How to Explore Mumbai like a Mumbaikar

by Julie on January 2, 2018

The city of dreams, Mumbai, is a perfect blend of culture, a metropolitan lifestyle, entertainment, and its very own food! When all these come together for someone who is new to the city, they’d surely feel overwhelmed with the locals, snacking on the revered Vada pav, boarding a local train or walking on the serene beaches. Needless to say, it is truly an unmatched experience!

The city has a lot to offer and if you’re a first-timer, you may feel at odds in terms of where to begin. But let’s start with basics- where to stay? The LaLiT Mumbai in Andheri East, is just a 15 minutes ride away from the domestic & international airports, which makes it an exquisite location! Not only is it among the best hotels in Mumbai to stay at, but it is also very well connected by public transport as well.

The luxurious rooms blend contemporary design with traditional Indian elements, combining the best of -both worlds to create a comfortable stay for you- whether you’re alone, with friends or family! You can choose between Rooms, Suites or the residential apartments which are all equipped with state-of-the-art, modern facilities. The LaLiT Mumbai is also home to some of the best restaurants in Mumbai24/7, Baluchi, the LaLiT Boulangerie, Trendz and Beluga and the famous club, Kitty Su, for a thrilling nightlife experience!

Moving on, once you’re settled with your accommodation needs, it’s time to step out and explore the city of Mumbai, and here’s exactly how you can make the most of your trip:

1.      Start your day in Bandra

Half an hour ride away from The LaLiT Mumbai, Bandra is a melting pot of the traditional and the modern lifestyle. If you missed out on the sumptuous breakfast buffet at 24/7, head to Theobromas for a fun breakfast or grab a quick bite at A1 Bakery. Head to the lanes behind the bakery and to Chapel street which is full of graffitis, which comes alive with charming urban art in psychedelic colours. Watch the 200-year old colonial history unfold in front of you as you cross the residences, the influence evident in the external architecture. If you’re a fan of the blue waters, take a break at Carter Road with a quick cup of coffee by the sea.

2.      Move to the heart of the city

As you feel the heat of the sun scalding your skin towards noon, board the train towards Dadar from the nearest local station and get a glimpse of the diverse, maddening crowd of Mumbai—to gain a true Mumbaikar experience! Once you get down at Dadar, head towards Kirti College where hawkers pepper the street outside and enjoy some inexpensive shopping and street food. Talking about street food, one cannot afford to miss Vada pav, it is a part of the staple food there! It is advised to carry a bottle of water with you before you bite into a Vada pav – the heat of the fiery topping is something only a few people can handle.

3.      Test your bargaining skills

Next on your list should be Chor Bazaar and Crawford Market. A magnet for bargain hunters, these markets are known for their antiques, Bollywood collectibles, and period furniture, along with day-to-day goods at reasonable rates. Bargain unapologetically to end up with a steal-of-a-deal.

4.      Explore South Bombay

For lunch, head to the gem of all the restaurants in South Mumbai, Britannia & Co, for some delicious Parsi fare set in a vintage, early 20th-century like ambience. Follow it up with a visit to the Gateway of India and the legendary Taj hotel for the quintessential Mumbai photos.

As the sun sets, head to the famous Chowpatty beach, which starts teeming with families, college students, and snack vendors; the chaos against the backdrop of the ocean is a sight in itself. And finally, walk towards the famous Marine Drive as the sky starts darkening; discover the boardwalk that has a place in every Mumbaikar’s heart. Pick up a cone of Natural’s ice cream to keep you company as you walk down the glorious stretch. You will be greeted by families, couples stealing kisses and solitary souls just enjoying the view of the sea waves crashing against rocks below. It’s an experience that will warm you up while you are reveling in the cool sea breeze.

You may catch up on your dinner at the famous Pizza by The Bay nearby, or take a cab ride back to The LaLiT Mumbai for dinner at Baluchi or Trendz or may be some drinks at Beluga and Kitty Su, wrapping up a hectic, but definitely a memorable day!

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