Across the harbour from Mumbai in Thane, this wet and wild waterpark has a full complement of waterslides, pools, games and rides. Highlights include a wave pool and a waterslide pool with a 'Lord Shiva in the Himalaya' theme. There's even a disco hall with artificial rain to recreate those big-budget Bollywood dance scenes. You can hire swimming costumes, goggles and caps. (Free admission for those under 3 feet in height.)
Surrounded by a sprawling botanical garden, this is one of the better zoos in Asia. Animals have space to move around, and shade is provided by dense greenery all around the cages. There are animals from all over India, including Asiatic lions, tigers, elephants and crocodiles, and you can see many species of wild birds in the trees around the park. Plastic bags and water bottles are prohibited.
This perfect circle of greenery was laid out in 1869 inside an impressive wrought iron fence that wouldn't look out of place in London's Hyde Park. Workers from the surrounding offices come here to enjoy the dense tropical foliage and snooze in the cool shade of ancient trees. This is one of the few colonial monuments to keep its British-era name, a tribute to the pro-Independence writings of Sir Benjamin Horniman.
Rising over Malabar Hill, these neatly trimmed gardens are a popular place to catch the sea breeze and relax in the shade of animal-shaped topiary. The name comes from the fact that the gardens are perched on top of Mumbai's main reservoir. There are good views over town – hidden somewhere in the trees below the gardens are the Towers of Silence, where Mumbai's Parsi community lays out the dead.
Reached by a winding causeway that vanishes below the waves at high tide, this historic shrine commemorates Haji Ali, the Muslim saint whose body allegedly washed up on the shores of Back Bay in the 19th century. The causeway is lined with hawkers selling religious paraphernalia, and beggars seeking alms from pilgrims. Non-Muslims are welcome to enter the Dargah, which rings with devotional music, but photography is prohibited. Visitors are required to be covered from head to toe while visiting the Dargah Complex. Please carry headcovers and wear full length trousers or jeans.
Mumbaikers love theme parks and this is the best in town. Reached via a INR 35 ferry ride from Marve jetty near Malad, the park shakes to the rattle of roller-coasters and the screams of adrenaline-seekers. Spread over 68 acres, the park has dozens of rides, from adult-oriented thrill-rides to gentle roundabouts for young children. Special rates apply from 5pm to 12:30am.
The sprawling botanical gardens surrounding Bombay Zoo (and covered by the same entry ticket) feature trees and shrubs from all over the British empire. Some of the trees here are the oldest examples of their species in India. The park is entered through a grand Victorian marble gateway; it's a popular picnic spot but plastic bags and water bottles are banned inside.
While residents of south Mumbai get their beach kicks at Chowpatty, people living north of Mahim Creek head to Juhu. The broad sweep of sand at Juhu Beach is a popular place to promenade, particularly in the evening when the sun sets into the Arabian Sea. Vendors stroll up and down selling toys, drinks, snacks and fresh coconuts, and permanent stalls serve bhelpuri (Mumbai-style salad) and gola (crushed ice with fruit syrup).
Mumbai's favourite seafront promenade runs along the west coast of the isthmus, facing out onto Back Bay. Locals come here daily to stroll along the seawall, enjoying the cooling breezes, and picnic looking out towards Chowpatty Beach and Malabar Hill. Hundreds of people gather at sunset to watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea. At night, the strip is lit up by hundreds of lights – affectionately tagged the 'string of pearls' by locals.
With more than 20 water slides, Water Kingdom is largest water park in India. Expect all the usual wet and wild attractions, including wave machines, speed slides, and a lazy river for less energetic visitors. The park is attached to the Essel World theme park in Borivali, reached by ferry from Marve Jetty near Malad. (Free admission for those under 3'3")