No trip to India is complete without a visit to this fascinating city. You’ll be spoilt for all the amazing things to do in Mumbai!
In many ways Mumbai is the best city of India to live in. It beats all other metropolitan cities of India in terms of things-to-do and safety aspect.
Mumbai is a mad mix of cosmopolitan culture. The locals are super cool people to hang out with and the city is so charming that even its chaos seems musical. The months of October to February are the best months to explore Mumbai.
Top Things To Do In Mumbai
Here is a list of the top ten things to do in Mumbai. It was hard eliminating the other activities as the competition was tough!
See the Gateway of India
Whenever Mumbai is featured in movies and TV, the first image which occupies the screen is the Gateway of India.
The iconic arch monument is built on the shore of the Arabian Sea. The cobble-stoned yard in front of it is busy throughout the day with tourist crowd. The sea near the gateway is generally full with vessels, trawlers and yachts.
Watch Sunset From the Marine Drive
Just a 15 minutes cab ride away from the Gateway of India lies the Marine Drive. It is often referred to as the ‘necklace’ owing to its shape.
The main attraction of the driveway is the broad pavement and the even broader wall, over which people often falls asleep. It is one of the breeziest and cleanest parts of India. Best place to watch the sunset from the city!
Explore the Caves of the Elephanta Island
An hour-long rocky boat-ride from the wharf of the Gateway of India can take a person to the Elephanta Island. The island shot to popularity when a set of Hindu and Buddhist caves were discovered.
Currently visitors are allowed in 5 caves. The rock cut sculptures in the caves can leave a traveller in awe. A trek to the cannon point on the pinnacle of the island provides glorious view of the sea.
Taste the Vada pav
The Mumbaikars swear by Vada pavs. They are sold in every nook and corner of the city and they cost as less as INR 10.
Vada pav is bun bread cut in the middle and stuffed with spiced potato and Indian flavoured sauces. It serves as the go-to snack to satisfy the little bouts of hunger. Some of the other local snack dishes include poha, misaal pav and pav bhaji.
Murals of Chapel Road
You can find outstanding street-art in the sleepy alleys of the old neighbourhoods of Bandra. Life-like images of Bollywood star Amitabh Bachhan will stare at you.
Actors and actresses of the past era: Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Rajesh Khanna glorifies the walls. This place is best explored on foot. Once in a while you may come across weird cartoon murals too!
Get Spiritual at the Siddhivinayak Temple
This is the temple of the ruling deity of the city of Mumbai. Lord Ganesha sits in the central shrine of the Siddhivinayak temple. The temple is frequented by the popular and wealthy of the city.
Visiting the temple and getting a ‘darshan’ (viewing the deity) on an auspicious day is considered very lucky for growth of wealth.
Just beyond Taj- Land’s End lies the modest fort that you will ever witness in your lifetime. It is nothing more than just a flight of stairs and two archways, but what makes it special is its location.
The sea surrounds it on all 3 sides. The Bandra-Worli sea link is one of the prettiest bridges in India. Castella – de- Aguada happens to be an excellent place to gawk at this bridge!
Shop at the bizarre Chor Bazaar
The word ‘chor’ is a hindi word which means thief. ‘Bazaar’ means market; so yes this is a thief market. Theft goods are sold in this flea market at low prices but without any warranty. Almost everything under the Sun can be found in this market from furniture of past era to the most modern cosmetics item.
The shops sell electronics items, artefacts, musical instrument and what not! Why the police do not take any action inspite of knowing most of the goods sold are stolen is a whole different story.
Go Animal spotting in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Can you imagine a national park right in the middle of a city? Can you imagine tigers roaming right in the middle of a city? Well you can after you visit this park.
Situated in the city centre this national park is host to wild animals like leopards, porcupines, pythons and many more. Not just this, a whole set of Budhhist caves named the ‘Kanheri Caves’ were also discovered within the park premises.
Catch the Fishermen in action at the Sasson Docks
If you somehow manage to get up early then go explore the Sasoon Docks area. It is pretty crazy with the fishermen returning with the fresh catch of the day and the buyers bidding over the catch. Staffs of big restaurant often frequent this place.
Sea food lovers are going to love the view of all those prawns, shrimps and crabs! Photography is prohibited but people anyways manage to get sneaky snaps.
Travel Tips For Mumbai
- Respect the ‘Ganpati Bappa’ – ‘Ganpati Bappa’ or Lord Ganesha is the guardian deity of the city of Mumbai and most of the state of Maharashtra. He is one of the sons of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology he was beheaded by his own father. Later, his father fixed an elephant head to his son’s body and brought him back to life. People of Marathi community who are the original natives of Mumbai revere Ganpati Bappa.
- The Hero of Mumbai is Chhatrapati Shivaji – Chhatrapati Shivaji was the founder of the Maratha empire. He brought about a complete renaissance in the administration and hogged limelight over the entire region. He is remembered to this day for his leadership skills and bravery. The Marathas have an undying passion towards their hero.
- Travel in Local Trains – The Mumbai local trains are the most popular system of local trains in entire India. The trains are very punctual and crisscross the vast city. The city of Mumbai is so widespread and riddled with traffic that reaching from one point to another in cab can cost as high as INR 2000. The trains provide an economical way of travel. A distance which costs INR 2000 in cab will cost as less as INR 35 in second class compartments of local train. But they are packed most of the time, particularly office times. The first class compartments are relatively empty but an equivalent distance will cost around INR 270.
- Monsoon submerges Mumbai – In the months of June-August it rains cats and dogs in Mumbai. The local train services are disrupted, parts of the city are submerged, the sea becomes rough and ferries stop operating. Travelling within the city becomes a nuisance. At the same time, the entire Western Ghats and green patches of the city becomes as green as The Shire from The Lord of the Rings.
- Mumbai is safe for women – Most of the Indian cities hold a notorious reputation in terms of safety. Mumbai is different. Out of all the metropolitan cities of India, Mumbai is the city a woman will feel the safest in. Events of occasional staring may happen but it doesn’t go more than that. No passing of lewd comments, touching, stalking.
- You are free to wear whatever you want – Yes you can wear whatever you like, except a bikini! The Mumbaikars are broad minded and they don’t judge people by clothes. Being the fashion capital of India Mumbai lives upto its name. South Mumbai is the best place to let your hair down!