Summer holidays in MumbaiFall for the sun-dappled City of Seven Islands
HomeAway travel expert
Whether you're already bewitched by India's largest city, or a first time traveller to Mumbai, the City of Seven Islands' beguiling quarters, iridescent shoreline, and remarkable history ensure its reputation as one of South Asia's most fascinating cities. Coined the City of Dreams, as well as 'Bollywood', this vast city's islands are connected by a series of bridges; in the evening, trail along the Queen's Necklace, the city's vibrant Marine Drive, reminiscent of New York's iconic cityscape. In this part of the city, enjoy the mouthwatering food prepared fresh in the various stalls and restaurants, explore Chowpatty beach, and find an idyllic vantage point of the stunning stretch of ocean. Practise Hindi or Marathi in the colourful markets, meander around the intriguing architecture in South Mumbai, which boasts both traditional design and Victorian buildings, or take afternoon tea in the ornate Taj Mahal Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in India!
For day excursions, consider exploring the magnificent mountain ranges that frame the city; trek through the majestic Western Ghats or discover exquisite valleys and hillside villages. Matheran, for example, is enchanting - park outside the hill station, and reach the town by foot or on horseback. After visiting the hillside communities and experiencing awe-inspiring panoramas, return to Mumbai and immerse yourself in this city's diverse culture, cuisine and irresistable charm! Retire to a plush HomeAway rental or one of our stylish urban apartments, before embracing the city's vibrant nightlife in this city's balmy evening.
Top five destinations in Mumbai
Squares and quarters
Choose to conquer Mumbai's expansive city-scape and explore the city's distinct quarters, or, alternatively, devote your stay to one main area. With over double the population of London, it's difficult to summarise Mumbai without addressing the city's contrasts, and depending on the length of your stay you may need to prioritize the unique districts you want to explore. If you're travelling with keen historians or cultural enthusiasts, visit the city's UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Victoria Terminus Station, for example, or the Elephanta Caves, an awe-inspiring cluster of caves home to Buddhist rock paintings and sculptrues. Dock at the historic Gateway of India, where various street performances circle the iconic landmark. Find an area renowened for live music and discover one of the Mumbai's intriguing venues, like the Horniman Circle, before adventuring through the city's dynamic market and street stalls.
Market stalls and street food
Taste exquisite street food, buy Indian spices or sample some of the city's finest tea in the market stalls in South Mumbai. At Colaba Causeway, trawl the stalls for jewelery and anitques, or enjoy kebabs, pau bhaji and vada pau dishes at one of Chowpatty's stalls. Most of Mumbai's market and street stalls accept ruppis, and some spice and tea stalls except pounds. If you're new to bartering, always address shopkeepers by 'bhayya' meaning 'brother'; the term is a sign of respect and a term of endearment, which you can also use when you're talking to taxi drivers. Taxis are cheap and an ideal way to travel across this vast city in the evening.
Embrace Mumbai's serene stretch of Indian ocean and find a unique vantage point from which to gaze out upon its islands at dusk. Marine Drive, coined the Queen's Neclace, is renowned for its glinting skyline. Enjoy cocktails in the bars that line the seaface, or discover the beach areas and marine-based restaurants in Chowpatty. From Chowpatty, explore Babulnath temple, or find a scenic vantage point of the promenade at Nariman Point. Explore the city's neighboring ocean at dawn and watch Mumbai Harbour welcome scores of fishing boats throughout the day.
Ornate buildings and places of worship
Continue along the seaface and cross the water to Haji Ali, a spectacular mosque surrounded by water. Mumbai is home to an array of spectacular places of worship. Hindu temples include the Ganesh temple, Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir, the Mahalakshmi Temple, as well as the Walkeshwar Temple. Restaurants in the city reflect Mumbai's religious diversity. Dietry rules vary but the majority of Mumbai's restaurants are dominated by vegetarian menus and some eateries prefer to keep strict dietry rules. This is also reflected in many of the restaurants' drinks menus, where milkshakes and juice cocktails often replace alcoholic options. Discover ornate buildings like The Taj Mahal Hotel, or modernist builds like Jinnah House. The city has a fascinating architectural history; it isn't unusual to stumble upon colonial architecture with Victorian features, temples and contemporary structures, on the same short walk!
Day excursions: valleys and hillside stations
Plan a day excursion and find a serene vantage point of the city from one of the mountain peaks framing Mumbai. Hill stations surrounding Mumbai include Bhandardara, Matheran and Malshej Ghat. Venture further to Toranamal Hill Station or circle the numerous waterfalls in the region, such as Tiger Falls and Vihigaon. Alternatively, visit an Ashram, a unique spiritual community lead by gurus. Whether you choose to explore the dense forest by horseback, trek with a hiking group, or explore the wider region on a longer day excursion, you can count on a home from home experience in your HomeAway retreat in Mumbai.