Travel Guide to Mumbai (Bombay)

Your need to know guide to Mumbai (Bombay), the financial power house of India.

Gateway of India monument, Mumbai
Gateway of India monument

Name: Mumbai (Bombay)

Where: India – The island city of Mumbai lies off the west coast of India.

Area: 603 sq km

Population: 16.4 million

Region: Capital of Maharashtra

Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati. Urdu is spoken mainly among the Muslim population

Population: 15 million

Currency: Rupee (INR) – divided into 100 paise (singular paisa).

Electricity:  240 volts, 50Hz. A variety of power outlets are used in India, but most plugs have two or three round pins.

Time Zones:  GMT +5.5

Country Dialling Code:  +91

Tipping: No need to tip taxi drivers but you should tip porters, guides, hotel staff and waiters especially in small establishments. Restaurants and hotels charge 10% service charge. Baksheesh is also commonly expected. Use this as a bribe rather than a tip and pay it up front to ensure better service.

Climate/Weather: The city is warm throughout the year with some rainfall. Lying windward of the Western Ghats, Bombay gets its rain from the South Asian Monsson between June and September annually. Annual temperatures range from a high of 38 °C (100 °F) to a low of 11 °C (52 °F).

Monsoons: June to September. Average raingall 210 cm.

When to go: October to March

Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM). Located 28kms in the north of Mumbai

Flight time London to Mumbai: 9 hours

Getting around: By Rail – Western Railway, Central Railway, Harbour Railway
BEST Buses, Taxies, Private Taxies
Rickshaws (In Suburbs Only)

Trains Stations:  Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Visa: Both a visa and a valid passport with at least 6 months before expirey is required to enter India. Indian High Commission, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7836 8484.

Overview of Mumbai

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) started life as a series of seven islands that have been stitched together into one landmass through centuries of land reclamation. It has been attached to the mainland via connecting bridges which are almost seamless. Now just one island, the city covers 436 kilometres (170 square miles).

Mumbai has many feathers to its cap. Firstly it is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and also the financial capital of India and home to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the HQ for many companies and large corporates. It is also the entertainment capital because this is where Bollywood, India’s film industry is based.

As a harbour, it handles over half of India’s maritime cargo.

The name Mumbai derives from Mumba or Maha-Amba – the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi – and Ai which means mother in Marathi. Its former name of Bombay dates back to the 16th century with the arrival of the Portuguese and means ‘good bay’.