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iXiGOers Jan 22 2013

What should I do if I have a 4-5 hours free in Mumbai?

Pritha Manchanda Jan 22 2013
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Since you are somewhat tight on time to explore around Mumbai, we suggest you head off to the Colaba area, especially if you are a first timer.


Your first stop can be the Gateway of India, the city’s top tourist attraction, and more than that a structure which symbolises Mumbai itself. The famous Taj Palace Hotel sits adjacent to the gateway and right across it, stands the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj which denotes the Maratha symbol of honour and courage. You can easily spend half an hour here, watching the ferries depart and arrive with their load of passengers and listening to the holler of the street vendors and the crowds. You even have enough time to squeeze in a ride on the horse carriages or Victoria rides. The horse owners make a hard living so they will be grateful if you tip them a bit more generously. 

From here you can explore the Colaba Causeway Market which is hardly a 10 minute walk from Gateway of India. Even if shopping is not on your mind, exploring this market is an experience in itself. You will find almost everything under the sun being sold here. If you get tempted into buying something, name your price less than 50% of the original price asked by the shopkeeper. Yes, that’s the way to go about here, so negotiate fiercely. Just in case you start feeling a bit famished, head over to the Leopold Cafe for some filling appetizers. The cafe remains a popular hangout zone for the locals and has preserved the bullet holes acquired from the AK-47s during the 2008 terror attacks. All this should take you an hour and a half at the max. 

Post this, just hop in an auto rickshaw and head over to Nariman Point. There is a 4.3 km walkway which takes you right through the Marine Drive or Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg, right upto the Chowpatty Beach. Enjoy incomparable view of the sun setting into the Arabian sea during the walk along this beautiful promenade lined with various art-deco buildings, some of which are considered as heritage sites. During the evenings, the C-shaped bay looks over the lit up Mumbai skyline and truly resembles a sparkling queen’s necklace. This is another experience without which your trip to Mumbai is incomplete. 

You can either choose to while away your time right here, or keep walking (or catch an auto, if walking is not your thing) upto the Chowpatty Beach area. This place remains busy all the time with throngs of crowds scattered about the place. It’s like a regular fair-ground, with screaming and laughing children, ferris wheels, candy canes, vendors calling for your attention, little shacks selling snacks and tea etc. Though we advise caution if you plan to have a bite here, as flavour gets a priority over hygiene, still if you are keen on it, we recommend the famous (and usually crowded) Cream Center (25, Fulchand Niwas)- a vegetarian restaurant which has been serving fingerlicking good local dishes for over 50 years. It remains open from noon till midnight. Go for Chhole Bhature or Pav Bhaji and then head straight to Bachelorr’s for some fresh seasonal juices and ice-creams. Make sure you ask your juice to be made without water, ice or masala.

That should make the most of your 4-5 hour Mumbai tour. We hope you have fun and create happy memories. Don’t forget to tell us about your trip. We sure would love to hear from you. 

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