24 hours in Mumbai
Mumbai is the wealthiest city in India as well as the most populous. It is a melting pot of people, colonial sites, Hindu temples and ancient bazaars along with shiny new skyscrapers, fashionable bars, fine dining and, of course, Bollywood. This is our top pick of things to explore if you are visiting.
1. Explore the markets and bazaars
Mumbai is perhaps better known for its designer shopping malls than its traditional markets these days but if you want to experience the sights and sounds of the city and pick up some unique souvenirs to take back home, there is no better place to go. Remember that India produces some of the most beautiful jewellery and textiles in the world.
For some interesting presents to take home head to Colaba Causeway, another top choice is Chor Bazaar Thieves Market for antiques, Crawford market for food and spices and clothes and shoes at Linking Road.
2. Visit the Gateway of India
The most iconic monument in the city was built during the British Raj as a testament to King George V and Queen Mary, who visited Mumbai in 1911. The Gateway is right next to the waterside and is a welcoming landmark to visitors who arrive by boat. It is often the starting point for exploring the city.
3. Historic buildings
Harking back to India's colonial past, there are some incredible examples of colonial architecture in Mumbai. This includes the Victoria Terminus (CST) railway station, the Bombay High Court and the gothic inspired Prince of Wales Museum, which is located in the Kala Ghoda art precinct.
4. Visit the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Almost as beautiful as its namesake, The Taj Mahal Palace is a luxurious five star hotel and is one of the most expensive in Mumbai. You may not end up staying here but it is definitely worth visiting - famous guest that have stayed over the years include George Bernard Shaw, the Beatles, Bill Clinton and Angelina Jolie.
5. Take a Bollywood tour
Mumbai is the official home of the local film industry known as Bollywood. India is known for having a burgeoning film industry with unwavering support from locals. Take a guided tour around Bollywood, at Film City, in the western suburb of Goregaon, for a glimpse into Indian cinemas brought to life.
6. Pick up a bite to eat
Street food has been associated with getting the dreaded 'Delhi Belly' but it can be avoided by choosing the popular spots where the locals go. Sunday Brunch is a big event in Mumbai and many top restaurants now have an all-you-can-eat buffet. Definitely something to check out.
7. Get a massage or sauna
One of the best ways to relax after a long day traipsing around a city is to book a massage. Ayurvedic massages and treatments are common in Mumbai – treat yourself.