Living in one of India’s largest cities is life changing. Mumbai, a city of millions, where the past, present and future can be seen in one square block is exciting, chaotic and sometimes overwhelming. Being a resident here, you learn not only to survive but thrive in epic traffic jams and seasonal flooding all while living it up in a fascinating cosmopolitan city.
Even with all there is to love in this great city, there are times when you just need to escape to rejuvenate and relax away from the hustle and bustle. After 10 years in this vibrant city, we had our fair share of weekend getaways from Mumbai. Some are close and easy to drive to, some require a ferry, train or even a flight – but they all share one thing in common – a total removal from the vibrant city we call home. Read on for our top 5 weekend getaways from Mumbai.
Top 5 Weekend Getaways from Mumbai
Goa, the beach state of India is a favorite weekend escape for people all over India. From Mumbai flights are plentiful, cheap and short in duration making this a top spot to escape to. Even though Goa is one of the country’s smallest states, it offers an endless amount of places to explore that keeps visitors coming back over and over again. From the buzzing night scene in North Goa to the chilled relaxed beach vibe in South Goa there is something for everyone here. One of our favorites is to rent a little place in Benaulim, which is one of the quietest beaches, but offers easy access to both the north and south.
Matheran is a quick hop, skip and jump from Mumbai, making it one of Mumbaikers favorite weekend getaways. You can drive or take the train, but in reality, the train is the quickest and easiest for a short getaway. The big appeal of Matheran for many is that the town is car free. Wandering around this small traditional village without the sound of autos rushing is amazing and truly a breath of fresh air. My favorite pastime here is riding horses through the forests overlooking the beautiful cliffs. You can visit any time of year, but be aware of the red mud that is ever present during the rainy season.
A close retreat from the madness of Mumbai life is the beachside town of Alibag. Hit the road for a 2 hour drive or go by ferry and bus to your weekend oasis on the sea. This is Maharashtra’s version of Goa! Lush orchards, palm fringed beaches and of course chikoo, a yummy favorite, make this a great weekend getaway from Mumbai.
The best way to experience Alibag is by renting a house with friends, making a fun weekend of relaxing, chilling by the pool with little excursions to see sights like the beaches, Kolaba Fort or the observatory.
Lonavala, another fabulous hill station located only 100 kms from Mumbai, is another favorite weekend retreats for Mumbaikers and expats alike. Known for its picturesque landscape with lush greenery, bubbling streams, lakes and gardens, this is the ultimate in a nature escape. For those who want more to do, there are also forts, caves and temples to explore. But what really pulls in the crowds is the chikki! And trust me, it’s worth the effort to get there just for this delicious locally produced snack! October to May is the best time to visit, but really it’s a perfect retreat any time of year. For a great nature retreat off the beaten path, check out the amazing tree house at Machan.
Need a total break from India? As expats there are times we need to fully get away to recharge and Dubai was our favorite getaway destination. With FlyDubai you can easily get cheap (and short!) flights to whisk you away for a few days.
Dubai offers a striking contrast to the bustling city of Mumbai. Here you can stay at the beach and soak up the sun or stay near one of the many amazing malls to shop until you drop. We love staying near the Dubai Mall with it’s beautiful hotels and the metro that can easily take you all over town. People laugh, but I really do go to Dubai often to get a fix on my favorite western restaurants, Ikea and Carrefour grocery shopping!
Mumbai is one of my favorite cities in India. There is always so much to do and see, amazing places to eat and tons of shopping to be had. The chaos of the city is mesmerizing, however, there are times when you need to get away from it all. In our 10 years in the city, these were our favorite weekend escapes to rejuvenate, shop or just relax!
What’s your favorite weekend escape from Mumbai?
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