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Practical advice for travelers, focusing on making trips smoother and more enjoyable. Whether it’s budgeting, safety, packing efficiently, or finding the best local dining options. These tips are valuable for both novice and seasoned travelers.

10 Things to Do in Mumbai, That Are Fun & Affordable

Here are the best things to do in Mumbai! Explore it's iconic sites, hidden gems, and cultural experiences - beaches, Bollywood tours, and street food and more

Top 10 Things to Do in Mumbai this Travel Season

  • Mumbai is a city with a lot to offer visitors, from historical landmarks like the Gateway of India and Elephanta Caves to cultural experiences like visiting temples and exploring the art scene in Kala Ghoda.
  • The city is a good mix of modern and historic, with bustling markets and colonial-era buildings.
  • There are also plenty of opportunities to try delicious street food and relax on the beaches.

Take a global city like London and multiply it by 100! That’s Mumbai for you. Packed to the rafters with fabulous culture, historic architecture, and great food, there are literally so many things to do in Mumbai that you'll never be bored.

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai serves as India's beating heart in finance, commerce, and entertainment. It's the undisputed capital of Bollywood, the vibrant film industry that puts India on the global map. This melting pot welcomes people from all walks of life, creating a vibrant tapestry of cultures, languages, and religions.

Most importantly – the city's energy is palpable – it grabs you from the moment you step off the plane.
 

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Exploring Mumbai’s Iconic Landmarks

Let's begin with the most popular tourist destinations in Mumbai.

Gateway of India: Iconic Monument of Mumbai

Among the most renowned structures in Mumbai is the Gateway of India. This monumental arch overlooks the Arabian Sea and was erected to mark the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in 1920.

The monument’s architect George Wittet blended European and Arabesque styles to reflect the modern history of Mumbai. The yellow basalt and reinforced concrete monument is 26 meters tall and quite imposing.

You can enjoy a walk around the Gateway taking in the busy harbor and the boats that shuttle visitors to the Elephanta Caves. Trinket sellers, instant photographers and local artists who draw henna tattoos contribute to the vibrant atmosphere.

For an unforgettable experience, walk down to the adjacent Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a piece of architectural beauty and try the Masala Kraft restaurant. This casual, yet sophisticated eatery serves the most delectable contemporary Indian dishes in the city. Your taste buds will wiggle in anticipation as you peruse the menu.

Also Read: India TravelIs It Safe to Travel to India 

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: UNESCO Heritage Site

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), also called Victoria Terminus, is beyond fantastic. This is the most beautiful train station in all of India. The railway station, completed in 1887, was designed by Frederick William Stevens in the Gothic Revival style and derived its inspiration from the late medieval Italian architecture. Turrets, pointed arches, and elaborate decorations adorn this spectacular building.

CST is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its universal value. The railway station with its long history and magnificent architecture, is a must include in your Mumbai tour. It is a very busy place, with thousands of commuters passing through the station every day. In spite of the hustle and bustle, the station exudes an air of majesty and history.

While you are at CST, drop in at the Railway Museum, which is situated within the station complex. You can view the collection of antique locomotives, old photographs and memorabilia depicting the glorious railway heritage of India. One of Mumbai’s most celebrated markets, the Crawford Market is nearby. You can buy fresh vegetables, spices and other goods in this very busy and lively marketplace.

Discovering South Mumbai


Marine Drive: The Queen’s Necklace

The 3.6-kilometer-long Marine Drive or the Queen’s Necklace, is a waterfront boulevard that stretches along the South Mumbai coast. It offers a picturesque promenade – ideal for a leisurely walk or drive, especially at sunset. With the Arabian Sea on one side and the soothing breeze blowing, this place offers a tranquil retreat in the noisy city.

It is considered as one of the most iconic sights of the city and mostly crowded with tourists and the Mumbaikars (residents of Mumbai). The promenade is adorned with palm trees and the Art Deco structures. The streetlights wrapped around the curve of the road give it a shimmering necklace effect, earning it the popular nickname Queen’s Necklace.

To experience the true Mumbai, buy a cutting chai (small cup of strong tea) from tea vendors available at every other place on Marine Drive and sit beside the sea. Enjoy the picturesque view as the day fades away into the night with the city’s skyline in the background.

If you have more time for walking, then keep walking the promenade towards the Nariman Point – the business district of Mumbai. There are many upscale restaurants and bars with excellent views of the seawater. Enjoy!
 

Colaba Causeway: For Street Shopping

From clothes to accessories to antiques to souvenirs, Colaba Causeway is full of street vendors and shops selling all kinds of stuff. Along with shopping, it is also known for its food streets, offering all kinds of local as well as international cuisines. From cheap street food to fancy restaurants, Colaba Causeway offers everything at affordable prices.

The area around the causeway is always lively and you will surely have a great time exploring the place and its streets. The varied assortment of shops and stalls at Fashion Street makes it a paradise for all those who love to shop.

Many trendy fashion boutiques, traditional Indian handicrafts and jewelry shops and offbeat curios are available at the Colaba Causeway. A perfect place for all types of shoppers.

The place is also a heaven for food lovers. You must try some of the local dishes like

  • Vada Pav (spicy potato fritter sandwiched inside a bread roll),
  • Pav Bhaji (spicy mixed vegetable mash served with bread slices fried in butter) and
  • Bhel Puri (a tangy snack made from puffed rice mixed with vegetables and tamarind sauce).

For fancy dining, you can also choose from the myriad of restaurants and cafes that line up the causeway. Some of them, like the Leopold Cafe and Cafe Mondegar, have a rich history of their own and are very popular among tourists and the Mumbaikars alike.


Nature Escapes in Mumbai


Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Located just outside the city of Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a protected and lush green sanctuary every traveler must visit when in Mumbai. The Jungles of the park house thousands of plant species and breathtaking views of the Shilonda waterfall. If you’re fortunate enough, you might also be able to catch a glimpse of elusive and majestic leopards.

The park spans over 104 square kilometers and houses various plant species, leopards, deer, monkeys and many bird species. Kanheri Caves, a series of ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves from the 1st century BCE, is the major tourist attraction of the park and is a must visit. The caves are beautified with carvings and sculptures, giving tourists a peek into ancient Indian history.

You can also go trekking, cycling and boating in the park. Hitching a ride on the Van Rani miniature train is one of the top things to do in Mumbai with kids. For adventure junkies, guided safari tours are organized in the park, where you can witness various wild animals in their natural habitat.

Juhu Beach (Arabian Sea)

One of the most visited beaches in Mumbai, Juhu Beach is known for its wide sandy coastline and lively vibe. This beach is an ideal location to just hang around and relax while you take a break from your daily hectic routine, which is sometimes mindless and chaotic.

Take a walk, enjoy the local street food or just laze around on the shores of the sea, Juhu beach is a must-visit for all tourists looking for a relaxing vacation.

Juhu Beach is known for its street food stalls which offer snacks like pav bhaji, bhel puri, pani puri, ice cream etc. The stalls are always crowded and the smell of the snacks is tempting enough to make you stop by for a quick bite.

It is a well-known habitat for many Bollywood celebrities, you might just spot one, so keep your eyes open. You can also check out some fun beach activities for kids to keep them engaged.
 

Cultural Experiences in Mumbai


Elephanta Caves: Ancient Rock-Cut Temples

The Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Elephanta Island, showcase the rock-cut architecture from ancient India. The cave temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and has intricate sculptures and carvings dating from the period between the 5th and the 8th century.

Located at a short ferry distance from the Gateway of India, a visit to this ancient historical site gives you a peek into the rich cultural heritage of India. You can view Mumbai harbor and lots of ships on the ferry.

The Elephanta Caves consist of a series of caves, the most prominent being the Great Cave which contains the 20-foot-tall statue of Trimurti, the three-faced manifestation of Lord Shiva. The cave also has a succession of panels enacting episodes from Hindu mythologies like the wedding of Shiva and Parvati and the dance of Nataraja.

The caves are located on a hill and need some climbing to reach. But the view from the top is worth all the effort and a must-miss on your day trip. The island is full of greenery and a tranquil place to relax from the hustle of the city. Make sure to wear comfortable footwear and carry water as the climb can be tiring and hot.


Haji Ali Dargah Mosque: A Historic Landmark

Haji Ali Dargah is a beautiful mosque and tomb located on an islet off the Worli coast, and was built in 1431. A narrow causeway connects the isle to the mainland, and the mosque is accessible only at low tide. The structure, made of white marble, overlooking the Arabian Sea, is a peaceful place of worship and epitomizes the cultural tolerance of Mumbai.

The mosque was erected in honor of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a wealthy merchant who, after gaining spiritual enlightenment, gave away all his wealth and embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Legend has it that he died on his return to India, and his casket floated back to Mumbai’s shore, where a mosque was built in his memory.

Haji Ali Dargah serves not just as a religious place but also as a tourist spot. People of all faiths visit the mosque and its surroundings, which exhibits beautiful Islamic architecture and a serene courtyard. The causeway to the mosque is usually crowded with pilgrims and tourists. The view of the sea and the city skyline from here is truly magnificent.
 

Siddhivinayak Temple: A Spiritual Hub

Siddhivinayak Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, is among the most frequented temples in Mumbai. The temple was built in 1801 and sees thousands of devotees visit every day to seek blessings and pray. The temple has a distinct architecture with its gold-plated dome and beautiful carved wooden doors, enhancing the spiritual atmosphere inside.

The temple is situated in the Prabhadevi area of Mumbai and can be easily reached by local transports. The prime idol of Lord Ganesha here is carved from a single black stone and wears precious jewelry. The temple complex also houses the temple of Hanuman and a meditation hall that gives you a calm and peaceful environment to spiritualize.

Devotees of Lord Ganesha believe that a visit to this temple and offering prayers to the deity will fulfill their wishes and bring good luck. The temple sees a huge crowd on Tuesdays, which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. During the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, the whole city celebrates with fervor.


Food and Nightlife in Mumbai


Girgaum Chowpatty Street Food: Gastronomical Heaven

When we think of Mumbai street food, Girgaum Chowpatty street food comes to our mind. This shell beach in South Mumbai has countless food stalls that dish out local favorites like pav bhaji, bhel puri and pani puri. It is an awesome hangout and a must visit beach for every traveler. From zesty bhel puri to flavored kulfi, you get all kinds of street food here. This beach is a relaxation from our monotonous daily life where you can feast on good food.

Girgaum Chowpatty is also an evening walk and picnic favorite. You see families, couples and groups of friends spending time and enjoying the pleasant sea breeze here. The street acts as a theater with many street artists, musicians and toy and souvenir vendors in the evenings.

One of the most popular items on offer is pav bhaji, a thick vegetable curry brimming with flavor, served with soft buttered buns called pav. Another local favorite is vada pav, a vegetarian delight consisting of a deep-fried potato patty tucked inside a soft bread roll and slathered with chutneys.

For those with a sweet tooth, there are sugary treats like jalebis, deep-fried pretzel-shaped pastries dipped in sweet syrup, and gulab jamuns, melt-in-your-mouth milk dumplings soaked in a fragrant rose-water syrup.
 

Cocktails on a Rooftop: Hipped Lifestyle

If you want to experience a hipped lifestyle then cocktails at Aer, is a must try. It is situated on the 34th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Worli and has an impressive menu of cocktails, wines and spirits.

With a stunning view of the city skyline, this rooftop bar is ideal for guests with a desire to cherish a little special thing. Though the prices are way higher than the local eateries, the atmosphere and the magnificent view are worth the bucks.

The stylish and elegant decor of this open-air bar forms a classy atmosphere ideal for an evening outing. The view from Aer is mind blowing. The glittering Mumbai skyline and the Arabian Sea at the background is a treat to eyes.

Mumbai has many other rooftop bars and lounges like Dome at Inter Continental, Asilo at St. Regis, and Skky at Ramada Powai to name a few. These places are ideal for sundowners, celebrations and even to relax after a tiring day of sightseeing.
 

Offbeat Adventures in Mumbai
 

Bollywood Tour: Behind the Scenes

Behind-the-scenes Bollywood tours are one of the best ways to explore Mumbai’s film industry. Visit film sets and studios and get a peek into the fascinating world of Indian cinema – you might even catch some live shooting action along the way.

Most Bollywood tours cover major film studios like Mehboob Studios, Yash Raj Studios, and Film City. Watch daily productions like movies, television shows and advertisements come to life before your very eyes – you might even get lucky and spot some of your favorite Bollywood celebrities working on set. There are even some fun, hands-on activities included in some tours, like costume try-ons, dance sequences and learning the technical side of filmmaking.

Bollywood tours also cover many famous Bollywood landmarks, including Bollywood celebrities’ homes, Bollywood studios, filming spots and even Bollywood-themed restaurants. Learn the ins and outs of India’s fascinating film industry and get ready for the ultimate celebrity encounter – this is one for all the movie lovers and curious Bollywood fans out there!
 

Cycling Trip Through Mumbai: A Unique Perspective


One of the best and most unique ways to explore Mumbai is by bike. Cycling trips around the city offer an eco-friendly and fascinating insight into the many different sides of Mumbai. Most of these tours begin early in the morning to beat the traffic and explore the city’s cultural and historical landmarks, busy markets and tranquil waterfront areas. Experience the streets of Mumbai like never before and discover some hidden treasures along the way.

There are many tour operators in Mumbai who offer guided cycling trips around the city – here’s just a couple of the many routes you can choose from. The South Mumbai heritage tour explores famous landmarks like Crawford Market, CST and Marine Drive. There’s also the Dharavi slum cycling tour, where you can dive deep into Asia’s biggest slum and learn about the bustling local community and its industries.

Cycling trips around Mumbai are a fantastic way to meet the locals, explore different parts of the city and discover its rich history and culture along the way. The good news is that you don’t need to be an experienced cyclist – these tours cater to all levels of fitness and are a great, fun way to explore Mumbai’s diverse neighborhoods.
 

Additional Attractions and Activities in Mumbai


Worli Sea Face: A Peaceful Promenade

Worli Sea Face is an informal promenade in South Mumbai overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, a seven-span cable-stayed bridge with a pre-stressed concrete roadway connecting the suburb of Bandra in the east to Worli in the west. The Worli sea face is where morning runners and evening walkers congregate, besides those who just want to soak in the sea air.

The walkway has benches and plenty of shade, perfect for sitting back and watching the waves or getting a glimpse of the city skyline. Some of the stretches are untouched and unadorned, while others teem with street art, sculptures and installations. Worli Sea Face ensures a tranquil and peaceful break from the din and noise of the city life. You can spend your time here relaxing and unwinding.

Dharavi: Understanding Mumbai

Dharavi is one of Asia’s largest slums. But this place is often misunderstood and misrepresented. True, there are problems galore, but Dharavi is also home to hundreds of small-scale industries and businesses. So, taking a guided tour of Dharavi is one of the best things to do in Mumbai to understand the people who live here and their incredible spirit and enterprise.

Tours usually include visits to some of the local establishments where the inhabitants engage in pottery, textile and leather work. The recycling industry, involving the conversion of plastic and metal waste into useful and usable items, can also be observed here. A walk through Dharavi’s lanes lets you understand the social structure of the community and how people cope with their problems in innovative ways.
 

Global Vipassana Pagoda: A Landmark of Peace

The Global Vipassana Pagoda, near Gorai Beach, is a landmark dedicated to peace and harmony. This huge dome-shaped monument, inspired by Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda, is an offering to the people of Myanmar for keeping alive the tradition of Vipassana, or insight meditation.

The Global Vipassana Pagoda is an engineering marvel and the largest stone dome in the world, built without any interior pillars to support it. If you visit the place, you can learn more about Vipassana meditation, a technique that helps achieve mental purification and awareness.

The pagoda conducts guided tours and meditation courses and offers a meditative walk in its premises. The gardens and the view of the Arabian Sea from the pagoda add to its serene and spiritual ambiance.
 

Kala Ghoda: Mumbai’s Art Precinct


Kala Ghoda, meaning “Black Horse” in Hindi, is the largest art precinct in Mumbai. The streets of this lively neighborhood are lined with art galleries, museums, boutiques and cafes. Every February, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival transforms the entire precinct into a carnival of sorts, with art installations, street performances, workshops and food stalls.

While in Kala Ghoda, you can visit the Jehangir Art Gallery, one of India’s leading galleries displaying contemporary Indian art. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. The precinct also boasts of beautiful and ornate colonial-era buildings, street art and a vibrant cultural atmosphere.

You may later take a break from the art scene and browse bookstores or grab a coffee at a cozy cafe.

Kanheri Caves: Ancient Buddhist Monasteries

The Kanheri Caves are a cluster of ancient rock-cut caves in Sanjay Gandhi National Park and are believed to have been constructed between the 1st century BCE and 5th century CE. These seven caves were used as Buddhist monasteries and comprised prayer halls and meditation cells as well as dwellings for Buddhist monks.

Tourists to Kanheri Caves can view the various cells, admire the sculptures and carvings depicting Buddhist mythologies, and soak in the tranquil beauty of the natural environs here. The caves provide a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life, besides offering a glimpse into India’s Buddhist past.

The lush green forest cover of the national park, through which you have to trek to reach the caves, makes the visit to Kanheri all the more exciting and rewarding. A truly enchanting experience!
 

Prince of Wales Museum


One of the major cultural establishments in Mumbai, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (previously named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western Art) is located in a beautiful and ornate Indo-Saracenic building in the city center. The museum possesses artifacts from India’s rich past including sculptures, paintings, textiles and decorative art pieces.

The museum has been divided into sections, each comprising distinct collections of India’s artistic and cultural heritage. The galleries that you must visit include the miniature painting gallery, the ancient sculpture gallery and the decorative art form section, displaying rare jewelry, pottery and textiles. The well-lit gardens and courtyard in the museum offer a tranquil atmosphere where you can take a breather and enjoy the cultural richness inside the premises.
 

Wrapping Up

A city that sleeps neither in the day nor night, Mumbai offers myriad experiences to every kind of traveler. From historical landmarks to gastronomical delights, from cultural richness to offbeat experiences, Mumbai will leave you with several memories to cherish and share.

So, whether you are here for a quick 2-3 day trip or planning to stay longer, the city’s hidden treasures and iconic tourist spots will bind your heart and soul. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of this glorious city, a true mix of contradictions and, thus, has something for everyone.
 

FAQs


1. What is the best time to visit Mumbai?

The ideal time to visit is during the winter months (October to March) when the weather is pleasant and comfortable for sightseeing.

2. How do I get around Mumbai?

Mumbai has a vast network of public transportation options, including local trains, buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws.

3. Is travel insurance necessary for my trip to Mumbai?

If you are going to Mumbai, India, travel insurance isn't mandatory, but it's highly recommended. Compare different AXA Travel Protection Plans before choosing the one that best suits your needs for your trip to Mumbai.

4.What kind of travel insurance coverage should I get for Mumbai?

Here are some key coverages to consider for your Mumbai trip:

  • Trip cancellation or interruption: This covers your non-refundable travel expenses if you have to cancel your trip due to a covered reason, such as illness, injury, or natural disaster.
  • Medical expenses : This covers medical bills incurred during your trip for accidents or illnesses. Make sure the coverage amount is sufficient for potential medical costs in India.
  • Baggage loss or delay : This reimburses you for lost, stolen, or delayed checked baggage.
     

5.What are some of the best things to do in Mumbai for street food lovers?

For an authentic Mumbai street food experience, head to Girgaum Chowpatty beach or explore the bustling food streets in Colaba Causeway. You'll find a wide variety of local delicacies, from savory pav bhaji and bhel puri to sweet treats like kulfi.

6. What are some tips for bargaining at Mumbai markets?

Start by offering half the asking price and negotiate from there. Be polite but firm, and don't be afraid to walk away if the price isn't right.

7. Is Mumbai a safe city for tourists?

Mumbai is generally safe for tourists, but it's always wise to take precautions like avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping your valuables secure.

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