music and traditional Bollywood sounds, it’s a popular spot. It has a relatively intimate ambience, and the music is quieter than the bigger clubs in town. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to dance to! Swig is the perfect place for after-work drinks or the first port-of-call on a weekend night-out. There’s also a relaxed outdoor area with a foosball table. Be warned, Swig does shut the doors at 11.30pm sharp, so make sure you’ve got another bar lined up for a nightcap.
2. Stone Water Grill
This exclusive bar is one of the best late-night watering holes in town. It seamlessly flows from indoor to outdoor, with wide open spaces to enjoy. The bar itself is 60 ft long, and set among a small forest of trees. A river runs through the outside area, making it a peaceful place to relax. That is, until the DJs arrive in the evening. At that point, the outside area transforms into a dance floor that pumps music until around 1am.
Located on the rooftop of the JW Marriott hotel, Paasha is a luxurious, high-end venue in Pune. The bar is well-stocked, including a huge range of premier spirits. The interior is beautifully decorated with elegant touches and luxe finishes. But, it’s the outside that really takes your breath away. The rooftop terrace has stunning views over Pune, and the table service will keep you drinking all night. This is another late-night spot, with its doors open until 1.30am on weekends.
Named after the Greek aniseed spirit, Ouzo, this bar is a favourite of the younger crowd. This underground venue hosts regular themed nights, and pumps out the music until late. There are Bollywood nights and commercial dance themes on a weekend. But, during the week, you’ll find Russian nights (free vodka shots), Caribbean nights, and Mexican nights. This is a true clubbers venue, and it is loved by the underground crowd.
5. Penthouze Nightlife
Penthouze boasts an enormous open-air dance floor. It feels wide and spacious compared to some of the city’s claustrophobic underground spots. It’s another bar with a classy and elegant vibe to it. There are panoramic city views, and the sundowner parties on a Sunday are a true experience. We also think the bartenders here are the best in Pune. The make molecular cocktails that fizz and foam and delight the crowds. The DJs stick to a simple formula of BDM (Bollywood EDM) and classic remixes, so there’s something for everyone.
6. Hard Rock Cafe
We know there’s a Hard Rock Cafe in every big city, but there’s something special about the one in Pune. It has a buzzing, vibrant atmosphere that’s hard to ignore. There are signed guitars up on the wall, and a pair of Paul McCartney’s jeans are on display! The staff jump on stage to perform the YMCA every night, and there’s always live music. HRC is also home to the best American burgers in Pune. If you’re looking to let loose, and enjoy yourself, this is the place to go.
7. The Ship
The Ship boasts one of the most eccentric designs in Pune. It’s built to look exactly like a Ship. This bar isn’t just a big gimmick though, it’s actually one of the best night spots in the city. It has a laid-back atmosphere with karaoke and live music throughout the evening. In the later hours, the music is turned up, and an impromptu dance floor emerges. It’s all about simple pleasures at The Ship, but you won’t leave disappointed.
8. Area 51
Designed to look like a spaceship, Area 51 is a proper nightclub. Hidden inside the UFO is a 10,000 sq. ft. space designed for dancing. There’s also a one-of-a-kind revolving restaurant and VIP gallery that overlooks the main space. The club is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays (Pune’s clubbing nights), but it is open late. Area 51 has the best sound system and lighting rig in town, so dance music purists will love it.
9. Mi A Mi
Mi A Mi is a strange underground club, designed to look like a wasted garage. A special elevator with a fibre optic ceiling takes you down into the club, which is a weird experience! There’s an electronic dance floor at the bottom, and some of the world’s biggest DJs waiting to entertain. Everyone in Pune has to try Mi A Mi at least once, and everyone is talking about it.
10. The Single Malt and Co.
As you can probably guess by the name, this bar is all about Scotch. Only the best will do for this fine establishment. There are 28 different single malts, all imported from Scotland, the home of whiskey. The decor is comfortable, with plenty of deep, leather chairs. The place is perfect for the final whiskey nightcap before turning in. There’s a regular live jazz band too, in case you fancy a little dance before the night’s over.
Image Credits: tripgator.com, brightsideglobaltrade.com, buzzintown.com, blog.taxiforsure.com, unitedhotelpune.com
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