What to Do in Mumbai When Traveling Alone

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mumbai is one of the largest and most populous cities in Indiainfo-icon and it is also know as the city of dreams. As the center of Indian trade and industry, Mumbai is a thriving metropolis with a perfect blend of modernity and culture. If you’re traveling to this vibrant Indian city and wondering what to do in Mumbai alone, here are some suggestions.

#1: Explore the Gateway of India

There are several ways on how to reach the Gateway of India.

Sitting on the waterfront in the south of Mumbai, the Gateway of India is one of the most popular attractions in Mumbai. The gate was built to commemorate the day when King George V and Queen Mary visited the city. 

There are two ways on how to reach the Gateway of India:

  1. You can hire a taxi from your hotel going there.
  2. You can take a local metro train and get off at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station. From the station, you can either walk or take a taxi towards the Gateway of India. 

The Gateway of India is located right across a popular hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, another popular attraction in the city. This iconic luxury hotel is recognized for its stunning architecture with a beautiful facade.

Experiencing this iconic structure should definitely be one of the first things on the list of what to do in Mumbai.

#2: Take a Ferry to the Elephanta Caves

Elephanta Caves are very important in Hindi history.

From the Gateway of India, you can take a ferry towards the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with various ancient caves. 

These are Buddhist and Hindu cave temples with the biggest cave dedicated to Lord Shiva, a Hindu God. This attraction is truly interesting and something that you should not miss on your Mumbai trip.

Read more: 8 Most Impressive Palaces in India

Take note however that the Elephanta Island ferry leaves at a specific time from the Gateway of India and the journey takes about an hour

Thus, it would help to know the Gateway of India ferry timings if you plan to visit the Elephanta Caves. This is especially true if your time in Mumbai is limited. 

Upon arriving at the Elephanta Island, you’ll be greeted by so many locals offering their services to guide you for an Elephanta Caves tour. Avoid them since the caves are pretty much close to each other, and you can simply explore them all without a guide.

#3: Experience the Siddhivinayak Temple

The majestic Siddhivinayak Temple is the most popular Hindu temple in Mumbai.

Considered as one of the wealthiest temples in India, the Siddhivinayak Temple is definitely worth a visit. The architecture of this colorful temple portrays elegance and beauty. 

Built in the year 1801 in honor of a Hindu God, Lord Ganesh, it’s been said that a rich lady who has a hard time conceiving has ordered the temple built after the Hindu God fulfilled her wish to have a child. Thus, people who wanted to conceive would often visit the temple to offer prayer.

Read more: Visit Taj Mahal and These Other Temples in India!

Located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, taking the taxi or rental car is the most convenient way to visit this popular attraction.

Go there with a local train if you're on a budget. The nearest station to Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai is Dadar.

#4: Stroll Around the Chowpatty Beach

Chowpatty Beach is more known for the food vendors than for swimming.

If you’re wondering what to do in Mumbai away from the busy and chaotic city life, head over to the Chowpatty Beach.

Located a bit north of the center of the city, Chowpatty Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Mumbai, and a must visit especially at night when the beach comes to life.  

Despite it being a beach, the water is dirty and not conducive to swimming, so people would come here not to swim but to simply relax, wander around, and to grab some delicious treats. 

Read more: 10 Most Colorful National Festivals of India

It is the perfect place to have a taste of some of the most delicious Mumbai street foods

You should definitely try Vada Pav in Chowpatty. It’s basically a bun with a filling of a fried potato battered with chickpea flour.

So, how to reach Chowpatty Beach?

You can simply hire an auto rickshaw or a taxi going to the beach or take the local train and get off at the Churchgate Station.

#5: Join a Tour of the Dharavi Slum

One of the facts about the Dharavi Slum is that it's the second largest slum in Asia.

Joining the Dharavi Slum tour might be something that will not appeal to everyone, but it’s a great way to experience and explore the largest slum in India that’s home to about 500,000 to 1 million people. 

Today, the area is slowly becoming the city’s hub for various commercial activities.

So if you want to immerse yourself in the local life in India and wondering what to do in Mumbai on your solo trip, you better sign up for this tour. 

Read more: Check Out These Ski Resorts in India!

It’s a truly enriching experience and a great way to learn about the local's daily life in the slum. The tour is not only educational but eye-opening and insightful as well. It will quickly become one of your most unforgettable travel experiences.

#6: Indulge in Street Food

At night, the Mumbai street food scene is even more vibrant!

If you love food as much as you love traveling, then you can never leave Mumbai without experiencing its exciting street food culture.

This definitely should be on your list on what to do in Mumbai!

Almost every street corner of Mumbai is lined with food stalls selling all kinds of local treats, from the appetizing kebabs to the most delicious Vada Pavs. 

The street food in Mumbai at night is even more exciting. You can get a taste of the delicious Mumbai street food at night at a lot of places. The Crawford Market, Charni Road, Colaba, and Bandra are the most known. 

The best street food markets in Mumbai to check out are:

Although most of the street foods in Mumbai are vegetarian, there are plenty of non-vegetable street foods that you will absolutely love. 

Most locals would agree that the best non-veg street food in Mumbai is the chicken tikka roll. After the chicken meat is removed from the skewers, it is wrapped in a steaming hot roti and topped with fried onion. This street food does not require any sauce, for its juices are enough to make it more flavourful.

#7: Shop at the local Markets and Bazaars

The iconic Crawford Market is where you'll find the authentic local goods in Mumbai.

So what to do in Mumbai on your last day? Hit the markets and bazaars for a shopping spree! Although Mumbai is more famous for its designer outlets and fancy shopping malls, the city is also home to several markets and bazaars, selling affordable goods, from clothing, souvenir items, accessories, and pretty much anything you can ever think of.

Check out the Mumbai Bazaar in Colaba Causeway. Located near the famous attractions of Mumbai, such as the Gateway of India, this bazaar is geared towards tourists who are looking for affordable souvenir items to take home. 

Read more: 12 Shocking Indian Traditions and Rituals

If you prefer to shop where the locals would shop, then head over to the Crawford Market, a popular Mumbai local market housed in a beautiful colonial building. 

The market sells local produce, such as fruits and vegetables and all sorts of pets!

Even if you don’t intend to shop, this market is still a great place to visit if you want to observe how local vendors would go about their daily life.

There is still a plethora of things to do in Mumbai!

So, what to do in Mumbai when solo traveling? There is a plethora of things to do in Mumbai, from dodging rickshaws in the chaotic traffic, to enjoying the sunset at the beach.
So, what to do in Mumbai when solo traveling? There is a plethora of things to do in Mumbai, from dodging rickshaws in the chaotic traffic, to enjoying the sunset at the beach.

Mumbai is a great city to visit if you want to experience the hustle and bustle of the crazy city life in India.

From dodging rickshaws left and right to the most delicious Indian street foods, the city has so much to offer for all kinds of traveler. It might be confusing to figure out what to do in Mumbai at first. And if you are venturing to the city on your own and want to know what to do in Mumbai on your own, the list above sums up everything.

Carolyn Boston freelance content writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling the world on a budget for several years without having a hefty savings account.