Edited 08 February 2023 in Travel Wanderlust

Nine things you should definitely do on your next trip to Mumbai

Mumbai, also known as the city of dreams, is truly a remarkable holiday destination. It houses a plethora of cultural and historical sites while also featuring vibrant nightlife. The list of top Mumbai activities to enjoy in vacations is quite long. This city boasts eye-catching architecture, incredible Hindu and Buddhist caves, interesting museums, and much more. You will also find one of the most iconic landmarks of India, the Gateway of India, in Mumbai. This flamboyant city is also popular for being home to Bollywood and is among the most notable movie production centres on the planet.

Mumbai is a glamorous, fun and fast-paced city where you can have a number of unique experiences. Lying on the West Coast of India, this city never ceases to fascinate any traveller. 

History of Mumbai

Although Mumbai is today considered the entertainment hub of the country as well as the home of Bollywood, it was not always a centre of arts and entertainment. In fact, during the South Asian Stone Age, this bustling city was an archipelago of seven islands. Much later, recorded history has identified Mumbai to have been a part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BCE. Following this, in 150 CE, Mumbai was still a wonderful and prosperous amalgamation of the seven islands which was referred to by the Greek geographer Ptolemy as Heptanesia.

Here are some of the top activities to enjoy in Mumbai vacation -

With three UNESCO World Heritage sites and umpteen other tourist attractions, there are a lot of reasons to make Mumbai your next holiday destination.

1. Explore the Elephanta Caves in Mumbai

Located off the coast of the Arabian Sea, Elephanta Caves are one of the three UNESCO Heritage sites present in Mumbai. This architectural wonder is spread over an expanse of 60,000 sq feet. It features a collection of temples that have been sculpted over many generations. You will find a highly intriguing display of old rock-cut architecture here that celebrates Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. To visit this wonderful amalgamation of cultures set in stone, you simply need to take a ferry from the Gateway of India. This popular tourist attraction is open on all days except Mondays, from 09:00 to 17:30. The best part about visiting this interesting place is that the entry fee is only ₹10 for Indian citizens.

2. Take an evening stroll at Marine Drive in Mumbai

A trip to Mumbai will not be complete without a leisurely stroll by the Marine Drive. You can admire the azure sea and photogenic sunset views from this arc-shaped boulevard while soaking in some refreshing breeze. If you choose to take an evening walk along Marine Drive, then you will be greeted with the dazzling lights of the Mumbai skyline on one side and the shimmering waters of the Arabian Sea on the other.

3. Go for wildlife sighting at Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai

A visit to Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a must for any wildlife enthusiast or nature lover. You may spot mouse deer, Indian flying fox, leopards, spotted deer, four-horned antelope, jackals, and several other types of animals at this park. There are even options for going on a toy train ride, tiger safari and recreational boating. You may even choose to trek up to Kanheri caves and Gandhi tekdi. This park is open every day except on Mondays, from 07:30 to 18:30. The entry is absolutely free for children below the age of 5 yr.

Read more about - Wildlife Tourism: Fifteen best National parks in India for a memorable wildlife experience

4. Visit the Film City in in Mumbai 

The incredible Film City of Mumbai provides you with a chance to go on a Bollywood tour and experience it to the fullest. For many travellers, a visit to this enchanting place is among the top Mumbai activities to enjoy in vacations. After all, numerous iconic Bollywood movies have been shot here. On your visit to Mumbai Film City, you may also recognise some buildings and structures that you have probably seen in some of the most popular Bollywood movies. You can visit the Film City on any day of the week between 10:00 and 17:00. Moreover, there are several packages (between ₹599 and ₹1699) available here that give you a partial or complete tour of the film city.

5. Indulge in a food tour of Mumbai

Mumbai is a place for zero-guilt gastronomic indulgence. You will find a delightful spectrum of cuisines in this city, ranging from spicy street snacks to sinful sweet treats. A visit to Juhu Chowpatty will particularly be ideal for street food lovers. This buzzing food arcade features numerous street carts and food stalls that sell local delicacies like ragda patty, vada pav, misal pav, bhel puri, and more. There are multiple excellent restaurants and diners present throughout Mumbai, which you can also try out.

6. Have fun at EsselWorld in Mumbai

This is among the biggest and most thrilling amusement parks in India. It has a vast entertainment zone, with adventurous rides like Rio Grande Train, Crazy Cups, Hoola Loop and more. Essel World is particularly a great place to visit if you are visiting Mumbai with kids. This amusement park houses the oldest water park of India, known as the Water Kingdom, and has some fun rides like What-a-Coaster and Brat Zone.

7. Seek blessings at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai

Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, this is among India's most auspicious and revered temples. At the Siddhivinayak Temple, you will find a beautiful Lord Ganesha idol sculpted from a single black stone.

8. Engage in street shopping in Mumbai

Mumbai is absolutely a shopper's paradise. It has both lavish malls and street stalls where you can go on a shopping spree. Located in the heart of the city, Colaba Causeway is a perfect place to explore for any person fond of street shopping. You will get the chance to shop for numerous types of items here, starting from home décor pieces to gorgeous accessories and clothes. Alongside the street stalls, you can also find the showrooms of some popular brands.

9. Marvel at the hanging garden in Mumbai

Located on the top of Malabar Hill, this terrace garden was built way back in 1880. This awe-inspiring garden is adorned by lush green vegetation and animal-shaped hedges and offers a spectacular bird's eye view of the Arabian Sea.

Other places to visit in Mumbai

  • Gateway of India- This historic monument is also an iconic structure in Mumbai and as a result, draws in a large number of tourists throughout the year. This monument that stands as evidence of the dark colonial past of India, was built by George Willet in honour of the first visit of British King George V and his Queen Mary to Mumbai in 1924. This towering monument is strategically located beside the luxurious Taj Hotel in Mumbai and overlooks the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea. It is open 24 hr a day throughout the year and has no entry fee, making it the perfect place to visit with your family.

Read more about - An Ode to India's Freedom: 8 Historical Monuments to Visit during Republic Day

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus- The biggest railway station in Mumbai, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) was built in 1888 and is also one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. With its magnificent Victorian-style architecture, CST is not just a railway station but also a popular tourist attraction that you should not miss on your visit to Mumbai. Since it is a major railway station, it is open 24 hr and has no entry fee, making it one of the most visited historic sites for tourists in Mumbai.

Read more about - Fifteen UNESCO World Heritage sites in India you should visit at least once

  • Haji Ali Dargah- This massive Islamic place of worship is not just revered by devout Muslims but has also become one of the most popular places to experience blissful spirituality. Located on a tiny island-like structure a few metres off the shore of Mumbai, Haji Ali Dargah sits with a backdrop of the majestic Arabian Sea. This divine structure is so popular that on a single day you can easily find at least 10,000 tourists either visiting this iconic landmark or paying their respects to Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.
  • Juhu Beach- The 6 km-long stretch of Juhu Beach makes it the perfect picnic spot for you and your family. On your next visit to Mumbai, you might as well spend a lazy relaxing day at Mumbai’s largest beach. Moreover, you have the benefit of rows of street food stalls that surround this beach, making it a one-stop destination for foodies as well. Juhu Beach also serves as one of the best sunset viewing points. And during the golden hour, it often becomes a photographer’s paradise.

Travel tips

Even after you have noted the top Mumbai activities to enjoy in vacations, you must pay heed to a few tips to truly have a comfortable and hassle-free holiday experience in the city. 

  • Packing essentials: It is best to travel light while visiting Mumbai for commuting convenience. The clothes you need to pack will depend on the time of your visit. For example, if you are visiting Mumbai during winters, you will need a couple of full sleeve clothes. Woollen sweaters are not needed as the city does not experience severe winters. On the flip side, for the summers, it is smart to pack light, cotton clothes. You also need to pack comfortable shoes and bathroom slippers for a visit. Do not forget to carry an umbrella, as Mumbai is prone to unpredictable showers.
  • Public transport: Mumbai is a well-connected city where you can find a varied range of public transport options, and hence you will not face any problems while visiting any of its top vacation highlights. However, most of the public transports can be pretty crowded during peak hours, especially on the weekdays. Hence, you need to plan your travel itinerary accordingly. If you are travelling on a tight budget, taking monorails and the metro would be the ideal public transportation option. The BEST buses are also pretty affordable. If your budget is on the higher side, then you can always opt for app-based cabs or the typical yellow and black taxis. During your stay in the city, you must try to go on a boat ride at least once. Ferries are undoubtedly the way to experience the island city and the mainland.
  • Accommodation: As one of India's most prominent holiday destinations, there is no dearth of hotels and resorts in the city. You can find accommodation options in Mumbai for any budget range. While you can enjoy the views of the gorgeous Marine drive at some hotels, many others are equipped with amenities like fine-dining restaurants and recreational facilities.
  • Bargain: You need to be prepared to bargain while making purchases at the local bazaars and street stalls of Mumbai, as many of them are prone to throwing exorbitant prices at tourists. You can always check with any fellow local customer if you feel that you are being unreasonably charged for any item.
  • Water: It is smart to stick to bottled water. However, you must see to it that the packaging of the water bottle is intact before purchasing it.

How to reach Mumbai?

  • By Railways: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST station is the most popular station in Mumbai. Trains to this station are available from almost all major cities of India. Mumbai Duronto, Mumbai Rajdhani and Konkan Kanya Express are some of the most popular trains for this city. Wherever you are in India, you can always find a long-distance train to the CST railway station in Mumbai.
  • By Airways: The fastest way to reach Mumbai is always by air and there are several non-stop as well as connecting flights operated by IndiGo that fly to Mumbai from several cities across India. Mumbai Airport is also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and has two terminals, one dedicated to domestic flights, and the other for international flights.
  • By Road: Mumbai is quite well-connected with multiple expressways and highways. When travelling by road, you can take the several national highways that connect the four major metropolitans of India - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. However, if you are travelling from any other non-metro city in India, there are umpteen state highways as well that connect to the National Highway (NH) 48.

Weather conditions & best time to visit Mumbai

With so many reasons to visit the entertainment hub of India, you may be planning your trip already. To have the best experience of the top Mumbai activities to enjoy in vacations, you need to plan your trip as per the local climate. 

  • During the summer months of March to May, Mumbai experiences extremely hot and humid summers. This makes it a lean season to travel and even if you do visit during this time, you will not be able to experience all that Mumbai has to offer with comfort and ease.
  • In the monsoon months of June to September, Mumbai receives heavy showers. If you wish to visit some of the hill stations near Mumbai, then this is the perfect time to do so.
  • The winter months of October to February are considered the most favourable time to visit Mumbai. The temperatures during this time are within the range of 10 to 35°C which makes exploring Elephanta and Kanheri caves, walking along Marine Drive, and even trotting through the Film City a pleasurable experience. 


Mumbai is the perfect place to visit and explore India’s vibrant culture and urban lifestyle. It features a hearty stew of religions, customs and cuisine, and hence planning a visit to this city for your next holiday will definitely be a great idea. 

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