Mumbai Mumbai Neighborhoods


Neighborhoods

Mumbai is more crowded and expensive to live in than any other Indian city. However, a city filled with the young and ambitious cannot but make space for them. A lifetime in Mumbai would resemble western dining etiquette: you start from the outside–the northern suburbs on the outskirts of the city–and you work your way in towards neighborhoods like Bandra, and then, after much time and success, you can settle down in glitzy Malabar Hill.

 
Here is a short list of some popular Mumbai neighborhoods that young professionals gravitate to:

Andheri (West)
A lot of young single men and women start their careers in Mumbai living in Andheri. This suburb isn’t too far away from Mumbai’s commercial heart of Bandra or the old cultural and social hub of south Mumbai (fondly called ‘town’).

Andheri has affordable rents for single and shared apartments. It is peppered with a number of good restaurants, movie theatres, and shopping malls. The Andheri Sports Complex is a great facility for cricket, badminton, swimming, and to catch a glimpse of a Bollywood star at a ‘filmy’ award function. Several film production companies operate out of Andheri and so this area is especially popular with people in the entertainment industry. 
 
If you live and work in Andheri, you may rarely venture further out into the city, because traffic coming in and out of this suburb can be arduous. Andheri is connected to other Mumbai neighborhoods by train on the Western Railway line and it is also well connected by bus.  Although divided into sub-localities, Andheri exhibits a singular sense of community and belonging. 
 
Worli
With Lower Parel in central Mumbai becoming a vibrant business district and office towers replacing the old Bombay textile mills, neighboring Worli has become an attractive residential zone. While Bollywood stars book apartments in the area’s luxury high-rises, Worli also has reasonably priced accommodation for those not yet rich and famous. People working in banking and finance will find Worli particularly convenient because it is located mid-way between the Nariman Point and Bandra-Kurla office complexes where many financial institutions have their offices. Worli also has some new shopping centers like the Atria Mall and trendy restaurants and clubs, which make it attractive to young professionals. The relatively new Bandra-Worli Sea Link has cut travel time to the western suburbs. Worli may not be quiet and peaceful but, if you’re lucky, you may find a view of the sea out your high-rise window! If not, one can always spend a couple of evening hours at the dramatic Worli Sea Face.
 
Malad (East & West)
This northern suburb of Mumbai is a self-sufficient neighborhood. It is connected to the rest of the city by local train. Malad is a desirable home for young techies because of the large number of IT offices in the area. Here there are also restaurants, watering holes, and clubs aplenty, making it ideal for the young and restless to work off their weekday blues without burdening their wallets.
 
Santa Cruz West and Bandra West
If you’re willing to share an apartment or live as a “paying guest” (PG) in someone else’s house, Santa Cruz West and Bandra West are the neighborhoods for you. They are hip and trendy, with the best restaurants and pubs (including the legendary Toto’s), relaxed seaside hangouts on Carter Road, designer stores on Linking Road, roadside bargains on Hill Road, and many gyms and clubs. Santa Cruz and Bandra are well connected to all parts of the city by train and via the two arterial roads—SV Road and Linking Road—that run through them.
 
Santa Cruz East 
Vakola and Kalina, two neighborhoods in this suburb, are fast getting filled with young professionals. The low profile of Santa Cruz East compared to its western counterpart keeps rents low despite great connectivity and convenience. This is not a shopping hub or party venue, but living is easy in Santa Cruz East. The rise of the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), filled with government offices and private businesses, has given this suburb a big boost. 
 
Wadala
A recent and surprising addition to Mumbai’s list of attractive suburbs is Wadala. Situated far north of Andheri and Malad, this neighborhood, which would not have been considered desirable a few years ago, is now attracting young renters. While Wadala does not have a great many shopping malls or supermarkets, it is known for its good schools, which makes it attractive to young families. Wadala also attracts naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts because it borders Flamingo Bay on the mudflats of Sewri, where thousands of migratory flamingos flock between December and March. 
 
Matunga
Slightly north of downtown, this affordable neighborhood was one of the seven original islands of Mumbai and became a planned community in the early 1900s. It is especially popular with South Indians and Gujaratis.
 
Chembur
This suburb is twenty kilometers northeast of downtown Mumbai and not very expensive. Unfortunately it is also known for environmental degradation as a result of heavy industries in the area.
 
Vashi
This was the first area developed in the Navi Mumbai (New Mumbai) planned city and is 50 minutes away from the center of the city by train across the harbor, or half an hour by car with no traffic.  While convenient to the business district of Navi Mumbai, there are better options if you’re work takes you into the center every day.