Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is the birthplace of Indian cinema, home of Bollywood and perhaps most importantly, the city of dreams. If you've dreamt of coming here for a while and now it's finally happening, here is a list of things to do when travelling to Mumbai for the first time.
Colaba is home to some of Mumbai's most iconic landmarks like Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and other splendid examples of Gothic and Indo-Saracenic architecture. Colaba Causeway, also known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, is famous for its many shopping and dining options. The charm of these delightful structures, nestled right beside the breezy atmosphere of the ocean, will not be lost on you.
Gateway of India
Mumbai's most famous landmark - Gateway of India, is a must-visit for all first-time travellers. It overlooks Front Bay or Mumbai Harbour, as it is more commonly known, which is the ideal next stop after you're done admiring the magnificent Indo-Saracenic architecture. The splendour of Gateway of India enthrals many locals and tourists alike, for yet another visit.
Haji Ali Dargah
For guests visiting Mumbai for the first time in need of serenity and spiritual upliftment, we suggest Haji Ali Dargah. It is a mosque and shrine, built in memory of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a 15th-century merchant from Uzbekistan who gave up all his wealth to help spread Islam all over the world.
Mumbai has innumerable options where you can gorge on delicious street food. Even if you haven't made a list of things to do in Mumbai while visiting for first time, it is impossible to walk around the streets without coming across stalls selling dishes like bhel puri, chaat, vada-pav, pav-bhaji and much more. If we haven’t convinced you, just wait until the aroma hits, and sends you running towards these absolutely delicious staples of Mumbai.
Juhu is an affluent neighbourhood that is also home to Mumbai's most famous beach. Swimming is not allowed on Juhu Beach, but you can watch and even participate in the many casual games of cricket and football that are played here. Juhu is also the place that most of your favourite Bollywood celebrities call home, so be prepared to be starstruck.
Prince of Wales Museum
This imposing structure was built in the early 20th century to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales - George V, who would later go on to become the king of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India. It was built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture by George Wittet, who also designed Gateway of India. It was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in 1998.
Marine Drive is a 3 km stretch along the Arabian Sea, which is ideal for leisurely walks and enjoying gorgeous sunsets. It is also called the Queen's Necklace because of the glistening street lights that adorn it. There are a large number of street food vendors offering mouthwatering treats that perfectly complement the stunning views.
The best time to visit Mumbai is between October and March, when temperatures go down and the humidity isn't as brutal as it is during the summers. And if you have no choice but to come during summer, beat the heat at our fabulous air-conditioned rooms at The Retreat Hotel and Convention Centre on Madh Island during the day, then step out in the evening to enjoy the exuberant nightlife of this storied city.