From historic restaurants to iconic monuments, Mumbai’s many sites of attraction can overwhelm any visitor. To help you plan your visit better, we’ve rounded up 20 attractions in Mumbai that you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city.
Initially constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city, the iconic Gateway of India monument also happens to mark the spot from where British soldiers last departed India after centuries of colonial rule. It was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet and inspired by Indo-Islamic, Indian and Roman influences.
The historic Colaba Causeway thoroughfare is lined with street-side stalls selling everything from cheap jewellery to clothes and used books. From cafes, bars and restaurants such as Leopold Cafe and Cafe Mondegar that boast of cult-like followings to historic stores selling quirky items, there’s a lot to see here.
Built in 1127, the Banganga tank and its surrounding Walkeshwar Temple Complex serves as a reminder of Mumbai’s rich history. The complex was rebuilt to its current form in the 18th century after it had been destroyed by the Portuguese during the 16th century.
Established in 1884, the Knesset Eliyahoo Orthodox Jewish Synagogue is among the city’s oldest. Featuring a striking sky-blue façade and impressive Victorian stained glass, the synagogue was built under Jacob Elias Sassoon, the grandson of David Sassoon, who was a leader of the Jewish community in Bombay after emigrating from Baghdad while fleeing persecution.
Featuring neo-Gothic architecture, stained-glass windows and a 60 metre high tower and spire, this stunning church was built by the British in memory of the soldiers who died at the First Anglo-Afghan War. This was a failed attempt by the British in 1842 to encroach into present-day Afghanistan.
Undoubtedly among the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus features stunning High Victorian Gothic and Indian architectural styles, and is one of the country’s most famous railway stations. It’s a lively place and integral to Mumbai, so is a must-visit location for any visitor.
This iconic restaurant in Marine Lines is among Mumbai’s oldest and most celebrated Parsi cafes, and one of your best options if you’re looking to get a taste of the city’s rich Parsi cuisine and heritage. Founded in 1904, Kyani & Co oozes old-world charm, and is an essential stop among other historic South Mumbai landmarks in the city’s official heritage walk. Opt for the bun maska (bread rolls slathered with butter) and chai for a truly Mumbai experience.
Dating from the 5th century CE, the Elephanta Caves are a group of five Hindu and two Buddhist caves, some of which served as places of worship until the 1500s. They are located about 10 kilometers, or an hour’s ferry ride, into the Mumbai Harbour from the Gateway of India.
This 150+ year-old market is home to a variety of peculiar items, from antiques to spare automobile parts. Chor Bazaar (which means thieves market) supposedly got its name after belongings of Queen Victoria’s that had gone missing in Mumbai were found on sale in this market. In its heyday, the market is said to have featured stolen goods from around the city.
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park isn’t just largest park in the world located within city limits, but also one of Asia’s most visited. Dubbed the ‘lungs of the city’, this rich stretch of nature is home to diverse flora and fauna, including tiger and lion populations!
Located within the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the Kanheri Caves are among Mumbai’s most important historic sites. Featuring 109 rock-cut cave temples dating to the 1st century BCE that are believed to have once been Buddhist shrines and places of meditation and study, the complex is well worth the trek into the park.
The Haji Ali Dargah was built in 1431 in the memory of Sayyed Peer Jaji Ali Shah Bukhari, a wealthy merchant from present-day Uzbekistan. After giving up all his worldly possessions to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, he travelled the world and eventually settled in Mumbai. The pristine white building is located on an isle off the coast of Worli, and is linked to the mainland by a narrow pathway that appears only during low-tide.
Among the most historic churches in the city, Mount Mary’s Basilica was first built around 1570 and later rebuilt several times. The current edifice dates to 1904, but houses a statue of Mother Mary that is said to have been brought to India by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
The Taj Mahal Palace is much more than just a hotel: it is among Mumbai’s most celebrated landmarks. Built in 1903, the iconic dome served as the first clear marker of the Bombay Harbour until the Gateway of India was built next to it, a couple of decades later. More than a century after its construction, the hotel continues to remain one of the finest in the country.
Marine Drive, South Mumbai’s iconic sea-facing promenade, is among the first places outsiders think of when picturing Mumbai. Whether you are looking for an excellent location for your early morning or evening jog, a spot to unwind and gaze at the Arabian Sea or a drive by the sea, Marine Drive is the place.
With the world’s largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars, the Global Vipassana Pagoda is among Mumbai’s most striking architectural works. Modeled after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, this massive pagoda was built to express gratitude to Gautama Buddha, and to serve as a reminder of his teachings.
Its stunning neoclassical architecture notwithstanding, this historic building houses the Asiatic Society of Mumbai whose library is home to one of the two known original copies of Dante’s Divine Comedy, as well as 13th century Sanskrit texts. Built in 1833, the Town Hall is among South Mumbai’s highlights.
Mumbai is home to many bustling markets, and the Crawford Market in Fort is one of the most popular. From fresh produce to handicraft items, there’s almost nothing you cannot find at this vast bazaar. It also happens to be a fantastic place to people watch and soak in the city’s madness.
This walkway by the Arabian Sea offers stunning views of the iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link and of South Mumbai’s picturesque skyline. At its southern tip is the historic Bandra Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1640.
Mumbai is the arts and entertainment capital of the country, which is why you should make sure to sample its rich artistic offerings. As one of the country’s most acclaimed theatres, Prithvi regularly features various performing arts shows featuring celebrated and emerging talent.