Mumbai, India

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Tips for travelers: Things to know before visiting Mumbai, India

Trip101 has partnered with over 200 accredited and experienced tour guides from more than 50 countries to ensure you receive the most accurate and authentic travel information. These guides bring a wealth of local expertise, offering insights that go beyond the typical tourist experience. Trust the travel tips from experts who live and breathe their destinations to provide you with unparalleled local knowledge.

These insightful tips are shared by our accredited Mumbai tour guide(s), Sukanya

Getting Around In Mumbai
Getting Around In Mumbai

How far away is city center from the airport, and what's the easiest way to get there?

The city center of Mumbai, often referred to as South Bombay or South Mumbai, is approximately 10-15 kilometers (6-9 miles) from the airport. Travel time can vary significantly depending on traffic conditions. While it may take about an hour or so to travel during off-peak hours, it could take up to two hours during peak traffic times.

Travelers have several options to reach the city center from the airport. Taking a taxi or using ride-hailing services such as Uber is a convenient option, especially for those with luggage. However, it’s important to note that prepaid taxis are available at the airport but they may have fixed rates.

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Local Food
Local Food

What are some of the best local food to try in Mumbai?

Mumbai is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, with iconic dishes such as vada pav (deep fried potato dumpling placed inside a bread bun sliced almost in half through the middle) and chaat (savoury snack served as an appetizer), such as sev puri (deep-fried biscuit topped with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, raw red onion, spices, and crunchy noodles) and bhel (puffed rice, vegetables and spices), stealing the spotlight. But being in the Konkan region, seafood also takes center stage as a local delicacy. Places such as Mahesh Lunch Home and Krishna are famous for their seafood offerings, featuring delights such as prawns, pomfrets, and the item intriguingly named Bombay duck, which, to clarify, is a fish, not a duck.

During winter, you can explore various fishing village festivals, offering a chance to immerse yourself in local culture, indulge in delicious seafood, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. These festivals are particularly popular during the winter season, coinciding with the abundance of mangoes and other seasonal delights.

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Healthcare
Healthcare

What healthcare facilities are available for tourists/foreigners in Mumbai?

In Mumbai, there are several reputable hospitals catering to emergency medical needs. In South Bombay, notable options include Bombay Hospital and Sefi Hospital, while Hinduja Hospital serves other areas. Additionally, specialized facilities like cochlear implants are also available. It’s advisable for travelers to carry documentation regarding any allergies they may have, with some opting for allergy bracelets for added safety and convenience.

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Staying Connected
Staying Connected

Should travelers consider getting a local SIM card? If so, would it be cheaper to grab one at the airport upon arrival or wait and buy one at a local shop in the city?

It’s generally recommended to get one from reputable telecom stores like Vodafone and Airtel where the visitors can submit their documents and obtain a SIM card. They can select plans based on their duration of stay, such as for 2 days, 3 days, or month long, depending on their needs.

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Money Matters
Money Matters

Where can you usually find the best exchange rate in Mumbai?

Local shops in the city offering foreign exchange provide the best rates.

Banks are an option, but they often have high rates. And so do airport shops. Some hotels also provide this service but also at a higher cost.

Thing to note: Some local exchange places may be closed on Sundays.

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Important Travel Info
Important Travel Info

Are there any medications or items travelers should avoid bringing into the country?

Restricted items typically include animal products and certain medications. It’s important to have prescriptions ready in case you’re asked about them. If questioned about the quantity of medications you’re carrying, having prescriptions can help explain the necessity. India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs also has a handy guide for international travelers. Tourists can check out the most updated list of prohibited/restricted items here: https://www.cbic.gov.in/entities/internationalTravellers

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Attractions
Attractions

Are there any dress codes to follow when visiting religious sites or monuments in Mumbai

There isn’t a strict dress code for most places in Mumbai. However, it’s advisable to dress appropriately, especially when visiting certain religious sites such as Jain temple or Haji Ali Dargah. Even in touristy and crowded areas such as the Gateway of India, dressing conservatively can avoid unwanted attention or inappropriate behavior from some locals who may approach for photos.

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What To Buy
What To Buy

Where are the best places to find souvenirs in Mumbai?

Souvenirs are plentiful on Colaba Causeway. You have lots of options there for shopping. Another interesting place is Crawford Market, where you can find a wide range of items. Inside Crawford Market, there is a shop called Mangaldas, where you can get a wide variety of fabrics, sarees, and Indian clothes, both ready-made and custom.

In Crawford Market, there are sections for home decor items, beauty shops, and fruit stalls. Additionally, you have a neighborhood called Dadar where there are many shops available, mostly offering ethnic wear. The prices are very competitive here.

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Climate Tips
Climate Tips

What's the best time to travel to Mumbai weather-wise? Are there any seasons to avoid?

The best time to visit Mumbai weather-wise is from October to February when the weather is relatively cooler and more pleasant. After February, temperatures start to rise, and it can get uncomfortably hot. It’s worth noting that while services such as Uber and Ola offer air-conditioned vehicles, local taxis and auto-rickshaws typically do not have air conditioning. As a result, traveling in a rental car with air conditioning during the hotter months is often recommended for a more comfortable experience.

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Area Guide
Area Guide

Which neighborhoods in Mumbai have the best nightlife scene and events?

Bandra and Khar are vibrant neighborhoods renowned for their nightlife and entertainment options. Home to numerous bars, clubs, and lounges, they offer a diverse range of experiences for visitors seeking lively evenings.

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