How To Spend 24 Hours In Mumbai: What To Eat, See And Shop

Mumbai City Guide: Visiting Mumbai for only a day? Want to explore some of the most iconic sightseeing spots and restaurants? Wondering how to navigate this bustling city “that never sleeps”? We’ve got your back. We have curated a detailed itinerary for spending 24 hours (give or take) in Mumbai, based on local knowledge and realistic approximations of travel time. Mumbai is enormous, and every corner has its own signature offerings in terms of food, culture, shopping, history and more. The following route is just one way of spending the day in Mumbai. It covers some of the legendary places in the city and tries to include stops that could accommodate a range of interests. There is so much more to explore in this city and we hope this quick trip may inspire you to revisit:

8 am: Breakfast like locals in Central Mumbai

Option 1: Ram Ashraya, Matunga

Wondering why to begin with South Indian fare when you’re in western India? It’s because that’s what locals also love to do. Always buzzing with activity, eating at this unpretentious restaurant is one of the perfect ways to start your day like a Mumbaikar. Ram Ashraya was named among Taste Atlas’ 150 Legendary Restaurants In The World in 2023. But most city folks have no need for such validation. The consistently delicious taste of the food and fairly reasonable prices speak for themselves. Our recommendations: idli, Mysore dosa, rava dosa, goli bhajji, filter coffee, pineapple sheera. 
Where: Shop 3-6 ground floor, Jamnadas Mansion, Bazar, Laxmi Narayan Lane, Matunga (C.R.), Matunga East, Mumbai.

Option 2: Prakash Shakahari Upahar Kendra, Dadar

If you want Maharashtrian food, head to Prakash in Dadar. This is another no-frills establishment that has garnered a devoted following over more than 3 decades. Our recommendations: vada pav, misal pav, sabudana vada, and poha. 
Where: 9/10, Horizon Building, Gokhale Road, Dadar West, Mumbai.

Also Read: Top 10 Breakfast Places In Mumbai You Must Try

10 am: Explore Historic Areas Of South Mumbai

Option 1: Fort and Kala Ghoda

The Fort and Kala Ghoda neighbourhoods of South Mumbai are home to many heritage structures and buildings of historical interest. Many tour guides and companies offer walking tours of this area. But you can also try exploring it on your own. Stop by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai Library, the Horniman Circle Gardens, St. Thomas Cathedral (the church that gave “Churchgate” its name), Yazdani Bakery, David Sassoon Library and other spots. Art enthusiasts can also reserve some time to visit the Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). 

Option 2: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)

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This can be a part of your walking tour of Fort or a separate destination altogether. The rich history of this iconic railway station and its architectural grandeur have been celebrated with displays inside the building. You can also choose to book guided tours of CSMT, but their timings may vary. If you need to make a quick brunch stop in the area, grab a vada pav at Aram located just opposite the terminus. 
Where: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai.

Option 3: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) – Museum

Previously known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, CSMVS is one of the most important cultural institutions in the city. Established in 1922, the museum boasts extensive collections pertaining to art, archaeology, and natural history. One can spend several days exploring its wonders, so make the most of your time here by zeroing in on fields of your interest. 
Where: CSMVS, 159-161, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai.

How to reach South Mumbai: Take a local kali peeli (black and yellow) taxi from Matunga/ Dadar, which typically runs by meter. Alternatively, consider hiring a car for ease of travel or booking cabs via apps (both Ola and Uber function well in most parts of the city). If it’s a Sunday, you can consider taking a bus or a train. The latter is quick and reliable if you’re up to braving mass public transport. However, on weekdays and certain Saturdays, buses and trains would be quite crowded around this time (people usually head towards the South of the city for work, with 8-10 am being peak hours).

12:30 pm: Take a photo at The Gateway of India 

Want that perfect postcard photo to represent your Mumbai visit? Then you need to head to The Gateway of India. This monument has become one of the most popular visual symbols associated with the city. While the weather would be cooler in the evening, the 24-hour limit on this itinerary implies many compromises. So, take a quick sunny photo of you (and your fellow travellers, if any) in front of the facade for a memento of your trip. 

How to reach The Gateway of India: You can walk to the Gateway of India from Kala Ghoda/ CSMVS in around 15 minutes (approx distance is 1 km). If you’re near CSMT or Fort, flag down a cab or hop on a bus (most BEST buses are now air-conditioned and the price is currently only Rs. 6 for most distances).

1 pm: Have an early lunch at an iconic restaurant

Option 1: The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is one of the most renowned establishments in the city, with a storied history interwoven with the evolution of Mumbai. 
It houses many acclaimed restaurants, from the legendary Shamiana to the internationally renowned Wasabi by Morimoto. If you’re in the mood to splurge, a meal at any of them would be quite worthwhile. The hotel is located just opposite The Gateway of India.
Where: The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai.

Option 2: Leopold Cafe, Colaba

If you’re in the mood for a casual lunch with drinks, visit Leopold Cafe. Established in 1871, this eating joint has seen this city through its many highs and lows. It was also one of the sites targeted during the 26/11 terror attacks. The menu includes Indian and International staples. Many simply go to soak in its distinctive decor reminiscent of another era. 
Where: Leopold Cafe, Police Station, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, near Colaba, Mumbai.

Option 3: Khyber, Kala Ghoda

This iconic restaurant is known for delectable North Indian fare that can be savoured in an aesthetically grounded ambience. It has hosted celebrities from around the world and remains a favourite of locals and tourists. 
Where: Khyber, 145, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai.

Also Read: Where To Eat In Kala Ghoda: 10 Best Cafes And Restaurants You Must Try

Option 4: Trishna, Kala Ghoda

Craving seafood? Then feast at Trishna in Kala Ghoda. This is another legacy restaurant that continues to attract generations of loyal patrons over the years. It is famous for its butter garlic crab. 
Where: Sai Baba Mandir Marg, next to Commerce House, opp. Kala Ghoda Cafe, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai.

Option 5: Ekaa, Fort

Mumbai is one of the most significant destinations for experiments and achievements in the field of gastronomy in India. If you enjoy sophisticated gourmet experiences, you need to check out at least one of several critically acclaimed restaurants in the city. On your current route as per this itinerary, you will find Ekaa near CSMT. It was featured among Asia’s 100 Best Restaurants for 2024 by the prestigious World’s 50 Best rankings. At Ekaa, Chef Niyati Rao presents a celebration of local produce and reimagines modern Indian cuisine with global influences. Diners can opt for a Tasting menu or choose dishes a la carte. 
Where: Ekaa, 1st Floor, Kitab Mahal, D Sukhadwala Rd, Azad Maidan, Fort, Mumbai.

Also Read: 10 Best Vegetarian Restaurants You Must Try In Mumbai

3 pm: Shop till you drop in nearby lanes

Option 1: Colaba Causeway 

Talk about shopping in South Mumbai and Colaba Causeway immediately comes to mind. The streets of this neighbourhood offer many tempting items from jewellery and clothing to handicrafts and decor pieces. The proximity to spots like the CSMVS and The Gateway of India, as well as the numerous small eating joints in the area, add to the convenience of shoppers. 

Option 2: Crawford Market

If you want to shop like locals, you can also check out the bustling streets of Crawford Market. People from all over the city throng to this part of South Mumbai to fulfil their wide-ranging shopping needs. Whether you need stationery, crockery or antiques, you will find a large selection here. Some parts are populated by vendors selling fresh produce, spices, condiments and other edible items. If you do end up visiting this market, consider a stop at Badshah for a refreshing glass of falooda. 
Where: Badshah Cold Drinks, 152.156, Lokmanya Tilak Rd, Opp Police Commissioner’s Office, Lohar Chawl, Kalbadevi, Mumbai.

How to get there: You can take a taxi or bus up to a certain point in Crawford Market. However, many streets in this area do not allow/ have no space for regular traffic. Hence, you will have to make your way around on foot after that. 

Option 3: Fort & Kala Ghoda

If designer clothing and ornate items are what you’re after, stick to the lanes and bylanes of the Fort and Kala Ghoda localities. You will find upscale boutiques and shops by acclaimed designers here. 

4 pm: Enjoy piping hot tea and snacks 

Option 1: Kyani & Co., Marine Lines

Mumbai is a wonderful place to explore various niche cuisines. Visiting at least one of its Irani cafes is a must. While there are a few in this area, we recommend Kyani & Co. Relish Irani chai with old-school dishes like Bun/Pav Maska, Bhurji, Akuri, puffs and more. It is still situated in a colonial era building and its decor will transport you back in time. 
Where: Jer Mahal Estate, 657, Jagannath Shankar Seth Rd, opp. Metro Inox Theatre, Dhobi Talao, Marine Lines, Mumbai.

Option 2: Aram Vada Pav, Fort

Cannot imagine returning home without trying Mumbai’s famous vada pav? If you had opted out of a Maharashtrian breakfast, get your fix at teatime at Aram Vada Pav opposite CSMT. If you don’t manage to snag a seat at the limited tables inside, just grab one to go – like the busy locals often do on their work breaks or before catching their trains home! While you’re in the area, you can also take advantage of the selfie point in front of CSMT (if you haven’t already). 
Where: Aram, Capital Cinema Building, 126, Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Rd, Azad Maidan, Fort, Mumbai.

Option 3: Sea Lounge, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba

Not seeking a street-style option for tea? Want a luxurious high tea with a view? Then trace your steps back near The Gateway of India and go to the Sea Lounge at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This restaurant offers an amazing view of the famous moment surrounded by the waves and the sky. Although you cannot catch the sunset from this part of the shore, the other main attraction is the lavish tea spread. The menu includes Indian and English teatime treats, paired with a range of beverages. 
Where: Sea Lounge, The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai.

5 pm: Relish ice cream by the seaside

Don’t overindulge at teatime as there’s another foodie stop you need to make. Grab a bus or taxi to K. Rustom & Co. Ice Cream parlour near Marine Drive. Their famous ice cream sandwiches have been satisfying the cold, sweet cravings of Mumbaikars for 7 decades. It has been named one of the ‘100 Most Legendary Dessert Places’ by Taste Atlas. 
Where: Brabourne Stadium, 86, Veer Nariman Rd, Churchgate, Mumbai.

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6 pm: Feast your eyes on the sunset at Marine Drive or Girgaon Chowpatty

Take a break from walking, eating and exploring at sunset. Simply sit on the raised parapet at Marine Drive and notice how the descending sun rays playfully hit the waves. Take in the beauty of this part of the Mumbai skyline, also known as the Queen’s Necklace. Alternatively, you can drive a little further north along the coast to Girgaon Chowpatty and catch the sunset at the viewing deck or beach there. You may want to do this if you’re planning to go further north for your evening activities. 

7 pm: Explore Cultural Activities And Nightlife 

Option 1: Catch a show at the NCPA or The Royal Opera House

Mumbai is a fantastic hub for various types of cultural activities. If you’re interested in the performing arts, ensure you check out the schedule (in advance) of the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) at Nariman Point and the Royal Opera House in South Mumbai. Both venues frequently host different kinds of plays, musical acts, dance shows, comic sketches and more. The Royal Opera House, which re-opened after major renovations in 2016, is also an attraction for history and architecture buffs. 
Where: NCPA, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai.
Where: The Royal Opera House, Shrimad Rajchandraji Marg, Charni Road East, Opera House, Girgaon, Mumbai.

Option 2: Watch your favourite comedians live in Bandra/ Khar

Want to unwind with jokes after your long day of exploration? The city’s stand-up comedy scene is a thriving one. You can watch well-known as well as up-and-coming comedians perform at various venues in the Khar-Bandra West area. Ensure you book your tickets online in advance, as many shows sell out even on weekdays. 

How to get to Bandra/ Khar: We don’t recommend mass public transport on weekdays at this time of the evening. It’s because of the same reason as the morning journey: 5-7 pm are peak hours for citizens to return home after work. If you have a cab or hired car, don’t miss the opportunity to take the Worli-Bandra Sea Link and enjoy the glittering view of the Mumbai skyline from the bridge. 

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Option 3: Go restaurant and/or bar-hopping in Worli and Lower Parel

Foodies may want to already start thinking about their next meal. If yes, head north to Lower Parel. This hub has many (relatively) newer restaurants and bars worth checking out. It may take you some time to reach here from Marine Drive/ Girgaon due to traffic in the evenings. You will have to consider ending your night in and around Lower Parel. However, there are so many options that it won’t feel like a waste of time. In Worli, check out the exquisite cocktails of Slink & Bardot near the Koliwada village or treat yourself to an outing at AER, the rooftop bar at the Four Seasons Mumbai. Koishii & Koi Bar at The St. Regis also offers unparalleled birds-eye views of the skyline. Alternatively, head to the Kamala Mills locality or the Palladium Mall nearby for a concentration of popular establishments within a few compounds. 

On the other hand, if you’re in search of a single award-winning culinary experience, this neighbourhood won’t let you down either. While planning your trip, you can make reservations at Masque, which was crowned India’s best restaurant in 2023 and 2024. It was also named among the World’s 100 Best Restaurants for 2024. It is helmed by restaurateur Aditi Dugar and Chef Varun Totlani.
Where: Masque, Unit G3, Shree Laxmi Woollen Mills, Shakti Mills Lane, Off, Dr Elijah Moses Rd, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai.

Another must-try restaurant in this area is The Bombay Canteen. It was featured among Asia’s 100 Best Restaurants for 2024. The innovative menu, which often celebrates seasonal produce, is the brainchild of Chef Hussain Shahzad. Both The Bombay Canteen and Masque’s The Living Room were also among Asia’s 50 Best Bars for 2023. Think of dropping by for a drink, if not an entire meal. 
Where: The Bombay Canteen, Unit-1, Process House, S.B. Road, Kamala Mills, Near Radio Mirchi Office Lower Parel, Mumbai.

10 pm: End your night in and around Bandra

Option 1: Bastian, Bandra

Bastian Bandra is an incredible space for a celebratory dinner in town. It is said that one can often spot celebrities dining here. The food and drinks menus are impressively curated. Highlights include Bastian Ceviche, Animal Prawns; Spicy Crab Thermidor, Bacon Kimchi Fried Rice, Korean Fried Paneer and much more. 
Where: Kamal Building, B/1, New, Linking Rd, next to Burger King, Bandra West, Mumbai.

Option 2: Izumi, Bandra

Like Bastian, Izumi is also frequented by Bollywood celebrities. The reason they return is that this restaurant is said to serve some of the best sushi and ramen in the city. The space has only 54 seats. Diners can also watch the magic happen at the live sushi bar. 
Where: Izumi Ground Floor, Sunrise Cooperative Society, Rd Number 24, Khar West, Mumbai.

Option 3: Carter Road SOCIAL

If you’re looking to simply catch up with friends over dinner and cocktails, Carter Road Social is a reliable and less imposing option (compared to the previous ones) to consider. The menu has a decent variety of comfort foods and drinks that don’t disappoint. After your meal, you can also take a walk along the Carter Road stretch and enjoy the sea breeze by night. 
Where: Sangeet Samrat Naushad Ali Marg Plot 21, Gagangiri CHS Ltd, 21, Sangeet Samrat Naushad Ali Rd, opposite Carter Promenade, Union Park, Pali Hill, Mumbai.

Also Read: Where To Eat In Bandra: 9 Best Restaurants In Carter Road And Pali Hill

Around Midnight: Take a cycling tour of South Mumbai

In recent times, various groups and organisations have come up with curated midnight cycling tours. They promise to give you a chance to discover the city in a new light (one could say, in a lack thereof) and without the usual bustle associated with its streets. If you still have time and energy left, consider signing up for one of these to truly take advantage of your 24 hours in Mumbai. 

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