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"The City of Dreams"

Mumbai Tourism

Mumbai is a spectacular paradox of chaos and hope, glamor and squalor, modernity and tradition, old and new. Famously known as the City of Dreams, Mumbai – formerly known as Bombay – has a long colonial history, starting from Gandhi’s visits to the city to the intense protests against the Simon Commission in 1928, the city has stood witness to many important events in the country’s freedom struggle. Today, Mumbai is a beautifully blended melting pot of cultures and lifestyles. The city soaks in everything into its fabric, making it its very own. From European and Portuguese inhabitants who migrated years ago to the city, to upcoming actors struggling to make it big on the silver screen; from Bolly superstars to big industrialists to tribes of fisherman and slum dwellers, Mumbai is a city that proudly boasts of stories from different walks of human survival. 

One of the main centres in the country of art, culture, music, dance and theatre, Mumbai is a dynamic, cosmopolitan city that has been running for years solely on the indomitable spirit of the Mumbaikars.

If you want to soak in some of the city's reminiscent colonial feeling, start by taking a walk around the streets of South Mumbai, which is basically old Bombay. South Mumbai is dotted with buildings that will make you feel like you?ve been transported back in time to the British era; the British influence on the architecture of buildings is very prominent in almost every building you come across.

The most iconic tourist spot in Mumbai has to be the Gateway of India, and this awe-inspiring structure is located right on the waterfront overlooking the Arabian Sea. The majestic Taj Mahal Hotel, which is another famous Mumbai landmark, is directly opposite the Gateway of India, so you can spend an entire day at these two locations alone, immersing yourself in the marvellous history of this town replete in rich heritage.

Since Mumbai is situated right beside the Arabian Sea, there are various promenades where you just sit back and relax and feel the breeze on your face. Marine Drive is one such promenade where you can sit with your feet dangling over the ledge, and enjoy a beautiful sunset against the backdrop of the roaring waves of the Arabian sea. When in Mumbai, don?t forget to visit Bandra, which is home to most of the Bollywood stars, and is a laid-back suburb which houses many bars and nightclubs where you can experience the best of Mumbai?s nightlife.

Mumbai?s local cuisine is a food lover?s paradise, and the local street food comprising of items such as vada pav, pav bhaji, dahi puri, pani puri and kala khatta will pamper your taste buds without burning a hole in your pocket. Being a metropolis, Mumbai is a shopping haven, and there is pretty much nothing that you won?t be able to find here. Street shopping in Mumbai is best experienced at Colaba Causeway and Linking Road, where you can buy everything from junk jewellery to shoes, bags and even fancy designer clothes.


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Hotels in Mumbai

Top Hotels in Mumbai

  • The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

    INR 17,000 /night onwards

  • The Taj Mahal Tower Mumbai

    INR 9,000 /night onwards

  • The Oberoi Mumbai

    INR 9,250 /night onwards


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Mumbai Reviews

4 days ago by Asif Uzzaman

Make sure to visit Mumbai while you are still young! Else you won't be able to have the kind of fun which the city in general & Essel World Amusement park in particular deserves. It was the best part of my visit. Also, do visit the Gateway of India and you can take a boat from there to Elephanta caves. And yes, good luck bargaining with boat-men!??

2 months ago by Sanjana Chawla

Mumbai has been rightly called as 'The city that never sleeps'. It is my favourite place to be at and trust me, there?s no exaggeration here. Mumbai has a charm of its own. The beaches, marine drive, sprawling malls and the beautiful Taj are a delight to look at. Being someone who loves to shop, Colaba causeway and fashion street are my top to go places, because of course they are very much similar to Delhi's Janpath and Sarojini Nagar market. The newly opened five storeyed Zara is a must visit for all the shoppers as it's the biggest in the country and well, has the best collection. Gateway of India looks much better in real life than it does in photographs so must give it a visit, get clicked with it or maybe take a ferry ride with your friends and family! The city is always on the go and the local trains are flooded with people at all times. Travelling in a local has its own experience, though it was tiring but I loved it! If you love yummy street food and do not care about the calories, then Mumbai has a lot to offer! Vada pao, pav bhaji, missal pao, bhelpuri, colourful chuski- you name it and you get it all easily on the streets. You can never be disappointed with the food that this city has to offer. My favourite places to dine at in Mumbai includes 'Pizza by the bay' and McCafé because yummy food and an amazing view is all you need in life! I loved visiting Siddhi Vinayak temple and the famous Haji Ali Dargah and trust me, these two places are full of the ever-required peace that we need in our busy lives. Juhu beach, though not in a great condition acts as a great tourist place where you can enjoy the water sports or just sit back and see the sun set! Mumbai can be easily visited by a train, flight or by a car drive but flight is the most convenient option as it saves time and energy. You can roam around in the metros or locals and cabs are well connected too. The place being near the sea is quite humid and you should ideally visit it in the later months of the year. Mumbai has always impressed me with its charm and nothing matches the feeling of having a hot cup of coffee or just a good company in the night while you relax at the marine drive. You can spot several people as well as celebrities working out and cycling on the streets and at the Nariman point. Watching DDLJ at Maratha Mandir should be on your 'must-do' list because who doesn't love Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan?!

2 months ago by Saanya Lulla

Mumbai is one of the most colourful cities I've ever been to, and offered a wide variety of things to do and see. The city has something for everyone, from the famous Gateway of India and the Taj Hotel, the beaches like Chowpatty beach and Juhu beach, to the shopper's paradise like Colaba Causeway. The famous Film City and the nightlife of Mumbai are also a must-see for tourists! I would definitely recommend a walk along the Marine Drive at sunset. My favourite part was indulging in all the street food, like pav bhaji, chaat and vada pav, sold at almost every turn!


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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

The commercial capital of India. Well connected to the rest of India. Home to awesome cuisine and culture. A heaven for history aficionados.

  What's not so Great?

Extremely congested city. The local trains are always overcrowded.

For Whom

An ideal hotspot for history buffs and movie aficionados. Perfect for anybody who loves the beach and the monsoon season. Ideal for all sorts of tourists, primarily foreigners.

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The 'City of Dreams'

Popularly known as the 'Maximum City', Mumbai, apart from being the capital of Maharashtra, is the commercial capital of India, owing to the infinite services and industries present here. Besides being home to the largest cinema industry in the world, Mumbai, like Kolkata, has its own distinct culture. If you don't believe it, visit the city during festivals like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri etc. and your doubts shall be dispelled for sure. Be it the majestic charm of the colonial heritage, like the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, or the indigenous beauty of places like Siddhivinayak Mandir, Wankhede Stadium to name a few, Mumbai is one city that never ceases to surprise you. Mumbai is a literal paradise for any foodie, owing to the exquisite range of cuisine, be it the luscious Missal Pav or the lovely Parsi cuisine in some of the heritage cafes. Being the one stop for all the dreams and ambitions in India, Mumbai is aptly called the 'City of Dreams'.

History of Mumbai

The history of the city of Mumbai, or Bombay, began with the signing of the Treaty of Bassein between Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and the Portuguese, who were offered the seven islands that made up Bombay by the Sultan. The islands were initially referred to by several different names, but collectively took the written name of Bombain. The Portuguese built several churches and forts in the city during their reign. With its growing strategic importance as a natural harbour, it attracted repeated British and Dutch interests. In 1661, as part of the royal marriage alliance between Charles II of England and Princess Catherine of Portugal, the islands were given as dowry to the British by the Portuguese. In 1668, the English leased 3 of the islands to the British East India Company, and a few years later, they shifted their capital from Surat to Bombay. Bombay was thus the capital of the Bombay Presidency and quickly gained commercial and military significance. The Portuguese finally left Bombay in the 1730s, following their defeat to the Marathas under Peshwa Baji Rao. Following the Anglo-Maratha war and the signing of some treaties, the British drove out the Marathas and were able to establish their majoritarian supremacy over Bombay. Under the Hornby Vellard project, the islands were unified through significant land reclamation activities into a single landmass. Bombay was extremely active in the political sphere during India’s independence struggle and was part of the Quit India Movement & the Royal Navy Mutiny in the 1940s.

Largest Slum And The Most Expensive Building

Nothing can perhaps be a better yardstick for measuring Mumbai’s diversity and disparity than the fact that the city is home to both Dharavi and Antilia - the former one of the largest slum settlements in the world, and the latter the most expensive residential property of the multi-billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani. Dharavi Once a mangrove swamp and a sparsely populated island, Dharavi in Mumbai is now the second largest slum in Asia, and the third largest world in the world. Founded in 1883 during the British rule, Dharavi expanded rapidly due to rural migration and an explosion of factories in Bombay. According to suggested estimates, the population of Dharavi is said to be between 300,000 to 1 million. The citizens are multi-religious and multi-ethnic, who are engaged in various activities ranging from leather, textiles, pottery and even a growing recycling industry. The informal economy of Dharavi is thriving and goods from Dharavi are exported to many parts of the world, and the total annual turnover from the economy is around USD 1 billion. Despite many plans to resettle the population and develop the place, Dharavi still continues to be plagued by low sanitation and hygiene standards. Antilia The extravagantly expensive home of Mukesh Ambani, one of the world’s richest businessmen, is located in South Mumbai. Named Antilia, after the mythical islands of the same name, it is estimated to have a net worth of over USD 1 billion and is second only to the Buckingham Palace as the world’s most expensive residential property. A daily staff of around 600 are reported to maintain the private residence for the Ambani family. Embroiled in controversies over the legality of the land purchase since its inception, its tall architectural design was envisioned by the Chicago-based Perkins and Will, and it continues to attract both dubious criticism and envious wonder by the world.

Financial Capital of India

Following the establishment of Bombay as the capital of the English East India Company in 1687, and after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, there has been no stopping the rapid growth of the city of Bombay or Mumbai. Mumbai is the commercial and financial capital of India and contributes to 6.6% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Initially, the primary contributors to Mumbai’s revenues were the textile mills and the seaport, but following the Indian economy liberalisation in 1991, there has been an increasing growth in finance, IT, engineering as well as gems and stone. Many Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in Mumbai, as do important financial institutions like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), among others. Mumbai was ranked the third most expensive office market in the world in 2009, and 7th in Forbes’s list of Top 10 Cities for Billionaires, and the 1st regarding their average wealth in 2008.

Architecture of Mumbai

The city of Mumbai has a richly diverse and delightful palate of architectural styles. The buildings constructed during the colonial period, such as the Victoria Terminus, are built in the Gothic-revival style and have a European blend including German gables, Dutch roofs and Tudor casements. In South Mumbai, there are many offices and buildings of the Soviet style.The famous Gateway of India is constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, while landmarks along Marine Drive are modelled along the Art-Deco lines. After Miami, Mumbai hosts the most number of constructions in the Art-Deco style. Mumbai is also famous for contemporary and modern architecture and has the most number of skyscrapers in India. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Elephanta Caves of Mumbai are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Nightlife in Mumbai

While a day in Mumbai is evidently abuzz with activities and the hustle and bustle of the crowds, even the nights here are far from quiet. The city that never sleeps witness the nocturnal souls creep out into the night to take on the city; be it to drown the Monday blues or loosen up on a Saturday night. Undoubtedly, the city with the best nightlife in the country.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - If you have reached Mumbai in the morning, get some rest and freshen up. Then head for the first focal point of tourism in the city, i.e. Regal Cinema Circle, which leads to some of the most popular destinations in Mumbai, be it the famous Colaba Causeway, also known as Mumbai's Cultural Square, or the Gateway of India. You should prefer to tour the Gateway complex in the evening as the scene is absolutely astounding.
Day 2 - The next day is perfect for an insightful tour of the city. Catch the famous local train if you are feeling adventurous, or opt for a taxi and go straight for Koli fishing village at Cuffe Parade. From the village, take a tour of the Fort District, which is the heart of finance in Mumbai. Then go for a tour of the Mahalaxmi temple and the adjoining Haji Ali Dargah in the evening.
Day 3 - You can begin your day with a taste of Bollywood by heading to Maratha Mandir for the 11.30am show of the iconic movie, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Following that, go for a stroll to the Crawford Market via Dadabhai Naoroji Road, only 15 minutes away from the same, where you can get a vibe of the Victorian London market, without spending extra pennies! By evening, do go for a stroll or a drive to the famous Marine Drive, from where you can witness the charm of electric lighting in the form of Queen's Necklace. At one end is also the famous Chowpatty beach, where you can gorge on delicious snacks that Mumbai offers, from bhelpuri to chaat to missal pav. By the time you leave Mumbai on Day 4, you shall have packed a suitcase of enchanting memories along with your belongings.

Mumbai shows remarkable diversity in all its spheres. And food is no exception. You can fill your stomach by spending INR 20 on two spicy, delicious vada pavs or a plate of steaming, hotidlis; or you can savour an excellent Japanese meal at Wasabi, Taj for INR 6000. Mumbai boasts of restaurants serving a large range of international cuisines - more than any other city in India. It also has a good balance of the north Indian and south Indian cuisines. It has happening pubs like Hard Rock Café (Worli / Andheri), The Little Door (Andheri) and Social (multiple locations) for those who like to party, and cheap places like Gokul (Colaba), Janta (Bandra) and Laxmi (Powai) for those who want to grab (more than) a few drinks with their friends.

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Latest questions by travellers on Mumbai

Answer: If you're in Mumbai for the first time, you can go ahead and look at the main attractions first, like the Gateway of India, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Marine Drive, Sea link etc. Stay in a centrally located hotel, and go ahead and explore. You shouldn't miss out on some great food while you're there. You can see this blog for some guidance on food while you're in Mumbai - www.holidify.com/blog/mumbai-street-food/ For other queries, and to sort out your travel plan, visit - www.holidify.com/mumbai


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