Mumbai is a vibrant Indian city comprised of seven islands. It is the most populated place in the country, and the second most populated city in the world. People travel from all over to experience the the history, culture and food. There’s a lot to do in the city, so we tapped Indian fashion designer Anita Dongre to share her Mumbai travel guide with us.
“No matter which city you visit in the world, I believe you should always be respectful of their culture and traditions,” Anita says. “Mumbai is a colorful city where you will meet people from all walks of life; I’d say smile and be kind to everyone you meet. A good thing to practice would be saying ‘no’ firmly but politely. You’ll find that being able to say no convincingly will allow you to experience so much more of this maximum city.”
Her biggest tip for first-time visitors: “India is a beautiful country with diverse cultures and traditions, so don’t be afraid to explore every aspect of it. I’m sure you’ll have an experience of a lifetime.”
Keep reading to see her favorite hotels, restaurants, shops and more.
Anita Dongre's Guide To Mumbai
Where To Stay
"My two favorites are the Taj Mahal Palace and Taj Land’s End," Anita says. "They have a private club called The Chambers at the Taj Land’s End where I often meet my family and friends. What I love most about these properties is the endless view of the seas."
Where To Eat
"If I had to pick, I’d say Kitchen Garden and The Blue are my favorite restaurants in Mumbai," Anita tells us. "I like Kitchen Garden for their fresh organic eats, which they churn out from an open kitchen, while The Blue is where I go for Thai food. They serve up the city’s most authentic style yet."
Where To Shop
"I would start at the Anita Dongre store in Khar with its sweeping archways and Warli art on the walls. It is designed in a manner that brings together some of the crafts I love into one space, forming the blue print of India’s craft history through it," Anita says.
"If you want to get to know the real Mumbai, Bhuleshwar Bazaar and Chor Bazaar are must-visits. The busy, crowded street of Bhuleshwar is famous for its glass bangles, textiles and silver jewelry, while Chor Bazaar (translated to thief’s market) is well known for its antique furniture. Legend has it that when the Queen of England visited Bombay and found a piece of her jewelry missing, it surfaced in Chor Bazaar; the name has stuck since. Fair warning—it’s not for the faint-hearted!"
What To Do
"Mumbai is full of diversity and I often find just standing on the road and people watching an experience in itself. Growing up in Bandra, I have a soft spot for this former suburb and its offering of both traditional and experimental food, the great music and like I said, artwork everywhere," Anita says.
"Having said that, you must also catch the sunset at the Gateway of India, followed by a stroll down the lively Colaba Causeway. A great way to see 'town' is a morning bicycle tour or a heritage walk to experience the sights, sounds and local cuisine of the city."
What To Pack
"I would recommend lightweight, breezy clothes, comfortable footwear, an umbrella, sunglasses and, most importantly, sunscreen because of the tropical weather we have here."