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Find affordable flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Mumbai all year round, with March being the most popular months for cheap flights and deals. Fly Emirates, Etihad Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines or British Airways to Mumbai – most major airlines offer affordable options especially if you book in advance. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport is more or less 28km north of Mumbai. You can get into the city centre from the airport with a certified taxi – the most reliable recommended mode of transport for first-time travelers. South African passport holders require a visa to travel to India. Book your appointment online and visit the application centre to be fingerprinted and photographed.

 

Attractions in Mumbai

Mumbai’s most recognized monument, the Gateway to India, is a popular spot for photos, but also a hotspot for vendors selling everything from balloons to on-the-go snacks and Indian tea. Situated in Mumbai’s top tourist district Colaba, you can walk from there to the opulent Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel and enjoy the Art Deco architecture that contributes to the old-worldly feel of this colonial district. For a beautiful view of Marine Drive and a glimpse into the mansion-living district, head up to Malabar Hill and the Kamala Nehru Park. A refreshing alternative to the India from the movies, this neighbourhood gives you fresh air to breathe, away from over-crowded trains. To head back into time, and deep into the heart of Mumbai, visit the 140-year old Dhobhi Ghat. This outdoor laundromat is one of the most popular and authentic Indian sights, considered as Mumbai’s biggest human-powered washing machine. Travel to Mahalaxmi train station – the best view if from the bridge just across the railway tracks.

 

Shopping in Mumbai

From luxury to poverty and the bourgeois to the bargainers, shopping and vendors go hand-in-hand in India. From spices and textiles to leather– the city offers everything from high-end shops to noisy street vendors and big indoor markets. Crawford Market is your one-stop market stop; situated in a beautiful historic colonial building. It has everything from fresh fruits to pets and all the typical Indian spices at wholesale prices – from garam masala to turmeric. For everything else go to the Colaba Causeway. Here you can find jewellery, books, brass items, clothing, handicrafts and leather bags. It’s a social experience too, with some vendors who’ll follow you down the street until you buy from them. Don’t be intimidated, as a westerner the advice is to always offer half the price they initially ask for. It’s here where you oil your bargaining skills.

 

Transportation in Mumbai

Taxis are an integral part of the city’s heritage, and black and yellow Fiats can be found between the rickshaws, feet and horse carts roaming the busy city streets. The railway and metro are very crowded during peak hours, and not recommended for cautious travelers. Be prepared for risky taxi drivers, noise and road rules of its own kind – the best advice is to relax, trust the locals and not to get stressed. Find a local tour guide to accompany you to areas such as Dharavi or Dhobhi Ghat.

 

Accommodations in Mumbai

From the luxury Taj Hotel to budget-friendly hostels, Mumbai is a city of extremes, and finding the right accommodation is essential to a relaxing stay in the city. The districts in the south of the city are ideal for first-time travelers – Colaba and Fort being the two most recommended. Find accommodation at one of the well-known hotel chains, or search for an Airbnb apartment, travelers lodge or cheap hostel. When travelling during the warmer months, we recommend looking for an option with air conditioning.

 

Flights to Mumbai

Find affordable flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Mumbai all year round, with March being the most popular months for cheap flights and deals. Fly Emirates, Etihad Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines or British Airways to Mumbai – most major airlines offer affordable options especially if you book in advance. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport is more or less 28km north of Mumbai. You can get into the city centre from the airport with a certified taxi – the most reliable recommended mode of transport for first-time travelers. South African passport holders require a visa to travel to India. Book your appointment online and visit the application centre to be fingerprinted and photographed.

 

Our expert preferred spot in Mumbai

For a throwback to colonial India, visit Colaba. This dynamic neighbourhood is filled with street markets, art galleries and beautiful historic architecture like the Rajabhai Clock Tower, the Gateway of India, the Taj Palace Hotel, the Maharashtra Police Headquarters and the Chhatrapati Shivaj Terminus (formerly known as Victoria Terminus) which resembles St Pancras Station in London. While you’re in the area, stop for a quick bite at Baghdadi - ordinary in appearance, but an establishment that’s been in Mumbai for over 125 years. You won’t find a better butter chicken at this price. For a more Westernized café experience, head over to Leopold Café & Bar. Food is not as authentic, but it’s a popular spot for tourists with an interesting history. A day-trip to Dharavi is one of the most inspiring and eye-opening things you can do in Mumbai. Considered one of the biggest slums in Asia, it’s buzzling with people, shops, factories and young and old working in and around every corner. From soap factories to leather shops and recycling hubs – be sure to take a guided walk through this labyrinth.