Top 10 Things to do in Mumbai
Starting from ferry rides on the Arabian Sea to nightlife, Mumbai is the colorful land that never sleeps. May it be a family vacation or a solo weekend escape from stress; Mumbai has the right blend of activities and beauties just for you. Are you planning to visit Mumbai? Here are the top activities to enjoy in this Bollywood Capital of India.
Evening walk along the Marine Drive
If you are looking for some leisure activities to enjoy in Mumbai, the best option is to walk along Marine Drive after sunset. Watch the deep blue waters splashing and enjoy in the breeze. Enjoy the ambiance as you watch ferries passing by.
Visit the largest Slum of the Continent
Dharavi slum is one of the top sightseeing spots of Mumbai. You can take a tour package or visit all on your own through the alleys of this large slum. Visit industrial regions, explore their lifestyle and watch them lead their life in a peaceful manner, even with all those hardships. If possible buy products from these local industries to boost their revenue.
Suggested Tour : Full Day Private Dharavi Slum Tour With Local Sightseeing
Early morning cycling tour
If you wish to enjoy Mumbai in a new phase, try the early morning times. You can rent bicycles on an hourly basis and explore the morning-lively destinations of the land like Sassoon Dock, Bombay Panjrapole and others. This is the only time to spot Mumbai in a calm and silence mode.
Suggested Tour : Mumbai Morning Bicycle Tour
Take an aerial tour in helicopter
If you are looking for a luxurious way to explore the skyline of the city, take a tourist helicopter ride, which covers most of the important destinations of the land and you get to enjoy the grandest panoramic view of all times. This is also the best way to get a clear view of many large attractions like Gateway of India, hill regions, Marine Drive and so on.
View the sea from Gateway of India at night
Mumbai’s Taj Mahal, the arched Gateway of India is famous as a historic emblem as the last troop of British in India left the country via the gateway. This gateway is famous for its traditional architecture with motif decorations. The best part about this monument is the night view of the sea from the arch. You can experience an ethereal view with lights all around. Stand on the steps that are behind the Gateway to get a panoramic view of the sea.
Suggested Tour : Mumbai Day Tour
Spot the flower clock at hanging garden
Mumbai does not have many gardens but, Hanging Garden makes up for that gap. This garden covers acres of foliage with flowering plants, thick lawn, trees and much more. Right in the middle of the garden, you will find a large flower clock. There is also a sundial made with marble at display. Walk to the Viewing Gallery to get a glimpse of the Chowpatty beach, Marine Drive, Mumbai Harbor, and others.
Carvings And Ornamental Iron Designs Of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is famous for being one of the busy railway stations of the country. It is also labeled for its iconic Victorian-Gothic revival styled architecture. To add more beauty to this perfection, the students of the Bombay School of Art have decorated the place with wooden carvings, ornamental iron structures, brass structures, tiles, and many others.
Exploring the caves of Elephanta sland
Reach Gateway of India and find a ferry to Elephanta Island. Choose early morning to ride the ferry for a serene experience. The island is filled with caves of sculptures, ancient temples, inscriptions, paintings and much more. You can even enjoy a toy train ride to the caves from the foot of the hill. Those who are adventurous can enjoy trekking in Cannon Hill.
Suggested Tour : Elephanta Caves and Bollywood Tour - Mumbai
Spot ancient stupas in Kanheri Caves
Located inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park, this region is famous for its collection of Buddhist structures like gathering halls, stupas, statues, and others. Kanheri Caves are considered to be a teaching center for Buddhism in the past. You can find resting places for monks in these caves.
Ancient caves of Mahakali of Buddhist relics
Mahakali caves are more than 2000 years old and are famous for stupas, statues, and other Buddhist structures. Since Mahakali caves are not commercialized, you will see less crowd here and thus, you can explore with ease. There are 19 different caves with unique structural and architectural beauty.
Romantic candlelit dinner on a cruise
Cruise activities are the most common honeymoon elements of Mumbai. You can find many service providers with a long list of itinerary styles starting from a private romantic trip during sunset to a hazy night of dance and music with like-minded people.
Enjoy snake-charming shows along the shores of Chowpatty Beach
Chowpatty beach is famous for its serene environment. If you visit in the evening, you can find many stalls selling delicacies. Many vendors offers camel ride or horse ride along the shores too. You can always spot snake charmers here, putting on a show. During the tourism season, you can find a small fairground here with a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, shooting games, and others.
Watch the sunset over the arabian sea at Juhu Beach
This place is famous for its nourishing environment. If you visit in the morning, you can spot locals jogging, performing yoga and other exercises. If you visit during sunset, it is a romantic time here. Watching sunset is an important activity here along with enjoying small activities like donkey rides, horse rides, street food, dancing monkey and so on.
Enjoy a beach picnic at Aksa Beach
Most of the beaches in Mumbai are crowded most of the time. It is hard to find a private spot to enjoy a picnic near the sea. However, Aksa Beach is not the same. Aksa beach is not for those who are looking for water activities and entertainment. It is a laid-back beach, which attracts families who come in for picnicking.
Enjoy luxurious beach vacation in Gorai Beach
If you are looking for a pampering beach vacation with luxurious elements, choose Gorai Beach. You can find numerous luxury resorts in this region. Most of the resorts have cottages and cabins, very closer to the beach. Starting from a pontoon ride to a beach picnic, the resorts provide numerous tourist packages and activities.
4. Street Food
Change your taste buds with street food
Mumbai cuisine has a rich flavor and interesting choices of dishes. But, the best part of the cuisine is the street food. Top items to try here are panipuri, bhelpuri, misal pao, batata vada, ragda patty, and others. Visit Marine Drive, beaches or any markets by evening to spot many street food vendors.
Try fusion street food at Bandra bandstand
This is a celebrity region. You can spot many movie celebrities in this region. However, the actual attraction of this region is the amazing view of the seashore and the fusion styled street food. You can find traditional Mumbai street food and some fusion varieties too.
Taste goan styled sweets and street food near Mount Mary Church
Mount Mary Church is a renowned pilgrimage destination famous for the Mount Mary Feast, architecture and spiritual elements. As you walk out of the church, you will find many stalls on either side of the roads. Many food vendors here sell Goan delicacies. Goan sweets are famous souvenirs among international travelers.
Islamic styled Biryani at Bhendi Bazaar
You can find various street vendors at Bhendi Bazaar, where you can find traditional Islamic biryani. If you are visiting during any Islamic festival, the market will be crowded with foodies. Chicken Hakimi with biryani is a top dish to try here.
Taste the traditional indian kulfi ice cream
Kulfi is a 16th-century Indian ice cream made with caramelized milk, sugar, and nuts. These kulfis can be found in many hotels and restaurants. However, try the market and beach areas for vendors, who specialize in creating unique varieties of kulfis.
Visit Bandra for mexican street food
Mumbai is the land for everything. Starting from South Indian dosa to Mexican food, you can find almost everything here. Are you craving for Mexican food, visit Bandra West to find many food joints selling dishes of this cuisine. Bandra is also famous for Asian, Punjabi, and other cuisines.
Variety of sandwiches along the roads of Mumbai
Mumbai is famous for its unique types of sandwiches starting from chocolate sandwiches to beetroot sandwiches. If you are into desserts, you can find chocolate, fruit and even ice cream sandwiches here. On the spicy side, you can find tikka sandwiches, paneer sandwiches, and many others.
Quench your thirst in Mumbai style
Are you feeling thirsty? It is time to think beyond water and soft drinks. Mumbai cuisine has many traditional drinks, which are sold by street vendors in almost all regions. Top beverages to try in Mumbai are lassi, nimbupani, jaljeera, falooda, sugarcane juice, sweet lime soda, kala khatta, and others.
Name engraved on a grain of rice at Colaba Causeway
This is a noteworthy shopping region for finding unusual items like engraved grains, antique items, and others. Apart from these unique items, you can also find garments, fashion accessories, leather articles, home décor items and so on.
Pet shopping at Crawford Market
Crawford Market is famous for its collection of sepia mode colonial structures. Starting from fresh produce to imported toys, you can find numerous items here. However, the most interesting part is the large pet section. You can buy a lot of different types of pets and pet-based products in this market.
Buy traditional Indian Diamond articles at Zaveri Market
Do you know that Zaveri Market accounts for 50% and more of the total gold trade of the country? This ancient market is filled with riches beyond imagination. If you are looking for luxurious souvenirs from India, choose Indian-styled diamond articles from this market.
Embrace flora outburst at Dadar Flower Market
Visit early in the morning before sunrise to spot baskets of fresh colorful flowers getting unloaded in this market. As you walk through the lanes, you can smell the fresh fragrance of the flowers, which were brought in from different parts of the Mumbai and surrounding regions.
Get your own spice mix at Mirchi Gali
Lalbaug Market is famous for its Chilli Lane. If you are looking for spice collection, this is the warehouse. You can find almost all kinds of spices here and most of the shops have been in business before independence. Many shops will mix and grind a customized spice mix just for you.
Antique hunting at Chor bazaar
The city of Mumbai holds numerous markets but, the best of all is the Chor Bazaar. This is the place for buying antique items like gramophone records, old movie posters, antique cameras, bronze articles, trinkets, brass statues, vintage kettle, vintage clocks, and many others. Apart from these, you can find automobile parts, handicraft items, fashion items, and others.
Budget shopping at Linking Road
This is the shopping paradise for those who are looking for fashion items. You can find loads of shops selling garments, textiles, accessories, leather articles and much more. The best part is that these shops sell at a dead price. You can easily spend hours exploring the alleys of shops here.
Enjoy a modern plat at prithvi theatre
Named after a legendary movie actor, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, this is one of the few hotspot theaters where modern plays are conducted every week. If you wish to enjoy a modern theatre experience, this is the best place. After the play, you can enjoy the gallery, bookshop and other elements of this theatre. If you are up for the cine effect, try to catch a Bollywood movie in Mumbai cinema theatres.
Glance the street arts of Colaba Market
Colaba market is a famous fish market to spot fish auctions and even try some seafood-based street food. The best of all is the walls of the Colaba market which are decorated with large murals. This was a government initiative to make Mumbai more charming for tourists.
Ride in Mumbai Metro Train
If you want to enjoy the real culture of the land, try to ride the metro trains. Trains are one of the best ways to explore the city in a cheap budget. If you are looking for some luxury experience during your stay, you can board Maharajas’ Express or Deccan Odyssey (luxury trains of India) from Mumbai to take part in any of their itineraries around the country.
Explore the bollywood part of Mumbai
Visit the Film City and explore the shooting spots where the magic happens. If you are lucky, you can catch a shooting of a movie or a TV series. There are many service providers with unique styles of packages covering backstages, post-production rooms, live dance shows, and many others.
Take up pub crawl challenge
If you are in the west Mumbai region, the night times are pub time. This is the right place to enjoy an enthralling nightlife pumping with booze, adrenaline and neon lights. You can find numerous pubs, bars, discotheques and much more to keep your nights young and wild.
Art walk along kala ghoda
This is the cultural center of Mumbai. This walkway is crescent-shaped and holds numerous galleries and art museums. The best of all is the Jehangir Art Gallery. Apart from those, you can find many budding artists displaying their arts along the way.
Watch thousands of washermen at work in Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat
The Dhobi Ghat is a massive open-air arena for laundry. You can find thousands of dhobis (washermen and washerwomen) washing clothes with hand, manually scrubbing and beating them to wash it. This is one of the main spots to explore the culture of the land. The second-best element of culture is Dabbawala, who transport lunch boxes from the individuals’ home to their work area. This service started during British ruler in India and is still being continued in many areas, especially around Churchgate.
Visit Versova Beach on coconut day
You can sail in the boats along with fishermen to take part in small rituals and offering coconut water to Sea God. This is the festival of unique rituals, and bring your camera for some unusual pics.
Dance programs at Siddhivinayak temple during festivals
During any major festivals, the Siddhivinayak Temple conducts many programs like art competitions, marathon, dance, and music programs and many others. A mysterious Madar Tree, which was predicted to grow by a saint a few decades ago is one of the major attractions of this temple, which is dedicated to Lord Ganesh.
Drench in music during Banganga Festival
Banganga Festival is literally a music fiesta. This festival invites music enthusiasts and artists from around the country. It is a day of music and nothing but, music.
Take part in the procession to dissolve deities in arabian sea
Visit the city during Ganesh Chaturthi to take part in the long, colorful and cheerful procession towards the Arabian Sea, where the deities are submerged and dissolved to mark the end of the festival.
Suggested Tour : 1 Day - Ganesh Chaturthi Tour
Cultural performances at local festivals
If you visit during any local festival like Parsi New Year, Bandra Feast and others, you will find numerous cultural performances, feasts and much more. The best way to explore the cultural element of Mumbai is by taking a festival vacation in the city.
8. Adventure Activities
Water surfing and other sports at Mandwa Beach
Mandwa beach is an exciting tourist destination in Mumbai. The beach is famous for a lot of water sports and activities like ferry ride, surfing, sailing, power kite, wakeboarding, swimming, quad bike riding, kayaking, and others. There are numerous service providers who have varying sports with different difficulty levels. Not all water activities will be available throughout the year. Choose peak winter as it is the time when you can find almost all the water activities open for tourists.
Go-karting with honda engines at Hakone Entertainment Center
If you are looking for some gaming-styled adventure, visit Hakone Entertainment Center for go-karting, LAN gaming, billiards, simulator games, air gun shooting, paintball games, and others. This is a popular activity among teenagers.
Fishing at Powai Lake
If you are up for some water time, it is time to visit Powai Lake. The lake is the best place for fishing. However, it is best to choose a local fisherman to guide you as the lake is filled with crocodiles too. If you are looking for some milder adventure activity, enjoy bird watching here. You can spot many birds like purple-rumped sunbird, brahminy kite, white-throated kingfisher, spotted billed duck, peregrine falcon, bulbuls and so on.
Trekking at Gorakhgad
Gorakhgad along with its twin fort, Machindragad are famous regions for trekkers. It is located on the outskirts of Mumbai and is famous for numerous caves, Shiva Temple and many others. This trekking route is open to all tourists and is of moderate difficulty. It would take around 2 hours to reach the fort from Dehari Village.
Spot monkeys at Sanjay Gandhi National Park
This is a small park famous for its collection of flora and fauna. You can spot interesting animals like leopards, mouse deer, sambar, spotted deer, Indian flying fox, and others. However, you cannot miss the groups of hyperactive monkeys running around. If you visit around sunset, you can spot many birds like sea eagle, paradise flycatcher, flowerpecker, sunbirds, and others.
Enjoy fish spa at Taraporewala Aquarium
Taraporewala Aquarium is famous for its collection of freshwater and marine fishes. It even holds some coral fishes, which are native to Lakshadweep Islands. This is the country’s oldest aquarium but, it is fitted with many modern amenities like a fish spa and touch pool. The touch pool is where children can enjoy touching some of the harmless aquatic animals.
Spot penguins in India at Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Zoo
This is a typical zoo with many animals in enclosures like crocodiles, elephants, tigers, monkeys, and others. There are a few rare species like the albino cow, flamingo and others. The best part of all is the 48-acre penguin enclosure, which is maintained at the polar climate for penguins. This is the place to find penguins in India.
Purify yourself at Banganga Tank
The region around Banganga Tank is one of the oldest inhabited regions of Mumbai, which is still thriving. This water tank is said to be a spiritually powered one with healing abilities. You can find numerous temples, rest houses for pilgrims and others around the tank. According to Hinduism preaching, walking around the tank would provide purification to body and soul.
Walk into the ocean to visit Haji Ali Dargah
Haji Ali Dargah holds a mosque and tomb, which are famous for its spiritual elements and for holding the earthly remains of Hai Ali Shah Bukhari, Sufi saint. The best part of all is that you get to walk to the dargah on a walkway, which is visible out of the Arabian Sea only during low tide. Thus, technically, you will be walking into the ocean for 500 yards to reach the Dargah. If you visit during Fridays, you can watch Sufi musicians performing here.
Spot the marigold-decorated Mumba Devi Deity
Visit Mumba Devi temple to witness the well-decorated deity. The deity is decorated with gold ornaments like nose stud, neckband, and others. It is also decorated with a silver crown. The best part is that the deity is always showered with marigold flowers. The rituals conducted in this temple are more colorful and that is why tourists choose to visit this temple.
Multimedia spiritual displays at ISKCON Temple
Visit Juhu to enjoy the famous ISKCON temple. Apart from the luxurious decorations, carvings, and statues on the walls of this Krishna Temple, the shrine is also famous for many spiritual awareness programs like lectures, debates and so on. There is a large library inside the temple, which holds thousands of spiritual books and multimedia displays.
Take free meditation classes at Global Vipassana Pagoda
This Buddhist structure is the largest in the world, which is built without a pillar. Apart from architectural beauty, this is the right place to enjoy the serenity of a Buddhist environment. You can find free meditation classes here. Many tourists prefer this peace pagoda as the best place for some unusual cultural pictures. Although the mediation classes are free, you are required to pre-book for attending those workshops.
Architectural beauty of St. Thomas Cathedral
St. Thomas Cathedral was one of the oldest churches of Mumbai and the first Anglican Church of the region. This church is famous for its spiritual element and splendid architectural beauty. Every single detail of these architectural marvels is preserved until date for tourists to bask in the beauty. More than a thousand people visit this church everyday.
Sangemarmar stonework at blissful Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid is famous among locals as the place of serene solitary beauty. This is the best place to calm your mind and rejuvenate. This Friday Mosque also holds many beautiful artworks, stonework made with marble, carvings and much more.
Take a picture with marvel’s iron man at red carpet wax museum
Red Carpet Wax Museum holds numerous life-like structures of eminent figures from cinema, sports, science, politics, and others. For an additional fee, you are allowed to bring your camera inside to take pictures next to these figures.
Watch miniature galaxy inside Nehru Science Center
The Nehru Science Center is famous for its collection of projects, exhibits, and the sky theater. If you are visiting with kids, this is the best way to stargaze, visit the art gallery, educate kids about the solar system and others. There is a cubicle in the center where you can stand and calculate your weight in all the planets.
Spot ancient copper coins at Price of Wales Museum
Prince of Wales Museum or The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is an important art museum of the land. This museum holds more than 50,000 displays including the full armor of Tippu Sultan, ancient copper coins, sculptures, historic artifacts and many more. Many interactive programs are conducted for children in this museum, from time to time.
Visit floating museum inside a navy ship
The Indian Museum Ship is a decommissioned warship, which is now open for tourists to explore the naval aspects of the Indian Navy. You can find a collection of Navy uniforms, rescue equipment, diving items, armaments, and other navy related artifacts. You will be taken to the missile launching room too.