Attractions in Mumbai

Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai

"Attractions in Mumbai" was last updated on Feb 21, 2013
All information below is subject to change

What are the sights and attractions in Mumbai?

There's so many of them! Mumbai offers anything from museums to slum tours in Dharavi. India has some of the fascinating histories in the world.

Mumbai is no exception.

The harbor in Mumbai bears great importance. When the Suez Canal opened in 1870, Mumbai became a trade and commercial hotspot in the Arabian sea.

So where to start?

Here are some suggestions :-)

Cheap Sightseeing in Mumbai

The best (and cheapest) thing to do is to walk around the city. As simple as that.

Mumbai is known for skyscrapers and slums. Many buildings are built in beautiful colonial or Gothic architecture, while others are just...buildings.

...You'll definitely notice that there are strong contrasts in the city.

Example: You'll see a Tommy Hilfiger store, but just 10 meters from the store you'll spot some shitty shacks. It's like pretty and ugly built on the same place.

A local man baking in Mumbai

One of the highlights of sightseeing in Mumbai is the harbor.

The Gateway of India at the harbor is probably one of the most visited attractions in Mumbai.

It was built during the British rule to commemorate the visit of King George the 5th and Queen Mary to Mumbai. But ironically it was used as an exit point when the last British forces left the land through this gateway.

The ocean view is fantastic, but don't look down. There are loads of trash and bottles floating in the water. It's just too bad.

By the harbor, you'll see the luxury Taj Mahal Hotel - one of the most popular attractions in Mumbai which was hit during the terror attacks in Mumbai.

Gateway of India
Harbor in Mumbai

Photo left: Gateway of India

Photo right: The Harbor in Mumbai

This impressive hotel was opened in 1903 and people like Bill Clinton and The Beatles have spent their nights here. In fact, the Taj Mahal was India's first luxury hotel! The fine architecture is unbelievable detailed and reflects the rich Indian history. Indian architects designed this prestigious hotel, but the project itself was completed by an American engineer.

Unfortunately, Taj Mahal was one of the targets during the terrorist attacks in November 2008.

Colaba causeway in Mumbai

Colaba Causeway in Mumbai

Goats in Mumbai, India

Goats roaming around in Mumbai


Everyone who has been to India, especially in Mumbai, knows that it's hard and dangerous to cross the streets! There are no traffic rules, and cars don't care if there are pedestrians crossing the streets. Most of the times, the cars don't respect the red light. It's just chaos!

So, how do you cross the streets without getting run over by a cab or a Rickshaw? Use human shields. There are always locals who are going to cross the street the same time as you. So, why not join them...? The locals know the right timing on when to cross the street.

So, here's the 'secret': Let's say the cars are coming from your right. Stand next to a local on his left side (he's the shield, not you), and pay attention to when he's going to cross. He will go fast, so you have to move as fast as him. But don't stand too close to him. You don't want them to think you're crazy.

When he starts walking, you walk with him.

And...voila! You've just crossed the street!

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Elephanta Island in Mumbai Bay

Caves in Elephanta island

Attractions in Mumbai: Caves in Elephanta island

Did you know that Elephanta Caves are on the list of UNESCO Heritage site?
These caves are located on Elephanta island (also known as Gharapuri island) in Mumbai Harbor and is a huge tourist magnet. What makes them special is the astonishing Hindu rock sculptures and carvings that are over 1000 years old.

To reach the caves at the top, you can either walk/climb about 100 steps or pay Rs 10 for the toy train. If you get hungry, don't worry there are restaurants there and several food stalls. And if you feel like doing a little shopping, vendors are all over the place selling handicrafts and jewelry.

How to get there: Buy boat tickets at the entrance of Gateway of India. There are two types of ferries; the smaller boat (Rs 130) and the double deck boat (Rs 150). The double deck is much comfier! The first ferry leaves at 9.00 am and it's about a 45-minutes boat ride to the island.

Mind though that Elephanta island is packed with visitors, especially in the high season.

Admission fee: Rs 250 (foreigner fee)

Opening hours: 9 am to 5.30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday

Recommended time: 2 hours at the site

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Bollywood in Mumbai

Play an extra in a Bollywood movie

When you're in India, you have to watch, if not join, a Bollywood movie!

Mumbai is known for producing more Bollywood movies than Hollywood itself. There are locals in the touristy areas who'll ask if you want to join a Bollywood movie! Me and my girlfriends were asked by a local guy in Colaba, and some of my friends who recently visited Mumbai (in March 2011) were also asked by some men in the street.

Not far from Leopold cafe, we were asked to play extras. It was tempting, but that would mean that we had to stay longer in the city. That was not an option for us at that time.

If you don't want to play an extra, watch a Bollywood movie at a cinema. There are dozens of cinemas that show Bollywood movies, so finding one is not a problem. You have Eros opposite Church gate station or Metro. Some cinemas like Regal and New Empire show international movies and English-language movies. Or you have the large and popular Fame Adlabs.

And this year some cinemas have cut down the ticket prices, like PVR, Mulitplexes and Fame Adlabs. So, the average ticket price is between Rs 55-250.

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Mumbai Theatre

Mumbai's theater is also popular. The modern plays are in Hindi or English, and this is a nice way of getting to know the local culture.

Check out play schedules here!

One of the most visited theatres is the Privthi Theatre. Check what's on Privthi Theatre in Mumbai.

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Mumbai Slums

Did you know that the slum tours are some of the popular attractions in Mumbai?

Millions of people live in the slums of Mumbai. Dharavi is the one of the largest slums in the city, but it's not just slums. It's a work place.

Visit popular Dharavi, Mumbai's largest slum

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