Visiting Mumbai – A City Guide
Mumbai epitomizes cosmopolitan India, cherishing the past while embracing its status as the country’s financial and entertainment hub. Ancient temples stand beside glistening skyscrapers, punctuated by lively street bazaars and Bollywood film studios in what is now the wealthiest city in India.
Mumbai: City Layout and Top Attractions
Mumbai is a collection of former fishing colonies bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west. South Mumbai, home to some of the best hotels in Mumbai, packs wealth and business into dense, energetic city blocks. It’s also chock-full of famous colonial architecture, museums and galleries.
You can use your IHG®
Rewards Club points at InterContinental Marine Drive-Mumbai
[K1] to stay in the glittering curve of Back Bay known as the “Queen’s Necklace.” It loops around to Chowpatty Beach
, filled with street performers and open-air stalls selling sugar cane sweets.
The western shores harbour ancient fishing villages such as Worli, Bandra and Juhu Koliwada
, and also Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), not far from accommodations near Mumbai International Airport. Book Mumbai hotels directly through the IHG website to find affordable “Your Rate” offers in this area.
The Gateway of India
, featuring basalt stone carvings and Jharoka balconies, arches over the waterfront facing Mumbai Harbour. From there, a short ferry ride drops you at the Elephanta Caves
to discover ancient Hindu and Buddhist rock art and statues.
Eating Out in Mumbai
Local chefs dish up a mix of eastern and western cuisine, especially in the best restaurant hotels in Mumbai. Indian biryani dishes take centre stage at places like Delhi Darbar
in the Colaba District. Fresh seafood from the Konkan coast is a local speciality at Trishna
in the Fort business district.
Grazing at Mumbai’s ever-popular dhabas and street stalls, especially in Bhendi Bazaar, introduces you to chaats
(Indian snacks) such as peppered mango and kulfi
ice cream. Maharashtrian dishes made with freshly ground spices, vegetables, lentils and cashews dominate the Thane West and Andheri East neighbourhoods near the airport.
Shopping in Mumbai
Shopping in Mumbai ranges from glitzy designer boutiques to artsy street markets and bazaars selling everything from exotic batik cloth to gold jewelry and antiques.
For upscale western-style clothing, shoes and bags, savvy shoppers head to Fashion Street
and Palladium Mall
in South Mumbai, and the Bandra district in the western suburbs.
You can find authentic crafts, fabrics and clothing in lively street markets
such as Crawford Market. Bhendi Bazaar has the best gold items, and Mangaldas Market specializes in raw silk fabrics and handmade textiles.
Culture & Nightlife in Mumbai
Mumbai has been compared to New York for good reason: it’s brimming with non-stop cultural activities and nightlife. The Colaba Causeway invites you to visit cosy gastropubs like Cafe Leopold, or enjoy a quirky art-filled evening with jukebox music at Café Mondegar
The Colaba Art District showcases Indian art in places like Gallery Maskara
, while the National Centre for the Performing Arts
at Nariman Point presents experimental theatre and classical music.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
is the city’s oldest and grandest museum.
You can party with locals and Bollywood glitterati at clubs in central Mumbai and Lower Parel. Hot spots at Mumbai hotels along Marine Drive include the open-air lounge at DOME.