News 14 things you need to do in the City of Dreams: Mumbai

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14 things you need to do in the City of Dreams: Mumbai

Whether it's great food, hot celebs or interesting heritage tours, here are 14 ways to explore Mumbai while in town for cricket!

Mumbai pulses with life, and will fill you with excitement from dawn ‘til well past dusk. If you’re heading to Mumbai to catch the cricket action this year, take a look at these options to round out your trip. From mouthwatering food and epic history to glamorous celebrities, Mumbai will surely overwhelm your senses. Skyscanner has a ton of fun to suggest as you follow your favourite cricket team around the region.

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1. Enjoy some beachfront bhelpuri and pav-bhaji at Chowpatty

Mumbai is the birthplace of this tasty snack, and the best place to enjoy this Mumbai original is Girgaum Chowpatty, Mumbai’s most famous beach. The place really kicks off in the evenings on weekends, and the festive atmosphere will entice you to join the fun. If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, head over to Bandra Promenade, known as the Bandstand, where more intimate moments can be had with the ones you hold dearest.

Read more: 11 of Kolkata’s best dining spots

2. Take a Bombay Heritage tour

Mumbai is a city of great antiquity, with centuries of fascinating history. For history buffs, or those who just want to get better acquainted with the metropolis, these heritage tours will introduce you to the complex, multi-layered story of the City of Dreams.

The South Mumbai route is especially popular; beginning in the “Fort” district, you will take in sites such as the Asiatic Society Library of Mumbai, the Indian Naval Dockyard, the Gateway of India, Ballard Estate and end at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel. The Fort tour itself is just as rewarding, where you will see Mumbai’s most historic architecture, such as the Bombay House, the Stock Exchange, the old Victoria Terminus and all the quaint restaurants dotting the lanes of the district.

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3. Cross the waves to see the Dargah of Haji Ali

Built on a tiny island off the coast of the city, this 15th century landmark welcomes visitors of all religious persuasions and is a fascinating monument to a time long past. Lucky visitors with impeccable timing will be serenaded by qawali singers, making the visit even more memorable. Your visits must be timed appropriately though, for the causeway linking the island to the city is submerged during high tide. However, the trouble is worth it, for watching the city from your vantage point at the shrine as the waves dance and crash around you will be a memory you will carry with you forever.

Photo credit: Yogesh Mhatre

4. Visit the ancient and mysterious Elephanta Caves

The twofold Elephanta Caves experience begins on your trip to the island on a wobbly ferry, where if you pay a little extra, you’ll be given a view from the top deck, which will provide you with the perfect vantage point as you approach the island. Next up is the Caves themselves; both locals and UNESCO agree that this cultural treasure demands protection. The statues and structures in these caves, carved directly in the walls, date to between the 5th and 8th centuries. The atmosphere here will transport you back into the distant past.

5. Seafood at Pratap Lunch Home and Highway Gomantak

Mumbai means seafood, so once you’ve worked up an appetite touring and visiting all the sites, head to one of Mumbai’s top seafood restaurants. The top two contenders are Pratap Lunch Home, where you can get a taste of the coveted tandoori crab or surmai tawa fry, and Highway Gomantak, which specialises in Goan food. Both places have been described as life-changing. Those with more room in their stomachs can head to either Gajalee and Mahesh Lunch Home for more deep sea delights.

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Photo credit: Pillai

6. Sample the Parsi food at Britannia and Co

South Mumbai has seen a great deal of change happen in recent years, but Britannia and Co. Restaurant is one of the few places in the area holding on to the old ways. It is something of a time capsule, preserving only the best aspects of the past though. Open six days a week, but only during lunch, the berry pulao, a savoury-sour rice dish, is what comes most highly recommended, and is sure to sate even the most ravenous diners.

Photo credit: tera gram

7. Cross the Bandra Worli Sealink

This is not simply a bridge that has eased the lives of Mumbaikars, it’s also a work of art. In addition to cutting commuting times by a third, it also provides fantastic views of the city rising from the sea. By Mumbai standards, congestion is quite moderate, and the views it provides are well worth the price of admission for tourists out for a drive.

8. Explore Mumbai’s myriad bazaars

The narrow lanes of Mumbai’s renowned bazaars present a delightful challenge for intrepid urban explorers. Who knows what you’ll stumble across when you turn the next corner? You can load up on spices at Lalbagh Spice Market’s masala stores, and find antique treasures and glittering gems in Chor Bazaar.

9. Take the Bollywood tour

Mumbai is a glamorous city, and no trip here is complete without at least one glimpse of a Bollywood luminary. Who better to show you around than a local taxi driver? Hop into a cab and ask for a ‘Bollywood’ tour and you are sure to catch at least one glimpse of fame. The driver can take you to see the homes of the stars, and their favourite haunts, and if fortune is smiling upon you on this day, a celeb may even be out on their balcony.

Photo credit: Christian Haugen

10. Spend a day at the races at Mahalaxmi Racecourse

The race track holds a special place in movie history, and has been the site of many unforgettable moments in both Hollywood and Bollywood. You can make your racecourse fantasies come true at Mumbai’s premier horse racing venue, Mahalaxmi. Grab a seat in the non-members section and find your lucky horse! During certain periods of time, when the racecourse is not in use by horses, sections open up for activities like running and yoga. You can even sign up for horse riding lessons!

Photo credit: Adil Peshimam

11. Cruise Marine Drive at night

Mumbai’s iconic Marine Drive runs along the beach in South Mumbai and provides you with a gorgeous view of the skyline as waves crash along the shore. The nearly 5km stretch of road takes you through several exciting districts with loads of mouth watering food options for a variety of budgets, like the reasonably-priced Crystal to the more upscale Pizza by the Bay. Sweet-toothed tourists will love the malai kulfi at Kulfi Centre.

The real action happens when the sun goes down, however. the Drive lights up and in doing so transforms into what is known locally as the “Queen’s Necklace,” gracefully curving around the edge of the bay, the lit lamps gleaming in the dusk. An excellent way to wind up a full day of eating and playing!

12. Grab a beer at Café Leopold

The iconic and beloved Cafe Leopold provides weary travellers with a great place to chug generous pitchers of beer, a cool and refreshing way to end a day of culture and action. Established in 1871, this local landmark provides a lively atmosphere in which to catch your breath and reflect on all you’ve seen or done. If by some chance you’re still hungry, you can always grab a post-beer chomp at the nearby Bade Miyan.

Photo credit: rahul rao

13. Star gaze at Prithvi Café

If your taxi tour of celebrity Mumbai didn’t turn up anything, you can always head down to Prithvi Cafe (at the Prithvi Theatre) to see who’s holding court. An excellent place for stargazing, this cafe attracts actors who are appearing in or coming to see a play, and the theatre is known for the quality of its productions.Grab a nice cup of cutting chai, relax, and be prepared to catch a glimpse of any Bollywood stars who might be passing through. You never know who might grab the table next to you!

Photo credit: janeslade

14. Midnight feasting at Bade Miyan

To cap off a long day of having fun, drop by Bade Miyan for one last snack. The best time to drop by this local landmark is after midnight. This humble little food stall in a gully in Colaba may not look like much, but it has a rabid following. Seats may be hard to come by, and the narrow lane is packed with cars waiting for their orders. All of this attests to the hard work the cooks put in and the skill that they possess. It may take a little patience before you finally get a taste of Bade Miyan’s world famous seekh kebabs and bhuna gosht, but that one taste will convince you that you’ve made the right choice.

Inspired to book your trip to the City of Dreams? Save more for your shopping by booking the cheapest flights and accommodation by using Skyscanner and our Skyscanner mobile apps.

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Adapted from an original article for Skyscanner.

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