A Bombay mix of Indian culture
Temples, market stalls, cocktail bars, festivals, restaurants, Victorian architecture and cricket in the park – all backed by a Bollywood soundtrack – that’s modern Mumbai! This ethnic potpourri makes Mumbai the richest city in India, both economically and culturally. Dive straight into mainstream city life in Colaba, the main tourist hub, or browse the galleries and museums in central Fort. Admire the sunset from Juhu Beach on the shores of the Arabian Sea, where the kids can enjoy a donkey or camel ride. Foodies will adore the tantalising Indian cuisine on offer throughout Mumbai and shoppers can trove for a bargain at the bazaars or indulge in some retail therapy in suburban shopping malls. For more spiritual pursuits, visit the many temples or take a trip to Elephanta Island and marvel at the triple-headed Shiva sculpture. You can even stay in the Hare Krishna Temple complex and participate in daily spiritual activities.
As well as being India’s financial powerhouse and the home of fashion and film, Mumbai is the second most populous city in the world. Go for the nightlife, the cricket, the religious festivals. Go for the food, the culture, the shopping. Or just go to experience a city full of life.
When to Go?
Mumbai enjoys a tropical climate, with heavy monsoon rains between June and the end of September. The cooler (and most comfortable) months are between October and February. The hot summer season runs from March to June, when temperatures can reach 30°Celsius. The weather makes September to April the best time to book flights to Mumbai. If you want to experience a big event come for the Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10 day Hindu festival in August/September.
How to get there?
Mumbai is served by two airports – the international airport, officially named Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport but still known as Sahar, and the domestic airport, also called Chhatrapati Shivaji but known as Santa Cruz. They are 4km apart and linked by a shuttle bus. Most international airlines fly to Mumbai and direct flights are available from all major UK airports. You can also fly to over 30 Indian cities from Mumbai.
Start your tour of Mumbai at the Gateway of India, a commemoration of its Colonial past. Take a boat trip to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO world heritage site full of temples carved from rock, or enjoy a day trip to Borivli in the north, home to the Buddhist Kanheri Caves. There are plenty of green open spaces – the Kamala Nehru Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Hanging Gardens with their animal-shaped hedges. For a real taste of Mumbai, stroll along lively Chowpatty Beach in the evening and indulge in the locals’ favourite snack, bhelpuri.