We all know Mumbai is known as the ‘City of Dreams’. Touted so because of Bollywood or the influx of outsiders who are here to make it big or simply because everything seems possible in Mumbai – we’ll never truly know. But what we do know is that it’s a great place to explore with your girlfriend since it offers everything from shopping to nature to art.
Of course, if you are a lady reading this article, we have specially curated it keeping your interests in mind (do share it with your better half).
1. Madh Island
Home to one of the most popular beaches of Mumbai, you must have read or seen Madh Island in popular movies and novels. Madh Island has a number of small villages and farmlands bundled together. It’s one of the most popular getaway spots for locals and quite honestly one of the best places to visit if you are looking for a retreat.
If you have ample time in hand, take a tour of the local villages to know more about the fishing communities here or you could enroll for a pottery or art class at one of the villages. You can also head to Madh Fort if you’d like to enjoy uninterrupted views of the sea.
2. Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, located in Borivali, is nestled amidst nature and is a huge relief from the chaos of the city. If you and your partner are the adventurous kinds, you can hire bicycles and head to Kanheri Caves. The caves are located inside the national park and it’s a great 3.5 km ride.
The park is bigger than one imagines so keep a couple of hours with you.
3. Elephanta Caves
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is one of my favourite spots in Mumbai. Even though it tends to get slightly crowded, it’s a must visit if you are looking for an outing. The caves are primarily a collection of temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and are named after the island they are situated on, Elephanta Island. If you are familiar with Hindu mythology, ideally you don’t need a guide with you, however, if you are in the mood to refresh your history, do go for a guide. They also have audio guide systems and personally, for my partner and me, it was a better choice.
Also, if souvenirs are something you enjoy, you’ll be in for a surprise here. There are locals selling crafts and paintings here which are sold in Mumbai at double the price. Pick up paintings which are created from leaves and other stunning knick knacks you won’t find elsewhere.
4. Linking Road
Make your girlfriend feel special by doing something she doesn’t expect at all – take her shopping! And the perfect place is Linking Road. Slightly less crowded than Colaba Causeway with way more bargaining opportunities, Linking Road is a great way to spend an afternoon in Mumbai. From clothes, jewellery to footwear, it’s a typical, chaotic street and absolutely perfect for a shopping spree.
5. Pali Village Café
One of the quietest cafes in Bandra, Pali Village Café is a great place to get to know your girlfriend while enjoying some delicious food! A multi-level venue, the ambience of the café is soothing and the warm interiors simply light up the space. Some cafes are known for encouraging easy conversations and this perhaps is one of those places. Kinds of pastas and thin crust pizzas are definitely a must try along with their long list of beverages.
6. Marine Drive
I know this is a cliché but it’s a cliché every couple is going to give into! However, the twist is to visit Marine Drive in the morning just as the sun is rising. It’s quiet and the views are absolutely breath-taking; not to mention the tea sellers with the most refreshing cup of tea you’ll find. Head here around 6:00 am and you’ll be surprised how alive the city is around you. After a quick stroll at Marine Drive, you can head to Juhu Beach for a scrumptious breakfast of anda pao, vada pao or poha. The food stalls here start early and you’ll never go empty stomach.
7. Karnala Fort, Panvel
A little over 45 km away from the Mumbai city centre, Karnala Fort is a delight to discover. Alongside the fort is the beautiful Karnala Bird Sanctuary which is home to several species of birds and is a great place to spend some time away from the noise. The Karnala Fort on the other hand has a number of walking trails within it and offers some of the most stunning views. It’s said the best time to visit Karnala Fort is around monsoon though, to be honest, we visited around the month of November and managed to have a great time.
8. Prithvi Theatre
I know this might be a bit unusual for some but if you are in Mumbai, you might as well as indulge in some art. There are quite a few performances happening here through the week and rarely is this theatre empty. You can opt for one of the plays taking place here and spend an enthralling afternoon. For hunger pangs, there is a lovely café here which is known all over the city for its absolutely rejuvenating tea and is a great way to spend the evening.
9. Mahesh Lunch Home
Yes, food is a very important part of spending time with your partner and if you are a foodie like me, I am sure your partner will understand. Mahesh Lunch Home is one of the many restaurants in Mumbai serving exceptional seafood but it’s a personal favourite for the Basa fish biryani it serves. A modest restaurant with no-fuss ambience known across the city for the food it serves; it’s best to avoid the rush hours here. Remember, go here for the food and not the ambience else you’ll be disappointed.
10. Chhota Kashmir
Chhota Kashmir located close to Goregaon is one of the most visited places by residents in the area. It’s a picnic spot with a lake and boating services available; so if you are in the mood for some quiet time amidst nature with your better half, this one should definitely be on the list. I have also heard that the bhel puri served in the small restaurant within the complex is amazing and a must try. I’d personally suggest avoiding the weekends here since it tends to get too crowded.
11. Hanging Gardens
The jewel of Malabar Hill, Hanging Gardens are stunning to say the least. Spacious and lush, they offer absolutely gorgeous views of the Arabian Sea. My favourite part about the Hanging Gardens are the number of hedges which are carved into stunning shapes of animals; from cute elephants to peacocks, the garden is lined with these beauties. If you are in South Mumbai and have a couple of hours free, do spend some time here.
12. Bayview Café
Bayview café has slowly become one of the most popular cafes in Colaba and once you visit the restaurant, the reasons become obvious. This seafront, rooftop restaurant is a clear winner in terms of food and ambience. Tastefully done interiors and thoughtful lighting make the dining experience here so much more special and it’s one of the best choices to spend an evening with your loved one. Do try their sandwiches; it’s said that they are one of the best in Mumbai.