Pune or Mumbai—Which city is better? This debate is as old as time itself! Although this question does not have any perfect answer, we can only try and put out the facts for you to decide what’s the better option for you.
One is called the Cultural Capital of Maharashtra and the other is often referred to as the City of Dreams. Both Maharashtrian cities are unique in their own way. One has a traditional and leisurely lifestyle to offer, on the other hand, the other has a fast-paced and cosmopolitan way of life.
So, let us look at the various factors and see which city you would prefer to live in!
Pune vs Mumbai - Weather, Cost Of Living, Nighlife & More
While many Bollywood movies romanticise the Mumbai rains, the reality is pretty different. Spending time on Marine Drive with a loved one in the rain is lovely, but the traffic during the monsoon tells a different story. Summer in Mumbai is hot and humid and you are often beating the sweaty and sultry weather.
Pune also has a hot summer, but it is not that sweaty here and the winter is pleasant. Pune receives less rainfall than Mumbai, and the monsoon here is quite manageable. Although the story with the traffic might be almost the same as Mumbai!
2. Cost of Living
Living in Mumbai is 17% more expensive than living in Pune, a study has said. Housing, healthcare, and entertainment costs are lower in Pune than in Mumbai.
Due to the IT boom, many major IT industries have set bases in Pune, so the salaries and pay have also gone up. Mumbai is the financial capital of India and has been a magnet for various job seekers.
Mumbaikars have to pay a lot more rent than Punekars if they wish to stay in the city centre. Many a time, the apartment size in Mumbai is smaller and the rent to be paid is higher. Whereas, with the same amount, you would get a bigger apartment in Pune.
Even if you are a tourist visiting these cities, the hotel room costs in Pune would be lower than in Mumbai on average.
Mumbai is known to be a city with a huge heart and hence, the population here is also huge! You will never feel lonely in this city! Pune has a relatively lower population.
Safety-wise, both cities are almost as safe as each other, while some may argue otherwise. Both cities are also pretty safe for women, even during night-time.
5. Traffic Tales
Mumbai’s traffic has been a part of many heated discussions and debates.
Especially now, when the city is being dug up and barricaded for its several infrastructure-related projects, if you commute via road, chances are that you would be spending most of your time commuting, especially during peak hours. You would be better off using public transport to save some quality time.
Lately, due to the many advancements that have taken place in the city, Pune’s traffic has also gotten quite bad. But it is still better compared to many other important cities in India.
6. Public Transportation
This is one area in which Mumbai beats Pune hands down! The lifeline of Mumbai—the Mumbai local train is the fastest mode of travel and not to mention, the cheapest!
Other public transport such as the BEST buses and the Mumbai Metro is also affordable and convenient ways to travel. Taxis and autorickshaws also run on meters here and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for your travel.
In Pune, however, the story is quite different. You mostly have to rely on your own vehicle to take you around the city in a fast way.
Pune is also known as the Oxford of the East and has a rich history when it comes to education. The city is home to some of the finest educational institutions in the country and has a lot of international students choosing it as their destination for higher studies. The city also boasts of some outstanding schools.
Mumbai also has some excellent educational institutes such as the IIT-Bombay (Indian Institute of Technology) and the Government Law College (GLC). There are many other colleges that offer education in various faculties. Mumbai also has many international schools and excellent regional schools.
8. Green Spaces and Proximity to Nature
Pune is considered to be a green city with ample green spaces and parks. It is situated very close to the Western Ghats and hence many historical forts and hills are easily accessible from the city. Places such as Lonavala, Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar are just a few hours away from here and often serve as weekend getaways.
Mumbai is home to the only national park which is situated inside a city—The Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This Park is also called the Lungs of Mumbai. There are many getaways located in close proximity to Mumbai such as Lonavala, Dahanu, Saputara and Daman. Also, the easy access to the multiple beaches in Mumbai is a huge plus!
9. Street Food
When it comes to food, both cities have something unique to offer. Pune has a plethora of options for traditional as well as modern and continental food, the same can be said about Mumbai.
Pune’s street food is all about JM Road and FC Road and Camp Chowpatty, whereas Mumbai’s Street food is all about Girgaon and Juhu Chowpatty and Khau Galli. Both cities serve affordable and pocket-friendly street food which is enjoyed by everyone.
10. Shopping and Leisure
In Pune there’s Tulsibaug, in Mumbai, there’s Fashion Street! When it comes to shopping and leisure, both the cities have enough to offer.
Street shopping can be done in Hong Kong Lane, FC Road, Market, Laxmi Road and Tuslibaug market in Pune. In Mumbai, Fashion Street, Hill Road, Linking Road, Crawford Market and Lokhandwala Market are just a few places to get street shopping done.
Both cities have a luxury brand presence, but it can safely be said that Mumbai has more luxe brands and shopping malls than Pune as it is a city of Bollywood and fashion. Many major fashion houses and designers have their stores in the city.
While Mumbai’s nightlife has always been happening, Pune comes a close second. Pune also has a lot of hip clubs to offer.
The vada-pav vs misal-pav debate has been going on for decades and will continue for decades. There is no correct answer and it would be wrong to say which city is better than the other as both cities have a lot to offer.
The choice of your preferred city depends on your requirements and how would you like to spend your time.