Mumbai often referred through its former name Bombay is one of India’s most important cities. Indeed it is the country’s financial and commercial capital as well as a major artistic centre, home the world’s biggest film industry, commonly known as Bollywood. It is where some of India’s most powerful and richest entrepreneur implements their vision, right next to the country’s poorest in some of the planet biggest slums, where about half of the city population live. Mumbai, as a city of contrasts is definitely an understatement, with old and new, rich and poor, colonial heritage and Indian influence, skyscrapers and slums, constantly touching and overlapping each other. This mix of chaotic traffic, ancient bazaars, variety of religions and a melange of cultures, makes the city truly unique and definitely worth discovering. It is perhaps not for everyone, but for those looking for adventure it will be a life changing experience, once one will feel the unconventional pulse of the city, and start truly appreciate everything it has to offer.
Map of Mumbai
View the top sights and best rated hotels on our interactive map of Mumbai with a slideshow, full screen images and HD video.
Top 10 sights in Mumbai
As one of India’s primary business and tourist hub, Mumbai has an abundance of attractions most located around the central area of South Mumbai. The top 10 sights in Mumbai include:
- CST Station
- Kala Ghoda
- Town Hall
- Gateway of India
- Colaba Causeway
- Chowpatty beach
- Malabar hill
- Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
- Haji Ali
- Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat
The Victoria Station, officially known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or simply the CST station, centrally located in the heart of South Mumbai is one of the most impressive remains of the British colonial heritage. It was completed in 1888, designed by Frederick William and richly decorated with domes and arches in the Victorian Gothic tradition to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It is today, one of India’s most busy train station, as well as the headquarter of the Central Railway, with no less than 2 million passengers and over a thousand trains every day.
Kala Ghoda, located in South Mumbai’s Fort area, is often considered the city’s cultural epicentre, due to numerous museums and art galleries being based there. Indeed the district is home to the acclaimed Jehangir Art Gallery, the Prince of Wales Museum and the National Gallery, as well as numerous historic buildings such as the High Court, the Army and Navy building and the Rajabi Clock Tower. The Kala Ghoda name can be translated to Black Horse in reference to a statue once located at its heart.
The Town Hall located in the Kala Ghoda district and set in a remarkable building was first establish in 1804, the year the Literary Society of Bombay was formed. It is today classified as one of Mumbai’s heritage sights and famous for housing the Asiatic Society of Bombay, which helps promote useful knowledge about India.
Gateway of India
The Gateway of India, the grandiose Triumphal Arch with its honey coloured basalt is Mumbai’s most iconic landmark. It was built in 1911to commemorate the visit of Queen Mary, and later served as the welcoming sight for European boats during the British Raj. It is today one of the most important tourist destinations proudly sitting within Colaba’s waterfront, next to beautiful Tower Hotel and Taj Palace. The structure offers two imposing reception halls, as well as great view of the Sea. It has a lively atmosphere, day and night, often packed with various street vendors offering numerous products such as Indian tea and balloons.
The Colaba Causeway, officially the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road is perhaps Mumbai’s most famous commercial street packed with a variety of boutiques, cafes and restaurants. It goes from the southern Colaba to the Wellington Fountain in between the Fort area and Nariman Point.
Chowpatty beach located within the Girgaun area at the North Western tip of the Marine Drive is Mumbai’s most popular beach overlooking the Arabian Sea. It get especially crowded during the evening, when many locals come to sit down in the sand and relax. As for the Marine Drive, known as the Queen’s Necklace it is a famous arc-shaped coastal road going from Nariman Point in the East to Marine Drive to the West, passing by Churchgate, Marine Lines and Charni Road.
Malabar hill is southern Mumbai highest point at a height of 50 metres. It is famous for being home to the Walkeshwar Temple, the Tower of Silence and the Hanging Gardens. It is considered a very upmarket residential area of the central part of the city.
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
The Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum is one of Mumbai’s most sought after cultural desination, paying homage to one of India’s most celebrated figure. Located on Laburnum Road within the Gamdevi district, not far from Chowpatty beach, the multi stories mansion offers a variety of photo and painting galleries, a library and even the actual room where the Mahatma lived. The house once served as the epicentre of Gandhi’s political activities.
Haji Ali is a beautiful mosque and tomb, uniquely located on a small island in the middle of the Arabian Sea, within Mumbai’s western coast and accessible through a 500 yard long walkway during the low tide. It was establish by a Haji Ali in 1431, a Muslim merchant known to have given up all his wealth, shortly after pilgrimage to Mecca.
Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat
The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, a very large open air laundry is one of Mumbai’s most unique sight. It is where thousands of dhobis or washermen, literally do Mumbai’s dirty laundry, hand-washing hundreds of items a day in a concrete cubicle for a 100 rupees. Interestingly the craft is handed from generation to generation, and require immense physical strength. The laundry is located next to the Mahalaxmi railway station, not far from the Haji Ali mosque.
Best hotels in Mumbai
As one of India’s most important finance and business center, as well as the gateway to the southern tropical resorts of Goa and Kerala, Mumbai has an abundance of accommodations available, from its prestigious landmark-like Taj Mahal Palace or Oberoi, to smaller and more affordable hotels. One must keep in mind, that due to its strategic location, Mumbai has some of the most expansive accommodations compared to the rest of the country, but then again it is a small price to pay to be at the heart of one of the world’s most unique and vibrant cities.
Top 5 Stars hotels in Mumbai
The following are the best rated 5 stars hotels in the central part of Mumbai, especially around the Colaba region.
- The Taj Mahal Palace , 5 Stars hotel
- The Oberoi Mumbai, 5 Stars hotel
- Trident Nariman Point Mumbai, 5 Stars hotel
- Vivanta by Taj – President, 5 Stars hotel
- Marine Plaza, 5 Stars hotel
Top 3 Stars and budget hotels in Mumbai
Other great value for money hotels in Mumbai includes the 3 Stars Grand Hotel and the budget Travellers Inn accommodation, both conveniently located near the Victoria Station in the heart of the city center.
The following is a selection of some of Mumbai’s best photographs. It includes some of the city’s most important sites such as the Gateway of India, Colaba Causeway, Khala Ghoda, Chowpatty beach, Haji Ali and the Crawford Market.
The following is an HD Film about the best of Mumbai edited from the footage taken during our two days visit. It includes some of the city’s most important sites such as the Gateway of India, Colaba Causeway, Khala Ghoda, Chowpatty beach, Haji Ali and the Crawford Market.