Scenic views, mesmerizing landscapes, architectural monuments, and lip-smacking cuisine, there’s nothing that the city lacks in. The Mumbai local trains bind the entire city together and are a small replication of the city in itself. The city’s never-give-up attitude is something that the locals swear by and also something that leaves the travelers inspired. It’s clear that Mumbai holds a special place in all our hearts and we are sure it will find a way to yours too. After all, the city has the power of turning ordinary things into something magical!
Here’s a list of the top 12 things to do in Mumbai that we highly recommend, whether you’re a traveler or a localite wanting to explore the best of the city.
The distinctly Gothic look and Victorian appeal make Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, more popularly known as CST, as yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai. The grand structure is a symbolic representation of Mumbai’s heritage as well as the energetic crowds of the city and is incredible in all aspects. Being a popular destination receiving travelers from all over, CST will probably be the first masterpiece you notice after stepping foot in Bombay (provided you choose to travel by rail).
The entire architectural structure is decorated with tricolor lights during special occasions like Republic Day and Independence Day. Being the busiest station in Mumbai, you will always notice the hustle and bustle of people around CST. After exploring the rich architecture of this monument, you can also conveniently take a train or bus to hop onto your next destination.
An iconic monument of Mumbai, a visit to the Gateway of India is definitely on every list. A symbolic representation of India’s unity, the arch monument was built during the early 20th century. Not only can you explore the architectural structure of the Gateway but also hop onto a ferry and enjoy the waterfront facing the Arabian Sea. The ferry can easily connect you to places like Elephanta, Mandwa, and Murud Janjira.
The ferries start at around 9 am in the morning and cost between INR 50 to INR 120, depending on the time duration of the ferry. You can also plan a surprise or just enjoy some private time with your loved ones by booking a cruise or hiring a private sailboat. Summers are the best time to enjoy the ferry, while also witnessing the splendid sunset in the evenings. And while you’re at the Gateway of India, you can also visit the famous Taj Hotel, which has been rebuilt as a symbol of Mumbai’s spirit after the 2008 terrorist attacks.
Also Read: Architectural Wonders In Mumbai
If you love food as much as we do, you’re surely going to experience the greatest joy when visiting the Juhu Chowpatty. From all types of street food to a proper scrumptious meal, the food stalls at Juhu Chowpatty pleasantly represent the city’s culinary richness. With the aromatic smells from all over wafting straight into your nose, you’d be confused where to start from.
To satiate your taste buds, you can start with the legendary vada pav, continue with misal pav, bhel puri, ragda patty, tawa pulao, and pav bhaji, as and how you like. If you’re craving for some foreign bread, the Chowpatty food stalls will not disappoint you with their pizzas and burgers as well. Don’t miss out on the mouth-watering faloodas, Chowpatty kulfi, and ice golas as well. (If you’re drooling, we don’t blame you; we are too!)
While food is definitely our first love, what we also love about Juhu Chowpatty is that you get to enjoy the serene calmness of the beach with waves crashing every now and then and the salty smell lingering in the air. Evenings are definitely the most popular time to visit Juhu Beach as you also get to witness the sky break into different colors of the sunset.
Also Read: The Dhobi Ghat Experience In Mumbai
We’ve mentioned pristine sunsets already a couple of times in our blog, but witnessing it at Bandstand is an experience we can’t leave behind. Sitting on top of the Bandra Fort while witnessing the best of nature is a soulful experience that’s difficult to capture in words. Over the years, Bandstand has gained popularity as a romantic hotspot, but it’s also an ideal jogger’s park and hangout spot for the locals.
The Bandra Fort also has a lot of stories safely hidden inside its stony walls. If you too are a water baby who feels one can never have enough of watching sunsets, Bandstand will definitely give you a glimpse of how your paradise looks like. Close to the Bandstand, you can also visit a number of other Bandra attractions like the Mount Mary Church as well as the famous Hill Road for your shopping errands. And while you do your sightseeing, keep an eye out for famous celebrities who own plush houses in the Queen of the Suburbs.
Also Read: 10 Iconic Restaurants In Mumbai
Elephanta Caves is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Mumbai and is definitely worth visiting. This architectural wonder, spread over 60,000 square feet, is a collection of temples celebrating the different Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and motifs. You can explore the fascinating rock-cut architecture that has been sculpted over centuries ago.
All history enthusiasts will find a lot of secrets and stories to unearth in these caves. Maheshmurti, Ardhanareshvara, and Nataraja are some of the famous sculptures to look out for at the Elephanta Caves.
As fascinating as the destination itself is the journey to these caves. You will have to take a ferry from the Gateway Of India to reach Elephanta Island. The caves are shut on Mondays but are accessible between 9 am to 5:30 pm on all other days. The first ferry from Gateway starts at around 9 am in the morning. You will have to pay an entry fee at the caves which is around INR 10 for Indian and SAARC nationals and INR 250 for foreign citizens.
Also Read: 8 Places To Visit Near Mumbai During Monsoon
As famous as Mumbai’s street food is Mumbai’s street shopping. Filled with plenty of markets located in different lanes of the city, you can easily shop for anything that you need for yourself. One such famous market lane in the city is Colaba Causeway. From tops and shirts, pants and dresses, to shoes and accessories, wallets and handbags, you will find anything that you need in this market.
Whether you’re looking for some cool party wear or just need some comfy pajamas, just be ready with your walking shoes and shopping bags when skimming through Colaba Causeway. The setup of a few tiny stalls will also please your aesthetic self. Remember to brush up on your bargaining skills so that you get the best deals on your shopping spree.
When you’re done with all your shopping or need a quick break in between, you can also hop into the street side cafes to indulge in some refreshments. Leopold Café, Café Mondegar, Theobroma, and Le 15 Café are some popular joints near the market. Stalls at Colaba Causeway open around 11 am in the morning and are available throughout the day till late in the night.
Another must-visit attraction in Mumbai is the Haji Ali Dargah. Located near the Worli coast, the beautiful landmark is visited by thousands of people from all over. Made in the Indo-Islamic architectural style, the dargah is flocked by visitors of all faiths who come to express their desires and seek blessings from the spiritual hub. With the Arabian Sea forming the background on either side of the dargah, the beautiful view is bound to leave you mesmerized.
The mosque was built in the 19th century and houses the tomb of Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. Throughout the day you can soak yourself in the soulful qawwalis while trying to find the calm inside you. Visiting this landmark will leave you with a refreshing experience wanting to come back more than once. And while you’re there, you can also check out the lip-smacking kebab delicacies available on the road outside the dargah.
If you’ve only pictured Mumbai as surrounded by buildings and modern amenities, you aren’t completely wrong, but the city has yet another surprise for you. Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a jungle paradise for all wildlife and nature lovers. Along with being home to thousands of plant species, you can also spot leopards, sambhar, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, and spotted deer as some of the wildlife creatures.
What’s exciting about SGNP is that it also has a special route dedicated to joggers as well as cycling enthusiasts. A run through the park will give you a glimpse of the wonders of nature. Spread over 90 sq km, the park is also home to the famous Kanheri Caves. You can go trekking up to the caves to get a feel of the Buddhist architecture.
Also Read: Beaches Around Mumbai That You Must Visit
If you’re looking for an outlet to feed your adrenaline rush, head over to Essel World and enjoy the unique rides. Located around 50 km away from Mumbai, Essel World is a popular destination for kids and adults alike. It is one of the oldest and largest amusement parks in the city and houses a number of rides to attract people of all ages. While the roller coaster is definitely one of the most popular rides, you could also try your hand at bowling and try to find your balance by going ice skating!
If you too have grown up watching Takeshi’s Castle on TV, Essel World gives you a chance to get that feel of an adrenaline junkie. Shot and Drop, Hoola Loop, Crazy Cups, and Caterpillar are some of the other famous rides for you to check out. Don’t forget to check out Water Kingdom, a water park located just opposite Essel World to experience some cool water rides as well. You can take a ferry from Gorai Jetty to reach both these parks.
Also Read: Beaches Around Mumbai That You Must Visit
A cable bridge that connects Bandra to the western suburbs of Mumbai, Bandra-Worli Sea Link gives you all the vibes of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The Sea Link is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link and can easily help you get from the western suburbs to South Bombay in a short span of time. Bandra Depot and the Bandra railway station are both within 5 km of the sea link.
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link smoothly caters to 8 different traffic lanes and around 37,500 cars pass through it each day. Mumbaikars often take a long drive along the route to unwind after a tiring day. You can drive with the windows down and feel the cool breeze slide through. The stunning view of the sea on both sides with the cool winds brushing through your face will also let you experience a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara moment right in the middle of the city!
Also Read: The Ultimate Itinerary: 48 Hours In Mumbai
As unique as its name is the Hanging Gardens located at the top of Malabar Hill, right next to the Kamala Nehru Park. The entire garden is full of lush green vegetation and you will probably be spotting some of the pruned trees manicured into various shapes and sizes. The highlight of the garden is the panoramic view of the Marine Drive as well as the Girgaum Chowpatty from the top.
The various flower beds that adorn the garden bring a new charm every season, painting the garden with its different hues. It is usually open between 5 am and 9 pm on all days with frequent visitors throughout. If you plan on having a photo session against the scenic view of the Arabian Sea, early mornings and early evenings are a good time to catch the perfect light setting. You can also leave aside your phones and disconnect yourself from the media world to experience the beauty of nature at the Hanging Gardens.
Roaming around the Marine Drive is a quintessential experience that will always be etched in your memories for a long time. Stretched between Nariman Point and Malabar Hill, this arc-shaped boulevard is a serene location to enjoy at the end of the day. Evenings are usually the most preferred time for people to flock to the route, witnessing the photogenic sunset all along.
Marine Drive is also known as the Queen’s Necklace as the view of the street lights at night resemble the pearls of a necklace when viewed from an elevated point. One of the best parts about Marine Drive is that you can enjoy the scenic view walking hand-in-hand with your special someone, or just let yourself get soaked in the serene vibes with waves gushing on the rocks every now and then. This place subtly defines the calm in the chaos we may look for within ourselves.
What Do People In Mumbai Do For Fun?
From taking a stroll at the mesmerizing Marine Drive and enjoying the sunset, to visiting the Juhu Chowpatty and satisfying your street food cravings, Mumbai has umpteen opportunities to indulge in fun activities for one and all. People go for a long drive on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, head over to Essel World for an adventurous day out, go cycling at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, or watch a live play at Prithvi Theatre as their idea of having fun in Mumbai.
What Should I See In Mumbai?
The Gateway Of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Juhu Beach, Marine Drive, Haji Ali Dargah, and Sanjay Gandhi National Park are some of the best places we definitely recommend for you to see in Mumbai. Our list could go on endlessly as Mumbai is filled with wonders worth making a visit to!
What Is The Famous Thing Of Mumbai?
Rightfully known as the ‘City That Never Sleeps’, Mumbai is famous for a lot of aspects. While the Gateway Of India, the Taj Hotel, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Juhu Beach, and Marine Drive are some of the famous tourist places in Mumbai, vada pav, pani puri, pav bhaji, and misal pav are the famous delicacies of Mumbai one must enjoy. Describing Mumbai’s popularity will be incomplete without the mention of its famous local trains that connect all the treasures of the city together.
Where Can I Spend A Day In Mumbai?
You can visit the Bandra Fort or explore the markets in Colaba as a fun one-day activity in Mumbai. If you’re keen on enjoying some amusement park rides, you can also head over to Essel World or Imagica and keep yourself occupied for the entire day. You can also make a visit to the Elephanta Caves to explore the architecture and historical secrets hidden safely inside the caves.
What Is The Famous Dish Of Mumbai?
Hands down, batata vada or vada pav are the go-to food for everyone in Mumbai. Some other famous dishes of Mumbai include misal pav, bhel puri, Bombay sandwich, and pav bhaji.
Is Mumbai Expensive?
Compared to other places in India, Mumbai is comparatively more expensive to visit. To be fair, it’s the accommodation that’s pricey. But if you choose to use public transport and treat yourself to its excellent street foods, it should be quite manageable.
What Should I Avoid In Mumbai?
Avoid boarding a train on the central line during peak hours. That's when you're surely going to get lost in the bustle, which can get a bit overwhelming for those who are not used to the train system in Mumbai. Also, for all the men out there, never (even by mistake) jump into the women's section of the train, unless you're itching for a free trip to the police station.
What Sweet Is Famous In Mumbai?
There is not only one particular sweet that is famous in Mumbai. There are multiple variants in the sweet category which you can try in Mumbai, and they are basundi, kaju katli, shankarpali, shrikhand and sutar feni.