Mumbai

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Mumbai (state tourism office), a cosmopolitan metropolis, earlier known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and the capital of the state Maharashtra. Mumbai was originally a conglomeration of seven islands on the Konkan coastline which over time were joined to form the island city of Bombay. The island was in turn joined with the neighbouring island of Salsette to form Greater Bombay. The city has an estimated metropolitan population of 21 million (2005), making it one of the world's most populous cities. It is comparable to other Asian cities such as Karachi, Dhaka or Colombo to which the city share many similarities Mumbai is undoubtedly the commercial capital of India and is one of the predominant port cities in the country. Mumbai's nature as the most eclectic and cosmopolitan Indian city is symbolized in the presence of Bollywood within the city, the centre of the globally-influential Hindi film and TV industries. It is also home to India's largest slum population. (less...) (more...)

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  • Business object Business object
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  • Education Education
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Points of Interest in Mumbai

There is a lot to see in Mumbai, but the typical "tourist" sights are concentrated in South Mumbai.

By Indian standards, Mumbai is a young city and much of the land comprising the city did not exist until it was claimed from the sea over three centuries ago. It is therefore, a pleasant surprise to find rock cut caves such as the Elephanta, Kanheri, and Mahakali within city limits.

Colonial buildings

The British built a magnificent city within the walls of Fort St. George, which lies at the southern extremity of the city. Some fine examples of the Gothic revival, Neo-classical style and Indo-Saracenic style are seen within this area. To get the best [South Mumbai] experience, stroll around the wide streets of the area right from Churchgate to Colaba. These areas are all beautifully planned and have wide and clean pavements unlike the rest of the city. Famous monuments to be seen in this area are the Gateway of India, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus) building, the Municipal Corporation and Police Headquarters and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sanghralaya (formerly, the Prince Of Wales museum). The famous Taj Mahal hotel is located just opposite the Gateway of India. The Mumbai University buildings and the High Court are also excellent examples of colonial architecture in the city.

There are a lot of other modern structures to look at in this area. The area known as Marine Drive (right from Chowpatty beach to NCPA) is home to a large number of buildings built in the Art Deco style. Mumbai is second only to Miami in the number of Art Deco buildings. some famous buildings in this style are the Eros and Regal cinemas.

Museums and galleries

Some of the most famous museums and art galleries in India are found here. The Kala Ghoda area in South Mumbai teems with them, particularly the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum), and the National Gallery of Modern Art. Once again, most of them are concentrated in South Mumbai. Also worth planning a visit is Jehangir Art Gallery, also at Kala Ghoda, displays changing exhibits by notable artists. The plaza next to the gallery also regularly displays exhibits of various artists.

Situated in Nehru Complex in Worli is Nehru Centre Art Gallery at Worli, a gallery dedicated to young and promising talent along with established artists. Also within the complex is located a permanent exposition, Discovery of India, which attempts to cover every aspect of artistic, intellectual and philosophical attainment of India through ages. The exposition spreads across 14 galleries and reflects true identity of the country. On the other end of the complex, Nehru Science Centre - which has a separate entrance from Mahalaxmi race course road, has a permanent exhibition on 'interactive and exciting' science related exhibits highlighting science principles in fun yet educational way.

Beaches

Mumbai isn't known for beaches because they have immensely filthy water! Mumbai has a few beaches, including one in the downtown area. But they aren't that great and the water off Mumbai's coast is extraordinarily dirty. The relatively better ones are in the Northwest Mumbai area. However, they are a great place to see how the locals spend their Sunday evenings, with various food and game stalls.

There are other beaches to be found such as the Girgaon Chowpaty(the cleanest one) in South Mumbai, Juhu beach in the western suburbs and Aksa Beach in Malad. The currents don't seem strong, but particularly in the rains, lots of people die from drowning, so avoid getting in the water (especially at Aksa Beach). A word of advice to women: Bombay beaches are not the kind you can wear swimsuits to, particularly two-pieces.

Zoos, parks and gardens

Mumbai has a justified reputation as a concrete jungle, but there are some nice pockets of greenery within the city. It is also one of the rare metropolises to have an entire national park within its borders. (Borivali national park also known as Sanjay Gandhi National Park [10]). You will not visit Mumbai for them, but if you are already here, they make a nice escape from the din and bustle. It also houses the ancient Kanheri Caves crafted out of rocky cliffs, which dates back to 2,400 years. Entrance fee: Indians/Foreigns 30/30

The city zoo (Veermata Jijabai Udyan) is in Byculla and is a colonial relic which is surprisingly well-preserved. The animals may look rather emaciated, but the sheer diversity of trees on this lush zoo is worth a trip.

Some city parks are very well-maintained and combine history as well. The "Hanging Gardens" on Malabar Hill offers stunning vistas of the Marine Drive. Opposite the Hanging Gardens, there is another park which is known as Kamla Nehru Park, famous for the striking shoe-shaped structure which has been filmed in various Bollywood movies

Further in South Mumbai, the Mumbai Port Trust Garden, is another hidden gem. This is set off a small side street off the Colaba Causeway 2–3 km south of the main section. Once again, lovely views of the port, the naval yards, and sunset.

In central Mumbai, there are the Five Gardens. Mainly used by walkers in the morning, it is a mess in the evenings. But the gardens encircle some historic, art deco residences.

Markets and crowds

Mumbai is probably worth visiting just for its street markets, the hustle of vendors, and the madness of the crowds. Good places are Bandra, Khar and Andheri. If you came to Mumbai and didn't give visit to the highly dense and crowded markets, it means you didn't meet the real Mumbai.

Hawkers and street shoppers don't ask for any legal permission and then set their stalls at the places where they see maximum footfall. From electronics items to fresh food, you can get everything at railway platforms, subway and mains streets.

Modern buildings and malls

Once the British left, the zeal to wipe away the traces of colonial rule was, unfortunately, not matched by the enthusiasm to build a new city that matched the grandeur of the British-era buildings. Now, while the shabbiness of the socialist era is thankfully being replaced by architecture with an eye on aesthetics, the new malls, multiplexes, and office buildings that are coming up are indistinguishable from those anywhere else in the world. Still, they are worth a look, especially if you want to have a look at India's success story. Skyscrapers exceeding 60 stories now dominate the skyline.

For long, Inorbit Mall was the only mall offering a lot of variety for shoppers. Palladium, built within the High Street Phoenix, broke the monopoly of Inorbit Mall. From state of the art interiors to international brands, the Palladium has everything. The new Infiniti Mall (Infinity 2) in Malad also has lots of foreign brands and is one of the biggest malls in the suburbs. Nirmal Lifestyles Mall in Mulund and Metro Junction Mall in Kalyan are two of the largest malls in Mumbai. Located in the central suburbs, they are quite popular in the city.

Powai is a modern central Mumbai suburb with European looks. Powai houses the Indian Institute of Technology and is built around fabulous lake. Most of the construction is in a township format and is privately built. It houses twenty top of the line restaurants, two large convenience stores, a handful of coffee shops and entertainment areas. Initially built as an upmarket self-contained township, Powai has now grown into a business process outsourcing hub in Mumbai. The township reflects both characteristics; you will often find families shopping and twenty somethings hanging out in tables next to each other.

Religious places

Mumbai has temples, mosques, churches, Parsi agiaries, and even a few synagogues reflecting the diversity of its citizens. While these are naturally of interest if you are a believer, some, like the Portuguese church at Dadar are worth visiting just for their unique architecture.

Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most visited places in Mumbai. The Dargah Sharief is built on a tiny islet located 500 meters from the coast, in the middle of Worli Bay, in the vicinity of Worli. People from different religion and places visit this places. More than 80,000 people visit dargah every week.

One notable monument in the northwest suburbs of Mumbai is the Global Vipassana Pagoda [11], Gorai, Mumbai. It is a meditation center that can seat 8000 people. Vipassana literally means mediation, and the center runs 10-day meditation courses and 1 day mega courses on Sundays. The courses are free of cost but you would have to register for them in advance on their website.

Siddhivinayak temple of Mumbai is very famous. It is located in Dadar and you can easily get a taxi to go to the temple from the Dadar railway station.

The city also boasts of Jewish places of worship predominantly in the area called Byculla.In this area the three prominent sub castes among inhabiting Jews of Mumbai lived. They were Bagdadi Jews, Bene Israelis and the locals who had conveted over a period of time and lived in the hinterland.

There are two very beautiful Hare Krishna (ISKCON) temples that are significant tourist attractions. One is located in Hare Krishna land, Juhu, Andheri and the other in South Mumbai, near Gandhi's house. Both have Govinda's pure vegetarian restaurants at the premises. Most tourists appreciate the peaceful experience in the temple. It is of international standards and you can get all your spiritual questions answered in plain English.

Gateway of India

National Gallery of Modern Art

Jehangir Art Gallery

Rajabai Tower

Eros Theater

Bombay Stock Exchange

Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Flora Fountain

Girgaun Chowpatty

Horniman Circle Gardens

Bodhi Art Gallery

Mantralaya

Air India Building

St. Thomas Cathedral

General Post Office

Bombay High Court

Crawford Market

Kamala Nehru Park

Saifee Hospital

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About Mumbai

History

Though the seven islands that now make up the city have a long recorded history like any other place in India, their journey to form the city of Mumbai really started in 1498, when the Portuguese took them over from the Sultan of Gujarat. They built a settlement, forts, and churches, (including the strange looking Portuguese Church that stands to this day.) They, however, could not make much of their possession and the seven islands were handed over to England in 1661 as part of the dowry of Catherine de Braganza when she married Charles II of England. He wasn't very interested in the islands either, and he leased them to the British East India Company for £10 a year in 1668. The East India Company built the docks, the trading posts, and the fort that would form the nerve centre of the city. They also started off the long process of reclaiming land and joining the islands, an activity which went on until the 1960s.

The port attracted industries and the entrepreneurial communities like the Parsis, Gujaratis, and Marwaris (from Rajasthan) migrated and set up trading companies and factories in the late 19th century. Industries attracted migrant labor from different parts of the country. The successive waves of migration shaped the character of the city and its neighborhoods.

The city that owes its existence to the efforts of the British was also the birthplace of the Indian National Congress, which played an overwhelmingly important role in the independence movement. The city whose mills were built by industrialists from across the country is the capital of Maharashtra state, which was carved on linguistic lines for Marathi speakers.

In the 80s, high labour costs and unrest forced the closure of many textile mills and the city went into a decline from which it started recovering only in the late 90s. The high population put a strain on the infrastructure. The rail and road network has been undergoing a steady improvement over the 90s, but because of the magnitude of the task, the roads seem to be perennially under construction. Mumbai has now reinvented itself as a hub for the Service industry.

In January 1993, in the wake of the destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, a wave of riots swept the city, with over 1,000 people killed, the vast majority of whom were Muslims. Relations between the city's various ethnic groups have been tense ever since, with several terrorist outrages (see #Stay safe) adding fuel to the fire.

Climate

Mumbai has three main seasons — Summer, Monsoon, and Winter (milder summer). The best time to visit is during the winter between November and February. Humidity is also less during the winter, when the climate is pleasant; the minimum temperature is 17 degrees centigrade and the maximum is 30-31 degrees. Summer is from March to May with highs in the low to mid 30s (roughly 80-90°F). It is hot and humid during this time. June to September is the monsoon season when the city is lashed by heavy rains. The city gets flooded two or three times and normal life gets disrupted during this season. Climate is humid pretty much throughout the year because the city rests on the coast.

Activities

There is a lot to do in Mumbai, but lack of space means that for outdoorsy activities, you need to head north, often outside city limits. In the Northwestern suburbs and Thane, you will find opportunities for water sports like H20 at Girgaum Chowpatty. There are two golf courses in the city, the more famous one in Chembur in the Harbour suburbs.

Mumbai has a vibrant theater scene with plays in many languages including English, Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi. While South Mumbai has frequent performances, the best organized theater effort is at Prithvi theater, Juhu in the Western Suburbs. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Indian classical music and dance. While not a patch on the Sabhas of Chennai, you will find frequent performances of Carnatic music in Shanmukhananda Hall, Matunga in the South Central suburbs.

Mumbai is also usually the first stop for Western pop and rock stars visiting India, which they usually do when they are over 50. The Rock scene is very good in Mumbai. These are very safe to go to and are recommended for rock fans. Most bands cover heavy metal acts like Pantera, Six feet under, and Slipknot, but at places like 'Not just jazz by the bay', there are treats for Jazz fans, as well. To try to find places with specific music tastes try asking students outside Mumbai's colleges. Western classical music performances are rarer. However most classical music performances along with other art forms are regularly performed at NCPA and Tata Theatre, both situated next to the narrow strip at Nariman Point.

  • Experience Bollywood; plan a trip to Film City located in Goregaon and enjoy the first hand experience of Bollywood shooting
  • Watch a Movie; you are in the land of Bollywood. Expect whistles and clapping by crowd in admiration of their celebrities on the screen. Most of the cinema halls run both 'popular and new' Bollywood as well as Hollywood movies and some even screen ones in regional languages. Some of the popular Hollywood screening cinema halls in South Mumbai are Eros opposite Churchgate, Metro on M.G.Road, Regal in Colaba, Sterling next to CST Station, and New Excelsior in Fort. With the rise of malls and multiplexes, the nearest cinema is unlikely to be more than a stone's throw away, even in the suburbs. Check out newspaper listing to get the list of latest screenings.
  • Visit Essel World
  • Take A Dip at Water World
  • Visit museums and art galleries
  • Pub Hopping, The number and variety of Pubs in the city allow for an enthralling Pub Hopping opportunity.
  • Borivili National Park, or go for Flamingo watching in Chembur (check with Bombay Natural History Society for further info).
  • Watch Cricket for Free; cricket is has a national games stature in India, and Mumbaiites revere that every day of the year. Azad Maidan (Azad ground) near C.S.T. Railway station, ground opposite to Ruia College in Matunga and Shivaji Park in Dadar west are some of the best places to witness the cricket fever for free. Look out and you may be even lucky to witness ongoing game of cricket on some of the empty streets of Mumbai.
  • Temples; there are so many religious places around in the city (both old and new) that one can plan a day long itinerary on that. Start with Mahalkshmi Temple, Banganga Temple, Siddhi Vinayak, Afghan Church, Mahim Church, Haji Ali... the list will get really long.
  • Take a Slum Tour. Reality Tours and Travel and Be the Local Tours walk through Dharavi, Asia's largest slum. Both groups are socially conscious, one run by students in Dharavi itself, and many of the proceeds go to charity. Both offer tours for Rs 500 which take 2,5 to 3,5 hours. Reality Tours and Travel also offers a tour for Rs 800 which includes a trip to Dhobi Ghat, the largest open air laundry in the world, and the red light district. Short walks are also available from Be the Local, Reality Tours and Travel also provides other city tours. Note: Photos are not permitted during either group's tour of the slum, out of respect for the residents. If you must have that slum pic, just provide your guide with your email details, they will be happy to arrange to email you a nice set of pics.
  • Cruise on a Harbour Cruise; cruises from Gateway of India leave every 30 min daily except during the monsoon season (Jun-Sep). Rs 40.
  • Join for Heritage walks. organized by two architects, these walks take you around various historic and architecturally significant areas of the city. Walks are organized on the third Sunday of every month (with a break from June through August for the monsoons) and the route varies each time. The walks last around 90 min. Rs 100 (Discounted rates for students and the physically challenged).
  • Walk along Marine Drive; also known as Queen's Necklace, this beachside promenade is worth a ride. A walk can be planned from Girgaon Chowpati (Girgaon beach) all the way up to Nariman Point. Be careful and avoid this area during heavy rains.
  • Take a morning walk on Juhu beach
  • Taj private yacht; if you can afford it (at $300/hr, including drinks & meals), rent the Taj's private yacht (has two sun decks and three bedrooms) for a cruise around the Mumbai harbour.
  • Poonawallas Breeders Multimillion; on the last Sunday of February, the glitterati of Mumbai dress up for the Ascot of Mumbai at the Mahalaxmi Race Course. With High Tea, amazing hats, and hundreds of ordinary punters staking their little all on the outside chance, this is the event to attend in Mumbai so try to cage a ticket if you happen to visit around then.
  • Enjoy theatre & performances; Mumbai offers unlimited opportunities to theatre lovers and there are regular shows across theatres in the city. Check newspapers on latest shows as well as performances at prominent halls such as Prithvi Theatre, NCPA, Tata Theatre.
  • Get crowded, and try catching suburban trains at peak times. You are warned though.
  • Chowpati Jayenge Bhel Puri Khayenge; as it says in the lyrics of one of the Bollywood movie song, go to beaches (specially in the evenings) and enjoy local favourite 'Bhel Puri' while the sun sets in the Arabian sea.

Festivals

While many religious festivals are celebrated by people in Mumbai, a few of these are essentially public and social occasions, where the traveller can participate.

Organized festivals & events

  • Mumbai Festival (Jan) Sample the vibrant culture of the city. The festival covers theater, sports, fashion, food, and shopping.
  • Banganga Festival. (Jan) The musical festival is organized by Maharashtra Tourism (MTDC) annually at Banganga Tank on Malabar Hill.
  • Kala Ghoda Festival. The arts and crafts festival is held in the last week of Jan or first week of Feb annually in the historic precinct of Kala ghoda in Mumbai.
  • Elephanta Festival. (March) Organized by Maharashtra Tourism, the festival of music and dance at Elephanta Caves has in the past festivals have seen performances by renowned artists like Alarmel Valli, Sanjeev Abhyankar, and Ananda Shankar and traditional Koli dances as well as traditional food. 7PM-10PM (Ferries start at 4PM), Rs 300 per day (includes to and from journey by ferry from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island)
  • Mumbai Wine Fest (Feb) Wine connoisseurs across the city gather to sample wines, enjoy the culinary delights while soaking in the cultural extravaganza put up at Kala Ghoda.

Religious festivals

  • Janmashtami (Jul/Aug) Birth Anniversary of Lord Krishna. Earthen pots full of curd are strung high up across the streets. Young men stand on top of one another to form a human pyramid and attempt to break the pots.
  • Ramadan-Id Muslim festival marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Marked by feasting at many places. Non-Muslims can also join in.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi (Aug/Sep) is one of Mumbai's most important and colorful festivals. During the 10 day celebration, Lord Ganesh is worshiped in millions of homes. See the colourful processions and participate in them. The Lalbaug, Parel, Matunga and Dadar areas represent some of the best large scale decorations. On the last day of the festival, processions are carried out to bid bye to the loved deity in the sea. These presentations are colourful and carry a celebration fever. The best places to watch them are Girgaon and Dadar chowpati (beach) or the main roads such as Ambedkar road from where the processions are carried out.
  • Mt. Mary's Feast (Sep) The feast in honor of Our Lady of the Mount is celebrated with great solemnity at St. Mary's Church, Bandra. A week long Bandra fair is held during this time attracting huge crowds.
  • Navratri (Sep/Oct) is a 10 day festival, where nine of the nights are spent in worship and entire Mumbai swings to the rhythm of Garba and Raas dances of Gujarati community.
  • Diwali (Oct/Nov) Festival of Lights. Start of New Year and opening of new accounts. Worshiping of Goddess Laxmi. Participate in the fireworks and view the bright lights.
  • Christmas (Dec) This is characterised by midnight (nowadays held around 8-9PM on Christmas Eve due to restrictions on loud speakers) masses in churches and is usually followed by a number of private parties all across the city.

Sports

Mumbai inherits the cricket fever justifiably and has 3 of the finest Crickets stadiums namely Brabourne Stadium (Churchgate), Wankhede Stadium (Marine Lines) and D.Y.Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai). Several of international cricket matches and domestic championships such as IPL have been played in these stadiums. Watch out for upcoming cricket stadium to join the cricket frenzy crowd. Apart from these, Ruia College, Shivaji Park, Azad Maidan, Marine Lines are some of the places where live cricket action can be seen for free. Alternatively if you are a football (soccer) fan, you may want to visit Cooperage Football ground (Colaba) for a local league match. For swimming enthusiasists, Mahatma Gandhi Swimming Pool (Dadar W) is the place to visit. For horse racing, head straight to Mahalakshmi Race Course (Mahalakshmi). Powai hosts some of the finest Golf fields. For others there are many sport activities including Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton which can be practised at various clubs. Gyms are plenty and can be easily found.

Food

The dining experience at an upscale restaurant in Mumbai is more or less the same as anywhere else in the world. If you search hard enough, you will find cuisine from practically every part of the world represented in the city. But to get a real flavour of what's unique to Mumbai, you will have to go a little lower down the scale and experience the street food and Irani cafes. That is what is described here. For individual restaurants and other places to eat, go to the individual district pages.

Don't leave Mumbai without trying:

  • Vada pav (the Indian veg burger): known to be the dish of Mumbai
  • Gujrati, Maharashtrian,Managlorean special and Kerala Thali
  • Indian Chinese
  • Goan seafood
  • As many different kinds of chaat (Bhelpuri, Pav Bhaji etc.) as your stomach can handle
  • Kebab rolls, Pattis, Keema
  • Indian sweets- milky, delicious concoctions (try the kulfi falooda at Badshah's in Crawford market)
  • South Indian food from an Udupi restaurant
  • Bread Maska (Bread & Butter) from an Irani Cafe
  • Kingfisher Blue beer
  • Alfanso Mangoes during summer season

Speciality restaurants

Tourists are suggested to use local Business search engines through the Internet or telephone for easy and accurate listing of the places or cuisines of interests in the location of choice. Popular search Engines include Justdial [14], Burrp [15], AskLaila [16], etc. The search engines shall provide the address, contact details, and user ratings (if available) of the specific eatery (if name is provided), or list of eatery catering to the specialty (e.g. Seafood, Pubs, Chinese Food, etc.) depending on the location suggested (e.g. Worli, Bandra, South Mumbai, etc.)

  • Seafood, Apurva (Fort right off Horniman Circle). If you want to eat some authentic Indian (Konkan) sea food you must visit the Bharat Excellensea. It is located next to the Horniman Circle and the Reserve Bank of India. It is becoming pretty expensive. In the slightly higher price range, Trishna (at Kala Ghoda in Fort) and Mahesh Lunch Home (also in Fort) are very popular among both locals and tourists.

North Western

  • Peshawari, Andheri, (at Maratha Sheraton). It's sister restaurant Bukhara in Delhi has been recognised as the best Indian restaurant across the world. Try tandoori jhinga, the kebab platter, sikandari raan (leg of lamb), and mangoes and ice cream (only during summers), Kebab Corner (Hotel Intercontinental), Copper Chimney (Worli) Khyber (Kala Ghoda), and Kareem's Malad Link Road in Malad W.

International Cuisine

  • Sushi, Sushi Café (Santa Cruz West). Sushi Café is a cosy little place. The decor, including the furniture, is all-white. Here, you can get 20 pieces of those delicious, delicately-flavoured chunks of white rice rolled with fresh fish and vegetables for just Rs 600. The food is as much a feast for the eyes as it is a treat for the tongue. They also do home delivery all over Mumbai. Sushi Café, Shop No. 1, Ground Floor, Sainara Building, corner of North Avenue and Linking Road, Santa Cruz (West), Tel: 98336-50503, www.sushicafemumbai.com.
  • Chinese, India Jones, (Hilton Towers Mumbai), Mainland China (Saki Naka), Ling's Pavilion (Colaba), Golden Dragon (Taj Mahal Hotel), Great Wall (Renaissance), Spices (JW Marriott), China Gate (Bandra), China White (Bandra). Bandra offers a range of Chinese Restaurants ([17]. Royal China at VT (behind Sterling Cinema serves some of the best DimSum the city has to offer). The new CG83 at Kemps corner is brilliant and the signature restaurant of Nelson Wang. Also new is Henry Thams. The food is brilliant as are the prices, however the bar is much more popular than the restaurant.
  • Combination Oriental, India Jones (Hilton Towers Mumbai), Pan Asian (at Maratha Sheraton), Seijo, and Soul Dish (Bandra), Joss (Kala Ghoda) has some of the best East Asian food in the country and at moderate prices (compared to hotels). San Qi at the Four Seasons (Worli) combines East Asian and South Asian cuisine quite well.
  • Japanese, Wasabi by Morimoto (Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba) is Mumbai's best and most expensive restaurant, but Japanese food is on the menus of most Pan Asian restaurants like Tiffin (The Oberoi, Mumbai), Pan Asian (Maratha Sheraton), India Jones (Hilton Towers Mumbai), and Spices (JW Marriott), Origami (Atria Mall Worli). Also Japengo Cafe at CR2 Mall in Nariman Point serves up some sushi. Tetsuma, adjacent to Prive (probably best nightclub in town) serves an average sushi but other dishes are worth a try. Best to go there for a cocktail and a few starters. 'Tian cafe' at Juhu is also a good place for sushi. Try the Teppanyaki restaurant at Tian.
  • Italian, Shatranj Nepoli (Bandra, Union Park), Little Italy (Juhu next to Maneckji Cooper school), Don Giovanni's (Juhu, opposite JW Marriott), Mezzo Mezzo (at the JW Marriott), Vetro (at The Oberoi, Mumbai), Celini (at the Grand Hyatt), Mangi Ferra (Juhu), Taxi(Colaba), Spaghetti Kitchen (Phoenix Mills, Parel).
  • Lebanese Food, Picadilly, at Colaba Causeway, deserves mention for being the only restaurant to serve Lebanese food. Try their shawormas. Cost for a meal for one Rs 100-200. Alcohol is not served.
  • Parsi, Their ancestors originating from Iran, the Parsis are a special community of people that one would associate Mumbai with. Parsi food is based on ancient Persian cooking. Go to Brittania at Ballard Estate or Jimmy Boy close to Horniman Circle.

International brands

  • Chili's, Central Avenue Road, Powai, Ventura Building, Hiranandani Business Park.
  • Ruby Tuesday, shop No. 20, 2nd Floor, Inorbit mall, Malad (West) or at Shop No. 31, CR 2 Mall, Nariman Point, Mumbai OR Nirmal Lifestyle, Lbs Marg, Mulund West.
  • T.G.I.F, Palladium mall,Phoenix High Street,Lower Parel or Infiniti Mall,New Link Road,Oshiwara,Andheri(West).
  • Cinnabon, (next to Basilico), Pali Naka, Bandra (West).
  • California Pizza Kitchen, 3 North Avenue. Maker Maxity, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East).
  • Starbucks Coffee, Behind Taj Hotel, Near Gateway of India.

Regional Indian

  • South Indian, Dakshin (Maratha Sheraton) and Woodlands (Juhu)
  • Bengali, Oh! Calcutta at Tardeo
  • Kashmiri, Poush at Andheri
  • Punjabi, Preetam's Dhaba at Dadar(E) and Urban Tadka at Mulund
  • Goan Cuisine, Casa Soul Fry opposite to Bombay University in town
  • Gujarati Thalis, Chetana at Kala Ghoda, Thacker's at Marine Drive, and Rajdhani (multiple locations)
  • General Indian, Sheetal Bukhara, Great Punjab (both in Bandra). More in Bandra.
  • Vegetarian, Swati Snacks (Tardeo, opposite Bhatia Hospital) a gem of a restaurant, it does not take bookings and the waiting during peak meal times is usually 45 minutes every day of the week! Little Italy located on Juhu Tara Road (Jugu), Andheri West opp. Fame Adlabs multiplex, Malad (above croma), New Yorkers on Marine Drive Opp chowpatty; Creame Center on Linking Road, Bandra near Shopper's Stop and also on Marine Drive opp chowpatty; Statua at Nariman point opp. Maker Chambers. Relish (Hotel Samrat — Churchgate). Excellent vegetarian cuisine from around the world.
  • Fusion, Zenzi (Waterfield Road, Bandra), Out of the Blue ( Pali Hill, Bandra).
  • Lounge, Olive (Bandra), Rain (Juhu), Indigo.
  • Speciality Deli, Indigo Deli (Colaba), Gourmet Shoppe (The Oberoi Shopping Arcade), Moshe's (Cuffe Parade), Cafe Basilico.
  • Cafe. Leopold and Cafe Mondegar (both near Regal Cinema, Colaba) are great places to while away time, eat cheap, and get a beer. Mocha (chain) is popular with the younger crowd. Deliciae, the dessert cafe which has some of the best desserts in town, located next to Olive Restaurant in Khar.
  • 24X7 Coffee Shops, Trattoria (Taj President), Frangipani (Hilton Towers Mumbai), Vista (Taj Land's End, Bandra), Hornby's Pavilion (ITC Grand Central), Lotus Cafe (JW Marriott), basically all the big hotels have one. More coffee shops in Bandra [18]
  • Goan, Coastal, Goa Portuguesa (Mahim) near Hinduja Hospital. New and a must try is Casa Soul Fry (opposite Bombay University in town) which serves up Goan Cuisine.
  • Mumbai Street Food, To experience the tastes and flavors of typical Mumbai chaat, and yet not expose oneself to the dangers of unhygienic street food, check out Vitthal's Restaurant located on one of the lanes opposite Sterling Cinema (C.S.T.), but make sure you have a strong stomach. Vithal Bhelwalla (not the Vithal restaurant which is copycat) near VT station (behind Macdonald's) is a safe option.

Street food stalls

Songs have been written about Mumbai's street food and you will find that the hype is justified. You will find them at every street corner, but they are concentrated in beaches and around railway stations.

  • Bhelpuri stalls, Selling what in the rest of India would be called chaat. In Mumbai itself, the term chaat is rarely used.
  • Rolls, Essentially different meat and cheese grilled and served with some Roti and spice, these are cheap and cheerful for anyone with a stomach that can handle it. They are known to be spicy so always ask them to make it mild. Try Ayubs (Kala Ghoda), Bade Miyan (highly over-rated), Khao Gulli (Food Lane, near Mahim Hindu Gymkhana), or Kareems (Bandra). All are particularly busy after a night of heavy drinking.
  • Vada pav stands, Fried potato stuffed in yeasty bread. Developed to provide nourishment to mill-workers in Mumbai's burgeoning mills. Now they are found everywhere, particularly in the railway stations. This is a Mumbai specialty. In Vile Parle (West), try the one off S.V Road near Irla across from Goklibai School. One of the most popular ones are opposite Mithibai College which is about 15 mins walk from Vile Parle Station. Also try the one outside Grant Road Station and Churchgate Station.
  • Sandwich stands, Uniquely developed in Mumbai, you won't find anything like it anywhere else in India or the world.
  • Chinese food stalls, You'll find them at many places, but they are particularly concentrated near Dadar railway station. They all have a typical Indian twist added to it, which is why it is frequently called "Indian Chinese". Although it is great tasting, the hygiene of these places leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Bhurji, Either Egg bhurji or Paneer bhurji, a mash of eggs and chopped tomato, onion, chili, and lots of oil. Eaten on the side with some pav. Try the Maker Chamber area (near Crossroads 2, Nariman Point).

Tip: cheap and tasty food stalls are concentrated around the city's colleges.

Street stall food in India is fantastic, and dirt cheap (you can fill yourself up for Rs 20). However, do consider well what you are putting in your mouth. Almost certainly the water used is non-potable, street vendors don't seem to understand much about hygiene or hand-washing, and food safety standards are low, with flies buzzing over everything. Even locals steer clear of street food during the monsoons, when diseases run rampant. If the stall seems very clean, and if it clearly states that it is using Aquaguard or mineral water, go for it.

Authentic Marathi cuisine

Mumbai, being home to large ethnic Marathi community, has its share of notable restaurants that offer authentic Marathi cuisine. Most offer both snacks and regular dining. Some of the snacks to check out are Sabudana Wada, Batata Wada, Missal, Kanda Poha, Uppit (or Upma), Shira, Alu Wadi, Thalipith, Zunka Bhakari,ghavane (neer dosa) and many more. Two notable appetizer are Kokam Sarbat and Solkadhi which are best enjoyed during hot summers. People say that many of these authentic Marathi restaurants are finding it difficult to survive competitions with other modern or fast food typed restaurants, but you will find Gajali, Malvan Kinara, Sindhudurg and many more have retained their own charm and clientele.

Udupi restaurants

Mangalorians(and udupi) forms the highset tourist populations of Mumbai,and both the cities have almost same culture and architecture. "Udupi" restaurants (or "hotels") are everywhere. They bear the name of the town of Udupi in Karnataka, but do not be misled into thinking that they specialize in the cuisine of Udupi. They serve pretty much everything, and that is their specialty.

Usually strictly vegetarian, these restaurants were opened by migrants from the district of Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka (of which Udupi is a part), to satisfy the palates of other migrants from the district. Over time, they gained popularity as places to have South Indian food. As the tastes of their customers evolved, so to did their menus, so much that now you can find Mughlai, Indian Chinese, Bhelpuri, and other chaats in addition to South Indian stuff. Amazingly, some places serve imitations of pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches too!

They are fast food joints and sit-down restaurants combined. The reason to visit them is not to experience fine gourmet dining, but to have cheap, passably tasty and fairly hygienic food. There is no easy way to identify an Udupi restaurant — they are not a chain of restaurants and they may not have "Udupi" in their name, so you will have to ask.

Matunga(Central line) has the best south Indian fare in Mumbai. There are few restaurants which could well be heritage sites as they are more than 50 years old and still retain their old world charm(and furniture).

Irani cafes

Irani cafe's are Persian styled cafes opened by 19th century Persian migrants from Iran. These cafes have a unique lazy atmosphere, display of day-to-day accessories including toothpastes behind the cashier, soaps and what nots(specially targeted at bachelor crowds) and furniture. Most of these cafes were located at the corner of the road or building and were chosen spots by commuters to spend time. It was quite a usual sight to find people spending hours reading newspaper over a cup of tea for hours in these places. Sadly the new restaurants and fast food culture has almost removed these cafes from the maps, though few notables like Kyani & Co. and Olympia remain. The joints are best known for their "Irani Chai", "Bun-Maska/Maska Pav" (bread and butter) and Egg Omelette. Also are popular their assorted snacks, like Kheema-na-Patice, samosas, mava-na-cakes, etc. One of the best dish which is almost always on the menu is Kheema (prepared from ground meat) and pav (bread).

Thalis

If you order a thali (translated as "plate"), you get a complete meal arranged on your plate, with a roti or chappati, rice, and many different varieties of curries and curd. Ordering a thali is a popular option when you are hungry and in a hurry as it is usually served blazingly fast. Most mid-level restaurants have a thali on the menu, at least during lunch hours. Occasionally, they are "unlimited", which means that some of the items are all-you-can-eat. The waiters serve them at your table.

Of course, you find many varieties of them, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. There is the South Indian thali. The "North Indian" thali translates to Mughlai or Punjabi. Do try Gujarati or Rajasthani thalis if you can find them. They are sinfully filling and tasty. Rajdhani (At Crawford Market) serves up thalis in the Rajasthani style while Aram (near Mahim Church, Mahim), Ramanayak Udipi (At Matunga Station, east) serves up thalis in South Indian style and Shree Thakker Bhojanalaya (off Kalbadevi Road) do filling and fabulous Gujarati thalis.

Fast food chains

Surprisingly, there is no fast-food chain in Mumbai serving Indian cuisine. But Western chains like McDonalds [19], Subway [20], Pizza hut [21], Dominos [22],Kentucky Fried Chicken [23] etc. have many outlets all over the city. But if you are a weary westerner looking for the taste of the familiar, be warned that all of them have rather heavily Indianized their menus, so you will find the stuff there as exotic as you found Bambaiyya food. However, Barista [24], Cafe Coffee Day [25], and Smokin' Joe's [26] are all Indian chains, although they don't serve Indian food. While Barista and Cafe Coffee Day, as there names suggest, serve coffee and pastries, Smokin' Joe's serves decent pizzas and is headquartered in Carmichael Rd, Mumbai. International coffee chains like The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Aromas have recently set shop in Mumbai.

Naturals is a chain of ice cream stores that serves up tasty and unconventional flavours of ice creams. Try their tender coconut or the coffee walnut ice creams. Its main branch is in Juhu in the Western suburbs (hence the tagline - 'Ice cream of Juhu Scheme'), but it has franchises at many places including Marine Drive, Bandra, Nepean sea road, etc. Naturals is also famous for its seasonal "Sitaphal" or Custard Apple Ice-cream. Baskins-Robbins is an international ice cream chain having its presence throughout the city. Also there are a number of shops in malls anongst other places which serve Italian Gelato icecream.

Try the sumptuous creamy crepes and omelets at Crepe Station, Bandra. Its owned by a famous Bollywood actor, Dino Morea.

What to eat

Asking a local for suggestions is a fun way to try new things. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Vada Pav, the vada is a mashed potato patty. Pav is a kind of bread that has its roots in Mumbai. (The word comes from the Portuguese word "pão", for bread). The potato patty is sandwiched in the bread. Liberal helpings of three kinds of chutneys (sauces) are also added to the sandwich to make a seriously tasty snack. It is widely available on the streets and most folks price it Rs 6 a piece. If you feel uncomfortable with the hygiene of a particular stall, avoid it. In that case eating at, Jumbo Vada Pav [27] outlets, found almost at all train stations in the city, is a hygienic and safer options.
  • Pav Bhaji, Part of the street food culture, this is mashed vegetables cooked in spices, topped with butter and served piping hot with pav. Widely available.
  • Bhel Puri & sev puri, A classic Mumbai concoction, bhel-puri (or bhel for short) comprises mostly of puffed rice and assorted spices with a few chutneys. You can specify whether you want it spicy or bland and the vendor will make it for you. It is quite tasty and again ought to be had off the streets to get the real flavour. Most people though, like to flock to Juhu beach to try this out.
  • Pani Puri, For first timers, this can be seriously intriguing. The vendor hands you a plate. Next he takes a puri (it looks like a golf ball, but brown in color), makes a small hole in it, and dips the puri into two jars. These jars contain water — one tangy on a tamarind base, the other spicy on a mint base. He tops it off with some condiments and places the puri on your plate. You pick it with your hand and pop the whole thing into your mouth. The outcome is an explosion. Awesome. A word of caution here though. Make sure you don't have your pani puri from just any vendor. The best vendors use only packaged water. Stick to that and enjoy the taste.
  • Indian-Chinese, Nothing like regular Chinese. For a typical Bambaiyya flavour, try the Chinese Bhelpuri!.
  • Hapus (Alphonso) mangoes, A must try, if you happen to be in Mumbai in the summers.
  • Mewad ice cream, If you happen to be in Mumbai, it is recommended you avoid ice creams from the famous and expensive parlors and try out the cheap Mewad ice cream stalls. They are a lovely treat at their price and provide a lot of options. The vendors are found everywhere across the streets, but avoid those who appear unhygienic.
  • Variations of world cuisine such as Tandoori Chicken Pizzas - the Bombay Masala Pizza at the Pizzeria on Marine Drive is legendary and well worth investigation - or McAloo Tikki burgers.

Tipping

Tip between 5% at sit-down places. If a place includes service charges on the bill, you don't need to leave an extra tip. Note the difference between service tax and service charges. Service tax goes to Government and not to the staff. While tipping is always good practice, at bars you don't necessarily have to tip the bartender. If you plan to be there a while though it's a good idea to give him Rs 50-100 on your first drink to ensure a night of trouble-free service. You do not have to tip cab or auto drivers at all, and don't get out of the vehicle until they have given you full and exact change.

Drinks

Pubs & bars

A recent police crackdown (June 2012) on many popular bar and clubs is underway, so be cautious when visiting lower to mid range bars. Mumbai is one of the most liberal cities in India when it comes to attitudes to alcohol. Bars exist at virtually every street corner and many of them advertise themselves as "family" bars and restaurants, which indicates that they are primarily restaurants where one can also have a drink. Other places are primarily bars, some of them might be sleazy. In South Mumbai and in the Western suburbs, you are likely to find many places where foreigners hang out.

Mumbai is much more accepting of women drinking than the rest of India. A woman ordering a drink is unlikely to raise eyebrows even in mid-range bars, though if you are alone, you might need to look out for your safety.

Nightlife in Mumbai spans the gamut from performances at five star hotels to discos. Dance bars which involve young, fully clothed women dancing mostly to Hindi film and pop music, have been shut down by the government for corrupting the morals of those who frequent those places. While the state high court has ruled that the crackdown was illegal, it will be a while before they open again as there are some technicalities involved to be sorted out.

In Mumbai, alcohol is much more easily available than many cities in India.

LGBT options

There is already a lively late night, if somewhat subterranean, scene for gays, as well as social and political networks. However, you need to do your homework before arriving, as LGBT gathering spaces and organizations are not published or available at local newsstands. However, Bombay Dost (Bombay Friends) the only magazine catering to the community, after 7 years of running was closed and relaunched in 2009. Much of Mumbai's LGBT scene is coordinated using social networking sites and groups. Use extreme caution; robberies, hustlers, and even police entrapment are not unheard of, though a July 2009 judgment legalizing homosexuality should save you from the last one.

Coffee shops

There many coffee shops in and around Mumbai. Try the Cafe Coffee Day and Barista chains. Also, three Starbucks stores were opened in Mumbai in late 2012, and more are likely to follow. These are the best around town and also serve some pretty neat coffee for cheap. There's the Cafe Mocha chain of coffee shops which also serve fruit flavoured hookas — South Asian smoking pipes. If a small coffee and cookies place is what you are looking for, try Theobroma, it has an outlet at Cusrow Baug in Colaba. Those looking for a more native form of coffee can try the filter coffee, a milky coffee with origins from South India, from any Udupi restaurant.

Shopping

Visa and Master cards are widely accepted in the city shops. Many shopping establishments also accept American Express, Diners and host of other cards. However, some of the small shops or family-run shops may not accept these cards and some handy cash can be of help here. ATMs are widely available and many debit cards accepted as well. If you have an Indian bank account or credit card, you may not need to carry too much of cash. If you are a foreigner, it is a good idea to carry some cash to avoid charges while using your credit or debit card.

In general, costs in Mumbai are higher than the rest of India, though they are still much lower by Western standards.

The shopping experience in the city is a study in contrasts. At the lower end of the spectrum are street vendors. Existing at the borderline of legality, entire streets have been given over to these hawkers and in many places it is impossible to walk on the footpaths, because they have blocked the way. On the other hand, these vendors often give you a great bargain though you will have to haggle a lot and be careful about what to buy. There's nothing like taking a local along to shop for you. Some famous shopping streets are:

  • Chor bazaar, (get down at the Grant Rd station on the Western Line. The market is on the east side of the station). Chor Bazar which literally translates to "Thief Market" is a colloquial term used to refer a place selling stolen items. It consists of number of interconnecting by-lanes with street vendors hawking a wide variety of items from antiques to shoes to car accessories etc. The place can be quite a surprise for the number and type of items on sale. A great place to spot bargains and bartering is a must. Shop with a keen eye - look out for fakes or second hand items that are shoddily repaired and can be passed out for a quick buck. Don’t carry too many items like money / jewellery / watches on you when visit the market. Keep it to bare essentials and keep an eye on your belongings. There is a very good chance that you may get robbed since locals are apt at spotting first time shoppers.
  • Fashion Street, (from Chruchgate Station start walking towards Flora Fountain make a left turn and its a block down). Best place in Mumbai to buy cheap clothes. Bargaining/haggling skills are a must if you want to shop here! Offer to pay 1/4 of the asking price or less and then work your way upwards.
  • Colaba Causeway, is filled with tourists and locals. It is located very close to the Gateway of India. It is a place where you will be able to find many authentic Indian souvenirs, antiques, carpets, and chandeliers. But foreigners will have to be very careful, as all these stores are road-side stalls. What may seem a good price that the person has quoted to you, it will actually be a rip off. Do not settle for anything more than one-fourth the quoted price. If they refuse a price just walk away and they will call you back quoting a lower price. Normally, the more you buy, the less you will have to pay for each individual item.
  • Zaveri Bazaar, Best known jewellery Market, all at one place.
  • Mangaldas Market, for silk and cloth
  • Bhuleshwar Market, for fruits and vegetables
  • Dadar (W) Flower Market. Visit early morning to see colourful and wholesale flower market in action
  • Crawford Market, It is now officially known as the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Market. But locals still refer to it by its old name. It is within 10 minutes walking distance from the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus on the Central Line in South Mumbai. Earlier it was the major wholesale trading market for fruits & vegetables. Now it houses shops selling imported items such as food, cosmetics, household and gift items.
  • Family-run shops, Or one could do shopping at family-run shops, where the items are behind the counter and one has to ask the salesperson to get items from the list. The traditional way to buy sarees or jewelry is to go to a shop where you sit on a bedspread laid out on the floor and the salespeople bring out their wares one-by-one until you make a decision. Shops like Bharat Kshetra in Dadar have scaled this model up to such an extent that they have a two-storied complex where you can do the same.
  • Shopping Malls, Mumbai has been experiencing a boom in malls in the past few years. You can combine your shopping, dining out, and watching movies all in one place.

What to buy

  • Khadi clothing, Khadi is an authentic Indian variety of home spun cotton. Mahatma Gandhi advocated the use of khadi as a form of satyagraha against the use of foreign goods and a form of rural self-employment for India during the pre-independence days. Check out the Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan located at 286, DN Road, Near the Mumbai GPO & Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. It is run by the Khadi Gramudyog Vikas Samiti [12] which is an umbrella organization started by the Mahatma himself which today has evolved into a government registered unit promoting the use of khadi. A good place to buy souvenirs including khadi Indian flags. These are similar in type to the ones used during the freedom struggle. It also houses other forms of fabrics like pure cotton wool, and silk. Items on sale include Blankets, Sweaters, Shirt pieces, Sandals, Shoes, Folders, Files, etc. All the items are hand made. Some of the items make use of natural straw. They also offer a collection of handmade paper products.
  • Traditional clothing & handicrafts, State government operated emporiums such as those for Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir etc. sell state specific items of clothing and handicrafts. These are located in places around South Mumbai or the shopping arcades of Five Star Hotels. There is also a Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Emporium located near the Gateway of India beside the Tendulkar's restaurant. The items on display include embroidered clothing, carvings, paintings, sculptures etc. and are reasonably priced. Amongst the private labels, Fabindia [13] is a must visit for its variety of kurtas [tunics], salwars, pyjamas, churidars & dupattas. They also offer bedspreads, cushion covers, decorative pillows, quilts, table linens, home furniture etc. Just like the government owned emporiums, Fabindia operates on a cottage industries model where products are hand crafted by artisans and sourced from villages across India. Good quality, smart colours, trendy designs but prices are a bit on the higher side. Stores are located across Mumbai.
  • Cotton clothes, Mumbai is great place to buy quality and cheaper cotton clothes. Amongst many notable shops and brands, Cottonworld is a place to look out for.
  • Kurties and tunics', a must have in India. Linkin Laado has a wide range of classy kurties, fushion ethnic wear and exquisite dress materials in most sought after pure fabrics such as muls, cottons, maheshwari and chanderi silk etc. in handblock prints and intrinsic chikankari work. The shop is situated at Link Square Mall, Shop No. F5, Opposite KFC, Above Croma, Linking Road, Bandra West.
  • Dhoop, (translates into Sunshine or Incense) A quaint, stylist store where you can find really interesting quality crafts and home accessories. On the corner of Union Park, Near Olive, Off Carter Road in Bandra.
  • Burlingtons, in the Taj is a tailor specializing in Indian outfits. Buy some material and get some clothes made up by a tailor. It's an incredibly cheap way to get quality made-to-measure clothes. Usually only takes a couple of days.
  • Leather jackets, go to the main road in Dharavi. You can fit yourself with a leather jacket (they stitch it for you) of leather you pick. Usually takes just one day to get it and it costs around Rs 1,000-2,000.
  • Antiques & second hand items, Visit Chor Bazar for the best options and bargains
  • Carpets, rugs and shawls
  • Sarees, the best place to buy them is Dadar (both east and west). The place is buzzing 12 months a year. On Sundays the crowd can be maddening for outsiders. Good shops to buy Sarees are Dadar Emporium, Lazaree, Roop Sangam. On N C Kelkar Road and Ranade Road you can buy almost everything a woman needs. Bargain hard.
  • Pashmina, cheap stuff is everywhere and decent shawls in every hue can be purchased at various markups in any hotel arcade. High-quality items in unusual colors and unique designs require more searching. The "pashminas" sold on Colaba Causeway are not anywhere close to pashmina.
  • Indian musical instruments, Indian music has its own set of musical instruments such as Tabla, Harmonium, straight Flute that it relies upon. These can be brought at various music shops scattered across the city. Some well known shops are L.M.Furtado, Ghaisas & Bros.
  • Luxury Retail, Mumbai has witnessed a massive boom in luxury retail. All the brands you can buy in any other major city are available there.

Bookshops

Mumbai has large number of organized book shops. However it also has number of streetside second hand book shops or displays that give opportunity to come across rare collections. Many of these roadside book shops can be prominently found, among many, near Flora Fountain, Maheshwari Udyyan (former King's Circle) and Dadar west market.

If you are somewhere in the western suburbs (santacruz,juhu etc.) Granth on juhu road could be a good bet to find the book you are looking for.

The Crossword chain of book shops has an outlet in most malls around the city, as well as the main store in Kemp's Corner. Strand book shop in the Fort area in south Mumbai is a long-standing institute, and well known for its bargains.

Tourist traps

In a place without clearly displayed price tags (and sometimes even in places with), you will get charged about 3-4 times as much as a local if you seem like a tourist. Take a local with you if you're going to local markets to haggle. Haggling is much louder and ruder in India than elsewhere. Don't be afraid to haggle things down to 1/4 of the asking price. And most importantly remember that almost all stores that sell carpets, jewelry, handicrafts, etc. pay huge amounts of commission (25% up to even 50%!) to the cab drivers, hence avoid tourist taxis, cabs, etc. Another thing to remember is not to haggle just for the fun of it. The shopkeepers may take offence if you don't buy an item after they have agreed to your price. One of the places that you can trust is The World Trade Centre (in Cuffe Parade, near Hotel Taj President). Besides being the only World Trade Centre in Mumbai, this place has an amazing range of exquisite carpets, handicrafts, shawls, etc. with reputed government approved stores and state emporiums too. Ask for receipts everywhere, including bars, and check what you have been charged for. Don't ever accept a guide offer or escort of somebody from the street: You will certainly get conned. If some place (including cabs, eateries, stores, etc.) claims it doesn't have change (this is highly unlikely), insist they get change from a neighbouring store.

Groceries

In addition to the local grocery stores which can be found on most of the streets, there are new additions to the city in the form of new big and small supermarkets and hypermarkets where you can get all the food items you need. Some of them are Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Hypercity, DMart, Spinach Local, Apna Bazaar.

If you are looking for exotic fruits and vegetables then you can try looking in stores like Natures Basket.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Mumbai on Wikivoyage.

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