Skip the swim and enjoy the atmosphere
Noteworthy for: Head to Chowpatty Beach for the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival in August to witness a festive procession where thousands of Ganesha idols are dunked into the ocean.
Word to the wise: Resist the urge to take a dip at Mumbai beaches; the water is heavily polluted.
There are nine beaches within the city limits, with two standouts: at the end of Marine Parade and at the base of Malabar Hill, Chowpatty Beach is renowned for its bhelpuri - crisped puffed rice, veggies and fried lentil-flour noodles mixed with sweet and spicy chutneys. Come to try the local specialty or grab an ice cream, get a head massage or have your palm read in this carnival-like seaside arena.
Further north, 18 kilometres from the city centre, Juhu Beach is the largest beach in Mumbai and a popular bourgeois hangout. Also renowned for its seaside snack stands (try gola, a shaved ice snack), it's a great place to spend an evening when the temperature begins to drop. To get here, take the Western Line to Vile Parle and walk/take a taxi 3km to the beach.
Chowpatty Beach: Marine Parade, near Malabar Hill
Juhu Beach: Northwest of the city centre