21 Things To Do In Mumbai
Mumbai, or Bombay, is India’s answer to Hollywood – a city of dreams and also a city of contrasts. A city of rich and poor, inspiration and desperation, modern and traditional, glamour and squalor, old and new. Not surprisingly for such a vibrant city there are so many things to do in Mumbai, this is a city that even after visiting 3 times, I still find endlessly fascinating.
Welcome to Mumbai – A City of Dreams
My first visit to Mumbai, and to India, two years ago, was a complete culture shock but this city has grown to be my favourite metropolis in India – a dynamic, frenetic, cosmopolitan city that you must experience.
I love this crazily captivating, buzzing, inspiring, ambitious, city of dreams. Crowded Mumbai is a beautiful mess, among the grand, crumbling colonial buildings and the slums and shacks I feel so alive in Mumbai.
Here’s 21 Things to Do in Mumbai.
#1 One of the most essential things to do in Mumbai is to start your exploration of Mumbai in old, colonial Bombay, visit Colaba and know that you have truly arrived in Mumbai when you see it’s iconic Gateway of India
#2 While at the Gateway of India escape the crowds and savour afternoon tea at the grand Taj Palace Hotel
#3 Another one of the best things to do in Mumbai is to visit Elephanta Island. From the Gateway of India you can take a boat out to Elephanta Island and marvel at the ancient rock cut cave temples
#4 Wander around the Fort area and admire the interesting architectural styles of some of the other crumbling but beautiful colonial buildings, relics of the British Empire. Try the area around Flora Fountain, and The Mumbai High Court and University of Mumbai. For some interesting ‘Then and Now’photos of colonial Bombay see here.
#5 The most stunning example of colonial architecture has to be the majestic, UNESCO listed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known at Victoria Terminus, one of the busiest train stations in the world – be ready to fight your way onto the trains during rush hour!
#6 On weekdays you can witness the amazing Dabbawallahs use the crowded commuter trains to deliver over 200,000 home cooked lunches downtown every day. You can see how this ingenious system works in this video.
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#7 While in the area you can learn more by visiting Mumbai biggest and best art and history museum – The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum located in a heritage building (formerly called the Prince of Wales Museum)
#8 Or just hang around Colaba and you may be asked to make your acting debut in a Bollywood Movie!
#9 Mumbai is a shoppers paradise but shun the new modern malls to explore the markets and bazaars around historic Crawford Market.
#10 If art is more your thing then check out the National gallery of Modern Art and the free Jehangir Art Gallery – pick up some bargians from aspiring artists for sale outside.Art outside Jehangir Art Gallery
#11 Learn more about the city of Mumbai in the beautiful heritage building of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum or learn more about Gandhi and the Indian independence movements at the free Mani Bhavan Museum
#12 If the cause is dry and the tide is not too high, pay a visit to the island like Haji Ali Mosque
#13 And nearby, see laundry done the traditional way at Dhobi Ghat (a good viewing point is from the bridge just outside Mahalaxmi station)
#14 Get a breath of fresh air in the largest park in the world locating with the city’s limits – the Sanjay Gandhi National Park where you can hike, explore caves, lakes and waterfalls and spot birdlife and animals on a safari.
#15 If the city is all too much for you then help meditation find your inner peace in the golden Global Vipassana Pagoda which is so big it can hold 8,000 people.
#16 Change your perceptions on poverty by visiting Dharavi Slum
#17 Head over to Malabar Hill and check out the Hanging Gardens , watch pilgrims bathing in Banganga tank and take in great views over Chowpatty.
#18 Another one of the essential things to do in Mumbai is to end the day by joining the masses to try street food on Chowpatty Beach, people watch and take in the beautiful big red sunsets
#19 Take a evening stroll along Marine Drive also known as the ‘Queens Necklace’
#20 Catch a Bollywood movie at the art deco style, historic Eros Cinema by Churchgate Station
#21 Or for something a bit swisher enjoy a cocktail with a view at Aer Bar at the 4 Seasons Hotel
There are so many things to do in this vibrant city. Mumbai is a city full of dreams but also full of contrasts. Just enjoy the street life and explore this buzzing city!
Read More: Best Backpacker Hostels in Mumbai,
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What is your favourite thing to do in Mumbai? Do you have any more tips?