Travellers have often struggled to describe Mumbai simply because there is so much to say and even more to see. The City of Dreams, India’s financial capital and a world within a city – Mumbai means different things to different people and that’s where the magic lies. Travellers visiting the city have a long itinerary since there are so many places to visit in Mumbai. From popular restaurants, beaches, historical sites to art galleries, shopping streets and lush gardens, you’ll never be short of options. Here’s a list of our favourites:
Gateway of India
A tour of the city is incomplete without a trip to one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai – the Gateway of India. Standing tall and overlooking the Arabian Sea, Gateway of India offers you a glimpse of Mumbai as seen from the eyes of a tourist. Awe-inspiring and majestic, its architecture has influences of Hindu, Muslim and Roman elements. Built in the year 1924 to welcome King George V and Queen Mary to the city, the majestic tower has become a symbol for Mumbai.
Gateway of India is one of the top places to visit in Mumbai and on any given day, you’ll see hundreds of tourists and locals admiring this beauty with the Arabian Sea as a backdrop. For those who are looking to add some adventure to an afternoon of sightseeing, we suggest hopping aboard a boat or ferry for a ride across the sea. One can either choose to head to Elephanta Caves or can opt for a round trip back to the Gateway.
We also recommend keeping this last in your itinerary so you can plan a visit in the evening just as the sun is setting. It’s a sight you will be glad to have witnessed.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Most of the places to visit in Mumbai seem so familiar since we have read or seen them in popular books and movies. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of those popular places to visit in Mumbai. The first sight of the mesmerising structure instantly feels familiar adding so much more to a visitor’s experience. Earlier known as Victoria Terminus, the railway station is one of the busiest stations in Mumbai. But what attracts art seekers is the detailed Victorian-Gothic style architecture which is a rarity for public buildings.
Said to be the second-most photographed monument in India and a backdrop for several Bollywood flicks, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus should definitely be among the first few places to visit in Mumbai.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
For those who enjoy historical monuments, add this heritage museum to your list of places to visit in Mumbai. One of the most enthralling structures in the city, the foundation of the building was laid down by the Prince of Wales in 1905. Standing tall against the test of time, the museum is well maintained and ensures visitors have a memorable experience exploring it.
Bringing together Indian, British and Mughal architecture, the museum is home to more than 50,000 artefacts, paintings, sculptures and relics which are a testament of a rich history. Earlier known as Prince of Wales Museum, today it is better known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.
The museum makes it to the list of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai because of the remarkable collection. Among the most notable exhibits here, we recommend visiting the section which preserves 2000 miniature paintings and also findings from the Indus Valley Civilization, Maurya as well as Gupta periods. The museum has a section dedicated to reptiles, mammals and fishes which might be worth a visit if you are interested in the journey of evolution.
One of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai, Elephanta Caves date back to the 5th or 7th Century. Located on Gharapuri Island, the caves are the perfect example of rock-cut architecture. Once a grand site, the caves today are in ruins and one can only imagine how grand the site must have been. Another reason why tourists include this in the list of places to visit in Mumbai is because of the picturesque ferry ride and the breathtaking views of the city from the caves.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, two of the most striking attractions here are the Trimurti and Gangadhar. The latter is a representation of river Ganga making its way to earth and in turn to Lord Shiva – which one can also perceive as Shiva and Parvati in the same body.
If you aren’t interested in history and architecture, you can admire the mesmerising views from the caves or can even go for a short hike around the area. Visiting Elephanta takes about a day so we definitely recommend keeping aside some time for it.
National Gallery of Modern Art
Art lovers vouch for National Gallery of Modern Art as one of the best places to visit in Mumbai. Promising a memorable experience, NGMA makes a visit to Mumbai so much better. Exhibiting a variety of artwork including sculptures and paintings, the gallery has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mumbai. As a platform for various exhibitions and programmes, the gallery always has something new to offer visitors.
As for the collection, visitors can admire paintings by F.N. Souza, Ambadas, Laxma Shrestha and M.F Husain. Some of the most attractive features of the gallery are the mummies from Egypt and an artwork which is said to be 160 years old.
Mumbai’s beaches are its lifeline in more ways than one and are definitely the best places to visit in Mumbai. Stunning natural retreats, they attract locals and visitors alike and ensure visitors have a memorable time. Whether it’s Juhu beach, Versova beach or Chowpatty, visitors can enjoy a break from long traffic snarls and impossible schedules the city functions on.
If you’d like to truly enjoy the beauty of the beaches, we definitely recommend heading here in the morning or late at night. Not only are the views breathtaking but you will witness a side of Mumbai which is mostly unseen. Most beaches are dotted with local eateries which offer the best street food including egg bhurji, vada pav, dosa and bhel puri.
We’ve all heard and seen enough references of Chowpatty to know that this is one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai. One can combine it with Marine Drive since it is at one end of the arch.
Bustling with energy, Chowpatty is visited by hundreds of locals and tourists everyday. Enveloped in a celebratory air, there is always something happening here. If you are travelling with children, we recommend including this is in your itinerary since it’s one of the best places to visit in Mumbai. There are small rides and game stalls to keep children busy and for those who have planned an entire day, you can visit some of the local eateries to try Mumbai’s popular street food.
Overlooking the vast Arabian Sea is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Mumbai - Hanging Gardens. Dedicated to Barrister Pherozeshah Mehta, Hanging Gardens are sometimes known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens. Known for its lush greenery and rejuvenating charm, one can easily spend a couple of hours here.
If you happen to be travelling with children, the gardens definitely should be a part of your itinerary since it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai. The most popular attraction here are the animal-shaped hedges which are as unique as they are beautiful. If you happen to be staying close to Hanging Gardens, we recommend coming here for an early morning walk.
If you want to experience Mumbai and don’t have too much time, all you need to do is head to Marine Drive. Considered to be among the most popular places to visit in Mumbai, Marine Drive is a 4km long stretch which gives one uninterrupted views of the majestic sea. Dotted with palm trees, Marine Drive is one of the most awe-inspiring places to visit in Mumbai and travellers will keep coming back for more.
One can head here any time of the day, but the area definitely comes alive after sunset when locals head to catch a glimpse of the orange-hued sky. Also known as Queen’s Necklace, there is something so irresistible about Marine Drive that a trip to Mumbai simply feels incomplete without heading here.
If you’d like to take a break and rejuvenate amidst nature, head to Powai Lake. One of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai, Powai Lake is an artificial lake situated in the suburbs of Northern Mumbai.
The lake was created by the British in the late 1800s by damming the Mithi river. The lake is surrounded by lush hills making it a picture-perfect location for a leisurely picnic. If you are travelling with children, you can keep aside some time for a boating excursion. As for animal lovers, if the time is right, you might spot a number of animals and birds ranging from crocodiles, mynas, monkeys and migratory birds including kingfishers. If you head here in the evenings or during the weekend, you’ll be met with fellow nature lovers enjoying the serenity and peace the park offers.
Siddhivinayak Temple is considered to be the richest temple in India and is certainly one of the most popular religious places to visit in Mumbai. Built in the year 1801, it was dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It’s said that the temple fulfils the wishes of pilgrims who visit, especially infertile women.
Visited by locals and visitors throughout the year, the Siddhivinayak Temple is decorated and thronged by locals during the festival of Ganesh Chaturti. Another interesting fact about the temple is that the idol is crafted from a single piece of stone and is said to have taken the shape on its own. If you’d like to include the temple in your itinerary of places to visit in Mumbai, we suggest heading here early in the morning or in the afternoon when the crowd hasn’t started streaming in.
Haji Ali is one of the city’s most popular religious places to visit in Mumbai. A picturesque mosque, it attracts visitors from around the world and if you happen to be in Mumbai, you must pay your respects. It’s said that the dargah was built by a rich merchant who had a change of heart and gave up all worldly belongings.
It’s important to ensure you head here during low tide since the dargah is located on a small islet and not accessible during high tide. Visited by hundreds of visitors everyday, the dargah is crowded but one can still find moments of peace and serenity. With traces of Indo-Islamic elements, the dargah is an architecture lover’s delight. Don’t forget to admire the pillars of the main hall which have intricate mirror work and are truly a sight to behold. If you don’t have time to visit Haji Ali, we recommend driving past it so you can see the gorgeous sight of the dargah and the sea enveloping it.
Colaba Causeway is a shopper’s delight. One of the most attractive places to visit in Mumbai for shopping, the array of shops and boutiques here almost take one by surprise. Located close to Gateway of India, one can expect an action-packed day if you combine these two places to visit in Mumbai.
Lined with shops selling jewellery, apparel, footwear and home decor, one can take back a plethora of things at reasonable prices. As is with all shopping streets, you must put your bargaining skills to good use or you might end up paying more than their worth. If you are looking for antiques or unique jewellery pieces, you’ll be surprised with what’s hidden behind stacks of display products.
Reminiscent of an old world charm, Causeway is one of Mumbai’s oldest markets and is loved by locals for the array of experiences it promises. If you aren’t in the mood to shop, you can simply stroll through the narrow lanes and experience everyday life in this busy city. Leopold Cafe which is located close to Colaba Causeway market is also one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai. You can take a break from your shopping spree and head here for a chilled beer or a refreshing cup of coffee. But mostly we suggest visiting the cafe because it is a huge part of Mumbai’s history and culture.
Linking Road is one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai, especially if you are looking for some deals on clothes and jewellery. The market is also home to some of the most popular branded shops and one can expect to find a mix of both street shopping and high-end showrooms.
Linking Road is visited mostly by college students and travellers who are looking for bargain deals. One of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai for shopping, we recommend avoiding this market in the evenings and on the weekends since it can get very crowded.
Chor Bazaar is one of the most enthralling places to visit in Mumbai simply because it’s one of the oldest markets in the city and offers one an unforgettable experience. While it’s said that the market has mostly stolen goods, there are some shops which also store second-hand goods which means you can get absolutely great deals for the products you purchase.
If you aren’t in the mood to buy anything, you can also spend time just exploring the market. In the midst of all the chaos, the market does offer a glimpse into the life of a common man in Mumbai. We also recommend not to expect too much from the products you purchase here since judging the quality will always be tricky.
Fashion Street which is located close to Mumbai’s most popular railway station, CST is a bustling market which caters to the city’s young and fashionable. Popular among college crowds, this is where you should go if you are looking for the latest apparel, jewellery and footwear. With a plethora of shops offering everything that a shopper might get tempted with, you’ll definitely be taking a lot of goodies back.
We recommend bargaining down to half of the quoted price, if you want to shop like a local. Another reason why this is one of the most popular places to visit in Mumbai is owing to the plethora of eating joints here which offer street delicacies and are a relief especially after hours of shopping.
Tourist Places in Mumbai offer an interesting mix of sightseeing attractions, historical places and some of the country’s best shopping, food and drink nightlife places. Juhu Beach, as it is called, is full of surprises and the list of places to visit in Mumbai is bursting at the seams.
Some of the most talked about tourist attractions in Mumbai include the Elephanta Island, which is among the best and most visited in the country. Shopping on Crawford Market and boating in Charlotte Lake are among the most popular activities to experience the best the city has to offer.
Sightseeing in Mumbai would include museums to celebrated temples, national parks and beach destinations, Mumbai offers a range of options for all types of travellers, be it families, couples or solo travellers. Eclectic and vibrant, the city is both cosmopolitan and yet full of traditional flavours and nuance. There’s never a shortage of places to visit in Mumbai.
Mumbai is well connected to all major cities in India by air and all modes of public transportation. The best way to get around the city is on public transportation and taxis.
The best time to visit most places in Mumbai the months between October to February, when the weather is cool and perfect to experience all the top tourist attractions in Mumbai.
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