Mumbai is a busy city, and making friends in your housing society or that local chai ki tapri, isn't as easy as it is in smaller towns. So if you're new in the city, check out our guide of where you can strike up potential friendships or meet like-minded people through books, movies, cultural walks, and even photography!
10 Unique & Fun Ways To Make New Friends In Mumbai
Go For A Cultural Walk
No better way to make new friends while also exploring the city of Mumbai. There are quite a bunch of local groups in the city that conduct heritage walks, but like always- we'd recommend the best one to you. Bookmark Khaki Tours, a group that creates awareness about Mumbai’s rich history and heritage in a fun and interesting manner. They have a variety of experiences for you to savor the city on foot, by car, in a sailboat, and in an open-top jeep urban safari jeep too!
P.S: Check out their Bygone Bandra, Sacred Banganga, and Discover Dharavi tours.
Shell Out: INR 799 onward per walk
Join Book Clubs
Are you an avid reader, and love your fictional world as much as the grim one you currently live in? You can join a range of book clubs that will cater to your needs (genre-wise as well). But we'll highly recommend a prominent book club and community that goes by the name of Broke Bibliophiles. They regularly organize meetings in cafes and restaurants, share their personal book recommendations, and are basically THE group for book lovers. They have a strong and very active online community on Facebook and Instagram as well.
P.S: They recently had their first in-person meetup after the pandemic, at Doolally's. Go follow their social handles for more such updates, and connect with fellow booklovers.
Shell Out: Most of their events have fee entries
Go Catch Movies
When in the land of cinema aka Bollywood, how can we not talk about movies? Mumbai is rife with cinema clubs, movie theatres, some dating back to the pre-partition era even. Not just your mainstream commercial Hindi films, there’s something for everyone out there. Talking about film clubs, we cannot miss out on Vikalp@Prithvi. A part of the iconic Prithvi theatre and cafe, this one organizes monthly series of documentaries and short films from around the world and country.
P.S: The screenings are held at the Prithvi Theatre, Juhu, on the last Friday of every month, 7 pm onward.
Shell Out: The film screenings are for free. So join this film club to meet other cine buffs asap!
Be A Part Of Photowalks
Mumbai is a photographer's city. Its old-world charm in South Bombay, sleepy fishing hamlets in Bandra or offbeat forests and trails in and around Borivali and Thane, is every photographer's playground. You may be an iPhone photographer, own a DSLR, or just like Instagram-ing stuff, there’s something for everyone. To meet other photographers or people who love doing this as much as you do, join Mumbai Instagrammers. They’re a city-based photography group who regularly organise photo walks around the city.
P.S: To join them, or stay updated about their photowalks, follow their Instagram page.
Shell Out: INR 500 onward (per person)
Go Camping Or Hiking
Mumbai may not be as central as say Pune when it comes to shorter distances, but it still is a great city for travelers and backpackers who enjoy trekking. You can even go camping or hiking with different kinds of groups who often go exploring the hidden locations near Mumbai and around Maharashtra. And while you're at making new travel buddies, allow us to introduce you to Travel Trikon. From age 5 to age 65, this company organizes and curates tours for every age group. Their trip leaders or ‘trip buddies’ are seasoned travelers who will give you a full ‘paisa vasool’ experience.
From covering all forts to bird sanctuaries, and even breathtaking waterfall hikes, they organize literally everything for people who have adventure as their middle name.
P.S: Keep checking their website regularly to book your slot, because their batches get booked real quick.
Shell Out: INR 1,000 onward for a 24-hour trip.
Take Part In Dance Workshops
If you are someone who loves Shaking It Like Shammi, then joining dance workshops will be the best decision of your life. Needless to say, you'll make dancer friends, and talk about similar interests and hobbies. Tangerine Arts Studio in Bandra hosts events and workshops that you can be a part of, to shake a leg with fellow dancers.
P.S: These workshops are quite the talk of the town at the moment and really popular amongst youngsters!
Shell Out: INR 700 onward per workshop
Explore Food Trails
If you describe yourself as a “foodie” and love to explore new places to eat, then how about joining a food club? It’s a great way to meet fellow foodies, explore new food trails together, and recommend unique places to each other. You can join a group of food enthus called Pet Pujaris, which hosts foodie meetups, and foodie bonding sessions in Mumbai. Here's what you need to do - follow them on their Facebook and Instagram handles, and hit them up directly to enquire about food walks. And they will curate a walk for you and others who may want to have a similar food walk like yours.
Shell Out: The amount isn't really fixed, and is as per the food experiences you're looking for, and which part of Mumbai you want to have it in.
Go Cycling And Get Fit
Don’t fancy cycling by yourself, or aren’t aware of the cycling boom in the city? Let us sort you out. Pedal through familiar and unfamiliar terrains in and around Mumbai with Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts, one of the largest cycling groups in the world. The group has over 11,000 members and has a vibrant culture of promoting cycling as a way of life in the city. They also conduct women's special cycling tours over the weekends, cycle overlanding trips at Dhauladhar, long rides to places like Shahapur, and Fitfeat Cyclothons. We'd surely recommend going for midnight cycling with them.
P.S: Carrying your own helmet is mandatory while riding in Mumbai. Also, the MCE group page on Facebook is the single portal for all cycling news, events, rides, cyclist networking, and a lot more.
Shell Out: MCE conducts free cycling events for enthusiasts to connect with each other and make friends in the city.
Volunteer With An NGO
Not only are you contributing to a social cause, but you're also meeting new faces and like-minded people in the process. From animal shelters to teaching programs and from food nourishment to beach cleaning - there are tons of NGOs and charitable organizations you can contribute to. For starters, try contacting Teach For India's Mumbai office, because they keep needling volunteers every month.
P.S: Animal lovers, you'll meet like-minded people and help the strays by volunteering with these animals shelters.
Be A Part Of A Letter Writing Group
We don’t know why writing post-cards and letters ever lost their charm but there’s a group that is bringing it back. If you love putting pen to paper, and enjoy writing letters, then join this letter-writing circle called The Goodwill Tribe. This group encourages paper feelings to text emojis, and it’s a perfect way to meet future pen-pals, and friends in the city, who share your sense of nostalgia and love for words.
P.S: The Goodwill Tribe was formed in Dubai and operates out of ten cities in the world, including Mumbai. Previously they have organized meet-ups wherein strangers wrote letters to each other and also received them in return.
Shell Out: Most of their events are for free
Now that we’ve established a pretty regular guide as to how you can meet new people in the city, we’ll let you in on the secrets of the city as well. From secret parties, dating to secret dinners, find more about Mumbai’s underbelly (the nice kind) here.