Mumbai, India's city of Dreams. Best things to do and See...
Mumbai, previously known as Bombay is one of the most populous and biggest cities of Maharashtra. Mumbai is also popular as the entertainment and financial capital. It is the largest city of India and its called the city of dreams. It is a place filled with dreamers and people who work hard day and night to achieve their dreams. From struggling actors, laboureres, Bollywood stars to gangsters. Mumbai is home to one of the biggest slum area as well as home to the richest and so it is only fair to describe Mumbai as a city for all.
Where to stay:
Before visiting Mumbai, it is wise to decide where to stay. The tourist center is beautiful, but outside this areas you quickly end up in neighborhoods where you don't actually want to stay. Our opinion is that you should choose the neighborhoods "Fort" and "Colaba". These are the areas where the tourist attractions can be found, as well as nice restaurants and bars.
Fortunately, public transport is also well organized. Yellow taxi cars drive in the city center, and rickshaws are available outside the center. Both run by meter or by means of a pre-agreed total amount. You also have good bus connections, and our favorite was the train. Tickets are for sale on every platform for extremely cheap rates. 2nd class costs about 5 to 10 INR per person. So you can get to all the attractions very easily, our favorite hotspots were:
Sanjay Gandhi National Park:
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is an 87 km2 protected area in Mumbai. the park is located about 30km above the touristic center of Mumbai and it was established in 1969. It is a beautiful park, but more of a human park than an animal park. Given its location, it gets very busy here with an annual visit of over 2 million visitors. The park can be reached very easily by train, and the entrance is within walking distance from Baravali East station.
Entrance to the park will cost you 77 INR per person. If you bring your camera, it will cost 214 INR, but please note: a tourist's camera costs 429 INR, do you still get it haha? At this price you can visit the park, you also have some beautiful botanical gardens and a well set up information center for the protection of cats, very good! You can also do a Tiger and Lion safari afterwards, but please note: You will drive past these cats in a cage with a bus, so do not expect to encounter an adventurous safari. We have not done this because we prefer to see the cats free.
Something we definitely recommend within the park is a visit to the 2400 year old Kanheri caves, carved by Buddhist monks from the rocky basalt cliffs. We found this to be the most impressive location in the park. You can easily get to these caves through a bus connection, tickets cost 10INR per person. For the caves you have to pay entrance again, this is 25 INR for Indians and 300 INR for foreigners. For us this was one of the highlights of Mumbai.
Go to the Beach:
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a visit to the beach is an excellent option. We went to Girgaon Chowpatty Beach, and it was actually a very nice beach. And it was surprisingly quiet for a city with so many inhabitants. Of course it is a bit polluted with plastic, but unfortunately that is the case everywhere in India. Still, the water was fairly clean and certainly suitable for a refreshing swim. A quiet walk on the beach is also a pleasant option.
Visit the Hanging Gardens:
The Hanging Gardens are located on the west side of this beach. The Hanging Gardens are one of the most relaxing places to visit in Mumbai, dating back to 1881. You can relax here, and you also have a beautiful view of the beach and the city skyline. You have the best viewpoint from the free to visit from the Pramod Navalkar Viewing Gallery, so be sure to take a look here.
The Museum of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya:
Originally called Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is a museum in Mumbai that documents the history of India from prehistoric times to modern times. It was founded during the British rule of India in the early years of the 20th century. The museum houses about 50,000 exhibits on ancient Indian history and artifacts from foreign lands.
The collection mainly consists of three sections: art, archeology and natural history. We found the Natural History section very interesting, and here the museum certainly stands out from other museums in India. Many stuffed animals are exhibited here, and it is very good that attention is drawn to the animal species that are threatened with extinction. Entrance to this Museum is 150 INR for Indians, 650 INR for foreigners, and bringing a camera costs 200 INR.
Visit the Victoria Terminus:
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, is located in the center of Mumbai. This is an excellent example of Victorian architecture in India, mixed with themes emanating from traditional Indian architecture. The building, designed by British architect F.W. Stevens, became the symbol of Bombay as India's major international trading port. The terminal was built over 10 years, starting in 1878. This appears to be India's most photographed icon after the Taj Mahal, and we can understand why. A beautiful building and very defining for the cityscape of Mumbai.
Gateway of India:
The Gateway of India is an arch monument built in the early 20th century in the city of Mumbai. It was built in honor of King Emperor George V, the first British monarch to visit India, in December 1911, the foundation stone was laid in March 1913. After construction, the Gateway was used as a symbolic ceremonial entry point into India for important colonial personnel . The Gateway is also the memorial from which the last British troops left India in 1948, after India's independence.
Crawford Market is one of South Mumbai's most famous markets. The building was completed in 1869 and has a large indoor bazaar. Next to the bazaar, the market in the neighborhood next door continues. Everything is for sale here, from souvenirs to textiles and even Christmas trees.
Scattered throughout the center you have a lot of small stalls with nice souvenirs and clothing. In addition, you have some of India's finest Malls is Mumbai. Here you have luxury, international brands and restaurants at your disposal. Our favorite malls were Phoenix, Palladium and Korum Mall.
Get a drink at the bar:
In Mumbai, drinking on the street is not allowed. In fact, as a tourist you cannot officially buy liquor without a permit. This permit is available at a wine shop or at a bar. Our preference was to find a bar and enjoy a nice cold beer here. You have some popular bars in the center, but these often have very high prices. Our favorite place was Sunlight Restaurant & Bar. The prices are very affordable, food is good, sports are broadcasted, but the best part is that you really sit among the locals. These are our favorite nights!