Mumbai is one of the most happening cities, no doubt there. No matter where you go, there is always something to do, see, and explore. While the majority of these will cost you money, there are still many things to do for free. Just because you won’t need to pay, doesn’t mean that you will be settling for something lame. The best things in life are free, so stop worrying about expenses and turn up the enthusiasm as you read this list of 15 fun and free things to do in Mumbai.
Dadar Chowpatty has a special place in the hearts of everyone who has visited it and its magic never wears off. It offers visitors a panoramic view of the Arabian sea which is made even better by the presence of the man-made wonder, Dadar Worli sea link. While frolicking on the Chowpatty’s shore has its charm, you should also spend some time on its viewing deck.
It is 10 feet above sea level, decorated with LED lights, large potted plants, and fitted with ample benches. Along with being spacious, it is also well-designed and attractive enough to be an attraction itself. Because of this, it has a chic ambiance which makes the simple act of looking at the sky as it changes its colors with every passing minute, more enjoyable.
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Mumbai is one of the most populated cities in the country, so it’s no surprise that its streets are overflowing with traffic. But there are still many areas where people can enjoy cycling without hitting the breaks every time they pick up a good pace and get disturbed by the noise of honks. One such area is Madh Island in Malad which is a collection of many idyllic fishing villages and farms. This area has a laid-back vibe and is reminiscent of Goan villages.
Riding a bicycle here is a delight, especially on the Madh-Marve road that stretches for seven kilometers. Dash through this route or move at a leisurely pace while taking in the lush greenery and beautiful houses that are present alongside the road. Make sure you also check out the famous Aksa beach and Dana Pani beach as they are nearby. A well-kept secret of this island is the St. Bonaventure Church, a 16th-century wonder that’s near the Madh-Marve road.
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Lakshman Prabhu was one of the ministers in the court of Silhara kings of Thane and he built the Banganga tank in 1127. But the origin story of this holy site goes further back into history, all the way to the times of Ramayana. It is believed that a fatigued Lord Rama had requested Lakshamana, his brother, to fetch him some water at the earliest. Lakshmana without wasting any time shot the ground with this arrow and water started gushing out. The legend also states that this water is directly from the river Ganga (Ganges), hence it is named Banganga, “Ban” means arrow in Marathi.
The tank is a simple and serene rectangular structure with huge wide steps on all sides where people can sit and enjoy the old-world charm of this area. The tank’s water is sweet to taste as it is spring-fed. Banganga comes under the Hindu Walkeshwar Temple complex and it is located in the super-rich area of Malabar Hill. This area is an attraction itself with its luxurious bungalows, greenery, and sea view on all three sides.
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Don’t you love it when you’re watching a superhero movie and another one of your favorite superheroes has a cameo in it?! Khotachiwadi is that other superhero. You see, Mumbai receives a lot of love, but Mumbaikars also love Goa. While traveling almost 600 kms is not always a feasible option, you can always go to Mumbai’s very own Kotachi Wadi to quench your thirst for the Goan vibe. Nestled in the Girgaum area of South Mumbai is the heritage village of Khotachiwadi.
It was established in the late 18th century by Pathare Prabhu who was known for selling plots to local East Indian families. The houses here are built of wood and that too very beautifully, as per the old-Portuguese architecture. Many of these houses are replaced by new buildings, but there is still enough left to keep the magic of Kotachiwali alive and thriving. You can walk around this area by yourself but a better way to do it would be to book a walking tour.
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In a quiet corner of Gorai is a spot where you can escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city. The Global Vipassana Pagoda has been serving as a place for people to find inner peace since its creation. Designed using the impeccable Burmese architectural style, this is the largest stone dome structure in the world that is built without using any supporting pillars. You have to be inside it to fully assimilate its grandness.
Visitors can signup for the ten-day Vipassana meditation courses which are available for free. If you want to get a gist of the entire course, you can sign up for shorter courses that last for less than a few hours. While meditation might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is something that has proved to be helpful. Considering that we live in a day and age where mental health gets neglected, meditation can be a beneficial aid.
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Located in the upscale area of Colaba, is Mumbai’s second-oldest Sephardic synagogue. It was built in the year 1884 by the grandson of David Sassoon, Jacob Elias Sassoon, it was and still continues to be a very important building for the Jewish community. Most Mumbaikars are not aware of the presence of Jewish Families in the city. While these are a minority, they have been here for hundreds of years and we would suggest that you read about them before visiting this synagogue to make it more interesting.
Architecturally speaking, the Orthodox Jewish synagogue is a work of art. Its exteriors are painted in eye-catching turquoise blue and the insides are decked up with carved marble, intricate stained glass, decorated pillars, and more.
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This popular shopping spot has existed since the British ruled and its name literally translates to "Thieves Market" in Marathi. It is one of the oldest and largest flea markets in India and you can find the market at Mutton street, Grant Road. While Chor Bazaar is a very famous attraction, it was originally called Shor Bazaar, the word “Shor” translates to "Noise" in Hindi. The name made sense because it used to get very loud when the market was in full swing, but the almighty Britishers couldn't pronounce the name properly and made do with Chor instead of Shor.
But coincidentally, the market started to be flooded with vintage items, but also, stolen goods! Mumbaikars back then used to believe that if anyone lost something, they can buy it back from here. But gone are the old days, if you visit the market today, you find a great collection of secondhand, rare, vintage, and antique items, some of these could still be stolen! It is located just a few kilometers away from Crawford Market which is also a popular market and tourist attraction.
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One of the key pieces of Mumbai’s and India’s history is the Gateway of India. It was built to commemorate the arrival of the first British monarch to ever step foot on Indian soil, King-Emperor George V. Although he arrived early in December 1911 and the Gateway was not even close to ready, so all George V got to see was a cardboard model of the structure. The real structure was completed in 1924.
It’s situated in the Apollo Bandar area of Colaba and was made using the Indo-Islamic style with a blend of 16th-century Gujarati architecture. It is a grand structure built of basalt that rises to the height of 85 feet and sits between the iconic Taj Mahal hotel and the Arabian sea. During British rule, several top personnel entered India through this gate, and in 1948, this was the gate through which their last troops left. Today, the Gateway Of India Mumbai is a landmark, a tourist attraction, and a place of celebration and happiness.
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Sunday Streets is an initiative by Mumbai Police to give people an opportunity to turn their day around to be a Funday! For this many of Mumbai’s popular streets are closed to vehicles between 6 am and 10 am. So people of all ages can frolic without any worry and engage in several recreational activities like cycling, jogging, skating, yoga, playing music, creating art, and more.
You can be a part of Sunday Streets at no cost by visiting
Usually, all of these streets are jampacked with traffic, so it is really great to see them getting utilized for such a fun purpose.
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Constructed way back in 1890, it’s a laundry place located near Mahalaxmi railway station. “Dhobi” is Hindi for washers and Dhobi Ghat is where these washers clean all kinds of clothes and linens from hospitals, wedding decorators, mid-sized hotels, garment dealers, and more. This is believed to be the world's largest outdoor laundry and it has a layout that is very simple and efficient.
There are multiple rows, each with different wash pens and flogging stones where a washer cleans the clothes and then hangs them on ropes for drying. It is estimated that 7000 people work here, and more than one lakh clothes are washed every day. This whole business is believed to have an annual turnover of around INR 100 crore. Along with washing and drying, clothes can also be ironed, dyed, and bleached here.
It is very intriguing to see all these Dhobis put all their strength into washing and drying throughout the day under what looks like a roof made of all the clothes that are hanging on the ropes. You rarely get to see something like this and this is exactly why Dhobi Ghat is a very popular attraction.
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Did you know that Mumbai was once home to a thriving Chinese community? Yes, this city will never stop surprising you with its history. The Nawab Tank Road around the Dockyard in Mazgaon was where most of these people lived and they found their spiritual solace at the Kwan Kung Temple which was built back in 1919. The majority of the Chinese migrated outside India after the Sino-Indian war, but a few opted to stay.
Today, this temple is the only Chinese shrine in Mumbai. It is in a simple two-story house in Mazgaon and it looks nothing like a holy site. But be prepared to be surprised once you’re inside and up a wooden staircase because it won’t feel like you are in Mumbai anymore, you are in a quaint temple in China now.
The walls, the altar, and the furniture here are all in red as the Chinese culture considers it to be the most auspicious color. There are murals of three Chinse gods on one of the walls. The altar here holds the stature of the warrior god, Kwan Tai Kwon. Everywhere you look, you will find some traditional peculiar Chinese items that you haven't seen before. Visiting Kwan Kung Temple offers a window into the rich and ancient culture of China, without even crossing the city boundaries.
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It is a beautiful piece of the city in Colaba where people come to exercise, talk, and relax. The garden is also known as Sagar Upvan and it offers a superb view of the Arabian Sea. You can enjoy it from the comfort of the gazebos and benches or you can enjoy it while sweating it out as you jog on the park's 650-meter track.
One way to make your visit more relaxing is by bringing your favorite book. The birds and butterflies here flutter around and give happy vibes. The enormous Arabian sea adds a lot of beauty and serenity to the park’s ambiance. All you have to do is find a spot you like on the grass to sit and start reading your book. Relaxing in parks and book reading are some of the most simple pleasures and when you bring them together, it is like a recipe to instantly make life perfect for a few hours.
It was built in 1887 to celebrate 50 years of Queen Victoria's reign and it was originally called Victoria Terminus. Frederick William Stevens and Axel Haig were the minds behind what is one of the most beautiful functional railway stations in the world. A railway station doesn’t have to be this majestic, it doesn't have to be such an over-the-top work of art, it doesn’t have to pride of a city. But that is exactly what Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is. It’s an impressive combination of two cultures, two worlds, the Gothic Architectural Revival and the Indian Traditional Architecture.
It is a stone construction whose exterior is decorated with attractive windows, pointed arches, gargoyles, and so many more things. Inside you will find a super-high ceiling, supported by pillars adorned with carvings. The station is a terminal for suburban trains and long-distance trains, making it one of the busiest and liveliest stations in our country. There is so much history and art in this station that it is totally worth devoting your time to properly seeing it.
Bandra is known as the Queen of Suburbs and the Bandra fort is her crown jewel. Originally known as Castella de Aguada, it is a Portuguese fort built in 1640 as a watchtower. It is situated in the Land’s End in Bandra which is right next to the Arabian Sea. This is one of the perfect spots in the suburbs to enjoy the setting sun. There are several benches and huge steps for people to sit and there is also a garden here which makes this place even more beautiful.
Come here with your loved ones or come here alone, you are bound to have a great time. The entire aura of this place is lively and it seeps into everyone that’s present here. The entry here is free and the peace and rejuvenation you’ll experience after spending some time here will be priceless. The area outside the fort is called Band Stand, which is yet another tourist attraction of Bandra and an awesome place to hang out.
Located in the Gamdevi precinct of this city is a building dedicated to the father of this nation. It belonged to Gandhi’s friend who let him use it for several years. This mansion was a consistent element in Gandhiji’s freedom struggle. It was here that he formulated the pivotal movements that changed the course of history. He used Mani Bhavan as headquarters in Mumbai from 1917 to 1934. Today, this historical building includes a museum and a library.
Statues of Gandhiji, old photographs of him that show the journey of his life, clippings from old newspapers, paintings, and more can be found here. We have learned a lot about him from our history textbooks but visiting the place where he ate, slept, and made the decisions that changed the course of history, offers a more personal look at his life.
See, we told you there’s a lot you can do without spending a buck in one of the costliest cities in India. You can enjoy all these places with your loved ones or with the company of your favorite book or music playlist. The only thing necessary is to keep an open mind about these things. Just be open to new experiences and explore what this city has to offer. Have fun!
Is Mumbai Safe At Night?
Yes. It is one of the safest cities in India. But you should always stay aware and careful about your surroundings. Avoid empty areas and suspicious people. If you’re traveling alone, keep someone informed about your location.
Can I Travel To Mumbai At A Low Cost?
Yes. Public transport is inexpensive in Mumbai. You can reach almost anywhere in the city using trains and buses.
How Much Does A Meal Cost In Mumbai?
You can have a meal in a clean and decent restaurant for less than INR 200. On the other hand, you can also spend over INR 2,500 if you are in the mood to splurge.
How Much Does It Cost To Stay In A Budget Hotel In Mumbai?
You can find good hotels for around INR 1,500 per night.
How Many Parts Are There In Mumbai?
Mumbai is divided into two parts. Mumbai Suburban and Mumbai City, also known as South Mumbai.
What Is Famous Street Food In Mumbai?
Vada pav, panipuri, bhelpuri, sev puri, sandwiches, ragda-pattice, pav bhaji, samosa, Chinese bhel, dosas, omelette-pav are some of the more popular street foods in Mumbai.
Which Are The Famous Places In Mumbai For Shopping?
Colaba Causeway in Colaba, Crawford Market in Fort, Linking Road and Hill Road in Bandra and Zaveri Bazaar in Mandvi are some of the most preferred shopping spots here in the city.
Is Mumbai An Expensive City?
Yes, it is the most expensive city in India. Everything from the price of property to a movie ticket is more here than it is anywhere in the country.