India’s sprawling and populous seaside city, Mumbai is an entrancing fusion of colorful culture and rich history. Formerly known as Bombay, the city is often known as a place of extremes and offers a dazzling array of sights, scents and sounds that exhilarate and inspire even the most seasoned travelers. With so much to discover, it can be difficult to decide how to spend your day or night Mumbai. Below are the top four Mumbai attractions our destination experts recommend.
Just a few miles away from Mumbai Harbor, lush Gharapuri Island is home to the stunning 7th-century rock-cut temples of the Elephanta Caves, which are linked to the Hindu god Shiva and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spend the afternoon exploring the impressive cave complex, filled with a collection of shrines, courtyards, grand halls, porticos and exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses that resonate with the spiritual energy of India.
This compact district is endlessly colorful and packed with restaurants, boutiques and shops. It’s walkable and perfect for getting a taste of Mumbai and interacting with local Bombayites. The neighborhood is also home to the Gateway of India and the Colaba Causeway, a seemingly infinite stretch of stalls proffering nearly every type of good and souvenir imaginable. The night market here is equally attractive, with a variety ranging from food stalls to spice and silk shops to jewelry and handicrafts.
Away from the bustle of Mumbai, the Hanging Gardens are tucked away on the Malabar Hills and offer a beautiful vista of the vast Arabian Sea. Lush plants and an abundance of flowers fill the terraced gardens, which were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. Spend time wandering the gardens with your camera and admiring the picturesque views – it is also a beautiful location to enjoy an unforgettable Mumbai sunset.
In Old Bombay, discover the quiet enclave of Khotachiwadi, a charming 19th-century East Indian settlement. Stroll down the unique streetscape of this elegant heritage precinct with it beautifully painted buttercup yellow, red and green cottages to experience a different side of dynamic Mumbai.
Ready to explore the treasures of Mumbai in 2017? Start planning here.