In the middle of Mumbai’s bustle sits a peaceful stretch of boulevard looking right out to the Arabian Sea. This is the iconic Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, better known as the Marine Drive. This 4-km (2.5 mi) long promenade stretches from Babulnath and right up to the tip of Mumbai, Nariman Point. When darkness falls, it transforms into the Queen’s Necklace, as the street lights are akin to a string of pearls on a necklace. The esplanade dates back to the early 20th century, when it was dotted with traditional Parsi structures. While many structures still stand today, it’s now famous for luxury hotels. Whether it’s to revel in the sea breeze or watch the sunset, the promenade is a must-visit. Check out this useful guide to Marine Drive, Mumbai.
Things to do/ Highlights
Hang out at Girgaum Chowpatty beach
Sitting at the northern end of Marine Drive, Girgaum Chowpatty beach is ‘the’ spot to hang out and watch the sunset in Mumbai. Pick up some delicious snacks like bhel puri, pav bhaji, or vada pav from the stalls lining the beach and watch the sun go down in the sea. If you’d prefer a tour, then Mumbai Magic has an evening walking tour of the neighborhood.
Take a stroll on Marine Drive
The other sunset hangout spot is the southern end of Marine Drive itself. Sitting on the promenade and watching the sunset and the sea splash against the rocks is something every Mumbaikar has done. Walk down the length of the Queen’s Necklace and buy yourself an ice-cream from the many vendors lining the boulevard. Finally, settle down on the bench or the wall of the promenade and watch once-in-a-lifetime sunset view.
Visit the Art Deco buildings dotting the area
The area around Marine Drive is full of Art Deco buildings, such as the stunning Soona Mahal, which is now home to the famed restaurant Pizza by the Bay. You’ll also find Kewal Mahal, Bandookwala Mansion, and the oldest Art Deco building in town, the Syndicate Bank building, If you’re interested, then check out the website of Art Deco Mumbai or join the Mumbai in Design architecture tour by No Footprints.
Indulge in sightseeing
Culture vultures, this one is for you. Sitting at the southern end of Marine Drive is also the famed NCPA (National Center for Performing Arts). Here, you can watch everything, from live music shows and dances to film screenings and, most notably, plays. If you’re with your kids, then we’re sure they’d love the Taraporewala Aquarium, which is India’s oldest aquarium.
Where to eat
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Dome - InterContinental
If there’s one place where you can really admire the Queen’s Necklace, it’s the stunning, eighth-floor rooftop bar atop the InterContinental on Marine Drive called Dome. While you sip on your favorite drink and nibble on appetizers, watch the sun go down into the vast sea that stretches out before you. With delicious food and drinks, soft background music, and million-dollar views, your evening will be a memorable one.
Try delicious street food
If you’re in Girgaum Chowpatty, then not trying the street food here is unacceptable! Head to the stalls lining the beach and dig into delectable street food, of which we’d highly recommend dabeli, bhel puri, vada pav, and, of course, pav bhaji.
Avoid littering and walking over the rocks
There are a few things you need to keep in mind while visiting a public place like Marine Drive. To begin with, the promenade is spotlessly clean, so do not litter there. Secondly, avoid walking on the boulders that line the esplanade and look out to the sea. Since the seawater constantly splashes over them, they’re wet and not exactly designed for walking - so stick to the promenade itself.
We’d recommend visiting Marine Drive during the evening since it’s very hot in the afternoon. However, if you’re here during the afternoon, then bring a stole or a hat, a pair of sunglasses, and a bottle of water. You might also want to slather a good amount of sunscreen since the sun can really beat down on you.
Anti-social elements and activities
At times, it’s possible that there might be anti-social elements lurking around. Since it’s a crowded public place, they’re mostly harmless, but keep away from them anyway. What’s more, there’s usually a policeman who’s always patrolling Marine Drive, so you needn’t worry.
How to get there
By taxi or car
Since it lies along a wide boulevard, Marine Drive can easily be reached by a rental car, the iconic black-and-yellow taxi, or an app-based taxi such as Ola or Uber.
By local train
If you’re taking the local train, then there are three stations on the Western Line that are closest to Marine Drive. These are Charni Road (near Girgaum Chowpatty), Marine Lines (near the center of the promenade), and the southern terminal of Churchgate. From Marine Lines and Churchgate, you can simply walk down to Marine Drive.
If you’re part of the open-deck bus tour or the Mumbai Darshan city bus tour, then they also include pit-stops at Marine Drive.
It might not be as opulent and massive as the other hotels down the line, but the InterContinental is better for it - it’s personable and stylish to boot. Sitting right on Marine Drive, the elegant and charming hotel boasts a fabulous rooftop pool, along with its crown jewel, Dome restaurant. It also has a lovely balcony cafe, where a scrumptious breakfast with sea views is the best way to begin the day. Rooms and suites offer spectacular sea views, along with soundproof windows. If you want to splurge, then get the Seafront Corner Suites, which are sprawling and have lavish marble bathrooms.
InterContinental Marine Drive Mumbai, an IHG Hotel
Address: 135 Marine Drive
Price: from 90 USD
Breakfast in the room Shared stationery such as printed menus, magazines, pens, and paper removed Swimming pool Dry cleaning Trouser press First aid kit available Express check-in/check-out Bar
Marine Drive information
Address: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Churchgate, Mumbai
Official Tourism Website: Maharashtra Tourism
News & updates for Marine Drive: Aaditya Thackeray, Tiger Shroff celebrate 100 years of Marine Drive | Discovering Mumbai’s Art Deco Treasures
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