There are times when you want to visit posh restaurants, catch up with friends at a cafe or have a good time at a pub. And then there are days when hanging out means a long walk, the sunset, or enjoying a friend’s company. Thankfully, Mumbai has quite a few hangout spots that ask for only your presence, not your money. And if you are lucky enough you might spot few celebs too!
Here’s a list of 14 places where you could chill at, without burning a hole in your pocket:
1. Marine Drive:
One of the most popular hangout spots in South Mumbai, this is one place frequented by students, newbie photographers, doodlers, daydreamers and just about anyone and everyone. Whether it is 4 in the morning or 4 in the evening, Marine Drive welcomes visitors with open arms. Marine Drive is possibly Mumbai’s best known road stretch. This 3 kilometer stretch of boulevard, with Girgaum Chowpatty beach at the northern end, curves around the coast. Its feature is a seaside promenade where people flock to catch the evening breeze. If you’re exhausted by the rush of city life and need to recharge, this is one place that’ll help you cool down and connect with yourself better. Marine Drive is also referred to as the Queen’s Necklace because of its string of sparkling lights, reflective of a row of jewels.
2. Colaba Causeway:
Streets of Colaba Causeway are not just a shopping lane with frequent shopaholics, but the mix of colors and the bustling atmosphere with all the art lovers and explorers. This place also makes it a photographer’s delight. Along with Indian tourists who come to visit from the other parts of India you wold see more of the foriegn visiters exploring the market.
3. The Asiatic Society of Mumbai:
Grab a book and make yourself comfortable, outside. The steps of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai are a perfect hangout place for readers.
4. Girgaum Chowpatty:
Watch the sunset or indulge in your usual banter with friends as the wind gently ruffles your hair, all for free at this beach in South Mumbai. Girgaum Chowpatty is a beach that’s famous for its snack stalls. People meet there in the evenings to watch the sunset over the Malabar Hill skyline, and munch on their favorite bhel puri, pani puri, and pav bhaji. The beach really comes alive during the annual Ganesh Festival, when some of Mumbai’s biggest idols are immersed in the water there.
5. Hanging Gardens:
This green spread on top of Malabar hill is a great spot to unwind with your friends. Nestled close to Kamla Nehru Park, this is a delightful place to visit, mainly for its spectacular view of Chowpatty beach and Marine Drive. The sea breeze from Arabian sea can blow your thoughts away as you breathe in the scent in the air and enjoy the scenic view of Mumbai sky-scrapers against the blue sky with golden beach below touching the waters.
6. Kamla Nehru Park:
Kamala Nehru Park is located at the top of Mumbai’s Malabar Hills and it is named after Kamala Nehru, the wife of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. A structure shaped like a shoe is the main attraction at this park which is inspired by the nursery rhyme “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe”. Remember that? Not only were the children enthralled by this shoe, even adults walk up the dingy steps inside the shoe to click their photograph from the tiny window. Some brave children walked up the top of the boots to enjoy a slide down the sloppy sides.
7. Worli Seaface:
The promenade at Worli Seaface is one chill spot, and it’s right at the heart of the city. It’s one of the top places to experience the monsoon in Mumbai, as huge waves thrillingly rise up and onto the roadside during high tide. The Worli Seaface also offers a view of the Bandra Worli Sealink, sit and experience zen.
8. Shivaji Park:
Sachin Tendulkar used to hangout and practice here, do you need another reason? I think not. Shivaji Park, the largest park in Mumbai, has a long history. It was created in 1925, during the reign of the British Raj. The Britishers named it in honor of the 17th century warrior king of the region, Chhatrapati Shivaji. A large bronze statue of him riding his horse can be found to the north of the park. The park has hosted many gatherings of freedom fighters, and was the base for the struggle for the formation of the state of Maharastra after Independence. These days, Shivaji Park is the perfect place for people watching. On weekends, it can be difficult to find a spare place on the bench that runs around the edge of it. You will find Plenty of snack stalls are there to feed hungry tummies.
9. Dadar Chowpatty:
Or the Prabhadevi beach. Go here for the serene waves, cool breeze, sunset and a good view of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Bandstand got its name from the old glory days of bandstand culture, when bands used to provide entertainment by playing outdoors there. It’s characterized by an amphitheater set high on a hill above the ocean. Popularly known as a lover’s point, at low tide, young couples like to sneak out onto the rocks below to spend some time alone. Famous Bollywood actor Sha Rukh Khan’s house, Mannat, is located opposite the old Sea Rock hotel at Bandstand.
The Bandstand area also has a long oceanfront promenade, lined with snack stalls. Recently, a Bollywood Walk of Fame was added to it, with the names and hand prints of Bollywood actors similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Its the best place for Long walks, conversations, and occasional performances by musicians sum up what Bandstand is all about.
11. Bandra Fort:
This fort is one place where you can soak in the beauty of the setting sun and cool breeze in the company of a good friend. Bandra Fort is one of the biggest fort in Mumbai owing to its location and size played an important role in the struggle for supremacy over Bombay. Its said to be built my Portuguese in 1640 as a watchtower overlooking Mahim Bay, Arabian Island and southern Island of Mahim. Its name indicates its origin as a place where fresh water was available in the form of a fountain (Aguada) for Portuguese ships cruising the coasts in the initial period of Portuguese presence. The Fort lies over several levels, from sea level to an altitude of 24metres. Adjacent to the fort wall is a well maintained park, More than the Fort, the view of the Bandra-Worli sea link from the fort, is what attracts most of the people.
12. Carter Road:
Carter Road is another great place to just lounge around with your buddies. Carter Road is full of coffee shops and restaurants, and if you are lucky you may even get a glance of the Bollywood Glitterati. It’s a relatively new one kilometer stretch of promenade, opened in 2002, much of which is bordered by mangroves. Projects to beautify it have been ongoing over the years. Apart from the walkers and joggers, Carter Road also attracts the cafe crowd, as it has a culinary strip full of fashionable restaurants and coffee shops.
13. Juhu Beach:
More carnival-like, this is one of the most frequented beaches in the Western suburbs. The balloons and kites take you back to childhood, and the animated atmosphere makes for a fun outing with friends. Juhu beach is located in one of Mumbai’s most exclusive suburbs that’s home to many celebrities. Stay at one of the top beachfront hotels in Juhu to have a relaxing time, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
14. Powai Lake:
Man-made Powai Lake was created by the British in 1799. The lake is rich in biodiversity including several types of migratory birds as well as crocodiles. Although it had been neglected in recent years, extensive restoration and beautification works have been carried out. The lake now has a two kilometer long paved jogging track/walkway, musical fountain, and children’s play area. Powai Lake is bordered by Hiranandani Gardens, a planned township, on one side and the luxury Renaissance Hotel on the other.
Are there more spots you’ve discovered in Mumbai where you can hang out without your wallet? There must be, because the best things in life are free. Tell us about more such places.
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Cover Image Source: Pluzcinema.com