Marine Drive is a km long, arc shaped boulevard along the South Mumbai coast, starting from the southern end of Nariman Point and ending at the famous Chowpatty beach. The coast lines the Arabian sea and is the best place to watch the sunset in Mumbai, or even to just take a leisurely stroll by the sea any time of the day or night.
In the fast-paced life of Mumbai, Marine Drive instils a sense of calm and serenity. The Marine Drive makes the Mumbai monsoons a lot more special as the view from there is spectacular during rains. If you happen to visit during a high tide, you will get splashes of water from the strong waves crashing on the shores below! It is also the perfect place for morning or evening walks. For students from a lot of nearby colleges, this is a favourite hangout spot. It has long been an inspiration for the artists, writers, poets, musicians and photographers, and you would find a lot of movie scenes shot here.
Given the splendid view, Marine Drive is one of the most prestigious area for any kind of real-estate, either commercial or residential. The cost here is one of the highest in the world, not just India, with prices for a 3bedroom apartment starting from 30Cr INR and upwards! A lot of celebrities and industrialists have been living here for a long time.
It is considered as the largest viewing gallery in the world and several events have been hosted along its walkway. On the 65th Republic Day of India, in 2014, there was a parade held along the entire stretch of Marine Drive. An IAF airshow was held in October 2004. Bombay Marathon is held every year in February since 2004. There are also various beautification projects related to the Marine drive.
Juhu beach is the longest beach in Mumbai, and arguably the most popular among tourists as well. Juhu beach is renowned for its wide variety of street food with a very typical Mumbai flavour. The nearby area of Juhu is a posh locality in Mumbai, home to a lot of famous Bollywood and TV celebrities - the most famous being Amitabh Bachhan's bungalow - and it is not very rare to spot a celebrity jogging on the beach.
This is also one of the best spots in Mumbai to watch a sunset, with a cool evening breeze, and one of the few places where you see the "relaxed" side of the Maximum City.
For those looking to avoid the mad rush of tourists and experience the relaxed nature of the beach, early mornings are a great time to visit. The beach is surprisingly empty, with only the nearby residents coming here for a morning run, walk their dogs, or play frisbee. You would see a number of runners running along the 3km+ coast, quite a few of them barefoot. Almost all the food stalls are closed at this hour, and there are only a few vendors selling tea or coconut water. The beach is cleaned late night/early morning, so this is also when the beach is at its cleanest!
Facing the west, Juhu beach naturally has a brilliant sunset, in all weathers. Granted, the beach is crowded at this time - specially if it's a weekend - but walk a few minutes away from where all the food stalls are, and you should be able to find an empty-ish spot for yourself. Grab a simple blanket (available on rent for rs. 50) and relax on the sand while enjoying the sunset. You can get a lot of snacks to eat while sitting - like chana jor garam, bhel, vada pao to name only a few.
The variety of snacks that you can get on the beach is pretty incredible. There are a lot of shops near the main parking area which sell a number of local food items - panipuri, bhelpuri, misal pao, pao bhaji, vada pao. You can also get great South Indian food : masala dosa, idli, vada being the most common. Chinese is pretty popular and common too. Although the street food here is not the tastiest - and many would argue healthiest - there is a lot to choose from, and street food lovers would definitely be excited.
Although the police start driving people away from the beach around 1AM, it is not too uncommon (or difficult) to sneak in from one of the side openings to the beach. The beach is surprisingly quiet at this hour, with hardly a few other adventurous souls venturing out so late. As long as you are not a nuisance, you can take a quiet stroll along the beach or sit and talk on the sand.
The Gateway of India is, without doubt, one of the most popular tourist hotspots of Mumbai. It is located at Apollo Bunder Waterfront and overlooks the Arabian Sea in the most beautiful way. One of the most distinguished monuments in Mumbai, it was built in the year 1924 by famous architect George Wittet as a commemoration of the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. The imposing structure of the monument is a beautiful confluence of Indian, Arabic and Western architecture and has become a popular tourist hub in the city.