OT Travel Itinerary: Make the Most of 48 Hours In Mumbai

Spend a day exploring the lanes and bylanes of Mumbai and experience what makes the city truly unique
Places to visit in Mumbai
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Railway station Shutterstock.com

The city of Mumbai delivers vibrant chaos enveloped in the rose-tinted allure of filmy anecdotes that make it a favourite spot for people from across the country. It is indeed true that the city of dreams never sleeps; Every hour is rush hour and every corner conceals a crowd. But it is in these facts that the charm of the metropolis lies.

With something new to do at every junction, Mumbai can be overwhelming to those foreign to its pace, especially if you’re here for a short while and want to fit every quintessential experience into your trip. It may seem impossible, but it is not difficult to experience some of the city’s best even if you have just 48 hours to spare.

Know Before You Go

The city is divided into two distinct regions: South Mumbai, or the city district, and the suburban district, which begins in Bandra and extends to Dharavi. Bandra acts as a microcosm of what the suburbs offer, and Colaba (and beyond) remains the most popular tourist spot. A complete experience of Mumbai includes visiting popular spots in both parts of the metropolis which offer something for everyone.

Revolving around the axes of food, shopping, history, and a familiar nostalgia, you can plan 48 hours in the city and experience the old and new, urban and local, in just two days. Here’s how:

Day 1: Wandering through Bandra

If you are landing in the city at morning, begin your exploration in the charming neighbourhood of Bandra. While it comes alive in the evening, the mornings are quiet and laidback, giving you the opportunity to discover the city at your own pace sans the crowds.


Begin with breakfast at Candies, Bandra’s evergreen obsession located in in Pali Hill. This budget-friendly cafe, situated in the heart of the neighbourhood, is only a 20-minute drive from the airport and opens as early as 9 am. Besides its quirky and cool decor, the vegan-friendly options are a hit. Some of the must-have dishes include the lemongrass cooler, chicken sandwich, cartoon cupcakes, and chutney sandwich. Other popular breakfast joints in the neighbourhood include the Palli Village Cafe and Suzette.

Candies in Bandra
Candies in Bandra is loved for its colourful and quirky decorimpulsive_soul02/Instagram

After you’ve fueled up for the day, hit the quaint lanes of Pali Hill for some shopping. The area is filled with new and old boutiques offering unique pieces. If you are in search of ethnic clothing, visit The Shop (Pali Mala Road in Bandra West). Here you can find kurtas, bags, and home products. At Two Extra Lives (BR Ambedkar Road, Pali Village), a new multi-designer concept store, find unique articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories sourced from small towns and cities from across the world. If you love thrifting, head to Bombay Closet Cleanse at Waterfield Road in Bandra West.


After a while, when the Mumbai sun has worn you down and you’re in desperate need of a coffee to pick you up, drive down to the Subko Roastery and Coffee House (Mary Lodge in Bandra). It is located right in front of the famous Waheeda Rehman mural (made by the Bollywood Art Project) that floods the Pinterest feeds of every tourist coming to Mumbai.

cafes in Bandra
A mural depicting Waheeda Rehman from the film, Guide (Dir. Vijay Anand, 1965). Made by @bollywoodartproject on InstagramPhoto by Shreya Saksena

Subko offers meticulously crafted baked goods and is known for its artisanal coffee, which is sourced from its partner farms across the country. The space is cosy and intimate, and is always buzzing with a young crowd. Must-haves include raspberry iced cascara, coffee tonic, and Vietnamese flat white alongside their selection of croissants and open sandwiches.

If you love art, drop into Fluxus Chapel, which is right next door. It is an art space that sells postcards, zines, comics, and magazines created by independent artists.


Bandra is also dotted by several historical gems that you must visit. The Bandra Fort is one such spot, located at just a 20-minute drive from Subko. Castella de Aguada (Fort of the Waterpoint), as the fort was originally named, was built in 1640 by the Portuguese as a watchtower overlooking Mahim and Mahim Bay. A freshwater fountain in the fort gave the structure its name, marking the southernmost tip of the mainland. The British took control of the fort and the city from the Marathas in 1802. So far overlooked, the BMC has made several efforts to redo the areas adjoining the fort in recent years.

Things to do in Mumbai
View of Mumbai's Sea Link from Bandra FortPhoto by Garvit on Unsplash

If you have time to spare, another must-visit spot nearby is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount Mary Church, which is one of the oldest churches in the city. A Roman Catholic Church made in the Gothic revival style of architecture, the church was built in the late 15th-century by a Jesuit Priest who set up a small chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary.

Places to visit in South Mumbai
Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount Mary ChurchShutterstock.com

Other things to do in Bandra: If you wish to stay and explore Bandra's colonial-meets-modern-poshness, then there’s plenty more you can do there. You can grab lunch at Social on Carter Road and take a picture in front of the iconic 18-foot mural of Sridevi. Or you can go to Hill Road to indulge in street shopping and eat pani- puri (and other street food) at Elco Pani Puri Centre.

Guide to Mumbai
The iconic Sridevi mural by Bollywood Art Project on Carter Road in Bandra.Photo from Bollywood Art Project on Facebook.

Day 2: Exploring the Town


After you have spent the first day exploring Bandra, devote your second day in the city to exploring the enchanting Town side of Mumbai. Start your morning with breakfast at the atmospheric Kala Ghoda Cafe, located on Ropewalk Street, Fort. An intimate old-style cafe, Kala Ghoda Cafe opens at 8 am and serves an extensive breakfast menu. Try the chicken salad sandwich and almond cake. They also have several healthier options, such as gluten-free ragi wraps.

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
The Kala Ghoda statueShutterstock.com

As you stroll away from the cafe, a walk around the Kala Ghoda Statue will take you to the art and museum district of the city which is just the place for art enthusiasts. You can go to the Jehangir Art Gallery, which opens at 11 am and has free entry.

Apart from its collection of paintings, sculptures, and other art, the gallery also hosts discussions, lectures, and workshops on the premises. Right outside the gallery is an open-air gallery that you can roam through. The National Gallery of Modern Art and the Prince of Wales Museum are around the same vicinity and make for an interesting tour for those interested in Indian art.


For lunch, walk up to Churchgate where you’ll find some of the older food joints. On the way, you will get to see the Bombay High Court and Flora Fountain. The Flora Fountain is a heritage monument located at the end of Dadabhai Naoroji Street in the Fort, which represents the four seasons of India.

Flora Fountain, Mumbai
The Flora FountainShutterstock.com

For lunch, head to Pizza by the Bay (Soona Mahal, 143, Marine Dr, Churchgate), an Italian restaurant with a scenic view of Marine Drive. It has gone through many iterations and names, but what has remained consistent is the availability of a good ol’ pizza in that corner of the street. What was once Jazz by the Bay, Pizza by the Bay opened in 2011. One of the restaurant's most popular pizzas is the Bombay Masala which is a cheese pizza sprinkled with Indian spices!

After eating, a walk through Churchgate will not only help you digest your lunch but will also immerse you in the old-world charm of Mumbai that stems from its colonial infrastructure and art-deco-style residential buildings. If you are interested in books or want to visit an iconic building, walk towards Horniman Circle and go to the Asiatic Society Library, which houses books, newspapers, manuscripts, folios, coins, and maps and is every history buff’s dream!

Asiatic Society Library
Asiatic Society LibraryShutterstock.com


Evening is the perfect time to go shopping through the lanes of Colaba Causeway, where you can buy Kolhapuri sandals, crystals, and all kinds of clothes and jewellery.

Cafe Mondegar, an Irani cafe, was established in 1932
Cafe Mondegar, an Irani cafe, was established in 1932 aashwin_07/Instagram

After a tiring shopping trip, grab a beer (or soda) at Cafe Mondegar at Metro House in Colaba Causeway. Cafe Mondegar, an Irani cafe, was established in 1932 and was the first cafe to introduce a jukebox in the middle of the 20th century in India. In the 1990s, the restaurant was refurbished with images made by popular Goan cartoonist Mario Miranda and remains an integral part of the city’s social scene. The Gateway of India is a 10-minute walk from Mondegar, where you can get a picture taken with the 26-metre basalt arched structure.

The Gateway of India, a 26-metre basalt structure built in 1911.
The Gateway of India, a 26-metre basalt structure built in 1911.Photo by Mona Garg on Unsplash

As the night falls, the streets of South Mumbai will get busier, and you’ll get to experience the true hustle of the city.

For dinner, make your way to Wellington Pier. BadeMiya is a kebab shop located behind the Taj Mahal Palace which began in 1946. The legendary stall, which is said to have popularised the seekh kebab in Mumbai, opens its doors at 6:00 PM and continues taking orders well into the night. But, if you’re not in the mood for a meal by the roadside, then there are many eateries that cater to different moods like The Table, Indigo, Colaba Social, and restaurants inside the Taj Hotel, which will make for the perfect end to your day.

Before you retire for the night, you can steal a few quiet moments by the seaside back at Marine Drive. The dark Mumbai night, illuminated by the light of streetlamps and passing cars, and the soft lapping of water on the rocks, is enough to make anyone fall in love with Mumbai, even if just for a moment.

Cafes in Mumbai
Sunset from Marine DrivePhoto by Reno D'Souza on Unsplash

*Note: If you’re travelling by train, you’ll likely reach the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Fort, from where you can first travel through southern Mumbai and then move towards Bandra and the suburbs.

Other experiences you might want to catch:

  • Visit Leopold Cafe on Shaid Bhagat Singh Road in Colaba Causeway, which dates to 1871 and has uniquely preserved signs from the 2011 Mumbai attacks.

  •  Try the Vada Pav at Ashok Vada Pav in Dadar

  • Watch a re-screening of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge or any other movie in any of the art-deco movie theatre like Regal Cinema or Metro Cinema

  • Watch the sunset at Bandstand in Bandra

  • Do a Bollywood Studio Tour at Film City

  • Have the Pav Bhaji at Sukh Sagar in Chowpatty Girgaon

  • Eat at the Kala Ghoda Cafe or any of the other popular eateries in Fort

  • Catch a play at Prithvi Theatre in Juhu and eat at Soho house overlooking the Juhu beach

  • Buy vintage Bollywood posters and other goodies at the flea market in Chor Bazaar

  • Dance the night away at The Ghetto, a rock-inspired bar, in Breach Candy for an advent into

    Mumbai’s flourishing nightlife

  • Try the popular Strawberry with Cream at Bachelorr’s on Marine Drive Road in South Mumbai

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