Mumbai is big and bustling, and although at first the city can seem a little overwhelming (it's chaotic to say the least!), once you take time to explore this expansive metropolis you'll soon uncover a wealth of fascinating history and rich culture. Visit the Gateway of India (built in 1911) and wander around the city streets to marvel at all its old colonial buildings during your holiday in Mumbai. A trip to Elephant Island to explore its caves is also a must. Home to many a Bollywood star, Mumbai is packed with swanky restaurants and bars.
Airlines including British Airways, Air India and Jet Airways offer direct flights to Mumbai from London Heathrow. The journey time is around 10 hours. Flights are also available from a range of other major UK airports, although they do require a stopover. However, if you don't mind a slightly longer journey, indirect flights to Mumbai can actually work out cheaper. All flights from the UK land at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport which is located 28 kilometres north of Mumbai city centre.
The easiest way to reach your Mumbai hotel is by taxi. Pre-paid vouchers can be purchased in the arrivals areas and there are different prices for air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned taxis. Both are pretty affordable and wont cost you more than Rs 450-600 to get to the city centre. If you're really on a tight budget there is a public bus which goes to the city centre, however it is very infrequent and operation times can be erratic! Be wary of locals offering to carry your baggage for you, they will request a baggage fee which can be extortionate! If you are approached, just say no.
Mumbai is home to a wide variety of accommodation from basic hostels to plush, glitzy five-star hotel chains. Due to the lack of space, hotels can be very expensive. However it is possible to find cheap hotels in Mumbai if you head to the suburbs such as Colaba. Shop around online for the best deals and book in advance.
Getting around during your Mumbai holiday is relatively cheap as taxi fares are very low. Look out for the Black and Yellow top taxis as these are cheap and plentiful. Hailing an auto-rickshaw is also a great way to get around and an experience! Always make sure the driver uses the meter and ensure that it is visible throughout the journey. Fares are set by the Mumbai Traffic Police and it's a good idea to have a look at a tariff card to ensure you don't get ripped off!.
For great bargains head to one of the markets in Mumbai. Chor bazaar is a must and offers a wide variety of items from antiques to clothes and everything in-between! Haggling is a must, as a tourist you'll be quoted very high prices so you need to haggle hard and fast and expect to get at least 75% off the asking price!
Updated 16th April 2014
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