From our friends at India Someday, a travel agency for individual travel packages to India, we know that not too many International travellers choose Mumbai as a stop on their itineraries through India. As a team of locals and expats, we really don’t understand why. For us Mumbai is one of the best places to experience the real India like nowhere else. Let us explain you why you should definitely travel to Mumbai while you’re in India:
Fascinating history that comes with great monuments
Mumbai has a super interesting history that goes back centuries. Originally it was a sparsely populated coastline with seven islands. Then the Portuguese arrived and Christianised the area. But soon after the British demanded a dowry present for the wedding of their royal prince with a Portuguese princess. And guess what they got? Mumbai!
We are not sure how appreciative we ought to be considering centuries of oppression and discriminating urban landscaping followed. However, the British and the Portuguese left some nice architecture behind. There are grand impressive neo-classical buildings in Fort, stunning Art Deco homes along Marine Drive and classical Portuguese churches and bungalows in Bandra. Unfortunately, the fast development and limited space cause more and more of those historical monuments to be erased from the city’s panorama and replaced by modern high rise buildings so better come now as long as they are still standing. We will tell you our favourite stories of the city and tell you where to find the coolest testaments of history.
Melting pot for many different cultures and religions
Mumbai has always been the city for dreamers. People come from all over India to achieve more than they think they can in the villages and rural towns. A farmer can become a Bollywood star, a chai walla turns into a successful businessmen and a young boy who was pressured to study medicine or engineering can follow his ambitions to become a writer or designer – everything is possible and everyone is accepted. In a country with 22 major languages and 234 mother tongues you can imagine what kind of a melting pot of cultures, traditions, mentalities and spiritual beliefs Mumbai has become due to the domestic immigration.
One of our favourite quotes about Mumbai describing this great feature of Bombay is from the Book ‘Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found’ by Suketu Mehta: “And at the moment of contact, they do not know if the hand that is reaching for theirs belongs to a Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Brahmin or untouchable or whether you were born in this city or arrived only this morning or whether you live in Malabar Hill or New York or Jogeshwari; whether you’re from Bombay or Mumbai or New York. All they know is that you’re trying to get to the city of gold, and that’s enough. Come on board, they say. We’ll adjust.”
The charming Indian chaos mixed with western conveniences
Something every foreign traveler recognises first reaching Mumbai is the sheer chaos, the exotic otherness of daily life in the streets, the different smells and noises and above all the huge amount of people, everywhere and all the time! To some this might seem exhausting and difficult to handle. But adventurous travellers see this as a chance to experience a world beyond their comfort zones with lots of charm and friendly hospitality.
Mumbai had quiet village areas with traditional lifestyles and has crowded beaches packed with picnicking families. It has delicious street food at every corner and western styled restaurants too. There is modern architecture next to a centuries old temple. Contemporary street art on colorful Indian houses. Basically it is modern ‘western’ than any other city in India while maintaining the Indian charm and exoticness. So it’s the perfect place to either adjust smoothly to the new environment or when homesickness slowly creeps in in the middle or towards the end of your India trip.
Flights to Mumbai are cheap and you can start your trip to South India from here
Mumbai and Delhi are the cheapest entry points for India as flights are cheap to these International airports. But if you have never been to India we would advise you to not start with Delhi as it isn’t the safest and easiest place to assimilate. From Mumbai you can easily travel south to the beaches of Goa by train or on a quick flight. Or you take a comfortable overnight bus to Hampi. From both you can travel further south to Mysore, Bangalore, Wayanad, Gokarna, Mangalore, Kochi, the Backwaters or the beaches of Kerala. All by taking trains, buses or, for more comfort travelers, by private transport. Our travel desk by India Someday at the hostel can help you figure out your further travel plans after you reached Mumbai.
Nightlife and socialising activities
They say Mumbai is the city that never sleeps. Depending on where you end up after midnight this can be true or false. You can definitely get a cozy night’s sleep in our comfortable beds at the hostel or you can party the night away at multiple clubs or bars. Bandra is the nightlife’s center of Mumbai. Check out our blog article on the best nightlife spots in the area around the hostel. Furthermore, you can attend theatre plays, check out some Bollywood movies at the cinema, join a yoga or dance class or participate in a trek outside of town in the beautiful countryside of Maharashtra. There is lots to do in Mumbai! Come here and we tell you more.
We might be biased as Mumbai is our home and definitely our favourite city in India but we promise we will make sure you leave this metropole loving it almost as much as we do. And if not, your visit will definitely stay memorable. Book a bed at the Horn Ok Hostel now!