Mumbai: The City of Dreams
Mumbai is by far the most popular city of India. Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the “land of opportunities” for Indians. With a mix of cultures and a vibrant economy, this city is known to have something for everybody. Hence, it is no surprise that Mumbai is commonly known as ‘The City of Dreams’. Mumbai is India’s own New York City , bustling day and night with life. Mumbai offers visitors unique sight as well as a taste of the world’s most prolific film industry (Bollywood). All these come together and give a massive city with nearly 20 million inhabitants- and with lot to explore and wander like never before.
Mumbai experiences a rich influx of tourists throughout the year. This city offers a mix of everything. From beaches to hills, historical monuments to ultra modern architecture, it has it all. It also provides one of the most happening nightlife and a glitzy-glamour filled lifestyle in India. Therefore, it involuntarily becomes the first stop on the list of places to be visited around the country.
Mumbai has a typical subtropical climate. Winter is an unknown identity in these lands. However, it tends to get sticky and humid during the summer months. Hence, it should be avoided during the months of May to June. The rainy season is another time during which it becomes difficult to explore all the areas. Therefore, the best time to visit Mumbai is during the months of September to April.
Gateway of India – By far the most iconic structure of Mumbai, this archway was built in 1924 during the British rule. The Gateway of India makes for a great first stop for all wanderlust people exploring the city. The beautiful and magnificent gate has very well-designed pillars which remain strong till this day. Boating in the Arabian Sea is quite popular in the area, with the starting point being in the vicinity of this architectural marvel.
Marine Drive – This beautiful 3 kilometer long road is famous for having the Arabian Sea all along on one side. The curved shape of this road, combined with the beautiful lighting at night that looks like diamonds, has earned Marine Drive the title of ‘Queen’s Necklace’. A drive on this road is surreal and makes you feel as though you are in a different place altogether. The road is lined with a lot of classy eating joints which are very popular all over Mumbai.
Colaba forms the southernmost part of Mumbai. Around the east coast is the iconic Gateway of India next to the famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which was one of the victims in the 2008 terrorist attack (called 26/11). Colaba Causeway- a touristy road with many shops, restaurants along with the famous Leopold cafe is a must see.
More things to see in South Mumbai: CST railway station, BMC building, Choupatty, Kala Ghoda etc and the list is endless.
Street Shopping – Possibly, the greatest crowd pullers in Mumbai are the well-renowned street markets. Out of the many markets lining various streets all over the city, the ones deserving a special mention are – Crawford Market, Alpha Market, Colaba Causeway, Linking Road and Fashion Street. They are famous for providing everything that you could dream of. Be it fashionable jewellery, stylish clothes, electronic items or even home decor items, these markets have it all. As far as locally manufactured goods are concerned, Khadi clothes, traditional Marathi handicrafts and Sarees are a definite buy. Another speciality of this region are leather goods like jackets and purses.
Tip – Sellers hike prices upon seeing foreigners. Be wary of them. Nothing costs more than 500 to 600 rupees on these streets.
Beaches – A beach in the middle of the city, how good does that sound? Well, Mumbai not only makes it sound good, but also makes it feel amazing. Populated by thousands of people every day, the Mumbai beaches are a very happening spot. The most popular beaches are – Juhu Beach, Girgaon Chowpatty, Band Stand, Worli Sea Face and Carter Road– are packed to the hilt throughout the year. The roadside food stalls, live shows and interactive activities make it truly a memorable experience. And if you want to go away from the crowd and want some peace, then the quieter beaches are– Manori beach, Anjuna beach, Rajodi beach, Aksa beach, Silver beach, Marve beach – are best to be visited all alone and explored.
Food – Mumbai is a forerunner where regional food specialties are concerned. There are so many dishes worth trying. Though the most famous one is ‘Vada Pav’. It is a different kind of potato cutlet stacked within a bun, eaten with chilies and spices. Having Bhel Puri, Sev Puri or Pani Puri from the streets of Mumbai is the best experience you can have. If you’re unsure about hygiene then buy a regular vada pav from the Jumbo King chain located just outside any railway station. Also, don’t don’t miss out on the food at Mahesh Lunch Home. A trip to Mumbai is incomplete without a bite of these delicious and mouth-watering delicacy.
Transportation – Mumbai is undoubtedly crowded and stuffed with traffic, but even then a civilised city (people will kill me after reading this and consider it a lie :P). Getting in and around is simple if few rules are religiously followed. The excellent public transport network is easily accessible and fairly cheap. Those big red double-decker buses, the black-and-yellow taxis are efficient and convenient to get you to any place. But Local trains are said to be the lifeline of Mumbai, as over half a million make their way to their destinations.
And if you are not in a hurry, you can even have an auto rickshaw ride to your destination. These auto rickshaws can be seen in suburbs of Mumbai. The skilled drivers will zip their way out through the narrow lanes. Comparatively cheaper than taxis, these can also be considered as an option to commute in Mumbai.
Temples – Mumbai is also very high on the religious quotient. It boasts of some of the most famous temples all over India. The temples that deserve a special mention are – Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumba Devi Temple and ISKON Temple. They considered to be very powerful.
Festivals – Being such a popular city, it is but obvious that Mumbai is inhabited with people of all religions and cultures. Hence, all the possible festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the year. The most extravagantly celebrated festival, however, is the Ganesh Chaturthi (in the month of September). Visiting during this time, makes the unforgettable experience a bit more special.
Explore More – If Mumbai in itself is not enough, this city has infinite options that can be explored along. A road trip on the famous Mumbai-Pune Expressway is a great idea and worth the drive. It has a plethora of hill stations like Lonavala and Khandala, Alibaug, Ahmednagar, Mahableshwar and Panchgini .along it, where one can spend hours in the lap of nature. Another great option is to take a boat ride to the Elephanta Caves and dive into rich and beautiful history.
Thus, it is quite evident why Mumbai has such a high stature. With so many things to do and so much to witness, a visit here is a must for every ardent traveler. Its magnetic attraction and an unparalleled charm is bound to make it difficult to leave Mumbai, once you have seen it.
Where to Stay:
One of your biggest travel expenses and time-consuming tasks is booking accommodation, and we all want to save time and hopefully some money when searching for deals online.
Whilst there are plenty of websites these days to help you search for accommodation, some are more trustworthy than others, and some are easier to navigate than others.
I’m sure you are already familiar with Booking.com, they are my all time favourite with lot of different types of accommodation you can book on their website: Hotels, Apartments, Resorts, Villas, B&B and Guesthouses.
In my opinion, not only are they are the best hotel booking site, but the best accommodation website.
And if the above options aren’t enough for your style or budget, you can even book Lodges, chalets, luxury tents, campsites and more.
It is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to list or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms.
Unforgettable trips start with Airbnb.
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So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time to visit “Aamchi Mumbai (Our Mumbai)” ?