Mumbai: the city that is always on
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is India‘s largest city and a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. With its 26 million inhabitants, it is one of the largest and also most populous cities in the world. A city that never sleeps! Where even at 3 a.m. you can still be in a traffic jam. A city where the difference between rich and poor is enormous. Where, in a few steps, you end up from a slum among the skyscrapers. An intense but extraordinarily special and amazing city. That’s Mumbai. Simply a city you must have experienced.
A few facts about Mumbai
- Mumbai was originally a swampy area composed of seven islands before it was connected by land reclamation in the 18th century.
- The iconic monument, the Gateway of India, was built in honor of King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to Mumbai in 1911, but not completed until 1924.
- Mumbai is home to the largest slum in the world, Dharavi, which has a population of more than 1 million people.
- Mumbai’s train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is India’s busiest train station and the second busiest in the world, with more than 3 million passengers per day.
- Mumbai’s local trains are the lifeblood of the city and are also referred to as the “lifeline of Mumbai.” They carry more than 7.5 million passengers daily.
- Mumbai has the highest concentration of millionaires and billionaires in India and is home to some of the most expensive homes in the world.
- The world’s second largest film industry, Bollywood, is based in Mumbai and produces hundreds of films annually.
- Mumbai was home to some of the world’s most famous cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar.
- The National Museum of Indian Cinema, located in Mumbai, is the first museum in the world to focus exclusively on the history of Indian cinema.
- Mumbai was home to some of India’s most famous freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, who lived and worked here during India’s independence movement.
In this article
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Mumbai
- Gateway of India: Built in 1924, this iconic landmark is one of Mumbai’s most recognizable landmarks. It stands on the shoreline of the Arabian Sea and offers beautiful views of the sea.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, Mumbai Railway Station is an architectural masterpiece from the 19th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an important part of Mumbai’s history and culture.
- Eat all around: Truly the food in India is divine and in Mumbai you have more than enough choice to sample a lot.
- Book a FOOD TOUR: Don’t quite dare the street food in India, but are incredibly curious? Then book a street food tour and be surprised by India’s amazing cuisine.
- Marine Drive: This beautiful coastal road along the Arabian Sea is known as the “Queen’s Necklace” because of the graceful curve that runs along the coastline. It offers stunning views of the sea and the Mumbai skyline.
- Haji Ali Dargah: Located on a small island in the Arabian Sea, this famous Islamic shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. It is a magnificent example of Islamic architecture and an important religious site in Mumbai.
- Crawford Market: Established in 1869, this market is one of the oldest and most popular markets in Mumbai. It offers a wide range of fresh produce and goods, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, flowers and spices.
- Colaba Causeway: This street market in the heart of Mumbai offers a wide range of products, including clothing, jewelry, antiques and souvenirs. It is a great place to store and negotiate prices.
Hotspots & food in Mumbai
Oh the food in India is WONDERFUL! For foodies, this is truly a walhall! These were our favorites during our stay in Mumbai:
- Delhi highway
- Bombay Taco Co.
- Buns & wraps
- The Table
- Burma Burma Restaurant & Tea Room
- BrewDog Midtown Mumbai
- Townhall Restaurant
- 145 The Mill
- Kitchen Garden Colaba
- The Irish House
- Shree Thaker Bhojanalay (Since 1945)
Best time to travel to Mumbai
The best time to explore Mumbai is during the winter months, from November to February. During this period you can enjoy pleasant and comfortable temperatures, ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, so you won’t sweat all over the place.
During the summer months, from March to May, the weather in Mumbai can get quite hot and humid. Temperatures can reach 35-40 degrees Celsius and humidity can be high. Sweating hard.
During the monsoon period, from June to September, you may experience unpredictable weather. Mumbai is known for its heavy rainfall and sometimes flooding, which can disrupt the city. Travel during this period is generally not recommended due to weather conditions and possible disruptions in public transportation and daily life.
In short, if you want to visit Mumbai when the weather is comfortable and pleasant, plan your trip between November and February. This way you can fully enjoy the city without excessive heat or humidity. Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun and bring plenty of water during your adventures in Mumbai!
How long do I need to explore Mumbai
With its 26 million inhabitants and endless sights, Mumbai is a destination you can’t tick off in a few days. But if you want to get a good impression of the city, we recommend at least 3-4 days. During these days you can immerse yourself in Mumbai’s frenetic energy and visit some of its most iconic sights.
Transportation in Mumbai
Uber is an absolute lifesaver in Mumbai. This allows you to book both cabs and tuktuks. Great right? No more hassle with endless price negotiations. And even if you don’t have internet for a while or just don’t feel like Uber, you can always hail a tuktuk along the road. But beware, always ask politely if they will turn on the meter and keep your eyes open for the money exchange trick. We made the mistake of not using Uber once and were immediately ripped off during that ride. So be alert and keep paying attention!
Which budget do i need in Mumbai?
The daily budget for Mumbai can vary depending on your travel style and preferences, but in general you can expect to spend between €20 and €60 per day. Mumbai, unfortunately, is not cheap, but if you look carefully and pay attention you can certainly get here on a small budget.
- Accommodation: A budget hotel or hostel in Mumbai can cost between €20 and €30 per night, while a mid-range hotel averages between €35 and €75 per night. Accommodation in Mumbai is certainly not cheap.
- Food: Street food and local restaurants in Mumbai are generally affordable and can cost between €2 and €8 per meal. More expensive restaurants cost on average between €10 and €25 per meal.
- Transportation: Public transportation in Mumbai is cheap, costing on average between €0.15 and €0.50 per ride. A cab or tuktuk can cost between €1 and €5 per ride, depending on the distance.
- Activities: Entrance fees to attractions in Mumbai vary widely, but most cost between €1 and €5 per person. Some activities, such as Bollywood tours or boat rides, can be more expensive, costing between €15 and €40 per person.
It is important to keep in mind that these costs are only an estimate and prices may vary depending on location, season and availability. It is always a good idea to have a buffer for unexpected costs or expenses.
Practical information about Mumbai
- Visa: Make sure you have a valid visa before traveling to Mumbai. You can apply for the visa online through the Indian government’s official website or at the Embassy of India in your country.
- Uber: Download the Uber app on your phone. It is the ideal way to book cabs and tuktuks in Mumbai. No hassle negotiating and you can always get a reliable ride.
- Money: Make sure you have plenty of cash, as not all places accept credit cards. ATMs are available, but it is helpful to have some Indian rupees with you.
- Safety: Be alert to your surroundings, especially late at night, and take precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe.
- SIM card: Easily score a SIM card in India. We bought an Airtel sim card. Just Google on maps to a real Airtel store and score a SIM card there for a few euros.
- Drinking water and food: Be careful with drinking water and avoid drinking tap water. Buy bottled water or use water filters. Also be careful when eating and eat at reliable restaurants to avoid stomach upsets.
- Culture and etiquette: Respect local culture and wear respectful clothing, especially at religious sites. Also, show respect for the customs and traditions of local people.
What are nice places to stay in Mumbai?
Staying overnight in Mumbai, unfortunately, is not cheap. For a hostel, you quickly pay 20 euros per night. So it takes some searching. We therefore recommend that you book your hotel on time.
How to get to Mumbai?
Looking for cheap air travel to Mumbai? We got you covered! The cheapest place in Europe to fly to this vibrant city can vary depending on several factors, such as season and flight availability. But we have a few tips for you to score the best deals.
Cities such as London, Istanbul, Brussels, Frankfurt and Madrid are often top choices when it comes to affordable flights to Mumbai. These cities offer a range of flight options, whether you choose budget airlines or reputable airlines. It always pays to compare prices from different airlines and be flexible with your travel dates and departure points. That way, you increase your chances of finding the best deals for your adventure to Mumbai.
If you’re looking for the most affordable options, we recommend checking price comparison sites regularly and signing up for airline newsletters. Special offers and discounts are often shared that you can take advantage of to save quite a bit of money on your airfare.
So keep your eyes open, compare prices and be flexible with your travel plans.