Updated November 8, 2023
Mumbai: India’s City of Dreams
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is a city with immense contrasts and diversity. It is considered the financial, cultural, and entertainment hub of India, attracting people from all walks of life. Festivals such as Diwali, Eid, Christmas, and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great enthusiasm and bring the city to life. Mumbai is a paradise for foodies. Don’t miss trying local delights like vada pav, pav bhaji, and pani puri. While English is widely spoken and understood in Mumbai, it can be beneficial for tourists to learn a few basic phrases in the local languages, which are primarily Marathi and Hindi.
If you’re looking to escape the urban hustle and explore the natural, historical, and cultural treasures surrounding Mumbai, you’re in luck. This guide will take you on a virtual journey to discover the best places to see near Mumbai. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or foodie, there’s something for everyone just a short drive away from the city.
Best Places to See near Mumbai
Here are some popular places to see near Mumbai:
Lonavala is a picturesque hill station located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Nestled amidst the lush Western Ghats, it’s renowned for its natural beauty and pleasant climate. Lonavala is famous for its stunning landscapes, including verdant valleys, cascading waterfalls, and dense forests. Visitors flock here to explore popular attractions like Bhushi Dam and Karla Caves, savor delicious local chikki (sweet snack), and enjoy the cool, misty weather. It’s a favored weekend getaway for people from Mumbai and Pune, offering a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.
- Distance from Mumbai: 83 kilometers
- Travel Cost: INR 2,000-5,000 per day
- Activities: The activities that you can enjoy in Lonavala include trekking, visiting Karla and Bhaja Caves, exploring the scenic Khandala, and enjoying local chikki (sweet snacks).
- Best time to visit: Lonavala has a pleasant climate throughout the year. Summers (March to June) are mild, monsoons (July to September) are lush and green, and winters (October to February) are cool and comfortable.
Matheran is a charming hill station situated in the Indian state of Maharashtra. What sets Matheran apart is that it’s an eco-sensitive zone, allowing only non-motorized vehicles, making it a peaceful and pollution-free destination. The town is known for its lush greenery, dense forests, and breathtaking viewpoints, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Tourists can explore the town on horseback or by walking, taking in the serene atmosphere, visiting attractions like Charlotte Lake and Panorama Point, and enjoying the cool mountain air. Matheran is a tranquil retreat for nature lovers and a respite from urban life.
- Distance from Mumbai: 80 kilometers
- Travel Cost: INR 1,500-3,000 per day
- Activities: The activities that you can indulge in Matheran include horseback riding, nature walks, visiting Charlotte Lake, and exploring vantage points like Louisa Point and Sunset Point.
- Best time to visit: Matheran enjoys cool weather throughout the year. It is especially pleasant during the monsoon season (June to September), when the region is lush and green.
Alibag, also known as Alibaug, is a popular coastal town in the Konkan region of the Indian state of Maharashtra. This picturesque destination is known for its sandy beaches, historic forts, and vibrant culture. Alibag is easily accessible from Mumbai and serves as a weekend getaway for city dwellers. Visitors can explore attractions like Alibag Beach, Kolaba Fort, and Kanakeshwar Forest while indulging in delicious seafood and experiencing the laid-back coastal vibe. The town’s historical significance, beautiful sunsets, and water sports activities make it a favored destination for both tourists and locals seeking a relaxing escape.
- Distance from Mumbai: 95 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: INR 2,000-4,000.
- Activities: The activities that you can enjoy in Alibag include beach hopping, exploring Kolaba Fort, water sports at Alibaug Beach, and enjoying local seafood.
- Best time to visit: Alibag experiences a coastal climate. Winters (October to February) are pleasant, while the monsoon season (June to September) brings heavy rainfall.
Mahabaleshwar is a captivating hill station in the Western Ghats of India, in Maharashtra. Known for its stunning natural beauty, it’s a favored tourist destination. Mahabaleshwar boasts lush green landscapes, scenic viewpoints, and numerous strawberry farms. The town is famous for attractions like Venna Lake, Pratapgarh Fort, and Lingmala Waterfall. Visitors come here to relish the cool, misty weather, go boating on the serene lakes, and savor fresh strawberries, a local specialty. It’s a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Distance from Mumbai: 260 kilometers
- Travel Cost: A daily budget of INR 3,000-6,000 is recommended.
- Activities: The activities that you can indulge in Mahabaleshwar include boating in Venna Lake, visiting Mapro Garden, enjoying fresh strawberries, trekking to Arthur’s Seat, and exploring Pratapgad Fort.
- Best time to visit: Mahabaleshwar offers a pleasant climate, but it can get cold during winters. Monsoons (June to September) are lush, making it an excellent time to visit.
5. Pawna Lake
Pawna Lake is a serene and picturesque reservoir in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It’s a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain range, the lake offers breathtaking views and a tranquil environment. Visitors can enjoy camping, boating, and fishing along the lakeshore. The area is known for its scenic beauty and is often visited for weekend getaways and camping trips. Pawna Lake is an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
- Distance from Mumbai: Approximately 120 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: INR 1,500-3,000 is a reasonable estimate for a day trip.
- Activities: Pawna Lake offers a range of activities, including camping, boating, and fishing. Camping by the lakeside is a popular activity, and several operators offer camping packages with tents and bonfire arrangements. The tranquil surroundings make it an excellent spot for stargazing and relaxation.
- Best time to visit: Monsoons (June to September) bring lush greenery, and the lake’s water level rises, creating a beautiful landscape for camping. Winters (October to February) offer cool and comfortable weather.
Khandala is a charming hill station in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. It is known for its lush greenery, scenic landscapes, and pleasant climate. Khandala is often paired with its neighboring hill station, Lonavala, forming a popular twin destination. The region is famous for its deep valleys, cascading waterfalls, and historic forts. Tourists come here to explore attractions like Tiger’s Leap, Duke’s Nose, and Rajmachi Fort and to enjoy the cool, misty weather. Khandala is a favored weekend getaway for people from Mumbai and Pune, offering a serene escape from urban life.
- Distance from Mumbai: 80 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: A daily budget of INR 2,000-4,000
- Activities: Trekking, exploring Duke’s Nose and Tiger Point, and enjoying the scenic beauty of Bhushi Dam.
- Best time to visit: Khandala has a pleasant climate, making it a popular monsoon destination. The region is lush and green during the rainy season (June to September).
7. Ajanta and Ellora Caves
The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Maharashtra, India. They are famous for their remarkable archaeological, architectural, and artistic significance. The Ajanta Caves, dating to the 2nd century BCE, feature 30 caves with sculptures and paintings of Buddha’s life and Jataka tales. The Ellora Caves, from the 6th to the 10th century CE, consist of 34 caves featuring temples and monasteries of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist origin. These caves showcase exceptional craftsmanship, including the Kailash Temple, which was carved from a single rock.
These sites are a testament to India’s rich cultural and religious heritage, attracting historians, archaeologists, and tourists from all over the world to marvel at their architectural wonders and historical importance.
- Distance from Mumbai: 330 kilometers
- Travel Cost: Around INR 3,000-6,000 per day.
- Activities: Exploring the intricate carvings and sculptures in the caves, visiting the Ajanta Caves during the day and the Ellora Caves at night to witness their magical lighting.
- Best time to visit: The region experiences a dry and hot climate during the summer (March to June), so it’s best to plan your visit during the cooler months.
Shirdi is a sacred town in the Indian state of Maharashtra, known for the revered shrine of the spiritual leader Sai Baba. Pilgrims from various faiths visit Shirdi to pay their respects at the Sai Baba Temple. The town has grown around this religious site and offers accommodation, markets, and a serene atmosphere for spiritual seekers. Shirdi holds significant religious importance and draws devotees seeking solace and blessings from Sai Baba, a prominent saint and mystic.
- Distance from Mumbai: 241 kilometers
- Travel Cost: INR 1,500-4,000, depending on accommodation and dining choices.
- Activities: Visit the Sai Baba Temple, Dwarkamai, and Chavadi to experience the spiritual atmosphere. Don’t forget to try the local prasad (food offering) at the temple.
- Best time to visit: Shirdi experiences a hot and dry climate during the summer (March to June). The monsoon season (July to September) brings relief from the heat.
Panchgani is a hill station in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India. It is a popular tourist destination and a favored weekend getaway. The town is renowned for its scenic viewpoints, strawberry farms, and proximity to Mahabaleshwar. Visitors come to Panchgani to enjoy the serene environment, take in panoramic views, and explore attractions like Table Land and Sydney Point. It’s a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Distance from Mumbai: 244 kilometers
- Travel Cost: A daily budget of INR 2,500-5,000 is a reasonable estimate.
- Activities: Strawberry picking, visiting Table Land, Paragliding, exploring Sydney Point, and enjoying the scenic beauty.
- Best time to visit: Panchgani has a pleasant climate throughout the year, a popular destination for a weekend getaway.
Bhandardara is a picturesque hill station and village in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Bhandardara is known for its quiet atmosphere and natural beauty, and it is home to a gorgeous waterfall called Randha Falls and a lovely lake called Arthur Lake. Nature enthusiasts, trekkers, and campers frequent the area because of the opportunities it offers for boating, hiking, and bird-watching. It is an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature.
- Distance from Mumbai: 165 kilometers
- Travel Cost: Budget travelers can expect to spend around INR 2,000-4,000 per day.
- Activities: Boating in Arthur Lake, visiting Randha Falls, trekking to Kalsubai Peak, and exploring historical forts.
- Best time to visit: Bhandardara offers pleasant weather year-round. Monsoons (June to September) make the region exceptionally lush and green.
Raigad is a historic hill fortress and an important archaeological site in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It holds significant historical significance as it was the capital of the Maratha Empire under the leadership of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is built on a hill and provides amazing views of the surrounding area. Tourists visit Raigad to explore its well-preserved fortifications, temples, and memorials. The fort is a reminder of India’s rich history and struggle for independence. It is a popular tourist destination of historical and cultural importance.
- Distance from Mumbai: 170 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: A daily budget of INR 1,500-3,000 should suffice for most travelers.
- Activities: Exploring the Raigad Fort, taking a ropeway ride, and learning about the history of the Maratha Empire.
- Best time to visit: Raigad has a tropical climate. Winters (October to February) are cooler, while summers can be hot.
Manori is a serene coastal village located in the northern part of Mumbai, India. It is situated on Manori Island, separated from Mumbai by the Manori Creek. The village is well-known for its peaceful beaches, making it a popular weekend retreat for city residents. Tourists visit Manori to enjoy the sandy shores, water sports, and seafood. The village offers a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere, providing a convenient escape from the urban hustle and bustle of Mumbai, with resorts and beachfront cottages for accommodation.
- Distance from Mumbai: 41 kilometers
- Travel Cost: Budget travelers can plan for a daily expense of INR 1,000-2,500.
- Activities: Relaxing on the beach, exploring nearby Gorai Beach, and enjoying beachside seafood shacks.
- Best time to visit: Manori experiences a coastal climate. Winters (October to February) are pleasant, while the monsoon season (June to September) brings rainfall.
Kalsubai is the highest peak in Maharashtra. It’s a popular trekking destination and a significant attraction for outdoor enthusiasts. The peak stands at an elevation of 1,646 meters (5,400 feet) and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Sahyadri mountain range. Visitors come to Kalsubai to challenge themselves with a rewarding trek, explore the natural beauty of the region, and witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The summit also hosts a small temple dedicated to the local deity, Kalsubai, making it a spiritual destination and a trekking hotspot.
- Distance from Mumbai: 153 kilometers
- Travel Cost: Costs vary, but budget around INR 1,000-2,500 for a day trip.
- Activities: Trekking to the summit, enjoying the scenic beauty, and exploring the countryside.
- Best time to visit: Kalsubai is pleasant, making it suitable for trekking year-round. Monsoons (June to September) are particularly attractive for lush landscapes.
Panvel is a bustling city located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is a key transport and industrial hub at the junction of major highways and railways, connecting Mumbai and Pune. Panvel’s strategic location has led to its rapid urbanization and commercial development. It is a gateway to the Konkan region and popular destinations like Matheran and Karjat. The city offers a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial areas, making it an essential part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and a pivotal transit point for travelers between Mumbai and Pune.
- Distance from Mumbai: 43 kilometers
- Travel Cost: Budget travelers can plan for a daily expense of INR 1,500-3,000.
- Activities: Visiting Karnala Bird Sanctuary, exploring Prabalgad Fort, and using Panvel as a starting point for further travel.
- Best time to visit: Panvel has a tropical climate, with pleasant winters (October to February) and hot summers.
The Kundalika River is a significant water body located in the state of Maharashtra, India. It originates in the Sahyadri Hills and flows through the rugged terrain, eventually merging with the Bhira Dam to form the Kundalika River. The river is well-known for its white-water rafting opportunities, attracting adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. The region around Kundalika offers picturesque landscapes, lush greenery, and thrilling rapids, a popular destination for water sports and activities such as rafting and kayaking.
- Distance from Mumbai: 120 kilometers
- Travel Cost: The cost of river rafting packages and accommodation can vary. On average, a daily budget of INR 2,000-4,000 is reasonable.
- Activities: White-water river rafting, trekking, and exploring the scenic surroundings.
- Best time to visit: Kundalika has a pleasant climate, making it ideal for river rafting year-round. Monsoon (June to September) is the best time for rafting.
Kolad is a small village in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is renowned for its scenic natural beauty and the adventurous water sports activities on the Kundalika River. Kolad is a popular destination for white-water rafting and other water-based adventures like kayaking, river crossings, and zip-lining. Its proximity to Mumbai and Pune makes it a favored weekend getaway for city dwellers seeking an adrenaline rush amidst lush green surroundings. Besides water sports, Kolad also offers opportunities for nature treks, birdwatching, and camping.
- Distance from Mumbai: Approximately 122 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: Budget travelers can expect to spend around INR 2,000-4,000 per day.
- Activities: White-water rafting, rappelling, and visiting the Tamhini Ghat and Ghosala Fort.
- Best time to visit: Kolad has a pleasant climate, with the monsoon season (June to September) being the best time for river rafting.
Igatpuri is a charming town and hill station in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, India. It is popular for its lush green landscapes, rolling hills, and serene lakes. Igatpuri is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts, trekkers, and those looking for a peaceful getaway. The town offers several trekking and hiking opportunities with attractions such as Tringalwadi Fort and Vaitarna Dam, providing breathtaking views. Igatpuri is also known for its peaceful temples, providing the ideal combination of natural beauty and spiritual quiet. It is a favored weekend getaway for people from nearby cities like Mumbai and Nashik.
- Distance from Mumbai: 121 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: A daily budget of INR 2,000-4,000 should suffice for most travelers.
- Activities: Trekking, visiting the Tringalwadi Fort, exploring the Bhatsa River Valley, and enjoying the peaceful ambiance.
- Best time to visit: Igatpuri has excellent weather all year, making it a great vacation from the city.
Kamshet is a scenic town in the Pune district of Maharashtra, India. It is known for its beautiful landscapes and is a hub for paragliding and other adventure sports. Lush green hills surround the town and offer breathtaking views of the Sahyadri mountain range. Tourists visit Kamshet to experience thrilling paragliding adventures, explore ancient caves like the Bhairi Caves, and enjoy the tranquil environment. It’s a popular location for adventure enthusiasts and those seeking a nature-filled escape from city life, with numerous paragliding schools and operators in the area.
- Distance from Mumbai: 100 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: INR 2,000-4,000 per day.
- Activities: Paragliding, trekking, exploring caves like Bhairi and Kondeshwar, and experiencing the region’s tranquility.
- Best time to visit: Kamshet has a pleasant climate, and it’s best to visit for paragliding during the cooler months from October to February.
19. Visapur Fort
Visapur Fort is a historic hill fort located in the Pune district of Maharashtra, India. It is situated near its more famous twin fort, Lohagad Fort. Visapur Fort is known for its ancient ruins, stone structures, and scenic surroundings. The fort offers panoramic views of Sahyadri mountain range and is a popular trekking destination. Visitors come to explore the fort’s intricate architecture, fortified walls, and numerous caves. It provides a glimpse into the region’s rich historical and architectural heritage, making it a favored spot for trekkers and history enthusiasts.
- Distance from Mumbai: 100 kilometers.
- Travel Cost: Daily expense of INR 1,500-3,000.
- Activities: Trekking to the fort, exploring the ancient ruins, and enjoying the scenic beauty.
- Best time to visit: Similar to Lonavala, Visapur Fort has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with the monsoon season making it particularly lush and green.
20. Kanheri Caves
The Kanheri Caves are a collection of ancient rock-cut caves and monastic complexes in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. These caves date back to the period between the first century BCE to the 10th century CE. They are notable for their Buddhist roots and serve as places of worship, meditation, and study for monks.
The Kanheri Caves consist of well-preserved prayer halls called chaityas and monastic cells known as viharas, adorned with intricate sculptures and inscriptions. The site offers a rare blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, making it a favorite spot for history buffs and nature enthusiasts. It also provides a glimpse into the area’s rich Buddhist history.
- Distance from Mumbai: Located within Mumbai city.
- Travel Cost: Entry fees to the national park apply, and the cost of guided tours may vary. Budget around INR 500-1,000 for a visit.
- Activities: Exploring the intricately carved caves, learning about Buddhist history, and enjoying the natural beauty of the national park.
- Best time to visit: Kanheri Caves are accessible year-round, but visiting during the cooler months is more comfortable.
Trimbakeshwar, also known as Trimbak, is a sacred town in the Nashik district. One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, considered the most holy places of worship for Lord Shiva’s devotees, is renowned for its unique three-faced lingam, symbolizing Lord Shiva. It is an essential pilgrimage site for Hindus in Trimbakeshwar, the home of this significant temple.
Located at the source of the Godavari River, surrounded by picturesque hills and lush landscapes. Devotees visit this town to seek blessings, perform religious rituals, and dip in the holy Godavari River. It holds cultural and spiritual significance and is a destination for those looking to connect with their religious roots.
- Distance from Mumbai: 178 kilometers
- Travel Cost: A daily budget of INR 1,500-3,000 should suffice for most travelers.
- Activities: Visiting the Trimbakeshwar Temple, exploring the Brahmagiri Hills, and participating in religious rituals.
- Best time to visit: Trimbakeshwar experiences a hot and dry climate during the summer (March to June). The monsoon season (July to September) is more pleasant.
22. Daman and Diu
Daman and Diu is a union territory situated on the western coast of India, near Gujarat. The region comprises two separate areas: Daman, an enclave on the Gujarat mainland, and Diu, an island in the Arabian Sea. These territories are known for their breathtaking beaches, historical forts, and a blend of Portuguese and Indian cultural influences.
Daman and Diu offer a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making them popular destinations for tourists seeking a coastal retreat. Visitors can explore Fort Diu, St. Paul’s Church and enjoy the tranquil beaches, water sports, and seafood. The union territory provides a unique mix of natural beauty and cultural heritage, with Portuguese colonial architecture still visible in many places.
- Distance from Mumbai: 180 kilometers
- Travel Cost: A daily budget typically ranges from INR 2,500-5,000.
- Activities: Relaxing on the beaches, exploring Diu Fort, visiting churches, and enjoying water sports.
- Best time to visit: Daman and Diu have a coastal climate. Winters (October to February) are pleasant, while summers can be hot and humid.
Conclusion – Places to see near Mumbai
Mumbai is a bustling metropolis in India that offers a wide array of nearby destinations for those who want to take a break from the city’s fast-paced life. These places offer many experiences, from tranquil hill stations to historic forts, coastal getaways, and natural wonders. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, history buff, or simply looking for relaxation, the areas around Mumbai have something to offer everyone. These destinations provide a rich tapestry of natural beauty, culture, and history, making them perfect for weekend getaways and exploration.
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