Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is one of India’s most visited locations. Not only is the city India’s financial and commercial hub, but it is also a tourist hotspot with an abundance of historical and cultural attractions.
Furthermore, with direct flights to Mumbai Airport from many countries, Mumbai is well connected to major cities across the globe.
Holidaymakers with an upcoming trip to Mumbai can find useful information to help plan their stay in India’s largest city including travel and transport options and the best places to visit.
Overseas travelers first need to ensure they have all the documentation for India, including a valid India eVisa, details and advice can also be found below.
Documents Required to Visit Mumbai
Almost all foreigners need a visa to travel to India, only citizens of the Maldives are exempt. Fortunately, travelers from 169 nations can apply for an India eVisa online.
This is the quickest and easiest way to gain an Indian tourist visa as there is no need to present paperwork in person at a consulate or embassy or join long lines at the airport.
An online form is completed with basic personal information and passport details and, on approval, the eVisa is sent directly to the applicant via email.
In order to meet all the India visa requirements, travelers must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
Anybody arriving from a country affected by yellow fever is required to have a vaccination and present a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on arrival. Foreigners should check whether they require any additional vaccinations for India well in advance.
How to Get to Mumbai City Center from the Airport
As the main international airport serving the Mumbai area and second busiest in the country, the majority of travelers arriving from overseas will fly into Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (IATA: BOM, ICAO: VABB).
More commonly known as Mumbai Airport, it is situated just under 14 miles (22 km) from the city center.
As there are no direct bus or train services to the center of Mumbai, the quickest and most convenient option is to take a taxi. Cabs can either be booked in advance or picked up outside the terminal on arrival.
There are 2 different types of taxi available:
- Cool cabs: prepaid fare with air conditioning
- Normal taxis: metered, black and yellow in color
Pre-paid taxis are recommended to ensure a fair rate regardless of traffic.
The journey time varies depending on the time of day, with an average duration of around 1 hour. Prices start from 500 Indian Rupees ($6 USD) and shouldn’t exceed 700 INR ($9).
Standard taxis can accommodate up to 4 passengers plus luggage, larger groups wishing to travel together are advised to pre-book a vehicle.
What is the Best Way to Get Around in Mumbai?
Once in the city itself, there are several ways to travel around Mumbai using both private and public transportation.
Mumbai is a large urban center with good transport networks so that, although many of the main attractions can be reached on foot, cars, buses, and bikes are available to save time and energy.
Can foreigners drive in and around Mumbai?
Whilst driving in India is not recommended for foreigners who are not used to intense road conditions, it is possible and may be a convenient option for those travelers who want to explore the area surrounding Mumbai.
Visitors need an International Driving Permit to rent a car.
Getting around Mumbai city center by taxi
Just like taxis are best for getting to and from the airport, they’re also an excellent way to cover short distances downtown. There are plenty of black and yellow metered taxis that can be hailed down, rates are generally inexpensive.
The minimum taxi fare in Mumbai is 22 INR ($0.29).
Using local bus services in downtown Mumbai
There is an extensive bus network in Mumbai, including services to Navi Mumbai. The bus is a good way to get around the city however traffic can cause delays at peak times.
A daily pass costs 60 INR ($0.78) for unlimited access to the air-conditioned buses.
Auto Rickshaws for traveling around like a local
Auto rickshaws are an important means of transportation in Mumbai and are used widely by locals and tourists.
With minimum fares of just 18 INR ($0.24), they are the cheapest way to get around and a good option for short journeys.
Is it Safe to Visit Mumbai?
Whilst India is, on the whole, safe to visit, tourists should take care when visiting large cities such as Mumbai where crimes of an opportunistic nature can occur.
To stay safe, foreigners in Mumbai should follow the general security advice for travelers in India which includes keeping valuable possessions out of sight and only purchasing travel tickets, entrance passes, etc. from official vendors.
Is Mumbai safe for female travelers?
Whilst the majority of women enjoy a problem-free stay in Mumbai, they are advised to avoid walking or using public transport alone at night.
It is best to stay in a group when possible for maximum safety and avoid poorly lit areas after dark.
Which is the Best Month to Visit Mumbai?
Given the differing weather conditions experienced throughout the country, the best time to visit India depends on the region.
Mumbai enjoys mild temperatures all year round and is frequented by tourists from January to December. However, travelers wishing to avoid the hottest summer days and monsoon rainfall should time their trip carefully.
October to February: the best time of year to visit Mumbai
- Mild winter temperatures: January daily average of 76.8ºF (24.9ºC)
- Low rainfall: 0.5 to 1 day of rain monthly
- Best for sightseeing and outdoor activities
March to May: hotter temperatures and rising humidity
- Hot temperatures: April daily average of 84ºF (28.9ºC)
- Average humidity levels of 66%
- Less crowded tourist attractions and lower prices possible
June to September: monsoon season in Mumbai
- Warm to hot temperatures: July daily average of 82ºF (27.8ºC)
- High levels of rainfall: 17 days of rain monthly
- The best time to see nature and lush greenery
What is Mumbai Famous for?
Mumbai is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, an excellent destination for visitors to get an authentic insight into the Indian way of life.
Mumbai has much to offer tourists, from renowned restaurants and luxury hotels to countless cultural and natural attractions.
The activities mentioned below are some of the most popular things to see and do in Mumbai.
The Gateway of India: the most famous landmark in Mumbai
This triumphal arch is one of the most emblematic monuments in Mumbai and many tourists choose to begin here.
Built to commemorate King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to Mumbai (at this point Bombay), the foundation stone was laid in 1913 and it was completed in 1924.
The arch is known for its Indo-Saracenic architectural style and has great symbolic importance for the people of Mumbai.
The Gateway of India can be visited at any time of day.
Elephanta Island: India’s most impressive temple carving
After seeing the Gateway of India, tourists can head to nearby Elephanta Island (Gharapuri) a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai.
Visitors will find rock temples that were created from 450 to 750 AD and boast exquisite carving. There is also a small museum to learn more about the history of the area.
The main temple is dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu deity, and features courtyards, pillars, shrines, and a 6-meter tall statue.
Ferries to the Elephant Caves leave from the Gateway of India every 30 minutes from 9 am to 3.30 pm.
Other landmarks and historical buildings worth visiting
The city of Mumbai has many impressive buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Victorian, Art Deco, and Indo-Saracenic. Many constructions date back to colonial times.
Just a few of the landmarks worth seeing in Mumbai are:
- Taj Mahal Palace, an iconic 5-star hotel
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station and UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Rajabai Clock Tower, built 150 years ago and based on Big Ben in London
In addition, tourists in Mumbai can enjoy an excellent shopping experience plus a wide range of restaurants serving traditional Indian dishes and modern international cuisine.