Belonging to the Maharashtra state of India, Mumbai is one of the largest metropolises in the whole country. It is now the most populous city of India while leading in seventh place as one of the most densely populated cities globally. This major metropolis has many incredibly stunning cultural and historical sites that every traveller should witness. From unique Indian architecture to eclectic museums, national parks, ancient temples, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beaches, and Indian cuisine- let’s dive into some of the best places to visit in Mumbai.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Officially known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, it is a train station that is significantly historic and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Just five minutes away from the Wales Museum near Fort, South Mumbai – this iconic building was designed by a British-born architect by the name of Frederik William Stevens. The entire edifice exudes an aged grandiose that looks foreign and Indian at the same time as you look upon it from the outer grounds. That very well could be thanks to the harmonious blend of Indo-Saracenic and Italian Gothic architectural styles.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is a well-known landmark of Mumbai, and despite its rich history, it remains one of the busiest train stations in Mumbai. You can explore the interior, observe the hustle and bustle of the locals of Mumbai, and learn more about the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus – since it’s a famous place, this will not be difficult.
Prince of Wales Museum
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya was first named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India before having it changed to what it is now. It’s the ideal place to visit to learn about prehistoric times and the thriving modern days of India. Located amid the Fort area, South Mumbai, this Museum is a must for all Art/History aficionados. Like all beautiful museums, you will find this indo-gothic structure nestled amid the alluring palm tree-filled botanic garden, welcoming visitors to go on a journey through Indian history. As you continue to explore it – you will come across many extraordinary ancient exhibits like Elephanta Cave vestiges, relics from the Indo Valley Civilization, a gallery of priceless Japanese and Chinese antiques, and ancient Indian weaponry, and so much more! A full-day trip is required to cover most of the Museum exhibits.
Gateway of India (Taj Mahal of Mumbai)
Just a few minutes away from the Prince of Wales Museum, you will find the Gateway of India – one of the most popular tourist places in Mumbai. This iconic indo-gothic structure, like the Wales Museum, was built to honour the royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, this incredible landmark, which is also popularly referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai, was grandly built to look like a welcome entrance to India. If you want to get a beautiful picture of the Gateway, you will have to come a little early to beat the crowds of tourists. But while you are there enjoying the site, have a cooling Kulfi (an ice cream roll in a stick) and enjoy the surrounding scenery.
This commercial causeway is also called the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, located close to the Fort area, South Mumbai, close to the famous Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel. It is essentially a pathway full of treasures, all to be explored by you – the curious traveller! Its uniqueness makes it eligible to be included in any traveller’s list of places to visit in Mumbai. Many of the sizeable buildings you will see as you walk through have a lot of history attached to them since most come from a time of colonialism. Intriguingly enough, they do add an aged beauty to the street.
The Colaba Causeway homes some of the most legendary restaurants known worldwide. Leopold Cafe – famous for its old-school cocktail menu, the Bademiya – one of the most popular food stalls in India. The Colaba Causeway streets offer an array of shopping venues. Both extravagant as well as easy on the pocket. You name it – they might have it. And if you have the time, even drop by the Regal Cinema – one of the very few old school cinemas still in existence.
Global Vipassana Pagoda
Located close to Gorai, North-West of Mumbai, India, – this famous meditation dome hall is known to be the largest one in the world! With a seating capacity of 8,000 meditators, this incredible Burmese-styled Pagoda was built with the sole purpose of sharing detailed information on Vipassana (an ancient meditation technique studied in India) and the sacred teachings of Gautama Buddha. The golden glowing stone dome in the centre of the Global Vipassana Pagoda is the largest in the world – built without the support of pillars. There are many mesmerising monuments to witness in the Global Vipassana Pagoda as well. If you are someone who is looking to venture on a spiritual journey around India, then this is a place you need to include in your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
The Kanheri Caves are an integral part of the religious history of India. And you can find it nestled in the heart of the woods of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park – on the outskirts of western Mumbai. The Kanheri Cave complex has approx. 109 caves, which were cut out from an enormous basalt boulder. Inside you will find an incredible collection of relief carvings, inscriptions and even paintings dating back as far as the 1st century to the 10th century. By the 3rd century, the Kanheri Caves were considered a significant Buddhist settlement.
November to May is considered the best time to visit since it provides the most favourable weather conditions to enjoy and witness its true beauty. To pass up a visit to Khaneri Caves in Mumbai is a great opportunity missed – especially for those nature lovers and history buffs!
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Juju Beach is located along the west coastline. This beach stretch belongs to a more upscale part of Mumbai, and it is one of the most famous Mumbai beaches that you can visit during your stay in the capital. It is quite the place to go for a relaxing beach stroll, maybe in the early mornings, or preferably the evening, to catch that beautiful sunset.
The coastal stretch is lined up with street food carts that serve famous local delicacies like Pani Puri. Which is a fried crispy flatbread, shaped like a ball, hollow inside, and it is filled with flavoured water. Usually, it is sweet. You buy one from the vendor and pop it in your mouth. But there are savoury ones as well, which is a perfect quick snack for a beach stroll. Mingle with the crowds, get a feel of the local scene, and maybe even take a quick dip in the water.
This popular place of worship is located within close proximity to several other iconic sites in and near the Fort – the Babulnath Temple is the oldest place of worship in Mumbai. Consecrated in the 12th century, this ancient temple continues to draw large crowds of Shiva Devotees who are local, as well as foreign. With so much historical and cultural significance attached to it, the Babulnath Temple is not just a place of worship. Countless travellers who consider themselves to be culture and history buffs come here. Including travellers who enjoy having a quick walk through history while appreciating the structural features that give the temple a complete uniqueness.
Most of the temple structure is built with limestone. That is what gives the temple exterior such a vibrant white colour, adding almost a divine effect not just to the intricate designs carved on the walls but the ambience of the temple as a whole. Fascinatingly enough, the marble on the floor of this sacred place is brought in all the way from Rajasthan– adding to its uniqueness. Overall it’s a beautiful temple with much to keep you exploring and enjoying.
Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount
This majestic Basilica is also known as Mount Mary Church. It is one of the most beautiful Roman Catholic churches you will come across during your travels in Bandra Mumbai. Resting on a small elevated hill, the church stands in silent grace overlooking the Arabian Sea, which adds to the already existing beauty. Many Roman Catholic devotees pilgrimage to this church annually and maybe more frequently, as they are profoundly devoted and strongly attest to having witnessed and experienced the miraculous power of the blessed Mother Mary in this church. However, its doors are also open for all religions. People who wish to come and explore the beauty of this 100-year-old minor basilica and those who seek tranquillity. One of the most unique features that draw in locals as well as tourists in hundreds and thousands, is the Bandra Fair. This week-long festival is held every September, a grand celebration – that is definitely worth witnessing and experiencing.
High Street Phoenix
This is not just any city centre, it’s the largest luxury Shopping Mall complex in India. Located in Lower Parel, Mumbai, it covers a surface area of 3,300,000 square feet. It is where you head to enjoy the finer city things in life. Apart from the giant mall, the High Street Phoenix space also hosts a multiplex, a well-designed commercial space, a residential tower, and a five-star hotel! If you want to feel boogie, it’s the perfect place to go window shopping. It hosts over 500 plus luxury brands like Dolce Vita, Burberry, Chanel, Bottega, Armani – you name it. You can explore the popular Skyzone, Palladium Mall and the Grand Galleria as well. Enjoy some good food and maybe even watch a movie and enjoy the day leisurely exploring the many corners of this massive space. Should it be included in every traveller’s list of places to visit in Mumbai? Yes! We think so.
Red Carpet Wax Museum
Like Hollywood, Bollywood – the Indian cinematic world has also earned a hyper enthusiastic audience globally thanks to the incredibly vibrant and dynamic entertainment offered. If you are someone who revels in the world of movies and entertainment then the Red Carpet Wax Museum should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Mumbai. Located in Ghatkopar West, Mumbai – it attracts considerable numbers of locals and tourists – who enjoy coming and taking pictures with epic-looking wax figures, like Obama, James Bond, even the Queen! Get some behind- the scene cinematic experiences and have some fun!
Like the Kanheri Caves, we also have the famous Elephanta Caves. But unlike the Kanheri Caves, the Elephanta caves are located in the Elephanta Island, a.k.a. Gharapuri (which directly translates to ‘The City of Caves’ in Hindi) – in the Mumbai Harbour. The Elephanta Caves consists of five caves – all stone-cut on a solid body of basalt. There are cave temples and caves full of sculptured carvings dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. Excavations confirm work done in the cave temples dates back to the 2nd Century. The orientation of the cave temples is a mandala pattern. There’s much to see, the unique stone carvings of the three-headed Shiva, the Ardhnarishwar – the carving of Parvati and Shiva, and other stunning collection found in the caves and more. You can also visit the archaeological museum to get more details on the history of the Elephanta Caves.
This 3.6-kilometre esplanade is built beside the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Mumbai, India. This curved driveway overlooking the beautiful Arabian Sea starts at Nariman Point in South Mumbai and ends near Chowpatty Beach. As you take a drive along this stretch, you will be entertained by the Coastal views and palm trees on one side and old and refined looking, art deco-styled buildings. If you are taking the drive at night, the street is well lit and creates very alluring grandeur! Which led to the road being nicknamed the Queen’s Necklace. There are several places you can visit as you take a drive along the stretch. The Taraporewala Aquarium, – one of the oldest aquariums in India. The Rajabai Clock Tower- the oldest cock tower constructed in Mumbai. This is a route worth adding to your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
Shree Siddhivinayak Temple
The Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, is not only one of the most popular worship places in all of Mumbai, it is also one of the richest. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha and is definitely one of the busiest temples you can visit. Although it looks very modern, the original temple dates back a couple of centuries. The temple is visited by many local public figures who have strong faith in the temple’s power to grant the wishes of the devotees. The temple homes one of the most unique Lord Ganesha statues. While the structure is carved by a single black stone, unlike most statues of Lord Ganesh, this particular one’s trunk is placed towards the left side. Worth being added to the list of places to visit in Mumbai.
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
Mani Bhavan which is also called the Jewel House is a Museum that was built and dedicated to immortalizing the incredible work done by the global figure Gandhi – who devoted his life to being an anti-colonial nationalist that established an anti-violent resistance which eventually led to India’s liberation from the British Rule. Located in Gamdevi, Mumbai, before being transformed into a museum, The Mani Bhavan, was Gandhi’s Mumbai Headquarters. After his tragic assassination, the mansion was later on converted to a place where locals and foreign visitors alike can come and learn about the incredible work and achievements of Mahatma Gandhi.
Some world-famous political figures have also graced the Mani Bhavan Museum. The former President of the United States- Barack Obama, and before him, decades back, Martin Luther King Junior have graced this museum. If you have followed the work done by the revered Mahatma Gandhi, or if you are a huge history buff, the museum is worth a visit.
The Dhobi Ghat is located near the Mahalaxmi Railway Station, close to South Mumbai. This open-space laundry place is not only the biggest outdoor laundry place in India but the whole world as well! Over 7000 launderers gather to work for 18-20 hours in a fascinatingly organized manner to take care of the colossal level of laundry awaiting them daily. This is not surprising given that most of Mumbai’s hotels, caterers, wedding decorators, and garment dealers send their laundry here. It may not seem like the most sophisticated-looking destination but it is definitely worth exploring. This incredibly well-established community showing their skills and taking complete pride in what they do can be quite refreshing. It goes without saying, watching these launderers work, with skill and speed is fascinating. If you are travelling to Mumbai, the Dhobi Ghat is a must-add destination to your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
The Water Kingdom is one of the famous places in India that’s visited by Locals and Foreign tourists alike. Located approx.2 hours away from Fort, South Mumbai, in Gorai – this 22-acre water park is the largest one on the continent. It has 30 different water rides & thrill rides- it is the ultimate family activity destination. With approximately hundreds and thousands of daily visitors, daily, the park remains one of the busiest places in all of Mumbai. Rides are built for the enjoyment of different age crowds. For instance, What-A-Coaster, which includes one of the steepest vertical drops in all of India’s theme parks, is a ride that only allows adults to go on. If you are looking for a day of exciting water activities, sweets, and other street foods, and some priceless happy memories, then make sure to add the Water Kingdom to your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
This world-famous national park is located in Mumbai, India, and it has earned the reputation of being one of the most visited national parks around the world. This protected reserve is spread out across an area of 87 square kilometres. And it homes some of the most incredible nature trails, endemic plants, and wildlife, as well as historically and culturally significant ruins. For all you nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, the national park offers several very scenic paths to hike, here you will have front row seats to witness beautiful wild animals like the spotted deer, the Indian flying fox, the striped hyena, and more! You can also go on Safaris to spot lions and tigers, and if you are looking to explore the historic treasures deep in the heart of this national park, then join a trek to the world-famous Kanheri Caves. A Must-add to your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
Bandra Worli Sea Link
The Bandra – Worli Sea Link is also known as Di Ba Patil Sea Link. This 8-lane cable-stayed bridge stretches to a distance of 5.6 kilometres, it starts at Bandra and ends at Worli in South Mumbai. While the design is considered to be one of the most incredibly successful architectural projects in Mumbai, the incredible scenic view it offers – not just of the road ahead but the Arabian Sea and the cityscapes beyond is insane. Many travel photographers tend to make a trip hoping to get some unique captures of the Bandra Worli Sea Link. Whether you are into architecture or not, a trip to the Bandra Worli Sea link is something that is worthy of being included in your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
The Chor Bazaar is one of the biggest Bazaars in India, let alone Mumbai. The word Chor directly translates to thief in Hindi. The legend goes like this – if you have a possession stolen from you, then you will be able to purchase it back at the Chor Bazaar. But the reality is Chor Bazaar is the ideal place to buy any second-hand items for a good price. This enormous flea market is located close to Bhendi Bazaar, South Mumbai. If you want to purchase any bronze statues, vintage items, or antiques, then the Chor Bazaar is your place! At this point, it is safe to say it has anything and almost everything. The ideal place to be if you want to explore the local scene deeper as well. While it has been mentioned in some well-known novels, the Chor Bazaar offers every traveller a unique adventure and an unusual experience. A must-add to your list of places to visit in Mumbai.
National Gallery of Modern Art
If you are someone who enjoys the world of fine art and learning about the history behind exhibited sculpt collections and consider yourself an art aficionado with a taste for the finer things, then the National Gallery of Modern Art is a must-add to your list of places to visit in Mumbai. Located near Colaba, in the Kala Ghoda district in Mumbai, this revered space is dedicated to the world of all things art. It homes some of the most incredible paintings, sculptors, and other collections from well-respected artists/sculptors like Chowdhury and Ramkinkar Baji – a pioneer of Modern Indian Sculpting. Of course, the National Gallery of Modern Art also homes some of the most priceless pieces of Pablo Picasso as well as insanely brilliant artefacts from Egypt such as mummies! Worth a visit? We think so!