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Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s capital of cool. The city is the birthplace of Bollywood, which means it’s teeming with fashion, music and culture. The shopping is fantastic, with options for every budget. Don’t forget your camera because the city is brimming with sparkling sari shops, vivid spice bazaars and multi-coloured sweet stalls.
Things to do
Most visitors find themselves in Colaba, a waterfront district anchored by the towering Gateway of India monument. The historic quarter is home to some of the Mumbai’s top restaurants, as well as the magnificent Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
Even if you’re not catching a train, a stroll around the extravagant Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a must. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the terminal is an eclectic mix of Victorian, Hindu and Islamic architecture.
For a breath of fresh air, why not escape the crowds and take a boat ride to Elephanta Island? Sitting just off Mumbai Harbour, its ancient rock-cut temples date back to 450 AD. Only 1.5 hours away, Sanjay Gandhi National Park provides an unforgettable nature escape, surrounding you with a protected tropical forest, including countless birds and butterflies, lakes and cave dwellings.
Of course, no trip to Mumbai is complete without sampling local delicacies. In Mumbai, you’ll find everything from budget-friendly curry houses and street stalls to trendy cafes and luxe fine dining restaurants.
Public transport can be hectic in Mumbai, which means it’s often best to take advantage of the abundance of taxis and auto rickshaws. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the city’s main station, which houses a dedicated booking office where you can reserve Foreign Tourist Quota trains. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can attempt to navigate the city’s rapid transit railway lines.
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