Glamorous and gritty Mumbai
Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and is a conglomeration of seven islands on the Konkan coastline. Read more.
Glamorous and gritty Mumbai
Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and is a conglomeration of seven islands on the Konkan coastline. An eclectic and cosmopolitan city, Mumbai is a contrast of the glamour of the Bollywood film and television industries and India’s biggest slum population. A true Mumbai experience means mixing with the locals, eating from street stalls and haggling at markets.
Bollywood, bazaars and the British Empire
Relics of the British Empire can still be seen in Mumbai in a number of impressive examples of colonial architecture. Heritage buildings that deserve a visit include the Prince of Wales Museum, the Victoria Terminus railway station, the Bombay High Court and the expansive gardens at Horniman Circle in the Fort area. Built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, the Gateway of India is Mumbai’s most iconic landmark and is best viewed by boat. Back on land, take a leisurely stroll around Kala Ghoda, the cultural centre of Mumbai and home to the best art galleries and museums in the city, most notably, the Jehangir Art Gallery. Next on the list of admirable constructions is Haji Ali, an imposing mosque and tomb built in 1431, situated offshore and accessible only at low tide via a long causeway.
The various facets of Mumbai’s rich culture can be discovered in many ways. At street level a myriad of markets and bazaars bring the city to life. See the lanes lined with colourful vendors at Colaba Causeway, or search for antiques and spices at Chor Bazaar Thieves Market. Mumbai is packed with intriguing places to shop. It’s also possible to take a socially responsible walking tour of Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums and the hub of small-scale industry in Mumbai. At the other end of the spectrum, viewing a glamorous Bollywood film at the architecturally spectacular Eros Cinema is an unmissable event. If you have time, stop by the ancient Buddhist caves carved into the volcanic rock in Mumbai’s national park. Then, as the sun sets, relax with the locals on the beaches of Juhu and Marine Drive.
Transport to and around Mumbai
Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is well connected with most major cities worldwide including London, New York, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. Domestic flights are also available from Terminal 1. A free shuttle bus connects the domestic and international terminals. The easiest way to travel the 28km from the airport to the city centre is with a prepaid coupon taxi. Coupons can be purchased as you exit the airport, just be sure to compare different offers for the best deal. Travellers already in India can jump on a train to Mumbai from most areas. Within Mumbai taxis are plentiful and cheap though travelling in the city traffic can be frustrating and at times terrifying. The BEST bus network offers fairly comprehensive coverage of the city and suburban areas with an efficient and reasonably priced service.
Landmarks in Mumbai
- Gateway of India (36)
- INS Vikrant (28)
- Haji Ali Dargah (20)
- Bandra Kurla Complex (20)
- Mani Bhavan (20)
- Juhu Beach (26)
- St. Thomas Cathedral (55)
- Eros Theater (56)
- Towers of Silence (Mumbai) (20)
- Statue of Shivaji (42)
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum (50)
- Hutatma Chowk (55)
- Jehangir Art Gallery (51)