Mumbai is a city of extremes – you will find extravagant villas and luxury rooftop bars, but also Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia. The busy metropolis is a hodgepodge of cultures and the lively streets are interspersed with colonial buildings with skyscrapers and Indian shops. Will you be visiting Mumbai soon? Then don’t skip these 12 sights.
THE 12 BEST SIGHTS IN MUMBAI
1-Gateway of India
This triumphal arch, on the east coast of the city, is the symbol of Mumbai. The 26 meter high monument was built in 1911, in honor of the visit of the British King George V and Queen Mary. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the city and the structure is in the Colaba district, opposite the famous Taj Mahal Palace. The Gateway is especially beautiful around sunrise.
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2-Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
This train station in the south of Mumbai has been named one of the most beautiful stations in the world and from this station the first train departed in Asia in 1853. The building was always known as Victoria Terminus, but in 1996 it was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Since 2004 it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
3-Taj Mahal Palace
A few meters away from the Gateway of India is the majestic Taj Mahal Palace. This world-famous and fairytale-like five-star hotel was built in the early twentieth century and is the second most photographed building in India – only the Taj Mahal in Agra is photographed more often.
This atmospheric boulevard in the south of Mumbai is one of the best places to admire the sunset. Marine Drive is especially pleasant in the evenings, when sellers try to sell their wares and the locals come to Marine Drive to walk and chat. The 3.6 kilometer long boulevard ends at the famous Chowpatty beach.
middle of Mumbai, surrounded by countless skyscrapers, lies Dhobi Ghat, the largest “outdoor laundry” in the world. Every day dozens of dhobis – traditional washmen – hand-wash the laundry of hotels and Indian families, while the newly cleaned items hang to dry in the wind. You have the best view from the PT Patel Bridge at the station.
About 10 kilometers from the coast lies Elephanta Island, a small island where the world famous Elephanta Caves can be found. This special complex was probably built in the seventh century and consists of seven caves, where you can find richly decorated temples and statues from Hindu mythology. In 1987 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
TIP! Avoid having to arrange the boat trip to the island yourself and book the Half-Day Mumbai Elephanta Caves Tour .
Bandra is the trendiest neighborhood of Mumbai. In this atmospheric part of the city you can find many nice and healthy eateries, you can score fake designer clothes on Linking Rd and you can admire the beautiful villas of big Bollywood stars. If you like graffiti, you should definitely walk along Chapel Road, where many walls are decorated with beautiful artworks. Be sure to take a walk on the Bandstand Promenade, where it is especially cozy in the evenings.
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8-Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
This beautiful museum was built in 1922 and houses a large collection of Indian art and archaeological finds. The building is also called the Prince of Wales Museum, because it was built as a reminder of the visit of the British King Edward VIII. If you are not a fan of museums, it is certainly worth the effort to admire it from the outside because of its special architecture.
9-Bandra-Worli Sea Link
This giant steel bridge connects the Bandra and Worli neighborhoods, so that the residents of Mumbai can travel faster from the suburbs to the business district. The structure was opened in 2009 and cost more than $ 250 million. From the southernmost tip of Bandra you have a beautiful view over the bridge.
9-Haji Ali Dargah
This richly decorated mosque is located on a small island just off the coast and is connected to the mainland by a narrow road. Because the road is completely flooded at high tide, the white prayer house can only be visited during low tide.
Mumbai has a number of nice rooftop bars that offer a beautiful view of the city and the many skyscrapers. The best known are AER, Asilo and Dome. Since a major accident in the summer of 2017, many rooftop bars are only allowed to serve alcohol in exceptional cases, so it is smart to read recent reviews on Tripadvisor, for example, if you want to know where you can and cannot do a beer or wine.
Another nice neighborhood in Mumbai is Colaba, where you will find the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace. In addition, in Colaba you have the cozy Colaba Causeway Market, a shop paradise where you can find almost everything you can imagine. There are also a number of nice restaurants and cafés near the market.
TIP! Mumbai is a busy, chaotic city and because there is virtually no public transport, you have to do everything with a taxi or rickshaw. For more convenience, you can also choose to book a private tour , including a private guide and an air-conditioned car. You will then visit all the major sights of Mumbai in 8 hours.