December 4, 2020

City Guide: Activities That Complete Your Excursion in Mumbai

Mumbai has always fascinated everyone with its unique charm. As it is always featured in movies, books, and various documentaries, the city has more than enough allure to make anyone want to explore it. The Indian capital brims with vibrant national parks and bustling markets, making it a city of extreme contrasts—tradition and modernity; glamour, and chaos. Let’s also not forget its Bollywood scene with local actors and actresses aspiring to make it on the silver screen. Mumbai is a mix of tribes of traditional fishermen, slum dwellers, and big industrialists, allowing the city to boast unique human interest stories.

Mumbai, the City of Dreams

Mumbai: a man in costume dancing during a festival

You may have heard this said about Mumbai once or twice. But did you know why it is called the ‘City of Dreams’?

Mumbai is the commercial capital of India where industries, services, and structures are infinite. It is where you can find the largest cinema industry in the world, and it also has its own distinct culture as can be seen in its festivals such as the Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, and Navaratri festivals. The city is among many people’s choices when it comes to colonial heritage with the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower being among the top most-visited sites in the entire world. Of course, Mumbai’s cuisine is also every foodie’s paradise with a diverse range of Indian dishes such as the Missal Pav or the Parsi cuisine. Combine the food scene with Mumbai’s vibrant nightlife. You might even say that it never sleeps because the nights here are everything but quiet. Go out any night of the week and you won’t be disappointed.

For all of these offers, Mumbai indeed deserves to be called the ‘City of Dreams’.

Things that complete your tour of Mumbai

Get ready to explore Mumbai and feel its unique culture by doing these activities.

1. Fall in love with the Gateway of India

Mumbai: the Gateway of India from afar

The Gateway of India Mumbai is undoubtedly the most famous attraction in the city, which was built in the 20th century to honour the visit of the British monarchs. Three years after that visit, the British troops departed through this gate, signifying the country’s independence from British rule.

The structure was named as such because it is the first thing visitors spot when they first arrive in the city by boat. The tower offers a magnificent sunset view that every visitor should experience.

2. Experience the Dhobi and Dabbawala tours

Mumbai: an aerial view of the dhobi

These tours let you experience the authentic culture of Mumbai’s everyday life by taking you to the world’s largest man-powered Laundromat and seeing the famous dabbawalas going about their workday. Be in awe to see washermen hand-wash thousands of pieces of laundry every day! Yes, HAND WASH! The couriers also deliver 200,000 boxes to people using a colour-coding system that’s been used for centuries.

3. Visit the world’s most expensive house

The world's most expensive house photographed by a tourist

Believe it or not, but the most expensive house in the world is not in any of the first-world countries but in Mumbai! This means that London’s Buckingham Palace comes only in second place! Built by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the house measures 400,000 square feet where he lives with his wife and three children. The house has 27 stories, with each story having twice the height of a regular house story.

Forbes declares the house as the world’s most luxurious valued at more than one billion dollars. As if that’s not enough to wow you, the house has 600 staff running it, three helicopter landing pads, and six floors of parking.

4. Admire the Hanging Gardens of Mumbai

a plain field in the Hanging Gardens of Mumbai

Despite Mumbai’s modern side, it remains to have a destination that’s close to nature. The Hanging Gardens of Mumbai was built in 1881 and is a terraced park that cascades down Malabar Hill’s western slope. From here, you can see exceptional views of the Arabian Sea and the Marine Drive Mumbai. While here, you can go around and explore its dozens of hedges that have been carved into different shapes and sizes of animals.

5. Go shopping for souvenirs

native bags being sold in the market

Coming to a new city should always include a day of shopping. In Mumbai, you can find tons of items and souvenirs in Colaba Causeway, including jewelry, clothes, food, and accessories. Mid-day or after your shopping spree, you can satisfy your hunger by eating at any of the many cafes in the area.

6. Taste Mumbai’s street food

delicious street food in Mumbai

Street food should also be in your itinerary, especially because the city boasts some of the world’s most delectable street food. Whether you want guilty pleasures or healthy food, you’ll surely find something that suits your discriminating taste. Marine Drive Mumbai is a two-mile stretch of road that’s also famously called ‘the Queen’s Necklace’.

7. Experience Gilbert Hill

Mumbai: view of the green mountains on a cloudy day

Make sure to climb Gilbert Hill, also called Gilbert’s Toe because it looks like a 200-foot high extremity that protrudes from the hills. This 66-million-year-old column is one of the world’s oldest basalt formations. When you climb the hill, you can also visit two Hindu shrines along the way and enjoy fabulous bird’s eye views of the city.

8. Visit the Bandra Fort Sunrise

Mumbai: the Bandra Fort at daytime

Aside from Mumbai’s stunning sunsets, you should also look to experience its equally amazing sunrises. Many locals go to Boulevard Drive where they can hang out on the nearby beaches; however, you should also try Bandra Fort. Why? Because it is where you can experience both sunrise and sunset in the same place. So grab your phone and quickly catch this Instagram-worthy site that not everyone knows about!

9. Feel the magic of Bollywood

signage of the Bollywood all lit up

This is one of the things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Mumbai. After all, Bollywood is constantly growing and becoming more popular by the day. Get to see actual film sets and cinemas where you can watch Bollywood movies. You might think that Bollywood is a new thing, but it actually dates back to 1899!

10. Relax at Juhu Beach

Juhu Beach in Mumbai where there are a very few people

Mumbai also boasts beaches, among them is Juhu Beach. It’s a more relaxed and peaceful choice over Chowpatty Beach. It’s the longest beach in the city and is home to some of the most expensive houses owned by Bollywood stars. You can come here to cycle, jog, or do yoga and even spot some of the most famous Bollywood stars. There are also cafes that serve some of the best Indian street food.

Mumbai is a huge city, so you’ll need more than just three days to fully explore it. If you want to experience any of its festivals, you need to come here during those days but be sure to withstand huge crowds, heavy traffic congestion, and more expensive rates. Otherwise, Mumbai is a great city to experience any time of the year!

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