Things to Do in Mumbai – A Complete Travel Guide

Mumbai Travel Guide

Table of Contents

  1. About Mumbai
  2. Things to do in Mumbai
  3. How to Plan a trip to Mumbai
  4. Places to stay in Mumbai

About Mumbai

A hub of business, education, entertainment, art and culture, Mumbai is the busiest and largest city of India, with an electrifying energy that overwhelms everyone. It is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, the second-most populous city of India and the seventh-most populous city in the world. Mumbai city sits on the western coast of India with the Arabian Sea on the right, the Western Ghats on the left, Goa on the south, and Gujarat on the north.

Mumbai is technically an island in Maharashtra. It was once an archipelago of seven ancient islands and home to the local fishermen communities. There is no record of exactly when the islands were first occupied but there are evidences that show traces of the South Asian Stone Age, followed by ancient Indian empires. For most parts of history, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) was colonized by the Portuguese and then the British East India Company, which largely influenced the cultural, economic, and social history of the city.

Known Facts of the City

Mumbai Travel Guide
Close-up from the poster for 1965 Bollywood film The Guide found at Chor Bazaar in Mumbai.

There are many historically and culturally significant places in Mumbai that the city is famous for. It is home to Bollywood – the biggest entertainment industry in the country and the fifth largest in the world. It also houses three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), and the distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings designed in the 19th and 20th centuries. These iconic structures are the major tourist attractions here. Apart from these, the city also boasts the biggest public transport network in the country, multiple prominent beaches, a long-standing literary and art community, and a vibrant nightlife, which accounts for most of Mumbai tourism.

[Also Read: Getaways from Mumbai for New Year 2022]

Things to Do in Mumbai

For a wholesome sightseeing, you can also do these things and explore the city like a local –

  • Drive through the Bandra Worli Sea Link connecting the suburbs to South Bombay.
 Bandra Worli Sea Link
Bandra Worli Sea Link
  • Walk or ride a Victorian-style horse-drawn carriage along the Marine Drive in the evening or late night.
  • Ride ponies or watch sunsets at the popular beaches.
  • Join a heritage walk or a food walk through central Mumbai and sample local flavors, art, and history.
  • Catch a play at Prithvi Theater, the oldest and most prominent theater community.
  • Take a ferry ride to the nearby Elephanta Caves, housing ancient Buddhist and Jain temples, and rock sculptures.
  • Enjoy an hour-long chopper ride over the city to get the best view of the skyline and the shores.
  • Go for a sunset sail on a sailboat or yacht on the Arabian Sea at sunset or afternoon.
  • Visit the riverside retreat of Kolad, famous for white water rafting. The frothy waters of Kundalika River are perfect for both pros and amateurs. Visit during or right after monsoon for the best experience.
  • Try Scuba Diving in Tarkarli. At an overnight drive, you will reach the deep green waters of the Konkan Coast and explore the underwater life. You can opt from different kinds of SCUBA sessions.
  • Head to Alibaug for a relaxing time. One of the most popular beachside resorts near Mumbai, Alibaug boasts clean beaches, old forts, and boutique resorts. Visit the Kihim Beach, Kolaba Fort, or the Vrindavan Farms.

Shopping in Mumbai

Shopping

From street shopping to luxury boutiques and huge malls, shopping in this metro is an adventure. Here are some of the best places to shop in –

  • Colaba Causeway, Colaba
  • Fashion Street, MG Road
  • Zaveri Bazaar, Dana Bandar
  • Hindmata Market, Dadar East
  • Dharavi Leather Market
  • Hill Road, Bandra West
  • Linking Road, Bandra West
  • Lokhandwala Market, Andheri West
  • Palladium Mall, Lower Parel
  • Phoenix Market City, Kurla East
  • Oberoi Mall, Goregaon East

Nightlife in Mumbai

Mumbai Nightlife

Nightlife here is a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you want to eat, drink, relax, enjoy live music, spend quality time with a special someone, or dance the night away, there are a host of places for couples, singles, and groups alike.

Check out these places to spend the post-sunset hours

  • Leopold, Colaba Causeway
  • Toto’s Garage, Bandra
  • Glocal, Andheri West
  • Anti-Social, Khar
  • Razzberry Rhinoceros, Juhu  
  • AER Lounge, Parel
  • The Dome, Churchgate
  • Trilogy, Juhu
  • Escobar, Bandra

Places to visit in Mumbai

There are countless tourist places to see and visit in this massive metropolis. But here some of the best places to visit –

  • Gateway of India – entry point into the Mumbai port and a famous landmark of Mumbai.
 Gateway of India
Gateway of India
  • Byculla Zoo – the biggest zoo and wildlife reserve within the city.
  • Borivali National Park – the greenest part of the city with forests, wildlife, caves, and streams.
  • Elephanta Caves – ancient caves with Buddhist and Jain statues and temples, off the coast of Mumbai.
  • Film City – a mini township with studios and sets used for movies, TV shows, and events.
  • Haji Ali – a 15th century mosque and a sacred pilgrim center located in the middle of the sea.
  • Siddhi Vinayak Temple – one of the most sacred and popular pilgrimage destinations in the city.

Apart from the above, there are also several beaches you ought to explore–

Marina Drive
Marine Drive
  • Marine Drive – a beachside promenade in South Bombay and the southernmost tip of the city.
  • Juhu Beach – a popular sandy beach in the western suburbs known for prime hotels, resorts, and dining options.
  • Bandra Bandstand – a rocky beach with hilly road and luxury villas, and popular local hotspot.
  • Carter Road – a suburban seafront in Bandra, known for upscale dining and leisure options.

You can also visit the other suburban beaches like Versova Beach, Marve Beach, Aksa Beach, and Gorai Beach, known for palm-lined sandy shores, quaint resorts, and peaceful vibes.

Popular Places to visit near Mumbai

Besides visiting the famous places, you can also explore these scenic places near Mumbai.

  • Lonavala-Khandala – One of the most popular getaways near Mumbai, the twin hill towns of Lonavala-Khandala are famous for their verdant beauty, naturel trails, clear lakes, and a pleasant weather throughout the year, but best during the monsoon or winter. You can also easily book a Mumbai to Lonavala cab to reach this beautiful destination
Lonavala
Rajmachi Point, Khandala, Lonavala
  • Visit the Pawna Lake, Rajmachi Fort, Kune Falls, and Bushi Dam.
  • Lavasa – A popular picnic spot near Mumbai, Lavasa is a colorful retreat on the Mutha Lake. Designed after the resort town of Portofine, Italy, the township showcases European architecture with state-of-the-art hotels, lake promenade and boardwalks. Stay at a boutique hotel/apartment, go for boating, swimming, or hiking around the forests. 
  • Mahabaleshwar – Known for strawberries, hills, and misty trails, Mahabaleshwar is one of the best hill stations near Mumbai to visit. Visit the ancient Mahabaleshwar temple of Shiva, spend a day at the Mapro Food Farm, or experience a country stay at the organic farms.
  • Matheran – It is the smallest hill station near Mumbai, famous for forested hills and great viewing points. Stop by the Sunset Point for a breathtaking view of the setting sun between two cliffs or cross the U-shaped 1000 meters gorge at Valley Crossing.

Popular places to eat in Mumbai

You will find everything from food trucks to cozy diners, budget eateries and upscale rooftop restaurants to sample the city’s eclectic flavors.

Here are the best restaurants to try –

  • Wasabi by Morimoto, Taj Hotel, Colaba
  • Café Leopold, Colaba Causeway
  • Slink & Bardot, Worli Village
  • Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel
  • Mahesh Lunch Home, Juhu
  • Silver Beach Café, Juhu
  • Pali Village Café, Bandra
  • Mirchi And Mime, Powai
  • Olympia, Colaba

How to Plan a Trip to Mumbai

How to reach Mumbai

By Train

Mumbai has nearly 20 railway terminuses with trains connecting to all major cities and towns in India. You can get regular express trains from Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune etc.

By Road

The city is connected to the rest of Maharashtra and neighbouring states by NH48, NH848, and NH61. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Mumbai-Bangalore Highway connect it to the southern states. There are also plenty of state-run and private buses to and from Mumbai to Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Surat, Vadodara, Hyderabad etc. You can also rent a car or book a cab from any nearby city/town and drive to Mumbai.

[Also read: Travel from Pune to Mumbai by Road – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information]

By Flight

The nearest airport is at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (MUM), 4KM from the city center. The domestic terminal is at a distance of 6KM distance from the international airport. There are regular flights to Mumbai from all major cities and towns across India.

Best time to Visit Mumbai

Mumbai enjoys classic coastal weather with hot and humid summers, refreshing monsoon, and pleasant winters. The best time to visit the city is between November to March, when the temperature is conducive enough to travel around. The monsoon period is also cooler but receives heavy rainfall. Depending on your travel goals, you can plan your trip.

Best Places to Stay in Mumbai

There are a host of hotels, hostels, resorts, and homestays you can choose from for a comfortable stay –

  • ITC Grand Central
  • The Royal Orchid
  • Waterstones – 5 Star Services Hotel
  • The Taj Mahal Palace
  • Sahara Star
  • Villa 1959
  • Hotel Sea Princess
  • St. Regis

Witness the beauty of Mumbai by booking a car rental to take you to all these places with a local driver. Install Savaari cab booking app for offers and discounts on outstation rentals.

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Top Things to Do in Mumbai for a Memorable Trip!
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Top Things to Do in Mumbai for a Memorable Trip!
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A hub of business, education, entertainment, art and culture, Mumbai is the busiest and largest city of India, with an electrifying energy that overwhelms everyone.
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