InterviewsJournalSouth Asia

Mumbai Travel Guide

The beautiful city of India is filled with history, culture, vibrant atmosphere, shopping and huge variety of food. It is the home to some of the amazing Indian brands, best nightlife and art museums. Mumbai has a huge cultural diversity and you can enjoy a lot of lifestyles in one city.


Why should anyone visit the city? 


Answer: Mumbai is one of the biggest places to explore culture and lifestyles. There are largest houses of the country to the biggest slums of Asia. The urban part is amazingly modern and the other side is like a tiny fishing village. The city has a lot to offer to its visitors. Apart from culture, there is a huge variety of foods. The most amazing part is; thousands of dishes are the local recipes belonging to different cultures.


How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)? 


Answer: Mumbai is a major city so it is well connected to the world by air. The Chhtrapati Shivaji international airport welcomes flights from all over the world. International and domestic flights are available very conveniently.

The other way to reach the city is train that connects Mumbai very well with all the other cities of India. Bus service is also available to access Mumbai from the other cities.


Is the city safe?  What areas are not safe?


Answer: The overall safety risk for Mumbai is high because different types of crimes are very common. It is a very huge city with a lot of diversity that brings a lot of crimes as well.

  • Public transport and taxis are not safe for solo females and tourists due to pickpockets and scams. They should be avoided late at night.
  • Pickpockets and scammers are very common in the tourist and crowded areas.
  • The city is very exposed to the terrorism especially the tourist sites, beaches and religious sites at certain times. It is better to check the local media while planning the trip.
  • Scams are common because taxi drivers run meters very fast. Different people beg for pen and milk for infant. The other thing happens with the antiques, fake gemstones and jewellery. Shop keepers charge high amount and promise to deliver it internationally but the products they send is only the trash.
  • Harassment cases are very common for women. Unfair individuals verbally or sexually harass tourists and women travelling late at night.


What’s the weather like?


Answer: Most pleasant time to explore Mumbai is winter season. The temperature remains very mild and pleasant. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Winter season remains from November to February. March to May the temperature keeps on rising with a high level of humidity. During the time of June to October, continuous rainfalls remains in the city. Most of the festivals also happen in the months of winters. You can plan the trip accordingly.


What languages are spoken in the area?  Is English spoken?


Answer: There are different language spoken in the city whereas the official language is Marathi. Most of the people are Marathi speaking. However, most of the shopkeepers and the people in tourist areas speak English. Foreigners face no difficulty to communicate in English.


What’s the local currency?  

Is US Dollar widely accepted?


Answer: Indian currency is Rupee that is widely accepted everywhere in the country. It becomes very difficult to use US dollars in most parts of the city. They can only be used in big hotels or international airports. There are many places to exchange money.


What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?


Answer: Best districts to stay in Mumbai are:

  • Colaba that is perfect for the tourists to stay. This area has a lot of cafes, designer boutiques, sea views, sight-seeing spots, historical monuments and many more.
  • Fort Kala Ghoda is the historical neighborhood and has a lot of tourist spots to enjoy. You will witness a mix of culture and art in this area.
  • Andheri west is also a tourist friendly area to stay with a lot of attractions, eateries, nice localities and many more.


What’re your top 3 hotels (budget, moderate, luxury) and why?


Answer: There is a huge list of accommodation in Mumbai. The best ones in different price category are.

  • The Taj Mahal Palace is a luxurious and one of the most famous hotels of India. It is a five-star hotel with a lot of facilities. There is a fitness center, gym, outdoor swimming pool, restaurants, recreational activities, city tours from hotel, heritage works, yoga sessions and many other activities.
  • The fern residency is also an amazing accommodation located in the business and entertainment hub of Mumbai. It is the first choice of most business travelers because it is very well connected will all the places.
  • OYO Hotel Grand is a budget friendly place with beautiful and comfortable rooms. The entire interior of the hotel is the combination of modern and classic.


How does one get around the city?  Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?


Answer:  It is necessary to have a basic knowledge of the routes and planning to roam around in the city. Mumbai is huge and has a lot of different communities so it is very easy to get lost in the city. There are a plenty of options to help the guests of Mumbai in exploring the city.

Local train is the most common and one of the main transportation of the city.

Bus system of the city spreads in every part. You can easily get from one location to the other without hassle only if you know where you want to go.

Auto-rickshaw is al commonly available in most parts of the city especially the markets. Do not use it late at night.

Taxi, cabs, Uber and Ola are also available. It is advised to go for Uber or Ola instead of prvate taxis to travel late at night.


Can you highlight the Top 5 MUST see sightseeing?  


Answer: Mumbai has a lot of places to visit and the unmissable places are:

Gateway of India is a memorial monument of the city. It is the place from where the British forces left the country, it is the memorial of the visit of King George V and Queen. It is inspired by the Indian, Islamic and Roman architecture and it was designed by the Scottish architect.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is an iconic, historical and amazing landmark of the city. You can witness the past and present of Mumbai at this Victorian Gothic and Indian architecture. This is one of the busiest railway stations and it is listed in the UNESCO world heritage site.

Haji Ali Dargah is a 14th century shrine and among the most stunning architectures of Mumbai. It was constructed in the memory of a wealthy merchant Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari who left everything for the religion. The special part is that it is located at the Worli coast and only appears while the low tide. During the high tide it partially disappears along with the pathway but water never enters the shrine.

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai city museum belongs to the eighteenth century. It has an amazing collection of contemporary art, artifacts and heritage. You can explore the culture and art history of India at this museum.

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located in the suburbs of the city. It is a marvelous forested park that welcomes thousands of visitors every year. This is the best place to stay away from the pollution and have some fresh breath.


What’s the best place to take a photo?


Answer: Mumbai is filled with a lot of amazing places to take photos whereas the best one is Babulnath Temple. This is one of the oldest buildings of Mumbai that belongs to 18th century.


What about the top 3 restaurants? 


Answer: Top three superb restaurants of Mumbai are:

The Table is the pioneer of the organic food revolution. It started the trend of farm to table. The restaurant uses the ingredients cultivated in their own farms in Alibaug. It is an expensive place but the food is completely organic and delicious.

Britannia & Co. is the heritage, vintage and amazing place. It is the place to revive the dying Parsi cuisine. It is an average priced restaurant that serves the delicious food.

The Bombay canteen is located in an old bungalow that serves the fusion of Indian traditional and modern dishes. If you want to visit an interactive and casual place with local vibe, then this is the best option.


What about the top 3 breakfast places? 


Answer: There are many breakfast places serving different traditional foods in Mumbai. The best ones are:

Cat Café Studio is the unique place that has a lot of cates roaming around. It is perfect for the cat’s lover. You can order some food and interact with some friendly animals. It is located in Versova and opens at 11:30am. It is also a co-working space so you can do some work while sipping coffee.

Kyani and Co. is the best place for early risers because it opens at 7am and the people who want to try a Parsi style breakfast. You can select delicious food from their huge menu.

Café Irani Chai is famous for its brun maska, kheema ghotala and some other snacks. If you are an early riser, then you can grab the breakfast at 7am.


What‘s the one thing you MUST eat in the city? 


Answer: India has thousands of its own traditional cuisines that should be tried. A very common street food is Vada Pav. You can try it anywhere in the entire city. The other food is Akuri on toast that is prepared with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, chilli, green chilli, coriander and onions.


What about food markets?


Answer: The food markets of Mumbai are:

Colaba Causeway is the market with a huge variety of low priced jewellery, handicrafts and used books. This is the stretch located in the historical area of Colaba. Apart from all the other shopping options, there is a huge variety of cafes, restaurants and other eateries where you can try traditional and international cuisines.

Crawford market is famous for its fresh fruits and vegetables which are sold in whole sale prices. This is a Muslim community area so the atmosphere is very interesting and different. You can visit stalls for toys, remarkable work of artists, party props and a lot more along with a variety of food and snacks.


Where should one go at night?  Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?


Answer: Marine Drive is an amazing place for nightlife. There are different spots for families, friends, couples and solo travelers filled with a lot of amazing activities. It remains open entire night.

Juhu Chowpatty is the place to see Mumbai at night. You can stay here until 12am whereas can have fun among the small crowd. This is a very pleasant place for families, couples and solo travelers. There are stalls selling street food.


Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend? 

Answer: Aer Bar Mumbai is the luxurious, rooftop terrace of four seasons hotel. You will see the stunning panoramic views of the sea, city and skyline from the 34th floor of the building.

Chenab is the amazing rooftop dhaba in Mumbai serving delicious food. This area will make you feel like sitting in Northern India because of its excellent food menu.

Social is located in a greenhouse of Versova. The entire place is decorated with the courtyards filled with plants, fantastic view and delicious food and cocktails.


Can you recommend the best shopping areas?  Best shopping mall?


Answer: There are a lot of places for shopping in Mumbai and some of the best ones are:

  • Chor Bazaar
  • Flora Fountain
  • Colaba Causeway
  • Phoenix market city mall


Do you recommend any tours outside the city?  Islands? Boat Tours?


Answer: You can plan a trip to the Elephanta Island that is a forest area. You can have a one day trip. There are cave temples of Hindus, Buddhist temples, old houses, ruins and many more things to explore. Staying here is not allowed.


Are Casinos allowed?  Blackjack tables?  If so, what’s the best Casino in town?


Answer: Gambling is not allowed in Mumbai so there are no casinos or other gambling places in the city.


Any last advice for people visiting the city?


Answer: Mumbai is a beautiful city whereas there are several things to keep in mind.

  • Public toilets are not common or the places having them are very extremely untidy. You can use restaurants or hotel washrooms.
  • Purse snatching and verbal harassment by the bikers is a very common crime in Mumbai. Do not wear revealing clothes and do not keep your important things in the purse.
  • Never become friendly with strangers or share your personal information. Do not allow strangers to click pictures with you in tourist areas.
  • There are a lot of sexual assault cases with foreign tourists so avoid staying out very late at night or at the isolated areas alone.
  • Keep the emergency numbers, police helpline and tourist helpline on your phone or write it on a paper.
  • Leave your documents in the hotel room and carry the photocopies with you in the bag.
  • Never accept a drink or food item from strangers and take care of your drink in bars and clubs. Do not trust any new friend in Mumbai.