Mumbai, the city of dreams, has always been looked up at for its sense of fashion, vibrant lifestyle, being the home of Bollywood and home to some very famous movie starts. Simply put, the Mumbai dream is to India as the American dream is to the World! The various hues of Mumbai city are evident from its cosmopolitan crowd, various places and forms of worship and so many cuisines that it spoils you for choice.
An eclectic mix in Mumbai - Tourist places in Mumbai
Mumbai has everything to offer from shopping to food to sight-seeing to the famous night life culture. Fashion Street in town and Linking Road in Bandra are two of the most famous roadside shopping zones apart from the plethora of brand shopping the city offers. Hit the beach on a sunny afternoon, setup a picnic and enjoy some tasty beach food like Mumbai’s signature sandwiches, Kulfi and Falooda, Paani Puri or Maharashtra’s own Vada Pav served in different styles. Mumbai has 3 popular beaches, Juhu Beach, Chowpatty and Gorai. For the nature lovers, tourist who don’t prefer too much of crowd, Gorai beach is an ideal place to kick back.
Tourists are advised, as against most travel destinations, Mumbai is seen best as long as you have a set of wheels, so one might want to hail a cab or hire a car for the duration they’re in the city. Mumbai afternoons can get very hot, and having a vehicle helps. That being said, one can experience the double decker BEST buses that ply some South Mumbai routes especially the one on Marine Drive also known as the Queen’s Necklace. If you’re feeling adventurous, try getting into a Mumbai Local train, which is considered the fastest mode of transport in the city. Trains on the western and central lines leave from Churchgate and VT stations respectively, and departures are within minutes of each other.
Malls and Mandirs
Mall culture in Mumbai has picked up over the last decade, and today, Mumbai boasts of some of the premium malls in the country. Palladium, a recent addition, located at Phoenix Mills in Powai houses designers brands like Gucci, Versace and Burberrys! Palladium Mall is flanked with some leading restaurants, including California Pizza, which is a pleasant change from other mass market Pizza services.
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For the more religious lot, Mumbai houses some of the country’s holiest shrines. The Siddhivinayak Temple dedicated to the Lord Ganesha and Haji Ali Mosque are two of these shrines both with their own unique stories to tell. They boast of architecture that can be appreciated only in person, and are very proximate to each other. Beware though, they can both get extremely crowded, so check with your friends, relatives or tourist guides as to what is the best time to visit. Unless absolutely bound by the rules of worship, it’s best if one avoids Siddhivinayak temples on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The city life, afterhours
Nightlife in Mumbai is spoken of across the country, and is considered one of the safest in the world. Night clubs and lounges like Polyesthers, Totes, the Elbo Room and 21 Degrees Fahrenheit are just few of the many options one can opt for. Mumbai nightlife generally breaks off anywhere between 1 am to 3 am depending on the locality and whether or not the club is inside a hotel. And the party isn’t over yet. Head over to the famous Bade Miyas at Colaba after the party and enjoy their signature Rumali Roti rolls! They say, a night in Mumbai cannot really be deemed done, without a trip down to Bade Miyas. The Ice Bar by Four Seasons is a recent addition to the Mumbai night scene, a roof top lounge on the 34th floor which offers a breathtaking view of the city at night!
Mumbai is well connected to the rest of the country via road, rail, sea and air. When you arrive at Mumbai city, you can’t help but notice a distinct difference in the way of life as compared to the cities in the rest of the country. An inherent sense of friendship is in the air and a strange form of discipline clutches you right from the way the taxis ply the busy streets to the many sky walks pedestrians have grown so used to. Mumbai promises to be and has been so far, a unique tourist destination in India.
For those of you not keen on hiring a car, there are frequent Mumbai tour buses called Mumbai darshan buses that leave from the Gateway of India and take you around all the major attractions, to bring you back to the Gateway in the evening.
All in all, Mumbai has quality to offer to tourists of all age groups and ethnicities and the fast paced nature of the city guarantees maximum bang for the buck, even if time is limited. Travel within the city is cheap, ample and convenient and help is just around the corner, practically everywhere!