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Things to do in Mumbai

Things to do in  Mumbai

Welcome to Mumbai

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is India's eastern gateway and, with a metropolitan population of more than 20 million, an accurate introduction to the country's unique mix of madness and majesty. Both a booming financial center and the heart of the Bollywood film industry, Mumbai attracts ambitious professionals, hipsters, and hopefuls from around the world. But it is also home to some of India's largest and poorest slums. Many of Mumbai's tourist attractions are centered around Colaba, the rounded tip of the peninsula that juts out into the Arabian Sea. While parts of the city are walkable, a sightseeing tour by air-conditioned vehicle will help you avoid the extreme heat and air pollution. Historical highlights include the iconic Gateway of India, which overlooks the harbor; Victoria Terminus, the city's gothic architectural masterpiece; and the 14th-century Haji Ali Mosque. Take a private street food tour to sample spicy and savory snacks such as South Indian dosa and panipuri, as well as typical sweets like jalebi (deep-fried pastry covered in syrup) or rasgulla, a sweet-cheese dumpling. When you're ready to return to air-conditioned comfort, tea at the grand Taj Mahal Palace Hotel makes a perfect afternoon break. For a slightly longer urban escape, some of the best options are tours of the rock-carved monuments nearby: the UNESCO-listed Elephanta Caves are just across the harbor at Elephanta Island, while Kanheri Caves and the Bhaja and Karla Caves lie north, within the green respite of Sanjay Ghandi National Park.

Top 15 attractions in Mumbai

Gateway of India

One of Mumbai's most recognizable attractions, the triple-arched Gateway of India was built during the early 20th century in honor of the 1911 visit of King George V. Built of basalt and concrete, this monument was designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, which blends traditional Indian, Victorian, and Mughal architectural elements.More

Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves are among the most beautiful, historically significant attractions in Mumbai. Situated on an island off the coast, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features multiple rock-hewn cave temples and statues dating back to around the 7th century AD, including a celebrated statue of Shiva in his three-faced form.More

Dhobi Ghat

At the world’s largest outdoor laundry, every day for over 120 years the dirt has been washed from thousands of kilos of clothes by the dhobis (washermen and women of Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat. Formed back in 1890, the famous laundromat is celebrated by photographers who come to images of row upon row of washing troughs.More

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

Formerly known as Victoria Terminus (and still called "VT" by many), this train statio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best known for its over-the-top Indo-Saracenic architecture, which blends neo-Gothic elements with Mughal and Indian features. It's Asia's busiest train station—one you may have seen in the film Slumdog Millionaire.More


Churchgate is a pedestrian-friendly, seaside neighborhood in South Mumbai. It occupies a narrow patch of land that stretches from just north of Nariman Point to just south of the Marine Lines commuter railway station. It's best-known for its art deco and neo-Gothic architecture, and visitors enjoy its ample dining opportunities.More


Made famous by the movieSlumdog Millionaire, the Mumbai slum of Dharavi is one of the largest informal settlements in the world. The 500-acre district, established in the center of the city in the 1880s during the British colonial era, is home to a tight-knit community of about a million, many of whom produce textiles, leather crafts, and handmade pottery for a thriving informal economy.More

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya

Situated on a quiet, leafy street, the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya occupies an old home where Gandhi would stay during his frequent trips to Mumbai from 1917 to 1934. Today it's one of many Gandhi museums spread across India that serve to educate the public about the mahatma and his mission.More

Marine Drive

Stretching along the Arabian Sea in the southern part of Mumbai, Marine Drive is a two-mile-long promenade and road with lovely sea views. The buildings flanking this stretch are also worth checking out; the only place on earth with more beach-facing art deco buildings than Marine Drive is Miami.More

Crawford Market (Matahma Jyotiba Phule Market)

Also known as Mahatma Jyobita Phule Market, Crawford Market, the largest market in Mumbai, is an incredible place to shop for food and household goods, take photos, or simply wander around people watching. It's also not a bad place to try local snacks, as there are myriad street-food stalls serving up all sorts of treats.More

Haji Ali Dargah

Dating back to the 15th century, this white-marble mosque and shrine (dargah) is among Mumbai's most important sights for Muslim pilgrims. It was built to honor a Muslim saint, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who was known for spreading knowledge of Islam. Today worshipers and tourists come from across India to pray and learn about the mosque.More

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) is one of the most prestigious and extensive art and history museums in India. While the exhibits are the main attraction here, its exteriors alone make it worth a visit, as it's housed in a domed Grade I Heritage–listed building in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style.More

Hanging Gardens (Ferozeshah Mehta)

Also known as the Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, Mumbai's Hanging Gardens is a beautifully manicured park known for its extensive topiary, primarily carved into animal shapes. Due to the park’s location atop Malabar Hill, it's long been a popular spot to take in views of the Arabian Sea, particularly at sunset.More

Kamala Nehru Park

In the ritzy Malabar Hill district of Mumbai, Kamala Nehru Park is one of the best places in the city to enjoy sweeping views of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Come at sunset when the lights of Marine Drive begin to glitter on the Arabian Sea, giving the famous boulevard its nickname “Queen’s Necklace.”Popular among joggers and picnicking families, Kamala Nehru Park is most famous for its giant hobnailed shoe. You’ll often see children climbing up and playing inside the giant structure based on the classic nursery rhyme, There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.Kamala Nehru Park is named after the wife of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Covering 4,000 feet of ground, this is an especially popular spot for birds during monsoon season, and just across the road and a little up the hill from Kamala Nehru Park is Mumbai’s Hanging Gardens. This shady park, also known as Pherozeshah Mehta, is a series of terraced gardens that’s famous for its topiary animals. Ranging from giant elephants to holy cows — the fanciful bushes are easy to spot!More

Banganga Tank (Banganga Talav)

In the heart of Mumbai’s most exclusive district, Banganga Tank (Banganga Talav) is one of the oldest and holiest sites in the city. First built in 1127 AD during the Silhara dynasty, this natural freshwater spring is surrounded by the stone-turreted temples and colorful shrines of Walkeshwar Temple Complex. As you sit on the pool’s surrounding steps, notice the wooden pole which appears like an arrow in the middle of the water. Said to point to the center of the earth, legend has it that, 5,000 years ago, while the Hindu god Ram was searching desperately for his kidnapped wife, Sita, he stopped at this spot and begged his brother Lakshmana for a little water. Lakshmana threw an arrow into the ground, and immediately an eruption of water burst forth.Said to be a tributary of the Ganges, which flows 1,000 miles away, on a visit to Banganga Tank you may well see religious pilgrims bathing themselves in the spiritual healing waters. An especially good time to visit Banganga Tank is in January, when the annual two-day Banganga Festival celebrates classical music performed by Indian musicians from across the country.More

Bombay High Court

South Mumbai is full of beautiful Gothic-revival architecture, and the Bombay High Court is one of the city's best examples. Dating to the 1870s, the courthouse features two octagonal towers. Visitors are allowed inside and may even sit in on court cases, but most just come to view the architecture from the outside.More

Trip ideas

How to Experience Bollywood Culture in Mumbai

How to Experience Bollywood Culture in Mumbai

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Recent reviews from experiences in Mumbai

A nice and interesting day in Mumbay
Lucas_G, Jan. 2023
Highlights of Mumbai Private Sightseeing Tour:Winner of TRAVELLERS CHOICE AWARD
Very good tour in Mumbai, being able to visit a lot of diferent places in one day.
Highly recommend Mumbai sightseeing tour
Sarah_W, Jan. 2023
Highlights of Mumbai Private Sightseeing Tour:Winner of TRAVELLERS CHOICE AWARD
Mumbai sightseeing tour was fantastic, got to see a range of sites with an expert guide and driver.
Wonder bike tour!
Allegra_A, Nov. 2022
Mumbai Bicycle Tour
Great guides and a fun way to see the city!
Nice package of main sights of Mumbai
Tommi_S, Nov. 2022
Full Day Mumbai City Private Sightseeing Tour
Our guide Fahim spoke perfect English and was able to share a lot about Mumbai and mumbaikers.
Great Tour of Mumbai
Navin_J, Nov. 2022
Highlights of Mumbai Private Sightseeing Tour:Winner of TRAVELLERS CHOICE AWARD
Would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the city in one day.
Dispell your image of...
Sharon_M, Dec. 2022
Private Slum tour With Bollywood tour and Stars Home
This is a must tour if you want to see the working “slum” of Mumbai from the eyes of a resident.
A day in Mumbai, recommended!
Barbara_F, Dec. 2022
Full Day South Mumbai Private City Tour with Kanheri Caves
We didn’t get to see the caves but did visit the pagoda, in which I originally was not overly interested, but in the end found the visit quite worthwhile.
Unique and delicious cooking lesson in the home of an Indian family - highly recommend Harsha
Maren_B, Nov. 2022
Private Cooking Class in Mumbai
Their home, located in the Dharavi slum, was a 45 minute drive from the cruise ship terminal, but it was very interesting to see the city out the window.
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All about Mumbai

When to visit

Mumbai’s climate can be best described as steamy. Avoid the worst of the humidity—as well as the monsoon season that runs June through September—by planning your visit for winter. Those prepared to brave the rains, however, find summer filled with Bollywood events, water-sports opportunities, and the colorful Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

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A local’s pocket guide to Mumbai

Margot Bigg

Margot lived in India for more than six years, mostly in Delhi, with a spell in Mumbai for work. Although Margot will always be a Dilliwalli at heart, she secretly loves Mumbai just as much.

The first thing you should do in Mumbai is...

have a meal at one of the famed Parsi cafés. These iconic restaurants were founded by Parsis (Zoroastrians whose ancestors immigrated to India) and have their own distinct cuisine and ambiance.

A perfect Saturday in Mumbai...

starts with a morning boat trip out to the cave temples at Elephanta Island, is followed by an afternoon visit to the seafront Haji Ali Mosque, and ends with a sunset and people-watching at Chowpatty Beach.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. This gorgeous railway station is one of the best examples of the Indo-Saracenic architecture style in the world, earning it a well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.). This gorgeous railway station is one of the best examples of the Indo-Saracenic architecture style in the world, earning it a well-deserved place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

To discover the "real" Mumbai...

get out of the touristy South Mumbai Colaba and Fort neighborhoods and head up to residential areas such as chic Bandra West or historic Mahim.

For the best view of the city...

head over to Marine Drive, also known as the Queen's Necklace because the lights that line the street resemble a string of pearls after dark.

One thing people get wrong...

is that they equate Mumbai with Dharavi, the slum area portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire. Mumbai is incredibly diverse when it comes to everything from architecture to religion to lifestyles, and no one part of town can properly represent the city.

People Also Ask

What is Mumbai famous for?

Mumbai mixes modern-day India with nuggets of its colonial period. Its Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Gateway of India, and CST station testify to Britain’s architectural legacy, while its high-rises, overshadowing old markets and slum districts, reflect its new wealth. The city’s also known as the hub of India’s glittering Bollywood film industry.

Which places in Mumbai are popular among tourists?

Tourists focus on Mumbai’s Raj-era gems, covering must-sees such as the grand Gateway to India and ornate CST railway station. Other highpoints include the Dhobi Ghat outdoor laundry, Crawford Market—a grand 19th-century market hall—the Elephanta temple caves, and Marine Drive, a curving promenade lined with beautiful art deco houses.

How many days do I need in Mumbai?

One day allows a whistle-stop Mumbai tour, but two or three is better. After admiring the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, High Court, and CST, you’ll have time to explore the Elephanta Caves and Crawford Market and gain insight into locals’ lives at the Dharavi slum area or open-air Dhobi Ghat laundry.

Why was Bombay changed to Mumbai?

The city’s name was changed by its ruling political party in 1995 because Bombay—its English-given moniker—was too heavily associated with the British Empire. The name Mumbai was chosen for its roots in the name of Mumba Devi, the Hindu goddess of the area’s oldest fishing communities, the Koli.

Is Mumbai safe for women?

Yes. Mumbai is considered one of India’s safest cities for women travelers. If you’re female and out and about—either solo or with others—you can feel pretty safe. However, don’t be surprised if you encounter some staring and unwanted attention from local men, although actively hostile behavior is unlikely.

Is Mumbai worth visiting?

Yes. India’s largest city by population, the vast metropolis of Mumbai offers everything from brooding colonial architecture to vibrant markets, exotic temples, humbling poor districts, and glass skyscrapers. It’s worth visiting because it’s India in microcosm: All that is old and new about this captivating country captured in one city.


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