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Top 10 Places to Visit in Mumbai

 

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is a shopping paradise and is filled with markets such as Colaba Causeway and Crawford Market. It is also home to Bollywood, India’s largest film industry, and Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum.

When visiting Mumbai, some of the must-see attractions include the Gateway of India, Kala Ghoda, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Mumbai’s primary museum), Colaba Causeway, and Film City. In this article, we will discuss these must-see places in Mumbai and what makes each one interesting and unique.

Highlights

  • The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary.
  • The Wellington Fountain was built in 1865 in memory of the Duke of Wellington, a loyal servant of the British Crown who visited Mumbai in 1801 and 1804.
  • The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, contains a collection of 2000 rare miniature paintings from several noteworthy art schools in India.
  • Film City is home to 1000 film sets with lifelike gardens, mountains, lakes, homes, cities, and villages that have all been used in Bollywood films.
  • Marine Drive is Mumbai's iconic curved coastal boulevard decorated with a glowing string of street lights.

Gateway of India

The Gateway of India is located at the tip of Apollo Bunder overlooking the Mumbai Harbor and Arabian Sea.

This monument is the unofficial icon of the city of Mumbai. It is now a popular hangout place for travelers and photographers and is surrounded by food stalls selling tasty snacks. The city’s Elephanta Festival which was once held at the Elephanta Caves is now held in front of the gateway in March every year.

The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai for their formal proclamation as the Emperor and Empress of India in 1911.

Location: Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hours: Open all-day

Wellington Fountain and Colonial Buildings

The Wellington Fountain is a two-tiered octagonal fountain located at the intersection of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg, and MG Road. The fountain is made of basalt and is adorned with eight marble statues. The top tier is made of metal and is decorated with cast-iron leaves.

The fountain was built in 1865 in memory of the Duke of Wellington, a loyal servant of the British Crown who visited Mumbai in 1801 and 1804. The Duke was a well-liked British figure in India as he was one of the first men to write about the Indian famine.

The Wellington Fountain is also surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings. The Sahakari Bhandar is a colonial-era building that was once a hotel and is decorated with mock minarets and Gujarati balconies. The Art Deco Regal Cinema is another building nearby which was designed by Charles Stevens and completed in 1933.

Location: Centre And Near Regal Cinema, SP Mukherjee Chowk, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai

Hours: All-day

Kala Ghoda

Kala Ghoda Art Precinct is part of the Fort District which is one of the fashionable neighborhoods in Mumbai. This area of the city is a cultural hub of education, history, art, and food. Kala Ghoda is a specially designed crescent-shaped structure that houses the best art galleries in the city.

In February every year, there is a nine-day art festival that is organized by the Kala Ghoda Association. The festival draws a large number of travelers who come to see activities such as dance, music, theater, cinema, and literary performances.

The name Kala Ghoda means Black Horse and is a reference to a bronze statue of King Edward VII that was located in the center of the area.

Location: Stretching from Regal Circle to Mumbai University at MG Road

Hours: 24 hours

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, is Mumbai’s primary museum. It was built in the Indo-Saracenic architecture style and is adorned with an impressive white dome. The museum building is bordered by lavish green gardens.

The museum contains a collection of 2000 rare miniature paintings from several noteworthy art schools in India. You can also find exhibits of ancient Indian art and sculptures in the museum's sculpture gallery. Decorative artwork made from wood, metal, jade, and ivory are also part of the museum’s collections.

The museum was built to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1905. The building was completed by 1914 but was then used by the military as a hospital during World War I. The museum was opened to the public in 1922.

Location: 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai

Hours: 10:15 am to 6 pm

Colaba Causeway

The Colaba Causeway, officially called Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, is the main road that connects the Colaba Neighborhood to Old Woman's Island which is one of the city’s seven nearby islands and part of historic Old Bombay.

Colaba Causeway is one of the most exciting places to visit in Mumbai and is famous for being a shopper's paradise. Here, you can find great bargains on clothes, accessories, and home decor. There are also several restaurants offering great food and drinks at affordable prices.

The construction of the street occurred between 1835 and 1838 and was completed under the supervision of the British East India Company. The road was built to avoid the deadly accidents that took place due to overcrowded boats that often sailed between Colaba and Old Woman's Island.

Location: Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hours: 9 am to 10 pm

Bollywood

Bollywood is India’s major film industry that produces many Hindi Movies which are famous for their catchy music and fun dance numbers. The Film City is the home of Bollywood and is one of the major attractions in Mumbai.

Film City is a large film studio that is spread across an area of 520 acres. Film City contains around 1000 film sets that include lifelike gardens, mountains, lakes, homes, cities, and villages that were all used in Bollywood films.

Film City was constructed by the Maharashtra state government to facilitate the growth of the industry. It has now become one of the best film studios in the country with world-class facilities that have been used to shoot over 900 movies and television shows.

Location: Goregaon, Mumbai

Hours: 11 am to 6 pm

Marine Drive

Marine Drive, also called the Queen's Necklace, is Mumbai's iconic curved coastal boulevard that is decorated with a string of glowing street lights.

This entire stretch of boulevard follows the curve of the coastline and is shrouded with palm trees and bordered by the Arabian sea. Marine Drive is the best place in Mumbai to watch the sunset or to just take a seaside stroll.

Marine Drive was built in the 20th century as part of the British government's Back Bay Reclamation Scheme during the second phase of Mumbai's urban development. This scheme involved dumping stone into the sea to create land and expand the city westward.

Location: Stretching along Nariman Point and Girgaum Chowpatty

Hours: 24 hours

Banganga Tank

Often called the mini-Banaras of Mumbai, the Bangana Tank is an ancient water tank that dates back to the 12th century. The tank is part of the Walkeshwar Temple complex in Malabar Hill.

The Banganga Tank is a rectangular-shaped structure that is surrounded by steps on all sides. Here, thousands of worshipers can climb the steps and take turns bathing in the holy water and giving offerings of flowers at the Banganga Temple.

The Banganga Tank was built in 1127 by Lakshman Prabhu, a Brahmin minister in the court of the Silhara dynasty of Thane. The water in the tank is regarded as a subsidiary of the holy Ganges River and is considered sacred and is believed to have healing powers by many.

Location: Walkeshwar Temple, Malabar Hill

Hours: 24 hours

Haji Ali Mosque

Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most prestigious Islamic symbols in India and is located in South Mumbai on an island in the waters of the Arabian Sea just about 500 meters off the coast of the Worli Fishing Village.

The mosque was built in 1431 and is dedicated to the memory of Sayyed Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a 14th-century wealthy merchant who became a saint. The saint is famous for giving up all his wealth and material possessions to make a pilgrimage to Mecca from his home of present-day Uzbekistan.

Besides the mosque, the island also houses the tomb of Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

Location: Dargah Road, Haji Ali, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hours: 6 am to 10 pm

Crawford Market

Crawford Market, now officially called the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market, has long been the center of shopping life in South Mumbai.

The market offers an exciting shopping experience for those who love to explore local wet markets. Crawford Market is full of an array of dazzling fruits, vegetables, and poultry. Here one can experience the mix of the fragrances as they change from stall to stall from the fresh smell of vegetables to the mouthwatering smell of homemade chocolate.

The construction of the market was completed in 1869 and business commenced in 1871. The wealthy British would often send their domestic help to buy the day’s produce from the Crawford Market.

Location: Lokmanya Tilak Marg, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Dhobi Talao, Mumbai

Hours: 9 am to 8 pm

People Also Asked About Mumbai:

Mumbai is a pretty safe place to visit and you can see the city's main attractions in just two days. Colaba Causeway and Crawford Market are some of the best places to visit in Mumbai as they are home to the most iconic Mumbai hangouts and shopping places.

Below we have listed some commonly asked questions about Mumbai to help you get some more information before you travel.

How can I spend two days in Mumbai?

Start your day by heading over to Colaba Causeway for lunch. Afterward, explore Marine Drive and the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct before going back to your hotel to get some rest.

Start your second day with breakfast at Kala Ghoda. Next, check out the diverse exhibits at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. After having lunch, you will head to Banganga Tank and Chor Bazaar.

In Mumbai, we recommend staying in luxury hotels such as the Taj Mahal Palace or Tower Hotel.

What Mumbai is famous for?

Start your day by heading over to Colaba Causeway for lunch. Afterward, explore Marine Drive and the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct before going back to your hotel to get some rest.

Mumbai is also famous for being the location Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum. Founded in 1883 during the British Colonial Era, Dharavi has suffered from many epidemics and disasters including a widespread plague in 1896 which killed over half of the population of Mumbai.

What are the best places in Mumbai for shopping?

Colaba Causeway and Crawford Market are some of the most famous shopping areas in India. Colaba Causeway is home to iconic Mumbai hangout spots like Café Mondegar and Leopold Café. Here you will also find shops selling apparel, colorful jewelry, brass knick-knacks, bags, and trendy footwear.

Crawford Market or Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai is also one of the city’s oldest and most famous markets. It is a wet market that is home to wholesale shops selling fruits and veggies, home décor, bags, makeup, toys, and spices.

Is Mumbai a safe city?

Mumbai is a city with a moderate level of crime. Travelers will sometimes fall victim to petty crimes but this can be prevented by taking basic precautions. Areas that are often visited by tourists are generally safe. Kidnappings and muggings are uncommon.

Travelers should be aware of scams when visiting Mumbai. Certain individuals will try to take advantage of distracted tourists. Women should also take extra precautions as sexual assaults can occur and traveling alone is not recommended.

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