Punekars love their city. But there are many expats who consider the place their home, too! From those who have only spent a few months here to others who’ve been in the city for decades, Pune has embraced many foreigners. Here, a few expats from different nationalities living in Pune tell us about their life here and why they chose to make the city their home.
Dr. Dale Taylor, head of college, UWC Mahindra College, Pune
I live just outside Pune, in the Khubavali area along the Mulshi River. I visit the city as often as I can. I like the quaint old houses, and the historic parts of Pune. I also appreciate the friendliness of the people and all the good academic institutions. I love the variety of yoga studios and opportunities to take classes – in person and online. Sometimes, I feel like I can stay in this part of India indefinitely. I like the mild temperatures, the amazing cuisine… one is never bored. There are many great opportunities in India and Pune just vibrates with an entrepreneurial and can-do spirit. Pune is a place where life can be as fast or slow, as you want it to be. I love the film scene in the city, too. Pune feels like a welcoming place, no matter who you are.
Edita Paluri, maternity and baby photographer
I have been living in Pune for around 15 years. I like the climate and people here. The city has given me some great friends and stability that I didn’t have before. My hometown, Vilnius in Lithuania, mostly has either rainy or cold weather. It’s rare to see the sun. In Pune, the sun is almost always shining. I like that. I personally like the pace of Pune, unlike some other busy cities. Pune has people from different cultures.
Christian Huber, Italian chef
I came to Pune in November 2010 and have been living here since then. I come from Merano, a small city in Italy that has 45,000 people. I started liking Pune only after a few years; I had to acclimatize and appreciate it first. As a foreigner here, you have to understand how India works, as it is a totally different life. I love that Pune is green and the climate here is pleasant. People are friendly and highly cultured. Whenever I visit old Pune, I’m stunned by the beautiful wadas. The old roads, cantonment zones, parks, roadside food and old cafes – they are amazing. Pune attracts expats because of the job opportunities. I feel it’s the best city in India. After living here for 11 years now, I feel Pune belongs to my heart.
Shola Carletti, abstract artist
I made Pune my home 15 years ago. The city has a lot to offer, and my life here is a charming balance between spirituality and mundaneness. I keep nurturing my spirituality just by going around the city. I love to see small temples and how people here are full of devotion. I am a professional abstract artist, and living here is very inspiring! I live in Koregaon Park. The colours, people, sizzling or quiet life – it’s great. I love the amazing banyan trees that are silent witnesses of the evolution of the city. I’ve seen many changes over the years, but I still love this place, in spite of the many building that are coming up and the sometimes-stressful traffic.
Antje Bauer, professional coach and farmer
We have been living in Pune since 2013 and it’s our home now. The climate, speed of development and restaurants, everything here is amazing. We have a farm just outside Pune, where we stay. It was a barren hill slope when we bought, and today, it has roughly 30,000 trees of 200 varieties. When we moved to Baner in 2013, I wouldn’t have dared to walk around the streets in shorts. But today, looking at Balewadi High Street, you could just as well be in Bandra. I feel the companies that are there in the city and the relative comfort over other Indian metropolises is what attracts expats to Pune. Things are still within an hour’s reach, the climate is less humid and extreme than in other parts of India. We look at ourselves as Punekars.
The Pune Expat Club
Founded in 2010, the Pune Expat Club has been supporting the expat community living in Pune (the population is approximately 500) for 12 years now. “There are so many expats who have stayed in the city for longer than they’d planned when they came to India. We try to help them see the positive aspects of India. Before the pandemic hit, we would organise social events and activities for them every week, which also included trekking, bird watching, musical nights, etc. The club is there to help the expat community in all ways – from helping them find a certain variety of cheese and fish to helping them settle down in the city,” says Preeti Roongta, co-founder, Pune Expat Club.
Popular hangout spots expats in Pune
* Paasha, JW Marriott Hotel
* Masu, Conrad Pune
* The Sassy Spoon
* One lounge
* Sorriso, Marriott Suites Pune
* Alto Vino, JW Marriott Hotel