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Top 10 Mumbai Attractions

The Best Things to See and Do in Mumbai

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Mumbai doesn't have as many historical attractions as some places in India, but its multitude of unique and interesting sights more than compensates. You'll find everything from beaches to Bollywood. Don't miss these top 10 Mumbai attractions for a memorable visit.

If these attractions aren't enough for you, check out these 101 Places to Visit in Mumbai!

1. Gateway of India

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Mumbai's most recognized monument, the Gateway of India, was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It's also a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. These days the atmosphere around the monument resembles a circus at times, with numerous vendors peddling everything from balloons to Indian tea.

2. Heritage Buildings

Mumbai has some captivating heritage buildings where you can marvel over staggering examples of intricate colonial architecture. Some of the best are the Gothic looking Prince of Wales Museum in the Kala Ghoda art precinct, Victoria Terminus (CST) railway station, the Bombay High Court and the buildings of Horniman Circle in the Fort area. The feature of Horniman Circle is its huge gardens, which provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Also have a wander past the historic 18th century homes in Khotachiwadi village.

3. Kala Ghoda Art Precinct

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Kala Ghoda, meaning "Black Horse" in reference to a statue that was once located there, is Mumbai's cultural center. This crescent-shaped stretch is home to Mumbai's best art galleries and museums. It's also filled with cultural spaces, including some wonderful pavement galleries. Stroll around at leisure, but be sure to visit the acclaimed Jehangir Art Gallery. Every year in February, the Kala Ghoda Association hosts a nine day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, which is interesting.

4. Markets and Bazaars

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From the multitude of colorful pavement vendors that line Colaba Causeway, to the fascinating Chor Bazaar Thieves Market, Mumbai is full of interesting places to go street shopping. Stock up on attractive souvenirs at Colaba Causeway, delight in cheap shoes and clothes at Linking Road, scour the narrow alleyways of Chor Bazaar for antiques, and sample the fresh food and spices while marveling at the architecture of Crawford Market.

5. Juhu and Marine Drive Chowpatty Beaches

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At the end of a tiring day of sightseeing, relax with the locals on the beaches of Juhu and Marine Drive, and watch the sunset. If you're feeling adventurous, you'll also be able to feast on tasty snacks offered by the multitude of food stalls and mobile food vendors. Favorites include roasted corn on the cob, bhel puri, pani puri and pav bhaji.

6. Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat

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This massive open air laundry provides an unforgettable glimpse into the inside of the city. Dirty laundry from all over Mumbai is brought here and painstakingly hand washed by the dhobis (washermen) in the seemingly endless rows of concrete troughs. The thousands of dhobis spend hours every day standing up to their knees in water filled with chemicals, manually scrubbing and beating the dirt out of each item of laundry.
  • Location: Next to Mahalaxmi railway station (the 6th station on the Western Line from Churchgate), central Mumbai. Walk out of the station and turn left on the bridge.

7. Mumbai Dabbawalas

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Dabbawala, meaning a person who carries a container, is the term given to the thousands of men responsible for transporting and delivering around 200,000 lunch boxes of freshly cooked food to the city's office workers every day. This unique concept was started to meet the needs of British rulers. However, it's now continued on to service Indian businessmen who can't get home for lunch.
  • Location: Railway stations around Mumbai, particularly at Churchgate terminus in south Mumbai.

8. Haji Ali

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The imposing Haji Ali is both a mosque and tomb. It was built in 1431 by wealthy Muslim merchant and Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who was inspired to change the course of his life after going to Mecca. It also contains his body. Situated in the middle of the ocean, Haji Ali is only accessible during low tide from a narrow, 500 yard long walkway.
  • Location: Central Mumbai, just off the coast of Worli, not far from Mahalaxmi railway station.

9. Bollywood

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Mumbai is the center of India's booming "Bollywood" film industry. The architecturally resplendent Eros Cinema, adjacent to the Churchgate railway station, is a great place to take in a Bollywood movie. Alternatively, it's possible to go on a tour to the heart of the action in Film City. Or if you'd rather be in a Bollywood movie than simply see the set of one, that's possible too!

10. Caves and National Park

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In contrast to its millions of inhabitants and sprawling development, Mumbai surprisingly also has a national park located within its limits. It's worth a visit just to see the many ancient Buddhist caves, which have been hand carved into volcanic rock there. More caves, dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva, can also be found on Elephanta Island.

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