Mumbai

90°
87° - January
88° - February
91° - March
92° - April
92° - May
90° - June
87° - July
86° - August
87° - September
92° - October
92° - November
90° - December
Dec avg
$122
Avg Hotel
$1,283
Est. Airfare

Best Known For

Description

Mumbai, India, formerly Bombay, is a shocking contrast between the most fabulous chaos and the most peaceful tranquility. It's famous for two things--outdoor bazaars where you can buy anything you can dream of and for being Gandhi's former hometown. Mumbai is the biggest metropolis in India, so there's really no limit to what you can do and see. When you feel like experiencing controlled pandemonium, you can wander the streets of the world-famous bazaars and practice your bargaining skills while acquiring some truly incomparable pieces. And anything you'd buy would look better on sunkissed skin, so be sure to stop by Island City, an area scattered with several beaches on the Arabian Sea. Bollywood, home to thousands of aspiring actors and artists, is the spot to go to find a nightlife unrivaled in its cultural uniqueness and energy. Mumbai is fun for the entire family--packed full of shopping, museums, beaches, and amusement parks. But don't leave Gandhi's hometown without at least a few minutes of reflection. Visit Gandhi's home, now a museum in his honor, or a cave temple on Elephantra Island or any of the architecturally brilliant temples throughout the city.

Monumental Mumbai

09/29/13
Just after a train whistle blows on a mid summer morning, a voice from the station platform is heard over the crowd, “Chai Chai Chai”. The voice of a middle aged Chai Walla pours up a cup of delicious scented chai tea from a steel kettle as the midday Train pulls into Mumbai central.

This city beats to its own drum, a rhythm unlike any other city on earth. Bombay/Mumbai is alive and uncanny. The bustling city of old and new boasts endless horizons of worn down buildings and new steel skyscrapers, grand bazaars, and pushcarts accompanied by women in decadent and colorful saris as they sell the morning’s fresh picked fruits and merchandise.

Taxis and bicycle rickshaws weave the long stretch of ocean on Marine Drive—the road that separates the Mumbai skyline and the slender beach front known as Chowpatty. Head over to the Gateway to India, a monument built during the British Raj in Mumbai. The monument is a good starting point for all your adventures. Highly recommended is a boat to the Unesco World heritage Elephanta Caves Island for breathtaking artifacts and sights. Back on the mainland the occasional western backpacker can be seen negotiating a fair price for hostels and ‘Tuk-Tuks’ (taxis). Tourists come and go snapping photos like it is A Whole New World. The city buzzes and twirls.
Manusharow

Lara

09/22/13
Unexpectedly wonderful. I would never voluntarily physically drive any form of vehicle myself in this country, but experiencing the road-usage is one of life's wonders in itself. Entire families on a scooter; I am yet to figure out why they have robots...in 3 weeks I don't believe any vehicle ever stopped that I noticed; the right-of-way-policy reserved for cattle is unrivaled; the ability to turn a dual-carriageway into a workable four-lane roadway is nothing short of remarkable. The fact that all this works marvelously is testament to the acceptance of these peaceful people.
Lara

Organized Chaos

08/29/13
Anywhere in India, you find yourself moving like a salmon swimming up-stream, across the stream and in every other direction. Every time I go, which is every year, I find myself wondering how can THIS possibly work? This...being the traffic, the ability to get anything done from internet hook-up to getting proper directions to anywhere. How can 1.25 billion people live altogether in the amount of space 1 country has to offer. Mumbai is a hub for this type of life.

Mumbai, a crowded city filled with horns and poverty, pollution and trash almost everywhere you look. But Mumbai also has colorful clothing and delicious food, friendly inhabitants of all social classes who are kind and giving. It is a city where Old World and New World have collided. If you can just let go and let this city flow around you, it is an incredible city.

Transportation is chaotic from the moment you step off the plane. A 5 car lane is made by drivers on a 3 way highway, and if that is not good enough, drivers will take to driving in the the grass along the roadside. The central rail station will send you off to just about anywhere in the country, but even if you bypass traveling by rail, it is worth seeing for its architecture.

Vendors selling "street food" - is a PASS if your stomach is not used to the water. There are plenty of great restaurants who will serve the same fare made safely. I have eaten on the street many times without any problems, but I have always been willing to take the chance since my stays are usually 4-6 weeks long. But if you must...Sugar Cane Water (with no ice or water added), Bhel Puri are a fun choice. (I can never bypass a Sweet Paan at least once in a trip.)

Beggars - unless you want 1 to turn into 20, keep walking, don't even speak. There are so many other ways you get give to poor communities if you feel moved to do so. Going as a tourist, you are a target and it can cause unwanted chaos.

Shopping - LOVE the shopping in Mumbai; from the department stores, sari shops and street dealing. I always come with an empty bag to carry home full of shopping adventures!

Go with the flow - as we are taught in the US and in most places to walk against traffic, here it is quite the opposite. Walk with the flow of the insanity. It is so much safer than seeing what is coming at you and trying to anticipate what the oncoming movers are going to do...it is simply best not to see.

History - there is a strong British influence around the port, but Indians take pride in how much they maintained and held on to their heritage and culture, and it is beautiful.

Even with the ups and downs of this city...this country...it is a must-see-do-experience unlike anywhere else in the world. EAT with your hands, WEAR a sari and DANCE with the people. It will be unforgettable, I promise.

Kimberly

Mumbai Market Mania

To explore new places of Mumbai, try the customized walking tour of the native bazaar areas of Bhuleshwar.
Cost: Varies
Visit Website

Gandhi's Trail

Learn about the man who was possibly the greatest human being the 20th century has seen. See where he lived for many years.
Cost: Varies
Visit Website

The Elephanta Island Tour

The Island is located 10 km away from Mumbai, about an hour's boat ride. There are caves that house rock cut temples dating back to the 5th century.
Cost: Varies
Visit Website

Language

Marathi

Currency

[INR] Indian Rupee

Airports

Mumbai Airport [BOM]