Mumbai Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Mumbai / Bombay, Maharashtra, India)
Mumbai is a major financial city, with local businessmen tending to lead a fast-paced life. However, Mumbai also has plenty to offer in the way of tourism, with tourists being able to enjoy the city's many relaxing sights and attractions, amidst the stress and hustle-and-bustle.
Dating back to the early 1900s, the General Post Office (GPO) in central Mumbai offers a useful 'poste restante', where visitors to the city are able to collect forwarded mail. This is a popular service for many travellers and offers a convenient way for you to be contacted. For other travel advice when actually in Mumbai, head to the main tourist offices and travel agencies. Travel tips about life in Mumbai are below.
Useful Contact Details
The Government of India Tourist Office is the best place to come for tourist information in Mumbai and is a busy outlet, located across from the Churchgate train station, on Karve Road. It is possible to organise guides here and also learn more about the city's 'paying guest scheme', where you are able to lodge with locals at a fraction of the price of mainstream hotels.
Government of India Tourist Office
Address: 123 Maharshi Karve Road, Mumbai, India, IN
Tel: +91 022 2220 7433
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 18:00, Saturday - 08:30 to 14:00
Maharshtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Booth
Address: Apollo Blunder, Mumbai, India, IN
Tel: +91 022 2284 1877
This booth is close to the Gateway of India and is a good place to purchase tickets for guided MTDC bus tours.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Maharshtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Reservation Office
Address: Madame Cama Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai, India, IN
Tel: +91 022 2202 6713
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:45 to 17:30
Mumbai General Post Office (GPO)
Address: St. George's Road, Mumbai, 400 021, India, IN
Tel: +91 022 2262 0956
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 20:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Government of India Tourist Office booths are also available at the arrivals hall in nearby Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Tel: +91 022 2682 9248).
Language and Dialect
The official language of both Mumbai is Marathi, which is widely used throughout the whole state of Maharashtra and spoken by around 90 million people globally.
Other languages widely used in Mumbai include both Konkani and also English. However, Hindi remains India's most important language and recognised by most. Some basic Hindi phrases are below.
Hi / Hello
- shubha prabhaat
- shamma kare
Where can I find...?
- kahan milenge...?
- theek hai
What's your name?
- aapka naam kya hai?
My name is...
- mera naam...
Useful Advice and Scams
- Banks, Current Exchange and ATMs - 24-hour cashpoints are linked to all of the main banking networks and can be found outside banks on the Colaba Causeway, Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Road, MG Road and also next to the reservation hall at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
- Bookshops - both new and second-hand books are available from stalls and shops along NS Patkar Marg, MG Road, Dinsha Wachnha Road, Colaba Causeway and around the Flora Fountain
- Clothing and Dresscode - women wearing 'skimpy' tops and short skirts will often cause locals in Mumbai to stare and this is not considered to be a suitable dress code should you wish to visit temples and shrines, where you may even be asked to cover your head
- Credit Cards, Cash and Haggling - credit cards are happily accepted in Mumbai, although it is sensible to exchange some Indian Rupees, especially if you intend to shop in the local markets and bazaars, when you should be prepared to haggle
- Drinking Water - under no circumstances should you drink tap water anywhere in Mumbai, and also worth noting, avoid ice. Bottled water is safe, although do check that the seal is intact. Bring water purification tablets to be safe
- English-Language Publications - the main English-language publications available in Mumbai include City Info, Indian Express, Mid-Day, Time Out Mumbai and Times of India
- Internet Access - plenty of Internet cafes are located around central Mumbai, with convenient locations including Sukhadwala Road, Walton Road and Colaba Causeway
- Maps - the most comprehensive map of the city is the 'Eicher City Map of Mumbai', which is worth obtaining if you are planning to spend a lengthy period of time in the city
- Mobile Phones - consider bringing your mobile phone to Mumbai. It is relatively simple to get hooked up to the local network and regional telephone calls are generally quite cheap
- Pickpockets - keep alert in busy crowds, when pickpockets are most likely to be operating. Conceal valuables and use a money belt if at all possible
- Tipping - tip at your discretion when dining out at restaurants. Hotel porters and taxi drivers in Mumbai will expect a small tip, if you consider that their service has been good
- Toilets - mid-range and upscale hotels all features sit-down toilets and also toilet paper, which you will be expected to dispose of in the available bin. However, at Mumbai's most basic value lodging, you may also have some traditional Indian-style 'squat' toilets, where toilet paper may not be supplied. Instead you will need to use the tap and a nearby plastic jug
- Travel Agents - an number of dodgy travel agents have arrived in Mumbai and are simply out to rip you off. Always ensure that the actual agent is a member of one of the main accredited associations, such as the Indian Association of Tour Operators. Also, do insist that they write down exactly what has been promised