India might not be the first country you think of when you want to enjoy the nightlife. But while it’s true that things don’t get as wild as elsewhere, it doesn’t mean there’s no nightlife to speak of. If you want to have fun in the evenings, you’ll still find places to go if you’re in one of the major cities. You can enjoy a meal at a restaurant before heading off to an intimate pub or a large club. While many Indians might not spend their evenings out on the town, there’s still plenty for visitors to do. Use this guide to decide where to go and what to do.
The Best Cities for Nightlife
If you want to party in India, Goa is still a popular place for backpackers and other travellers. It has the lowest legal drinking age, which is 18. Elsewhere, you usually have to be at least 21, or 25 in Delhi. You should also consider curfews, which you’ll find all over the country. If you want to party later, you’re better off visiting Delhi, Kolkata or Mumbai. Even in those places, everything winds down by 1-2am. If you’re looking for classy bars, you have to choose one of India’s major cities. Goa is well-known for being one of the best places to party, with many bars and clubs. And Mumbai is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan too.
If you love food, you won’t be short of things to enjoy in India. From street food to luxury restaurants, you’ll find many options. If you want something casual, you can start out by exploring street food stalls to see what’s on offer. You’ll find small eateries to enjoy too, or you can look for proper restaurants. India doesn’t use the Michelin star system. But you’ll find several hotels owned by Michelin-starred chefs/owners. One of the options to explore is a “resto-pub” or “resto-bar”, which offers both food and alcohol, perhaps with some dancing too. Many restaurants in India don’t serve alcohol, so they provide an alternative.
Drinking isn’t as big a social pastime in India as it is in many other countries. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find somewhere to get a drink. You can look for bars and pubs in India, and find many that you’ll enjoy. In Mumbai, you’ll find lots of places for travellers to hang out together. Live music venues are also available to get a drink and perhaps dance a little too.
If you want to dance the night away, you have to be careful of curfews. The nightlife tends to start and finish early. There are some clubs exempt from curfews, but they tend to be in luxury hotel complexes. Expect to pay a high cover charge to get in and spend more on your drinks. Still, if you’re looking for a club like those back home, it’s the closest you’re going to get.
You can discover an interesting new nightlife in any one of India’s major cities. Whether you want food or dancing, you can find something fun.