Victoria Station, Bombay, India (Corbis)

Mumbai, Chowpatty Beach (iStockphoto)

Arial view of Mumbai, with all its beauty at night (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Mumbai (Bombay)

Built on the Arabian Sea with a population more than twice that of New York City, Mumbai is a breathless, pulsing 21st-century metropolis where the realities of modern India are laid bare. The slums of the urban poor greet you the minute you leave the airport, eventually giving way to gleaming skyscrapers and bustling shopping districts. Yet somehow this jarring contrast forms part of Mumbai’s rough-edged charisma. Join the locals for sunset and bhelpuri on Chaupati Beach, maybe even a game of pickup cricket with some street scamps. Back by the colonial-era Gateway of India, take tea at the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel with the coiffured urban yuppies who’ve helped Mumbai stake its claim on Forbes ’ list of cities with the most Millionaires. As with travel throughout India, Mumbai is a place to absorb life in all its messy, vivid glory.

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Traveler Reviews of Mumbai (Bombay)


Alistair rates Mumbai (Bombay)
I was in Mumbai over ten years ago so bet things have changed a LOT, but I loved the energy and atmosphere of the place. The area around the Gateway of India archway was always bustling plus had loads of good restaurants, hotels, and cafes. We stayed at the Salvation Army hostel for a couple of nights, which was cheap but pretty grungy (I got bed bugs). My advice: pay a little extra for a hotel with clean sheets and air-conditioning. One fun thing about hostel was this is where Bollywood producers recruit extras when they need Westerners in a scene (my friend got a part in Hero Hindustani as "rude Westerner in queue"!). The boat ride out to Elephanta Island was a fun trip -- the grottoes and carvings here are amazing, though watch out for aggressive monkeys. Take a walk along the promenade in the evening and enjoy the crowds and sunset.
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