Juhu beach is the longest beach in Mumbai, and arguably the most popular among tourists as well. Juhu beach is renowned for its wide variety of street food with a very typical Mumbai flavour. The nearby area of Juhu is a posh locality in Mumbai, home to a lot of famous Bollywood and TV celebrities - the most famous being Amitabh Bachhan's bungalow - and it is not very rare to spot a celebrity jogging on the beach.
This is also one of the best spots in Mumbai to watch a sunset, with a cool evening breeze, and one of the few places where you see the "relaxed" side of the Maximum City.
Television shoots are often held and a number of toy-sellers, roasted corn vendors and acrobats attract the eye. Stretched from Vile Parle to Santa Cruz, children often have fun plane spotting with a departure runway near the edge of the sea.
You may also visit the iconic Iskcon Temple which is meters away from the beach or indulge in a theatre experience at the famous Prithvi Cafe. Jalsa, Amitabh Bachchan's home is also in the vicinity and attracts an enormous crowd on weekends. There are also a number of famous cafes, restaurants, and pubs around this area which never sleeps, you'll find people taking a stroll as late as 3 am at night.
Juhu beach was a big favorite with the Mumbai locals during the 90s, but it had become notorious for being very dirty because of a large number of tourists. However, in the last couple of year the BMC had made a lot of efforts to keep the beach clean. It is now cleaned almost daily, and lot of dustbins have been installed which help keep the area much cleaner than it used to be.
For those looking to avoid the mad rush of tourists and experience the relaxed nature of the beach, early mornings are a great time to visit. The beach is surprisingly empty, with only the nearby residents coming here for a morning run, walk their dogs, or play frisbee. You would see a number of runners running along the 3km+ coast, quite a few of them barefoot. Almost all the food stalls are closed at this hour, and there are only a few vendors selling tea or coconut water. The beach is cleaned late night/early morning, so this is also when the beach is at its cleanest!
Facing the west, Juhu beach naturally has a brilliant sunset, in all weathers. Granted, the beach is crowded at this time - specially if it's a weekend - but walk a few minutes away from where all the food stalls are, and you should be able to find an empty-ish spot for yourself. Grab a simple blanket (available on rent for rs. 50) and relax on the sand while enjoying the sunset. You can get a lot of snacks to eat while sitting - like chana jor garam, bhel, vada pao to name only a few.
The variety of snacks that you can get on the beach is pretty incredible. There are a lot of shops near the main parking area which sell a number of local food items - panipuri, bhelpuri, misal pao, pao bhaji, vada pao. You can also get great South Indian food : masala dosa, idli, vada being the most common. Chinese is pretty popular and common too. Although the street food here is not the tastiest - and many would argue healthiest - there is a lot to choose from, and street food lovers would definitely be excited.
Although the police start driving people away from the beach around 1AM, it is not too uncommon (or difficult) to sneak in from one of the side openings to the beach. The beach is surprisingly quiet at this hour, with hardly a few other adventurous souls venturing out so late. As long as you are not a nuisance, you can take a quiet stroll along the beach or sit and talk on the sand.
Juhu beach is a great place to visit all times of the year, especially during early morning or evenings. Even in the hot summer months, the evenings are very pleasant as a cool sea breeze blows, and the temperatures being mild. The monsoon might not be the best time to visit since there are a lot of high tides and the sand is completely wet practically all the time. However, the view of big, dark clouds floating over the ocean is quite mesmerising.
Juhu Beach is located in Ville Parle and can be easily reached via autos, cabs, state transport buses or even trains.
The nearest local train stations are Vile Parle, Santa Cruz or Andheri on the Western Line. There is a BEST bus station right next to the beach, so there are quite a few buses plying from these railway stations to the beach - 231, 224 and 201.
If you are planning to come by own vehicle, you must be wary since parking options are limited. A paid parking is available at the beach (in front of Tap restaurant) but you might have to wait for a long time in the queue, particularly if you are visiting on a weekend. Apart from this, trying to find parking near the beach is practically impossible.
There are countless accommodation options available nearby. Juhu was always a posh neighrhood of Mumbai, and hence it has a lot of high-end hotels. JW Marriott, Novotel and Sun-n-Sand are the most popular high-end hotels nearby.
There are a lot of bars, pubs and clubs in the vicinity of the temple. Tap resto bar right across the beach is great for drinks, and the place has a great rooftop bar+resturant along with a dance floor. True Tramm Trunk is a recently opened popular bar with great food and a courteous staff to go with it, they screen sporting events and also host musical nights. Quench, R Adda and Tap Resto Bar are a few other sought-after places. The price ranges from INR 1200 to INR 2500 for two people.
Multiple local cuisines are offered at the food stalls and snack joints set up at the beach. The street foods, such as 'Pani Puri', 'Bhel Puri' and 'Pav Bhaji' are just some of the many delicacies offered at the beach stalls. One can also visit the famous Italian restaurants here such as Little Italy, Mangi Ferra, Don Giovanni, Penne, and so on. Popular sea-food specialties are served at these quality fine dining restaurants near the beach. Prithvi Cafe and the Silver Beach Cafe are famous cafes in the vicinity of Juhu Beach. Govinda's Restaurant, famous for its Satvik food and Govinda's Bakery, are both located inside the Iskcon temple complex.