If you’re travelling to India, chances are you’re probably looking at Varanasi. But Mumbai is an exciting city in its own right. Taj Hotel Mumbai is more affordable, with heaps of history and culture and a more extensive nightlife than any other Indian city, it’s worth checking out.
There’s so much to do in Mumbai, some obvious and some not so obvious! So here are ten reasons why you shouldn’t miss it.
Cafes That Won’t Break The Bank
Right across the street from our hotel, there’s a café where we could spend hours watching the world go by. In the evening, the street was packed, with people lining up for thalis and plates of dosa and vadas. Vegetarians should get the paneer masala thali: paneer cheese in an eggplant-based curry, served with grated carrot, a bowl of sambhar (pumpkin and lentil soup) and a small squeeze of tamarind sauce. For something less spicy, try the tomato soup or chilli paratha.
Old English-Style Architecture
There’s no denying the place has a fair amount of history. The British built the city and thought it would be an excellent place to have their soldiers stationed. The French, Russians and Portuguese are also said to have had a hand in it, as they wanted to gain control of India. Numerous other buildings are older, though some date back to pre-Mughal eras.
Walking through this area and along the length of Marine Drive, we felt transported into another world. Despite being one of the busiest areas in the city, it was so peaceful.
The Stunning Flora 360 View
The flora around Marine Drive is the best in Mumbai, I could see hundreds of different species – from peacocks to bougainvillaea, to Spanish moss and fig trees, to be trees and mangoes – all in one place.
There’s a restaurant called Sea Lounge on Marine Drive that serves this grilled pomfret fish – my favourite dish of the trip. So tasty!
The Best Museum In Mumbai?
The Prince Of Wales Museum was packed with culture, from costumes to traditional art and crafts (“panch phoron” is a mix of nuts, seeds, spices and herbs that’s used for flavouring food in Bengal), to religious items such as intricately carved woodcarvings of gods and goddesses.
The Colourful Durbar Festival
“Durbar” means “emperor”, and this festival is held every winter to commemorate the original royal families of Mumbai.
The Best Time To Go Is During The Monsoon
The rain clears the air and makes it smell better. The streets are filled with people wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas, and everyone looks pleased.
Where To Stay?
Mumbai has some of the best budget hotels in the world. Our hotel, The Oberoi, is one of them. Located on the beach and with a swimming pool and gym (as well as offers 24-hour room service), there’s an in-house restaurant.
The Best Time To Go Is Year Round
Mumbai can be hot during the summer months, but it’s also lovely during winter by day. If you want to escape the cold British winter weather, you can also run there in December and January. I’d heard it’s best to avoid the rainy season, but the rain clears the air and makes it smell better. The streets are filled with people wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas, and everyone looks pleased.
You’ve Never Seen So Many People Engaged In Conversation
You might not see many people outside in the street, but you will see them in the cafes, where most of them talk about cricket and laugh.
We are sure there are loads more reasons to visit this city, but those are some of the top reasons I could think of. What’s your favourite thing about it?
The Indian rail network connects many cities, and Mumbai is no exception.
You can get to Mumbai from so many different places across the country, by train or bus. I’m sure you’ve heard the name Mumbai before, though. It’s often used as a synonym for India, and people think it means “wealth”.
If you’ve never been to Mumbai, I hope this gave you some ideas about what to do there when you go. It’s a fantastic city full of history, culture and variety. You could easily spend a week there and still not see it all.
As a top tip, if you book your flights with us and travel via Mumbai, we can recommend some fantastic hotels to stay in. We have direct relationships with hotels in Mumbai to get discounts for our customers.
You should also check out our more detailed guide here.
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