Drinking Age in Mumbai
While there is technically not a drinking age in Mumbai, you have to be at least eighteen years old to purchase alcohol legally in the city. Most of the cities in India, including Mumbai have a nightlife that starts and ends early. This is because there are curfews in place. Mumbai has one of the largest selections of party places in India, but by 1:30 a.m. they are all closing for the night.
There has recently been legislation in the state to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 24. This has sparked much debate among young people as well as business owners. The reason for this legislation is that underage drinking has become a problem in the city. Even with the strict curfews that are in place and the current legal age of eighteen to purchase alcohol the overall laws regarding consumption of alcohol are still fairly lax. It seems that the government is trying to fix these problems by restricting the sale of alcohol.
Bars, Pubs, and Clubs
Drinking alcohol is not traditionally a part of India’s culture. The bars in the country are divided into two categories. There are the local bars that are cheap and seedy. These tend to be frequented by the male population of the country. There are also the classier venues that cater to the upper middle and upper class. These types of bars can only be found in major cities such as Mumbai.
One term that you will likely hear while in India is “resto-bar” or “resto-pub.” These are restaurants that also offer a place to drink. Some of the resto-bars offer places to dance later in the evening as well. Escobar is located in Bandra, a hip suburb of Mumbai.
Recently Mumbai has become extremely cosmopolitan. This has seen a large number of trendy bars pop up around Bandra as well as in the southern area of the city and in Colaba which is a popular tourist area. Goa is well-known for the large number of clubs and bars. Goa is also the only state in India that offers casinos.
Some of the five star international hotels and complexes will offer larger clubs that are exempt from the curfews found within the city. The cover charges for these clubs are extremely high, typically around 3000 rupees which are about $70 per couple. The cost of drinks is very high as well. Because of these high costs only the richest people in India can afford to come to these locations. The large facilities are first class and while there you may even forget you are in India.
If you are looking for a traveller’s hangout with cheap beer and a lively atmosphere, Mumbai is the place to be. There is excellent live music venues located throughout the city for your enjoyment.
Those who are interested in cultural performances should visit the National Centre for Performing Arts locate on the tip of Nariman Point in Mumbai.