17 Top Things to Do in Mumbai
Your 24 hour guide to Mumbai or 2 day Mumbai itinerary (if you take it slow)
India’s most cosmopolitan city Mumbai is a city full of contrasting aspects. While one part of the city is filled with skyscrapers, fancy residences of bollywood stars and sumptuous hotels, the city also has its miniature areas of slums, arguably one of the biggest slum areas in the world. But rest assured, the city has a charm which will never fail to uplift your spirits .
The authenticity of Mumbai comes from various aspects. Be it the local maharashtrians selling machlis (fish) at their mandis to the dabbawalas successfully dropping tiffins to thousands of Mumbaikars on time, from the thrill of the rush hour at a local railway station to a taking a rickshaw ride in the suburbs.
Visit the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Taj Mahal palace was built in 1903, and stands majestically opposite the famous Gatewayof India. The hotel is an iconic charm of Mumbai spoiling its visitors with a variety of food restaurant options. The authentic Indian decor of the palace is another beautiful feature that attracts visitors from all around the world. Even after being a part of the unfortunate events of terrorist attacks, the palace has regained its glory gracefully and continues to be the captivating gem of the city.
Visit the palace to get one of the famous spas, grab a lunch overlooking the Arabbian Sea or ask for a historical tour of the hotel, visiting this place is definitely something that you should add to your list.
Tour the city in a Rickshaw
The easiest way to transport in the city of Mumbai is by taking a Rickshaw from one place to another. A ride in the rickshaw is one of the most convenient and relaxing experiences one could ask for. Open from both sides, the rides allow the wind to hit you while you journey your way from one spot to another. Oh and did I mention it’s also the cheapest way to travel? If you visit Mumbai and don’t take a rickshaw ride, it’s safe to say that your trip would be incomplete.
Walk around the Causeways of Colaba
Formerly known as the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba causeway is a causeway or a link between Colaba and the Old Women’s Island, Causeways of Colaba are the heart of the city. From buildings dating back to the British ruling periods to hustling streets filled with colorful bazaars, the causeway beats faster than any part of the city. The local and commercial experience here is different from what other parts of the city might offer and it’s a walkable distance from the famous Gateway of India.
In addition to that, the causeway is home to some of the world famous restaurants including the Leopold Cafe, Cafe Mondegar and Bademiya. While touring South Mumbai, it’s hard to resist and shop from street side vendors and grab a souvenir to take back home. The best way to reach Colaba Causeway is to take a local train and get down at CST station from where a taxi will drop you at the location.
Visit the Hanging Garden of Mumbai
One of the most beautiful and historical places in Mumbai surrounded by greenery is the Hanging Garden. Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, the gardens were built in 1881 and are perched at the top of Malabar Hill just opposite the Kamala Nehru Park. The park is built on Mumbai main water reservoir and some say that the reason for the same is to cover the water from the contaminating activities of the Towers of Silence. The garden is covered with an array of beautiful flowers stretched across the cursive pathway. A perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, people visit this place to rejuvenate amidst nature or take a jog to have a fresh kickstart to the day.
Temples form a very important part of the city and one of the most famous temples is the Siddhivinayak Temple, a hindu temple where thousands of devotees of Lord Ganesha visit to pray. The temple has a mandap with a shrine for Siddhivinayak (“Ganesha who grants your wish”) with the inner roof of the sanctum plated with gold. Known as one of the richest temples in the city, it is located in the Prabhadevi region and can be easily reached from any corner of Mumbai.
Drive through the Bandra-Worli Sea Link
The famous Bandra Worli Sea link is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea link. A brilliant piece of engineering, the bridge connects Bandra. Bandra is situated in the west of the city to Worli which is in the southern part of the city.
The bridge is built over the Sea and is considered as one of the most unique bridges where one can go for a drive admiring the beautiful skyline above and the vast sea below. The best time to visit the bridge is at night when the lights are lit up and you can see the skyscrapers standing tall spread across the city.
Wildlife Safari & Hike At Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Representing the green facade of Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park was formerly known as Borivali National Park. This is located inside the municipal boundaries of a metropolis. The park is spread over 104km and is the only park in the world with such a vast patch that is protected within the city. The park is famous for its wildlife safari rides and a hike to Jambulmaal that is located at a staggering height of 468 metres. The beauty of the park is incomparable and the mesmerizing landscape keeps you in awe of this place. Unlike the Southern part of the city, you can easily find a rickshaw from a railway station to reach the park. If you aren’t a fan of hiking, there is always an option of packing some lunch and making it a picnic.
Visit the Aiseatic Library
The Aiseatic Library is Mumbai’s oldest and most famous library filled with thousands of books. Also known as the Town Hall Mumbai, the library is an example of neoclassical architecture situated in South Mumbai. The library is a classic heritage building in Mumbai treasuring a collection of manuscripts, books, coins, maps and prints. The easiest way to reach the library is by catching a train to Churchgate station and taking a taxi from the station till the library. A book lover or not, the library is a must visit for its collection of manuscripts and its architecture.
Mount Mary Church
Overlooking the Arrabian Sea, the Mount Mary Church is one of the most beautiful Basilicas in the city of Bandra situated on a hill. The basilica is almost 100 years old with a statue of the Mother and the Child. The semi gothic architecture is splendid. The uniqueness of the location of the church is what attracts most of its visitors. A believer or not, once you visit the basilica, you are guaranteed to leave with a fresher spirit and calmer mind.
Mumbai is famous for a lot of things but the most interesting part about the city is the variety of street food that are found. If in Mumbai you can’t miss out on the delicious food available at every corner of the city at a throw away price. Some of the must haves include the famous Vada Pav, the survival food for many is made of a soft potato wada fried and wrapped in a pav. Some of the other ones include ‘Pani Puri’, ‘Dosa’, ‘Pav Bhaji’ & ‘Kebabs’.
The signature of the city, it’s almost impossible to avoid eating these delicious eats.
Walking on the Bandstand Promenade
Bandstand Promenade or locally known as Bandra Bandstand is a 1.2km long walkway in Bandra along the western coastline of Mumbai. Not only is the locality a residential hotspot for some of the most famous actors of Bollywood, but it is also a popular place amongst tourists and locals for the captivating view that it offers. On top of all the goods and serene things, you will find some sea facing cafes to fulfill your cravings for a perfect evening. Take a walk, buy a cup of hot chocolate or relax at a cafe, Bandstand is also a go to visiting place if you want your heavy day to end with a light outing.
An Evening at the Juhu Chowpatty
Juhu Beach or Juhu Chowpatty is a long beach located in Juhu. Being one of the most famous beaches in Mumbai, it is crowded at most of the hours of the day particularly in the evenings. But if you don’t mind the crowd, the evenings are the best time to visit the place with a perfect picture view of the sun setting, breeze hitting your face and children playing along with various vendors offering food and articles to sell. Apart from the amazing view, Juhu Chowpatty has a variety of food stalls with some of the most famous street food. Our top recommendations would definitely include the pav bhaji, tawa pulao and kala khatta gola.
A visit to the Chor Bazaar
One of the largest flea markets in India, Chor Bazaar translates to ‘thieves market’ and has a fascinating story behind it which goes back to 150 years before. Initially known as ‘shor’ which means noisy, the name was mispronounced as ‘chor’ by the British. Eventually stolen goods started finding a home in the shops of this market. The market is situated in Grant Road and can be easily reached although the crowded streets, the crumbling building and noise can be overwhelming at first but once inside those streets, it’s easy to get lost looking at varieties of colorful articles with fluid prices. The only way to get things at a good price is to bargain! Though the place is quite safe, it’s always good to keep an eye for pickpockets.
Catch a live show at the Prithvi Theatre
Prithvi Theatre is a one of the best theatres in Mumbai and rightly so. Located a few minutes away from the Juhu Chowpatty, the theatre was built by the famous and iconic actor Shashi Kapoor in memory of his father Prithviraj Kapoor. Founded in 1942, the travelling theatre has staged more than 2600 plays and some of the most outstanding performances and has been home to many struggling actors. Prithvi theatre is home to many activities other than the live show. It offers an open cafe right outside the venue for people to grab a snack or have a conversation with someone. The vibrant decor of this place sets the right mood to relish a cup of coffee on the floor of the most iconic theatre with a rich legacy.
Visit to the Mumbai Filmcity
The Mumbai Filmcity, also known as Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri is located is one of the largest film cities in Mumbai established in 1977 with more than 60% movies, tv shows and commercials shot here. The filmcity is equipped with every facility that is required for a film and is literally a producers dreamland. The love for bollywood comes to live for a lot of locals and it’s always a treat to see the legacy of so many movies and emotions situated in one area. Offering a lot of tours, the filmcity of Mumbai is a great visit to see the place where a lot of culture, art and love is born connecting thousands of people from India.
Picnic at the Pandavkada Falls
Pandavkada Falls is a 107metres waterfall situated in the Western Ghats of Mumbai. A cascading flow of water against rock formation, the falls are ideal for a visit if you wish to have a one day picnic or trekking day away from the city. Some say that the falls have been said to be visited by the great Pandavas of Mahabharat who stayed in a secret tunnel near these falls. Mystical or not, these falls have an attraction that is hard to miss. The best time to visit the falls is during the rainy season when the vegetation is at its full bloom and the best of it can be experienced in the beauty of greenery. It’s also recommended that the falls are to be admired from afar as the water pressure can be dangerous.
Day trip to Madh Island
Madh Island is one of the most visited getaways in Mumbai. With a clean beach, perfect breeze, mesmerizing sunsets and farmlands that surround it. The island is located 30kms away from Mumbai, between the Malad creek and the Arabbian Sea. Madh Island gives people a glimpse into the livelihood of Koli Village people set free from the daily hustle of the city life. With extraordinary restaurants for food and bungalows for accommodation, this place has plenty of experience to offer to its visitors. And top it off, it’s also a hotspot for movie shooting due to the beautiful yet natural backdrop that it offers. The best time to visit this place is between June and October when the rainy season is at its peak and the temperature is pleasant.
Jehangir Art Gallery
Located in Kala Ghoda in Southern Mumbai, Jehangir Art Gallery is one of the most prestigious art galleries in the city. Founded in 1952, the gallery has been named after Sir Cowasji’s late son Jehangir and has been home to some of the works of great artists such as M.F. Hussain and S.H. Raza, and has served as a haven for all the art lovers around the city. The art gallery is known to host some of the greatest art exhibits and more than 300 in a year! An interesting thing about this place is that the pavement right outside the gallery is also full of artworks of those who couldn’t make it inside the gallery.
While these were some of the top things to do in Mumbai, the city does not run out of experiences to spoil its visitors with. Once in Mumbai, you will be amazed by the number of adventures this city has to offer.
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