Mumbai

5 Unique Things To Do In Mumbai

Mumbai5 Fun Things To Do In Mumbai

We were feeling very excited and why not? After all, we were about to board the flight that would take us to the throbbing and pulsating city of Mumbai, the financial capital of India. We had a few days at our disposal and after a lot of discussions we zeroed in on a plan to revisit Mumbai. We were not strangers to Mumbai. Infact, we had lived in the city for brief periods but it always felt good to get back to the city again. This time the reason for us to head to Mumbai was to accompany a friend who wanted to have a dekko at Mumbai. We boarded the flight and I sat back pleased for having got a good deal on the flight tickets, having made use of MakemyTrip coupons.

It was a short flight and soon we landed at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai. As soon as I set foot on Mumbai soil, I could feel a familiar excitement in the pit of my stomach and the adrenaline flowed freely as we made our way towards the airport exit. This is the effect that Mumbai always had on me.

The few days we spent in Mumbai whizzed past like a dream and soon it was time for the spell to be broken and to head back home with wonderful memories that would last a lifetime. I share here 5 fun things that you must experience while in Mumbai. Some of these are definitely touristy and some of them are definitely not. So go on take your pick and experience Mumbai. Whatever your choice, pleasure unlimited is guaranteed.

A leisurely walk on the Promenade at The Gateway of India

The Gateway of India is an iconic landmark of Mumbai and was erected in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Since then the Gateway stands in awesome majesty overlooking the Arabian Sea and being a source of attraction to millions of visitors. There is a promenade which is perpendicular to the side of the Gateway of India. It is a great place to take a leisurely stroll while watching the majesty of the Arabian sea and the little boats anchored near the Gateway of India. In the past you would have been able to see or ride on the vintage horse carriages, gaily decorated and brightly lit, known as “Victoria’. However, the Victorias are off the road from this year and remain alive only through pictures and memories. Victorias have been banned to protect the interests of the Horses who had to bear the burden of the carriages and the tourists astride it.

Mumbai

Opposite The Gateway of India you can see another Mumbai icon, The Taj Mahal Hotel, which had borne the brunt of an attack by gunmen who had sneaked in by boat and slipped through The Gateway of India in the wee hours of the morning. If you like feeding pigeons, you can do it near the Gateway of India as hundreds of them swoop down to partake off your offering. If you want to avoid crowds and would like to take a peaceful stroll, then an early morning or late night stroll along the promenade is advisable.

Get inside an Old Woman’s Shoe at Kamala Nehru Park

Mumbai

In Mumbai’s Malabar Hill area, there is a 370 square meters park called Kamala Nehru Park, named after the wife of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. There is nothing remarkable about this park excepting for some nice views of Marine Drive and the Chowpatty Beach. However, the park is a favorite for school children because of the presence of a tower like structure shaped like a shoe. The structure is said to have been inspired by the nursery rhyme, “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe”. One can climb up inside the ‘Shoe” and peep out of a little window to pose for a photograph. I have special memories associated with “The Old Woman’s Shoe”. I remember being taken there as a kid and being awed by the “sheer size” of the structure. When I look at the structure today, I can see it is not all that big at all!

Meet the Lingo Kid at the Hanging Gardens

After you have experienced “The Old Woman’s Shoe”, you can head to the Hanging Gardens which is exactly opposite the Kamala Nehru Park for a rendezvous with the Lingo Kid. The Hanging Gardens have numerous hedges which are carved into shapes of different animals and birds, something that surely will appeal to kids. Apart from this one can witness some amazing sunset over the Arabian Sea from here. When at the Hanging Gardens, you are likely to be accosted by a young boy selling hand held fans made of peacock feathers. At first glance, you are sure to shoo him off as yet another Mumbai hawker trying to sell his wares. But if you pause and talk to him, you will realize that he is the same kid who went viral on the internet as the “Lingo Kid”. He can talk to you in over 10 international languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, and others. He has also appeared on TEDx as a speaker to talk about his remarkable story. You can watch the TEDx  below.

This Lingo kid 9 years ago:

Travel on a Mumbai Local Train

One of the best ways to have an immersive experience of the local people and culture and to get a peek into their daily lives is to use the public transport of the place. The local trains of Mumbai are literally the lifeline of the city connecting the sprawling city through its crisscrossing network and enabling millions to commute to and from work. The trains run across three major routes which are known as Western Railway, Central Railway, and Harbour Line. Each route has its unique characteristics. However, I would recommend a ride on the Local train from Churchgate to Borivali.

Mumbai

Mornings will find the trains packed with office goers heading towards Churchgate, a short walk away from Nariman Point where many of the offices of major companies are located. You will observe executives lost in the depths of the morning newspaper or poring over their laptops giving finishing touches to a presentation they need to get to their boss. Afternoons, when the trains are less crowded you may also be able to spot the famous Dabbawalas of Mumbai who pick up and deliver hot lunches to millions of office goers in Mumbai. In 2010, Harvard Business School added the case study – The Dabbawala System: On-Time Delivery, Every Time to their compendium for its high level of service with a low-cost and simple operating system.

Admire the Queen’s necklace in the cover of Darkness

South Mumbai is embellished by a 3.5 kilometer boulevard that caresses the sea as it winds into a C-shaped curve. This stretches from Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hills and the road alongside the sea is known as Marine Drive.

Mumbai

It is a pleasant experience to drive along Marine Drive at any time of the day or night. One can also take a walk along the Palm tree lined promenade looking at the waves of the Arabian Sea crashing against black rocks glistening in the moonlight. At night Marine Drive erupts into a glittering spectacle which when viewed from a distance or maybe from the Hanging Gardens or Kamala Nehru Park resembles a necklace stringed with sparking and glowing  diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

These are only a few experiences that will get you close to Mumbai’s heart and soul and you too shall experience the same kind of excitement that fills our being whenever we revisit Mumbai. There are many more immersive experiences in Mumbai that we would like to present to you and this we shall do in a later post, till then stay tuned.

Mumbai

Mumbai     Mumbai

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Voyager - Sandy & Vyjay

We are a travel and lifestyle blogging couple, founder of Voyager site. We love to experience and enjoy this world and share these experiences with others to inspire them. We are self-confessed social media addicts.

76 thoughts on “5 Unique Things To Do In Mumbai

  1. Sounds like a great city to explore, other than being massively crowded. I would love to spend a week or two wandering around and discovering everything.

  2. The Lingo Kid sounds absolutely sensational! I’d certainly seek him out if I was in Mumbai, and I would also be checking out that old shoe as well 🙂 Thanks for tipping me off to some of the quirkier things in Mumbai as well as the big ticket attractions.

  3. That Old Woman’s Shoe looks interesting- what a great place to visit all around. Thanks for the travel tips to Mumbai. I could also walk along the Arabian Sea and listen to the waves all evening long.

  4. I Would love to visit India, especially Mumbai at some point as I have yet to travel there. This is a great starter guide for things to do whilst there! Thanks for these tips they will come into great use when i travel there!

  5. wow, I really didn’t know there was so much to do in Mumbai. I always thought of it as one more boring metropolitan so never planned to visit here. Now, I am gonna jump and seize the next opportunity to be here

  6. I hope to make it out to Mumbai some day! It looks like the Hanging Gardens would be my place to hang. I would definitely also check out Marine drive at night. It looks beautiful!

  7. I have never been to Mumbai before, but I have had a lot of friends who have recommended that I should visit one day. I love this list of fun things to do – the Old Woman’s Shoe looks interesting. And how cool would it be to see the Lingo Kid!!

  8. I’ve been wanting to go to India for a long time, and this definitely is encouraging that! The Hanging gardens look absolutely stunning, I would love that! I hadn’t heard of the Lingo Kid, but that’s wonderful~

  9. Walk along the Marine Drives and Gateway of India is definitely an amazing experience. But travelling in local train is no fun for someone who is not from Mumbai 😉 Only Mumbaikars know the skill to push through crowd and travel 🙂

  10. Looks like a very exciting place to visit with lots to do, especially the train ride – I’ve heard a lot about those! My kids would love the shoe and the Lingo Kid sounds amazing! I hope to get to Mumbai one day 🙂

  11. I have never been to India, but it’s on my list. Looks like there is lots to do in Mumbai and I am sure I will visit there. I think I will go watch the sunset from the hanging gardens 🙂

  12. Wow the walk along the Marine Drives at night looks amazing! I have not heard of that Lingo Kid, but I cannot believe you recognized him! Thats pretty unique. Great tips about Mumbai I had never considered visiting till now. Thanks.

  13. This Lingo kid makes me speechless, imagine 9 years old kid already know many languages that I either can’t understand hands up. looking forward visiting Mumbai for that kid. Great written indeed thanks.

  14. I must admit, the shoe looks pretty darn cool. In all the articles I’ve read about Mumbai this is the first time I’ve seen it mentioned. And I totally agree with the idea of riding the train…it’s the best way to see how the locals live and experience a small bit of their local life.

  15. I definitely feel like jumping on a mumbai train would be a unique travel experience. Going through the chaos and trying to get on would be frustrating, amusing and fun all at the same time!

  16. Love these ideas! I think my favorite one is to walk on the Promenade at The Gateway of India, but I’d probably get there later or earlier as you suggested to avoid the tourists 🙂
    Alessandra

  17. You wrote this article with such passion, that had enthralled in the article. What a wonderful place Mumbai must be. I have never really thought about going in the near future but perhaps I should change my mind.

  18. Mumbai is on my bucket list, so these things are very useful for me 🙂 . My favourite one is with no doubts to get inside the old woman’s shoe, it’s really amazing because I’ve never seen something like that, surely it’s going to be very fun to visit it :).

  19. I don’t know much about Mubai and it’s wonderful to learn about it through your eyes. ?As a kid, and maybe even as an adult, I think I would be fascinated by the shoe too. I love that the string of lights is called the Queen’s Necklace. Very fitting!

  20. Mumbai is definitely on my list of places to visit next year. I will club my visit with Pune and Nasik though so as to have many more things to do. Thanks for sharing your suggestions.

  21. Looks like you had a great time in Mumbai. It definitely is a buzzing city with variety of things with Marine drive being the best. You should also visit Bandra BandStand. i am sure you will love it.

  22. I’m going to India in 2018 and Mumbai Is on my list of places to go to – thanks for the great ideas and tips. I’ve pinned this for when I’m planning my itinerary!! 😀

  23. While I think the Gateway of India is one of the most overrated sights I’ve ever seen (seriously, there is nothing to be experienced there), that Lingo Kid is a real curiosity. Im gonna make sure to go see him next time Im in Bombay.

    You might wanna consider a walking tour into Dharavi next time you’re there. Really interesting stuff!

  24. Such an informative post. Am off to Mumbai in a few weeks so will definitely be reading this again nearer the time to freshen my memory. I especially love the picture of the gate with the bird flying up right in the centre! Perfect timing.

  25. I m so sad to say that still i have not made to Mumbai. This city looks so awesome and colorful even i live in Delhi which is also one of the metro city of India. I would love to visit as soon as possible.

  26. Never realized there was so much to see and do in Mumbai. It seems historic and gorgeous, the night lights as well. That giant old lady’s shoe looks so fun. I’m kind of a child at heart so it reminds me of the nursery rhymes my mom used to tell me or sing to me!

  27. The Gateway of India looks gorgeous. This probably something I definitely want to see and take a picture of. The nice arc and the birds flying over the horizon. Oh the feels!!!

  28. I always thought about Mumbay as a city without characteristic appeal: you made me look at this city in a different way! The Queen’s Necklace is something I’d love to see and photograph.
    Thank you for sharing your experience!

  29. This looks like quite a fun compilation indeed! Even though I’m sure it was a nice way to experience the journey, I’m happy they put the treatment of the horses above tourist’s wishes and abandonded these Victorias!

  30. Been reading a lot of article about India. And I’m still hopeful that 1 day I can visit your country.
    I watched both videos of Meet the Lingo Kid at the Hanging Gardens and ohh boy he is so amazing!

  31. Good to remember this cty once in a while. I have mixed memories of living in Mumbai. At times it exhausted me. The local train rides challenged my sanity. But evenings in front of the Marine Drive washed away the tiredness and bitterness.

  32. Mumbai looks like a unique city to explore besides the fact that it is incredibly overcrowded and the infrastructure isn’t quite there. I haven’t been to India quite yet, but have a plan to go in late 2017. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Mumbai looks so different than the North of India, which I have already visited. It’s so nice to see structures like “The Old Woman’s Shoe”, I actually remember the story from when I was little. I have seen that promenade in quite a few films, I would like to walk on it and enjoy the breeze.

  34. The Promenade is something I will definitely check out once I go to Mumbai. I am into long walks and just observing people as they pass by. Any recommendations on cafes or restaurants there?

    1. That is great. Do check out Leopold Cafe. It is an iconic restaurant. If you plan to visit Mumbai, do PM me on facebook or reach out to me via email. I can help suggest few good restaurants around.

  35. Very nice piece! the gateway looks really nice but had to sing the old woman in a shoe nursery rhyme, love it! The shoe I mean, I imagine children love to play in it! Have not been to Mumbai, but wouldn’t mind a visit some day!

  36. Having lived in Mumbai for most of my life, I am quite biased 😊 These are all great experiences, which depending on time, budget and interest, they can present a completely different picture. For example, you could also opt to sail by the Gateway of India or go for tea to the Taj. Add some religious hats, Bollywood/local/food tours and you will see an entirely different side of Mumbai. Lovely photos!

  37. Definitely bookmarked this. Love this post, Vjay. I planned to go to India soon and taking the train is one of my top things to do there. Also, that old woman’s shoe looks crazy fun! By the way, how’s your experience with the trip coupons?

  38. I love the photo of the old woman’s shoe. My kids would love to go see it. Mumbai sounds like a really interesting city. The Gateway of India also sounds like a must do.

  39. I always try to read this kind of posts before visiting a new destination. My stay in Mumbay was very short so I could not do everything I wanted and I am missing some of your proposals. Next time there will be an Indian trains full immersion, for sure!

  40. YESSS!! Thank you so much! I’m going to be in Mumbai for Holi festival so I need ideas and suggestions of what I should prioritize! Pinning it for later 🙂

  41. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this place and I’ve been dreaming to visit this place. I like how you transmit your thoughts to your photos as they rhyme together. Mumbai is a topographic point that everyone should visit and I just can’t wait to traipse my two little itchy feet in all the places you have provided.

    LaiAriel

  42. Mumbai, India’s financial powerhouse is a city with furious energy. Your photo of “Gateway of India” represents their grandest colonial-era architecture. The lingo kid represents that some best thing in life could not be learned in the 4 corners of a classroom. He is really amazing! Because of his daily life – selling on the street and talking to different people he was able to learn different foreign languages.

  43. Having lived there for a few years can attest to the spirit of this city. From the local train to the Gateway every structure has a story to tell and every person a story to live. Wonderfully written!

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