Where to go in Mumbai

Indian Manhattan: Mumbai vacation rentals

Mumbai is the largest of the Indian cities, with Indian flavor and British architectural heritage closely intertwined in its vast territory. For those who want to experience a new world, enjoy the atmosphere of a major city and at the same time see the old sights, you should consider a trip to this peculiar Indian Manhattan. Learn more about Mumbai 2022 holidays, attractions, activities and prices to help you plan your trip to this amazing city.

General information about Mumbai

A brief historical background

The history of the settlement of this area goes back deep into the Stone Age. The settlements were located on seven islands. During the colonization of India at the very beginning of the 16th century, a settlement of the Portuguese was established here.

In the 17th century, the islands became the dowry of a princess who was given in marriage to the king of England and the enterprising ruler leased them to the East India Company. At this time, Mumbai Harbor became an important point on the maps of merchants, and the military was also based here. In the last third of the 17th century the city began to resemble the one that still stands here today. At that time it was called Bombay, a name that resounded throughout the world.

In the subsequent centuries, the infrastructure of the city developed: the roads were built, industrial enterprises appeared, transport developed. Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, the city became a millionaire. The city’s inhabitants actively participated in the movement for the country’s independence, and in the middle of the century the settlement finally became Indian.

After India gained sovereignty, the development of the city continued. It is now one of the largest economic and industrial, as well as commercial centers of the country, in addition, it is also a cultural and tourist center – now Europeans go to Mumbai not as colonizers, but as admired tourists.

Summary of Geography and Climate

The city is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, in the western part of the country. It is the administrative center.

Mumbai is the Indian city with the largest number of inhabitants.

The city has lakes, rivers.

Mumbai’s climate is subequatorial. The dry season (which lasts from December to May) and the rainy season (from June to October) are pronounced. The best time to visit Mumbai is during the dry season, when the high humidity will not add to the discomfort, the weather will be warm and there will be no precipitation. The average temperature in the city from December to March is about 25 degrees Celsius and in April and May it’s about 30 degrees Celsius.

Mumbai on a map

Safety in Mumbai

Mumbai is not a very safe city because, alas, there are not only posh business districts and attractions, but also slums where poor people live. In order to travel safely, you should not visit such areas, especially in the evening. Also, be aware of weather reports, as the city is located in an active seismic zone, and follow the general safety rules for being a tourist in India.

Planning a Trip to Mumbai: Transportation and Lodging

How to get there and how to get around?

Air travel is the only way to get from Russia to Mumbai. A one-way ticket from Moscow will cost at least 170 euros. There are no direct flights. Depending on the flight company, you may change planes in Istanbul, Dubai or other cities. International airport Chhatrapati Shivaji is the leader among Indian airports in the number of flights and passenger traffic. It consists of two terminals located one kilometer apart. Free shuttles are a means of transporting passengers between terminals. The 1st terminal serves domestic airlines, the 2nd – international.

By the way, each of the terminals, in turn, is divided into two more parts.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is 30 km from the city. The most convenient way to get to the center of Mumbai is by cab.

Payment in a cab is only possible in cash in local currency, and there are no ATMs in the international terminal. Therefore, it is worth making an advance exchange in the exchange offices at the airport.

  • Variant 1: Order a car at a special counter at the airport building. You will have to pay for your trip at once.
  • Variant 2: Use the services of an airport cab, equipped with a counter. The advantage compared to the first option is only in case of a long trip.
  • Option 3: Catch a cab on the street. The cost of the trip will depend on the ability to bargain.

An alternative to cabs is to take a bus to the railway station Vile Parle and then take a train to the central part of the city. Do not use this option in the morning and evening hours, when the trains are heavily overcrowded. The ticket class should not be lower than first if you want to ride in comfort.

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How to get around the city?

The Mumbai Metro is a popular mode of transport for locals and a tourist attraction. The train is made up of first and second class cars. A second-class ticket will cost 10 Indian rupees and a first-class trip costs 80 rupees. There are special cars for women and men.

A more comfortable way to travel is by cab. And for those traveling in large groups – also cheaper. For example, a trip of 20 kilometers will cost about 350 rupees.

In addition, there are buses, rickshaws and water transport in Mumbai. It is worth taking the bus if you are planning to go out of town or go to another locality. Motor rickshaw is a peculiar way to move around the city with interest during the trip itself, but you should remember that not all drivers have a clear conscience, so it is worth agreeing on the price clearly and in advance. You can take a ride on the water to admire the city from the water and listen to the tour.

Where to stay and where best to stay?

Previously, the city consisted of seven separate islands, which were later merged into one centrally administered locality.

Neighborhoods of modern Mumbai:

  1. South Mumbai is the oldest district, where the elite housing of the richest Indians is concentrated, collected interesting tourist sites, museums, exhibitions, restaurants. The area is the commercial center of the country.
  2. The southern center of Mumbai consists of office buildings and the only tourist attraction is the zoo.
  3. The northern center of Mumbai is a middle-class and immigrant residential area.
  4. The outskirts to the west is a residential area of affluent Indians, and there are several beaches.
  5. The central area is a residential area, unremarkable for tourists.
  6. The harbor area is the Mumbai Atomic Research Center.
  7. North Mumbai – clean beaches by Indian standards, ancient temples.

Mumbai is full of hotel establishments for all tastes. India is popular with tourists who love adventure and are willing to sacrifice the European level of comfort to save money and see more interesting places. And in Mumbai is quite possible to stay in an inexpensive hostel, a night in which will cost about 500 rubles. However, not everyone is willing to compromise on comfort.

There are in the city and institutions of average price range: a day in a three-star hotel in the city center will cost about 1,500 rubles per person. Finally, there are amazing five-star hotels, there are not many in India, but in Mumbai there is a good choice. So, in the city center you can stay in an international chain hotel, which will have a rooftop bar, swimming pool, spa and fitness center, as well as a European level of comfort in the rooms. It will cost the traveler about 10,000 rubles per day.

Travel to Mumbai: where to go, what to do and what to see?

Attractions in Mumbai

Variety is what distinguishes a vacation in Mumbai, India in 2022. For connoisseurs of Indian culture, architecture and history, there are attractions of all kinds.

The first thing to remember is that this is a city with an ancient history, with stunning nature, and therefore Mumbai has many worthwhile places for tourists to visit.

It is worth a trip to Elephanta Island, famous for its cave temples and pesky monkeys. The trip as part of the tour will cost 2000 rupees. You can take a tourist ferry on your own for 160 rupees. It departs from the pier near the Gateway of India monument. The caves on the island are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and feature stone sculptures and cave paintings, the earliest of which date back to the 5th century.

The historic quarter of Cala Goda is a must-see for museum and exhibition lovers. The most popular and largest museum is the Prince of Wales Museum with an attached gallery, a venue for exhibitions of Indian artists. In addition, this quarter will appeal to all lovers of colonial architecture, it is the focus of the architecture of the period.

The buildings of the University of Mumbai and the Supreme Court are also worth a visit. Mumbai University was built in the 19th century and is now one of the most prestigious universities in the country. It is an architecturally interesting building with a monumental structure and exquisite, carved decorations. The Supreme Court resembles a medieval castle, except it’s surrounded by a park of palm trees, a suitable place for strolls in the heat of the day.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Station, formerly known as Victoria Station, is more like a palace. This example of Victorian Gothic architecture has been in operation since the 1990s. The Neo-Gothic base is complemented by Indo-Saracenic elements and the station is not only worth using for its intended purpose but you can just admire it.

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Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the construction of which began in the late 19th century, has a rich history and is an example of the successful mixture of Indian, Florentine, Moorish and Victorian styles. Now it is among the most luxurious hotels in the world. By the way, you can still stay in it for about 11000 rubles per day per person.

The Gateway of India Arch was erected in the early 20th century in honor of a visit by the British royal family.

If you tire of the majestic buildings, you can go closer to nature. Malabar Hill, with its hanging gardens, Jogeshwari caves and a host of other interesting sites is a great place to visit on a hot day.

Malabar can be reached through the beautiful and distinctive waterfront of Mumbai, Marina Drive. It is always crowded. But it looks especially picturesque at sunset, when the sun’s disk descends behind Malabar Hill into the sea and snack vendors and locals flock to the promenade.

The Hanging Gardens of Mumbai were also created by the British and are therefore an interesting example of landscape design. Groomed shrubs and flowerbeds, arbors are surrounded by flowering vegetation. In the gardens you can see bright fluttering butterflies. The Jogeshwari Caves, on the other hand, are in complete contrast to the well-kept gardens: they are ancient caves that contain half-destroyed sculptures from around the 6th century.

Those on the hunt for unique footage should not miss the Jhobi Ghat, where thousands of women do their laundry in concrete tubs that are pressed tightly together. However, a very aggressive method of washing, which involves many hours of soapy clothes hit on a special sharp stone, is consistent with a similar attitude towards tourists. It is better not to get close to the laundresses. The nearest bridge is a good place to take pictures.

For those who love Indian culture, however, not in such an exotic version, there is an opportunity to get into Bollywood . It is a huge film studio, the name of which, perhaps, almost everyone has heard, and even more so those who are fond of cinematography. For several years, the pavilions of the film studio are available for tourists to visit. It is worth buying a tour, which will cost about 3000 rubles, and the guides will take you among the amazing scenery, tell the story of Indian cinema, allow you to admire the filming process.

Entertainment in Mumbai

The city is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, and therefore, some beach activities are available here. There is a beach here Chowpati, in which it is forbidden to swim, but you can take a ride on a jet ski, do parasailing or go on a cruise along the bay. Prices for such attractions are not the lowest. Parasailing, which lasts 3 minutes, costs 2,500 rupees. A 10-minute jet ski ride will cost 1,900 rupees.

For a beach holiday in Mumbai, you can go to the small island of Manori. If the beaches within the city are not clean, here you can sunbathe, and have a picnic or have lunch in a cafe or restaurant. However, swimming is still not worth it, because in the local waters are a lot of fragments of coral and stones. However, do not despair: you can go to the water park and amusement park Esselworld. A ticket to this institution will cost about 600 rupees for an adult and 400 rupees for a child. It is located on the shore of Manori Bay. The water park has a pool for kids, and extreme slides, and a kind of “sea” with waves.

Those interested in science can go to the Nehru Center and the planetarium. Tickets cost only 50 rupees for an adult and 25 rupees for a child. The center is now a large educational complex where you can listen to shows in English.

For those who love shopping, Mumbai is to their liking. The city used to be the center of commerce, but it still is. You can buy branded goods in boutiques and malls, or you can visit an Indian market. Fashion Street is the best place for the “European type of shopping”, and for color you can go to Chor Bazaar, Zaveri Bazaar, Crawford Market and others. What to bring from Mumbai? It can be such souvenirs and gifts as:

  • articles of bronze;
  • silk products;
  • incense, spices;
  • Ayurvedic cosmetics and medicines;
  • Indian tea or rum.

Mumbai is such a large city that you can easily find a restaurant with almost any cuisine.

Traditional dishes are South Indian cuisine: puri cakes, dosa pancakes, and an abundance of vegetarian dishes. Mumbai chicken curry is also a must-try. A bite to eat in a street cafe would cost about 150 rubles, a dinner for two with alcohol would cost about 1,000 rubles in an average restaurant.

The only disadvantage of Mumbai is that it is not too recommended for a holiday with small children. Noise and noise in the streets, the abundance of industrial plants, the lack of a comfortable beach holiday. Yes, children of middle and older age the city is quite pleasant, because they can already appreciate the unusual environment and attractions, but the kids, perhaps, here will not be so comfortable and interesting.

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All in all, a trip to Mumbai is not a bad experience to experience Indian culture and the architectural legacy left to the Indians by the British. To visit Mumbai in 2022, it is better to set aside a few days to experience the local urban flavor and get acquainted with all the sights.

Mumbai sights: what to see in 2 days?

The city of Mumbai, the sights of which are known not only in India but also all over the world, are memorable for its beauty and versatility. That’s why tourists who come here only for a few days can’t even imagine which places they should see first. To help you choose, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 places you can see on your own or as part of a tour group.

Mumbai landmarks view

Gateway to India

The Arch of Triumph, built in honor of George V and Queen Mary, who visited Mumbai in 1911, combines elements of several architectural styles – Indian, European and Muslim. Despite the enormous desire of local residents to finish the monument as quickly as possible, construction took more than 10 years.

Gateway to India

The walls of Gateway of India, which together with the central dome are 41 meters high, are made of reinforced concrete and yellow basalt. The foundations of the arch are literally touching the water’s edge; to build it, the workers had not only to reinforce the shoreline, but also to rebuild the old wharf almost completely. The facade of the gate is decorated with openwork carving and numerous pilasters, and the roof is crowned with 4 pointed towers. There are spacious corridors on both sides of the structure, each accommodating up to 600 people. The arch is especially beautiful in the morning hours, when the rising sun bathes it in golden hues.

  • Location: Apollo Bandar, Colaba.
  • Official website: https://goo.su/02r1.

Colaba District.

When pondering what to see in Mumbai in 2 days, don’t forget to visit Colaba, the most touristy area of the city, stretching along the entire Marin Drive. Once upon a time, when Colaba was still a separate island, wealthy European colonizers settled here. Now they have left only the old pseudo-Gothic mansions, contrasting with the huge skyscrapers, which housed the best hotel complexes, luxury restaurants and cozy cafes.

Colaba District

Colaba is now considered the most respectable and perhaps the greenest corner of Mumbai. As evening falls, its streets are filled with stalls with clothes, souvenirs and jewelry among which many tourists like to stroll. In addition, this is where the city’s most famous landmarks are located – the Taj Mahal Palace-Hotel, the Rajibai Clock Tower, the Secretariat Building, the Prince of Wales Museum, the famous Leopold Cafe mentioned in the novel Shantaram, and many others.

Marin Drive

The Marin Drive promenade, which stretches along Back Bay for 4 kilometers, is one of the city’s most visited attractions. Passing through Chowpatty beach, not meant for swimming, but ideal for leisurely strolls, it comes out on Malabar Hill, populated by Mumbai’s most affluent residents.

Among other things, here is the Raj Bhavan, the current residence of the Governor of the state, a monument to Bala Gangadhar, erected early last century in honor of the famous national leader, and the Taraporevala Aquarium, which contains more than 100 species of fish and is called the best aquarium in India since 1961.

Marine Drive

Here you can also stroll through Nana Nani Park, created for the older generation. In addition to newsstands and shops with special canopies, there are many stores, cafes and restaurants. As the sun goes down, thousands of lights on Marin Drive, also called the Queen’s Necklace, are lit to resemble the glow of real pearls.

Elephant Caves

Looking at photos and descriptions of Mumbai attractions in travel catalogs, you will surely notice the Elephant Caves, or as they are also called Elephant Caves, located in the middle of a small island of the same name. Created more than 1.5 thousand years ago, they are considered the oldest and most revered monument of the Hindu religion.

Elephant Caves

The sacred temple complex, carved by monks in solid rock, contains a huge number of rock drawings and carved stone sculptures dedicated to the god Shiva. At the same time in each of them the deity appears in a completely new image, so a person uninitiated better get a good audio-guide or a professional guide. The main of these figures is a massive five-meter bust, depicting the supreme deity in three guises at once – the Creator, Destroyer and Guardian.

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To see the city of caves with your own eyes you have to take a ferry running between Elephanta island (old name -Gharapuri) and the city pier during the whole day (there – from 09:00 to 15:00, back – from 12:00 to 17:30). The trip takes about an hour. Tickets are sold directly at the pier. On a single ticket can travel in both directions. On the island itself it is customary to move not only on foot, but also on a small steam train or a special chair (so used to carry the Raja).

  • Where to find: Maharashtra State, District Kolaba (Island of Elephanta). Coordinates: N18 58 0.012 E72 56 8.988
  • Cost to enter the island: about $4.
  • Official website: https://goo.su/02tD.

Vippasana Pagoda

Talking about the sights of Mumbai in India that you can see in a couple of days, one cannot help but think of the Vipassana World Pagoda, a symbolic monument to peace and harmony located practically on the outskirts of the city. The foundation stone for this temple, which is an exact copy of the Shwedagon Stupa of Myanmar, was laid in 1997, and the construction, which lasted almost 11 years, was carried out exclusively by public donations. Interestingly, during the construction process, some relics of Buddha, donated by the then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, were immured in the walls of the structure.

Originally the pagoda was built so that it would stand for more than a millennium. Because of this, its design does not have a single supporting column – their place was taken by the stones with slots, made with truly artistic precision. For safety the base of the pagoda and the entire lower level was lined with black basalt, so there is a huge chance that after many thousands of years this wonderful structure will be admired by our great-grandchildren.

Vippasana Pagoda

The Global Vipassana Pagoda itself consists of three domes built on top of each other. And the diameter and the total height of the structure reaches a kilometer, and in the central hall can simultaneously meditate about 8 thousand worshippers. The pagoda also has an art gallery, library and lecture rooms.

  • Location: Near Essel World, Gorai Village, India.
  • Opening hours: Daily from 09:00 to 19:00 (admission only until 18:30).
  • Official website: http://www.globalpagoda.org.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, named after the deceased son of Indira Gandhi, is a huge protected area where a huge number of all kinds of animals grow, fly, run, walk and crawl. The most famous inhabitants of the park are spotted deer, pythons, porcupines, cobras, macaques, hyenas, antelopes and a small population of African leopards. The entire reserve is covered with fairly dense vegetation, in the shade of which you can hide even on the hottest day.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Among the popular activities of this park are rock climbing, boat rides on the river, tiger safaris and visits to the Kanheri caves. The latter are a temple-monastery complex, carved in the volcanic rock in the 3rd century B.C. For many centuries, the Buddhist monks lived here as hermits, now Kanheri Caves is considered one of the most unique attractions in Mumbai.

The scale of this complex is really impressive. To date, archaeologists have found 109 grottoes connected to each other, but with different purposes (temporary rooms for pilgrims, monastic cells, halls for prayers, etc.). On the walls of most of them are engraved images of Buddha and scenes telling about the life of the Great Teacher. Kanheri also has its own cemetery, consisting of several thousand urns, as well as a unique system of cisterns designed to collect rainwater.

  • The caves are open daily from 07:30 to 17:30. You will hardly have a chance to see everything, so it is better to use the services of professional guides – they will take you to the most interesting places.
  • Location: Borivali East, 400066.
Train Station

When looking at a map of Mumbai with the sights, one cannot help but notice the main railway station, the prototype of which was the British St. Pancras Station. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus took nearly ten years to complete, and was only completed in 1888. The result of all this meticulous work is a magnificent building that has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Train Station

The station was originally named after Queen Victoria, but a few years later it was successfully renamed. Since then its name, associated with the name of another national hero, has never been changed. Today, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which receives both commuter trains and long-distance trains, is the busiest station in Mumbai. The building itself, in the style of Victorian architecture, bears little resemblance to a traditional train station. It looks more like a palace or some exotic castle decorated with a great number of arches, spires, domes, columns and carved curbs. The central vault of the structure is crowned by a female figure symbolizing progress, and the pilasters at the main entrance are statues of a tiger and a lion, representing India and Great Britain.

  • Location: DN Road, Mumbai CST Area.
  • Official website: https://goo.su/02r2.
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Gandhi Museum in Mani Bhavan

If you don’t know what to see in Mumbai, go to the Mahatma Gandhi Museum, the man who changed the course of Indian history forever. The house that houses the unique museum collection belonged to a friend whose house the politician stayed with every time he visited the city.

Gandhi Museum in Mani Bhawan

At first glance, this museum, which occupies an ordinary wooden building, is nothing of interest. Without any architectural frills, it fully describes the ideology of Gandhi himself, who never wanted to be rich or to stand out among the common people. But step inside and you find yourself in the atmosphere of bygone years, imbued with a passionate desire to wrest the right to independence from Britain.

The museum building includes two floors. On the first of them placed clippings from old newspapers, elements of the interior of the office, as well as writing material and handwritten works, written by the leader in different years. Here you can also see a collection of photographs telling about the life of the famous politician. On the second floor of the house, which has managed to preserve its original interior, there is Gandhi’s bedroom and the open terrace where the great Indian leader was arrested.

The Gandhi Museum in Mani Bhavan is now one of the city’s iconic landmarks, with the Obama couple being the most famous visitors.

  • The address is 19 Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum Laburnam Rd, Gamdevi, 400007.
  • Opening hours: daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Official website: https://goo.su/02R2.
Dhobi Ghat.

Dhobi Ghat

The Dhobi Ghat, spread over an area of 10 hectares and consisting of several levels, can be without exaggeration called the most unusual attraction not only in Mumbai, but in the whole of India. It is home to several hundred hereditary dhobis, male laundresses belonging to the untouchable caste.

The washing process at Dhobi Ghat, which serves the entire city, takes up to three days. The laundry is first soaked and thoroughly beaten against narrow concrete tubs, then hung on ropes or spread on rooftops, and then smoothed with ancient coal irons. Each step of the laundry is the responsibility of a specialist, and either soap or soap nuts are used as detergents. The pay for this hard physical labor is more than modest, however, for Dhobi it is the only way out, they have no other. Dhobi Ghat is not popular with tourists, so you should only take photos from afar (for example, from the nearby railway bridge). But you can see the laundromats either on your own or accompanied by locals. In this case, you have to pay a voluntary fee for admission – about 100-200 rupees (1.5 – $ 3).

  • Location: Dr. E. Moses Rd., near Mahalakshmi Station.
  • Official website: https://goo.su/02r3.
Basilica of Our Lady of the Mountains.

Mumbai, the sights of which can only be viewed with great difficulty in 1 day, will delight you with another iconic place. It is about the Gothic Basilica of Our Lady, built by the Jesuits in 1579. After a long journey from an ordinary house of worship to one of the main sanctuaries of the city, it delights the eye with its elaborate decoration, both externally and internally.

Our Lady of the Mountains Basilica

On the facade of the beautiful four-story building, for example, one can see the initial letters of the greeting phrase “Ave Maria,” pronounced by the Archangel Michael when he met the Virgin Mary on the day of the Annunciation. The third level of the temple has a carved date of its foundation, and the central entrance is “guarded” by two huge towers with openwork windows. The walls of the sanctuary are decorated with wooden panels depicting scenes from the life of the Mother of God, and there are narrow forged balconies between them.

The crowning glory of Mount Mary Basilica is the statue of the Virgin Mary adorning the main altar. Over the years, the statue, which was brought from Portugal at the beginning of its construction, lost its right hand and was replaced with a marble statue of Jesus Christ.

  • Where to find: Mount Mary Road, Bandra West, 400050.
  • Website for the attraction: https://goo.su/02R3.

All Mumbai attractions described in the article are marked on a map in Russian.

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