Mumbai Hangouts

1. Gateway of India

Mumbai's most recognized monument, the Gateway of India, was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. It was completed in 1920 and remains as a striking symbol of the British Raj era. After this era ended in 1947, the last of the British troops departed through the Gateway of India. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It's also a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. These days the atmosphere around the monument resembles a circus at times, with numerous vendors peddling everything from balloons to Indian tea.

* Location: On the waterfront in Colaba, south Mumbai. Opposite the Taj Palace and Tower Hotel.

2. Haji Ali

The imposing Haji Ali is both a mosque and tomb. It was built in 1431 by wealthy Muslim merchant and saint Haji Ali, who was inspired to change the course of his life after going to Mecca. It also contains his body. Situated in the middle of the ocean, Haji Ali is only accessible during low tide from a narrow, 500 yard long walkway. On Thursdays and Fridays tens of thousands of pilgrims flock there to receive blessings from the dead saint. If find you need to pass some time until the tide lowers enough, there's a shopping center on the opposite side of the road.

* Location: Central Mumbai, just off the coast of Worli, not far from Mahalaxmi railway station.

3. Mumbai Dabbawalas

Dabbawala, meaning a person who carries a container, is the term given to the thousands of men responsible for transporting and delivering around 200,000 lunch boxes of freshly cooked food to the city's office workers every day. This unique concept was started to meet the needs of British rulers. However, it's now continued on to service Indian businessmen who can't get home for lunch. Witness this incredible system in operation at Churchgate station from around 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., as the dabbawalas unload the lunch boxes from the trains and prepare to head to their customer's offices, or you can even join the dabbawalas for a day.

* Location: Railway stations around Mumbai, particularly at Churchgate terminus.

4. Markets and Bazaars

From the multitude of colorful pavement vendors that line Colaba Causeway, to the fascinating Chor Bazaar Thieves Market, Mumbai is full of interesting places to go street shopping. Stock up on attractive souvenirs at Colaba Causeway, delight in cheap shoes and clothes at Linking Road, scour the narrow alleyways of Chor Bazaar for antiques, and sample the fresh food while marveling at the architecture of Crawford Market.

* Location: Colaba Causeway, Linking Road in Bandra, Crawford Market near Churchgate, and Chor Bazaar on Mutton street (opposite Shafi Masjid).

5. Juhu and Marine Drive Chowpatty

Beaches At the end of a tiring day of sightseeing, relax with the locals on the beaches of Juhu and Marine Drive, and watch the sunset. If you're feeling adventurous, you'll also be able to feast on tasty snacks offered by the multitude of food stalls and mobile food vendors. Favorites include roasted corn on the cob, bhel puri, pani puri and pav bhaji.

• Prince of Wales Museum Juhu BeachAnother greatest attraction of Mumbai is the Prince of Wales Museum, built in the Indo-Saracenic style. This museum is famous for its outstanding architecture and an imposing dome following the architectural styles of Western India of the 15th and 16th centuries. The museum has many important collections on art, natural history, and on archeology. Besides there are many other smaller sections devoted to other specialized subjects.

6. Haji Ali Mosque

The Haji Ali Mosque rises squarely from the sea, the mosque has a tomb of the Muslim saint Haji Ali. People from all religions come here, since they believe that all their wishes will be fulfilled upon a visit here. The mosque is known for its typical Islamic architecture.

• Café Mocha - Churchgate, Bandra (West)

• Candies, Bandra (West)

• Hawaiian Shack, Bandra (West)

• Just Around the Corner, Bandra (West)

• Purple Haze, Pali Naka

• Red Light, Kala Ghoda

• Seven, Bandra (West)

• Vie Lounge, Santacruz (West)

• Barista

• Café Coffee Day

• Costa Coffee

• Café palli village

• Paratha house