Known to some is Bombay, Mumbai is probably the most famous city in India with some of the most iconic sights you’ll find anywhere in the country. The “Gateway to India” stone arch is one of the most recognisable sights in the country, 2nd only to the Taj Mahal of course. Mumbai has a lot to offer tourists and also takes some getting used to as you hit the ground running when you arrive. A city not for the feint hearted, you’ll see it all, smell it all hopefully fall in love with this incredible city. So here’s a quick guide to making the most of your time there.
Getting to Mumbai
You’ll most likely be flying in to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji airport some 20kms from the city centre. Almost all international flight booking will take you there and its easy to jump in a cab and head for the city centre, costing around £7 and takes about 90 minutes thanks to the crazy levels of traffic in India’s largest city.
Getting around Mumbai
The key districts to check out are mostly in the south of the city and offer very different experiences depending on what you want to see. Head to Kala Ghoda for the best museums in the city, Fort which unsurprisingly has a number of colonial buildings and monuments to check out. Gamdevi is the one place in the city you might find some peace and quiet while Dhobitalao and Colaba are the places to go to for shopping, eating and some of the best hotels too.
Getting around this bustling city is very simple. Jump in any black and yellow painted taxi and join the throng of vehicles with a blatant disregard for all traffic laws. Every ride is entertaining and should only cost you around £1.50 a mile. There’s also the Mumbai Suburban Railway which is definitely only for the bravest tourists. Join the 7.5 million commuters who use the railways in Mumbai every day, often considered the last resort but definitely the cheapest option. You can get a 1 day pass for just £3.
What to see and do
Kala Ghoda is Mumbai’s cultural heart and the first place you should head to, where there’s plenty of Buddhist statues Hindu monuments to discover. Then head to Apollo Blunder where you’ll find the famous Gateway to India archway. Built in 1911 its one of the most iconic sights in India and definitely the number one tourist hotspot in Mumbai.
For museums head to Fort where you’ll find the Prince of Wales museum. It was built to commemorate King George V’s visit to in 1923, and houses one of the best collections of Indian artefacts. A boat ride or walking tour is also a must to really soak up the Mumbai atmosphere and acclimatise yourself to the pace of life in this energetic city!