10 things to do in Mumbai to explore the city like a true local
There is so much that has already been written about Mumbai, but romanticising the city is still so easy and effortless. The city of dream, the ‘mayanagari’, the city that never sleeps — Mumbai has been given many names, but only a few are lucky enough to experience its magic like a true local. Yes, the clichés like sitting at the Marine Drive or eating a Vada Pav never get old, but Mumbai has always something new and so much more to offer. The bustling streets, the crowded bars, and the people rushing to catch the local — the city is always on the go and there are so many things you can do here.
What’s great about travelling to Mumbai is that it’ll keep you busy throughout the day. There’s a possibility that you might come to the end of your trip, but there would be so many things still left to explore in the city. From historic walks to iconic old theatres, from local shopping markets to world cuisine — the list of things to do in Mumbai is endless. And, we don’t want you to miss the local experience on your next visit. We have curated an easy, fun itinerary to help.
Best things to do when you are in Mumbai next
We will leave the obvious bits out of our ‘Things to do in Mumbai’ list, hoping that you’d already be exploring it on your own. To reiterate, don’t forget to watch the sunset at Bandstand and take a picture in front of Shah Rukh Khan’s house. Do sit and talk to your friends for hours at Marine drive, have an ice cream sandwich at K Rustoms, and eat at Bade Miyaan.
Explore the historic area around The Gateway of India and visit the beautiful beaches of Mumbai. If you are spiritual, don’t forget to get blessings from Bappa (Lord Ganesha) at the Siddhivinayak temple and visit other religious places in the city as well. Do all this while enjoying a scrumptious meal at one of the best restaurants in Mumbai.
Have breakfast at an Irani cafe
A great day begins with a hearty breakfast, and not many things beat a good Irani breakfast. Mumbai boasts of several legendary Irani cafes including everyone’s favourite Kyani & Co. It is one of the oldest Parsi cafes, transporting you to another era. Enjoy the bun maska, Irani chai, keema pav, brownie and the famous soda when at Kyani & Co.
Address: JSS Road, Jer Mahal Estate, Opposite Metro Cinema, Marine Lines, Mumbai
Contact: +91 8928616793
Timings: 07:00 am – 07:00 pm
Cost for two: INR 300 approximately
Bargain your heart out at the Colaba Causeway market
If you want to challenge your bargaining skills and find some really cool stuff while doing it, then rush to the Colaba Causeway market. From chunky jewellery to crystals, you will find anything and everything in this market. Spot the antique stores and historic cafes of Colaba while you cover the market, and learn about the history of the iconic area. The famous Leopold cafe is located in this lane.
How to reach: You can either take a cab or get down at Church Gate or CST railway station to reach here.
Timings: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Explore the mural of Chapel Road
Mumbai is a holy abode for many creative people, and they give it back to the city in one way or another. If you are a fan of street art and murals, then the Chapel road area should surely be on your list of things to do in Mumbai. Murals of iconic stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Rajesh Khanna will be staring right at you. Explore this area on foot and stop for a delicious coffee at Subko.
Plan a trip to Imagica with your kids or friends
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There are so many things to do with your kids or your friends in Mumbai. There are so many amusement parks, bowling alleys, and arcades but it’s quite exciting to take a trip to Imagica. The amusement park is just a few hours away from the city and offers some of the best rides. Enjoy the scenic view of the hills on your way to Imagica. There are many places to visit near this area during monsoon in Mumbai, so a staycation is always a good idea.
Address: 30/31 Sangdewadi, SH92, near Lonavala, Khalapur, Maharashtra
Timings: 10:30 am – 07:00 pm
Cost: Starting from INR 999 per person for Theme Park; Starting from INR 699 per person for Water Park
Enjoy a day on a yacht with your partner
Amongst the many things that couples can do in Mumbai, a private yacht ride is one of the most romantic options. Cruise along the shores of the Arabian Sea while spending some cosy moments with your partner. The added bonus is the delicious meal that you can enjoy while witnessing the mesmerising view of Mumbai’s perfectly lit skyline.
Cost: INR 6000 onwards
Indulge in wildlife spotting at Sanjay Gandhi National Park
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You will always find calm corners in this concrete jungle. One of the best things to do to run away from the Mumbai hustle is to visit the Sanjay Gandhi National park. Situated in the city centre, this forest park could be on your list of fun things to do over the weekend. House to wild animals like porcupines, Palm civet, black-naped hare, spotted deer, and different species of birds, you will get to spot many animals while your way up. Once you reach the top by cycle or foot, you will spot a whole set of Buddhist caves named the ‘Kanheri Caves’. Sit and enjoy the view of the city from the top. It is one of the places to visit during monsoon.
Address: Western Express Hwy, Borivali East
Timings: 07:30 AM – 05:30 PM (closed on Mondays)
Cost: INR 55 per person
Enjoy the calm serene beaches of Alibaug
Mumbai offers some of the best places to visit and things to do with your friends, for kids and couples. A quick trip to Alibaug is one of them. The small coastal town is known for its beaches, villas, and beautiful scenery. One can enjoy water sports like parasailing, banana boating, jet skiing and speed boating there. Popular as ‘mini-Goa’, the town also offers some really amazing food including delicious seafood thalis. Relax at the end of the day at the beautiful beaches of Alibaug.
Best time to visit: November to March
Ideal duration: 1-2 days
Cycle around South Bombay
There are a lot many places to visit in South Mumbai, and the best way to explore this area is on a cycle. Rent a bike and visit the busy lanes of Crawford market or Azad Maidan and watch the majestic Bombay high court. Cycle around like a local and watch fishermen at the Sasson docks. Spot the iconic Asiatic library, the old buildings of Fort, the Bombay Stock Exchange building, the Flora Fountain and Kala Ghoda area, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and Nariman Point on cycle.
Visit the encapsulating museums and art galleries of Mumbai
Mumbai is home to many museums and art galleries. The not-to-be-missed ones are Jehangir art gallery, Project 88, Tasveer, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, RBI Monetary Museum, B.E.S.T Museum and more.
Catch a play at Prithvi Theatre
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A play at Prithvi Theatres must definitely be on your list. Built by Shashi Kapoor in 1978, Prithvi Theatre offers some of the best plays to watch. You may find many Bollywood stars acting in these plays as well. Prithvi Café on the theatre premises is a popular meeting place for artists and art lovers. Don’t leave without trying Irish coffee here.
Address: 20, Juhu Church Rd, Janki Kutir, Juhu
Contact: 022 26149546
Timings: 01:00 pm to 09:00 PM
Cost for tickets: Starting from INR 200
Hero Image: Courtesy Gemini Pro Studio/ Shutterstock; Feature Image: Courtesy Kishore J/Shutterstock
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