Unique Things to Do in Mumbai India

Updated On: May 22, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Experience India most authentically through Mumbai. Being India’s most metropolitan city, Mumbai offers a wide range of things to do and see for its visitors. Besides being the country’s Commercial Capital, it is the home of more than 20 million residents. The fancy part of the city is the place of residency of many Bollywood megastars.

The city encompasses three UNESCO Heritage Sites, making it a Mecca for history buffs. However, no matter what your interests are, Mumbai would definitely have something to offer you. From nature reserves to various religious edifices and museums, Mumbai is packed with diverse attractions. Thus, the list of things to do in Mumbai is such a long one.

Unique Things to Do in Mumbai

While there are many things to do in Mumbai, many tourists have difficulty choosing the activities to do and sites to visit during their stay. We are here to help you find the best itinerary for visiting the city of your dreams. Here is a list of the most important sites to visit and things to do in Mumbai:

  • Admire Gateway of India
  • Explore Elephanta Caves
  • Experience Tranquility at Haji Ali Dargah
  • Enjoy Food and More at Juhu Beach
  • Make a Wish at Siddhivinayak Temple
  • Go on a Picnic at The Hanging Gardens
  • Tour Bollywood at Film City
  • Admire Nature at Sanjay Gandhi National Park
  • Appreciate Art and History at Prince of Wales Museum
  • Chill at Kamla Nehru Park

Admire Gateway of India

things to do in Mumbai

Start your visit by admiring the astounding Gateway of India. It is one of Mumbai’s most popular landmarks. The foundation was laid in 1913, and the building was completed in 1924. The Gateway was built to commemorate King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to Mumbai.

Nowadays, the Gateway of India is a defining monument of the metropolitan city of Mumbai. It is one of the most popular sightseeing places in the whole country of India. The design is influenced by Roman and Islamic architecture in addition to Roman triumphal arches. The building is 26 meters high and contains a mixture of religious symbols of both Hinduism and Islam, expressing India’s unity.

The Gateway was built using yellow basalt and concrete. Two large hallways, situated on the sides of the arch, can accommodate around 600 people. The central dome is inspired by Islamic architecture. The steps behind the archway offer a bedazzling view of the Arabian Sea.

The Gateway of India is located on the Apollo Bunder waterfront facing the Arabian Sea. It is the starting point of ferries to the historic site of Elephanta Caves. Watching the Yachts and ferries take off to the Arabian Sea is one of the most interesting things to do in Mumbai.

The location is a gathering spot for residents and tourists alike. This makes it the perfect spot for people watching. The area is packed with street food vendors that sell both sweets and traditional savory dishes. The monument is open 24/7 for all visitors. There is no entry fee to get into the place.

Explore Elephanta Caves

One of the main things to do in Mumbai is to explore Elephanta Caves. From the Gateway of India, take the ferry to Elephanta Island. The ferries leave every 30 minutes and take around an hour to arrive. Upon your arrival, you will wander freely around the peaceful island.

Being the home of the medieval Elephanta Caves, the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The caves are of two groups. The first is a large group of five Hindu caves, and the second is a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. These are rock-cut cave temples that date back to the 5th century. The temples are around 1,600 years old.

The temples are laid out in a maze-like mandala pattern. These Hindu temples were dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the god of destruction. Inside the Hindu temples, you can explore carvings that tell the story of different Hindu myths. The main temple has a 6-meter-high Shiva statue, depicting him as the destroyer, creator, and preserver of the universe.

You can visit the island from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The entry fee is 600 INR ($7.97), and children under four can enter for free. You can hire one of the on-site guides or walk around freely with the assistance of guidebook pamphlets or an app. Wandering on the island is one of the most peaceful things to do in Mumbai.

Experience Tranquility at Haji Ali Dargah

Located on an islet off the coast of Worli, Haji Ali Dargah is a tranquil destination for anyone that needs a break from the busy city. Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and a dargah built in the 15th century. The dargah is dedicated to Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a wealthy merchant who gave up his worldly belongings and embraced Sufism.

Even though the Dargah is a Muslim monument, people from different religions still visit it to ask for blessings. The building has a beautiful Indo-Islamic style of architecture. In the centre of a marble courtyard is the glass tomb of the late Haji Ali. The top of the tomb is covered by a decorated red and green cloth that is supported by marble columns and a fascinating silver frame.

Marble pillars fill the main hall of the mosque. On them are engraved the 99 names of Allah. The pillars are engraved with creative mirror work; blue, green, and yellow glass chips are arranged in varied designs and Arabic patterns.

While you are at the dargah, make sure to check the Qawallis hall and attend one of the sessions. This is a hall where Qawallis, melodious invocations to the Almighty, are sung. The Qawalls, Qawallis performers, usually sit on the hall floor with their instruments and begin their prayer. Observers sit around them, mesmerized as they enjoy tranquility and spirituality.

The Dargah is open for all visitors, regardless of religion, daily from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm. This is a religious site, so make sure to dress modestly. You are also supposed to cover your head before entering the shrine. Due to being surrounded by water from all directions, the dargah can be accessed only when the tide is low.

Haji Ali Dargah is the most prominent religious attraction in Mumbai. Visiting it must be on top of the list of things to do in Mumbai.

Enjoy Food and More at Juhu Beach

Things to do in Mumbai
Juhu Beach, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Looking for a day full of activities? Head to Juhu beach in Mumbai’s suburbs. Juhu Beach is one of the biggest and most famous beaches in Mumbai. It stretches for 6 km on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The beach is known for its street food and beautiful sunsets.

The beach is a heaven for street food lovers. It witnesses the richness of Indian cuisine. Food stalls and carts are scattered along Juhu beach. They sell traditional dishes such as bhel puri, sev puri, paani puri, vada pao, batata vada, and misal pao. Trying out the other dishes should be on your itinerary for things to do in Mumbai.

Besides being rich in street food, Juhu Beach is a great location for physical activities. From simple jogging to camel and horseback riding, Juhu Beach is suitable for different activities. Many come to do yoga by the seaside. You can participate or just watch the groups exercise in tranquillity.

The beach is mostly crowded in the evening as individuals come to enjoy the dazzling sunset on the sea horizon. However, it is open 24/7 for all visitors. Even though Juhu Beach is in a posh area of the city, it does not charge any entry fees. Visiting Juhu Beach and enjoying tasty Indian dishes must be included in the things to do in Mumbai.

Make a Wish at Siddhivinayak Temple

The temple of granted hopes and blessings, the Siddhivinayak Temple is devoted to Ganesha, the god of removing obstacles. Hindu devotees who favour the elephant-headed god go on pilgrimages to the temple. They believe that god Ganesha grants their wishes.

The temple was built in 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil, a couple who did not have their own children. They built the Siddhivinayak Temple so other infertile women could have their wishes of having children granted. The temple is the richest in Mumbai. It receives around INR 100 million in donations annually.

A two and a half feet wide idol of Shri Ganesha. The idol is placed in a small sanctuary and is made of only one piece of black stone. Besides the main sanctum, the old part of the temple also includes a hall, a verandah and a water tank.

In 1990, the decision to renovate the temple was made. The architect responsible for the renovation studied the temples of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu thoroughly before finalizing the design of the temple. The renovation took three years to complete. The outcome of the renovations is the temple as we know it today.

Nowadays, the temple has 37 gold-plated domes embellishing its main complex. A multi-angular structure of six stories is built over the gilded domes. Three main entrances lead to the temple interior. The popularity of the Siddhivinayak temple is not owed solely to the belief that Ganesha grants wishes. It is only because the temple is famous among movie stars.

Allow yourself two hours to remove your shoes and enter this magnificent temple. Stop there to relax and maybe have one of your wishes granted. A visit to the temple must be one of your things to do in Mumbai.

The temple is open daily from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm. However, the best time to visit is in the afternoon. During that time, the temple was not as crowded. The temple does not collect entry fees.

Go on a Picnic at The Hanging Gardens

Every busy city needs a quiet place. The Hanging Gardens are a place in Mumbai. The 140-year-old gardens offer Mumbaikars a break from the hustle and bustle of their lively city. The Hanging Gardens were built in 1881 in the western part of the city. Trees, bushes and colourful flowers cover the whole garden.

The Hanging Gardens are named because they are built on stone terraces on multiple levels. The structure of the gardens is not their only fascinating aspect. They include a number of hedges carved in different animal shapes. Owing to their location on a hillside, the gardens have fantastic views of South Mumbai.

The gardens open their doors to visitors as early as 5:00 a.m. This allows visitors to have a bird’ s-eye view of the city before the morning fog wears off. As the day progresses, a magnificent view of the sun setting behind the Arabian Sea can be observed from the gardens.

The Hanging Gardens are perfect for a relaxing afternoon or a morning full of physical activities. If you want to go for a walk, jog, do some yoga or even go for a picnic, the gardens are your destination.

A picnic at the Hanging Gardens is one of the best things to do in Mumbai. It is suitable for the whole family. During your visit to Mumbai, dedicate half a day to exploring the gardens. The official opening time is from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and there are no entry fees.

Tour Bollywood at Film City

Are you a Bollywood fan? Add a visit to Film City to your list of things to do in Mumbai. The attraction is the home of Bollywood. Stretching over 520 acres, the place is huge. About a thousand sets can be built there. The city offers great insights into the work behind Bollywood’s magical movies.

Famous movies have been shot at this location. Choose a guided tour and prepare to be amazed by the details you will hear. Your guide will explain the different methods of filmmaking that distinguish Bollywood movies from others. You can visit this location on any day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admire Nature at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Things to Do in Mumbai

Get a break from modernity to see nature and wildlife at Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The Park stretches over 104 square kilometres, making it the world’s largest park within city limits. With 2 million visitors annually, it is one of the most visited parks in Asia.

The park is widely known as Mumbai’s green lung. It covers around 20% of the city’s geographical area and is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. Wild animals, such as Leopards, Lions, Tigers, and flying foxes, roam around the park. Thousands of visitors throng together to spot these animals and see them in their natural habitat.

The park is famous for its evergreen forests. It also includes two artificial lakes, the Vihar Lake and the Tulsi Lake. These lakes lend the park a jaw-dropping view, especially during cloudy days. Stand on the bridge over the lake and enjoy the dream-like view of the clouds and water becoming one entity.

One of the main attractions in the park is the famous Kanheri Caves. More than a hundred Buddhist caves are snuggled in the park’s quietness. These caves offer insight into the evolution of Buddhism and its rises and fall during the 15 century. The attraction also includes a prayer hall, several Buddhist stupas, and, most interesting, water channels carved of stones.

An exciting activity in the park is to go on a safari to watch the lions and tigers in their natural habitat. The safari lasts around 20 minutes and is a ride through a fenced area of the forest to give you a close view of the wild animals. The safari is affordable. The cost is INR 64 ($0.86) and INR 25 ($0.33) per child.

The park also includes a vintage toy train, the Jungle Queen. The train ride lasts about 15 minutes and goes along the foothills of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial on Pavilion Hill. The Jungle Queen also passes over Dear Park.

As you read, Sanjay Gandhi National Park has everything anyone could ask for. A visit to the park should never be missed on your list of things to do in Mumbai.

Appreciate Art and History at Prince of Wales Museum

Things to do in Mumbai
Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai, India

With a collection exceeding 70,000 items, the Prince of Wales Museum is one of the most prominent museums in India. The cornerstone of the building was laid by the Prince of Wales in 1905. Then, in 1922, the building was turned into a museum named the Prince of Wales Museum. However, the museum is officially called the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum.

Visiting the Prince of Wales Museum is among the top things to do in Mumbai. The museum is one of India’s key art and history attractions. It displays an innumerable collection of historical artefacts, statues, and artworks. The collection gives excellent insights into India’s incredible past.

Indian history is not the only subject the museum exhibits. The Prince of Wales Museum preserves numerous antiques from Nepal, Tibet, and other countries. It is also decorated with artworks made of wood, metal, jade, and ivory.

Allow yourself 3 to 5 hours on one of the days you are in Mumbai. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum is a great addition to your Mumbai list of things to do.

Chill at Kamla Nehru Park

Relive your childhood and enjoy peace at Kamla Nehru Park, part of Hanging Park. Kamla Nehru Park is a recreational park covering around 4 acres of land. It is very popular among tourists and locals alike. Squeeze a visit to Kamla Nehru Park on your list of things to do in Mumbai.

One of the most popular attractions in the park is a shoe-like structure. This remarkable shoe grabs the attention of children. The structure was inspired by a nursery rhyme titled ‘There was an old woman who lived in a shoe’. Many people do not know this fact; however, the attraction still draws their attention.

The park is the perfect place for kids. There are many activities and things to see in the park. Children aged 10 and younger can climb the attractive boot house, which children of different ages can also enter.

The park also features a rainbow-colored amphitheater, which attracts children with its cheerful colors. Various cultural programs are held at the amphitheater from time to time, and children can participate in them. The park also has a great playground, where children can have a good time.

In addition to the man-made attractions, the park has great natural views. Kamla Nehru Park snuggles an array of trees and flowers. The park is perfect for a picnic during the day or a relaxing time at night. There are several street vendors that sell traditional dishes to park visitors. Treat yourself to some delicious dishes and make your picnic even more enjoyable.

A visit to Kamla Nehru Park is a must. Add it to the things to do in Mumbai. The park opens Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. You need to dedicate 2 to 3 hours to the park visit to be able to check its key attractions. There are no entry fees to the park.

As you’ve seen in the article, there are many things to do in Mumbai. The city is truly cosmopolitan and encompasses various sites and activities worth trying. Plan your trip carefully and select the most exciting attractions in the city. We hope our article makes that job easy!

Check also: Things to do in India

2 commments on “Unique Things to Do in Mumbai India

  1. Gratitude for sharing your Mumbai travel escapades! Your blog served as my virtual guide, and I can’t thank you enough for the insider information that made my visit seamless and memorable.

    1. So glad you found our blog helpful to create your travel guide for Mumbai! We hope you had an amazing trip 🙂

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