Mumbai is truly one of the best cities in the world to enjoy the inexpensive joys of life. Even though the finer and more luxurious dining, staying or shopping experiences in Mumbai may cost a fortune, there are many ways in which you can enjoy affordable yet comfortable budget stays, fun and spontaneous activities and the most delicious street food even on a shoestring budget.
Things to do in Mumbai on a budget
Catch a play at Prithvi Theatre
One of the best known places in India for theatre, Prithvi Theatre hosts regular play performances. If you’re in the mood for a trip down arts and culture lane, visit to enjoy its ambience, its cafe and a play.
Where: Juhu Church Road
Ticket price: Rs. 200 to Rs. 500
Go budget shopping
The best flea markets for bargain buys and treasure hunting are available in Mumbai. Shop at Colaba market and Fashion Street for affordable and stylish clothes and check out Chor Bazaar and Crawford Market for cheap utilities, souvenirs and used items. Flea markets in Bandra sell cosmetics, jewellery and shoes at a reasonable price.
Where: Colaba Causeway, Crawford Market
Average expenses: Under Rs. 1000
Explore Sanjay Gandhi National Park
In the suburbs of Mumbai, find a clean and spacious green haven where you can enjoy a picturesque nature trail, go hiking and spot leopards, crocodiles, spotted deer, python, cobra, sunbirds, kingfishers and drongos.
Ticket price: Rs. 15 on foot, Rs. 200 in a car
Haji Ali Dargah
Off the coast of Worli on an islet is the legendary mosque of Haji Ali. Visit to enjoy a spiritual experience and to marvel at the Indo-Islamic architecture of the place. Around 15,000 to 20,000 devotees visit here daily.
Take a midnight cycle tour
A night cycle tour will give you a chance to explore a different side of Mumbai where you explore town sights like Asiatic library, Victoria Terminus, Banganga Tank and other enjoyable sights which come alive at night. A great opportunity for taking memorable photographs.
Where: Gateway of India
Price: Rs. 1300
Eat yummy street food
Mumbai is known for its lip-smacking ‘vada pavs’ and street food. Try the bhelpuri at chowpatty, Khau galli at Carter Road, street food at Juhu Beach, Kebabs at Mohammad Ali Road, Misal Pav at Dadar Shivaji Park, vada pav and pav bhaji at Mithibai College, khichdi and veg meals at Tardeo, among others.
Where: Carter Road, Mohammad Ali Road, Juhu Beach, Chowpatty
Price: Under Rs. 300
Places to see in Mumbai on a budget
The clean and refreshing 4 km long boulevard of Marine Drive also known as Queen’s Necklace is Mumbai’s landmark. A prime location in South Mumbai, you can enjoy a quiet morning or visit during the more lively evening hours. Enjoy light snacks and tea at the promenade and enjoy incredibly entertaining people gazing by the Arabian Sea.
Where: Nariman Point to Chowpatty
Gateway of India
The iconic Gateway of India of Apollo Bunder is another free but highly rewarding sight in Mumbai that every traveller must experience. Many photography expeditions are taken to Gateway of India, where you can also enjoy sitting by the sea. You can also take a ferry ride on the sea and come back refreshed and enjoy some local street food.
Cost: Rs 70 per ride
Where: Apollo Bunder
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum, this is a grade 1 heritage building that houses exquisite collections of natural history, miniature paintings, decorative art, oriental antiquities, european paintings, sculptures, etc. The museum building itself is magnificent and palatial.
Where: Fort area
Ticket price: Rs 85 for Indian nationals, Rs 500 for foreign nationals
A stunning promenade in one of Mumbai’s poshest areas, Carter Road is a great way to have a gala time without spending a dime. Cozy seaside cafes line up the street and you can find the young and hip crowds of Bandra strolling, jogging and hanging out and about the promenade and nearby cafes.
Visit these charming terraced gardens officially known as Pherozeshah Mehta Garden, to enjoy a relaxing time in a pleasant and upscale environment. The area is a popular hangout for the locals residing nearby as well as youngsters.
Where: Malabar Hills
Budget stays in Mumbai
From towns to suburbs, you’ll find plenty of budget hotels in Mumbai, including backpackers hostels starting at Rs 500 per night to decent budget hotels centrally located from all major sightseeing attractions. To experience comfortable stays with complimentary breakfast, wi-fi and amenities, do check out Treebo Hotels, where you can book your stay immediately.
Even in an expensive metropolis, it is possible to enjoy fun-filled activities that are easy on the wallet. Savour them all in Mumbai.