Blog, India

Mumbai and Goa: Tips and Recommendations

April 21, 2012

Mumbai and Goa: Tips and Recommendations

While many of you think India is far away, it isn’t that far away.  it is only a 9 hour flight from London to Mumbai (if you’re lucky enough to fly direct, which I would recommend).  A week or 8 days can actually be an ideal time to have in India, if you don’t plan on doing some hardcore travelling.  I went to Mumbai and Goa and had a brilliant time.  It was a perfect combination of cosmopolitan Mumbai & Goan beach paradise.

Mumbai

Mumbai’s skyline

 Here are a few of my tips:
When to go:
March & April
Why:
Pre-Monsoon season, off-peak so prices are lower and bartering is easier.
Plus there are very few tourists around.
Temperatures are between 30-40 degrees though, so beware.
Reading material:
– Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
– A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
-Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
Fly: Jet Air, BA, Air France
Avoid: Any Kingfisher flights

Mumbai: 2 days

Stay: Bentley’s Hotel, Colaba (Oliver Road, Apollo Bandar). From 1500 rupees (£18 per night).
Or: JW Marriott hotel, Juhu  beach (if you have the funds, it is exceptional)
JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu Beach

Escape hectic Mumbai and relax at the Marriott

See:
– Gateway of India
– Colaba
-Dhobi Ghat
– Sea link bridge, great city views and adds to the city’s modern edge
– Cricket grounds (if you have time, try and catch a match)
-Chowpatty Beach (in the evening)
Sea Link

Sea Link Bridge

Do: Reality Slum Tour of Dharavi (500 rupees, totally worth it) – I will be posting a separate blog about this very soon.
Shop: Colaba Causeway and Fab India (numerous around the city)
Drink:
– Four Seasons roof top bar AER (happy hour 5:30-8, don’t go after 8 as there is a
2000 rupee entrance fee)
Leopold’s Cafe or Mondegar’s on Colaba Causeway for a lassi or milkshake
AER, Mumbai

View from AER at sunset

Eat:
Cafe Zoe (Todi/Mathuradas Mill Compound, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel), great Western food if you’ve had enough of curry and a really cool vibe.  Open all day so perfect for lunch or dinner.
Janta Lunch Home (Pali Naka, Bandra), incredible Indian food. Try the chicken Reshmi. Alcohol is cheap here and there’s a great atmosphere.  It can get really full though.  Take-away also possible.
Copper Chimneys (K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Colaba).  Its a chain, but serves good Indian food.  I’d go to the one near Colaba to escape the heat and the hassling market sellers.
– For sweet delights: Mocha (67, JuhuTara Road, Juhu or Churchgate). My favourite cafe in Mumbai, with the best chocolate cakes ever.
Cafe Zoe

Enjoy a fun dining experience

Goa: 5 days

Get there: Fly Air India from 30 quid to Dabolim airport
Or: Take a bus or train (Book majorly in advance. However, if short for time its not
recommended since it takes at least 9 hours)
Agonda beach, Goa

Agonda Beach

Go: Agonda, south Goa (3 nights)

Why: peaceful, deserted stretch of beach
Do: boat trip to Cola Beach, Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon, Cola Beach

Blue Lagoon, Cola Beach

Try: Sampoorna Yoga class (led by Deepak, absolute legend)
Stay: Rama beach huts (500 rupees, 6 pounds per hut) – look for ‘Cuba’ from the road and the huts
are there
Eat: Simoa’s (try the Momosas or the fresh fish), really chilled out
Drink: Chill & Duck cocktail Happy Hour – not the best cocktails but cost about 60p.
Shop: in Palolem, 20 min drive. If you stay there for dinner eat at Ciaran’s.
Buffalo seen during our journey

Buffalo seen during our journey

 Go: Ashwem beach, north Goa (2 nights)

Take a taxi from Agonda (2200 rupees, 26 quid, 3 hours)
Ashvem Beach

Ashvem Beach

Stay: Pagan Cafe/Baboo Huts (1500 rupees per night, around 17 pounds)
Eat: La Plage (exceptional French food – must go! For a fraction of the price you’d pay in Europe) or Pagan Cafe has good food too (Try the ‘roseberry’ (rosemary) chicken)
Swim: Sur la Mer’s beautiful stone pool is like an oasis (300 rupees, 4 pounds for a swim) and the sea of course
Do: Rent a moped (from 22 rupees, 3 pounds a day) and go to Anjuna’s wednesday flea market
Recommended: A massage at Arti’s (avoid the manicures there)
If you have more time: travel to Hampi or Gokarna from South Goa.
Obviously India offers so much more, but if you want to relax, see a bit of India (without taking on too much) and eat great food, the Mumbai/Goa combination is one I would seriously recommend.  And despite flights costing from 500 pounds upwards, because India is so cheap, the whole trip will work out as a real mid-budget holiday.. Ideal for couples and groups of friends or family.
A special thanks to our ‘local friends’ Henry Foy for all his tips on Mumbai and Ainsley Barker for his great Goa recommendations.  You made our trips! 
Enjoy!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Terraza del Pulitzer, Barcelona - DRINK - City TurtleCity Turtle September 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm

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