Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s largest city, located on the west coast of the country. Known for being the home of Bollywood, Mumbai is a huge metropolis that contrasts the old and the new. As soon as you step foot off the plane, it’s impossible not to feel the energy of this crazy city where the streets are constantly abuzz with cars, people, market stalls and rickshaws.
With around 50 Mumbai hostels to choose from, you won’t find it hard to pick the best place to stay in Mumbai on this leg of your Indian adventure, whether you prefer social dorms or luxurious privates. Almost all of our hostels in Mumbai offer free Wi-Fi, and lots throw in other extras like free breakfast. If you love an Insta-ready hostel, check out one with a colourful Bollywood themed rooftop lounge. You’re in the home of yoga, so why not seek out a hostel that offers lessons? For a party vibe, look for a hostel with a buzzing bar that offers boozy events… karaoke anyone?
Mumbai is huge and each neighbourhood is very different, which is something to consider when choosing your Mumbai hostel. The lively waterfront Colaba area is extremely popular with backpackers, and it’s where you’ll find big name sights like the Gateway of India, plus Mumbai’s seaside promenade. Bandra is a trendy, safe area with amazing bars and restaurants and streets decorated with colourful street art. The upmarket neighbourhood of Pali Hill is somewhere you can act fancy while you try and spot one of the local celebs who call this area their favourite hangout.
If you’re wondering what to do in Mumbai, visiting its most famous monument, the ‘Gateway of India’ arch is a great place to start. For an authentic Indian experience you have to visit one of Mumbai’s bazaars, where you can sharpen your haggling skills over souvenirs, clothes and jewellery, plus taste some of the best street food in the world. No trip to Mumbai is complete without experiencing the heart of Bollywood – you could take a tour to Film City, Mumbai’s answer to Hollywood, or for a more budget-friendly option why not catch a movie in one of the city’s iconic cinemas?
To get around Mumbai, you have several options. There’s a local train system, as well as one underground line with others currently being built, that are easy to figure out. Just be warned that these get incredibly busy, particularly during rush hour. An extensive bus system covers the entire city, though traffic during rush hour often causes big delays. The same can be said for auto-rickshaws, though these are a cheap and easy way to travel shorter distances – just be sure to agree a fare first. Mumbai’s international airport doesn’t have public transport connections to the city, so your best bet is to use a pre-paid airport taxi. This will cost around £6, and can take anywhere between 20 minutes and 2 hours dependent on traffic.