Top Things to Do and to See in Mumbai (Bombay), India: The best sites, museums, parks and free activities
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The Gothic monumental train station which was completed in 1888. It is remains of one of the greates British-built contructions in India. It was designed by FW Stevens and the railway station is UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sadly, it is not well taken care of with addition buildings and crush of humanity.
The Gateway of India Monument
The Gateway of India was built to honor King George V visit to India. The foundation of the memorial was laid in 1911. The very structure was finished in 1924. This basalt arch is built in the mixture of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. This monument is rather popular tourist attraction though not particularly impressive.
It is a large triumphal gate by the water. It wasn’t completed until 1924. The style is the combination of Islamic and Hindu styles and it was used to parade the last British regiment. Nowadays, the gateway is used as a meeting spot by locals.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum)
Mumbai’s biggest museum that displays a mix of exhibitions from India. The museum was opened in 1923 and it was designed by George Wittet who designed the Gateaway of India. There are collections from Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and miniature paintings. It is also possible to explore the musum with a auido guide in seven lanugages. There is an admission fee to enter the museum. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is the biggest museum in Mumbai. The museum showcases Hindu and Buddist sculptures, paintings, weapons and other things. The building is surrounded by lush gardens. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
Opening hours: 10.15am-6pm
Tel.: (022) 2284 4484.
To look at the 'panoramic' view of Mumbai one should visit Malabar Hill. There's also a Walkeshwar Temple Complex and picturesque Hanging Gardens. Babulnath Temple Elevated on 305m above sea level Lord Shiva temple has a beautiful terrace along with different carvings. The temple is open from the dwan to the dusk. The entry is free. Tel.: (022) 2367 8367.
Mumbadevi Temple is a historical and old temple is dedicated to Goddess Mumbai, city's goddess. It is an important cultural site in this city. There is a monument to this deity with her traditional carrier – a big tiger. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday.the entry is free.
Working Times: 06.30am-9.30pm.
One can enjoy watching contemporary art exhibits in Jehangir Art Gallery. Many works can be bought there. The gallery has 4 exhibition halls. There's popular Samovar café in this building. It is open every day. The entry is free.
Working Times: 11am-7pm.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a UNESCO Wold Heritage site and one ove the most magnificent railway stations in the world. It is also one of the busiest Asian train stations. It is built in combination of Hindu, Victorian Gothic and Islamic styles.
Tel.: (022) 2265 6565.
Horniman Circle (Elphinstone Circle)
Horniman Circle (Elphinstone Circle) was named after Benjamin Horniman, who did a lot for the develpoment of Indian independence. There are arcade terraces in this building. Between them there is a publicly open garden, where one can rest and relax. The place is open from Sunday to Friday. The entry is free.
Opening hours: 10.00am-8.30pm
Not far from Horniman Circle there is a Town Hall. This building was completed in 1833. It is built in neo-classical manner. Nowadays this impressive building serves as a public library. It is open from Monday to Saturday. The entree is free.
Working Times: 10.30am-6.15pm.
Tel.: (022) 2266 0956.
There are a lot more attactions like Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat (Washing Place), Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach, ect. And sometimes various tours can help cover the most interesting places spending less time and effort.
Tours of Mumbai:
Tourists can take a full-day or a half day walking tour of Mumbai and find out about its history and customs. Main tours include visiting Apollo Gate, Heritage Mile, Bazaar Gate, Bandra and Malabar Hill. The duration and departure points vary depending on the destination.
Tel. +91 9820025496
It is possible to take a bike tour of Mumbai. It covers such city attractions as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Marine Drive and Sassoon Dock. The duration of this tour is 4 hours.
To save time, tourists can take Highlights of Mumbai half-day tour. The tour-takers will be able to view Victoria Terminus, Gateway of India, a large basalt arch, near the Mumbai Harbor, Haji Ali Mosque and Mumbai's largest open-air laundry.
Girgaum Chowpatty Beach
The beach is speacial to Mumbai locals due to many Bollywood movies that have been filmed there. The beach is also a evening spot for locals however as the water’s toxic, swimming it not recommended.
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
The palace became a Mumbai icon since it was built in 1903. It was built by J.N. Tata. The hotel is the blend of Islamic and Renaissance styles. It is India’s most photographed moment and one of the most popular tourist sights. On the other hand, in 2008, people were killed during the terrorist attacks. Later in 2010, the hotel was fully restored and reopened on Independence Day. It is also historically important because it was the first hotel in India that employed women, the first hotel that had electricity, and it also housed freedom fighters without any charges during the struggle for independence.
It is a golden 96m high stupa modelled on Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda. The dome houses relics of Buddha and it was built wiyh an ancient technique without supports. There are twenty minute meditation classes offered daily.
Bollywood Studio Tour
For the ones who are interested, planning a trip to the Bollywood studios might be a fun activity. It is possible to see the process of creating Bollywood movies with a guide.
There are many reliogous places around the city; some of them are historical and some of them are new. A day long visit can be planned on them. The popular ones are Mahalshmi Temple, Banganga Temple, Siddhi Vinayak, Afghan Church, Mahim Church, Haji Ali.