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.
Here are a few of my tips:
When to go:
March & April
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.
– 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).
Escape hectic Mumbai and relax at the Marriott
– Gateway of India
– 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 Bridge
Do: Reality Slum Tour
of Dharavi (500 rupees, totally worth it) – I will be posting a separate blog about this very soon.
: Colaba Causeway and Fab India
(numerous around the city)
– 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
View from AER at sunset
– 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
Tara Road, Juhu or Churchgate). My favourite cafe in Mumbai, with the best chocolate cakes ever.
Enjoy a fun dining experience
Goa: 5 days
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)
Go: Agonda, south Goa (3 nights)
Why: peaceful, deserted stretch of beach
Do: boat trip to Cola Beach, Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon, Cola Beach
Stay: Rama beach huts (500 rupees, 6 pounds per hut) – look for ‘Cuba’ from the road and the huts
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
Go: Ashwem beach, north Goa (2 nights)
Take a taxi from Agonda (2200 rupees, 26 quid, 3 hours)
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!