Chaotic, colourful, and filled to the brim with diverse sights and sounds, there plenty of reasons to get lost in Mumbai. On a first-time visit, you won’t want to miss the city’s most famous sights, such as the Gateway of India monument or the regal museums of the Kala Ghoda Art District. From bazaars to Bollywood, there are plenty of sights off the beaten path that are also worth exploring. There’s no better way to get to know a city than exploring its different districts and talking to new people. You can easily stay in touch with new friends with providers at home offering cheap calls to India. As you wander, the following are a few destinations in Mumbai that you won’t want to miss.
The Heart of Bollywood
One of India’s most successful exports to the rest of the world is its delightful Bollywood film industry. Colourful, charming, and clever, these films can be viewed at classic cinemas like the Eros near Churchgate train station. If you want to get up close and personal with the Bollywood film culture, however, you can take a tour in Film City, which is located in the suburb of Goregaon.
Sanjay Ghandi National Park
If the chaos of Mumbai’s urban environment is leaving you gasping for air, you can get lost in a national park only a few miles to the north of the city centre. Sanjay Ghandi National Park includes a number of impressive hand-carved Buddhist caves, along with peaceful walkways and meditation areas. Breathe in the clean air and admire the craftsmanship of these ancient caves.
Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat
For a fascinating look at how the real city operates, you’ll want to venture into the open air laundry of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat Laundry from all across the city is brought to this central area to be hand washed, a job that requires skill and strength. The workers stand in troughs filled with water, scrubbing even the toughest stains out of the city’s dirty laundry.
Walk into a den of thieves and you might just snag a great bargain at the “thieves market” of Chor Bazaar. This market has been trading everything under the sun for over 150 years, including the illicit goods that have given it its name. Today, Chor Bazaar is a treasure trove for antique and vintage lovers, whether you’re looking for a polyester suit from the 1970’s or classic Bollywood film memorabilia. Flex your bargaining skills, as the shop keepers will inflate prices steeply for tourists. You may want to leave valuables like a smartphone at home, as you can make cheap international calls using prepaid SIM cards or calling cards instead and avoid the pickpockets.
Another great area to take a stroll and see a different side of multifaceted Mumbai is along Marine Drive. This pleasant boardwalk is popular with fitness fanatics and couples feeling romantic, making it a good location for having an ice cream and people watching.
Exploring these different areas of the city will help show you just how diverse Mumbai really is, going from stately monuments to dizzying markets in just a few blocks. Give yourself plenty of time to take in all the sights at your own leisure to enjoy it at its best.