Mumbai is one of the most colorful yet fascinating cities to visit in India.
A bustling city beautified by colonial heritage buildings yet congested by plentiful traffic, Mumbai is one of the most colorful yet fascinating cities to visit in India. As the center of Bollywood, we’ve narrowed down five must-do’s that you need to experience during you stay in this dynamic but complex city.
1. Kick start your visit with Gateway of India.
The perfect place to kickstart your trip in this city is the Gateway of India which has often called: the Taj Mahal of Mumbai. You’ve probably seen a similar gate in New Delhi, while the one in Mumbai has survived three terrorist attacks (twice in 2003 and once in 2008.) Built in 1924, the structure would be the first sign of Mumbai visitors would see if they traveled here by boat.
After snapping your pics by the monument, you can grab a drink at the five-star Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
2. Art fanatics will love the Kala Ghoda neighborhood.
If you want to check out the ultimate art scene in Mumbai, then you’ve got to visit Kala Ghoda (Black Horse) neighborhood where you’ll find pavement galleries, museums and art institutions, including the Jehangir Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and The Arts Trust. This is also home to the nine-day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival every February.
3. Go behind-the-scenes of Bollywood.
42, Cambata Building, North Wing, Maharshi Karve Road, Churchgate, Opposite Churchgate Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020, India (map, website)
How could you make a trip to Mumbai and not immerse in its world-famous Bollywood culture? Catch a Bollywood movie at the art deco-style Eros Cinema, situated next to the Churchgate railway station. If you really want a behind-the-scenes look, a half-day Bollywood tour is available here.
4. Visit the picturesque Haji Ali Dargah.
Both a mosque and a tomb, the Haji Ali Dargah is a definite must-see. The location is picturesque as it was built in the middle of waters, off the coast of Worli in southern Mumbai. Outside of the Gateway of India, Haji Ali Dargah is also one of the most Instagram-worthy sites in the city. Constructed in 1431, a wealthy Muslim merchant Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari gave up everything before heading to Mecca. The monument carries the legend of his doomed love story.
5. Check out the massive outdoor laundry of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat.
The open-air laundromat is popular among travelers because you probably won’t see anything else like it anywhere else in the world. Dhobi Ghat is the world’s largest outdoor laundry, where dirty clothes are brought here from all over Mumbai and handwashed by dhobis (washers.)