The city of Mumbai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and offers a rich mix of historical attractions, cultural heritage, shopping, dining and modern entertainment. The city has a wide range of accommodation options that suit all types of travelers, from budget-class hostels to luxurious five-star hotels. This post tells, together with my photographs, which are the best attractions and sights in Mumbai, India.
Mumbai is especially known for its lively artistic and cultural atmosphere. It is the home of Bollywood, India’s Hindi-language film industry, and offers numerous opportunities to see, for example, film production up close. The city also has several art museums, galleries and cultural centers such as Jehangir Art Gallery, National Center for the Performing Arts and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.
Mumbai’s food culture is one of its biggest attractions. The city’s street food, which includes favorites like pav bhaji, vada pav and bhel puri, is definitely worth a try. As a complementary contrast to the street food, the city also has several high-end eateries serving both international and Indian gourmet cuisine.
Mumbai’s shopping options range from traditional markets such as Colaba Causeway and Chor Bazaar to large malls and designer stores.
Mumbai is also a gateway to many other points of interest in Western India. For example, the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just a short ferry ride off the coast of Mumbai. In addition, beautiful and historic Pune is easily accessible by train or car.
It is good to note that Mumbai is a very busy and densely populated city where the traffic can be intense and the noise level high. It can be a bit confusing for first-timers, but it’s also part of the city’s unique charm.
Best sights in Mumbai
Mumbai is said to be the city that never sleeps, but in my experience, it is quite quiet there at 3 o’clock at night. I would not like to take a taxi there at that time. Otherwise, Mumbai is known as a place where history, culture and modern lifestyle meet to create a colorful and vibrant environment. The city attracts tourists from all over the world, offering them unique and joyful experiences.
- Gateway of India: The Gateway of India is a monument that was completed in 1924 and is one of the most iconic landmarks of Mumbai. The monument is located at Apollo Bunder, also known as Wellington Pier, and is a popular tourist attraction. The Gateway of India was built in honor of the visit of the UK’s King George V. A ferry to Elephanta Caves also runs near the gate.
2. Marine Drive: Marine Drive is a 3.6-kilometer coastal road that curves right along the shores of the Arabian Sea. It is especially popular at sunset, and it is nicknamed the “Queen’s Necklace” due to the lighting that resembles a string of pearls. You can see a lot of local people sitting along Marine Drive especially at sunset.
3. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST): Mumbai’s busiest railway station is known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The station’s magnificent Gothic-style architecture is a sight in itself, and the traffic flowing past the station is incredible and must be experienced with your own eyes.
4. Elephanta Caves: Elephanta Caves are located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several sculptures in the caves, many depicting the life of the Hindu god Shiva.
5. Colaba Causeway: One of the most popular shopping areas in Mumbai is the Colaba Causeway in the southern tip of Mumbai, where you can find everything from jewellery to vintage art and antiques.
6. Juhu Beach: One of the most popular beaches in Mumbai is Juhu Beach, which also has a lot of street vendors selling various local delicacies.
7. Bollywood: Mumbai is also home to India’s Hindi language film industry, Bollywood. Many of its studios offer tours where you can see the film production process and sometimes even Bollywood celebrities. You can read more about Bollywood in my e-book INDIVUE – Trip to Bollywood.
8. Bandra-Worli Sea Link: An impressive bridge connecting the Bandra and Worli areas of Mumbai. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge offers a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea and is especially spectacular when lit up in the evening and night time.
9. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya: The museum, also known by its earlier name Prince of Wales Museum, is one of the most prominent museums in India. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum was opened in 1922 and renamed in 1998. This large museum showcases the art and history of Mumbai and India, but the architecture of the museum building is also an attraction in itself. It was designed by British architect George Wittet and built in the Indo-Saracenic style, combining elements of Gothic, Hindu and Islamic architecture.
10. Dhobi Ghat: The world’s largest outdoor laundry, dhobi ghat, is a place where hundreds of people wash and dry clothes every day. It is a unique insight into the life of the city.
Other famous attractions in Mumbai
Mumbai is full of various attractions that represent the city’s rich culture and history. Here are some more of Mumbai’s well-known attractions:
- Haji Ali Dargah: One of Mumbai’s most important Islamic landmarks, the Haji Ali Dargah is a popular pilgrimage site and mausoleum located on a small island off the coast of Worli.
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park: One of the few national parks located within a major city is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It offers green spaces, wildlife and even Stone Age cave paintings.
- Siddhivinayak Temple: This is one of the most famous Hindu temples in Mumbai, dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple attracts thousands of devotees every day.
- Jehangir Art Gallery: One of the prominent art galleries in Mumbai, Jehangir Art gallery showcases the works of contemporary artists.
- Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk): This is a historical fountain located in the southern part of the city, which is now one of the major landmarks of Mumbai.
- Nehru Planetarium: Popular destination for both children and adults, Nehru Planetarium offers spectacular star shows and lots of information about space science.
- Mani Bhavan: Gandhi’s home in Mumbai, Mani Bhavan, is now converted into a museum. It showcases Gandhi’s life and work for India’s independence.
- Chor Bazaar: This is one of Mumbai’s most famous markets, offering a wide range of products such as antique furniture, vintage electronics, and original artwork.
- Fashion Street: This is one of the most popular shopping spots in Mumbai. It is a street-side market with over 150 stalls offering affordable clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories.
- ISKCON Temple: This is a large temple of Krishna consciousness community located in Juhu district. The temple offers a peaceful environment and its restaurant serves delicious vegetarian food.
- Mumbai High Court: Historic building built in the Gothic style, Mumbai high court is one of the highest judicial institutions in India.
- Bandra Bandstand: Located in the Bandra area, the popular Bandra Bandstand is a pedestrian area with a magnificent view of the Arabian Sea. Homes of famous Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan’s and Salman Khan’s houses can also be found in the area.
You can read this post also in Finnish: Mumbain parhaimmat nähtävyydet.
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