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Mumbai, India

Gateway of India, Mumbai
Gateway of India, Mumbai

Introduction

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the commercial capital of India.

Visas

Most nationalities require a visa to visit India.

Where You're Docked

Large cruise ships dock at a Ballard Pier where there is a cruise terminal with some small shops and currency exchange. It is a short walk outside the port to Green Gate where you can pick up a taxi for less than the ones waiting at the terminal. If the pier is occupied, the adjacent pier to the north may be used. However, walking to the Green Gate will require crossing the lock and shuttles may be provided that have to drive all the way around the port to drop you off at the same gate.


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Money and Tipping

India's currency is the Rupee (INR). US dollars are widely accepted though you may get a poor exchange rate and no change. You can find currency exchange places in the Colaba Causeway area if you don't like the rates in the terminal. Tipping 10-15% is customary in India. Taxis do not expect to be tipped though a small amount is appreciated for good service.

Local Transportation

Buses are a bit chaotic in Mumbai but luckily taxis are inexpensive. The ones that wait by the cruise terminal will want at least $10 USD to take you on a return shopping trip or $5 USD for a one way trip. They may also want to take you to shops where they get commission. Considering a metered taxi from outside the gate to the Gateway of India should only cost around 30 rupees, you're paying considerably more to save a bit of walking.

Your best option is to stop a moving taxi or one that has just dropped off passengers and one with an electronic meter (typically found in newer taxis). Stopped taxis will need more incentive to get going again and will want more money. Without a meter, you will need to negotiate a rate. Remember a short trip should only cost around 30 rupees but as a foreigner, you should be happy to pay around 50 rupees. When returning, ask to go to Green Gate - Ballard Pier or take a picture of the sign when you exit the gate to show the driver.

There is also a suburban rail network but it's not very handy for tourists.

Hotels

Search hotels in Mumbai here

Sights

  • Gateway of India - This monument is the symbol of Mumbai. Beware of scammers in this area. See Scams section below.
  • Taj Mahal Hotel - Located beside the Gateway of India.
  • Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) - Houses items of Indian history. Open 10:15am-6pm, closed Mondays. Entry 300 Rs. http://csmvs.in/
  • Dhoby Ghat Mahalaxmi - an outdoor laundry. An overpass overlooking it provides the best view. By Mahalaxmi station.
  • Chowpatty Beach - the most famous public beach in Mumbai
  • Victoria Railway Station (Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus CST)
  • Kamala Nehru Park - There is a viewpoint of the city from the garden and Chowpatty Beach.
  • Elephanta Caves - (closed Mondays) Ferries leave from directly behind the Gateway of India for 130 Rs return (keep your receipt for the return journey). For security reasons, it is forbidden to take pictures of the naval base and ships you will pass on the way to the island. On Elephanta Island, a toy train saves you the walk along the jetty for 10 Rs each way. There is also an additional tourist tax of 10 Rs when you arrive. Entry to the caves is 250 Rs for foreigners (Rupees only). From outside the entrance to the caves, you can take a short hike up to Cannon Hill.

Scams

In Mumbai in particular, visitors are often approached by a child or woman wanting some powdered milk to feed a baby. They will lead you to a nearby stall or shop that conveniently happens to sell tins or boxes of such milk. However, the milk will be expensively priced (often around 200 rupees) and if you hand over the money for it, the shopkeeper and the beggar will simply split the proceeds between them. Begging children and women may be working for mafia who intentionally maim or blind kids (seen Slumdog Millionaire?). Beggars may also use stolen babies or rent them from their real mothers.

Shopping & Restaurants

  • Colaba Causeway (officially known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Rd) has markets on the sidewalk. Colaba Market can be found nearby.
  • Crawford Market - a crowded, chaotic food market north of Victoria Terminal
  • For upscale shopping, there are shops in the Taj Mahal Hotel and a shopping center beside the Oberoi Hotel.
  • Leopold Cafe - famous eatery on the Colaba Causeway
  • Cafe Mondegar - another spot popular with tourists near the Leopold
  • Bademiya Seekh Kababs - this restaurant literally on the street serves cheap and delicious rolls. Located on Tullock Rd between the Taj and Colaba Causeway (marked on Google maps). Order from a waiter for takeout or have a seat at the small tables.

Shopping Tips from Wikitravel In a place without clearly displayed price tags (and sometimes even in places with), you will get charged about 3-4 times as much as a local if you seem like a tourist. Take a local with you if you're going to local markets to haggle. Haggling is much louder and ruder in India than elsewhere. Don't be afraid to haggle things down to 1/4 of the asking price. And most importantly remember that almost all stores that sell carpets, jewelry, handicrafts, etc. pay huge amounts of commission (25% up to even 50%!) to the cab drivers, hence avoid tourist taxis, cabs, etc. Another thing to remember is not to haggle just for the fun of it. The shopkeepers may take offence if you don't buy an item after they have agreed to your price. One of the places that you can trust is The World Trade Centre (in Cuffe Parade, near Hotel Taj President). Besides being the only World Trade Centre in Mumbai, this place has an amazing range of exquisite carpets, handicrafts, shawls, etc. with reputed government approved stores and state emporiums too. Ask for receipts everywhere, including bars, and check what you have been charged for. Don't ever accept a guide offer or escort of somebody from the street: You will certainly get conned. If some place (including cabs, eateries, stores, etc) claims it doesn't have change (this is highly unlikely), insist they get change from a neighbouring store.

Internet

Try cafes and restaurants for Wifi. The area between Colaba Causeway and the Taj Maha hotel has a few internet cafes. There is a good one in an alley off Appolo Bunder near Cafe Mondegar.

Maps

Weather

Mumbai Weather Forecast

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Page last modified on April 18, 2016, at 12:39 PM
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