Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

10 Famous Things To Do in Mumbai (2024)

Mumbai holds a special place in my heart, emerging as one of my favourite Indian cities. My connection with Mumbai goes beyond mere visits, as I spent a few enriching months studying in this dynamic metropolis. Having explored its vibrant facets extensively, I’ve curated a list of the top 10 things to do in Mumbai.

This compilation reflects my profound understanding of the city’s diverse offerings, capturing its essence for locals and visitors. Mumbai’s unique blend of culture, history, and modernity ensures an enriching experience for anyone willing to delve into its energetic spirit.

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About Mumbai

Mumbai, renowned for its thriving Bollywood industry, is the capital and coastal gem of the Maharashtra state in India. This metropolis was once called Bombay and holds the prestigious title of India’s financial and commercial hub.

Boasting seven distinct districts, Mumbai proudly claims the spot as the largest city in the country. It is a melting pot, welcoming residents from diverse economic backgrounds, making it a city that embraces individuals of all financial standing.

Lakshmi temple in Mumbai

How Did Bombay or Mumbai Get Its Name?

There are a few theories regarding the origins of the names Mumbai and Bombay:

  • Mumbai combines the Marathi words Mumba (the local name for the Hindu Goddess Mumbadevi) and Aai, which means mother.
  • Bombay’s name is attributed to the Portuguese phrase Bom Bahia, which translates to Beautiful Bay.

Best Time to Visit Mumbai

For an enjoyable visit, the best time to explore Mumbai is during the winter, from November to March, when the weather is pleasant and cool. It’s advisable to steer clear of April and May as high temperatures characterize them.

Number of Days Required for Mumbai

Mumbai boasts an abundance of attractions waiting to be explored. While ideally, one would need three to four days to fully immerse in the city’s highlights, a condensed itinerary for a single-day visit can be just as rewarding.

How to Get to Mumbai?

By Air

Mumbai is the most extensively connected city, serving as a domestic and international travel hub. Hosting the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, named in honour of Shivaji Maharaj, it ranks as the second busiest airport. The airport boasts two terminals dedicated to domestic flights and another dedicated to international flights.

Situated approximately 30 kilometres from the city centre, the most convenient means of reaching Mumbai is by opting for a taxi, with Uber services readily available in the city.

By Public Transport

Mumbai enjoys excellent bus connectivity, with numerous private operators offering services between the city and major urban centres. RedBus is the go-to website for information about local buses.

In addition, a network of trains links Mumbai with various cities through Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. For the latest updates on routes, timings, and seat availability, the IRCTC website provides comprehensive and up-to-date information.

10 Famous Things To Do in Mumbai

Before embarking on your visit to Mumbai, consider the following:

  • Taxis and auto-rickshaws are the most efficient means of commuting within the city.
  • While local trains are a cost-effective option, be prepared for significant crowding. Consider taking a local train for the experience, but plan accordingly.
  • Experience the vibrant celebrations of Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi and Holi, two of the city’s most renowned festivals. The festivities during these times are elaborate and create a lively atmosphere.

Visit Gateway of India

The Gateway of India is an iconic arch monument erected to commemorate the arrival of the first British monarch in India. Situated along the waterfront, this structure has come to symbolize the era of conquest and colonization. Soaring to a height of 26 meters, the arch is constructed with yellow basalt and reinforced concrete. Positioned facing the Mumbai Harbour, the Gateway of India is a convenient point for boarding ferries and boats heading into the Arabian Sea.

As the prime tourist attraction in Mumbai, the Gateway of India welcomes visitors without any entrance fee, making it a popular gathering spot for both locals and tourists, especially during the evenings. The site teems with pigeons, street vendors, and photographers, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Moreover, the monument serves as a venue for various events, including the Elephanta Festival of Music, which can host up to 2500 people.

Gateway of India

Pray at Siddhi Vinayaka Temple

Constructed in 1801, the Siddhi Vinayaka Temple in Mumbai is one of India’s most exquisite and opulent temples. Dedicated to Lord Ganesh, this Hindu temple is situated in Prabhadevi and owes its fame to the support of politicians and Bollywood film stars.

The temple, a renowned landmark in Mumbai, was commissioned by Laxman Vithu Patil and financed by the affluent Agri woman, Deubai Patil. Legend has it that Deubai, facing infertility, generously funded the temple in the hope that Lord Ganesh would bestow children upon those yearning for offspring.

Visitors are advised to dress modestly in a sacred place of worship and respect the premises and the deity. Entry to the temple is free of charge, and it welcomes devotees every day from 5:30 AM to 10 PM.

Explore the Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, form a cluster of cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated approximately 10 kilometres from mainland Mumbai, these caves grace the Elephanta Island, also known as Gharapuri. For an approximate cost of INR 150, ferries operate between the Mumbai Harbour at the Gateway of India jetty and the Elephanta Caves.

Nestled on two hillocks, the caves showcase intricate rock-cut structures comprising five Hindu temples and a Buddhist stupa. The primary attraction within the caves is the impressive 20 feet of Trimurthi Sadashiva, depicting the three-faced Lord Shiva.

Access to the Elephanta Caves requires an entrance fee of INR 10 per person. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes as exploration of the caves involves some walking. The caves are open every day except on Mondays, and visitors should allocate a minimum of 3 to 4 hours for an enriching experience.

Elephanta Caves

Complete the Kala Ghoda Walk

The Kala Ghoda stroll offers a journey through Mumbai’s historical and ancient landmarks, spanning Colaba and Fort districts. This leisurely walk spans approximately 3 to 4 kilometres, taking about 2 to 3 hours to explore all the significant landmarks.

Annually, in February, the Kala Ghoda festival adds vibrancy to this route. The walk comes with no entrance fee, and regrettably, no tour agencies are organizing this exploration in the city. After the walk, visit the Kala Ghoda café for delectable and delightful food.

Kala Ghoda Walk (Mumbai)

Shop Till You Drop

Mumbai is a shopper’s paradise, offering a plethora of local markets where one can discover a diverse array of items at remarkably affordable prices. Mumbai has everything from budget-friendly electronic gadgets to the latest fashion trends.

Notable local markets include Chor Bazaar, Linking Road, Fashion Street, and Lokhandwala Market. Bargaining is a common practice, and a handy tip for shopping in Mumbai is to negotiate for a price as low as 50% of the initially quoted amount by the vendor. Additionally, bringing extra suitcases to transport your purchases back home is advisable.

Shopping at Mumbai

Eat Vada Pav

Vada Pav stands out as a highly favoured street snack in Mumbai. This delectable dish features a deep-fried potato dumpling nestled within a bread bun, enhanced with flavorful chutneys and spices for an added taste and spice. Widely available on the streets of Mumbai, the cost of a single Vada Pav typically ranges from INR 3 to 5.

For the ultimate Vada Pav experience, Ashok Vada Pav, a quaint stall in Dadar, is renowned as the go-to spot. The legend goes that Ashok Vaidya, the owner of Ashok Vada Pav, introduced this iconic street snack to the culinary scene.

Watch the Sunset at Juhu Beach

Extending over approximately 6 kilometres, Juhu Beach is situated along the Arabian Sea and ranks among Mumbai’s prominent tourist attractions. Locals frequently gather to witness the breathtaking sunset, making it a popular leisure spot. Additionally, Juhu Beach is a favoured location for movie filming.

Renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, the beach is a hub for Mumbai’s street food. Numerous vendors offer a variety of treats such as bhel puri, corn on the cob, pani puris, and sev puris. The best time to visit Juhu Beach is during the rain-free months from September to May.

Fun fact: Did you know that Juhu was once referred to as Juvem by the Portuguese?

Sunset at Juhu beach, Mumbai

Walk Along the Marine Drive

Marine Drive unfolds as a 3.6-kilometre-long paved public promenade running along Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road. Shaped like a ‘C’ hugging the coastline, the road transforms into a mesmerizing spectacle at night, illuminated by city lights, resembling a Queen’s necklace.

The pathway is adorned with palm trees, creating an ideal setting for a leisurely evening stroll. Marine Drive serves as a venue for various events, including air shows and marathons, adding to its dynamic charm. Notably, there is no entrance fee required to enjoy a walk along this scenic pathway.

Marine drive in Mumbai

Watch a Bollywood Movie

Mumbai is the epicentre of Bollywood, earning its title as India’s entertainment capital, akin to Los Angeles for Hollywood. Experiencing a Bollywood movie in this vibrant city is a unique and immersive encounter. Mumbai boasts numerous theatres, including iconic venues like Regal Theatre, Eros, and Inox Cinemas, where cinephiles can revel in the cinematic magic. Stay effortlessly updated on show timings and book tickets through the Book My Show website.

While in Mumbai, a visit to the Film City is a must. This integrated film studio complex, nestled in the heart of Mumbai, comprises recording rooms, picturesque gardens, serene lakes, film sets, and theatres. Renowned as the shooting location for many Bollywood films, the Film City offers a glimpse into the enchanting world of Indian cinema.

Sip the Irani Chai at Local Irani Cafes

Mumbai is home to numerous Iranian-style cafes, initially established by Zoroastrian Iranian immigrants during the 19th century. These cafes hold significant historical value, boasting a legacy of around 100 years. Among the well-known Irani cafes are Irani Chai and Bun Maska. In Mumbai, indulge in the authentic chai (tea) experience at one of these best Iranian cafes.

Bonus Thing To Do – Get a Picture in front of Mannat

Valued at approximately 200 crores in Indian rupees, Mannat is the opulent residential abode of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Situated in Bandra, this extravagant home was acquired by Shah Rukh Khan from Nirman K Dubash, a trustee of Bai Khorshed Bhanu Sanjana Trust.

A quintessential tourist experience in Mumbai involves capturing a photograph before Mannat and anticipating a glimpse of the charismatic King Khan, as Shah Rukh Khan is affectionately known.

As an ardent Shah Rukh Khan fan, I made a memorable trip to Melbourne to witness him at the International Indian Film Festival.

Mannat in Mumbai

Is Mumbai Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Mumbai is one of the safest cities in India. Personally, I have undertaken solo travels within the city without encountering any issues. The taxi and auto drivers exhibit friendliness and kindness. Nevertheless, as with any city globally, it is essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, particularly during nighttime travels.

Things to do in Mumbai

Closing Notes

I have a deep affection for Mumbai, and the city’s diverse offerings cater to every type of tourist and traveller. Despite multiple visits, my love for exploring Mumbai remains intact, and I eagerly return whenever possible. I wholeheartedly recommend including Mumbai in your itinerary when visiting India.

If you’ve experienced Mumbai, what activities or attractions should be included in a list of things to do in the city? Feel free to share your insights by reaching out to me at Solopassport@gmail.com.

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10 Famous Things To Do in Mumbai (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Famous Things To Do in Mumbai

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