Things to do in Mumbai
There is a lot to do in Mumbai, but lack of space means that for outdoorsy activities, you need to head north, often outside city limits. In the Northwestern suburbs and Thane, you will find opportunities for water sports like H20 at Girgaum Chowpatty. There are two golf courses in the city, the more famous one in Chembur in the Harbour suburbs.
Mumbai has a vibrant theater scene with plays in many languages including English, Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi. While South Mumbai has frequent performances, the best organized theater effort is at Prithvi theater, Juhu in the Western Suburbs. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Indian classical music and dance. While not a patch on the Sabhas of Chennai, you will find frequent performances of Carnatic music in Shanmukhananda Hall, Matunga in the South Central suburbs.
Mumbai is also usually the first stop for Western pop and rock stars visiting India, which they usually do when they are over 50. The Rock scene is very good in Mumbai. These are very safe to go to and are recommended for rock fans. Most bands cover heavy metal acts like Pantera, Six feet under, and Slipknot. To try to find places with specific music tastes try asking students outside Mumbai's colleges. Western classical music performances are rarer. However most classical music performances along with other art forms are regularly performed at NCPA and Tata Theatre , both situated next to the narrow strip at Nariman Point.
- Borivili National Park, or go for Flamingo watching in Chembur (check with Bombay Natural History Society for further info).
- Chowpati Jayenge Bhel Puri Khayenge; as it says in the lyrics of one of the Bollywood movie song, go to beaches (specially in the evenings) and enjoy local favourite 'Bhel Puri' while the sun sets in the Arabian sea.
- Cruise on a Harbour Cruise; cruises from Gateway of India leave every 30 min daily except during the monsoon season (Jun-Sep). ₹40.
- Dhabba Wallahs are a group of couriers in Mumbai who move two million household lunchboxes everyday in a complicated system of delivery.
- Enjoy theatre & performances; Mumbai offers unlimited opportunities to theatre lovers and there are regular shows across theatres in the city. Check newspapers on latest shows as well as performances at prominent halls such as Prithvi Theatre, NCPA, Tata Theatre.
- Experience Bollywood; plan a trip to Film City located in Goregaon and enjoy the first hand experience of Bollywood shooting
- Get crowded, and try catching suburban trains at peak times. You are warned though.
- Join for Heritage walks. organized by two architects, these walks take you around various historic and architecturally significant areas of the city. Walks are organized on the third Sunday of every month (with a break from June through August for the monsoons) and the route varies each time. The walks last around 120 min. ₹2500 minimum for maximum 5 people and ₹500 for every additional person. (Discounted rates for students and the physically challenged).
- Poonawallas Breeders Multimillion; on the last Sunday of February, the glitterati of Mumbai dress up for the Ascot of Mumbai at the Mahalaxmi Race Course. With High Tea, amazing hats, and hundreds of ordinary punters staking their little all on the outside chance, this is the event to attend in Mumbai so try to cage a ticket if you happen to visit around then.
- Pub Hopping, The number and variety of Pubs in the city allow for an enthralling Pub Hopping opportunity.
- Taj private yacht; if you can afford it (at $300/hr, including drinks & meals), rent the Taj's private yacht (has two sun decks and three bedrooms) for a cruise around the Mumbai harbour.
- Take A Dip at Water World
- Take a morning walk on Juhu beach
- Take a Slum Tour. Reality Tours and Travel and Be the Local Tours walk through Dharavi, Asia's largest slum. Both groups are socially conscious, one run by students in Dharavi itself, and many of the proceeds go to charity. Both offer tours for ₹500 which take 2,5 to 3,5 hours. Reality Tours and Travel also offers a tour for ₹800 which includes a trip to Dhobi Ghat, the largest open air laundry in the world, and the red light district. Short walks are also available from Be the Local, Reality Tours and Travel also provides other city tours. Note: Photos are not permitted during either group's tour of the slum, out of respect for the residents. If you must have that slum pic, just provide your guide with your email details, they will be happy to arrange to email you a nice set of pics.
- Temples; there are so many religious places around in the city (both old and new) that one can plan a day long itinerary on that. Start with Mahalkshmi Temple, Banganga Temple, Siddhi Vinayak, Afghan Church, Mahim Church, Haji Ali... the list will get really long.
- Visit Essel World
- Visit museums and art galleries
- Walk along Marine Drive; also known as Queen's Necklace, this beachside promenade is worth a ride. A walk can be planned from Girgaon Chowpati (Girgaon beach) all the way up to Nariman Point. Be careful and avoid this area during heavy rains.
- Watch a Movie; you are in the land of Bollywood. Expect whistles and clapping by crowd in admiration of their celebrities on the screen, except at multiplexes as this occurs at single-screen movie theatres. Most of the cinema halls run both 'popular and new' Bollywood as well as Hollywood movies and some even screen ones in regional languages. Some of the popular Hollywood screening cinema halls in South Mumbai are Eros opposite Churchgate, Metro on M.G.Road, Regal in Colaba, Sterling next to CST Station, and New Excelsior in Fort. With the rise of malls and multiplexes, the nearest cinema is unlikely to be more than a stone's throw away, even in the suburbs. Check out newspaper listing to get the list of latest screenings.
- Watch Cricket for Free; cricket has a national games stature in India, and Mumbaiites revere that every day of the year. Azad Maidan (Azad ground) near C.S.T. Railway station, ground opposite to Ruia College in Matunga and Shivaji Park in Dadar west are some of the best places to witness the cricket fever for free. You may be even lucky to witness ongoing game of cricket on some of the empty streets of Mumbai.
Mumbai inherits the cricket fever justifiably and has 3 of the finest Crickets stadiums namely Brabourne Stadium (Churchgate), Wankhede Stadium (Marine Lines) and D.Y.Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai). Several of international cricket matches and domestic championships such as IPL have been played in these stadiums. Watch out for upcoming cricket stadium to join the cricket frenzy crowd. Apart from these, Ruia College, Shivaji Park, Azad Maidan, Marine Lines are some of the places where live cricket action can be seen for free. Alternatively if you are a football (soccer) fan, you may want to visit Cooperage Football ground (Colaba) for a local league match. For swimming enthusiasists, Mahatma Gandhi Swimming Pool (Dadar W) is the place to visit. For horse racing, head straight to Mahalakshmi Race Course (Mahalakshmi). Powai hosts some of the finest Golf fields. For others there are many sport activities including Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton which can be practised at various clubs. Gyms are plenty and can be easily found.
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