Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is one of the most populous cities in India. As it is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India, so mostly large Office Space, Skyscraper residential tower, Bollywood stars’ homes, and some famous World Heritage Sites are one of the most important things to visit in Mumbai. But that is from an outsiders view.
When I was not staying in Mumbai and visited twice for some official purpose I visited those places. But now for the past 7 months, I stay at Mumbai, so in this post, I will tell what else you should try if you are visiting Mumbai for the first time from any other parts of India or even other Countries. Typically all those things you can complete in 3-4 days.
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What to do in Mumbai – Travel Guide
1. Visit Gateway of India, Taj Hotel and Elephanta Cave:
These 3 places are most visited tourist places in Mumbai as per my opinion. All three places can be visited in the same day.
How to reach:
If you are travelling in Car/ Uber, you can give the exact location. If you are travelling by Bus/Train then you have to reach Church Gate Station (Western Railway) which is the nearest station. However if you are the first time visitor then avoid train (at least in weekdays)
When to visit:
As I have already mentioned that all 3 places are nearby, but visit to Elephanta cave needs at least 5-6 Hours. So plan accordingly if you have plan to visit Elephanta, otherwise any time (preferably during Sunset) you can visit the rest of the two places.
Gateway of India was constructed in 1924, in the British Era and it is also said that the last British troops left through this architecture. For more destinations in India, you can check routeprints.com
The Taj hotel (Taj Mahal Palace Hotel) is the heritage luxury hotel which was built in 1903. It has 560 rooms and 44 suits. The new tower called Taj Mahal tower is just besides the old heritage building. The hotel was damaged heavily in the 2008 Mumbai attacks by LET.
Elephanta Cave is in Elephanta Island which is located almost 2km offshore from JNPT. For reaching the island you need to book ticket from ticket counter at Gateway of India. The ticket cost is Rs.200 per person for both way. It will take at least 30 minutes to reach by speed boat. However after reaching the island you need to climb at least 1 km to reach the cave.
2. Visit to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus formerly known as Victoria Terminus is UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also the headquarter of Central railway. The station was named after the then reigning Queen Victoria. Later in 1996, it was renamed as ChhatrapatiShivajiTerminas and in 2017 it was again renamed as ChhatrapatiShivajiMaharajTerminas (CSMT).
3. Visit to Crawford Market
If you are visiting ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus then your next destination should be Crawford Market. It is the biggest market in South Mumbai. It was named after fist Municipal Commissioner Mr Arthur Crawford. In this market you will find everything from Cloths to Shoe, from Books to dry fruits, from Soft toys to cosmetics.
But beware before buying any random things. Most of the cosmetics are fake!! We bought and learned our lesson.
4. Cross the Sea link Bridge from Bandra to Worli.
Bandra–Worli Sea link is an engineering marvel to witness. Earlier by road Bandra to Worli, one has to travel for atleast 30-60 min depending on traffic which can now be reduced to only 10 minutes with the help of this bridge. It started in 2009.
5. Taste the yummy Mumbai Street food
Visiting Mumbai is incomplete without testing the yummy Mumbai food. Mumbai and Kolkata are the two cities in India where you can get best roadside snacks.BadaPao, Daveli, MiselPao, SeoPuri, DahiPuri are name of some yummy food you must try.
6. Travel in the most crowded Local Train in India
Mumbai without its local train is totally paralyzed. Spread over more than 2000 Km, it operates more than 2000 trains and more than 7.5 Million travellers commute daily. There are five line- Western, Central, Harbour, Trans- Harbour and Nerul-Uran line. In every 2-3 minutes, there will be train which are fully loaded. Without having a ride in Mumbai local your visit to Mumbai is incomplete.
Please travel in Off peak hours (Morning 5-6 am/ 11am-4pm) as in office time trains are really crowded and for any new person it is quite impossible to take a ride, at the same time the real Mumbai local can be witnessed only in office hours.