Things to Do in Mumbai for First-Time Visitors

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: November 9, 2023

the gateway of india and boats as seen from the mumbai harbour in mumbai
The Gateway of India and boats as seen from the Mumbai Harbour in Mumbai

Mumbai, the City of Dreams, pulsates with activity around the clock. It’s a city where traditional bazaars rub shoulders with swanky malls, and street food vendors share space with some of India’s finest restaurants. There is an endless list of things to do in Mumbai, catering to all kinds of travellers. Whether you’re looking for activities to do in Mumbai or places to visit in South Mumbai, this guide has got you covered.

1Iconic Attractions: The Heart of Mumbai

The Gateway of India

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Gateway of India, Mumbai

One of the best things to do in Mumbai is to visit the Gateway of India, the city’s most iconic landmark. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, it’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the historical significance and also enjoy a breezy evening.

Colaba Causeway

cafe mondegar metro house colaba causeway bombay
Cafe Mondegar Metro House,Colaba causeway Bombay

For shopping enthusiasts and culture vultures, Colaba Causeway is not just a fun place in Mumbai; it’s a treasure trove of boutiques, cafes, and historical sites.

Marine Drive

view of mumbai from marine drive
View of Mumbai from Marine Drive

A sunset stroll along Marine Drive, famously known as the Queen’s Necklace, is one of the unique things to do in Mumbai. This sweeping promenade offers panoramic views of the city skyline and is a favourite night-out place in Mumbai.

2Cultural Deep Dive: The Soul of Mumbai

Kala Ghoda Art Precinct

kala ghoda art precinct
Kala Ghoda Art Precinct

In South Mumbai lies the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct, bustling with galleries, museums, and cafes. It is one of the prime tourist places in South Mumbai where art and heritage converge.

Elephanta Caves

elephanta caves
Elephanta Caves

A ferry ride away from the Gateway of India, the Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testament to ancient Indian art.

3Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

chhatrapati shivaji maharaj vastu sangrahalaya
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Previously known as the Prince of Wales Museum, this is one of the most prestigious museums in India and a must-visit place in South Mumbai.

4Mumbai at Night: The City That Never Sleeps

Rooftop Bars and Clubs

group of friends having drinks at shisha bar mumbai
Group of friends having drinks at Shisha bar Mumbai

When the sun goes down, the city lights up with countless places to visit at night in Mumbai. Rooftop bars like Aer and Tamasha offer stunning views and an electrifying atmosphere.

Midnight Cycling Tours

Activities to do in Mumbai at night include the popular midnight cycling tours that take you through the city’s most iconic spots.

Juhu Beach

people enjoying beautiful evening at juhu beach
People enjoying beautiful Evening at Juhu Beach

For a more laid-back evening, Juhu Beach is one of the fun places in Mumbai to relax, with the bonus of trying out street food like Pav Bhaji and Kulfi.

5Adventure and Recreation: The Spirit of Mumbai

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

people getting inside kanheri caves at sanjay gandhi national park
People getting inside Kanheri caves at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

For those looking for things to do around Mumbai, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park offers a slice of wilderness in the bustling city, with activities like trekking, a toy train, and the famous Kanheri Caves.

Water Sports at Chowpatty Beach

juhu beach in mumbai
Juhu beach in Mumbai

Engage in some fun activities in Mumbai like jet skiing, banana boat rides, or simply savouring a spicy plate of Bhel Puri at Chowpatty Beach.

6Unique Experiences: The Unexplored Mumbai

Dharavi Slum Tour

dharavi slums on a river bank
Dharavi slums on a river bank

Venture into one of the largest slums in Asia for an eye-opening experience. The Dharavi tour is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Mumbai.

Bollywood Tour

No guide to Mumbai is complete without mentioning Bollywood. Take a tour of a film studio, witness the filming of a movie, or even catch a glimpse of a Bollywood star.

7Mumbai with Friends: The Joyful Mumbai

Escape Rooms

Things to do in Mumbai with friends include challenging yourselves at escape rooms like The Amazing Escape and Clue Hunt.

Paintball and Go-Karting

For an adrenaline rush, head to Smaaash for go-karting or try paintballing at Hakone in Powai, making for a memorable day out.

8Dining Out: The Taste of Mumbai

a woman eating vada pav street food in mumbai
A woman eating vada pav street food in Mumbai

Street Food Tours

No trip to Mumbai is complete without indulging in the local street food. From Vada Pav to Sev Puri, the flavours are as diverse as the city itself.

Fine Dining

For a more upscale dining experience, restaurants like Wasabi by Morimoto and Bombay Canteen offer some of the best things to do in Mumbai for food lovers.

9Shopping: The Vibrant Mumbai

crowded streets within chor bazaar in mumbai
crowded streets within Chor Bazaar in Mumbai

Markets and Bazaars

Explore the bustling bazaars like Crawford Market and Chor Bazaar for a quintessential Mumbai shopping experience, where you can find everything from antiques to textiles – truly some of the best things to do in Mumbai.

Luxury Malls

For a more contemporary shopping affair, visit the High Street Phoenix and Palladium malls in Lower Parel, which house both international and Indian designer stores.

10Performing Arts: The Rhythmic Mumbai

Prithvi Theatre

For those interested in the performing arts, attending a play at Prithvi Theatre is one of the fun activities in Mumbai that offers a window into the city’s vibrant theatre scene.

National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA)

Another jewel in the city’s cultural crown is the NCPA, which hosts a variety of performances from classical music concerts to dance recitals and is a key entertainment place in Mumbai.

11Wellness and Relaxation: The Soothing Mumbai

Spas and Wellness Centers

After a long day of exploring, relax at one of Mumbai’s luxurious spas like the Four Fountains Spa or the Quan Spa at the JW Marriott.

Yoga and Meditation Centers

For a more holistic experience, participate in a yoga session or a meditation workshop – it’s one of the unique things to do in Mumbai that can offer a much-needed respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

12Festivals: The Celebratory Mumbai

ganesh chaturthi festival at mumbai
Ganesh Chaturthi festival at Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi

Experiencing Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi, the city’s most beloved festival, is a spectacle not to be missed and a fun thing to do in Mumbai.

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

The annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival transforms the district into a cultural hotspot with art installations, workshops, and performances, making it one of the unique things to do in Mumbai.

13Nature and Scenery: The Picturesque Mumbai

hanging gardens of mumbai
Hanging Gardens of Mumbai

Sunset at Bandstand

Capture a perfect sunset at Bandstand in Bandra, a popular hangout spot and one of the fun places in Mumbai for both locals and tourists.

The Hanging Gardens

For a peaceful escape, the terraced Hanging Gardens offer stunning views of the Arabian Sea and are a lovely place to visit in South Mumbai.

14For the History Buffs: The Enlightening Mumbai

dr bhau daji lad mumbai city museum
Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Heritage Walks

Embark on a heritage walk through the Fort area or around the art deco buildings of Marine Drive to delve into Mumbai’s rich history.

Mumbai’s Museums

The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum and the Bombay Natural History Society are the perfect places to visit in South Mumbai for history enthusiasts.

15Wrapping Up

Mumbai is a city of endless possibilities. From the bustling bazaars to the serene seaside, the historical sights to the height of luxury, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking entertainment places in Mumbai, night-out places in Mumbai, or unique things to do in Mumbai, this city will not disappoint. So pack your bags and set out to discover the wonders of Mumbai, where every corner offers a new adventure.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: November 9, 2023
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