Loud, chaotic, and buzzing with life, these are just a few of the many things that spring to mind when one thinks of Mumbai. This massive metropolis has earned itself many a nickname to perfectly describe it as “the City of Dreams”, “the City that Never Sleeps”, and “Bollywood Land”.
Artists, businessmen, and budding entrepreneurs head here in hopes of a brighter future. If you’re a first-time visitor to the city, you might be a little startled by the sights and sounds around you. But there is nothing to worry about. Look a little closer and you will see there is more to the city than meets the eye.
Mumbai just has so much to do and see, if you’re a first-timer with not too much time, get better acquainted with this amazing city with this list of top ten things to do in Mumbai.
1. Discover Mumbai’s Colonial History
Mumbai was once considered the crown jewel of the British Raj and even today remnants of that age still stand strong. There are numerous colonial buildings in the heart of Mumbai that are simply amazing to behold. Most of these monuments are now maintained by the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. A few of the most remarkable marvels to visit are the Victoria Terminus (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Taj Mahal Hotel, Flora Fountain, Bombay Stock Exchange, St. Xavier’s Church and many more.
2. Take A Ferry Ride To Elephanta Island
Located about 10 km away from Mumbai is the Elephanta Island, home to the spectacular Elephanta Caves, a monument mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. You must take an hour-long ferry ride from the Gateway of India to get here. This is where you can hit two birds with one stone, by visiting the iconic Gateway of India, as well as the beautiful caves. The caves are carved with marvelous Buddhist and Hindu rock sculptures that date back all the 5th Century.
3. Go On A Tour Of Film City
Mumbai is known as the birthplace of Indian cinema and is home to Bollywood. So naturally, it’s a great experience to get a sneak peek into how this industry works. Head to Goregaon East for a behind the scenes look at how this industry works. You can sign up for a tour in major studios like Mehboob Studio or Film City, where you will be shown how cameramen and technicians work. Who knows? You might even meet your favorite movie star here!
4. Watch A Play At Prithvi Theatre
Considering that Mumbai is home to many artists, it should come as no surprise that the performing arts are a big deal here. One of the biggest institutions dedicated to these arts is the Prithvi Theatre on Juhu Church Road. The theatre was opened by Shashi Kapoor in memory of his father Prithviraj Kapoor and dishes out over 500 shows a year from Tuesday to Sunday. After an amazing play, you can relax at the theatre’s in-house coffee shop, Prithvi Cafe.
5. Ride-On The Famous Local Train
Somebody once said, “if you haven’t traveled on a local, you haven’t seen Mumbai.” That is extremely true considering that Mumbai’s Suburban Railway is often referred to as the backbone of the city’s transport system. The train will be noisy, crowded, and a little overwhelming at times, but is worth a ride. You can find a station anywhere in the city so if you’re thinking of taking a ride on one. One thing to keep in mind though is to beware of pickpocketing on the train and at stations.
6. Eat All You Can At Chowpatty
Mumbai has some of the most exceptional street food in India! You can find street hawkers or tiny shops in every corner of the city and the food is extremely affordable. One of the best places to get your fill of the local street fare is Chowpatty. There are innumerable stalls, restaurants, and hawkers along the beach serving everything from tangy and crispy golgappa to buttery pav bhaji. The Vada Pav around this locality is simple to die for!
7. Shop Til You Drop
If you absolutely love street shopping, Mumbai is THE place to be! You can get your fill of bargain hunting at Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, and Fashion Street. At these markets, you can pick up anything from clothing to jewelry and even antiques. Another excellent place to visit is Crawford Market. This colonial treasure is home to stores selling everything from fresh produce to electronics. You can also admire the building’s brilliant architecture that mixes Gothic, Moorish and Flemish styles.
8. Go Club and Bar Hopping
The name “the city that never sleeps” wasn’t given to Mumbai for no reason, and the city’s vibrant nightlife happens to be the biggest contributor to the name. The city boasts hundreds of pubs and clubs, each more interesting than the other. A few that you must visit are Leopold Cafe, Doolally Taproom, British Brewing Company, Toto’s Garage, One Street Over, Tryst, Trilogy, Blue Frog, Tote on the Turf, Aer, Tryst, and Monkey Bar. Make your way to some of the five-star establishments and you will see some celebrities as well.
9. Take A Walk Along Marine Drive
Post 6 PM, Mumbai’s iconic Marine Drive comes alive with walkers, joggers, college kids sitting the slabs, and hawkers selling delicious street food. Sitting by the water and staring out at the city’s skyline when the lights start to come on is one of the best ways to end your day. You can expect to see a crowd even at 4 AM on the drive.
10. Spend A Day At Adlabs Imagica
If you’re traveling to Mumbai with family, an excellent idea would be to spend a day at Adlabs Imagica. This was one of India’s first international theme parks and has over 26 amazing rides and numerous restaurants, stores, and resorts to keep you and your family entertained throughout. A few of the best rides to try are Mr. India, Nitro, Scream Machine, Deep Space, Mambo Chai Chama, and much more.