MumbaiCopyright: Alexander Mazurkevich/Shutterstock.com
MumbaiA city with well-known architectural beauties like the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the World One skyscraper set against the natural harbour of the Konkan coast, Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra, India. It has now become one of the biggest melting pots in the world, boasting an ever-increasing population that is attracted by both the sights and business opportunities available here. Seeing all it has to offer may seem like a daunting task, but you are sure to find something to your liking in this megalopolis.
The CityThe city is split into diverse areas, making Mumbai's urban setting a complex nest of cultures, greatly influenced by the wave of immigrants taking their shot in the city of opportunities. Widely renowned as its pulsing heart, the southernmost precinct of Mumbai represents the downtown area and certainly the wealthiest neighbourhood in the whole of India. Home to the oldest and newest parts of the city, it boasts the iconic Gateway of India and the contemporary hustle around the Flora Fountain, along with other monuments, luxury retailers, art galleries and restaurants. South Mumbai is a fine starting point, a take-off platform to begin exploring the concealed wonders located throughout the city. The birthplace of the Indian film industry, Mumbai also houses Bollywood and its light-filled studios, fascinating dances and intense rhythms, with a production volume of over 1000 films per year.
Do & See
A complex tangle of cultures and creeds, the financial capital of India is a hub of activity. Get a flavorful sample of the country's food by visiting Crawford Market, experience a journey through the life of one of the most influential men in India at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and visit a fortune teller after a pony ride at Chowpatty Beach. Historical sites are located throughout the city, boasting ancient caves and temples while the city itself, with its bustling daily life and luxurious retail shops and restaurants, is an experience in itself.
Renowned for its vast street food culture, Mumbai´s streets bustle with food vendors and diverse stalls. Mumbaikars from all walks of life pour down the crowded streets indulging in the numerous delicacies the city has to offer, in a tradition that dates back several years and reaches its peak in Mumbai. Regional Indian cuisine can be sampled at this city's main roads, offering insights into its culinary tradition. Pav bhaaji, a vegetable curry served with a soft bread roll, is a local speciality while Vada Pav, the poor man's burger and kebabs perfectly represent Mumbai and its thousands of flavors. Bhel puri, a sweet and sour dish made of deep fried pastry shells with onion, tomato and chili is a popular snack often linked with Mumbai's beaches. Locals tend to prefer grabbing some street food rather than going to the restaurant. However, this cosmopolitan hub has a long list of places to try - traditional Indian cuisine, Italian, Asian, the city is well equipped with every kind of exotic eatery.
With its own coffee culture and as a vibrant and constantly growing center, Mumbai boasts a wide range of cafeterias and afternoon tea spots. From happening cafes to elegant lounges, the city doesn't lack destinations for coffee connoisseurs and, considering the wide and diverse offer, there won't be difficulties in finding a place that best fits your needs. Mumbai in the morning is a unique experience; bustling with people since the early hours, it offers the freshest ingredients and an ample variety of dishes from different culinary traditions. Breakfast tends to have rice or vegetable-based dishes, with a spicy touch that is ideal for a kick-start to the day.
Bars & Nightlife
The vigorous club and bar scene in Mumbai has become increasingly popular among party lovers. In the last ten years, the city has seen a multitude of happening hangouts rise up at a fast pace, making the commercial capital of India a suitable destination for night owls. The district of Colaba is where most of the party-goers hover, starting the evening in one of its bars or cruising around local food stalls and souvenir shops squeezed down the crowded Colaba Causeway. From here the way is paved, opening up no shortage of options available until around 3am, when most bars and clubs tend to close.
A wide range of upmarket outlets pop up sparsely throughout the city. Plentiful handicrafts, textiles and clothes of any sort sit in local shops, waiting to be discovered. Fruit and vegetable markets, typical clothes bazaars and thousand of hawkers located among outdoor dumps and upscale residential areas thrive within the lively city. Mumbaikers, living in such a urban jungle, have learnt how to get the best deals out of the city's thousands of vendors. A Mumbaiker would tell you that the stalls along MG Road boast some great quality signature items from brand manufacturers, that Colaba Causeway offers some of the best knickknacks in town or that fruit at the Crawford Market is fresher in the morning. There are lots of choices on Mereweather Road but you might, however, have to haggle to get the price you want.