Things to do in MumbaiCreated by Schnel Sequeira,
Last Updated on September 29, 2023
More dreams are realized and extinguished in Bombay than any other place in India – Gregory David Roberts
Mumbai, Bombay, or the city of dreams, the bustling metropolis on the west coast of India has many names. Named by the Portuguese Bom Bahia, meaning the good bay, the English pronounced the name as Bombay.
The government changed the name officially in 1996 to Mumbai, named after the local deity Mumba Devi. The city is the home of around 20 million people, the economic and commercial centre of the country, and always worth a visit!
Massive decorated Ganeshas are brought to the sea to be submerged in the water.
Here is a list of the top things to do in Mumbai
Gateway of India
This unofficial icon of Mumbai has a historic significance for the whole country. Opposite of the Taj Mahal palace you will find yourself in front of a triumphal arc facing the sea which is dotted with all kinds of boats.
You can enjoy the views of the Gateway, the Taj Mahal Hotel and the beautiful Mumbai coastline by taking a ride in the ferry! Tickets are available at the counter, located a couple of metres away from the entrance to the monument.
These ferries are subject to weather conditions, especially in Monsoon (July-September) the services are halted when it rains!
VISITING HOURS: All-day, Ferry rides – 09:00 to 17:00 hours
ESTIMATED TIME: 15-30 mins
COST: Free, Ferry ride cost INR 110 per person.
Gateway of India (Photo Credit Ketan Saptasagare)
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel MUMBAI
The iconic luxury hotel with a sea view in Colaba represents the wealth of the city. Built-in 1903 by the industrialist Tata after he was denied access to some European hotels in the area, the Taj is an inherent part of Mumbai’s identity.
Right opposite of the Gateway of India, this iconic hotel has hosted every one of distinction in the last century, amongst them freedom fighters during the struggle for independence, rock stars, queens and kings.
If you are not a guest at the hotel, don’t hesitate to take a glance inside! You can easily enter the hotel and have a look around the luxurious lobby, grab a bite in one of the various restaurants.
Right across the entrance, you can also have a look at the small monument, which has the names of the armed forces who sacrificed their lives in the 2008 terrorist attack engraved on them.
VISITING HOURS: All days
ESTIMATED TIME: 15-20 mins
Read More: Luxury Hotels in India
Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai (Photo Credit Mihir Upadhyay)
Kala Ghoda is the city’s art district with small lanes with numerous museums, art galleries, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. To name only a few of the prestigious cultural institutions: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya or Prince of Wales Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery, DAG, Gallery MMB and Method Art Space.
The greatest highlight is the Kala Ghoda Art Festival, an annual week-long event in February which represents the spirit of the area. If you are in town make sure you drop by and enjoy all the events and shows. Another fascinating sight is the Keneseth-Eliyahoo-Synagogue which is still used by the decreasing Jewish community.
You can not miss it since it is a beautifully restored and maintained blue and white building. The tiny streets surrounding this place are lined with a variety of cafès and eateries if you wish to grab a quick bite!
VISITING HOURS: 10:00 to 17:30 hours
ESTIMATED TIME: 20-40 mins
Sassoon Dock MUMBAI
An adventurous early-morning highlight in Colaba is the Sassoon Dock, north of the Gateway of India. An impressive gate leads you to one of the oldest docks in Mumbai which was built in 1875 by the Jewish merchant Sassoon.
From around 5 am you can witness a fascinating spectacle. The before empty and dark dock now transforms into a bustling fish market. The Koli fishermen (actually the original inhabitants of the coast of Maharashtra) unload their catch and eager buyers from high ranking restaurants and local stalls are already waiting to make a good catch themselves.
The Bombil fish might be the celebrity amongst the various kinds of fish because it is used for the famous dish ‘Bombay Duck’. An unbelievable 20 tons of fish are sold in auctions on the dock itself every day, and you will see a wide variety of them being transported and sold if you wander to take a look.
VISITING HOURS: All days from 05:00 – 09:30 hours
ESTIMATED TIME: 15-30 mins
Ariel view of Sasson docks (Photo Credit – eutrophication&hypoxia)
Asiatic Library & Horniman Circle
Located right next to the cathedral, is the garden of ‘Horniman Circle’. Although rather simple and small, it stands as an icon representing an important part of Mumbai history. It is considered the birthplace of Mumbai city, as it was the first and only trading post for cotton and opium traders in its time, two major trades which paved the way for the city’s development to an important finance and trade capital it is today!
You can simply walk through the centre of the garden, and exit on the other side. As you stand at the exit, right across the street, you will see the tall majestic white building of the Asiatic Society. An impressive neo-classical structure, this is actually the Town Hall of Bombay, that houses the Asiatic Society and Library, which forms part of the network of institutions created by the British.
The exterior is rather beautiful, a pure white structure against the blue skies, towering Doric columns (actually made in Great Britain and later transported and erected in Mumbai) and rows of steps leading up to the library! If you are here in the evening, you can sit on the steps and relax, a favourite activity of locals!
VISITING HOURS: Asiatic Library: All days, Horniman Circle Garden: 10:00-19:00 hours
ESTIMATED TIME: 15-20 mins
Bombay Stock Exchange & St. Thomas Cathedral
Established in 1875, the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) is Asia’s oldest stock exchange and currently the world’s 10th largest stock exchange! It was founded by Premchand Roychand, an influential.
The first location of the earliest stockbroker meetings in the 1850s was in a much more natural setting — under banyan trees &m