Update (November 3): A free guided tour is being organized at ITW for all participants on November 9, Wednesday (post lunch). Please see here for more details and signing up – ITW Guided Tour.
There are many interesting places to see in and around Mumbai (also known as Bombay). See the Maharashtra Tourism website for an official list. Here is an incomplete list of popular places.
Overnight Trips around Mumbai:
Rock-cut cave monuments dating back to more than fifteen hundred years ago. The cave complex includes monasteries, shrines and exquisite paintings which are among the finest specimens of ancient Indian art. The nearest city to these sites is Aurangabad which is about 330 km from Mumbai reachable by road and rail with a lot of good hotels for stay. The Ajanta and Ellora cave complexes are UNESCO World Heritage sites. More info for hotels and stays.
Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary:
Situated a few kilometers away from the city of Paithan in Aurangabad district, Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary is the winter home to hundreds of migratory bird species. Many of these birds even cross the Himalayas to come here. More info for overnight stays.
Khandala and Lonavala: Hill stations a few hours’ drive away.
Day Trips in and around Mumbai:
Located on Elephanta Islands in Mumbai, Elephanta Caves are rock-cut cave monuments dating back to the 6th century. Also a UNESCO World Heritage site. These caves are reachable by a one-hour ferry journey starting at the Gateway of India. See https://elephanta.co.in/ for more details.
Beaches accessible from Mumbai:
Catch a ferry from the Gateway of India to Mandwa. A nice beach close to the ferry point is Kihim. There are other nice beaches too. The ferry fare from Gateway usually also includes a bus which can drop you near the beaches. It is recommended to check with the ferry details about the same. Alibaug is another.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP):
SGNP is one of the most visited biodiversity parks in Asia and houses hundreds of endangered species of flora and fauna. SGNP is a 40-min taxi ride from IIT. More info – https://sgnp.maharashtra.gov.in/1233/How-to-Reach-us
South Bombay has multiple heritage sites, old buildings, museums and art galleries. Most of these places are very close to each other and you can explore them in any order.
Private walking tours: You can book private walks from https://khakitours.com. They also conduct scheduled tours every weekend.
Bus tour: There are open-top double decker buses which start from Gateway of India everyday after 3:30 pm. They take around an hour and give a tour which covers Marine Drive, Churchgate, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and drops you back to Gateway in one hour.
Self-guided walking tour: Here is a walking tour you can take which covers a good number of areas. Feel free to change the order or skip some of these areas.
Start the tour from Marine Drive. It is a 3 kilometer-long promenade along the coast. If you start walking down the Marine Drive, you can see UNESCO world heritage site art deco buildings across the road. From the Marine drive, walk towards Oval Maidan. Oval Maidan is a recreational ground and a heritage site. It has art deco buildings on one side and Gothic architecture buildings (Mumbai High Court) on the other side. Use the footpath through the center of Oval Maidan to go to the High Court side. Explore the area and then take a left from the Institute of Science, towards the National Gallery of Modern art (NGMA). NGMA is at the junction of multiple roads. Opposite to NGMA is the museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) and on one side is Regal Cinemas. Tickets to NGMA and the museum are usually more expensive for foreign nationals than Indians. Feel free to visit the art gallery, museum or watch a movie at Regal (better idea to book it in advance). When you are done, go towards the Jehangir Art Gallery. This gallery has multiple halls and usually has different ongoing exhibitions in each hall. The entry to the gallery is free. The art gallery is next to the Kala Ghoda statue. This area is known as Kala Ghoda. It has nice cafes, restaurants and designer stores (explore the inner streets). You can stop here for coffee or a meal. While you are here, visit St. Thomas’ Cathedral and Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk). From here, head towards Ballard Estate via the Horniman Circle (and Asiatic Library). Ballard Estate is full of buildings with Edwardian neoclassical architecture. Most of these are government buildings now. It also has a famous Parsi cafe, called Britannia (try berry pulao there). Britannia is usually open for lunch on weekdays and lunch and dinner on Saturdays. Check the timings before going. If it is not open, you can try Parsi food at Jimmy boy (near Horniman Circle). Mumbai has a good number of Parsi/Irani cafes (see this). There is a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) museum of currency near Ballard Estate. The entry to the museum is free. After Ballard Estate, you can head towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The whole building and nearby buildings are lit up at night. After this, you can go to Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. There are many nice restaurants and bars near gateway (including old and famous Leopold Cafe, Cafe Mondegar and Cafe Churchill).
Another interesting area to explore would be Crawford Market (also see this) and Mohammad Ali Road. This can take 3-4 hours, so you can do it on a separate day. Crawford Market is very old and sells almost everything that you can think of. You can buy souvenirs from here. Mohammad Ali Road is famous for its non-vegetarian food (see this food tour). You will also see a lot of perfume shops. If you are interested in perfumes, go to Ayubb Yakub Perfumers.
Other Places to See:
Haji Ali Dargah: This is situated inside the sea. There is a walking path which leads to the dargah.
Bandra: It is a coastal suburb and is a nice area to walk around. You can consider covering these areas on your trip to Bandra.
- Basilica of Lady of the Mount
- St. Andrew’s Church
- St. Peter’s Church
- Bandra Fort and Bandstand
Museums and Art Galleries: Mumbai has a number of museums and art galleries.
- Film museum: Museum of Indian Cinema
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya: Art and history museum
- Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum: Mumbai city history museum (This is temporarily closed for maintenance but may reopen by November. It is housed in a beautiful building.)
- Jehangir Art Gallery
- Nehru Center Art Gallery
- National Gallery of Modern Art
- RBI Monetary Museum
- BEST Museum
- Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalay
List of Arts Theatres: These theatres regularly host events showcasing dance, music and plays. We recommend that you book your tickets well in advance.