You could be staying back from work, or visiting friends- with some alone time on your hands. Whatever the reason, there’s you, a full day and the city of Mumbai. What would you do?
My first recommendation would be that you not go rushing all over the city in an attempt to cross off must do items on your list. It will only result in you being stranded in the unpredictable traffic, fuming with irritation. Instead draw out a loosely planned itinerary which would include some shopping, coffee/lunch at a famous place and of course some touristy stuff as well. South Bombay is great for sightseeing. Places slightly up north offer some excellent shopping.
Here is what I would suggest:
You begin from the southern end of the city and slowly work your way upwards. That way, you won’t be running helter skelter.
So wherever you are staying, take a cab or a train (if you’re feeling adventurous) and head to the last station down south towards Marine Drive.
A very loose itinerary
- Stroll down Marine Drive. Climb on to the ledge, kick off your slippers and sit with your legs hanging over. Just soak in the breeze and the sight of the Arabian sea lying in a gently heaving expanse in front of you.
2. Hop across to Pizzera @Not Just Jazz by the bay and treat yourself to coffee and some lovely sea breeze. Ask for the last table by the windows. You may get it if you’re lucky. If you are a stickler for the taste more than the atmosphere, walk down to Tea Centre near Church Gate. Though Tea Centre does offer atmosphere too, of a different kind. Very quaint, old world and charming.
3. Next, take a cab to Gateway of India and photograph away to your heart’s content.
4. Walk down to Colaba Causeway. CC is the Janpath of Mumbai ( Delhites would understand that). Personally, I have never been a huge fan of Colaba Causeway but you may find a nugget or two.
5. In case you are akin to spending some heavy money you could also stroll down to Good Earth for some absolutely drool worth home stuff and gifts that you can carry back.
6. Take a cab and go across to Bombay Store at Fort. Nice for gifts. Very close to Bombay Store is an outlet called Tappu Ki Dukan. Stocks quirky, creative, out of the box gift stuff.
7. If you feel hungry while at Colaba, stop at either Café Leopold’s Or Café Mondegar. Great food and greater ambience. I personally like Café Mondegar better because of the Juke Box. Remember both of these are not really swanky places. They are places with a great vibe. Heck! Leoplod’s does not even have an AC at the ground floor, the one worth sitting at. If you’re looking more at an AC place with great style you can try Woodhouse Inn at Colaba itself or cab it to Moshe’s at Cuffe Parade ( 7-10 mins by cab).
8. The other great places to eat within 10 min cabbing distance would be Brittania, Ballard Estate (ask for berry pulao) and Apoorva, Fort ( ask for the fish thali accompanied by Sol Kadi)
When cabbing around in South Mumbai, keep your eyes peeled for the buildings around you. They’re gorgeous.
Post lunch try and move to Bandra. Aah! Bandra. The land of the creative and the quirky abounds with energy, quaint shopping, excellent clothes and some awesome nooks and corners to sit and guzzle a coffee while giving rest to your tired feet.
Come back in a couple of days for a full post on what you can do in Bandra. And this involves loads of shopping. So look out.
Note : 1. These are just recommendations. For full details about any of these places all you need to do is google.
2. I am trying to keep your Mumbai experience just that – a Mumbai experience. Hence there are no recommendations on malls that you can visit or designer showrooms that you can shop at. Those you’ll get anywhere, right?