Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the stunning capital of Maharashtra state. You have to be prepared for the crowds in this big, bold, and always busy city. Knowing it’s one of the most populous cities in India, masses of people shouldn’t come as a surprise. But there’s more to it than just crowds. Chaotic and colorful, Mumbai is a place for all the dreamers hence the lovely nickname, the city of dreams. An astonishing mix-match of people from different backgrounds come here to chase their dream and make it (or not) a reality.
The city welcomes everyone with friendliness and kindness. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure – be it a young student straight out of college, a savvy businessman, an aspiring actor (Bollywood!), or a tourist/traveler looking for some fun and adventures, the vast, wild and seemingly out of control madness of the area will mesmerize you. Here you can bargain at one of the many outdoor bazaars, mingle with the locals, enjoy delicious food, do some business, have fun, relax, dance the night away, visit one of the countless religious and historic sites, or steal a few moments of serenity in the parks or nearby lakes.
What to see and do in Mumbai
The Getaway of India
This arch monument built in 1911 and finished in 1924, is one of the postcard images of Mumbai and a must place to visit for tourists. And not just because is conveniently located at the Port of Mumbai where ferry services to other attractions run. Many consider it a Taj Mahal of Mumbai, but this interesting landmark overlooking the Arabian Sea is impressive on its own terms. Other architectural stunners of Mumbai are Flora Fountain, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Rajabai Clock Tower, and Town Hall.
Rich and poor
Visit a slum to see behind the scenes of the real and authentic Slumdog Millionaire in Dharavi, Mumbai’s largest slum. Why take such a tour? Maybe to face the harsh and brutal reality so many wake up to every morning. If nothing else, it’s a valuable lesson to appreciate all the things we take for granted. For more glitter, take a tour to Bollywood, India’s equivalent of Hollywood, to see how movie dreams are made in this Asian country.
Go to Elephanta Island
To escape from the city noises and hop back into ancient history. The island itself is a lush, peaceful place and it’s also home to the stunning Elephanta Caves. This beautiful and mesmerizing monument and shrine of the Hindu religion is believed to be almost 2000 years old, and it’s on a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A boat trip takes approximately an hour and makes a memorable day out.
Almost 4km long boulevard stretches along the sea and offers great and relaxing walks, sunsets, and attracts with beautiful art deco buildings nearby. Take a stroll to make sure of its beauty.
You can expect to pay anywhere between 20-60 USD for a budget hotel. The final price depends heavily on the ratings. Hostels will cost you between 15-30 USD. As Mumbai is so big and modern, Airbnb is well-established, so you can find rooms to share or apartments to rent.
Food and drinks
Lots of hotels will include breakfast in their offer. If that’s not the case or you simply decide to eat outside the hotel, budget-friendly breakfast usually won’t cost you more than 3 USD. Street stalls, as well as many restaurants, serve lunches for around 5 USD, while dinners can be found for around 8 USD. Eating at fast food places costs roughly around 5 USD.
A pint of the domestic beer costs anywhere between 1.50-4 USD. Don’t forget that Mumbai is very hip and trendy and so are many of its bars and nightclubs so prices can vary a lot. Soft drinks are cheap, costing well under a dollar per bottle. Cappuccinos are easy on the budget as well and so is bottled water. Tap water is not safe to drink.
You can catch a prepaid taxi from the airport to the city center from 7-10 USD, while you’ll pay anywhere between 1-1.40 USD for a 2-mile taxi ride around Mumbai area. The cheapest way to get around the city is using an auto-rickshaw ride – a 2-mile ride costs as little as 0.30 USD. An hour long return ferry ride to Elephanta Island costs around 2.50 USD.