Personalize your experience
Set City

Pack Snacks & Head Out To These 10 Picnic Spots In Mumbai

20296 Interested |
10K  Views

Go back to the basics and relive your childhood. If a picnic sounds enticing to you, then you've got to get your squad together and head out for one. While the common misconception might be that it's hard to have a peaceful picnic in an urban jungle like Mumbai, the truth is there are several picnic spots in Mumbai worth exploring. 

We've made a list of the best ones for you. So pack yourself a picnic basket full of your favourite snacks and beverages and head out. But but but, before you head out. Check out some picnic essentials here.

Sion Fort

Hidden in plain sight, the Sion Fort is one of Mumbai's well-kept secrets. It's a hillock that's easy to climb and was built in the 17th Century by then Governor of Bombay, Gerald Aungier. 

Climb up here for beautiful views of the city and get a view that's not the regular sea link or marine drive. There's also a park at the foothill that's worth taking a stroll in. You can play hide-and-seek around the fort's ruins, relax in the shade of the trees, play a game of cricket or volleyball and spend some time gazing at the sea.

How To Get There: You can walk or take a cab from Sion Station as it's only 500mts away. 

Popular For: The views of the sea and its historic significance as it was an important fort separating the British-owned Bombay from the Portuguese-controlled Salsette Island.

Pro Tip: Sion Fort and the park is open from morning till noon, and later 4pm onwards.

Read more here.

Bandra Fort

Plonk yourself on the steps of Bandra amphitheater that's part of the Bandra Fort ruins or find a cosy nook around the fort. The sea views, strong breeze and the salty air are perfect accompaniments to the picnic you can enjoy here. 

Climb up the staircase and check out the views of the sea-link, sit against the many moss walls of the fort and read a book in the quiet, and snack away on your favourites. You can also play a game and enjoy the fort from atop or from the amphitheater at the lowest level, which also poses as a great podium to play a game of cricket on.

How To Get There: You can take a rickshaw or a bus from Bandra West Station that'll take you to Taj Land's End Hotel, from where the fort is a 1-minute walk away.

Popular For: It's a great site for photographers - both professionals and amateurs, as it provides for beautiful views. The Bandra Fort is also a one of the rare spots to find quiet in a neighbourhood that's as chaotic and noisy as Bandra is. 

Pro Tip: If you've forgotten to pack snacks or need a refill, there are few stalls at the entrance of the fort. 

Hanging Gardens

Popularly called Hanging Gardens, The Ferozeshah Mehta gardens is one of Mumbai’s iconic – and rare – green areas. Terraced and perched at the top of Malabar Hill, this garden has been a must-visit for every kid that's grown up in Mumbai. 

You can walk around the first garden, which is more traditional owning to its walking path, shrubbery, benches, hedges carved out as animals and more. Kids usually play games in the lawns here, and you can too! You can sit on a park bench to snack or sprawl in the lawn, before walking across to the second, busier, garden. Frequented by several for its peaceful view, this garden overlooks Marine Drive and the Arabian Sea, offering one of the best views in the city. There's a viewing deck here too, to capitalize on that view and if you're here around sunset, you can wait a little longer till the lights are turned on to get a view of the iconic Queen's Necklace at the only spot in the city that offers the full view. 

If you've got kids, there's of course the iconic Boot House that children can climb on and pose from the small balcony atop. 

How To Get There: The closest station is Charni Road from where you can take a cab to the gardens. 

Popular For: The viewing deck which offers the view of the Queen's Necklace; this garden is also a peaceful oasis in the city, do you won't realise you're in Mumbai barring the few tall buildings you see. And of course, the Boot House, which generations of Mumbai-born and bred kids have climbed. 

Pro Tip: Hanging Gardens gets very busy on Sundays as people from all over Mumbai visit the spot to unwind.

Sagar Upvan Garden

The Mumbai Port Trust Garden, better known as Sagar Upvan Garden is an ideal picnic spot for anyone with a green thumb. The sprawling garden in Colaba is a 12-acre park, offering benches with a view of the Arabian Sea, a walking/running path, and a glasshouse that houses cacti. 

There are ample benches everywhere for you to sit down and observe trees. You can find a spot that comforts you and read a book in the midst of lots of green and quiet. Tree trunks are placed horizontally on the grass in severl places on which you can sit and wonder; and there are ample huge trees (even some old Banyan) under which you can have a picnic.

How To Get There: You can take the train to Churchgate station and then hop into a bus to Colaba or cab it till there.

Popular For: Sagar Upvan is a botanist's haven, where several trees and plants are labelled, the cacti glasshouse is worth a visit and the view of the Arabian Sea is worth taking in. If you're a runner, then you might enjoy running on the 650mt-long pathway amongst trees.

Pro Tip: The park is open from 6:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.

Read more about it here.

Manori Island

Touted as one of the cleanest beaches on the Gorai stretch, Manori Island is Mumbai's 'mini Goa'. Mumbaikars love it for its proximity and how it poses as the perfect picnic spot, a short jetty ride away from the main island of Mumbai. 

Full of coconut trees, a laid back island with Portuguese-style homes and beach essentials like a bhutta wallah, gola wallah and eateries offering fish thali, Manori has it all. You can pack your picnic basket and have a quiet beach day or a more fun one with some volleyball and other beach games here. If you'd like to stay the night or want to book a villa or a room in a resort near the beach by the hour (so you can use their pool and other amenities!) then several have mushroomed in recent years.

How To Get There: You can get there via Malad or Borivali station on the western lines, and either take a rickshaw directly to Manori or take a jetty ride from Marve Beach.

Popular For: The clean Manori beach, the laid-back life and gorgeous Portuguese-style villas that are dotted across Manori, along with historic churches and temples. Several smaller resorts that offer rooms by the hour also have volleyball and tennis courts, so you can enjoy a whole day here.

Pro Tip: You can also visit the Vipasana Global Pagoda nearby, which is accessible via a short jetty ride too.

Elephanta Caves

Hop on to a ferry from the Gateway of India and have a picnic on the Elephanta Island. Explore the Elephanta Caves, a collection of cave temples dedicated to Shiva, along with Buddhist Stupa mounds and Buddhist caves. These caves date back to 8th century A.D. and is also a part of UNESCO world heritage site. 

You can also hike up to Cannon Hill, laze around near the little flea market at the bottom. If you'd rather not tag along your picnic basket, then there are ample stalls on the island offering snacks and meals. 

How To Get There: You have to reach the caves via a ferry from Gateway of India. The ferry ride is just 60 minutes from there.

Popular For: The ancient caves, which are built on perfectly aligned 49 pillars. You'll also come across a huge statue of Shiva performing the Yogasana, the statue is called Yogeshwar. But the main attraction is the Trimurti statue of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh. Also don't miss out the lake near which two grand cannons are placed.

Pro Tip: Be careful with your belongings and food as the island has several monkeys eyeing what you eat and carry.

Yeoor Hills

If you've ever toured Sanjay Gandhi National Park, you know you haven't seen it all. There's a lot more going on in this expansive national park that's in the midst of the city. Yeoor Hills, inside the national park, is inhabited by one of the indigenous tribes of Mumbai.

If you're into camping, this is a great spot to set camp too. But since we're on the topic of picnic spots, the Yeoor Hills serve as an expansive landmass to spend the day on. You can trek during the day here, and sit down for an intimate picnic in the lap of nature. In the monsoon, you'll find waterfalls around as well.

How To Get There: You can take a bus or a rickshaw from Thane station. Yeoor Hills are only a 30-min ride away!

Popular For:  There are several dramatic nature trails worth walking around. However, Yeoor Hills are also popular for setting up camp.

Pro Tip: If you want to turn your picnic into a staycation, there are a few resorts around where you can enjoy a weekend stay.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary

On the outskirts of Mumbai, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is one the few sanctuaries that's within the city's limits. Centered around Karnala Fort, which now lies in ruins and poses as a medium-easy trek, the sanctuary is home to 200 species of bird and 114 species of butterflies.

The best time to visit is monsoon because you're guaranteed great views from atop the fort, and it's also an ideal time to spot some exotic birds. You can walk around the sanctuary, keep a count of the birds you spot, photograph them and also trek to the fort. There's also a small restaurant run by locals from the area, serving simple Maharashtrian meals including misal pav.

How To Get There: You can opt for a rickshaw ride from Panvel railway station, or take a bus to the sanctuary from Panvel bus depot, a bus is available every 30-min from here.  

Popular For: Trekking and bird-watching, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is an ideal spot to explore rare and endangered species of birds. You must visit the fort too, even if it is only to photograph spectacular views.

Pro Tip: You can extend your picnic into a staycation as there are several resorts nearby which are quite affordable.

Madh Island

Madh is part of the city, and yet distant. While several townships are coming up on the island, it still manages to remain a little secluded and offers clean beaches that are perfect to spend the day at.

You can stroll the beach while munching on some bhutta, explore artistic churches, or the ruins of Madh Fort, and of course grab some fried fish, perhaps a plate of Bombil (Bombay Duck) fry. The village here is Erangal and it's home to the Koli community. You can walk around and explore it and perhaps even eat at one of the local joints here. 

How To Get There: From Malad station, you can take a rickshaw to Madh as it's a mere 12kms away, there are also buses that can take you to the beach. Madh Island is also easily accessible by road, or you van opt to take a jetty from Versova. 

Popular For: Madh Island is home to the Koli community, but you can also spot influences of the Portuguese in the culture and art here. Spending time at Madh beach is a must as it's clean and offers a peacefully quiet time.

Pro Tip: Turn your picnic into a staycation as there are several beach-facing resorts, some of which even have villas. You can know more about them here.

Matheran

A popular hill station that you could spend a day at, Matheran is eco-friendly and popular amongst those looking to reduce pollution. The market area of the hill station welcomes you as soon as you reach and the street is dotted with several hotels, eateries, and shops. It's the closest hill station to Mumbai, as it's a mere two hours away.

You can ride on horse back to explore Matheran's several viewing points. The sunset point is worth spending some time at, or you can simply ride around the hill station enjoying all the gorgeous views and greenery you spot. During monsoon, you can head to some waterfalls too! Matheran is a quaint town and also offers several local products like hand-made shoes and bags, syrups and whatnot, all of which you'll find in local shops in the market.

How To Get There: Drive to Matheran, although you'll have to park in the parking zone and walk to the hill station for about 20-mins, as Matheran is vehicle-free. You can also take a cab from Neral station, as the iconic Neral-Matheran toy train route is still under repairs.

Popular For: Matheran is known for its vehicle-free life, which proves to be a respite from traffic for busy Mumbaikars. The hill station is known for scenic views, horse rides and the toy train that takes you there from Neral station. 

Pro Tip: The Neral-Matheran toy train route is currently suspended due to the destruction caused by Cyclone Nisarga in 2020. Reconstruction work on the route is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and train services will resume by 2023.