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This is easy to do when you check in at your ideal Mumbai hotel...
Dance in the chic clubs alongside Bollywood stars, haggle for goods in traditional bazaars, sip cocktails in fancy city watering holes, get up close to relics of the colonial era and always... always, keep one eye on the madness on the city streets, which are clogged with horn-blasting traffic.
The harbour and island city of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is on the west coast of India and is the capital of Maharashtra state. It’s the wealthiest and most populated city in this vast nation, yet large pockets of poverty exist in Mumbai's slums. Contrasts are rife in this mega-metropolis but – poverty-ridden residents excepted – these contrasts make Mumbai as wildly electrifying as it is.
Mumbai hotels are also a mixed bag. To find cheap hotels in Mumbai, or to splash out on supreme luxury and five-star service, use the search tool on TravelSupermarket. We compare hundreds of hotel deals to show you the lowest prices. Book your room in advance of travel to make big savings.
Your ideal hotel in Mumbai is waiting to be found. So where to start? Use our guide to figure out where to stay and when to find a bargain...
At the top end of the scale you can book some of the most luxurious and welcoming five-star hotels on the planet. Swimming pools, sensational views of the Arabian Sea, top-notch service and simply divine dining are on offer at many of the best hotels in Mumbai, and your money will often stretch a bit further here so you can upgrade without breaking the bank.
At the other end of the scale are budget hotels and guesthouses that offer basic facilities, though many present a traditional and charming view of Mumbai. There’s a limited choice when it comes to really cheap quality hotels in Mumbai, so book early if you’re on a tight budget and want to secure a reasonable room at a decent rate.
In the middle of the market are a good number of decent-value rooms in older buildings, though it pays to stretch your budget to the maximum to guarantee a comfortable stay in Mumbai.
For well-known chains, look for hotels from the likes of Oberoi, Ramada, Trident, Marriott, Novotel, Shangri-La, Le Meridien, Ibis, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Four Seasons, Four Points by Sheraton, Sofitel and Best Western.
Many visitors choose to base holidays in the south of Mumbai, which has more in the way of attractions, restaurants and places to drink and shop. Consider the colonial suburbs of Fort and Colaba, or Malabar Hill a little further north and right on the sea. Frequent and cheap train services make staying in the northern part of the city an option, as do the excellent shopping and swanky bars of neighbourhoods such as Bandra and Juhu.
Mumbai's monsoon season runs from June to September, so you might find a bargain room if you're willing to brave the rain.
From sand castles on the beach to temples that soar into the skies, there’s much to see and do in Mumbai...
Top five attractions
The most popular public beach in Mumbai. If you fancy a tasty and healthy snack here, look out for stallholders selling corn on the cob.
Gateway of India
A stunningly impressive monument and a throwback to the visions of the British Raj; the gateway sits proudly at the edge of the Arabian Sea.
An eye-catching 180-year-old temple dedicated to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth.
Elephanta (Gharapuri) Island
This is a sprawling and ornate temple with fascinating caves. Don't eat near the monkeys – they're known to seize any opportunity to steal food.
One of the oldest official buildings in India and one of the most interesting, the High Court was built by an English colonel in a neo-gothic style.
Your holiday photograph album will be even more exciting when you attend any of these popular annual events in Mumbai…
Kala Ghoda Festival; January/February: A colourful annual arts event celebrating everything that is creative about Mumbai. From dance-filled street parties to sober literature lectures, it has it all. One major bonus... every event is free.
Indian Derby; February: The first Sunday of February sees one of Asia's great sporting spectacles – the McDowell's Indian Derby. Find yourself anywhere near Mahalaxmi Racecourse at this time of year and you cannot fail to be swept up by the spellbinding atmosphere of the horse racing.
Ganesh Chaturthi; August/September: One of the biggest festivals in India sees thousands upon thousands of worshippers flock to Mumbai to honour Lord Ganesh. Cameras at the ready: this is a hugely colourful ceremony with giant models of the deity being paraded through the streets.