With a population of 22.8 million, Mumbai is the largest city in India and one of the most populated cities in the world. The city is located on India’s central-western coast along the Arabian Sea and is an important port and commercial city. Mumbai is the economic center of India. Besides that it is an important traffic junction and cultural center with universities, theaters, museums and galleries. As the film metropolis of India, the city is also referred to as “Bollywood”. Mumbai is also a city of contrasts as the the rich-poor divide is pure reality. Mumbai is land of some of the world’s richest people, but it is also home to the world’s poorest. Luxurious buildings are surrounded by Asia’s largest slums. Though all of that makes Mumbai a really exciting place to visit. Mumbai is a good “entry point” for travelers to India, because you can both find Western standards and discover something new. The historic core with all the major sights of the city lies on a peninsula that forms a beautiful bay. The most important neighborhoods are Colaba, Fort and Kala Ghoda. As Mumbai has a lot to offer you can easily spend a few days in the city. However in two days you can also make the most out of it. I would recommend following itinerary for your two-days-stay in Mumbai.
Start your day in the most touristic neighborhood Colaba. The first impressive landmark to visit is the Taj Mahal Palace. This luxury hotel was built in 1903 and combines various ancient Gujarat architectural styles, Victorian-Gothic influences and Arabic forms. You are allowed to enter the hotel, but just a few parts like the shopping area and the main entrance hall can be visited as a non-resident. Just opposite the Taj Mahal Palace stands the massive Gateway of India. The iconic landmark of Mumbai is almost 26 meters high and was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and his wife Maria von Teck to Mumbai. It as an amazing place stroll around and observe Indian families or meet other Indian tourists. Further north you you can find one of the most popular museums in India. The Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) awaits you with more than 50.000 objects from the fields of art, archeology and natural history. Though the most impressive part is the building itself, which is strongly representative of the Indo Saracenic genre. It was built in grey basalt and kurla stone and its main elevation is crowned by a beautiful dome. After visiting the museum walk further north and dive deeper in the shopping and food district of the Fort neighborhood. If you want to experience a delicious Indian Sizzler (grilled meat, fish or vegetables served with shredded cabbage, carrots and tomatoes) head to the restaurant called Fountain Sizzler. After the break walk to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus building, the second most photographed structure in India after Taj Mahal. The station was completed in 1887 as the largest British building in India and has several breathtaking domes, towers and minarets. Find other beautiful buildings of the British era like the High Court, the Rajabai Clock Tower and the University of Mumbai in the Fort neighborhood. Just opposite these buildings is the big recreational ground called Oval Maidan. There you can finish off the day relaxing on a bench and observing several groups of men playing the national sport called cricket.
On your second day make a day trip to popular Elephanta Island. The labyrinthine network of subterranean caves on the island with precious Shiva statues, shrines, pillars, courtyards and halls was carved out of rocks in high relief. Little is known about the caves that were built between the 6th and 8th century. Close to the first cave is a path that leads you in around 20 minutes to the top of Elephanta Hill, from where you can enjoy nice views of Elephanta Island and the city of Mumbai. On the top are also two old rusty canons. You can reach the island by boat. Boats are departing every half an hour from the Gateway of India and the journey takes approximately one hour.