Top Things To Do In Mumbai

Glorious history, rich heritage, amalgamated culture and modern development naturally offer several things to do in Mumbai. Mumbai, also popularly called as ‘Sapnon ka Shahar (City of Dreams), ‘City That Never Sleeps’, or ‘Mayanagri’, is the most loved city of India. Mumbai is the most popular Indian city representing the most diverse culture and being the trendiest city of all. Earlier named Bombay, the name of the city was changed to Mumbai in 1995 AD to reflect Maratha heritage and leave off the British colonial connotation through the name Bombay. So, it was named after Goddess Mumba Devi, deity of the deep-sea fishermen who lived on the islands before they were forced to move out by the East India Company. Prior to the British, Mumbai was occupied by the Portuguese. The Portuguese also settled in Bombaim (as Portuguese used to call it) and they made this place as the capital of their financial and commercial projects. Under their rule, Mumbai was one of the most populous cities in the world. Before the rule of the British, it was being ruled by the Hindus. Mumbai at that time comprised of seven islands and those islands were a part of Mauryan Empire. After Mauryan rule, Silahara dynasty took over the control of the region. Also, Mumbai is the wealthiest city in India.

Since, the city has a lot of stories and a lot of experiences, here are some of the top things to do in Mumbai.

Taste Street Food: Mumbai is the king of street food. The city is known for its variety spread of street food that has no ending and is sufficient enough to satisfy the cravings of a food-loving person ever. Misal Pav, Pav Bhaji, Dabeli, Tawa Pulao, Chaat, Panipuri, Vada Pav, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Sandwich, Ragda Patties, Idli, Dosa, and the list of the street food in Mumbai can go on and on. Vada Pav can safely be declared as the most popular and readily available street food of Mumbai. Some of the famous places to try the most liked street food in Mumbai are Juhu Beach Chowpatty, Carter Road Khau Gali, SNDT Khau Gali, Ghatkopar, Muhammad Ali Road, Princess Street and Chembur Khau Gali. Though there are many other places to explore street food but the mentioned places are more popular for real taste of Mumbai.

Have Spiritual Feel of Mumbai by Visiting Famous Temples, Dargah, Churches & Synagogue: Though Mumbai, so-called financial and commercial capital of India, is making rapid strides in economic arena but it allows conducive environment to flourish religious and spiritual activities. Religious lifestyle of the people of Mumbai (called Mumbaikars) is one of the several facets of the city. Mumbaikars’ deep involvement in religious and spiritual pursuits can be understood by observing a lot of temples, churches, dargahs, synagogues etc. People from all over the country come to visit these places. In fact, most of Mumbai tour packages do include famous religious sites. Some of the most famous & revered temples of the city are Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Mumba Devi Temple, Walkeshwar Temple, Babulnath Temple, Mahalakshmi Temple and Iskcon temple. Talking about the churches, some of the most famous ones are Thomas Cathedral, Afghan Church & Mount Mary’s Basilica. Though population of the Jews in Mumbai is comparatively quite miniscule but there are several synagogues. Magen David Synagogue & Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue are most famous ones. Haji Ali Dargah is the most famous Muslim shrine in Mumbai and visited by a large number of devotees of all faiths. Parsis, migrated from Iran (ancient Persia), got respectful refuge in India and a large chunk of them resides in Mumbai. Their temples are called ‘Agiyari’ or Fire Temples. These were the top religious places within the city to explore.

Explore Colaba Fish Market & Photograph Paintings at Sassoon Dock: To experience the quintessential side of Mumbai, one must visit Sassoon dock which is the most historic fish market of the city. The Colaba fish market, the most epic Marathi fish market of Mumbai city, remains always crowded. One can get all kinds of sea food variety over here. Although it is smelly and dank like other fish markets but it is worth exploring for its unique view and exotic practices. Sassoon dock is the oldest one in Mumbai and is open to public. The dock is famous for the street art and graphic wall arts done all over. People come to visit these crazy arts and also take a picture or two in front of them. This has turned into an exhibition place as well. The colourful vibe of the place attracts people from all corners to view the activities and ambience of the dock.

Spend an Evening at Chowpatty Beach & Drive through Queen’s Necklace & Marine Drive: To take back the best experiences from Mumbai, one must visit the epic places like Juhu Chowpatty beach and Marine drive. These two places define Mumbai in a nutshell. Marine Drive is the most popular spot in Mumbai, also referred to as the Queen’s Necklace because of its view at the night time. The street lights from an elevation looks like a glittering necklace of the queen. Taking a long drive at around Marine Drive is a soothing experience and viewing the sea offers a serene scene. Walking or strolling around or even sitting for hours in Marine Drive is one of the best experiences to take back from Mumbai. Juhu Chowpatty is a must-see place while in Mayanagari. It is the most famous beach of the city with the liveliest crowd and the most amazing street food.

Do Visit Magnificent Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus: Normally a railway station rarely happens to be a tourist attraction but Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus of Mumbai, earlier called Victoria Terminus, is in its own right a must-visit place to visit in Mumbai for gorgeous architecture and beauty. Known for its architectural grandeur, Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus in Mumbai is built in Indo-Saracenic style. It is also one of the world’s most important examples of this kind of architecture. This structure has become a symbol of Mumbai city. The architecture is a fine example of amalgam of British and Indian styles. The style of architecture comprises Neo Gothic elements with Mughal and Indian features. Owing to this magnificent architecture, Mumbai is also known as the ‘Gothic City of India’. Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus of Mumbai is a hub of major business activities. Victoria Terminus, a feather in the cap of Mumbai, is also one of the top UNESCO World heritage sites.

Walk through World’s Biggest Slum Dharavi: Mumbai is home to the biggest slum of Asia - Dharavi. No doubt, the conditions in Dharavi are adverse. Its existence is certainly a blot to a society and government but it attracts attention of lot of people across the globe for outstanding growth of Dharavi residents in the field of various businesses. Dharavi is obviously like typical slums with poorly constructed houses, people living under ‘below poverty line’, women and children working as domestic help and all other typical scenarios. But, amazingly, with all odds Dharavi has emerged as hotbed of budding entrepreneurs and businessmen. The slum has hundreds of boutiques, textiles stores, pottery making stores, leather warehouses and a number of restaurants. Dharavi has specialised industries as well. Hence, there are a lot of things and experiences to take back from Dharavi and it becomes a must visit place for every traveller.

Don’t Miss to Visit Elephanta Cave Temples & Photograph Gateway of India: One of the most iconic monuments or spots to visit in the city is Gateway of India. It is one of the most popular landmarks of the city that stands tall and sees the visitors on a daily basis. It is also one of the most photographed arch monuments of the city. It is just in front of the Taj hotel and overlooks the Arabian Sea from the other side. The view in the early morning with the pigeons overshadowing the landscape is the best sight of the place ever. One can easily spend considerable amount of time there. It was built in 1924 and considered to be a ceremonial gateway to India for British dignitaries. It’s a specimen of Indo-Saracenic architecture, blending Gothic and Gujarati architectural styles. Elephanta cave temples are unique specimen of Indian art and sculpture. It is definitely not-to-be-missed tourist attraction in Mumbai. Elephant caves can be reached by ferry which is a very delightful thing to do. The ferry is boarded from Gateway of India. It is one of the best sculpted ancient cave temples to explore. It is a great place to explore and know about the history of the country in the ancient era.

Explore Kanheri Caves & Meditate at Global Vipassana Pagoda: Kanheri means black mountains named after the black basaltic stone. Kanheri caves were engraved in the era that saw the rise and the decline of Buddhism. These caves are the living examples of the largest number of cave excavations from a single hill. These caves are nestled in tranquil surroundings of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is a beautiful and one of the mystic caves of Mumbai. And a related place is the global Vipassana pagoda that is a meditation dome-shaped hall which was recently inaugurated to indulge in some serenity and be connected to our inner selves. The pagoda serves as a monument and sign of peace & harmony. It is built between the Gorai Creek and the Arabian Sea. It was built out of gratitude to Sayagyi U Ba Khin. It is built in a Burmese design and has its gratitude towards Myanmar, a Buddhist nation.

Have a Peep into Bollywood Studio: Mumbai is known for the epic film industry and the film city, collectively and popularly called as Bollywood. The city is the home to almost all the film actors of Bollywood. The film industry is one of the major attractions of the city and the people visiting Mumbai have a dream to catch a glimpse of any actor over here. The Bollywood Studio Tour is one of the most fascinating things to do here in Mumbai. The studio has a lot of sets of famous TV serials, common sets for movies, and a lot of things. A guided tour to this place could be of 5 to 6 hours where some of the famous sets and locations would be explored. For a Bollywood buff and a Hindi TV serial lover, this would be so much fun and happening.

Pay a Visit to Vasai Fort: The next amazing place to pay a visit to is Vasai Fort which is one of the historical forts of the city. It is popular by the name of Fort Bassein. It is in Vasai area of the city and hence the name Vasai Fort is given. It was a Portuguese Fort and earlier called as Fort Bacaim or the Fort of St. Sebastian of Vasai. The fort, being a monument of national importance, is protected under aegis of Archaeological Survey of India. It is a beautiful fort with a gorgeous ancient architecture to explore, take pictures, and spend hours sitting in the beautiful ambiance. The overall vibe of the fort is pleasant and visiting it during the early morning is a great escape from crowd. This historic fort is one of the most picturesque forts that tells the tale of the Portuguese rule in India.

Enjoy Ferry Ride from Gateway of India: From the Gateway of India, ferry rides to Elephanta are conducted at regular intervals. This is such a fun activity to indulge in because the ferry ride on the Arabian Sea is such a thrilling thing to do. The boat that runs from the Gateway to Gharapuri Island (as Elephanta Islands called in local parlance) is a double decker boat with an open upper deck. The feeling of being in a motor boat and riding in the water in gushing speed with water splashing all over is a very exciting thing. It is a 30 minutes to an hour ride so it gives ample time to the people to relax, enjoy, and breathe in the sea vibe. On this ride, one also gets a chance to view the numerous ships and the docks there.

Definitely Explore Chor Bazaar: Mumbai is a home to a lot of flea markets in the city. One of the largest flea markets in Mumbai has to be the Chor Bazaar. It is in South Mumbai near Bhindi Bazaar. To be honest, this is one of the most famous and sought after tourist attractions in Mumbai. A very popular saying of the city goes like ‘if anyone loses anything in the city can surely get it back from the Chor bazaar’. It is because the thieves steal stuff and sell it at the Chor Bazaar market. Presently, the market sells a lot of second hand goods rather than the stolen goods. One can find a lot of antique and vintage goods in great condition from Chor Bazaar. Not to brag, but this place is purely aesthetic with some eye appealing stuff. One can find some great stuff here after endless rummaging.

Do Spend Some Time in a Parsi Café: Mumbai is really the most preferred destination in the world to have some of the best Parsi cafes. The Parsi cafes in Mumbai serve the authentic Parsi food. Some of the best Parsi cafes and restaurants in the town are Yazdani bakery, Café Excelsior, Café Military, Ideal Corner, Jimmy Boy, Merwan, Sassanian, Kayani Bakery, Paradise, Britannia and Co, Café Irani Chai, Koolar, and Soda Bottle Openerwalaa. The tourists got to trust these Parsi cafes for the best Parsi food in town. They serve the best Keema Pav, Berry Pulao, mutton Dhansak, Khari Toast, Akuri, Haleem, Beans on Toast, Mava Puffs, Bun Maska, Macaroons, and other famous Parsi food items. The décor of these cafes is also in the typical Parsi style that give out the typical Parsi vintage vibes.

Do Watch a Live Show in Prithvi Theatre: One city known for everything filmy and Bollywood is Mumbai. And one epic place to take the best experience of movie watching in Mumbai is at the Prtihvi Theatre which was built by Shashi Kapoor and his wife Jennifer in memory of Prithvi Raj Kapoor. So, this theatre belongs to Kapoor family. The theatre holds movie shows every day of the year except on the Mondays. The theatre also holds an annual summertime programmes and workshops for the children. Apart from watching the movies in great theatres of the town, it is a great experience to watch some shows at Prithvi theatre. It is located at Juhu Church Road. The trustee and committee work to run this theatre.

Hang Around for Few Hours in Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum: There are enough experiences to take away from Mumbai. Visiting Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is one of the best offbeat things one can do there. To begin with, it is the oldest museum in the city. It was originally established as a treasure house of decorative and industrial arts. Presently, this museum holds a large number of archaeological artefacts and finds, clay models, historical pictures of Mumbai city, ancient costumes, and a lot of other things. Also, the iconic Kala Ghoda statue is also inside this museum that makes it even more epic. Visiting this museum is a good idea.

Capture in Camera the Sunset View from Bandra Fort: The original name of Bandra Fort is Castella De Aguada. It is located near to Mount Mary Church. This Portuguese fort was built during Portuguese rule in Mumbai and Goa. The Bandra Fort served the purpose of a watch tower to overlook Mahim Bay to the south, Arabian Sea to the west, the islands of Worli to the south and the town of Mahim to the south west. The fort lies over several levels from the sea level. And view of sunrise and sunset from the top of Bandra Fort is incredibly gorgeous. So, it is always advised to the travellers to take their cameras and catch beautiful glimpses of the sunset from the top. Also, the fort is kind of secluded now and one can take some great vintage pictures at the spot.

Buy Souvenirs, Tea & Fashion Articles: Mumbai is shoppers’ paradise. Mumbai has a lot of flea markets. There is no end to the places to shop in the city. Various souvenirs can be bought from major shops and markets. Chor Bazaar is one of the best places to buy some antique and vintage home décor stuff at incredibly lower prices and in great condition. Though the stuff might be second hand goods but are fabulous. Fashion articles can be shopped heart out in the fashion capital city. Mumbai is a great place to shop at lower budget. The trends in fashion and lifestyle reach Mumbai the first than any other place. Mumbai is naturally a fun place.

Relish Dinner on a Cruise: Mumbai is a city that hosts a lot of incredible experiences for its visitors and travellers. One amazing experience to take back from Mumbai is a dinner date on a cruise. There are various dinner dates on cruise options where the travellers get to check in the cruise and have the most fabulous dinner while moving on water. This is such a great experience to indulge in. It may cost a little extra than the usual stuff but it is always worth the money spent.

Wander Through Colaba Causeway - A Street Side Shopping Heaven of Mumbai: Mumbai can safely be called as the fashion capital of India. There are the largest number of flea markets, designer stores, malls and others. There are numerous places or flea markets in the city where the products are fast fashion forward. The latest fashion comes to Mumbai first. There cannot be any disagreement about it. One of the best fashion flea markets of Mumbai is Colaba Causeaway market. It is the shopping heaven in Mumbai where mostly girls and women are seen flocking throughout the day. There are numerous stores and stalls to sell fashion staples like outfits, accessories, shoes, and home décor along with lifestyle related products. Also, there are a lot of spots to hang out and relish on food. If anyone is there in Mumbai for a couple of days then shopping at the Colaba Causeaway has to be in his / her hit list. It is a place to spend little and get back with loads of shopping bags.

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