Mumbai, also known as Bombay, is India’s financial centre and largest city. Even though, all cities we visited were big enough, we could immediately feel that Mumbai had this je ne sais quoi so particular and so distinctive, that it’s impossible not to fall in love with it. Many people warned us about the big cultural shock we would be living once in India. Yes, they were right, but we lived that afterwards, once we left Mumbai and explored other places. Mumbai, in my opinion, has a lot of similarities with another city that I totally adore: Mexico City or CDMX. Both are huge, have millions of people, are chaotic, and both were colonial capitals. Both were at the centre of many important historical events, they still are and they will be for the years to come. Hence, for me, it was some sort of going to a familiar place.
So as you can imagine, coming up with my three favorite things in three different aspects was not an easy task. All the places mentioned were the best thing about my visit, so, this is only from my point of view, meaning that not everyone has to agree with me. Even my sweet love may have a different view of things, so. Anyway, let’s go to the point of the post. I divided this article in three aspects: Food in which I present my top 3 restaurants or places or just food that I ate; Tourist attractions; and, Miscellaneous, in which I mention either a shop or a bazar, or something that drew my attention without being something going out of a kitchen or a historical place. Now, with all explained, let’s go to the lists!
TOP 3: FOOD AND ALL ITS FRIENDS
• Britannia & Co: Mr. Love wanted to go there because one of his fave youtubers recommended this place. Well, it was worth the visit. The food is simply delicious, the chicken berry pulao was OMG, to die for! If you are in Mumbai, definitely go there!
• Noor Mohammadi Hotel: Located on the main road of the Bhendi Bazaar, this place is a must if you want to go non-veg at least one day. Even though the Noor Mohammadi is known for its chicken, we ordered the mutton nahari, which is some sort of soup of lamb shanks and marrow, seriously, one of the best foods I’ve ever eaten! And because when on vacation, I tend to over indulge in food, I also got a dessert whose name I just can’t remember, but see the pic and if you know, please enlighten me!
• Mumbai’s street food: pakoras, samosas, kachori, pani puri, Bombay veg sandwich, ALL OF IT was simply delicious! To be honest, in my very individual case, I did not have any problem eating India’s street food, I tried everything and my belly came back home as healthy (if bigger) as usual.
TOP 3: HERE COME THE TOURISTS
•Gateway of India: Built between 1911 and 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, this monument is located in South Mumbai and according to reports, it’s the city’s top touristic attraction. What I really liked about the Gateway was the local feeling to it. Yes, we saw many tourists taking pictures, but also many, many local people doing the same, and asking for us to pose with them when shooting their selfies haha.
• Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Where to start when talking about this place? Well, let’s say that it honours the very Indian term “masala” or mix. On the outside, this place is just beautiful and imposing. Once you go inside, the view changes rather dramatically as it is clear that has been neglected through the years. Still, it is worth a visit, especially around the peak hours, just to observe all the movement happening with people arriving and leaving for work.
• Mani Bhavan: Or the place where Mahatma Gandhi developed his philosophy of non-violence. As you can imagine, this is an emblematic place not only for Indians, but for anyone admiring Gandhi. The place is tiny, but it shows letters written by the Mahatma, pictures, paintings and dioramas depicting key moments in Gandhi’s life. There is also a library, so you can see some locals reading in the quiet premises.
TOP 3: AWESOMELY UNCLASSIFIABLE
• Masala chai: Yes, we got this everywhere we went. However, I find that it was in Mumbai where we could get masala chai almost at every corner! Delicious, very hot and because of that very perfect for the overly warm and humid weather, this chai was one of the highlights of my trip.
• Getting lost in Mumbai!: Maybe some other people who have been to Mumbai will call me crazy, but I enjoyed getting lost in one of the many Mumbai’s local neighbourhoods. After leaving the Mani Bhavan, we decided to go to the beach and relax while waiting for the sunset. But, me being me, well, I needed a bathroom. We then decided to follow some path and we got totally lost in areas with little to zero tourists. Everything went well and people were very nice when we asked for directions. We could see another area of the city, an area where everything is more authentic as it hasn’t been adapted to please foreigners. We even get to a restaurant selling delicious ice cream that tasted like roses!
• The sunsets: I was privileged to be at the beach not once but twice during a sunset. Love and I are always catching them wherever we travel, and of course, we had to catch some in India! There is no way to explain this feeling of just looking at these colours, the sea, the light reflection, it’s just magical. If you add the people around just walking, talking to each other, enjoying their evening after a long work day, these sunsets were just perfect. The first time we observed the sunset at the Marine Drive, the second time we were at Juhu Beach.
Have you been to Mumbai? What are your favourite places there?