Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Top choice in Mumbai (Bombay)

This gorgeous museum, built in Renaissance revival style in 1872 as the Victoria & Albert Museum, contains 3500-plus objects centring on Mumbai’s history – photography, maps, textiles, books, manuscripts, bidriware (Bidar's metalwork), lacquerware, weaponry and exquisite pottery. The landmark building was renovated in 2008, with its Minton-tile floors, gilded ceiling mouldings, ornate columns, chandeliers and staircases all gloriously restored.

Contemporary music, dance and drama feature in the Plaza area, where there’s a cafe and shop. A planned, architecturally stunning 11,000-sq-metre wing was currently caught up in a bureaucratic quagmire. The museum, which also hosts a bevy of temporary exhibitions, is located in the lush gardens of Jijamata Udyan; skip the zoo.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mumbai (Bombay) attractions

1. Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat

0.68 MILES

This 140-year-old dhobi ghat (place where clothes are washed) is Mumbai’s biggest human-powered washing machine: every day hundreds of people beat the…

2. Kwan Kuang Temple


Located on one of Mumbai's seven islands, Mazgaon, the Kwan Kuang Temple is a monument to the city's once-strong Chinese community, most of whom were…

3. Nehru Centre

1.43 MILES

The Nehru Centre is a cultural complex that includes a planetarium, theatre, gallery and an interesting history exhibition, Discovery of India. The…

4. Haji Ali Dargah

1.71 MILES

Floating like a sacred mirage off the coast, this Indo-Islamic shrine located on an offshore inlet is a striking sight. Built in the 19th century, it…

5. Bombay Panjrapole

1.77 MILES

In the middle of bustling Bhuleshwar bazaar is, of all things, this shelter for 350 homeless cows. Ducks, parrots, rabbits, pigeons and other small birds…

6. Khotachiwadi

1.87 MILES

This storied wadi (hamlet), a heritage village nearly 180 years old, is clinging onto Mumbai life as it was before high-rises. A Christian enclave of…

7. Shree Mahalaxmi Temple

1.88 MILES

It’s only fitting that in money-mad Mumbai one of the busiest and most colourful temples is dedicated to Mahalaxmi, the goddess of wealth. Perched on a…

8. Mumba Devi Temple


Pay a visit to the city’s patron goddess at this 18th-century temple, about 1km north of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. Among the deities in…