24 hours in Mumbai

24 hours in Mumbai

8:30 am

Wake up with a walk on Marine Drive

Walking along  Marine Drive in the early morning is like being somewhere between the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and Ocean Drive in Miami. The whole city is represented here, from groups of teenagers and office workers to young mothers pulling their children by the sleeve and couples embracing. This is the perfect way to begin 24 hours in Mumbai.

10:00 am

Indian Architecture, Design and Fashion

Sip a coffee at the Leopold Cafe, and take a walk in Colaba from the Gateway of India (an arch-monument facing the Arabian Sea) to the Regal Cinema. There's Victorian architecture, antique shops, luxury shops, and contemporary art galleries. Stop at The Oak Tree  (18 Cusrow Baug, Colaba), to take a moment to reconnect with 60s flower power culture.

1:00 pm

Lunch at the flea market

In Chor Bazaar, the city's flea market, enjoy a bhel puri, curry, coconut or massala. Buy period postcards and old Bollywood posters in a vintage shop jam-packed with antique clocks, crystal chandeliers and porcelain.

5:00 pm

Stroll by the water's edge

Afternoon in Chowpatty - the beach on the bay at the very end of Marine Drive is where in September the Hindus immerse an effigy of Ganesh. Today, there is no special festival and no God to honour but, being in India, you still need to navigate the crowds, couples and families, and chai, candy floss and kite vendors. There's a cheerful carnival atmosphere, where children ride dragons or fly planes on hand-operated rides. In Chowpatty, there's no swimming; it's the perfect place for taking a stroll in the fading daylight, Indian style.

8:00 pm

Dinner at Pali Village Cafe

In the evening, take a taxi and drive along the ring road to  Bandra. The former fishing village has become a very cool neighbourhood with art deco shops, trendy bars and nightclubs. This is where trendy young professionals and Bollywood stars live; there are villas with flowering gardens along the avenues that lead to Juhu beach. Dine at the Pali Village Cafe ( 602, Ambadkar Road, Pali Naka, Bandra West), a chic bohemian restaurant in an old industrial building, with iron, cast iron, and wooden floors and a beautiful menu.

11:30 pm

Enjoy a nightcap at the InterContinental's Dome

Back on Marine Drive, it's time for a nightcap at the InterContinental's Dome, on the terrace, sitting on a huge white sofa, with the glittering avenue on the horizon. It's obvious why the Indians call it 'The Queen's Necklace'.