When it comes to a place like Mumbai, there’s no better way to get to know the city than by putting on your most comfortable shoes and taking to the road. There is heritage, street food, art and oodles of culture all hiding in plain sight. Lucky for us, there are experts in the city who can shine the light and show you the city like you’ve never seen before. Here’s our pick of the best guided tours of Mumbai:
Gawk at the Old Bombay architecture
Art Deco Mumbai periodically conducts walking tours in South Mumbai, guided by architects. The tours usually wend around Marine Drive, Churchgate and Fort, and last for about 60 to 75 minutes. It helps that the group size is kept to around five. (Read more here). Also check out Bombay Heritage Walks, which has been organising walking tours around the city for two decades. The most popular routes are the Kala Ghoda Tour and the Horniman Circle Walk.
Explore the ‘hoods through their stories
Khaki Tours are your friendly neighbourhood guides, who organise walks and urban safaris, that are all about discovering the untold stories of Mumbai. The walking tours include Discover Dharavi, Alibaug Amble and Grisly Girgaon which are immersive experiences that celebrate the magic of the bygone eras of Mumbai. The urban safaris—conducted in a military-style jeep—include Cool Colaba, Dadar Drive and Byculla Bylaneswhere you can explore the wonders of the city with the wind in your hair. (More here)
Eat your way through the city
No Footprints’s food walks take you through the bylanes of Mumbai to gorge on delicious street food. Among their most famous clients is celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, who swore the vada paav was the best thing she’d ever had. The Kebab and Curry walk is one of their hits: it takes you through the streets of Mohammad Ali Road to feast on kebabs, rolls, tikkas and usually ends in a happy food coma.
Take in the art scene
Art Walks Mumbai (@artwalksmumbai) organises art walks through Mumbai’s premier art spaces, under the guidance of historian Alisha Sadikot and Nishita Zachariah, bona fide raconteurs and experts at decoding Mumbai’s artistic heritage.
Cycle before sunrise
Mystical Mumbai organises Bicycle Tours of Mumbai in the wee hours of the morning, before the traffic hits. It covers Fort, Gateway of India and Marine Drive and includes a few refreshment stops for chai. A good way to get in a workout and see a different side of the city as it sleeps. (More here)
Hit the bazaars of Mumbai
Fascinating as they are, the old bazaars of Mumbai can be tough to navigate. Which is where the Mumbai Bazaar Walk organised by Mumbai Magic helps. The curated tour takes you through Jama Masjid, Mangaldas cloth market, Zaveri Bazaar, Phool Galli and Madhav Baug. (More here)
Explore Mumbai’s natural heritage (yes, it still has some)
iNaturewatch organises nature trails in Sanjay Gandhi National Park as well as walks along the Airoli Mangroves, BPT Garden in Colaba and Butterfly Park in Thane. (Didn’t know about these gems, did you?). And along the coast, Marine Life of Mumbai organises shore-walks along Haji Ali, Juhu, Girgaon and Carter Road where they introduce you to the incredible marine life that washes up along Mumbai’s coast. Expect colourful sea sponges, different kinds of snails, hermit crabs and even corals. (More here)