Within just one minute, let alone one day, we were hit by the extreme diversity this city of dreams has to offer. On one side, you’ve got one of the largest slums in Asia populated with over a million people, and on the other, you’ve got one of the most expensive residential buildings in the world.
With just one day in Bollywood capital of the world, here is what we got up to…!
8am – 10am: Colaba
At 8am sharp, we set off on our merry way, and soon discovered the entire city was still asleep. The Mumbai buzz didn’t really seem to kick-in until about 11, and there was only one thing to do before then – explore Colaba!
This southernmost and oldest part of Mumbai is one of the prettiest and historical places in the city. We took a leisurely walk and soaked in the spirit of old Bombay starting at the iconic Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (a landmark in itself!)
10am to 11am: Fort
Next up, we walked to Kala Ghoda, the city’s art and cultural district, seeing several British era buildings along the way. The iconic black horse statue in the centre was surrounded by cute sidewalks and stylish cafes, so we stopped for a mouth-watering breakfast at Kala Ghoda Cafe. Some of the best eggs we have ever tasted!
After refuelling, we were ready to visit the buzzing and beautiful Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. We were blown away by the grandness of the gothic architecture on the outside combined with the crowds running in every single direction on the inside.
11:30am – 12:30pm: Churchgate Station
At around this time, head straight to Churchgate Station to see the famous Dabbawalas. Seeing this lean six sigma lunch-box delivery system in action is not to be missed! They apparently have a 99% accuracy to get thousands of lunch boxes collected and delivered to the right people across Mumbai within a couple of hours. Wish we had this service in the UK!
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Marine Drive / The Queen’s Necklace
Feeling a moment of peace and quiet walking down this 3km long promenade along the sea was one of our favourite parts of the day. This was a good spot for us to rest our feet and people watch.
At the end of the strip, we arrived at Chowpatty Beach, famous for its street food! Although we are the biggest foodies, all we tried was the Indian version of Coke – Thumbs Up. The verdict: better than Coke!
1:30pm – 2:30pm: Lunch (driving through Worli and Parel)
It was time for lunch, and we hopped into a rickshaw to go to a highly recommended restaurant; The Bombay Canteen. The food and cocktails were delicious!!
1:30pm – 2:30pm: Dhobi Ghat
From all over the city, clothes, sheets and towels make their way here for laundry. Hundreds of men were standing in rows in open square concrete bathtubs, beating the laundry until it was clean. Seeing the views from the top didn’t do it justice, so we took the plunge and walked through the organised chaos.
2:30pm – 3:30pm: Chor Bazaar
There are so many markets to choose from in Mumbai, but we opted for this vintage flea market selling treasures from the past. We were too busy avoiding all the motorcycles speeding down the narrow streets to buy anything though!
3:30pm – 5:00pm: Dharavi Slum Tour
Next we headed to the largest slum of Mumbai where Slumdog Millionaire was filmed. What an eye opening experience speaking to the locals and see how a million people live and work in the tiniest spaces. The people seemed to be extremely hard-working and passionate residents, all trying to improve the negative perception they think the rest of Mumbai have of them. We left with the utmost respect for the community who reside in the most claustrophobic and poorest living conditions with a smile on their faces. The only way to get around and not get lost is with a tour guide and it was completely worth it.
(Out of respect, we didn’t take any photos of the slum)
5:00pm – 10pm: Bandra and Juhu
Next we headed to the suburbs for some shopping and eating, as no trip to India is complete without these two things. There is so much to soak in here, but of course the one thing we had to do was catch a glimpse of Shahrukh Khan’s house, Mannat!
10pm – 1am: Bollywood Movie
This one is pretty self explanatory, but we were amazed to see everyone stand up to sing the national anthem before the movie started! Also, don’t do this if you can’t speak Hindi – there are no subtitles here!
P.s: We actually had more than a day in the city which we used to see our lovely family and friends! Special mention to our favourite baby and newest edition to our family Sid!