The city is split into diverse areas, making Mumbai's urban setting a complex nest of cultures, greatly influenced by the wave of immigrants taking their shot in the city of opportunities.
Widely renowned as its pulsing heart, the southernmost precinct of Mumbai represents the downtown area and certainly the wealthiest neighbourhood in the whole of India. Home to the oldest and newest parts of the city, it boasts the iconic Gateway of India and the contemporary hustle around the Flora Fountain, along with other monuments, luxury retailers, art galleries and restaurants. South Mumbai is a fine starting point, a take-off platform to begin exploring the concealed wonders located throughout the city.
The birthplace of the Indian film industry, Mumbai also houses Bollywood and its light-filled studios, fascinating dances and intense rhythms, with a production volume of over 1000 films per year.
A complex tangle of cultures and creeds, the financial capital of India is a hub of activity. Get a flavorful sample of the country's food by visiting Crawford Market, experience a journey through the life of one of the most influential men in India at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and visit a fortune teller after a pony ride at Chowpatty Beach. Historical sites are located throughout the city, boasting ancient caves and temples while the city itself, with its bustling daily life and luxurious retail shops and restaurants, is an experience in itself.
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Renowned for its vast street food culture, Mumbai´s streets bustle with food vendors and diverse stalls. Mumbaikars from all walks of life pour down the crowded streets indulging in the numerous delicacies the city has to offer, in a tradition that dates back several years and reaches its peak in Mumbai. Regional Indian cuisine can be sampled at this city's main roads, offering insights into its culinary tradition.
Pav bhaaji, a vegetable curry served with a soft bread roll, is a local speciality while Vada Pav, the poor man's burger and kebabs perfectly represent Mumbai and its thousands of flavors. Bhel puri, a sweet and sour dish made of deep fried pastry shells with onion, tomato and chili is a popular snack often linked with Mumbai's beaches.
Locals tend to prefer grabbing some street food rather than going to the restaurant. However, this cosmopolitan hub has a long list of places to try - traditional Indian cuisine, Italian, Asian, the city is well equipped with every kind of exotic eatery.
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With its own coffee culture and as a vibrant and constantly growing center, Mumbai boasts a wide range of cafeterias and afternoon tea spots. From happening cafes to elegant lounges, the city doesn't lack destinations for coffee connoisseurs and, considering the wide and diverse offer, there won't be difficulties in finding a place that best fits your needs.
Mumbai in the morning is a unique experience; bustling with people since the early hours, it offers the freshest ingredients and an ample variety of dishes from different culinary traditions. Breakfast tends to have rice or vegetable-based dishes, with a spicy touch that is ideal for a kick-start to the day.
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The vigorous club and bar scene in Mumbai has become increasingly popular among party lovers. In the last ten years, the city has seen a multitude of happening hangouts rise up at a fast pace, making the commercial capital of India a suitable destination for night owls.
The district of Colaba is where most of the party-goers hover, starting the evening in one of its bars or cruising around local food stalls and souvenir shops squeezed down the crowded Colaba Causeway. From here the way is paved, opening up no shortage of options available until around 3am, when most bars and clubs tend to close.
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A wide range of upmarket outlets pop up sparsely throughout the city. Plentiful handicrafts, textiles and clothes of any sort sit in local shops, waiting to be discovered. Fruit and vegetable markets, typical clothes bazaars and thousand of hawkers located among outdoor dumps and upscale residential areas thrive within the lively city.
Mumbaikers, living in such a urban jungle, have learnt how to get the best deals out of the city's thousands of vendors. A Mumbaiker would tell you that the stalls along MG Road boast some great quality signature items from brand manufacturers, that Colaba Causeway offers some of the best knickknacks in town or that fruit at the Crawford Market is fresher in the morning. There are lots of choices on Mereweather Road but you might, however, have to haggle to get the price you want.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport is the busiest airport in India. Expect it to take around 90 minutes to get into the city centre as the traffic can be very heavy. To get to the city centre you can either go by train, bus, rickshaw, taxi or by renting a car.
The fastest way to reach the city is by train. The nearest station to the domestic terminal is Vile Parle and the nearest one to the international terminal is called Sahar.
BEST buses provide bus services in the city and suburbs. From the domestic terminal you can take bus 312 to Vile Parle East and Andheri East. From the international terminal you can also take bus 312 to Vile Parle East, and number 308 will take you to Andheri East.
You can also reach the city centre by a rickshaw by finding them at the domestic terminal.
Taxis and car rental companies are available outside both the domestic and international terminals.
Address: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
Phone: +91 22 6685 1010
Passport / Visa
All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document with a valid visa. A visa is required for most nationalities, with the exception of Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives (if not arriving from mainland China).
The visa has to be requested through an online application, and the instruction for filling in the application and for scheduling appointments can be seen at the visa department's website.
Be aware that a visa can only be acquired via this online application, and without any intermediary – do not follow agents who claim speedy/express grant of e-Visa.
Best Time to Visit
The best months for visiting Mumbai are the ones going from October to February. The winter season here is warm overall, with a minimum temperature of 10°C and low levels of humidity. This is also the period in which several events occur, from the Diwali Festival of Lights in October to the Moon Indigo Cultural Festival towards the end of December.
Coming a bit earlier though, around the end of August and the start of September, is also a good idea: this is when the monsoon season ends together with its heavy rainfall, leaving behind lush greenery making for worthwhile sights. You can also join the Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten day long festival in honour of Lord Ganesha.
The city buses are run by BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) and, although being normally crowded, they are ideal for short journeys. To get around with public transport you must be acquainted to the system; if you are a tourist, it is advisable to plan your journey in advance.
Tickets can be bought from the conductor on-board.
The fastest way to get around the city is by train. The city has three different lines: Western Line, Central Main Line and Harbour Line.
Phone: +91 18 0022 7550
The 246,458 black and yellow metered auto rickshaws are an easy, flexible and fast way to get around Mumbai and to make the way through the lousy Mumbai traffic. With their typical black and yellow color, rickshaws are easy to spot down the intricate roads of this crowded city.
There is no shortage of taxis in Mumbai and they can be easily found throughout the city. Taxis usually have meters, but watch out for those meters set on the previous fares and make sure your driver has a conversion card.
Book my Cab: www.bookmycab.com
Taxi for Sure: www.taxiforsure.com/mumbai-cabs
Phone: +91 22 6123 4567
Numerous post offices are located throughout the city, making it easy to find places to buy stamps and to post letters. Letters can be posted at the letter boxes sparsely located within the city, easy to find thanks to their characteristic vivid red color.
Government Post Office: GPO Building, Fort, Mumbai
Post Office: Dadar East, Mumbai
Address: GPO Building, Fort, Mumbai
Phone: +91 22 2262 0956
More Information: Located near CST Station, behind St. George Hospital.
Within the various pharmacies located in town, Noble Medicals is one of the leading pharmacy retails chains and can be found in 27 locations in Mumbai.
Noble Medicals: Asha Parekh Hospital, S V Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai
Sind Ayurvedic Pharmacy: 3, Anju Shopping Centre, Tilak Road, Mumbai
Golden Chemist: Bharat Kunj Compound,West, Pheroz Shah Mehta Road, Santacruz East, Mumbai
Address: Asha Parekh Hospital, S V Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai
Phone: +91 22 2649 4746
Country code: +91
Area code: 22
220 V (round pins), 50/60 Hz