New Delhi may have the Taj Mahal and Rajasthan has got the Amer Fort, but Mumbai is still considered the heart of India. And if you wish to come face-to-face with the country’s contemporary culture, then it’s definitely a must-visit. As India’s financial and entertainment capital, people might be quick to assume that it’s an expensive town for tourists to visit. However, on the contrary, this city of over 18 million people has so much to offer, even for those on a budget. Read on to find some of the best cheap and free things you can do in Mumbai and keep that money-saving momentum going by finding your flight on Cheapflights.com.au.Search for flights to Mumbai
Take a free tour of Global Vipassana Pagoda
Located North of Mumbai, the Global Vipassana Pagoda is a beautiful Buddhist monument fashioned after Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., take advantage of the meditation hall’s free tours, and scope the world’s largest stone dome without any supporting pillars.
Marvel at the Gateway of India…
Built in the 20th century on the Wellington Pier (also known as Apollo Bunder), the structure to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in the city. Since then, it has served as a welcome monument for visitors. The arch has often been compared to Paris’ Arc de Triomphe and, just like the French landmark, no visit to Mumbai is ever complete without a visit (and a photo) with the majestic Gateway of India — it’s called the “Taj Mahal of Mumbai,” after all.
…0r the majestic Siddhivinayak temple
Constructed in 1801 in Prabhadevi, the Siddhivinayak is one of the Indian city’s most important landmarks. A Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the six-story structure features gold-plated domes, a remarkable Mandir-style façade and a statue of Ganesha. Rumor has it that number of famous Bollywood actors come to the temple often to pray, so, if you’re lucky, you just might spot one on your visit.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle at Chowpatty
Being the most populous city in the country, the streets of Mumbai are always packed with activity! And just like New York City, it’s a city that never sleeps. Tourists adore its energy, but, for those who wish to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, there are numerous spots you can escape to. One of the most popular spot for locals is Chowpatty Beach. While swimming in the beach is not recommended, one can always sit by shore to catch the sunset after having a ragda patty from one of the surrounding food stalls.
Visit Haji Ali Dargah
Mumbai is truly a melting pot of different cultures and, aside from having sites dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism, the city also houses the Islamic Haji Ali Dargah mosque. Built in 1431 on a small islet on Worli bay in memory of Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari , the mosque combines elements of Indian and Islamic architecture, making it one of the most interesting and recognizable structures in the city.
Shop at Crawford Market and Chor Bazaar
Crawford Market is Mumbai’s most famous market. Designed by British architect William Emerson (also the man behind Calcutta’s Victoria Memorial Hall), the structure was built in 1869 and was the first ever market to be illuminated by electricity. Today, it is one of the busiest locations in Mumbai and is the go-to place for people looking to purchase cheap clothes, accessories, jewelry, toiletries, toys and even fruits and vegetables.
If you’ve done your rounds at Crawford Market, but still have energy for more shopping, you can check out Chor Bazaar. Situated in the south side of the city, it’s considered one of the country’s biggest flea markets selling second-hand clothes, electronics, antiques and other curiosities. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily, except Fridays.
Drive past Marine Drive at night
Nicknamed “Queen’s Necklace” because of it’s C-shape, the Marine Drive is a six-lane road facing the Back Bay coast. It is quite similar to Manila Bay in appearance, and it’s also one of the best places to catch the sunset, as well as take photos of Mumbai’s coastal skyline and marvel at the art deco building along its promenade. It’s stunning any time of the day, but the best time to visit would have to be during the evening, when the lights illuminate its three kilometer arc.
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