- May 2023
- April 2023
- March 2023
Discover our South Mumbai travel guide
Oct 22, 2022
Known as the city of lights and the city of dreams, Mumbai has to be one of my most favourite cities in the world.
The colours, the sea, the cultures, the architecture, the parties and the food never disappoints, this crazy addictive city always throws something new at me.
I have been coming to India since 2009 and have lived in Mumbai on and off for years, I get asked a lot on where to go and what to do and how to navigate this vibrant city so here goes…
I hope this guide inspires you to visit.
This blog concentrates on South Mumbai and the area of Colaba, Fort and Kala Ghoda. It’s where the Gateway to India lies next to the famous Taj Mahal Palace (A must if you are staying in Mumbai for the first time).
If you’ve never been to Mumbai I would suggest staying in the South- Colaba, it’s where the gateway to India is, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (previously Victoria Terminus Station) is situated and the law courts and the cricket grounds.
Which is where this guide starts:
Where to Stay in Colaba
The Taj Mahal, iconic and grand and overlooking the Gateway to India, this is one place to stay if your pocket allows.
The Taj Mahal Tower, same hotel, same food, same service but you’ll be staying in a cheaper wing, it’s the best way to get a deal and still be a part of this incredible hotel – the pool is amazing as is the spa. Book a room that overlooks the gateway to India and for the beautiful Indian sunsets over the sea. Explore the hotel here
Where to eat in Colaba
Woodside Inn – a Mumbai institution, this place has been a famous dinking den serving up beer and continental food at great prices.
Indigo Delhi – When I first arrived in India Indigo was my go to lunch time café for healthy lunches and great juices, over the years other places have come up that are just as good if not better. You’ll find Indigo Delhi round the corner from the Taj and in Bandra in the North of Mumbai.
Another favourite is Leopold Café, famously mentioned in the Shantaram book and is cheap and good. You’ll find this café along Colaba Causeway behind the Taj Mahal Palace.
Cafe Mondegar – made famous by the artist Mondegar, his illustrations are depicted all over this vibrant café. Cheap, fun and vibrant. You’ll find it situation just along from Leopold’s café.
Masala Craft at the Taj Mahal. Indian cuisine at its finest.
On the road directly behind the Taj you’ll find Social, easy Indian street food, great cocktails and a swing to swing on whilst you eat. Relaxed, fun and one to experience. There are now Socials dotted all around Mumbai.
Get social here
Want to go all out?
For five-star dining at one of India’s most celebrated restaurants, book The Table.
Where to shop in Colaba
Behind the Taj is Colaba Causeway, it’s one long strip of market stalls selling trinkets, Indian chappals, t shirts, sunglasses and cheap jewellery and accessories.
How to get there: Walk left out the hotel, and first left again and walk straight up a couple of blocks and you will see it. Café Mondegar, Café Leopold are on this strip and opposite is the Woodside inn near Philips antiques.
Visit Le Mill for all things designer. They stock all the main brands such as Saint Laurent, Chloe, Zimmerman etc but they also have Indian designers too as well as jewellery and homewares. Situated a five-minute walk from the Taj, look up for a multicoloured painted wall and a small sign below, it’s through a doorway and up the stairs. Get your designer fix here
For statement jewellery pieces try Curio Cottage, again about a five-minute walk from the Taj.
For men’s suits and tailoring visit Golden Tailors in Colaba for men’s suits Op To Telephone Bhavan, Shop No .1 Strand Road, Market, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400005
For simple Indian clothes and homewares visit Fab India – it’s an institution all across India, there is a store about a 7 minute walk from the Taj.
Dag Modern situated in The Taj Mahal Palace for the Largest collection of Indian pre-modern and modern Art from the 18th-20th century
Phillips Antiques – one of my favourite places to visit in Mumbai, no photos allowed but they do have the most wonderful collection of Indian antiques – it’s impossible to go in and not buy.
Gem Palace – the most famous jewellers in India – they have made for everyone from Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Princess Diana to Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey and Nicole Kidman among many others as well as counts, maharajas, royalty and first ladies, this place is a treasure trove and not to be missed. They have stores across India, New York and Istanbul. Get you bling on here
For beautiful homeware using neutral fabrics and stone look no further than the Pure Concept Store. Shop neutrals here situated not far from the Railway Station. South near the railway station. How to get there
Good Earth: stylish homewares store and definitely worth visiting - a two minute walk from the Taj.
Chor Bazaar on Mutton Street – This I know as the market of thieves. Selling lighting, antiques and vintage Bollywood posters, Mutton Street is a true treasure trove . You’ll find it near Grant Road station & the close to the famous brothel of Mumbai, Kamatipura aka Peela House. Generally, it’s an open market just like any other however its known for the market which takes place every Friday morning from 4am till 6am.
Fort Area and Kala Ghoda (which means Black Horse).
I love this area of Mumbai, great cafes and places to eat as well as interesting independent boutiques, visit the world famous Sabysahai boutique - not to be missed) and eat at the renowned Trishna restaurant.
It isn't far from Abode hotel and The Taj - i always walk - it takes around 15-20 minutes. A taxi will take you up there though. Get them to drop you by the Black horse statue. Walk straight up from there and you'll see some guys working in the Xerox shops - pic attached - take a right and that leads you down to the roads to all the boutiques and shops.
Where to eat
Burma Burma This award-winning Burmese restaurant also has a tea room.
The Copper Chimney This famous restaurant has been serving North India food since 1972. Secret recipes and cooking techniques make this establishment worth the visit
Trishna One of my favourites, everyone dines here. Known and celebrated for it's crab recipes and fish, the vegetarian and meat curries are just as good. You won't leave disappointed.
The Yard: As the name suggests, The Yard looks like an old garage. It is more like a sheesha lounge that serves Irani breakfast. No alcohol and no vegetarian dishes
Sequel: For healthy eaters - if you can't cope with another curry and are craving a salad and a fresh juice Sequel is the place to go and yes, everything is safe to eat. I love this place and have been an advocate since they opened a few years ago.
Where to shop in Fort and Kala Ghoda
Nico Bar: Owned by the same company as Good Earth, this sister company is younger and a little cooler than Good Earth.
Obataimnu. This is one of my favourite stores, when I first came across it I remember feeling so inspired. Walk into this small store and choose a piece of clothing you love, choose the fabric and it will be sent away, the fabric is dye especially for you so there is no waste and then made up by their talented team of machinists at the back of the store. they ship worldwide. In monsoon it transforms into a yoga studio
Sabyasachi this is my favourite store in the world, there are no words or pictures to truly sum this place up, even if you are not a shopper - this place won't disappoint. Walk into a deep red hallway deked with antique clocks, plates and perfume bottles, and into rooms full of bespoke hand beaded dresses and suits, jewellery and shoes. Not to be missed! A 1-min walk from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Address: Ador Multiproducts Ltd, 6, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
The Bombay Shirt Company. This menswear store popped up a few years ago, they also have a store in Bandra (North Mumbai). They do ship worldwide so if you aren't in town for too long they'll be able to get it sent home for you. Choose your fabric, buttons and trimmings and order your one of a kind shirt.
What to see
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (previously Victoria Terminus Station) is a historic railway terminus in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The terminus was designed by a British born architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens from an initial design by Axel Haig, in an exuberant Italian Gothic style, this stunning beautiful building i9s worth a walk to
Walk across to the Maiden Oval at Fort and watch the cricket, just before sundown you'll see around 50 games being played on these iconic grounds.
You'll also see many neo-gothic buildings here including the courthouses.
Note: In India nothing really starts until 11am.
Explore All the shops in and around Colaba - you can do this in a few hours. Visit the Wooside Inn, Leopold's or Cafe Mondegar or the Social (all near by) fior a spot of lunch. Lounge by the pool for a while in the afternoon at the Taj and book into Masala Craft at the Taj for supper.
Chor Bazaar, a relax by the pool and supper at the pool or book The Table if you are feeling flush.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus walk up to the courthouses and the cricket ground to see multiple games playing at once.
In the evening hop in a car and go to Trishnas
Have a great trip
Sarah Verity X