Find a cheap flight to Mumbai, find your way into the city, and then find your feet in this whirlwind of a destination...
Like a tornado, Mumbai sweeps visitors up in a frenzy of energy - a nightclub here, a horn-honking roadblock there - and refuses to return feet to terra firma until the Mumbai beat has gripped the soul. It's a destination where you'll grind through all of your gears. Be prepared for a hushed stop with a cocktail as a piano tinkles, before racing to fifth gear with a lightning tour of a bazaar.
Drop back to second gear with a stroll along Chowpatty Beach and then have your foot hovering over the pedal as you keep an eye on the food-pinching monkeys of Elephanta Island. It might sound utterly exhausting, but most visitors simply love this mixed bag of goodies that make up Mumbai.
Formerly (and still commonly) known as Bombay, Mumbai is an island city and the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is India's busiest city and the fifth biggest, in terms of population, in the world. That means there are plenty of elbows to jostle with as you tour the markets, check out the colonial architecture and dance your feet off in chic clubs.
It also makes Mumbai flights extremely popular at any time of the year, though you're likely to find bargain flights and hotels during the monsoon season, which runs from June to September. Book in advance, however, and you can find cheap flights to Mumbai at any time. The main gateway to Mumbai is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM).
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This powerhouse of Indian arts, culture and business has multiple daily flights from the UK...
Four airlines offer non-stop flights to Mumbai from London Heathrow. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Jet Airways and Air India fly multiple times a day, the journey taking around nine-and-a-half hours.
You can save money by taking a one stop connecting flight from London or many regional UK airports. The huge range to choose from includes Air France via Paris, KLM via Amsterdam, Lufthansa via Frankfurt and Swiss via Zurich in Europe.
The Middle East also makes a good connecting point; Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad all fly to Mumbai from London and the UK regions via their hubs. Turkish Airlines also flies via Istanbul. Connecting flights take upwards of 11 hours.
There are plenty of options for getting to and from the airport during your Mumbai break...
Most visitors touch down at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, commonly referred to as CSIA. Mumbai's other international airports also have public transport options, car rental and taxi ranks. The information below refers to CSIA.
The railway station of Vile Parle East is just minutes from the airport, offering frequent, fast and cheap train connections to central destinations in Mumbai. A couple of bus routes also connect the airport with the city.
Auto rickshaws and taxis can be hired from just outside the terminal buildings. Ask for the meter to be switched on when you use either or buy a taxi coupon at the airport booths. It shouldn't cost much more than 600 rupees (about £6) for a journey to any of the main tourist areas of Mumbai.
Hire a car in Mumbai and collect the vehicle at the airport. Mumbai's traffic, however, can be overwhelming for first-time visitors.
From budget hotels with basic facilities to the very finest five-star hotels, visitors are spoiled for choice in bustling Mumbai...
Just like the contrast between the wealthiest suburbs and the slums of Mumbai, this city's hotels present very different views and experiences. At the lower end of the scale are budget rooms and mid-range options in buildings that have seen better days. At the top end of the accommodation market are palaces of luxury and top-class service, some with views across the water. Rooftop bars, swimming pools and some of India's best restaurants complete the scene in these bastions of Mumbai hospitality.
Many holidaymakers stay in the southern parts of the city, in areas such as Colaba, Fort and Malabar Hill. Upmarket Malabar Hill is close to Chowpatty, Mumbai's most popular beach, and offers terrific city and sea views. To the west of the central area of Mumbai are the suburbs of Bandra and Juhu. These areas are also a hit with tourists, thanks to plenty of good hotels and a host of amenities such as bars and eateries.
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