City Guide: All About Mumbai, The City Of Dreams

From the top heritage spots to delectable corners and much more, explore the city of Mumbai to its core with our city guide
An emblematic view of Mumbai
An emblematic view of MumbaiShutterstock

Mumbai, also known as the city of dreams, is a bustling metropolitan that attracts people from all over the country. From its film city to old Parsi and colonial houses, beaches, museums and classical architecture, the city is a goldmine for heritage and cultural exploration. From the crowded streets to the tranquil markets, Mumbai offers an array of experiences for every kind of traveller. Join us on a journey through its rich history, cultural heritage, gastronomy, art, adventure, shopping, nature, wellness, entertainment and accommodation options.

History

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is a major seaport and an alpha world city with a deep natural harbour. It is also the wealthiest city in India, with the highest number of millionaires and billionaires residing there. Originally inhabited by the Koli people, different indigenous empires controlled it before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and the East India Company. In the mid-18th century, the Hornby Vellard project transformed Bombay by reclaiming land from the sea and making it a significant seaport. The city played a crucial role in the Indian independence movement and was incorporated into Bombay State after India gained independence in 1947. In 1960, a new state of Maharashtra was formed, and Mumbai became its capital.

Heritage

The Gateway of India
The Gateway of IndiaShutterstock

The Gateway of India

Gateway of India is a monument in Mumbai, built in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. It stands tall and overlooks the Arabian Sea, serving as a symbol of Mumbai's colonial past.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj TerminusShutterstock

Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that blends Victorian Gothic and Indian influences. It is a bustling railway station and a reminder of Mumbai's rich history.

Elephanta Caves
Elephanta CavesShutterstock

Elephanta Caves

Located on Elephanta Island, the Elephanta Caves are ancient rock-cut caves that date back to the 5th to 8th centuries. Adorned with intricate sculptures and carvings dedicated to Lord Shiva, they offer a glimpse into India's rich cultural heritage.

Gastronomy

Popular Restaurants

Britannia & Co.: Located in Ballard Estate, Britannia & Co. is a legendary eatery known for its Parsi cuisine. The restaurant has been serving delicious berry pulao, mutton salli boti, and caramel custard for over a century, attracting both locals and tourists.

Address: Britannia and Company Restaurant St, Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 11:30 am to 4 pm

Cost: INR 1000 for two

Café Leopold
Café LeopoldWikimedia Commons

Café Leopold: Situated in Colaba, Café Leopold is an iconic restaurant and bar with a vibrant atmosphere. It gained fame from Gregory David Roberts' novel "Shantaram." The menu features a mix of Indian, Chinese, and continental dishes, along with refreshing beverages.

Address: Police Station, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, near Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 7:30 am to 12 am

Cost: INR 1200 for two

Gajalee: With multiple branches across the city, Gajalee is renowned for its coastal Maharashtrian cuisine, especially seafood. Dishes like crab curry, bombil fry, and surmai fry are immensely popular among food enthusiasts.

Address: Kadamgiri Complex Hanuman Road, next to Icici Bank, Vile Parle East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400057

Timings: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm and 7 pm to 11:30 pm

Cost: INR 1800 for two

Café Mondegar: Located in Colaba Causeway, Café Mondegar, or Mondy's as it's fondly called, is a retro-style café known for its quirky artwork by Mario Miranda adorning the walls. It serves a variety of comfort foods, including burgers, sandwiches, and Indian dishes.

Address: Metro House, Colaba Causeway, near Regal Cinema, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 8 am to 11:30 pm

Cost: INR 1500 for two

Trishna: Situated in Fort, Trishna is celebrated for its delectable seafood offerings, particularly the butter garlic crab, tandoori prawns, and fish tikka. The restaurant provides a fine dining experience with impeccable service.

Address: Sai Baba Mandir Marg, next to Commerce House, opp. Kalaghoda Cafe, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 12 pm to 3:30 pm and 6 pm to 12 am

Cost: INR 2500 per person

Street Food Joints

Juhu Beach
Juhu BeachShutterstock

Juhu Beach: Juhu Beach is famous for its vibrant street food scene, offering a variety of snacks like pav bhaji, bhel puri, pani puri, and sev puri. Visitors can enjoy these savory treats while taking a leisurely stroll along the beach.

Address: Juhu Beach, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400049

Mohammed Ali Road: During Ramadan, Mohammed Ali Road transforms into a food lover's paradise, with stalls offering an array of delectable dishes such as kebabs, nalli nihari, haleem, and malpua. The atmosphere is lively and bustling with energy.

Crawford Market
Crawford MarketShutterstock

Crawford Market: Crawford Market is a treasure trove of street food delights, featuring vendors selling everything from vada pav and dosas to frankies and chaat. It's a favourite haunt for locals seeking quick and tasty bites.

Address: Lokmanya Tilak Rd, Dhobi Talao, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Khau Galli: Khau Galli in Ghatkopar is a haven for street food enthusiasts, offering an eclectic mix of vegetarian delights like dosas, sandwiches, pav bhaji, and various chaat items. It's a bustling food hub that's perfect for a gastronomic adventure.

Address: Khau GalliGhatkopar East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400077

Sardar Pav Bhaji: Sardar Pav Bhaji is a legendary eatery in Tardeo, known for its mouthwatering pav bhaji loaded with butter. The rich and flavorful bhaji served with butter-soaked pav bread has earned Sardar Pav Bhaji a cult following among Mumbaikars.

Address: Junction, 166-A, Tardeo Rd, Janata Nagar, Tardeo, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400034

Timings: 11 am to 2 am

Cost: INR 400 for two

Art

Jehangir Art Gallery
Jehangir Art GalleryShutterstock

Jehangir Art Gallery: Founded in 1952, this renowned gallery showcases contemporary Indian art through rotating exhibitions, fostering appreciation and dialogue among artists and art enthusiasts.

Address: 161B, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 11 am to 7 pm

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly Prince of Wales Museum): This museum showcases an extensive collection of art, archaeology, and natural history, spanning centuries and continents.

Address: 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 10:15 am to 6 pm

Entry Fee: INR 150 for adults

Kala Ghoda Art Precinct: This vibrant neighbourhood hosts numerous art galleries, cultural events, and heritage buildings, making it a hub for creativity and expression.

Address: WRHJ+7PM, VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Timings: 11 am to 6 pm

Adventure

Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National ParkShutterstock

Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Escape the urban hustle to explore this sprawling park, home to diverse flora and fauna, trekking trails, and the ancient Kanheri Caves, offering a serene retreat amidst nature.

Dhobi Ghat: The world's largest open-air laundromat, Dhobi Ghat is a testament to Mumbai's unique culture and communal way of life, where hundreds of washermen diligently clean clothes by hand.

Address: 1, Anandilal P Marg, Dhobi Ghat, Shanti Nagar, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400011

EsselWorld and Water Kingdom: Embark on thrilling rides and water adventures at India's largest amusement park and water park, promising fun-filled experiences for visitors of all ages.

Address: Global Pagoda Road, Essel world Amusement Park, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400092

Shopping

Colaba Causeway: Shopaholics rejoice at this bustling street market offering everything from fashionable clothing and accessories to quirky souvenirs and antiques.

Address: Bakery Ln Colaba, Mumbai 400005 India

High Street Phoenix Mall: Dive into a world of luxury and retail therapy at this upscale shopping destination housing international brands, designer boutiques, and gourmet restaurants.

Address: 462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013

Nature

Marine Drive
Marine DriveShutterstock

Marine Drive: Take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Marine Drive promenade, also known as the "Queen's Necklace," offering panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the city skyline.

Juhu Beach: Join locals and tourists alike at this popular beach destination, perfect for enjoying sunset picnics, horse rides, and delectable street food stalls.

Wellness

Yoga Institute: Immerse yourself in the ancient practice of yoga at the world's oldest organised yoga center, offering classes, workshops, and retreats to rejuvenate mind, body, and soul.

Ayurvedic Spas: Treat yourself to holistic wellness therapies and massages at Ayurvedic spas like Kairali Ayurvedic Centre and Jiva Spa, combining ancient healing traditions with modern comforts.

Entertainment

Film Studios of Bollywood
Film Studios of BollywoodShutterstock

Bollywood Studio Tours: Experience the glitz and glamour of Bollywood with guided tours of iconic film studios like Film City and R.K. Studios, offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of movie-making magic.

Prithvi Theatre: Delight in live performances, plays, and cultural events at this beloved theater founded by the legendary actor Prithviraj Kapoor, celebrating the performing arts in all its forms.

Address: 20, Juhu Church Rd, Janki Kutir, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049

Stay

Luxury

The Taj Mahal Palace: Situated in the heart of Mumbai, overlooking the Gateway of India, The Taj Mahal Palace is an iconic luxury hotel known for its grandeur and impeccable service. With luxurious rooms, fine dining options, a spa, and stunning views of the Arabian Sea, it offers an unforgettable experience for discerning travellers.

Address: Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Cost: Starts at INR 20,000 per night

The Oberoi Mumbai: Located in the posh neighbourhood of Nariman Point, The Oberoi Mumbai is renowned for its elegance and sophistication. Offering spacious rooms, award-winning restaurants, a rooftop pool, and panoramic views of the city skyline, it provides guests with a luxurious retreat in the bustling metropolis.

Address: Nariman Point, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400021

Cost: INR 30,000 per night

Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai: Nestled in the upscale Worli district, the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai boasts contemporary luxury and personalised service. Featuring opulent accommodations, a rooftop bar, gourmet restaurants, a spa, and breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea, it caters to the needs of the most discerning travellers.

Address: 1, 136, Dr Elijah Moses Rd, Gandhi Nagar, Upper Worli, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400018

Cost: INR 26,000 per night

Budget

Zostel Mumbai: Conveniently located in the vibrant neighborhood of Colaba, Zostel Mumbai offers budget-friendly accommodation for backpackers and solo travellers. With dormitory-style rooms, a communal kitchen, cosy common areas, and a friendly atmosphere, it provides a comfortable and affordable stay in the heart of the city.

Address: Karotra Niwas, School, off Military Road, near Prime Academy, Bhavani Nagar, Marol, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400059

Cost: INR 2000 per night

Empire Royale Hotel: The Empire Royale Hotel offers affordable rooms without compromising on comfort and convenience. With clean and cosy accommodations, complimentary breakfast, and a central location close to major attractions, it's a popular choice for budget-conscious travellers.

Address: CST Building, 3rd floor, Empire Building Dr, Doctor Dadabhai Naoroji Road, station, above Mc donalds, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Cost: INR 1700 per night

Hotel Airport International: Perfect for travellers on a budget, Hotel Airport International is located near Mumbai's domestic and international airports, offering easy access for those in transit. With comfortable rooms, complimentary airport transfers, and basic amenities, it provides a convenient and economical stay option for travellers flying in and out of the city.

Address: Nehru Rd, near Domestic Airport, Navpada, Vile Parle East, Vile Parle, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400099

Cost: INR 4,000 per night

Homestays

Hebbar's Heritage Home: It is attractively located in the centre of Mumbai, and features a shared lounge, free WiFi and a terrace. The property is around 1.4 km from Crawford Market, 2.1 km from Gateway of India and 2.3 km from Mohd Ali Road. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage for guests.

Address: 4th floor, Apeejay Chambers, Murzban Rd, opp. sterling theatre, diagonally, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Cost: INR 2,300 per night

The Retreat House Bandra: Nestled in the trendy suburb of Bandra, this homestay retreat offers a peaceful oasis away from the city's hustle and bustle. Set in a charming bungalow surrounded by greenery, guests can enjoy comfortable accommodations, delicious home-cooked meals, and a serene atmosphere, all within close proximity to Bandra's vibrant cafes, boutiques, and cultural attractions.

Address: 6, Kane Rd, Mount Mary, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Cost: INR 1500 per night

Maven by TBHC: Enjoy a relaxing retreat at this homestay with well-appointed rooms and personalised service. Guests can unwind in a tranquil setting while still being within easy reach of the city's attractions and entertainment options.

Address: Villa 12, Ground Floor, Opposite K.C Roasters, Chuim Village, Off, Dr Ambedkar Rd, Bandra West, Maharashtra 400050

Cost: INR 3000 per night

Sustainable

Abode Bombay: Located in the historic Fort area, Abode Bombay is a boutique hotel committed to sustainability and responsible tourism practices. With eco-friendly initiatives such as rainwater harvesting, solar power, and locally sourced materials, this hotel offers stylish accommodations with a focus on environmental conservation and community engagement.

Address: First Floor, Lansdowne House, MB Marg, near Regal Cinema, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Cost: INR 5,500 per night

The Orchid Hotel Mumbai Vile Parle: As one of Mumbai's first eco-friendly hotels, The Orchid is committed to minimising its carbon footprint and promoting sustainable tourism. With features like energy-efficient lighting, waste management systems, and organic gardens, guests can enjoy a comfortable stay while supporting environmentally responsible practices.

Address: T1, 70-C, Nehru Rd, near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Navpada, Vile Parle East, Vile Parle, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400099

Cost: INR 7,800 per night

Kundalika Cottages: Kundalika Cottages is a unique hideaway in Kolad-Kundalika Valley. The resort offers eight split-level cottages with attached bathrooms. It's an ideal adventure-seeker base, with white-water rafting and water-based activities nearby. The endpoint of "Kundalika Rafting" is a two-minute walk from the cottages.

Address: Village Kamath Off SH-60, Near Sutarwadi, Kolad 402304 India

Cost: INR 6,000 per night

How to Reach

Air: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the primary international airport serving the Mumbai Metropolitan Area. It is situated about 30 km from CST Station. Domestic Airport is in Vile Parle East. Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji has 2 terminals. Terminal 1 or Domestic Terminal used to be the old airport called Santacruz Airport, some locals are still using this name nowadays. Terminal 2 or International Terminal replaced the old terminal 2, formerly known as the Sahar Airport. The Santa Cruz Domestic Airport is about 4.5 kilometres from the international airport.

Rail: Mumbai is very well connected to rest of India by trains. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the most popular station in Mumbai. Trains to Mumbai are available from all major railway stations in India. Some important Mumbai trains to note are the Mumbai Rajdhani, Mumbai Duronto, Konkan Kanya Express.

Road: Mumbai is well-connected with national highways and expressways. Mumbai visit by bus or car is the most economical for individual tourists. Government, as well as private buses, operate daily services to this route. Mumbai bus stand is situated at the centre of the city.

logo
Outlook Traveller
www.outlooktraveller.com