Mumbai, India
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Exploring Mumbai

The largest and wealthiest city in India, Mumbai is a bustling metropolis made up of a number of districts that each has their own charm. But it wasn’t always like this, the city used to be seven separate fishing islands that later joined together to form the diverse city, which today is home to an influx of people from all over India. Mumbai sits at the mouth of the Ulhas River along the coast of the Arabian Sea. It is the country’s centre of finance, business and entertainment as well as being one of its most visited cities.

South Mumbai is the most visited district of the city and where the majority of its famous landmarks are located, including the Gateway of India and Marine Drive. South Central Mumbai also has a fair share of attractions and some great brand hotels, including the InterContinental Marine Drive Mumbai. Western Mumbai is where both of the city’s airports sit and it also contains the largest selection of hotels, such as the five-star Hyatt Regency Mumbai and the three-star Ibis Mumbai Airport. The northwest part of the city is where Mumbai’s best beaches can be found, while the Sanjay Gandhi National Park sits in the northeast suburbs of the city.

Sights nearby

Most facilities for tourists are found in South and South Central Mumbai, though rooms exist all over the city. Many hotels are owned or operated by chains, like The Westin Mumbai Garden City and Sofitel Mumbai BKC.

Hanging Gardens
Officially known as the Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, these beautiful terraced gardens sit at the top of Malabar Hill in South Mumbai. The garden was built in 1881 to cover water that may have been contaminated, though this story has never been confirmed. It features hedges that have been carved into animals and is best visited in the evening when the sun sets over the city and the Arabian Sea.

Marine Drive
Stretching from Malabar Hill to Nariman Point, this long boulevard sits along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Its stunning promenade that stretches along Chowpatty Beach is its main highlight as it is a fantastic place to watch the sunset or people passing by. This portion of the road is also famous for its local fast food, which can be enjoyed right on the beach. Marine Drive is dotted with luxury hotels, top-end restaurants and expensive apartment buildings as well as being one of Mumbai’s most visited sites.

Powai Lake
Powai Lake is an artificial lake that sits in the Powai valley northeast of the city centre. The lake was built by the British in 1799 with an area of 520 acres and a maximum depth of 12 metres and used to supply the drinking water for the city. Today the water is not safe to drink, but the lake is still a lovely place to visit. It is home to a large population of crocodiles, small blue kingfishers, Indian pond herons and numerous other birds as well as butterflies and bees. To truly enjoy the lake and its beauty stay at a nearby hotel, such as the Ramada Powai Hotel and Convention Centre.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Flavours from all over the globe can be had throughout Mumbai, especially in South and South Central Mumbai. To truly taste authentic Marathi food it is best to hit the food stalls along Marine Drive or close to the railway stations, while food from other regions of India can be found all over the city. Bars that are most appealing to tourists are also found throughout South Mumbai, particularly in top notch hotels like the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai. Mumbai is a great place to shop, with Fashion Street being the best place for bargain clothing and Phoenix Mall the best place to find international designer brands.

Public transport

Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) operates an efficient fleet of over 4,500 buses that travel to all corners of Mumbai and stop in front of most of the city’s main landmarks and attractions. There are also three suburban rail lines that travel through the city and connect it with its suburbs. One monorail line travels through Central Mumbai and one metro line links the eastern and western suburbs.

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