The city of Mumbai is a blend of old and new. From the colonial era structures to the glamour of Bollywood, this city has it all. Here are some of the best sights & attractions in Mumbai.
1) Marine Drive
It’s the best place in Mumbai to watch the sunset. You can relax at the seafront and watch the sun go down the Arabian Sea. This place is frequented by tourists and locals alike as it offers an experience like no other. You can often find people working out or have a walk with their pets here at the promenade. The place is often called as Queen’s Necklace as the road gets lit up after dark and takes a gold necklace-like look.
One can often find artists performing here, in fact, the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, once did an impromptu performance here giving a splendid surprise to people who were present there.
It’s popular with foreign travelers as it’s mentioned in books and movies. Some of the most famous places to visit are the following:
Gateway of India – It was built to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary on their visit to India in 1911. The Gateway was a symbol of conquest and was used as a ceremonial entrance to India by the British. It’s always packed with tourists, especially on the weekends. Opposite to this monument is the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the finest 5-star hotels in the world.
Colaba Causeway – It’s a spot for street shopping where you can find goods like clothes, shoes and other accessories. After shopping, you can eat at some nearby places like Leopold Cafe, Baghdadi, or Delhi Darbar.
3) Walking Tour of Art Deco buildings
There are plenty of Art Deco heritage buildings in South Mumbai. The buildings in the precincts of Oval Maidan have been awarded the coveted UNESCO heritage title.
You can walk from Marine Drive towards Fort or Colaba or vice versa while having a tour of these buildings. Some of the popular buildings are Zaver Mahal, Empress Court, The Parsi Fire Temple, New India Assurance Building, The Bombay Mutual Building, Eros Cinema, Seksaria Building, Shiv Shanti Bhavan, Soona Mahal.
The place to head to if you are interested in viewing colonial-era architecture. The famous Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Formerly Victoria Terminus), constructed in 1887, is a famed gothic heritage structure that has been awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can witness the local trains of Mumbai that are famed for carrying millions of passengers daily.
There are many other Gothic structures nearby, such as BMC building, St. Xaviers, GPO building, High Court, Mumbai University building, etc.
There are many interesting temples in the city, and some of them can easily be considered among the best attractions in Mumbai.
Mahalakshmi Temple – The temple of Goddess Mahalakshmi (Goddess of wealth) is located in the upscale location of Bhulabhai Desai Road. The path to this temple is adorned by vendors selling flowers and sweets. Another attraction, Haji Ali, is located nearby, which is the tomb of the Saint Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.
MumbaDeviTemple-The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mumba, the deity of the original inhabitants of the city. The city was renamed from Bombay to Mumbai as a dedication to the Goddess. The place is located in the commercial area of Kalbadevi, where there are many markets like the Chira Bazaar and Zaveri Bazaar (Gold Market). Hence the place is always crowded, not just due to Devotees but also due to commercial activities.
Siddhivinayak Temple – The temple is dedicated to one of the most revered Gods in India, Lord Ganesha. It’s located in Prabhadevi, in the central part of Mumbai. The temple is famous for wishful fulfillment among the devotees, so it is crowded most of the time. One can often spot a famous personality such as an actor or politician at this place. You should avoid visiting on a Tuesday morning due to heavy crowds.
Gloria Church – It’s a Roman Catholic church site, originally built by the Portuguese in1632. The current structure was built in 1913 and is located in Byculla. The church was rebuilt in the English Gothic style and is a good place to pray.
Cathedral of St. Thomas – Built in the name of Saint Thomas the Apostle, the 300-year-old structure is a mix of Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic architecture. The Grand structure offers a peaceful ambiance for prayers. It’s located near the Fort area of South Mumbai.
Mount Mary – The Basilica of Mount Mary is a hilltop church located in the Bandra region in the suburbs of Mumbai. The site is famous for the Bandra fair, which is celebrated after the birthday of the Virgin Mary. You can also walk down the hill to view the sunset at nearby Bandra fort or have a look at the homes of Bollywood stars living nearby.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya – Formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum, it is a must-visit place if you are interested in Arts and History. It has sections dedicated to Natural History, Archaeology, and Arts. You can find rare artifacts of different eras from Indus Valley civilization to the Mughal era. It also has a rich collection of Asian artifacts and European paintings. It’s located near the Gateway of India.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum - This spectacular museum is an underrated gem that takes you back in time. The interiors have a gothic decor with wrought-iron balconies, long arches, and a wooden staircase. It has a unique collection of artworks depicting the history of Bombay. It also has many mythological artworks and a collection of textiles and Pottery.
Gandhi Museum – Mani Bhavan, a museum dedicated to the life Mahatma Gandhi is located in Gamdevi, near Grant Road. You can find collections of books and photographs that give you an account of Gandhi’s life and his participation in the Freedom struggle.
8) Bollywood Tour
There are special tours conducted by travel operators that take you inside the film city to have a glimpse of Bollywood. They take you on a movie set where you can spot a few actors and see how the movies are made.
9) National Park
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a natural forest within Mumbai. It’s home to many species of animals and birds, including leopards. You can occasionally spot a few monkeys, deer, or snakes during a trail in the park. There are ancient Buddhist Caves called the Kanheri caves located inside the park.