My 15 favorite things to do in Mumbai

As chaotic as Mumbai seems in the first glimpse, Mumbai is simultaneously one of the most refreshing and interesting places in India. Be it a romantic getaway or a family trip, it offers everything from the romantic time at Marine drive to a thrilling experience with kids at Essel world.

There are a lot of other things to do in Mumbai such as; appreciating architecture, eating local delicacies, visiting historical and religious places, and experiencing all the outdoor activities. I love this captivating, crazy, and buzzing city also for its culture, challenges, attractions.

Mumbai offers a perspective of both world as on the one side you will observe the life-size architectures, luxury hotels like Taj, modern Indian culture, trading hubs, rich theatres, educational centers, and thrilling amusement parks. While on the contrary, you will also see the biggest slums, pollution, poverty, public transportation chaos, and overwhelmingly hectic lifestyle.

With so much to do and see here, you will be overwhelmed as to where to start. This city of dreams and also a city of contrasts is so vibrant, dynamic, fascinating, and has so much to offer that even after 2-3 visits here, you will be left with so much to do and see.

In case you are wondering what to do in Mumbai? Keep reading as I provide the list of things to do in Mumbai.

Also, make a note of the things you love from the list as you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything!

1. Gateway of India

Gateway of India- Mumbai

Constructed on the Apollo Bunder waterfront facing the Arabian sea, this 83-foot tall monument is one of the most famous tourist spots in Mumbai. It is called the gateway of India as it is the very first thing that you see when you arrive in Mumbai from the Sea. This region offers the best views of sunset which makes visiting this spot in the evening totally worth it!

To add, this area is vibrant and full of life as it is flocked by balloon sellers, street food stalls, photographers, and tourists. So, if you are visiting this place to take a perfect shot with the monument, plan accordingly as you will be bombarded by people.

The Gateway of India, also known as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai, is open to visitors every day throughout the year without any entry fee.

2. Marine drive

Marine drive- things to do in Mumbai

Marine Drive, also known as Queen’s necklace is a great spot in Mumbai for people looking for a perfect evening. Since it offers plenty of space, you can go for an evening walk or sightseeing along the Marine drive with your loved ones. It promises great views of resorts, high-rises, and upscale restaurants. This spot additionally offers the best street food in Mumbai so, get a taste of it.

Along with that, you will get the best view of the Arabian Sea with sailing ferries, a refreshing breeze, and mesmerizing sunset. In the evening, the street light additionally makes the highway look like a string of pearls. This, as a result, gives an illusion of a glowing necklace. This is the reason it is also termed as Queen’s necklace.

You need not pay in order to walk along Marine drive and it can be visited at any time of the year.

3. Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus

One of the must-do things in Mumbai is visiting the most iconic Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus. One thing that you ought not to miss here in Mumbai is marveling at this Gothic architecture so, take some time to admire this amazing building completed with iron and brass work along with some wooden carvings.

This architecture exhibits a significant blend of Indian and western themes. This terminus also has to be one of the busiest, exuberant, and impressive train station in Mumbai as it serves as the headquarters of the central railways in India.

You need not pay in order to visit the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus and you can visit it at any time of the year.

4. Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah

Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most significant religious sites in Mumbai. It houses the remains of a prominent Muslim saint Pir Haji Ali Shah. This gorgeous dome is visited by thousands of people each day to seek blessings. To add, it contains a mosque for Muslim worshipers and can be visited irrespective of religion.

Its beautiful Arabian Sea backdrop is what additionally makes it one of the must-do things in Mumbai. Their soulful Qawalis additionally add value to your visit.

This religious site is open for visit from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM on all days throughout the year without any entry fee.

5. Elephanta cave

Elephanta cave

Take a boat from the Gateway of India and marvel at the ancient rock-cut stone cave temples of Elephanta Cave. This UNESCO listed heritage site of 60,000 square feet depicts the Lord Shiva’s cult.

This particular wonder of architecture comprises fascinating shrines, a latticework of courtyards, pillars, and halls. The main attraction here is a no-brainer, the Shiva statue is worshipped and prayed to as it is considered holy. Similarly, it is termed as Elephanta cave because back in the time Elephant statues were discovered here.

As mentioned above, this cave can only be reached by ferries. The ferry service starts at 9:00 AM and the last ferry departs at 2:00 PM. The cave is open for visitors every day except for Mondays. Similarly, the entry price for adults is Rs. 40 however, the children below 15 years can enter for free.

6. Kanheri caves

Kanheri caves

Alternatively known as the lungs of “Mumbai”, Kanheri caves are ideal for people looking to escape the chaos of Mumbai as the location is very calm and pleasant. This place offers an evolution of Buddhism’s rise and you can clearly witness that through its stupas, prayer hall, pillars, and water channels.

Since it is the oldest cave formations in India and offers more than 100 Buddhist caves, it can fill up your entire day. Similarly, just outside the caves, visitors can also engage in adventures like trekking and rappelling. Therefore, plan ahead of time if you want to extract the best out of this Buddhist sanctums.

These caves are open for visitors every day from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM except for Mondays. Similarly, the entry price for an Indian is Rs.5 and Rs.100 for a foreigner.

7. Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Bandra-Worli Sea Link

It is a steel cable bridge that connects Bandra with Mumbaiโ€™s western suburbs and reduces the travel time from an hour to 20 minutes. It is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea link and is popular among visitors for its dramatic sunrise and sunset views.

If wide roads with terrific scenic beauty are your thing then, this is the place for you. What particularly makes it extraordinary is its evening view when the cable wires are all lit up and appear like a festival in itself. Needless to say, this place can be visited by anyone without any charge.

8. Juhu beach

Juhu beach- Mumbai

One of the most popular and arguably the best beach in Mumbai is Juhu beach. This beach is the ideal one to escape the pollution of other beaches in Mumbai. At the same time, the surrounding streets are home to Bollywood stars which makes it the best place for celebrity spotting. So, if you are a huge Bollywood buff, this is the place for you. I do not know what are the chances of you spotting one, but the beach in itself is worth a visit.

Similarly, it makes for an awesome cycling spot as it is 6 kilometers long and offers the best sunsets. The beach is as popular for selling delicious street foods such as Pav Bhaji, Pani Puri, and so much more. You will likewise find souvenir and balloon vendors in this area.

Juhu beach can be visited at any time of the year without any entry fee. However, it usually gets very crowded in the evening for its gorgeous sunset view on the Arabian Sea horizon.

9. Essel World

Essel World

India’s largest amusement theme park, Essel world is the best destination to visit with kids and family as a whole. Essel world and water kingdom combined together make for one of the largest amusement parks in Asia. The Essel world offers numerous thrilling rides such as the Rio Grande Train, Hoola Hoop, Shot and Drop, and Crazy Cups. Along with that, it also provides huge entertainment zones to enjoy and relax.

The water kingdom is just as huge and makes for an outstanding experience as it is the oldest and biggest waterpark in India. The rides you must try here are What-a-Coaster and Adventure Amazonia.

This amusement park is open to visitors from Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM. Similarly, on Saturdays and Sundays, it opens from 10 AM until 8 PM. You would want to dedicate an entire day here so, plan your trip accordingly.

There are various ticket types and the prices are designed accordingly. In order to find the prices for Essel world and water kingdom, visit esselworld.in.

10. Mumbai film city

Mumbai film city

You must have heard of Bollywood, perhaps are the biggest Bollywood movie fan. Whatever be, you must visit the film city as it is home to Bollywood. This location is so huge that thousands of sets can be built here at the same time. Witnessing the off-screen magic and experiencing the method of filmmaking is what this place is all about.

If you get lucky enough, you might also get a chance to see your favorite movie and television stars so, take a trip to Mumbai film city if you get some time. The film city opens for visitors every day from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and the pricing depends upon the kind of package you choose (Rs. 599- 1699).

11. Churchgate

Churchgate

Churchgate, also known as Nariman street is a site that contains a stately white building with a number of minarets and windows. This place is also popular as a shopper’s paradise as you get a lot of options to choose from. Though everything can be found and bought here, Sari is highly suggested. Similarly, it is home to major educational institutions, business organizations, churches, and banking.

Since the street is so pretty, it is also used as a backdrop in a lot of Indian films and television shows. Not to forget that it is a prominent location when it comes to sports as it houses Wankhede Stadium, Oval Maidan, Brabourne Stadium, and Mahindra Hockey Stadium.

12. Hanging garden of Mumbai

Hanging garden of Mumbai

A terrace garden on the top of Malabar Hills from where the gorgeous view of the Arabian Sea can be experienced is the hanging gardens of Mumbai. The whole garden is adorned by animal-shaped hedges and lush green vegetation and gives a bird’s eye perspective of the majestic Arabian Sea along with the perfect sunset.

This serene spot in the middle of the bustling city is perhaps the best place to spend some time with nature. There are other attractions that you might love besides the spread of green space. Make sure to spot a flower clock in the middle of the garden, a sundial made of marble, along with Pramod Navalkar viewing gallery to capture great views of Mumbai harbor, Chowpatty, and Marine Drive. This place also makes for a great place for amazing pictures so, do not skip this it.

Hanging garden of Mumbai is open for visitors every day from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM with no entry fees.

13. Aksa beach

Aksa beach

The beach with the longest coastline with the best views is Aksa beach. The most interesting fact about this beach is that it got its fame from a famous Bollywood song. Since then, it has been a popular weekend destination. It is one of the cleanest beaches in Mumbai and has a charm of its own as it is still untouched among the crowds. As a result, it isn’t as crowded as other beaches in Mumbai.

As it offers a great sunset view and peaceful environment, people visit this beach during the evening. The best thing is it provides you enough opportunities to take great pictures. It additionally offers authentic street foods in order to satisfy the food cravings of visitors so, visit this place for a great time with your dear ones.

14. Helicopter ride-view of the Mumbai city

Helicopter ride-view of the Mumbai city

With everything being said, the traffic in Mumbai cannot be overlooked. Also, the place offers so much that it gets almost impossible to pay a visit to all the prominent places in a short time. The best alternative to that is a helicopter ride view. It gives you the best exhilarating panoramic view of the city at its best.

This ride gives you a tour of the significant landmarks of Mumbai, from the Gateway of India to gorgeous beaches, green patches, and hills, you can get a bird’s eye view of absolutely every landmark. The price for a single person’s ride is Rs. 8250 so, get into one if you have limited time in this diverse city.

15. Indian street food

Indian street food

We all know how delicious Indian cuisine is and no place other than Mumbai makes for the best synonym for Indian street foods. Mumbai is the best place to try all the amazing food that this country offers. One of the most famous street foods in Mumbai is Vada Pav. Similarly, do not forget to try some Pani Puris, a variety of meat dishes like Kebabs, and Bhelpuri as well.

If you have enough time and want to explore more of this city, here are additional things that you can do in Mumbai, India.

  1. Watch the sunset at Bandstand.
  2. Go shopping at one of the largest flea markets in India- Chor bazaar.
  3. Visit Dharavi, the largest slum of Asia and one of the largest in the world.
  4. Pay a visit to Siddhivinayak temple for prayers and blessings.
  5. Colaba Causeway also makes for a great street shopping spot.
  6. Take creative pictures at the red carpet wax museum.
  7. Appreciate Mumbai’s other significant architecture which is the Taj Mahal palace hotel.
  8. Take pictures of street art and spend some time in the Colaba market.
  9. Chowpatty beach is another great option when it comes to skyline views, sunrise, and beautiful red sunsets in Mumbai.
  10. Dhobi ghat is one place that surprisingly offers an extraordinary traditional laundry experience.
  11. Another thing that you must try in Mumbai is adventurous sports like rafting, cruising, kayaking, and fishing.

This city can be overwhelming for visitors visiting it for the first time. So, here are some things to consider in order to make the most of your Mumbai trip.

  1. Start your day as early as possible since the traffic can cause you delays.
  2. Get ready for the bombardments of people and learn to embrace the chaos.
  3. Be aware of the pickpockets.
  4. It can get extremely hot so, dress up accordingly.
  5. If you are planning on trying street foods, carry some anti-diarrheal. You never know what the spices could do to your stomach!
  6. Develop a habit of bargaining as it will save you a lot of money.
  7. Religious scams are just as prevalent so watch out!

It’s a wrap!

So that is it! I hope you enjoyed the list of my favorite things to do in Mumbai. What do you think of the list? Also, do let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite that you think should make it to this list.