A visit to Mumbai can inspire everyone because this heritage city is forever beaming with vibrance, vigour and life. Mumbai is one of the busiest cities of the world and also one of the most visited cities in Maharashtra. While getting accustomed to the crowd here itself is an experience, you can have a fair share of experiences in various areas of interest. The cultural heritage, architecture of the past and the present, amazing beaches, natural picnic spots and man made malls and clubs for entertainment and a lot more offer you one hundred percent entertainment during your stay. Here are the top 15 places to visit in Mumbai.
The objective of this 85 feet tall structure was to commemorate King George, the Fifth’s visit to Mumbai. Incidentally, the last of British soldiers that were to leave India after independence, departed through Gateway of India. The architecture is a perfect blend of three styles, namely Hindu, Islam and European Gothic styles. You could take ferry from here to visit Elephanta Caves.
Things to Do near Gateway of India:
Enjoy the sea breeze.
Eat some street food.
View The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
2. Elephanta Caves
Famous for: Sculptures, Art, History, Caves.
Tickets: Charges for ferry rides :130 INR or 150 INR for round trip, based on the type of boat. Entry Tickets: 10 INR (Indians) and 250 INR (foreigners).
Opening Timings: Open on all days except Monday. Check ferry timings before leaving.
Elephanta caves are in Elephanta Island, which is roughly around 40 minute ferry ride from Gateway of India. UNESCO has declared Elephanta Caves, belonging to 600 AD, as World Heritage Site. The stone sculptures of the Hindu and Buddhist gods are damaged because of the Portuguese who used them in their sword practice. Regardless, the artwork in the sculptures speak of the artistic excellence of the bygone era and no wonder, Elephanta Caves is considered one of the seven wonders of India.
Marine Drive is in the heart of Mumbai and hence you can have easy access to it from anywhere in Mumbai. It is 3km long and it borders Arabian Sea forming a bay. The stretch is ‘C’ shaped that links Nariman Point and Babulnath. The place offers spectacular view of sunset. Tourists are attracted to Marine Drive where they could stroll in the walkway and experience the cool breeze.
Things to Do around Marine Drive:
Have street food at Chowpatty.
Relax or enjoy walks around.
View the sunset here.
4. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Famous for: Gothic Architecture, Colonial, Railway Station.
This was earlier known as Victoria Terminus. The construction was completed in the year 1897. UNESCO has declared the terminus as World Heritage Site in the year 2004. The building is a representation of architecture of various cultures including traditional Indian, Victorian and Gothic. Though it is a terminus to board and get off trains, you cannot help marveling at the stunning architecture of the building. Whether you intend to take a train or not, this is a must visit site in Mumbai.
Things to Do near Victoria Terminus:
Pay a visit to St. Thomas Cathedral Mumbai
Buy books at Kitab Mahal.
5. Haji Ali Shrine
Famous for: Dargah, Islamic Architecture, Qawwali, Sufi
Located in the heart of Worli, Haji Ali Shrine reflects the Indian Muslim architecture. The 85 feet tall structure is located in 4500 meters area of land. The Shrine is constructed with marble that matches the marbles used in the construction of Taj Mahal. The pillars of the Shrine are artistic and the mirror work in the monument is stunning. The stupendous architecture of the Haji Ali Shrine attracts people of various religions and beliefs.
Things to Do at Haji Ali Shrine:
Pay your respects at the shrine.
Attend the qawwali session on Fridays.
6. Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Famous for: History, Flora, Fauna, Religion, Caves .
Tickets: No specific entry fee. Charges on different activities.
Opening Timings: Open Daily from 7:30 am – 6:30 pm.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is Asia's most visited national park with about 2 million visitors visiting this park annually. The rich flora and fauna along with the presence of 2400-year-old Kanheri caves make this place a major attraction in Mumbai. Interestingly, this park is also the home of Karvi shrub which blooms once in every eight years, covering the whole forest in a lavender hue.
Things to Do at Sanjay Gandhi National Park:
Tiger and lion safari.
Visit Trimurti Temple.
Explore Kanheri caves.
Go to Buddhist Viharas.
Ride vanrani narrow gauge train.
7. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Famous for: History, Educational, Archaeology.
Tickets: 85 INR for Indians, 500 INR for foreigners and 20 INR for children.
Opening Timings: Open Monday to Sunday from 10.15 am to 6.00 pm.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya or Prince of Wales Museum has one of the most extensive collection depicting India's legacy. It was built in early 20th century in honour of Edward VIII, the prince of Wales at that time. The museum is divided into art, archaeology and natural history and approximately 50,000 artefacts can be found here. The artifacts here can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization, Gupta Dynasty, Mauryan dynasty etc and interestingly, many artifacts here also have foreign origins. Another thing to note is the museum's massive and stunning Neo Gothic architecture.
Things to Do at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya:
Mumbai is a haven for shopping, mainly for its fashion street shops and flea markets. Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, Hill Road, Fashion street offer some great choices for fashionistas at very low cost. Buy designer knock offs, junk jewellery and even branded clothes here at budgeted rates. Chor Bazaar is India's largest flea market and is almost 150 years old. Set up in the British Era, it is famously said that you can find almost everything here. Crawford Market and Chincholi Bunder Link Road are other markets for good deals.
Global Vipassana Pagoda is a medication hall built to symbolise peace and harmony. The sermons here strive to educate people about Lord Buddha, his teachings and remove any misconceptions regarding Vipassana. The central dome of the building is world's largest dome without any pillar support and the pagoda style is an expression of gratitude to Burma, for preserving the practice of Vipassana.
Things to Do at Global Vipassana Pagoda:
Books & Souvenir Center.
10. Siddhivinayak Temple
Famous for: Hinduism, Worship.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open Daily from 12.30 pm to 7.20 pm.
Siddhivinayak Temple is one of the most visited places of worship in Mumbai. Many politicians, Bollywood celebrities frequent this temple to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha. Even Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple started his India trip after visiting this temple. Seek few moments of peace and offer prayers to 'wish granting Lord Ganesha.'
Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount has a history that can be traced back to the 16th century. This Roman Catholic Church is famous for two statues of Blessed Virgin Mary, which have interesting legends behind them. An annual feast for the Birth of the Virgin Mary is held with great festivity on the first Sunday after 8th september and is followed by the famous Bandra fair. Both christians and hindus attend this church in large numbers.
Things to Do at Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount:
Mumbai is essentially a collection of islands and therefore it is no surprise that the beaches here are one of the major attractions of this city. The Juhu beach stretch is famous for housing the residences of many Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Mahesh Bhatt and many more. Aksa Beach, Girgaum Chowpatty, Kalamb Beach and Marvé Beach are some other beaches that can be visited.
Flora fountain was constructed in the year 1864 and named after Roman Goddess Flora. A beautiful statue of Flora, the Roman Goddess is seen at the top. It is one of the Heritage structures of India. The other heritage constructions around Flora Fountain are Gateway of India, Central Telegraph Office, Bombay High Court and a lot more. If you were to visit Flora fountain do not miss visiting the place in the evening to see the beautifully lit fountain.
Things to Do around Flora fountain:
Take a Heritage walk from here around Mumbai.
Visit the Hutatma Chowk.
14. Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Famous for: History, Educational, Archaeology.
Tickets: 10 INR for Indians and 100 INR for foreigners.
Opening Timings: Open Thurs to Tues from 10am-6pm.
The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum is Mumbai's oldest museum and was built in the year 1872. It is built in Renaissance revival style with heavy European influences. It's beauty does not only limited to its exteriors but also its lavish interiors which were renovated recently. The display here includes different types of archaeological relics, maps of old bombay, ancient manuscripts and many more. A basalt elephant sculpture discovered in Elephanta graces the entrance of this beautiful museum.
Things to Do at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum:
Attend the exhibitions.
Attend the shows on art, drama and culture.
15. Fort Bassein
Famous for: Ruins, Fort, Nature, Views
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open Daily and visit not advised during weekdays or nights.
Fort Bassein was built by the Portuguese, who wanted to consolidate their foothold in the Konkan region through the same. This majestic structure, now in ruins has been a part of many battles like the Anglo Maratha War. Recently, the fort was in news because of Coldplay, who shot their video 'Hymn for the Weekend' here. The fort is mainly in ruins but a few watchtowers still stand intact with stairways in good condition. The presence of Vasai creek nearby has covered the fort and its nearby area with lush vegetation and a unique array of flora & fauna. Due to its isolation, it is better to travel here in groups.
Things to Do near Fort Bassein:
Hike and explore.
Visit the church.
Visit the temple.
There are many more tourist places in Mumbai as this city has more to offer. If you have the time, you could enjoy various tourist attractions in Mumbai including famous museums and historical buildings. Also, you can go visit the nearest hill stations from Mumbai to enjoy the nature.