The 8 Top Things to Do in Bandra West, Mumbai

Bandra West is often referred to as the "Queen of the Suburbs" in Mumbai. The lure of international influences and liberal attitudes has drawn droves of celebrities, models, musicians, hipsters, and expats to this multi-faceted neighborhood. In turn, a steady stream of stylish new restaurants, bars, and boutiques has opened to cater to their cosmopolitan lifestyle. These top things to do in Bandra West incorporate both the neighborhood's history and current trends.

01 of 08

Trace Bandra's Heritage

Mount Mary Church, Bandra.
Frédéric Soltan / Contributor/Getty Images

One of the defining characteristics of Bandra West is its pervasive Portuguese heritage. Bandra was settled by the Portuguese in 1534 when it was a simple fishing village, and it remained part of their territory even after the Bombay Islands were transferred to the British in 1661. During their occupation of the area, the Portuguese built many churches and converted thousands of locals to Catholicism. Some old villages and stately Portuguese ancestral homes still remain amid the increasing urbanization. These include Chimbai fishing village, and artsy 400-year-old Ranwar village. Take an informative guided walking tour through the neighborhood, such as this one offered by Raconteur Walks.

02 of 08

Admire the Street Art

Bandra street art
Anannya Deb/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The lanes in the vicinity of Ranwar village have recently become renowned for their quirky street art created by artists from all over the world. Most of it can be found on and around Waroda Road, Chapel Road, and Saint Veronica Road up to Mount Carmel Church in Bandra West. The most prominent murals on Chapel Road are the work of the Bollywood Art Project. There are also massive murals of Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna on the corner of Bandstand and Pereira Road. Wandertrails conducts guided 2-hour walking tours of the street art.

03 of 08

Visit Bandra Fort and Bandstand

People on the Bandra bandstand

TripSavvy / Gautier Houba

Byramji Jeejeebhoy Road, Bandstand Road, 2RR9+Q85, Mount Mary, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India

Tucked away on the tip of Bandra West are the remains of a 17th century fort that was built by the Portuguese as a watchtower. It was strategically located to look out over Mahim Bay but now provides an excellent vantage point for viewing the landmark Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge. Not far away, behind an imposing set of gates before the luxury Taj Lands End hotel, is the home of the "King of Bollywood" Shah Rukh Khan. Called Mannat (meaning wish or prayer), it's a sprawling palatial six-floor mansion.

04 of 08

Stroll Along Bandstand and Carter Road Promenades

Teens sitting on the ledge at Bandstand overlooking sunset over the water

TripSavvy / Shraddha Gosavi

Bandra West borders the Arabian Sea and you can join locals for an evening stroll by the long stretches of oceanfront past celebrity residences. The neighborhood has two promenades, one extending from Bandstand and the other further north along Carter Road. Recent urban development projects have added improved facilities such as amphitheaters, parks, and children's playgrounds.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Go Shopping

vendors selling shoes on Linking Road, Bandra.
Sharell Cook
210, Waterfield Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India
Phone +91 141 422 5100

Bargain hunters definitely won't be disappointed by Bandra West. Linking Road is lined with stalls selling cheap shoes, bags, clothing, and accessories. Make sure you haggle hard to get a good price! The neighborhood also has boutiques that are worth browsing through. Go to Anokhi for gorgeous block-print textiles, Kulture Shop for groovy products by Indian graphic designers, OMO for funky Indian attire, and The Shop for boho-chic fashion and home decor.

06 of 08

Explore the Food Scene

The Bagel Shop, Bandra
The Bagel Shop, Bandra
Shop, no 11 & 12 bldg, No. 3, HIG Colony, Nityanand Nagar, ONGC Colony, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India
Phone +91 93242 50863

Bandra West is a foodie's delight! Over the last decade, the neighborhood has flourished into one of the most talked about dining destinations in Mumbai. Don't expect a lot of traditional Indian fare though. In line with Bandra's trendiness, most of the restaurants and cafes concentrate on contemporary cuisine. One new exception is Ferry Wharf, which serves Mangalorean seafood just the way you'd get it in south India. Hang out with creative-types at The Bagel Shop, eat organic at Birdsong, try Indian dishes with a twist at Pali Bhavan, feast on seafood with an Asian spin at Bastian, and have a European meal at cool Pali Village Cafe. Don't miss sampling gourmet teas at the Taj Mahal Tea House.

07 of 08

Experience the Nightlife

Friday night Krunk event at Bonobo, Bandra.
Plot No: 339, 16th Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India

Bandra West has the highest density of party places in Mumbai, although you'll need to start early as there's a 1:30 a.m. nightlife curfew. Janata Bar is the local no-frills watering hole (Janata means "common man" in Hindi). For a casual pub environment, head to Toto's Garage. Iconic Hawaiian Shack is popular with the young crowd, so much so that the owners kept it open due to public demand despite wanting to retire. Hip Bonobo often has live music throughout the week and electronica gigs with DJs on weekends. If you'd prefer retro music, Door Number 1 plays nothing else. The Daily is the only place in Bandra that stays open later than 1:30 a.m. on weekends depending on the crowd. Bandra Base hosts live music performances in an intimate setting. For a classy club environment, drop into Drop. Every month, The Den host's one of the city's most happening "micro" parties, Mixtaped!, with a different guest DJ every week. The stylish Olive Bar and Kitchen is the place for celebrity spotting.

08 of 08

Get a Reflexology Treatment

Hand massage.
Isu/Getty Images.
81, Milagres House, Hill road, Bandra West, Opp. Holy Family Hospital, Ranwar, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India
Phone +91 98705 99923

Mettaa Reflexology Spa in Bandra West's Pali Village offers remarkable inexpensive reflexology massages by visually impaired therapists, many of whom are completely blind. They've all undergone six-month reflexology training programs, so they're appropriately qualified. 

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The 8 Top Things to Do in Bandra West, Mumbai