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Pocket Guide: Mumbai

Travel Guide Mumbai

Formerly known as Bombay, the energetic city of Mumbai is the largest in India. It’s home to a huge variety of sights and attractions including the iconic Gateway of India and Bollywood, the heart of India’s film industry. In the centre of Mumbai you’ll find some of the most beautiful colonial buildings in the region, while the city’s outskirts are the site of some of the biggest slums in Asia.

Originally made up of seven islands, Mumbai was once a major seaport and played an integral role in the British colonisation of India. Today, it’s the country’s most cosmopolitan city, priding itself on its rich culture and fascinating history.

As one of the world’s most populous cities, it’s no surprise that Mumbai offers a great variety of hotels and attractions. A fantastic destination if you want to learn more about India’s colonial past, its thriving contemporary culture or its culinary heritage, Mumbai has a lot to offer.

Where to stay in Mumbai

Mumbai covers over 233 square miles and its streets are often full of traffic so it’s a good idea to select a Mumbai hotel close to the areas you want to explore. South Mumbai is a good destination for visitors who want to learn more about the city’s past. Home to many of Mumbai’s oldest neighbourhoods, as well as some of its richest residential areas, south Mumbai is where you’ll find iconic sights like the Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal Hotel and Marine Drive.

South Mumbai hotels are also perfectly placed for exploring the Gothic-style Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus, the fascinating Elephanta Caves and Nariman Point one of the newest parts of the city.

Another popular area for visitors to the city is west Mumbai. Home to the suburbs of Bandra, Khar, Santa Cruz, Juhu, Vile Parle and Andheri, it’s where you’ll find the majority of the hotels in Mumbai. Notable sights in the area include the 17th century Bandra Fort, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount and Mehboob Studios, where some of Bollywood’s most famous titles have been filmed.

If you want to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of the city at the end of a busy day of sightseeing, a hotel in Mumbai’s northwest suburbs could be the perfect choice. Close to some of the city’s best beaches, this district includes the areas of Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali, Borivali and Dahisar and is home to hot springs, Manori Island and the entry point to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Hotels in Mumbai

As you’d expect from a city of this scale, hotels in Mumbai come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. If you’re looking for a cheap hotel in Mumbai, the best place to find reasonably priced, good-quality accommodation is Colaba. Located in the far south of Mumbai, close to Nariman Point, it’s a hub for backpackers and visitors travelling on a budget. As well as cheap hotels, hostels and guesthouses the area also offers a good choice of street food stalls, shops and bars.

If you’re looking for a more upscale hotel in Mumbai you should head slightly north to the modern district of Nariman Point or the suburbs of west Mumbai. There you’ll find a choice of luxurious 5 star hotels as well as a selection of business hotels and boutique resorts.

For families travelling to Mumbai, hotels close to the city’s beaches offer a great mix of cosmopolitan life and seaside tranquillity. These hotels are also perfect for anyone who wants to combine an exciting city break with a relaxing beach getaway.

What to do during your stay in Mumbai

Thanks to its rich history, vibrant culture and location on the Arabia Sea, there are a fantastic variety of things to do in Mumbai. The best way to begin your trip to Mumbai is with a sightseeing tour of its historic areas. Mumbai’s most famous sight is the Gateway of India. Built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, the monument is the most recognisable symbol of the city. Other important sights in Mumbai include the Siddhivinayak Temple, the Haji Ali Dargah and the Kanheri Caves, which are located in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

As Mumbai is home to Bollywood, no trip to the city would be complete without a tour of Bollywood culture. Visit the nearby studios, take in a classic film or take a tour deep into the heart of India’s rich movie heritage.

When you’re not out exploring the city’s culture or visiting its historic sights, the best way to experience Mumbai is through its cuisine. Street food stands dot the city offering you a mouth-watering array of delicious regional dishes to try. Higher-end restaurants can also be found throughout Mumbai, especially in its more affluent southern and western areas.

If you’re planning a holiday in Mumbai, you can save time and money by booking your flight and hotel together. Search Expedia today to find out more.

Explore another of India's colourful cities with a hotel in Delhi.