What to do in South Mumbai
June 29, 2019
by Sonam Jain
South Mumbai, popularly called Sobo by the locals, is the oldest part of Mumbai. While it is the commercial capital of India and crowded by many standards, anyone visiting India should definitely explore this area. The rhythm of this city is fast-paced and exciting. There are many things to do here and one can easily spend 2-4 days.
Visit the Sea Face Promenades
Marine Drive and Worli Sea Face are the most frequented spots of South Mumbai by tourists and locals alike. On a breezy evening take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy a beautiful sunset.
At night the entire road along Marine Drive gets lit by street lights and you get the amazing view of ‘Queen’s Necklace’. From Worli Sea Face one can enjoy the views of Bandra-Worli sea link, a marvelous cable bridge. It is best to avoid Sunday evenings, as locals from all around the city throng to these places and it may be difficult to find a quiet spot.
Take a Heritage Walking Tour
Walking through the streets of Fort and Kala Ghoda area feels like you have entered the British Raj. It boasts of some of the most beautiful buildings in the city, with its Victorian-Gothic architecture and stone structures. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station is a bustling central station of Mumbai. It is a magnificent building and has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The best time to see it is in the evening when it lits up with colorful lights. From CST walk towards Flora Fountain, the sculpture of Roman goddess Flora which is located at the center of Fort, one of the main commercial hubs of Mumbai. From here head to Kala Ghoda and Horniman Circle.
Kala Ghoda is famous for its numerous chic cafes, boutiques and art galleries. It is the creative hub of Mumbai with The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art located here. The popular Kala Ghoda Art Festival is held here. Also, visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sngrahalaya (formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum), the largest museum of Mumbai.
Horniman circle garden is one of the largest gardens of South Mumbai. On one side of it is the famous white structure which houses the Asiatic Society Library. With its Greek-inspired architecture and stone steps, it is the perfect place to relax and absorb the beauty of your surroundings. A good time to visit is when the annual Sufi music festival is held here.
Take a ferry ride
Apollo Bunder is not only famous for the iconic gate located at the tip of South Mumbai, The Gateway of India, but also the regular ferry rides that start from there. After absorbing the history and beauty of the structure, hop on a ferry for a ride in the Arabian Sea. Head to Elephanta Caves; another world heritage site by UNESCO, or Alibaug; a quiet beach getaway, or just enjoy a short ride. While on the ferry, look back and take in the breathtaking views of The Gateway of India and the historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel located behind it.
There are also private rides available on yachts, for a romantic evening. Don’t forget to check it out!
Shopaholics can go crazy on Colaba Causeway (off Apollo Bunder), famous for its street shopping.
Take a stroll on India’s Billionaire Row
Altamount Road is one of the most premium areas of South Mumbai with some of the richest and influential people in the country living here. Check out the landmark Antilia building and the Jindal house, houses of the billionaire families of India. Close to Altamount Road are the areas of Malabar Hill and Nepensea Road, other upmarket residential areas of Mumbai. Walk along the quiet shaded streets of Malabar Hill, past the Governor’s house, visit Banganga Tank; an ancient water tank located inside a temple complex, Hanging Gardens and Priyadarshini Park at Nepensea Road.
Check out some nice boutiques here for clothes and shoe shopping.
Explore the local markets
A visit to South Mumbai is incomplete without its bustling markets. These areas are thriving with people trying to sell an unlimited number of various kinds of goods.
Crawford Market is known to have everything under the sun, at reasonable rates. From big showrooms to small stalls, visit this market for some good local shopping. Bhuleshwar is a similar kind of market with narrower lanes. Mangaldas Market is the oldest cloth market of Mumbai. For fabric shopping, this is the go-to place for businesses and buyers alike.
For the adventurous, Chor Bazaar (literally meaning thieves market) is recommended for the purchase of antiquities and vintage items.
Mumbai is an arena of cultural and religious diversity. Devout people from all over the country visit the numerous temples and mosques located here. Visit the popular Haji Ali Dargah, Mahalakshmi Temple, Babulnath Temple, Mumba Devi Temple (Mumbai gets its name from this goddess), and Siddhivinayak Temple.
Go on a food trail
Mumbai food is the most sought after. South Mumbai has some of the best restaurants and street food vendors alike, serving a variety of cuisines. Leopold Cafe and Cafe Mondegar are historic and most sought after by tourists. They serve delicious multi-cuisine food. Visit Ayub’s or Bade Miyan’s for a quick late night snack (famous for their wraps and kebabs). Grab a vada pav (Mumbai’s very own take on the burger) or a sandwich or a dosa (some places serve up to 100 or more varieties), at any of the many street food vendors.
How to Travel
The fastest way to travel is by local trains. Churchgate, Charni Road, Grant Road, Mahalakshmi, and CST will connect you to most of the touristy locations in South Mumbai. They tend to be crowded during peak hours and also one needs to be careful of pickpocketers.
There are also Radio cabs (Uber, Ola) available and Black & Yellow cabs available. A good bus service is also present.
Where to stay
The premium stays: Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Trident, Oberoi Hotel, Four Seasons, Hotel Intercontinental
Mid-range stays: Marine Plaza, Residency Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Shalimar Hotel
Affordable stays: There are also some decent and economically priced apartments available on Airbnb
The vibe of Mumbai will leave your senses exhilarated! You will never get bored here, it is the perfect mix of culture, history, and modernity.
Leave a Comment...
July 6, 2019
Nice ! Can make similar guide for surburb too
July 6, 2019
Lovely write up Sonam!!
July 6, 2019
Very well written... You\'ve captured the essence of Mumbai!