Mumbai holidays transport you to one of the most diverse cities in the world, where the streets hum with the energy of millions of people. This is India’s largest city – a jewel filled with a wealth of attractions.
Known for bustling markets and backstreet bazaars, for street food and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and – of course – as the home of Bollywood, Mumbai is a cultural treasure packed with surprises.
Mumbai’s appeal doesn’t end with the heritage of the Gateway to India, the Elephanta Caves or its colonial-era buildings. You’ll also find sprawling wildlife parks and golden city beaches that stretch for miles.
A great selection of luxury hotels means you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay during your holiday to Mumbai.
Mumbai is a place of endless variety – of colour, taste and sound. The electric atmosphere lends itself to a whistle-stop tour of UNESCO-listed spots and authentic markets.
This is a city famous for its food, and no holiday to Mumbai is complete without sampling the local culinary delights.
More than 13 million people live and work in this on-the-go megacity and it has a culinary scene to match.
Tradition is honoured in Mumbai, with dishes such as akuri (Parsi-style scrambled eggs) and the Mumbai sandwich holding their own at Leopold Café, which first opened its doors way back in 1871.
For the best street food, head to Mohammed Ali Road. Here you can sample a range of tempting snacks including melt-in-the-mouth kebabs and moreish chicken sanju baba, while soaking up the sights and sounds around you.
Known for playing host to some of the best nightlife in India, Mumbai lights up when the sun sets.
At late-night venues such as The Quarter you’ll encounter live jazz and opera shows, plus the opportunity for some al fresco dining.
Catch the Diwali fireworks at Marine Drive or visit Dome for ocean sunset views.
Mumbai venues serve up Bollywood hits and slow, sophisticated melodies, while after-hours chicken tikka doesn’t come better than from iconic street stall Bademiya, which you’ll find near the Gateway of India.
For family-friendly entertainment, spend an evening beneath the stars at Juhu Chowpatty Beach.
The definitive experience of any city break in Mumbai is visiting a traditional market or bazaar.
Seek out Colaba Causeway, a popular market thronged with shoppers hunting for clothing and jewellery. Haggle for a good price or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
Take a Mumbai bazaar walking tour to be guided through the dos and don’ts of street shopping – from the antique outlets on Colaba Causeway to Mangaldas Market, the city’s hub for textile trading.
Mumbai was named Bombay until 1995, when the regional Shiv Sena party honoured local Maratha heritage by renaming the city after the goddess Mumba Devi.
The move sparked a renewed reverence for local heritage, meaning there has never been a better time for history lovers to visit Mumbai.
The city’s most iconic structure, the imposing Gateway of India, hails from 1911. Take advantage of the photo opportunities here and then explore the city’s deeper roots.
Some sites, such as the Elephanta Caves, are thought to date back as far as the 5th century AD. Elephanta Island’s ‘city of caves’ is dedicated to Shiva, but there’s also Buddhist iconography carved into the basalt.
Mumbai holiday packages are perfect for beach lovers, whether you’re honeymooning or travelling with children.
The three-mile-long Juhu Chowpatty Beach is possibly the most popular spot, boasting stunning views of the Arabian sea.
Marvé Beach is much quieter – the perfect place for couples to watch the sun set. Meanwhile, Aksa Beach is a great spot to search for seashells or take a ferry to see sacred sanctuaries.
The central Fort district makes the perfect base for a holiday in Mumbai.
This southern part of the city, near the famous Gateway of India monument, is packed with cultural attractions.
Tour the National Gallery of Modern Art, Jehangir Art Gallery and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, a history museum set between lush urban parks.
This neighbourhood is also well-connected, providing good routes to Colaba in the south and beachside Chowpatty in the north.
Planning a Mumbai family holiday? If you’re travelling with children it’s worth considering resorts in areas such as Gorai, which often come with swimming pools that are perfect for younger ones.
One of Gorai’s major pulls is Gorai Beach, one of the region’s golden stretches of sand. The village is also close to local attractions such as Water Kingdom, Asia’s largest water theme park, and Essel World, India’s biggest amusement park.
Mumbai is known for Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and if convenience is what you’re looking for, a stay in Juhu should fit the bill.
This area is just four miles (six kilometres) from the airport. Here you’ll find upmarket hotels overlooking the beach, where there’s often a cricket game underway between the locals.
Meanwhile, some of the city’s key attractions – including the modern Prithvi Theatre and Snow World Mumbai – are just around the corner.
The local currency of Mumbai is the Indian rupee. You’ll find ATMs across the city, while major credit cards are accepted in many restaurants and shops.
Mumbai’s official language is Marathi but it’s a cosmopolitan city, so expect to come across Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and English.
Trains are the lifeblood of this city but buses are also popular for short distances. Taxis are also readily available.
India is a deeply religious nation so you can expect many of the national and religious holidays to be observed in Mumbai, from Holi to Diwali.
Mumbai’s colourful history can be seen through its diverse dishes.
Bombay bhel puri is the pinnacle of local tradition, a rice dish sprinkled with chutneys and chickpea flour.
Middle Eastern influences can be found in chicken shawarma dishes infused with Mumbai flavours such as pickled chillies.
Brun maska is a sweet Mumbai favourite best enjoyed with traditional tea.
A definitive part of what makes Mumbai so alluring, its famous train system is a must-see.
It’s the biggest and busiest rail network in the world, transporting around seven-and-a-half million people every day. Trains are frequent and fares are affordable – even in first class.
Some of the train stations themselves are also well worth exploring.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus, was built by the British in the late 19th century.
A World Heritage site, its blend of Victorian architecture and traditional Indian design makes for an impressive sight both inside and out.
Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, the Hindi film industry, which creates over 1,000 movies every year.
Dive into the action at Film City Studios during your holiday in Mumbai – expect live action sets and a behind-the-scenes look at the make-up and music of India’s largest industry.
To watch a Bollywood movie, visit a modern air-conditioned multiplex or traditional theatre such as Liberty, which screened its first movie in 1947.
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