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Your guide to Mumbai
All About Mumbai
Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra, is an eclectic port megacity in western India that bridges modern and traditional ways of living. The streets of this financial hub are lined with colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers, high-end restaurants and street food hawkers, designer boutiques and traditional markets, and countless sacred temples. Formerly known as Bombay, the fourth most populated city in the world is India’s entertainment capital, home to a vibrant nightlife and Bollywood — the world-famous film and TV industry.
In the artsy neighborhood of Kala Ghoda, you’ll find 1860s heritage buildings housing galleries, cafes, and some of the city’s best shopping. Bandra’s Bandstand Promenade is lined with fine dining restaurants and bars and features views of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the city’s impressive 3.5-mile-long bridge. Marine Drive is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with historic Art Deco buildings set against the shores of the Arabian Sea. Its curved beachfront promenade offers excellent ocean views, and at night, the streetlights resemble pearls, hence its local nickname of the Queen’s Necklace.
Mumbai is India’s street food capital, with hawkers selling chaat (savory snacks) almost everywhere you look. Head to Chowpatty Beach, where you’ll find one of the city’s biggest collections of vendors selling an array of local favorites like pani-puri (fried puff-pastry balls filled with spiced mashed potato) and pav bhaji (spicy vegetables served with buns).
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mumbai
The most pleasant time to stay in a vacation rental in Mumbai is from October to March, when you can expect warm and sunny days and cooler nights for exploring all that the city has to offer. It’s also when many of the city’s biggest festivals are held, including the Hindu religious celebration of Dussehra and the Diwali festival of lights, as well as the popular Kala Ghoda festival in February — India’s largest cross-cultural street art festival featuring nine days of music, dance, and art.
June through September is monsoon season, with high levels of humidity and rain almost every day, making sightseeing less pleasant. The shoulder months of April and May, just before the wet season, are filled with hot and humid days but without the extreme rain of the monsoons. On May 1, Maharashtra Day marks the formation of the state of Maharashtra in 1960 with a parade and festivities throughout the city.
Top things to do in Mumbai
Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is a huge colonial-era arch that faces out to Mumbai Harbour. This is a popular meeting spot populated by giant-balloon sellers, food vendors, and street performers. For a different perspective of the gateway, approach it via boat or yacht on an organized tour; a sunset or sunrise visit will offer spectacular views across the harbor.
The Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Island, an hour-long ferry ride from Mumbai in the city harbor, houses impressive rock-cut Hindu and Buddhist temples dating from the 5th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features basalt columns that have been carved out of the hillside and act as the entrance to a series of caves full of courtyards, shrines, halls, and an enormous 20-foot-high statue. You can enjoy the view of the Mumbai skyline from the island.
One of the largest flea markets in the world, Chor Bazaar has been operating for more than 150 years. You’ll be able to rummage and haggle for every kind of antique, trinket, vintage clothing, furniture, used books, and handicrafts here. The market is located along Mutton Street in South Mumbai and is open every day except Friday.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in Mumbai?
Mumbai's weather is tropical, with high humidity. Summers, from March to June, can reach 104°F (40°C), while winter temperatures, from November to February, typically range from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). Monsoons occur from June to September, with heavy rainfall.
What are some of the best things to do in Mumbai?
Popular activities in Mumbai include exploring the vibrant local markets like Crawford Market and Chor Bazaar, strolling along the Juhu Beach, savouring local street food at Chowpatty, and catching a Bollywood show at Prithvi Theatre.
What is the best time of year to visit Mumbai?
The most popular time to visit Mumbai is between November and February, during the cooler winter months. During this time, you can participate in local events such as the Mumbai Film Festival in October, or the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in February.
What are the best places to stay in Mumbai?
Popular areas to stay in Mumbai include Colaba for its historical charm, Bandra for its vibrant nightlife, Andheri for its bustling business district, and Juhu for its proximity to the beach.
What are the best places to visit in Mumbai?
There are a plethora of places to visit in Mumbai, such as the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya museum, and the iconic Marine Drive. The historic Victoria Terminus and the serene Hanging Gardens are also often recommended.
What are some hiking trails in Mumbai?
For those keen to explore nature, Mumbai has treks like Karnala Bird Sanctuary trail and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park trail. The Yeoor Hills and the Mahuli Fort trek are also hiking trails that are frequently suggested.
What are some family activities to do in Mumbai?
Families visiting Mumbai often enjoy visits to the city's many parks and zoos, such as the Jijamata Udyaan and Nehru Planetarium. The Kidzania Mumbai is also a popular choice, where children can engage in role-play activities.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in Mumbai?
Day trips from Mumbai often lead to places like Elephanta Island, known for ancient cave temples, and the hill station of Lonavala, with its calming natural beauty. Alibaug, a coastal town, is also a popular choice for a day trip.
Are there vacation rentals with a dedicated workspace in Mumbai?
Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 1,690 vacation rentals in Mumbai featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.
Are there pet-friendly vacation rentals in Mumbai?
Four-legged friends are welcome in Mumbai. Choose from more than 580 vacation rentals for guests traveling with pets.