The First-Timer’s Guide to Mumbai & Goa, India

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  • India

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Foodie

  • Local Culture

  • Sightseeing

Advisor - The First-Timer’s Guide to Mumbai & Goa, India
Fora’s Take

Mumbai is the beating heart of India and the Bollywood capital. It’s a coastal city and one of the most popular things to do is stroll on Marine Drive and watch the sunset while you eat street food on Chowpatty Beach. It’s also the gateway to Goa, as you can easily take a train from Mumbai down to the lush beach-centric state. Taking the train gives you the chance to travel through some of India's most beautiful scenery along the way.

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Where to stay

Abode Bombay

In the heart of Colaba, Mumbai, Abode is a boutique hotel with chic, modern interpretations of historical features and paying subtle homage to Bombay’s heritage and bohemian past.

La Mangrove Goa

Goa’s ultimate eco glamping hotel, with just four luxe tents and a prized Indian restaurant.

Panjim Inn

Historic inn in Fontainhas and a central base for exploring Goa’s sights.

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Day 1: Arrive in Mumbai

The First-Timer’s Guide to Mumbai & Goa, India - Day 1: Arrive in Mumbai

High tea

Check in to your hotel and once you’re settled in, have high tea at the Taj for lunch and enjoy the pure decadence. 

Walk around Mumbai

Go to the Gateway of India and explore the area. The Colaba Market stalls are situated under the archway, and are a great spot to stop into different shops for clothing and souvenirs. 

Dinner at Leopold

Leopold is an iconic restaurant in the Colaba area. It’s considered to be one of the oldest restaurants in Mumbai and is a must-have dining experience.

Day 2: Elephanta Caves

The First-Timer’s Guide to Mumbai & Goa, India - Day 2: Elephanta Caves

Go to the Elephanta Caves

Start your morning by getting one of the boats heading to the Elephanta Caves from the Gateway of India. You’ll be dropped off at the island and you can walk through the caves and learn about the area’s history. There are cafes on the island where you can get lunch. Respect the wildlife and don't feed the monkeys.

Kala Ghoda District

Go gallery hopping in the Kala Goda district to see locally made art. Have dinner at Candies in Bandra; the restaurant is located in a Portuguese-style villa and has excellent food.

Day 3: Head to Goa

The First-Timer’s Guide to Mumbai & Goa, India - Day 3: Head to Goa

Ride the train

Take an early morning train to arrive in Goa in time for lunch. Check in to the Panjim Inn and eat on the property; they serve European-style food at the restaurant. 

Tour the Fontainhas District

Go on a self-guided walking tour of the Fontainhas District where you’ll see Portuguese colonial architecture of galleries, houses and hotels. You'll stroll past many colorful buildings. 

Don’t miss the on-site gallery at the hotel, Gallery Gitanjali, which is home to a wide range of artworks from international painters. Go to Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan for handicrafts made in nearby Goan villages where profits go directly to artisans. Have lunch at Viva Panjim for Goan fish curries and vindaloos.

Take a cooking class

Take a cooking course with Authenticook and you’ll learn how to make traditional Goan curries and enjoy the meal you’ve made yourself for dinner.

Day 4: Goa Beaches

The First-Timer’s Guide to Mumbai & Goa, India - Day 4: Goa Beaches

Head to Galgibaga

Take a taxi south to La Mangrove in Galgibaga. The chic glamping resort is at the southern tip of Goa. When you arrive, check in and have lunch at your hotel at the restaurant that overlooks the mangroves. 

Head for a walk on the unspoiled Galgibaga Beach to enjoy the scenery of the quiet beach. It’s still quite off-the-beaten-path and there are no accommodations on the beach itself. 

Go to Palolem

Hail a rickshaw and go to Palolem to enjoy the afternoon and sunset in crescent bay. Have dinner on the beach at the beautiful Art Resort Goa cafe where you can get fresh shrimp curry.

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