Mumbai, this metropolitan city is best known for its contrasting features and diversity. From skyscrapers to slums, from 19th century buildings to 21st century, from temples to mosques to churches. This city in my opinion, can be called as a mini India, as people all over the country fascinated by this commercial capital come and live here. Mumbai can also be described as chaotic and overcrowded and it can be a little overwhelming especially if you’re visiting for the first time. However, I suggest you to at least spend a couple of days here to get real feel of the city. You might just like its vibe. Following are Best Places to Visit in Mumbai.
Best Places to Visit in Mumbai:
Gateway of India:
When we say Kuala Lumpur the twin towers come to mind, when we say Paris the Eiffel tower comes to mind likewise when we say Mumbai, the image of Gateway of India pops up in our mind. This is an Historic Arch and also the icon of this city. Riding a ferry or just strolling here is the favourite thing to do amongst tourists, travellers and even locals.
Elephanta Island :
You’ll have to Catch a ferry from Gateway of India and enjoy the Arabian sea for an hour or so as it takes you to this island. And it’s a pretty small island, can be covered in a couple of hours or even less. Things to do here? Explore the old sculptures and caves here and maybe shop for some gift items as a souvenir.
Marine Drive :
What I like the most about Mumbai is that it’s a coastal city. Marine Drive is the best Sea Face/Coastal Area you’ll find here. Spend your evening relaxing on these pavements as you take in the salty air. Watch the sun fade and the city lights illuminate.
Global Vipassana Centre (Pagoda):
Pagoda is a Buddhist temple. If you want to feel a bit more spiritual, calm your senses and mind then this is one of the place in the city. Best way to reach here is to rent an Ola/Uber or a private taxi for half a day which is more convenient and recommended or just take a ferry from Gorai creek (cheaper option).
Right Next to the Global Vipassana Pagoda and Essel World theme park is the Essel World Bird Park. Greet those colourful little rainbow parrots as they come and sit on your shoulders or head and play with your hair. Take pictures with those beautiful macaws or just watch all the other different species of birds including the black swan. It’s not a huge park but you can easily spend your half a day here. For more information about the timings and pricing visit this website: http://esselworldbirdpark.in/
Mumbai is also famous for it’s street food and what better place to experience it than at Juhu beach. Watch the waves crashing on the beach and Planes above flying to their onward destination. But you might want to avoid it during the weekends and holidays as it can get extremely crowded.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park:
If you want to experience greenery within Mumbai’s concrete jungle then this park is your option. Here you can spot monkeys and if you are lucky, a few deers as well. Also, there’s Kanheri Caves inside the park to explore. The entrance to this park is in Borivali east.
Another coastal area to watch the sunset and spend your evening at. Only this time you’ll get the view of the sea-link, a bridge that connects suburbs with the downtown.
Mt. Mary Church:
This is a well-known Church in Mumbai. Doesn’t matter if you are spiritual or not, doesn’t matter what your religion is, visit this holy Church for a quiet and peaceful time. You will find this Church close to Bandra fort.
Commuting: If you are planning to visit this city on your own then it has a lot of options for transportation, like local trains, autos, taxis and buses. Besides these there is a more convenient option for Uber or Ola. Cheapest being the local train but also one of the most crowded, which you might want to avoid during 7:30 am to 12.00 noon and 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm.
Weather: Best time to visit this city is from November end to February. Mumbai is pretty hot and humid for the rest of the year, with temperatures ranging around 30o – 35o. However, during monsoons it is prone to get flooded and so plan accordingly!
Shopping: Being a metropolitan city, there are many malls, markets all-round the city. Bandra linking road is one of these places which is preferred by many people for shopping. Fashion street in Colaba is also one of them. Malls like Infiniti and Palladium are an option.