Offbeat Ways to Enjoy Mumbai on a Budget

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“A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.” 

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A mesmerizing tale for locals, travelers, dream seekers, writers, film makers (and pretty much everybody), Mumbai has a lot to offer. Yet, as it often happens, there is always something more to a place than meets the eye! Welcome to Mumbai – the ‘City of Dreams’.

Mumbai map illustration by Cartographic – Anna Simmons

A little bit of this and a little bit of that … here’s a traveler’s guide to exploring Mumbai on a budget.

1. Take a Sea-Side Walk: Chowpatty Beach, Juhu Beach, Marine Drive, Worli Seaface, Carter Road, Bandstand … Take your pick and enjoy a stroll by the sea, have a bite of Mumbai’s famed street food, enjoy the sunset or get drenched by giant sea waves

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2. Time Travel @ Khotachiwadi: Dotted with colourful Portuguese styled houses, graffiti walls, narrow cobbled streets, a chapel with stone benches & a friendly community whose origins go back two centuries back in time, this quaint heritage village is a photographer’s delight!

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3. Explore Art: Housing major art galleries, museums, quaint cafés, designer stores, libraries & book shops; Kala Ghoda is Mumbai’s premier art district. Visit to witness some amazing street art, savour some legendary culinary delights or make a stop-over at one of the many galleries in the locality.

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4. Happy Reading @ Leaping Windows Café: If you love comic books, superheroes & graphic novels then this hidden gem in Versova will definitely impress you. Besides a fabulous collection the place also has a coffee shop upstairs so you can doubly enjoy the delights of reading!

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5. Watch a Play: Head over to Prithvi Theatre, one of Mumbai’s best known theatres to watch a play. It’s a great experience plus chances are you may see one of Bollywood’s famed actor. They also have an amazing café serving authentic Irish coffee!

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6. Horse Racing @ Mahalaxmi Race Course: It’s a fun, exciting & inexpensive experience definitely worth trying.  Watch the galloping horses whizz by or make a bet with the regulars & stand a chance to be a glorious winner!

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7. Indulge in Shopping: Mumbai can be a shopper’s paradise if you know the right destination & the art of bargaining (which is a must when you’re in Mumbai!) Leather goods, Bollywood posters, furniture, clothes, vintage jewelry, clever fakes … name it and you’ll find it! Check out:

  • Chor Bazaar (Antiques & Vintage Items)
  • Colaba Causeway (Everything!)
  • Linking Road (Lots of interesting footwear)
  • Hill Road, Bandra (Clothes)
  • Fashion Street (Junk Jewelry).
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8. Café Hopping: Street food, seafood, Parsi food, sweet treats … name it & you’ll find it! Filled with vintage cafés, cosy local eateries, quaint ice-cream parlours & numerous street vendors, old school bars & pubs Mumbai is a haven when it comes to food. Café Mondegar, Theobroma, Leopold Café, The Birdsong Café, Villa Vandre, Suzette Creperie & Café are a few places worth visiting.

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Colourful, overwhelming and bursting with life, Mumbai with all its beauty and craziness is a must-visit for sure :-). So whether you’re making a full-fledged tour or just a stopover, you’re definitely bound to have a good time when in Mumbai!

Have you been here before? Got a favourite place? We’d love to hear you stories, so do write to us!


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Samriddhi is a writer, photographer, wildlife enthusiast, nature lover, and conservationist: that's ‘Sam’ in a nutshell. When not writing, she likes musing about things known and unknown, listening to music, cooking or just chatting with friends. She loves writing blogs and doubles up as a philosopher and agony aunt for the lost.