Things to do in Mumbai
Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay, is the largest city in India with an estimated population of 18 million. I visited Mumbai for a short weekend trip in 2018. Below is my recommendation of the top things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Mumbai.
Mumbai is a huge city and if you’re visiting this metropolis for the first time, it might be confusing where to go. In general, I recommend staying and exploring the South of Mumbai, where all of the attractions are. Remember, traffic is mad in India! The taxi ride from the airport to the Fort area took me an hour (minimum!) during rush hour time.
If this is your first visit to India, you might also be interested in reading the article Top tips for your first trip to India.
Gateway of India
Worth a visit is the Gateway of India, which was built during the 20th century to celebrate the landing of the British King in 1911. As the most popular tourist site in Mumbai, the gateway is open to public 24/7 and free of charge. As the unofficial icon of Mumbai, it is also beautifully lit during nighttime. I love that it stands directly next to the sea and offers fantastic views over the promenade.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, also known as the Victoria Teminus, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1887, it still serves as one of the busiest railway stations in Mumbai. Unfortunately, I could only visit the Victoria Terminus at night but it was still very beautiful.
Mumbai’s Marine Drive is the famous promenade, which is the go-to hangout place for young couples (cuddling alert). The Marine Drive is also called “The Queen’s Necklace” because at night different poles along the promenade are lit and resemble a pearl necklace. Check out the bar “Dome“ below if you want to catch breath-taking views of the Queen’s Necklace at night.
Haji Ali Dargah
At a first glimpse, the name sounds like a character from Game of Thrones but in reality the Haji Ali Dargah is a beautiful mosque on an islet off the coast of Mumbai. Built in 1431, it is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Mumbai.
TO EAT & DRINK
The Dome bar in the InterContinental Hotel is my favourite bar in Mumbai. A girlfriend of mine who was born and raised in Mumbai recommended the bar and said it is one of the most popular night-time places in the city. The open-air lounge offers stunning views over the sea and the lit Marine Drive (see above). The lounge opens at 5pm! Don’t forget your smart casual outfit 🙂
Sea Lounge at the Taj Mahal Hotel
I totally fell in love with the Sea Lounge at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai (I actually went there twice because it was so good). The lounge is well known for its beautiful afternoon tea overlooking the promenade and the sea. Ask for a reservation to get a seat next to the window – then you will catch a glimpse of the beautiful Gateway of India (right in front of the hotel).
From the outside a nondescript house, from the inside one of the best and most famous restaurants in India. Khyber has been hosting guests for five decades already, staying true to its North-Indian cuisine. You never know who you might meet in there, you may find yourself sitting next to Sir Richard Branson, a regular guest in the traditional restaurant.