Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay, is a big city, full of dreamers, artists, hard-labourers, starlets, fisherfolk, millionaires, and lots and lots of people. Renowned as the country’s financial, commercial and entertainment capital, Mumbai is also a place of extremes – housing one of the world’s most extravagant houses, as well as one of Asia’s biggest slums. Though you’ll come across furious energy, limited (but improving) public transport and exhausting traffic conditions here, Mumbai has got many better things to give an experience that you will cherish for life. Here’s a genuine guide to the best attractions in Mumbai that you should visit.
Gateway of India
Often confused with the India Gate in Delhi, Gateway of India is apparently the most prominent landmark of Mumbai. Constructed back in 1924 to honour the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, the monument was also the place where the last of the British troops left, marking the end of British rule in India in 1947. All these and many other reasons mark it among the best tourist places to visit in Mumbai.
Location: Apollo Bandar, Colaba
Taj Mahal Palace
Taj hotel is a stunning landmark with a fairy-tale blend of Islamic and Renaissance styles. Built back in 1903, it is a historic landmark hotel and an oasis of calm in the amiable chaos of the Mumbai city. More than being an iconic building for over a century, the Taj also has an affluent history. The hotel played an significant part in India’s freedom movement. Not only was it used by freedom fighters to attend numerous meetings, but also to house them (free of cost) during the days of India’s freedom struggle.
Location: 3-minute walk from Gateway of India
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Grand, lively and overflowing with people, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is a monumental train station with an extravagant Gothic building reminiscing the colonial era. Popularly known as CSMT and VT, the terminus has some incredible architectural details which make it an outstanding model of the meeting of two cultures. You can’t afford to miss visiting the station that is used by over three million commuters daily, which is another reason to put it on the list of top Mumbai tour attractions.
Location: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Area
Tucked away in an isolated island, the ancient rock-cut caves on Elephanta Island can be reached by an approx. 1-hour boat ride from Gateway of India. The massive main cave that houses some impressive sculptures and artworks became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. While the caves are open all year round, it is best to avoid visiting during monsoon season because heavy rains can disrupt the boat schedules. However, irrespective of the changing weather conditions, you can always find cheap domestic flights, and have fun without going harsh on your pocket.
Location: Gharapuri (the Elephanta Island is 10 kilometres east of Mumbai)
In case you want to escape the madness of the city that Mumbai is, give a visit to Khotachi Wadi – a small hamlet known for its series of Portuguese-style, colourful houses. As soon as you enter the narrow, winding lanes of Khotachi Wadi, you’ll feel like you have been transported back in time or to Goa. Right from the start, you will be in awe of the gaudy houses, many of which have verandas, arched doorways and intricate column designs. So, do visit this heritage village that allows a beautiful glimpse into a quiet(ish) life away from Mumbai.
Nothing would be more romantic than sitting by the beach watching the crimson sun with your loved one. The picturesque beauty and peaceful atmosphere of Juhu Beach make it a popular tourist attraction throughout the year. Though you will find the beach crowded on weekends, it can’t be a reason for not visiting such a spectacular place.
Location: Juhu Tara Road, Juhu
Walk hand in hand with your favourite person along the walkway at Marine Drive as the sun sets its reflection on the vast Arabian Sea. Often referred to as the “Queen’s Necklace” because of the radiant string of lights, the seaside walkway provides a refreshing break from the chaos of city life. Here, you can also enjoy some flavoursome snacks offered by food stalls and mobile food vendors. All these things make Marine Drive an ideal place to relax and spend some romantic moments on a beautiful evening.
Location: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Chowpatty
Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Siddhivinayak Temple dates back to the 18th century and is often frequented by renowned personalities. The temple is visited by over 25,000 devotees daily. Visit this standing testament of beauty and architecture on a Tuesday as it is considered to be the most important day to offer prayers and seek the blessings. It is advisable to get your Indigo flight booking done in advance to plan your holiday better.
Location: SK Bole Marg, Prabhadevi
From colonial-era architecture, unique bazaars to hidden temples and India’s premier restaurants and nightlife, Mumbai has a lot to offer to suit every taste. If you plan to extend your trip by a few more days, do give a visit to the hill stations near Mumbai to have a next-level experience. In case you are from Mumbai and have checked out all the sites mentioned above, you can check out the best places to visit in Delhi to plan your next domestic trip.