Top 15 Places You Must Visit When In Magnificent Mumbai

Top 15 Places You Must Visit When In Magnificent Mumbai
Piyali Sen
Endorsed by Local Expert
Piyali Sen

A densely populated city and a popular entertainment and financial capital, Mumbai may sound intimidating and threatening at first. First-time travellers using Bombay as a stepping stone to India should be prepared for its furious energy, limited public transport, and overwhelming pollution. Despite all the confusion and chaos breeding in this city, there is something eerily attractive about it that makes us want to delve into it a little deeper. Perhaps it is because it is well-known for being the heart of the Bollywood industry, or maybe, the fact that it contains some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet. We all know that every pro has its cons, but that doesn’t mean that the pros in Mumbai aren’t worth a second visit:

1. Visit Mohammed Ali Road during Ramadan

Egg Malpuas in Mumbai
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user PrashuKalyan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, foodies will be glad to know that the vast varieties of food at Mohammad Ali Road will never disappoint. Mostly catered to hardcore meat-lovers, do note that this night market is slightly unsuitable for the fainthearted or faint-stomached. The display of both raw and cooked meat can be quite graphic here, and the majority of the snacks include goat brains, liver, kidney, udder and even testicles. Brave souls can also try out more adventurous dishes: Zabaan soup (tongue), Nalli nihari (marrow), Paya (trotters), Pichda (Oxtail) and Topa (Ox hump). Also known as a haven for people with a sweet tooth - have a taste of all things sugary and sweet. From flavoured phirnis to biscuits, khaja, sandal and sutarfeni (also called budhhi ke baal), we can proudly say that the ambience, hype and variety is one that should not be missed when in Mumbai.

Street Food At Mohammed Ali Road

Address: Mohammad Ali Road

Price: from 0.15 USD to 9 USD for the various food and drinks

Opening Hours: from 4pm - late

Access: near Bhindi Bazaar and Khetwadi, Mumbai-400003

Website: Street Food at Mohammed Ali Road

2. Admire the stunning Mughal Masjid

Built in 1860 by an Iranian merchant and now close to 156 years old, the Mughal Masjid sits in an oasis of calm with its well-manicured lawns and strikingly blue tiles. Immerse yourself in complete serenity and tranquillity - a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city outside. Maintained by a trust set up by the wealthy merchant’s family, this blue piece of Persia is more than just a place for worship. Marvel at the intricate tile designs, the vibrant and lively colours that make the blue tiles stand out, and the bright green pond filled with beautiful fishes. Truly stunning and almost one of the most picturesque attractions we have ever laid eyes on in India, be sure to bask in the glittering blue walls of this holy space whenever you have the chance.

Mughal Masjid

Address: Imamwada Road, Umerkhadi, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400009, India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: opens at 5am for morning prayers

Access: hidden in the bylanes of Umerkhadi in Mumbai

Contact: +91 94216 33859

Website: Mughal Masjid

3. Explore the 175-year-old Khotachiwadi

4. Marvel at the Haji Ali Mosque

Haji Ali Dargah Mumbai
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Shootatsightfoto used under CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the most recognisable landmarks of Mumbai visited by tourists of all religions alike is this sacred mirage floating off the coast in Mumbai. Built in the 19th century, the Haji Ali Mosque is an Indo-Islamic shrine which contains the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.). Legend has it that Ali died while on a pilgrimage to Mecca and his casket miraculously floated back to this exact spot. Though parts of the shrine are in a bad and dirty state, many still visit due to its striking white domes and minarets reminiscent of the Mughal architecture. The shrine might be more renowned amongst Muslims, but that doesn’t mean non-Muslims aren’t allowed to enter. The only way to visit the shrine is during low-tide; via a long causeway which leads up to the mosque complex, which many think looks similar to a Sea of Humanity.

Haji Ali Mosque

Address: Dargah Rd, Haji Ali, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: 5.30am - 10pm daily

Access: off V Desai Chowk

Contact: +91 22 2352 9082

Website: Haji Ali Mosque

5. A quick look at the Marine Drive (The Queen's Necklace)

Marine Drive Queens Necklace Mumbai
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pdpics used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Marine Drive is a stunning 3.5 kilometre-long boulevard which stretches north along the coastline, forming a natural bay. This C-shaped road has always been a top tourist attraction, where large crowds will often come to this place for a nice peaceful stroll. We recommend you come right before the sun is about to set, for the stunning crimson sky is a scenic beauty that can definitely set the mood for an enthralling experience. And why is the Marine Drive also known as ‘The Queen’s Necklace’? That’s because the glow from the many street lights give people an illusion that this bay is covered with a string of pearls, a sight that can only be captured at night from any elevated point along the pathway of the drive. An amazing place for people of all ages, do note that visitors can also conveniently access some of the major corporate centres, recreation activities, and places of entertainment from the Marine Drive.

Marine Drive (The Queen's Necklace)

Address: Marine Drive Jogging Track, Chowpatty, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400002, India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: open 24/7

Access: located in the middle of Chowpatty beach and Nariman Point

Contact: +91 89369 29154

Website: Marine Drive, The Queen’s Necklace

6. Have fun at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Within the northern fringes of suburban Mumbai lies the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, also known for being the biggest national park in the world within city limits. Decorated with flora and fauna to keep it as natural and lively as possible, this unique park is one of Asia’s most-visited parks in the world (with a whopping number of two million visitors annually). A pleasant change from the usual sights, attractions and glamour from the big city, be sure to keep your eyes open with some of the highlights in this lovely park. The 2,400-year-old Kanheri Cave complex and the Tulsi and Vihar Lakes that provide water to Mumbai city are just some examples. With nearly 800 varieties of flowering plants, 284 types of birds, 5,000 types of insects, 36 species of mammals, 50 kinds of reptiles and 150 species of butterflies found here; experience and explore nature like no other in this serene oasis of nature at its very best.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Address: Borivali East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400066

Price: from 0.53 USD per person for entry fee

Opening Hours: 7am - 6.30pm, closed on Mondays

Access: sub urban trains to Borivali are available on Western Railway every 5 minutes

Contact: 022 2886 0362 / 022-28860389

Website: Sanjay Gandhi National Park

7. Find out about the famous Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves Panorama
Source: Photo by user Vaikoovery used under CC BY 3.0

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, the Elephanta Caves are a complex of ancient cave temples on Elephant Island or Gharapuri in Mumbai Harbour. Visitors will have to embark on a one-hour ferry ride from the busy and hectic Mumbai city to arrive at this well-known destination. Though it is still unclear of how the magnificent sculptural and architectural feasts came about, many keen visitors still travel all the way to stand in awe of one of the most enigmatic heritage sites in India. Quiet and picturesque, with light-green foliage and monkeys lurking about, the temple caves have been maintained in honour of the God Shiva. Marvel at the remarkable sculptures of Shiva and learn more about the history of this mighty God; this historic attraction a beginner’s course for anyone interested in India’s rich history.

Elephanta Caves

Address: Gharapuri, Maharashtra 400094, India

Price: from 0.15 USD for Indian, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Thailand citizens. 3.67 USD for citizens from other countries not listed above

Opening Hours: 9am - 5.30pm. Closed on Mondays

Access: take a ferry from the Gateway of India, 3 USD for a one-way ferry ticket

Contact: +91 22 2204 4040

Website: Elephanta Caves

8. Tasty food at The Bombay Canteen

Located in a retreated old Mumbai bungalow sits The Bombay Canteen, a cafe by day and bar by night. The perfect place for anyone to enjoy a quick snack to a hearty lunch, a drink after a tiring day at work, or a family dinner with your loved ones, The Bombay Canteen is one that caters to all. A true Indian at heart with the creative juices for innovation and experimentation, The Bombay Canteen has successfully mastered the concept of making the past become the present. Most of the food are prepared with local seasonal ingredients showcased in a contemporary form. Some top favourites include the Black Pepper Head-On Prawns, Banana Leap Wrapped Roasted Fish and Tandoori Pork Square Ribs. Be swept away by the unique selection of re-imagined classic cocktails with firm Indian roots, a refreshing and never-tasted-before sensation like no other.

The Bombay Canteen

Address: Unit-1, Process House, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office, S.B. Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013, India

Price: from 0.59 USD for bar snacks

Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday 12pm - 1am, Tuesdays 7pm - 1am

Access: right in the heart of Lower Parel at Kamala Mills

Contact: +91 22 4966 6666

Website: The Bombay Canteen

9. Have a taste of the world's most yummiest veggie snack!

One of the tastiest dishes in Mumbai that you have to get inside your mouth is the Misal Pav, an award-winning dish crowned by Foodie Hub in 2015. This all-time favourite vegetarian dish is made with Pav (bread), Misal, a curry of peas, potatoes, chopped onion, tomatoes, topped with the crunchy farsan. Delighting guests for more than two decades and situated in a strategic location, the Aaswad Upahar Restaurant churns out almost 400 of this delicious dish every day. One of the reasons why this Misal Pav tastes better than others is because Aaswad uses good-quality farsan, an important point to take note for the farsan is usually the highlight of the entire dish. The spices used in the curry are also entirely home-made - a more tedious approach, but so much tastier.

Aaswad Upahar Restaurant

Address: Ground Floor, Wavda Building, LJ Road, Shivaji Park House, Ram Ganesh Gadkari Chowk, Dadar West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400028, India

Price: from 0.71 USD per plate

Opening Hours: 10am - 10.30pm daily, closed on Mondays

Access: located at Shivaji Park in Dadar West

Contact: +91 22 2445 1871

Website: Aswad Upahar Restaurant

10. Enjoy the tranquil Bandra Fort

Castella de Aguada 11
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nichalp used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Also known as the Castella de Aguada, the Bandra Fort was originally a Portuguese fort under the hold of the British during their ruling era. Now, this stunning oasis is the perfect spot for many who like to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a haven for photographers and historians alike. Offering a beautiful view of the calm blue-grey water swishing up the rocky banks, this lovely space is now frequented by many young couples due to its stellar ambience. Feel free to walk down to the base of the fort to admire the beautiful sea, or clamber up the fort gardens to explore what’s in store. There is also a cafe nearby if you are feeling hungry, and the plus point is that it also offers awesome sea views!

Bandra Fort

Address: Bandstand Road, Mt Mary, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: 6am - 7.30pm

Access: take a train to Bandra West or stop near Kala Nagar

Contact: +91 95940 80005

11. Discover beauty within the Gateway of India

Gateway of India 2013
Source: Photo by user Arjuncm3 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Constructed in 1924, the Gateway of India was built at Apollo Bunder (a popular meeting place then) to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. Now, this sacred spot is filled with tourists, photographers, and food vendors; a lively and vibrant scene that would be a shame to be missed out on. The monument is stunning - designed in an Indo-Saracenic style - and built in yellow basalt and indissoluble concrete. Be sure to spot the traces of Muslim architectural styles incorporated in the structure if you can! The most prominent features of the structure are the four turrets and the dusty steps that lead up to the Arabian sea - the vast and never-ending ‘blue blanket’ a calming and tranquil sight.

Gateway of India

Address: Peninsula at end of C. Shivaji Maharaj Marg, Mumbai (Bombay), India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: open 24/7

Access: 2.5 km from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal and 2.4 km from Churchgate

Contact: +91 94182 62963

Website: Gateway of India

12. Indulge in more good food at Ashok Vada Pav

An iconic dish famous in Mumbai, the Vada Pav only tastes the best when bought from Ashok Vada Pav. A vegetarian burger that has a potato cutlet stuffed in a fluffy, sweet bun, the Vada Pav is also combined with seasonings, chillies, and most importantly chutney, making it so much more than a typical vegetarian burger. Apart from its mouth-watering taste and fragrant aroma, the Vada Pav looks extremely beautiful too. The contrast between the golden crispy bits and green chutney makes the Vada Pav so much more appetising - no judgement given if you just can’t stop snapping. Be sure to top off this vegetarian glory with a couple of fried salted chilis (on self-service), and get ready for an explosion of flavour like no other!

Ashok Vada Pav

Address: Kashinath Dhuru Marg, Dadar West, Dadar, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400028, India

Price: from 1.76 USD for each burger

Opening Hours: 11am - 9.30pm daily, closed on Sundays

Access: off Cadel Road, Kirti College Lane, Prabhadevi

Contact: +91 22 2422 6423

13. Go for a Bollywood Tour!

Apart from its stunning architecture and yummy vegetarian snacks; Mumbai is also home to many famous Bollywood films. Get an in-depth understanding of the amazing world of film-making, with the help from the finest and most experienced Bollywood tourism agencies in Mumbai - Bollywood Tours. In the basic six-hour tour, gain perspective on the historical, technical and creative aspects of the film-making industry in India. Choose to upgrade to a nine-hour tour, and get to watch a Bollywood film at a famous theatre before relaxing at dinner afterwards. Take your pick of the most popular tours: the Film City Tour, the Zee Green Studio Private Tour, and the Bollywood with Slum tour. Please note that all tours include a coverage of entry fees, hotel pick-up and drop-off services, a professional driver with a private, air-conditioned vehicle, and a English-speaking guide.

Bollywood Tours

Address: 23, Manohar Das street, Opp CSTM Gpo Side, Fort,, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India

Price: different tours have different prices. Please check the website for more details

Opening Hours: 1am - 11.59pm daily

Access: tours will have a private bus come pick you up from your hotel/vacation rentals as that is part of the tour

Contact: +91-22-22668786 / +91 9619677886

Website: Bollywood Tours

14. Spend some time at the Vasai Fort

Main entrance to the Citadel at Vasai Fort
Source: Photo by user Gladson777 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

70 kilometres away from the city and tucked in the suburbs of Vasai lies the crumbling Vasai Fort. Originally built in 1536 by the Portuguese, this fort has been standing for over four centuries. A standing testimony of India’s diverse history, it is sad to hear that not many are interested and know about the history of such a magnificent sight, the main reason why there is an increase in guided tours around the fort. However, the fort turns into something darker and more mysterious at night, as drunkards, black-magic practitioners and prostitutes lurk around. Much neglected and almost in ruins, it is best to pay a visit to this historic beauty before it is gone. Look out for the holy church, Kambakth Ishq, Staircase to Heaven and the Hanuman temple right inside the fort. Popular English band Coldplay has also shot their music video for their award-winning song ‘Hymn For The Weekend’ here at the fort, and you can view it down below here:

Vasai Fort

Address: Killa Road, Police Colony, Vasai West, Vasai, Maharashtra 401201, India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: 4am - 11pm daily

Access: head to Vasia (West) Station before taking a rickshaw to Vasai Fort. Rickshaw should cost around 0.59 USD

Contact: +91 99872 78294

15. More extravagant architecture at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
Source: Photo by user Anoop Ravi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is not only a popular railway station but also a treasured UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in 1888, the station stands in Mumbai’s Central Business District and is designed with a Victorian-gothic theme in mind, but with a tinge of Mughal style architecture. Head to the entrance of the CST and be greeted by the figures of a tiger and lion - a representation of the two great countries India and Britain. The main structure is mainly made of sandstone and limestone, while the interiors of the station are lined with high-quality Italian marble. Boasting a total of 18 railway lines, the CST is also home to the main headquarters - the Star Chamber, grotesques and the North Wing.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station (CST)

Address: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India

Price: free admission for all

Opening Hours: Open 24/7

Access: taxis are recommended when heading to the CST (about 8 USD), as public transport can be very time-consuming

Contact: +91 83085 25725

Website: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station

More of Mumbai, please!

Get ready to meet many different faces and an eccentric range of personalities here in this lively city! Filled with dreamers and hard-labourers, A-list celebrities and gangsters, fishermen and millionaires… We aren’t kidding when we say this city has many different faces. Experience both sides of the spectrum with some of Asia’s biggest slums, right up to the houses of some extremely rich people. Whether you love it or find it too intense, keep your minds open and your wallets strapped - for you will never know what to expect in magnificent Mumbai.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.
This article has been endorsed by Mumbai local expert Piyali Sen

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Clara likes to spend her time daydreaming about countries she has never visited before, and while she is at it, exploring new cafes and cool spots in Singapore. She is passionate about reading and...Read more

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