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Mumbai (Bombay) Nightlife

Mumbai is India's nightlife capital, with bars and clubs that could hold their own with the best in Singapore or Hong Kong, catering to the city's giants of fashion, finance and film.

Dress codes apply in Mumbai and it pays to make an effort; after all you might well be rubbing shoulders with the cream of Bollywood. Some clubs operate a couples-only policy (look for signs saying no 'stags', the local term for single men) and many charge a steep entrance fee.

All the 5-star hotels have bars, where you can drink in air-conditioned and pricey seclusion, but there are also some more relaxed, less contrived watering holes.

The most popular drinks are beer and spirits (particularly whisky), but Indian wine (produced in the highlands of Maharashtra) has a growing following. For listings, check out the website for Time Out Mumbai (www.timeout.com/mumbai) and the daily English-language newspaper Mid-day, which has up-to-the-minute entertainment listings.

Bars in Mumbai (Bombay)

Aer

Four Seasons know how to do things in style, and the rooftop bar at the their Mumbai hotel certainly delivers. As the sun dips over Back Bay, Aer's sculpted tables are the best place to watch Marine Drive's lights come on. Set on the 34th floor, the bar is cool as a sapphire pendant and very exclusive, so wear your best Ritu Kumar kurta.

Address: Worli, 1/136 Dr E. Moses Road, Mumbai, 400018
Telephone: +91 22 2481 8000.
Website: http://www.fourseasons.com/mumbai/dining/lounges/aer

Dome

Not quite as painfully cool as Aer, but still perfectly poised for the Marine Drive sunset, Dome creates a miniature version of Rome atop the Intercontinental Hotel, with long loungers, potted foliage and a Pantheon-style dome. Come for cocktails in front of spectacular displays of colour over the Arabian Sea.

Address: Marine Drive, InterContinental Hotel, 135 Marine Drive, Mumbai, 400020
Telephone: +91 22 3987 9999.
Website: http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/mumbai/bomhb/hoteldetail

Olive Bar & Kitchen

Olive created quite a wow when it first opened in Mumbai, and this calm, cool Mediterranean bar and café is still a huge hit with the Bollywood set. It morphs from eatery to nightspot as the evening wears on, and by midnight, the dancefloor is full and the DJs are pumping. Glam up.

Address: Union Park, Khar West, 14 Nargis Dutt Road, Mumbai, 400052
Telephone: +91 22 4340 8229.
Website: http://www.olivebarandkitchen.com

Clubs in Mumbai (Bombay)

Bonobo

A hip hangout for the young and fashionable, with a rooftop terrace and rooms that shake to the latest dance tunes, electronic music and underground beats. It attracts a modern crowd with eclectic musical tastes, and for that alone it deserves extra credit in a city besieged by filmi soundtracks.

Address: Bandra West, 2nd Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, Off Linking Road, Mumbai, 400020
Telephone: +91 22 2605 5050.
Website: http://www.facebook.com/BonoboBandra

Royalty

This colossal nightclub offers palatial décor dripping with chandeliers and spangles and plenty of space to strut your stuff. Formerly owned by actress Shilpa Shetty, it is still in the hands of Bollywood royalty and attracts a glam crowd who like to dress up and show off. Expect the odd big EDM name.

Address: Bandra West, G1/B Krystal Building, Waterfield Road, Mumbai (Bombay), 400050
Telephone: +91 22 4229 6000.
Website: http://www.royaltyindia.com

Trilogy

A wave of coloured lights greets arrivals at this upbeat nightclub near the sand in Juhu Beach. It's every inch the modern nightclub experience, down to the drinks specials, resident DJs and multiple dancefloors. Expect to be grooving to hip hop, electronica, big room house and commercial music.

Address: Juhu Beach, Hotel Sea Princess, 969 Juhu Tara Rd, Mumbai, 400049
Telephone: +91 22 2646 9689.
Website: http://www.trilogy.in

Live music in Mumbai (Bombay)

blueFrog

The city's premier live music venue has hosted an impressive line up of global acts since it opened in 2007, covering everything from jazz and blues to hard rock and cutting edge electronica. The Mumbai branch has proved so successful that blueFrogs have opened in Bengaluru and Pune. It also serves fantastic food.

Address: Lower Parel, D/2 Mathuradas Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Mumbai (Bombay), 400013
Telephone: +91 22 6158 6158.
Website: http://www.bluefrog.co.in

Classical music in Mumbai (Bombay)

Dance in Mumbai (Bombay)

Theatres in Mumbai (Bombay)

Music and Dance in Mumbai (Bombay)

National Centre for Performing Arts

Mumbai's National Centre for Performing Arts, a huge complex of five theatres, puts on a widely varying programme of plays, musicals and dance, including the occasional English-language performance. Many shows are free, particularly if they have strong cultural merit.

Address: Nariman Point, NCPA Marg, Mumbai, 400021
Telephone: +91 22 6622 3737.
Website: http://www.ncpamumbai.com

Nehru Centre Auditorium

A striking piece of 1970s architecture, the Nehru Centre Auditorium regularly stages theatre, dance and music, alongside its normal programme of daytime shows and exhibitions. Its onsite art gallery promotes the work of young artists.

Address: Worli, Dr Annie Besant Road, Mumbai, 400018
Telephone: +91 22 2496 4676.
Website: http://www.nehru-centre.org

Culture in Mumbai (Bombay)

Featured Hotels

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Gordon House Hotel

Each floor has its own theme at this boutique hotel located just behind Apollo Bunder. Decorated in Mediterranean, Scandinavian or country cottage styles, the rooms are charming without being twee, with plenty of modern gadgets and positively 5-star bathrooms. There's also a bar and the popular Poly Esther's nightclub onsite. Light sleepers should avoid rooms adjoining the club.

Hotel Oasis

Rooms are compact but tastefully decorated at this inexpensive 30-room hotel in a handy location in Fort, just a short hop from Victoria Terminus and Horniman Circle. For a reasonable price, you'll get a TV, air-conditioning and an en suite bathroom. There are numerous dining options on the neighbouring streets.

Residency Hotel

The atmosphere in Fort is a bit less frantic and a bit more business-like than in Colaba, and the Residency makes a perfect base from which to explore. Rooms are modern and comfortable and decorated in calming colours, with pictures of historic Mumbai on the walls. There's also a cute little café, where breakfast is served.

Hotel Bawa Continental

A comfortable resort-style hotel along lively Juhu beach, the Bawa Continental offers neat rooms, some with grandstand views over the beach and Arabian Sea. Although a hike from the historic centre, Juhu is much calmer than Fort or Colaba, with plenty of upscale restaurants and bars within walking distance. Rooms have TVs, air-con and Wi-Fi (for a charge), and there's a Starbucks on site.

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

A Mumbai institution since 1903 the Taj has played host to Maharajas and monarchs movie stars and media moguls. Built in striking Indo-Saracenic style this grand hotel was extensively damaged during the 2008 terrorist attacks but an artful renovation has removed all traces of the disaster. For more than a century this has been the epitome of luxury in Mumbai with graceful vaulted ceilings tall archways fine carpets and crystal chandeliers. The Taj also houses some of Mumbai's best restaurants plus luxury shops a nightclub and outdoor pool gym and even its very own fortune teller.

Traveller's Inn

Set on a leafy road in Fort, Traveller's Inn has just 21 rooms, which are small but clean and excellent value. There are inexpensive dorms and better private rooms, and the staff are friendly and accommodating. There's also free wireless internet access in the lobby. Located close to many good value restaurants.