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Mumbai boasts a good variety of leisure and lifestyle activities to entertain just about any expat’s idea of a good time. From restaurants that showcase the country’s regional cuisines, to bustling marketplaces and annual events, there’s a surprisingly large selection of nightlife and entertainment venues to take advantage of.
Nightlife in Mumbai
Mumbai’s social scene is deceptively big and lively parties can be found most nights of the week. With the Bollywood scene based in and around the city, don’t be surprised to spot local film stars at one of its trendy nightclubs or bars.
For a roaring night out on the town, expats can opt for a cocktail on any of the many rooftop bars that overlook the Arabian Sea, or an evening stroll on the bustling Colaba Causeway. They can enjoy the delights of the city's dance clubs in Churchgate or Juhu, and a craft beer or a sophisticated glass of wine in the chic and stylish Bandra area – where looking good and being seen is all in a day’s work.
Shopping in Mumbai
Mumbai is a shopaholic’s dream come true. With everything from quaint little markets to shopping malls and haute couture around almost every corner, Mumbai is a great place to spend a lot of time and, if residents aren't careful, a lot of money. While the cost of living in Mumbai can seem on the pricier side of things, there are always bargains to be scored.
For clothing, M Gandhi Road is the place to start and local department stores are good bets too. The markets are the place to exercise haggling skills, so visit the Chor Bazaar flea market to pick up jewellery and other trinkets before heading to Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai (previously known as Crawford Market) to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables.
For the expat who prefers a one-stop-shop rather than the experience of sifting through stalls, there are plenty of excellent malls throughout Mumbai where hypermarkets are plentiful.
Eating out in Mumbai
From Tandoori and Punjabi to Gujarati and Mughlai cuisine, India’s scrumptious spectrum is well represented, and expats will be pleased to know that their favourite butter chicken and chicken tikka masala regularly feature on restaurant menus. And, although its traditional cuisine is popular with Westerners, there are also many restaurants in Mumbai specialising in European and Eastern cuisine.
Sports and outdoor activities in Mumbai
Cricket is one of Mumbai’s most popular sports, and expats can try their hand at playing the game or can watch an exciting match at one of the city’s premier and international cricket grounds, including Brabourne Stadium and Wankhede Stadium. Expats can also find gyms, clubs and groups where they can play tennis, badminton and golf, among a wide range of other sports.
Expats are unlikely to feel stuck in their daily routine living in Mumbai with all the outdoor activities on offer. One of the best ways to see the city is from a bird's-eye view and new arrivals can look into the helicopter- and hot air balloon rides on offer.
As a coastal city that is also close to a few rivers, Mumbai affords a multitude of water sports and activities from sailing or rafting and kayaking to snorkelling and scuba diving, while adventure parks such as EsselWorld make for great outings for the whole family.
►For a list of the the city's top attractions, check out See and Do in Mumbai
"It’s definitely easy to meet people and make friends in Mumbai. Expats are very welcoming and Indians are open minded and chilled. You cannot feel alone in this city." Read more about expat life in Mumbai in our interview with Mathilde.
"It’s such a cosmopolitan city, every day is a new adventure. Life is good, and I feel like I can do anything here." Read our interview with Rakhee for some expat insights.
Are you an expat living in Mumbai?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mumbai. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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