As the fourth most populous city in the world, Mumbai is hectic, bustling and diverse. Situated in the state of Maharashtra on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent, Mumbai is the wealthiest city in India. Known as Bombay until 1995, the city was renamed but both names are still used. Look out for the famous bumble-bee ambassador cabs in the capital that is a tale of two stories, the very rich and the very poor.
As the largest city in India, accommodation in Mumbai mostly consists of hotels and only a few hostels. The bustling cosmopolitan city does offer cheap hotels from the reasonable and comfortable 2-3 star properties to luxurious and glamorous 5 star hotels. Stay on Marine Drive to be among the action in up-market hotels, or head to the suburbs in west Mumbai for a quieter and cheaper stay.
As one of India’s biggest cities with a fast growing economy, Mumbai has many attractive western shopping malls. There are also plenty of markets and stalls to grab a real Indian bargain too such as the famous Colaba Causeway in South Mumbai. Mumbai has everything from designer labels and local fashion outlets to markets selling locally made jewelry and bright colorful textiles that India is renowned for worldwide.
Whilst in Mumbai, every visitor has to try traditional Marathi food which can be very mild, or very spicy. The main ingredients are rice, millet vegetables, lentils, fruit and special grasses called sorghum. Popular dishes are puranpoli (sweet flatbread), modak (sweet dumpling) and a deep fried potato snack known as bonda. Mumbai also serves vegetarian, continental, Chinese and Middle Eastern food.
Amidst the daily chaos of this city that’s striving towards modernity and power, there is still culture, history, architecture and temples. The British Raj certainly left their mark on this city. But it is still a city of two halves, next to shiny metal shopping malls are slum dwellers living in poverty. Explore the city and uncover a city buzzing with life and enjoy all it has to offer from colonial architecture to 1st century AD temples.
Mumbai is the curate's egg of Indian sightseeing. Some critics deplore the city's monolithic architecture while others delight in Mumbai's eccentric gigantism that climaxes with impossibly excessive Gothic spreads such as Victoria Terminus.
Gritty and glamorous, Mumbai personifies today's India. A megalopolis of 14 million people, Mumbai is India's commercial and business hub. Contributing to Mumbai’s tourism industry is the city being host to the world's largest film industry (Bollywood, of course). Mumbai is also home to the region of Dharavi, one of the world's largest and most idiosyncratic slums.
A international city with a classically Asian street-food core and incessant buzz, restaurants in Mumbai offer cuisines from all over the world, but visitors would be missing out if they didn't have at least several Indian meals prepared in the various styles of different regions of the country.
Though Mumbai thrives during the daytime, evenings take a much more sedate turn and the most popular evening activity in Mumbai by far is strolling on the beachfront promenades and taking in the markets and outdoor activities there. Families enjoy an occasional night at a local restaurant or an evening cricket match.
Mumbai is a progressive and modern city that isn't easily offended. Draconian laws related to dress, alcohol, and homosexuality that apply to other Asian cities are far more lax in here. On the other hand, there's no pumping club scene and raucous night-owl behavior will only really interest the local police.
Mumbai isn't a shopping paradise along the lines of Singapore or Bangkok. Even though this is a great city of commerce. Mass retail has yet to really catch on and department stores or shopping malls are very thin on the ground. Instead, visitors should aim for eclectic market purchases or excellent second-hand buys.
From Mumbai’s crunchy bhelpuri to a simple fish sandwich in Istanbul, street food adds flavour to your trip. Follow this guide to the top 10 street food destinations in the world to help you choose where to book your hotel.
Embrace teeming, Technicolour variety on a holiday in India. From remote deserts to temple festivals, buzzing street markets to soaring mountains, all stirred up with sizzling cuisine, book a hotel in India to find your own personal nirvana.
Dive into the heart of India’s commercial and entertainment worlds on a Mumbai city break. Cocktail bars, a whirl of markets and Bollywood soundtracks bring this spicy city to life. Book a Mumbai hotel to get into its rhythm.
Mumbai is an exhilarating, intoxicating mass of humanity. It’s at times thrilling, and at times bewildering, so it’s always worth planning your visit in advance and making a shortlist of places you want to visit, whether it’s the religious temples or happening nightlife hotspots. One minute you’ll be frolicking with monkeys, the next clinking cocktail glasses in a high rise drinking den, in this kaleidoscope of a city.
Mumbai’s magical madness continues once the sun’s faded into the Arabian Sea, the city lights up with music, food and fun, and the night owls come out to play. Rub shoulders with Bollywood royalty in its bars and clubs, or bounce to the live music that echoes around the city’s intimate venues.
It doesn’t matter what age you are – you can’t help but feel a sense of childlike wonder as you experience the colourful chaos of the markets and the terrifying thrill of weaving through Mumbai's wild traffic in a rickshaw. So it's no surprise that kids love Mumbai's vibrant energy - and there’s plenty to keep them busy here too.
Mumbai is a massive melting pot of different cultures, which explains why it’s overflowing with cultural highlights and creative outlets. From the temples that throb with colour and chaos, to the Bollywood film screenings that draw huge, dancing crowds, Mumbai has a vibrancy and authenticity to it that few places in the world can match.