7 Museums you must visit in Mumbai

The city of Mumbai is more than just a commercial hub. Culturally rich and historically significant, it has scores of untold stories to share over its centuries of existence. Some of these stories have been preserved in one form or another in the many museums that call the island city its home. We’ve listed down some of the best ones for your perusal.

The city of Mumbai is more than just a commercial hub. Culturally rich and historically significant, it has scores of untold stories to share over its centuries of existence.

Some of these stories have been preserved in one form or another in the many museums that call the island city its home.

We’ve listed down some of the best ones for your perusal.


1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya / Prince of Wales Museum

Formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, it was designed by George Wittet — who, incidentally, was also the brains behind the Gateway of India. Apart from the gorgeous architecture, the museum is known for harbouring artefacts from the Mughal empire, as well rare heirlooms from Europe, Nepal, Tibet, Japan, and China.

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • Indus Valley Civilization artefacts;
  • Coin Museum;
  • Indian Miniature Painting Collection
Visiting Hours
  • Monday to Sunday – 10.15 am to 6.00 pm.
  • You should look to spend at least 2 hours at the museum.
Admission Fee
  • Rs. 70 (Adults)
  • Rs. 35 (College Students)
  • Rs. 20 (Children & Students)
Getting There
  • The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is located at 159-161 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 023. Maharashtra, India.
  • It is a 20-minute walk from both major local railway terminuses, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Central Railway) and Churchgate (Western Railway);
  • Alternatively you can take bus number 14, 69, 101,130 from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Central Railway) or bus number 70, 106, 122, 123, 132, 137 from Churchgate (Western Railway). It’s a 7-8 minutes journey.
  • If you’re driving down, parking is available in the pay and park lots at Hutatma Chowk and Kala Ghoda.

Ratan Tata Sculpture at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya / Prince of Wales Museum


2. Mani Bhavan

If you’re a history buff, there’s no better way to get a firsthand experience of Mahatma Gandhi’s transition from childhood to adulthood than by visiting Mani Bhavan. Apart from serving as a memoir for the Mahatma with his many personal items on display, it also demonstrates how Mumbai (then Bombay) was run under the British Raj — and how Mahatma used it to launch various political movements of his own.

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • Letters to Adolf Hitler and Franklin D Roosevelt
  • Tributes from Ho Chi Minh and Einstein
Visiting Hours
  • 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on all days
  • It’s a small museum and an hour should suffice.
Admission Fee
  • No entry fee.
Getting There
  • Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya is located at 19, Laburnum Road, Gamdevi, Mumbai 400 007
  • It is a 11-minute walk from Grant Road Station (Western Railway) and walking is the fastest way to get there from the station.
  • You will not find parking in the area.

Michelle & Barack Obama at Mani Bhavan


3. National Gallery of Modern Art

Museums dedicated to art might be a bit of a rarity in the city — but National Gallery of Modern Art is definitely your best bet. The gallery, which was established half a century ago, hosts over 17,000 works of art — curated all the way back from the 19th century, till today.

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • A collection of Pablo Picasso’s works
  • Egyptian artifacts such as mummies, statues, etc.
  • Raja Ravi Varma paintings
Visiting Hours
  • 11am – 6pm all days except Monday and National Holidays. Keep an hour aside for the visit.
Admission Fee
  • Free for students up to Class XII
  • Rs. 20 for everyone else
Getting There
  • National Gallery of Modern Art is at Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public Hall, M G Road, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400032
  • By Taxi from nearest railway stations, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST, Central Railway) and Churchgate (Western Railway)
  • By Bus from CST: 14, 69, 101, 130
  • By Bus from Churchgate: 70, 106, 122, 123, 132, 137

The Homi Bhabha collection at Mumbai’s National Gallery of Modern Art


4. Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum)

Situated near the Byculla Zoo, Dr. Bhau Lad Museum is Mumbai’s oldest and most cherished edifice. Formerly known as The Victoria and Albert Museum, it primarily focuses on the culture of Mumbai, doubling up as a home to relics from all over India and the globe. The museum has the most beautiful interiors that you would have seen in a colonial building – so it is well worth a visit just for that.

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • The bust in the centre of the room of David Sassoon – opium baron, trader and architect of Colonial Bombay
  • Models of traditional games on the first floor
  • Courtyard which has several statues and items – the tall lamp-post, statues relocated from other parts of the city, the stone that once marked the end of Bombay Town and the beautiful elephant from the Elephanta Island.
  • Must also pay a visit to the video room which tells you the story of this museum’s restoration
Visiting Hours
  • Thursday to Tuesday, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.
  • The place isn’t enormous – you can get round in an hour or so.
Admission Fee
  • Adult, 13 and above – Rs. 10/-
  • Child, 6 to 12 years – Rs. 5/-
  • Infant, 5 and below – Free
  • Student, under 12 (with school groups or valid ID) – Rs. 2/-
  • Student, 13 and above (with school/college groups or valid ID) – Rs. 5/-
Getting There
  • Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is located at Veer Mata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan (Rani Baug), 91/A, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Road Byculla East, Mumbai 400027, Maharashtra, India
  • Rani Baug (Chidiya ghar or zoo), Byculla (East) is a major landmark in the area. The Museum is located in the same compound, a 2 mins walk from Byculla (East) Station.

Victorian Interiors of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum


5. CST Heritage Gallery & Railway Museum

If you’re fascinated by the CST train station, you’ll love their heritage gallery. Bombay was the first city in India to get trains — and the rich history is well documented in the form of model trains, old tickets, the marvellous structure itself.

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • Carved Dome with sun light passing through colorful glasses; huge peacock carving on the wall (Heritage Building)
  • General Manager’s Wide Wooden Chair; Old train – green engine with red coaches; Old brass bell (Railway Museum)
Visiting Hours
  • 3 pm – 5 pm on all weekdays.
Admission Fee
  • Rs 100 for students in college/school/university
  • Rs. 200 for others
Getting There
  • This is located at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST Station / VT Station).
  • Star Chambers is what the ticket window area is called and this paid tour is at backside of this ticket window.


6. BEST Transport Museum

Much like the trains, BEST buses were one of the first means of transport for the public in the city of Mumbai. Old bus tickets, miniature models, and a full-fledged model of the 1938 version of the double decker bus is what’s on offer here!

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • A 1938-built chassis of a Daimler double deck bus
  • The “dome” from the times when trams plied. These served as traffic lights at major junctions and could be seen from hundreds of meters away.
  • A display of mini-models of the BEST bus at every stage of the evolution of the bus’ design.
  • A wall display showcasing B&W pictures of conductors incl Sunil Dutt, Johnny Walker & Hasrat Jaipuri
Visiting Hours
  • Wednesday to Sunday – 9 am to 5 pm.
Admission Fee
  • Free
Getting There
  • The BEST Transport Museum is located at Third Floor, Anik Bus Depot, Sion, Mumbai 400022.
  • You must make it a point to travel to this place in a BEST bus. The ones that go here include bus number 005, 045, 058, 059, 060, 063, 085, 170, 173, 175, 348, 352, 360, 361, 362, 363, 367, 369, 377, 431, 501L, C072, AS003.

BEST Transport Museum, Anik, Wadala, Mumbai


7. RBI Monetary Museum

If you love collecting rare coins, the RBI Monetary Museum might just be your wonderland. A tour of the museum is an education in itself — tracing the history of the usage of money not just in modern India, but as far back as the ancient times too!

Google Maps Link

Our Favourite Exhibits
  • Panam Coins: Tiny gold coins used all over India around the 11th century, but mainly in South India. They were also called “Pottu Kaasu” due to their size (pottu means a bindi and kaasu is money in Tamil). These coins are still used in some parts of India during funerals or marriages. Special counting trays were used to count these. The word panam is still the word in Tamil for wealth or money.
Visiting Hours
  • Tuesday to Sunday – 10:30 am – 5 pm.
Admission Fee
  • Free
Getting There
  • The RBI Monetary Museum is located at Sir Phirozshah Mehta Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
  • A 10-15 minute walk from CST or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Rameez Shaikh

Rameez Shaikh is a twenty-three year old writer. With a degree in journalism to his name, he's an aspiring author with an absolutely astounding admiration for alliteration. Leisure propels him to read, dance, pen fiction and gloat about himself in third person. On weekdays, he works as a features writer. On weekends, he's a Manchester United fan.

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