24 hours in Mumbai: Best places to visit

Tourists come in lakhs to the city of Mumbai every day. Most of them plan to visit it but a few of them are forced to experience the city of dreams. Either their flight is cancelled or delayed or they have a forced stopover in the city due to other reasons. These unexpected short stays in Mumbai are not uncommon. Few of these tourists want to make the most of their time here, so this post is for all those people who have 24 hours or less in the Mumbai city.

Mumbai International Airport

If you want to rest in a plush hospitable hotel then there are many five star properties near Mumbai airport. The notable ones are JW Marriot Sahar, Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn, Ibis, Hotel Sahara Star etc. There are many smaller hotels which can provide you with clean rooms and good food like Hotel Aircraft International, Niranta, Hotel Airline, etc. If you are in no mood to put on your sleep suit, then I would suggest to book cabs through Ola or Uber and travel to the following places to get the best flavor of the Mumbai city.

I would suggest that you head straight to South Mumbai. South Mumbai has beautiful colonial buildings and is definitely a must visit if you are coming for the first time in Mumbai. The first stop can be The Gateway of India. The most popular structure in Mumbai, it is located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, the gateway overlooks the Mumbai harbor, bordered by the Arabian Sea in the Colaba district. The harbor is dotted with jetties and plush yachts owned by the swish set in the city. If you are interested to spend 3 hours exploring the ancient caves of Elephanta, the ferry leaves right from the Gateway of India dock.

Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai

Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai. Image by Rajosik Banerjee

The most beautiful Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is also in the vicinity. If you want Starbucks coffee it is right behind the hotel. Local restaurants offer some amazing Indian food like curries and kebabs. If you are not the one to experiment with different cuisines, try catch up on some good English breakfast at the Leopold Cafe or Cafe Mondegar. Colaba Causeway is a good place to bargain for some souvenirs.

If you are looking for some exclusive souvenirs then you must visit Mutton Road near Mohammad Ali Road. From original ‘His Masters Voice’ gramophones, German gramophones, gramophone records to old Rolleiflex working cameras to antique furniture, clocks, door knobs, to everything from the bygone era. It is a treasure island for the people who like to collect antiques. And you can hit a good bargain with the shopkeepers if you pretend to walk away. Crawford Market is another place to shop where you can find good bargains. All these places are close by. You can take a local taxi to reach from point to point or walk around with the help of GPS navigation.

#hmv #gramophone #vintage #music #box #record #analog A friend bought a working model. #supercool #wow #picoftheday

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If you are inclined to know about the history and culture of the city then I strongly recommend that you visit the Chatrapati Maharaj Vastu Sanghralay, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum. The Museum building, a Grade I Heritage building, is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and houses a world-class collection of over 60,000 art objects. A must visit if you are into miniature paintings, old chinaware, Jade bowls, gold coins from Chandragupta era, etc. A dedicated 2 hour visit will allow you to absorb all the information displayed, else you can hire a local guide too. Next door is National Gallery Of Modern Art, a prominent museum featuring modern & contemporary art,  and artifacts from around the world. If you love art, you can spend some quality time there.

Local food in Maharashtra has a distinctive taste as it is prepared with coconuts, curry leaves and spices. If you are hungry and are looking to try local food then you should eat at Mahesh Lunch Home or Highway Gomantak. Else you can eat at Irani Cafes which are slowly going extinct. They are dying out gradually because the newer generation refuses to carry on the legacy.  Mumbai has a sizable Parsi (Persian) population who prepare some finger licking food. Britannia & Co. Restaurant or Jimmy Boy are the known authentic Parsi food joints if you are in south Mumbai. You can also try Soda Bottle Openerwala if you are looking for a better dining experience.

Jimmy Boy Colaba

Parsi food at Jimmy Boy

Evening can be spent at the Marine Drive to witness the necklace shaped seaside of Mumbai. After dark, when the street lights are lit up, it gives an impression of a necklace from a height. You can always visit Dome at Intercontinental to get a good view of the necklace. Or you can have some drinks at Pizza By the Bay and see the city go by. If you wish to explore the local beach, then you can go to Girgaum Chowpatty Beach. But let me warn you, it is very crowded.

Dome at hotel Intercontinental

To reach Mumbai international airport, go via Bandra Worli sea link. The sea link is beautiful and much faster to reach the other side of the town. There are many other places to see and explore in Mumbai. But when you have less than 24 hours, it is better to stick to the best. And I assure you, these are the best picks.

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About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India, Femina.in, BeBeautiful.in, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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