I have an assistant director friend Anurag, who lives in Mumbai and he was all gaga about how wonderful Mumbai is! Intrigued, I wanted to visit. For some strange reason, I have been feeling like the city has been calling me for a while. I only had one weekend to explore the magical city. So join me on a fun-filled ride where I decode it with my Mumbai Weekend Guide.
One fine September weekend, I booked my flight tickets and took off to the city of dreams. Within a blink of an eye, I landed in Mumbai from Bangalore. There were tonnes of cabs waiting outside. It cost me around INR 330 from the airport to Colaba. Thankfully, it was a lazy Saturday afternoon. So I managed to escape the harsh Mumbai traffic and reached my destination comfortably.
My Mumbai Weekend Guide curation begins:
My stay at Treebo
I had booked my Treebo Hotel in South Mumbai: Treebo Garden. The hotel was located in a quaint area with an old world charm. The best part? It was just one street away (600 meters) from the USP of Mumbai, the Gateway of India and also the famous Taj. My joy knew no bounds! I decided to spend the night on the beach but quickly realised that I have a cozy Treebo room to stay at. I changed my mind. :p
Once in, the cheerful receptionist gave me the keys to my room, the WiFi password and informed me about the breakfast timings. He then sent a helper to escort me to my room. One of my friends who already visited Treebo Garden sent sweets for the very friendly lift dada, which I gladly delivered. Instantly, Treebo Garden made me feel like home <3
I was given the best room with an amazing view of the vintage street. There was a flowering vine outside my floor to ceiling window. Funnily this visual transported me to Pondicherry. But that’s a story for another day! I then went on to inspect every nook and corner of my room. All the essential amenities like air conditioner, television, excellent bedding, tea/coffee maker, a hair dryer, a bath tub, toiletries, fresh towels and more greeted me.
Visiting Mumbai’s USP
After brewing myself a hot cuppa, I stared out of the window for as long as I could onto the beautiful and cozy street. I quickly got ready and headed to the first destination on my itinerary: the customary visit to the Gateway of India. The street between my hotel and Gateway was studded with eateries, the aromas of which made my stomach growl. Happily, I grabbed a sandwich and some fruit juice from one of the stalls.
There it was, in all its majesty, cozily tucked in between the rocky beach and the well planned street. I had a feeling that now that I saw the Gateway of India, I was officially welcomed into Mumbai. Mumbaikars from all walks of life thronged this place. Aromas of quick eats filled the air. A statue of Chatrapati Shivaji overlooking this monument with the backdrop of the famous Taj summed up the history of Mumbai in one glance. It was time to move on!
Aboard a Mumbai Taxi
To experience the local Mumbai taxi cabs is a feeling like no other. I quickly hired one to get to Marine drive. It cost me INR 40. The driver dropped me off at Nariman Point. The daylight had just started breaking into dusk.
Musings on Marine Drive
I sat on the walkway overlooking the beach. Marine drive is very deservingly shown as the synonym of Mumbai in films and otherwise. There is something magical about this place. The cool breeze tickled me and sang chorus to my random musings. Just then, it started raining.
Chat at Chowpatty
Rain in Mumbai gives the entire city a mystique aura. I was feeling oddly filmy in this strange city so I decided to walk the length of Marine drive right from Nariman Point to Chowpatty Bridge. It was an amazing experience. The rain just tapped against my skin without hurting me. I appreciated it. Before I reached Chowpatty, the rain stopped and I was dry. I munched on the countless chat stalls here and filled my belly to the brim. I then took a cab and got off at Fort. It barely cost me INR 20.
On the Musical Streets
I looked at the intricate architecture around me while I was walking back to my hotel. I was in love! The streets in mumbai are built in a peculiar fashion. They were all tiled. This was done, I later learn to help rain water drain out or escape without flooding the streets. There! I’ve just given you an interesting titbit.
It started raining again and I walked rather sprinted to my hotel which was a couple of streets away. I quickly changed and lounged in my hotel room. The rain droplets kissed my floor to ceiling window and trailed their way to the bottom making it look like a painting. I thoroughly enjoyed the view and drifted into a sweet slumber.
I woke up the next day ready to take over Mumbai. An elaborate breakfast buffet was arranged at Treebo and I was all too thrilled! I wanted to stock my belly well for a long day ahead. The first thing on my agenda was the uber-beautiful ride over the Mumbai-Worli Sea Link. One word I could use to express the ride was magical and magnificent.
Embarrassed as I am to admit that most of what I did on Day 2 was shopping, I returned home with a happy heart and a light pocket. I first reached Bandra to get my shopping done at Linking Road and Hill Road. Three bags full, I then head to Palladium Mall, one of the biggest malls in Mumbai. It was magnificent to say the least but nothing I could afford there :p. But I did have fun window shopping! Gleefully, I looked at a board outside Canvas Laugh Factory. Popular stand up comics that I so fondly watch on Youtube like EIC and others perform here!
Customary Museum Visit
I finally reached Fort again and visited a museum or two. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya then the Modern Gallery of Art. By this time, my legs were killing me. A host of junk food places adorned the streets and filled my belly. Fulfilled, I was excitedly looking forward to my next destination – Colaba Causeway. I’m so sorry, I’m guilty! I did go to Mumbai to shop my wallets out and I’m not ashamed!
Shopped till I dropped
Finally, the colourful colony of Colaba Causeway (Hey! That rhymes) welcomed me! It was a treat for my eyes and my pocket too! I bought some really cheap but awesome jewellery, bags and perfume. You know the deal with women and shopping right? We love it!
While wandering the streets of Colaba, I found it. Theobroma – the place where dreams are made and they taste heavenly. I picked up the super in demand overloaded Chocolate Brownie, lemon cake and a ton of goodies. They filled my heart and soul and also my over stuffed bags. Dog tired, I came back to my hotel and fell asleep.
It was time for me to bid farewell to Magical Mumbai. The next place on my itinerary was Pune but that’s a story for another day! Stay tuned for more Solo Trip Tales.
I had a gala time in Mumbai! All thanks to Treebo that made my stay that much more easier, hassle-free and made me feel safe and cozy in the city of dreams. Mumbai is definitely worth a visit – at least as a weekend getaway! If I go back to Mumbai next, I will make sure to visit the Elephanta Caves, Siddhivinayak Temple, Haji Ali and more!
If you want to take a solo trip to Mumbai, I suggest you book a hotel with Treebo. You can find details of the many Treebo Hotels in Mumbai here. I’m really loving writing these travel stories. Let me know if you love it or hate it! I would love to get your feedback in the comments below.