What to do in Mumbai

Previously, when I thought of traveling to India a stereotyped image of a backpacker at a yoga retreat somewhere deep in the Himalayas is what sprung to mind.





I had a very vague concept of what an Indian city would be like. Of course I had heard that they are chaotic and bursting at the seems with both people and colour, but nothing had prepared me for the Mumbai experience.

View from Aer Mumbai

Firstly, I would like to point out that I am from Nairobi which is not exactly known for being a centre of peace and tranquility, but a trip to Mumbai makes Nairobi look like an oasis.

Rush Hour at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
There are 12 million people in Mumbai and you notice it.  Though despite there being people everywhere the atmosphere was friendly and non-threatening, in fact everyone we met was so nice and helpful.


If you are planning a trip it is important to keep in mind just how busy the city is, traffic is a nightmare and the popular tourist spots have long queues from mid-morning onwards, so my advice is to get up early and to allow plenty of time to get anywhere.

Sea Views from Elephanta Island

Its hard to condense the trip into a short post so I thought I would round-up my top ten favourite experiences. Here goes!

Top Ten Things To Do In Mumbai

1) Sunrise Yoga at the Gateway of India

Sunrise at the Gateway of India

To be honest you can't go to Mumbai and not see the Gateway, it would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. The monument was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary although they didn't actually get to see the monument as it was not finished until 1924. Security is tight since the terrorist attacks in 2008 so my advice would be to get there before 10am if you want to enjoy it without all the crowds. 


2) Pool Day at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Ranked as the number one hotel in Mumbai this palace hotel rocks the regal vibe and has played host to heads of state and movie stars. We were lucky enough to stay here during our trip and I can't wait to share all the details with you soon. Even if you choose to stay elsewhere it is well worth a visit. 


3) Strolling around the Colaba

The Colaba neighbourhood is the old British quarter located at the southernmost tip of Mumbai. Its filled with boutique shops, trendy bars and restaurants, and old school Portuguese and British architecture. 

4) Rush Hour at Victoria Station

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - Formerly Victoria Station

The Indian railway system carries 13 million passengers a day, and it felt like every last one of them turned up at 6 pm to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. 


So perhaps this suggestion is not for the faint hearted but if you can handle the crowds it is a crazy experience. Plus Victoria station is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it makes for a great Instagram!


5) Shopping in Bombay

Bombay Electric in Colaba

I realise everything I have mentioned so far is within a kilometre of each other. It's not by chance, if given the chance I am all about limiting walking to the bare minimum or in Mumbai's case limiting the time sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. Around the Colaba there are a number of trendy boutiques, in-vogue at the moment is Bombay Electric which sells fusion Indian/Western clothing. It is quite pricy though so if you don't want to splash the cash you can walk around the corner to the street stalls by the Regal Theatre.

Other places to go include Fab India for reasonably priced Sari's and Kurtas and the Palladium Mall for luxury and Western brands, or you can check out this shopping guide from Conde Nast: 
http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/style-fashion/mumbai-shopping-guide


6) Meditating at the Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves are on an island in the Arabian Sea 10km out from Mumbai Harbour. I know I know this breaks my 1km rule but literally all you have to do is sit on a boat.


 I wasn't totally sold on the caves before going but I definitely think it was worth it. The boat leaves from next to the Gateway, so make sure you get there before 10 to avoid the crowds.



7) Marine Drive Views

View of Marine Drive from the Oberoi

Nariman Point on Marine Drive is a hot spot for 5 stars hotels such as the Oberoi and the Trident. It is also a great place to snap a picture of the beautiful long stretch of Mumbai's skyline along the Arabian Sea.


8) A visit to Bandra 

Olive Bar and Kitchen

Described as the jewel of Mumbai's suburbs, Bandra is the place to be if you want to hangout with the city's glitterati. Bandra is a favourite for Bollywood stars, many of whom live in the area in massive houses overlooking the sea. There are several cool bars and restaurants around, we went to award winning restaurant & bar 'Olive'. Also if you have time I would totally hop into a tuk tuk to get around.


Here is a link to other recommended restaurants in the area: 
http://travel.cnn.com/mumbai/none/streets-your-city-bandra-287237/


9) Rooftop Drinks at Aer Mumbai

Hazy Mumbai - Sunset View from Aer Mumbai


Voted as one of the top ten rooftop bars in the world Aer Mumbai is an absolute must! I dragged the family out at 4.30pm sharp to make it in time for sunset (sunset was at 6 but it takes a hour to travel the 7km from Colaba to here). 

Aer at the Four Seasons Mumbai


Cocktails are pricey at 30 euro each so go between 5.30pm and 8pm for Happy Hour half priced champagne and cocktails!

10) Delicious Indian food at the Copper Chimney

Dinner at the Copper Chimney

After Copper Chimney was recommended to us by several Mumbai experts we bumped it up to first on our list of places to eat. Needless to say they were spot on with this place. The restaurant is super casual and doesn't look like much from the inside but it was hands down the best Indian food I have had.





Liakada

24 comments:

  1. Lovely photos! I bet it was such a great experience! :) xx

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    1. It was such fun! Thanks Nevena :)

      Ash | Liakada

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  2. Great pics and it was nice to find out more about you, i.e. that you are from Nairobi. How come you get to travel so much? Is it with work (if you dont mind me asking?)

    http://www.leopardandspice.com/

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    1. Thanks so much Mini! I am actually studying medicine at the minute so I travel on weekends during the semester and during the breaks I try and combine medicine with travel, so last year I did an elective in a hospital in Borneo during the summer and then travelled around South East Asia on the weekends. To be honest I spend 90% of my free time looking at google's flight map and trying to find a good deal haha. Let me know if you have any more questions, hopefully meet you at some event soon!

      Ash | Liakada

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  3. I love it, I love it, I love it. I've always wanted to see Mumbai so I completely loved all of these photos and this post.

    Kia / KTS
    http://www.houseofkts.com

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    1. Thanks so much Kia, I hope you get to go!

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  4. 12 MILLION people? omg! Looks like a pretty cool place!
    www.marinasays.com

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    Replies
    1. I know right! Yeah it was awesome, well worth a trip!

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  5. Beautiful photos, I would love to go there
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  6. I love to travel this wonderful place though im hesistant about the tourist issue.
    Lovely list to do dear

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

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    Replies
    1. The visa? They have an electronic system now, it was a bit of a pain but easier than sending your passport into the embassy.

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  7. I'm impressed by your sunrise yoga and meditation at the caves - you've definitely got into the spirit of the country!

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  8. Hey that's amazing, these pics looks cool!

    Alice Cerea,
    Alice Cerea blogger

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  9. The sunrise shown at the Gateway is truly beautiful, what a lovely image! The caves would certainly be on my travel agenda :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x


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  10. Mumbai looks just amazing! I wish I could visit someday <3

    Followed you on instagram ;)

    Blog: http://fiftyshadesofpink.blogs.sapo.pt/
    Instagram: @sarafqueiros

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope you get to visit!

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  11. Looks dreamy!
    Dora www.BangsBang.com

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  12. I cannot imagine this many people all in one place. The sunrise yoga and shopping would have my vote Lucy x

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  13. I cannot imagine this many people all in one place. The sunrise yoga and shopping would have my vote Lucy x

    ReplyDelete