The best things to do in Mumbai this monsoon season

From art shows and nightlife to new culinary hotspots, we round up everything that ought to make it on your social calendar in Mumbai right now

Last updated: July 27, 2022
What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | An exterior view of the Prince of Wales Museum.
The Prince of Wales Museum, on architect Nikhil Mahashur's walkitecture tour

Mumbaikars have a love-hate relationship with our beloved monsoon season, which takes place between June and October each year. Is Mumbai at its most romantic, lush best? Yes. Is it also when Mumbai’s infamous traffic only gets worse? Also, yes!  But that doesn’t stop you from indulging in all that this diverse, eclectic city has to offer. Whether you’re in the market for some delectable treats (for more on that, consult our guide to Mumbai’s best restaurants) or are looking to feed your inner culture vulture, there’s something for everyone in our guide to the best things to do in Mumbai this monsoon season.

Music and culture

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | The facade of David Sassoon Library.
David Sassoon Library, built in yellow Malad stone

Discover the architectural history of Kala Ghoda

When: Sat 20 August
Where: Meet at The Horse, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 
How much: 500 INR / 6 USD

Join architect Nikhil Mahashur as he returns with another edition of his popular weekend ‘walkitecture’ sessions. On the agenda? Discovering hidden architectural gems, legends and myths about the Kala Ghoda precinct – hands down one of the city’s most culturally rich and historic neighbourhoods. Design buffs should go prepped to take notes as they learn about the neoclassical, gothic, Indo-Saracenic and art deco buildings that populate the area. Pitstops include the David Sassoon Library, Esplanade Mansion, Horniman Circle and St. Thomas Cathedral, among others. Regular coffee and art gallery breaks in between are another plus.

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | A view of Mihir Chandan in profile as he plays a multicoloured hand pan with headphones on
Mihir Chandan's progressive hand pan performance

Immerse yourself in the sounds of the handpan

When: Every Thursday from 8pm to 10pm
Where: Silly, 759, 5th lane, opposite Union Bank ATM, Khar West, Mumbai 400052
How much: Free entry 

The handpan is a traditional Indian steel hand drum, usually wielded to create soothing sounds – but now given a progressive techno twist by artist Mihir Chandan. In a series of recurring weekly performances, Chandan – credited as conceptualising India’s first handpan electronic act – brings a solo set to Khar hotspot Silly, one of Mumbai’s best places for experiencing live music. Enjoy the self-taught performer’s unique take on the instrument as you sip on the restaurant’s signature cocktails.

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | A pair of red lounge chairs either side of a low coffee table in front of art hanging on a white wall in Kathiwada City House.
Former photo editor of Architectural Digest India, Kuber Shah, is conducting a home styling workshop at Kathiwada City House

Make your space magazine-worthy with this workshop

When:  August 27, 2022
Where: Kathiwada City House, West More Apartments, 69, Sir Pochkhanwala Road, Worli, Mumbai, 400030
How much:  2500 INR / 31 USD

For all interior styling aficionados, the former photo editor of Architectural Digest India, Kuber Shah, is conducting a workshop that will teach you the tips and tricks of the trade that’ll make your home Pinterest-perfect. His dos and don’ts on styling a space or objects and interior photography are ones you’ll want to bookmark. One of the most fun and creative things to do in Mumbai this summer, the event will take place at art and wellness club and co-working space Kathiwada City House, housed in a heritage art deco bungalow in South Mumbai.

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | Anish Kapoor's 'Blackness From Her Womb 3' (2001) at the Sakshi Gallery.
Anish Kapoor, Blackness from her womb 3; 2001 at the Sakshi Gallery

Gallery hopping on Thursday Art Night

When:  Every Thursday until the end of September 
Where: Tarq, F35/36 Dhanraj Mahal, C.S.M. Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai, 400001
How much: Free entry

Mumbai Gallery Weekend is behind the successful Thursday Art Night initiative, where on the second Thursday of every month, a collective of art galleries are open till 9pm, making it the perfect excuse to go art gallery hopping. The social event is free to attend and has long been considered one of the best things to do in Mumbai, whether that’s during the monsoon season or otherwise. While we’re yet to get our hands on August’s show calendar, we recommend making a beeline for Tarq in Colaba to catch their show ‘Event, Memory, Metaphor’, curated by writer and translator Anish Gawande, who is also the director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship and the curator of Pink List India. Inspired by Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali’s poem ‘Farewell’, the show explores where memory and history intersect to influence how and why we access the past. Watch out for artworks by Areez Katki, Garima Gupta, Muzzumil Ruheel, Parag Tandel, Philippe Calia, Saju Kunhan, Sameer Kulavoor, and Saubiya Chasmawala.

Restaurant openings and food markets

A weekend food market in the heart of the city

When: Every weekend  
Where: Jio World Drive, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
How much: Free entry 

Skip the usual drinks-and-dinner plan for a weekend and head to The Green Co-op instead — an outdoor weekend market where you can get your hands on fresh produce, wholesome food and artisanal products from new labels in the city. From meals-in-a-bowl to energy bites, sauces and dessert, there’s a lot to discover (and dig in to), and it’s a great way to get your head around Mumbai’s vibrant restaurant scene.

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | A bowl of pork ramen with vegetables at Wakai.
A pork ramen bowl from the omakase tasting menu at Wakai

A special Omakase menu at Wakai

When: Until the end of September
Where: Rajabahadur Mansion, 24 A, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400023
How much: Non-vegetarian omakase 4850 INR / 61 USD; vegetarian omakase 4250 INR / 53 USD

Book a table and leave it up to Chef Parvez (formerly of award-winning Wasabi by Morimoto at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai) to bring an exemplary experience to your plate with his special omakase menu at Wakai. The menu is designed to deliver the Japanese flavour of umami to your palette with seven tasting courses. Watch out for the special ramen selection, including Shoyu ramen, Miso ramen, kimchi ramen and more, and make a night of it by checking out one of Mumbai’s best bars beforehand.

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | Pumpkin and goats cheese caramelle being prepared in a tray with flour.
Pumpkin and goats cheese caramelle being prepared at Toast Pasta Bar

Stuff yourself with pasta at the new Toast Pasta Bar restaurant

When: Every day except Monday
Where: Toast Pasta Bar, Unit 3, Z Wing, Kamala Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel
How much: Around 1500 INR / 19 USD for a meal for two

After becoming a city favourite during the pandemic with her donuts, Le Cordon Bleu-educated Devika Manjrekar has now set out to tackle the lack of authentic handmade pasta in the city with her newly opened Toast Pasta Bar restaurant. One of the best and most delicious things to do this summer, the mostly female kitchen is already pulling in the crowds for their signature dishes, which include a six-hour braised oxtail ragu, smoked ricotta with gnocco fritto, and tagliatelle with caramelised Madras onions and blue cheese.

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | A bowl of red coconut curry ramen with chopsticks balanced across the bowl rim.
Akina's coconut curry ramen

A new Japanese restaurant in Bandra

When: Open through the week 
Where: Akina, Golden Palace, Near Linking Road, Turner Road, Bandra (w)
How much: Around 3000 INR / 38 USD for two

Mumbai’s love affair with Japanese food continues with the recent opening of Akina, from the group that also runs popular spots Opa Kipos and Estella. This contemporary Japanese ‘fun dining’ restaurant spotlights the ancient warayaki (slow-roasted) cooking method, which lends a delicate, smoky flavour to its dishes. The chefs have taken their knowledge of Japanese culture and traditions and fused them with western ingredients and techniques for the city’s well-heeled travellers. Try the chicken katsu mango roll, spinach soba noodles with parmesan, dried miso and truffle goma, and coal-fired black cod.

A new jewellery showcase

What to do in Mumbai this monsoon season | A diptych of two earrings next to an interior view of IF.BE art gallery.
Cacti Karela earrings by Studio Renn, which shall be on display at IF.BE

Studio Renn’s latest collection

When: 29 July – 7 August
Where: IF.BE, 10-12, Calicut Road, Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai 400001
How much: Free entry

Jewellery design practice Studio Renn relishes in exploring abstract concepts and perspectives. Their latest work [Prime]al is an exploration of the complexity and importance of ideas on protection, cyclicity, creation myths, and perceptions around time and space. The husband and wife team Rahul and Roshni Jhaveri created simple, abstracted forms using gold, diamonds and gemstones to bring these ideas to life. You can see the 70-piece show at performance and cultural space IF.BE for ten days only. Architecture firm Case Design has collaborated on the project, adapting the gallery space using indigenous techniques and materials like hand-rammed earth blocks, bamboo and pools of rice. Head over to IF.BE and check out the show before its final date on 7 August.