Mumbai throbs with life. The energy and exclusivity of the biggest metropolis in India is now a legend. It’s a fashion destination, commercial epicenter, and a historic haunt rolled into one. Visiting Mumbai is on everyone’s bucket list not just for its Manhattan-like setting and long stretch of beaches, but also for the amazing places to dine, wine, and dance.
It is located along the western coast of India in the state of Maharashtra.
- Mumbai is home to one of the most expensive houses in the world – The Antilla.
- The last of the British troops to leave the country passed through the Gateway of India on their way out.
- Mumbai is only behind Miami when it comes to having Art Deco buildings.
- It is often called the ‘City of Dreams’ and the ‘Maximum City.’
- The city has a 149-km (about 93 miles) long coastline with several ocean-front beaches.
- Nariman Point, a premium business hub, is regarded as the ‘Manhattan of Mumbai’ for its stunning skyscrapers.
- The Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai is one of the most frequented parks in the world. It is home to 2,400-year-old caves sculpted out of rocky cliffs.
- The Taj Mahal Hotel, established in 1903, is the first 5-Star hotel in India.
- Mumbai’s Juhu Aerodrome was the first airport in India.
- Adlabs Imagica, India’s largest theme park, is in Mumbai.
- The Central Park, located on the fringes of the city, is one of the largest parks in the world.
Places to Visit in Mumbai
Elephanta Caves: Located in the Elephanta Island close to the harbor, the caves are one of the finest examples of rock-cut temples in the country. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made of a number of caves with impressive carvings of Lord Shiva as the creator, preserver, and the destroyer.
Gateway of India: Built to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary, the impressive structure combines the architectural styles of 16th-century Gujarat with elements of the Roman Triumphal Arch. The Gateway of India is also an amalgamation of Islamic and Hindu styles. This is a popular gathering spot for locals and street food vendors.
Marine Drive: This beautiful boulevard was reclaimed from the sea in 1920. The street lights along its semi-circular curve make the Marine Drive look like the ‘Queen’s Necklace.’ The place overlooks the Arabian Sea offering an excellent view of the setting sun. It has become one of the most iconic sights in Mumbai.
Chowpatty Beach: One of the most popular beaches in Mumbai, Chowpatty is the best place to enjoy a leisurely stroll on the long stretch of sand and get closer to the rolling waves.
Kala Ghoda: The city’s premier art district has some of the most prominent attractions. From the beautiful stone statue of King Edward VII to India’s oldest surviving cast iron building, this posh neighborhood in South Mumbai is a must-visit for art lovers. Even when the place is not buzzing with festivals, its museums and art galleries keep you happily engaged.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Located in the northern part of Mumbai, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a great place to unwind after a hectic day in the city. The park is a godsend for nature lovers as they can make the most of its flora and fauna including birds, butterflies, deers, and even leopards. The Kanheri Caves inside the park bear incredible Buddhist carvings that are nearly 2,400 years old.
Haji Ali Mosque: This Indo-Islamic shrine is located just off the coast and is accessible only via a long causeway. During high tide, the shrine is cut-off from the mainland as waters submerge the causeway. It is advisable to check the tide timings before planning a visit to the shrine.
Film City: One cannot come to Mumbai and not take in a dash of Bollywood. The Film City in the suburbs of Mumbai draws its charm from the surrounding hills and serpentine roads through forests. Built in the 70s, this movie studio complex is where the Bollywood actors are seen rubbing shoulders with their peers.
Juhu Beach: This peaceful beach surrounds the posh area where many Bollywood celebrities reside. So, it’s common to catch glimpse of them jogging here. Besides its scenic beauty, the beach is also famous for street food and local delicacies. Watch the sun go down, observe locals or simply gorge on the delicious Mumbai cuisine here.
Colaba Causeway: This is an excellent place to buy souvenirs to take back home. Latest designs in jewelry, purses, shoes, and clothes are easily available here. Also, the place impresses you with a large variety of food and drinks.
Shree Siddhivinayak: Considered as one of the richest temples in Mumbai, it is dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. The temple houses a small ‘mandap’ in which the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak is placed. The interiors impress you with wooden doors carved with images of the Ashtavinayak and gold-plated inner roof of the sanctum.
Things to Do in Mumbai
Whether you want to go solo or in groups, do visit the Essel World theme park. It is not only one of the largest amusement parks in the country but also one of the first ones to be established. The variety of thrill rides it offers partly explains the fact that close to two million people visit the park every year. Essel World is where you can try India’s ‘Scariest Ride.’
One of the most preferred activities in Mumbai is a night tour of the city on a private Tonga (a horse-drawn carriage). During this two-hour long round-trip along the ‘Queen’s Necklace’ route, you will pass through Flora Fountain, Regal Circle, and Gateway of India. The tour will have one stoppage for dinner.
Hotels in Mumbai
Hotel Travelers Inn and Hotel Kumkum are great options for budget travelers. Mid-range travelers can check out The Resort and the Residency Hotel. The high-end travelers would love to stay at the The Taj Mahal Palace and the Trident Hotel at Nariman Point.
Restaurants in Mumbai
For authentic Indian cuisine, head to Peshawri, Dakshinayan, Revival Restaurant and Bar , Khyber Restaurant, Soul Fry, and Ram Ashray. Try Thai food at Koh. The Mamagoto is famous for Asian cuisines ranging from Japanese to Korean and Chinese. Del Italia is quite a hit among those who prefer Italian fare. Trishna is popular among seafood. Mumbai is also home to a good number of cafes, including La Folie Lab, Yoga House, Café Moshe, Candies, The Pantry, and Theobroma.
Best Time to Visit in Mumbai
The best time to visit Mumbai is between November and March.
How to Reach?
By Air – The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the main airport located in the heart of the city.
By Rail – Mumbai is served by two railway stations – the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Mumbai Central Station.
By Road – Mumbai is well connected to the rest of the country by a series of roads and highways with both private and government buses plying to nearby areas.