As cliched as the title may sound, there is probably no other city in India that is as dream-inspiring as Mumbai. Lovingly known as the City That Never Sleeps, Mumbai is the very heart of India. This city, the most populous city in India, is home to about 20.7 million people. People from different parts of the country as well as from all over the world throng this city in large numbers every year in search of dreams, love and adventure.
Mumbai is a city of chaos and contrasts. It is home to some of the biggest slums in Asia, as well as some really expensive residences. Mumbai is a land where you can dine in a 5-star restaurant, and then right after, indulge in some tasty vada-pav just around the corner. It is where people from varied ethnicity and cultures blend in together to form one big, colourful family.
If chaos, adventure and diversity are what you’re looking for, Mumbai is the right place for you. Brimming with a plethora of cultures and also its rich history, Mumbai has various attractions that you must not miss out on.
Places of Interest in Mumbai
The Gateway of India
This iconic landmark, built in the 20th century to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary later became the site through which the last British troops left India. The gateway of India has become almost synonymous with Mumbai and its culture.
Its exquisite architecture, deep history and its general atmosphere and sentimental value make it a must visit whether you are a history freak, love architecture, or just want to soak in the true Mumbai feeling.
Weekend Getaways From Mumbai
No, we’re not talking about the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a 5 Star hotel built by Jamsetji Tata is the city’s most iconic hotel. According to legend, it was built by Jamsetji Tata after he was refused entry at a ‘Whites Only’ hotel. This hotel with its amazing service and high end stores is frequented by the elite A-listers of Mumbai and is a favourite with tourists.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus)
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the CST as it is commonly called, is a railway station with beautiful architecture inspired by Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival and Mughal architecture.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum)
This Gothic building is home to some 50,000 artifacts from within India as well as from foreign lands. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya, formerly known as the Princeof Wales Museum, was built in order to commemorate the landing of The Prince Of Wales in Mumbai.
It is Mumbai’s largest and most important Museum. This building wa sdesigned by George Wittet, who also designed the Gateway of India. Its huge collection of artifacts and paintings makes it a must visit if you’re in Mumbai. The museum also boasts of a vast taxidermy collection.
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These caves, located on the Elephanta Island contain exquisite Hindu as well as Buddhist caves. To reach here, you have to take a boat from the Gateway of India that ferries you to the island. The boat ride is part of the enthralling experience as you get to experience the beautiful landscape.
Once you reach this forest-covered island, you can either choose to walk along the road to the Island village or take a toy train that stops right near the village. Then begins the 120-step trek to the cave temples. You can also choose a palanquin service if you don’t want to walk. These caves are full of beautiful sculptures and engravings and are like a time-capsule containing beautiful relics of the past.
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This beach is one of the most famous beaches in Mumbai. Every year the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities(dedicated to the Hindu god, Ganesh) and the ‘Ramlila’ which is an enactment of scenes from the Ramayana, attract scores of locals as well as tourists. You can enjoy Vada Pavs, Bhel Puri, Pani Puri and other tasty snacks along the shore. This beach is a popular site for concerts that take place in the City.
Must-visit Restaurants in Mumbai
This legendary restaurant and bar on Colaba Causeway, built in 1871, is known for its continental, Chinese and Indian snacks and is a popular haunt in the city. It is considered to be one of the city’s oldest and most iconic restaurants and serves a variety of dishes at reasonable prices.
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This French cafe has outlets in Pali Hill, Nariman Point and Powai and is famous for its crepes and breakfast menu. Suzzette is a tiny cafe with delicately curated interiors and a charming atmosphere. A must visit if you want a change from the usual Mumbai-style breakfasts!
If you want a more Indian taste, particularly South Indian, Dashinayan is the best place to go to. This Veg-only restaurant, with its authentic Indian flavours is a go-to place for all your South-Indian food cravings.
This Indian restaurant is situated right outside the International Airport and is specially known for its Dal Bukhara and kebabs.
This all-you-can-eat Thali place oozes with Indianness. Even the waiters are dressed in traditional Indian garb! Visit this place to get a true taste of India and a thali that never gets over!
Nightlife in Mumbai
This Bandra bar comes with some great alternative music and also has its own terrace. It is a popular haunt for the people of Mumbai and is a great place to hang out at with its reasonably priced drinks.
Blue Frog is the place to be if live Music and Stand-up Comedy are what you’re looking out for. This place, with its regular band shows and comedy gigs is very well known and is very popular with the locals as well as tourists.
Located inside the Taj, this bar serves wines, whiskeys, cocktails and tapas and is a popular haunt in the city.
This bar, located on the 34th floor of Four Seasons Hotel is the ideal spot for revellers and party-goers and has a magnificent view of the sea.
Shopping in Mumbai
Crawford Market, now known as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai is the city’s largest and most famous market. The building that houses the market was designed by William Emerson and donated by Cowasji Jehangir to the city. From spices, vegetables, fruits and poultry to gift items, toys, clothes and even pets, Crawford Market has it all. This place is closed on Sundays but you can shop on weekdays between 11 am to 8 pm.
Kitab khana is the best bookstore in all of Mumbai with 20% off on all books. Here you can find almost any book new or old. It has a serene atmosphere and is a great place to shop for all your reading needs.
Linking road in Bandra is a very popular shopping area in Mumbai and is famous for the wide range of shoes that are sold there at extremely low prices. At linking road, one can also shop for clothes, jewellery and accessories at cheap prices. There are a number of Restaurants along Linking road, as well as high end shops. It is a great place to shop or just for a night out with friends.
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Whether it is antiques or the latest trends, Colaba causeway is chock-a-block with all sorts of curious and trendy items at extremely attractive prices. One can also bargain at Colaba causeway and buy things at low prices.
Whether it is the shopping, the food, the nightlife or simply the colourful life in Mumbai city, whatever draws you here, Mumbai makes sure to leave you with amazing memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. As the Mumbaiites say – “Mumbai Meri Jaan!”