Mumbai is the center of trade, industry, entertainment and tourism in India. Tourists visiting India for the first time must come here to truly understand what the country is all about. It is the country’s largest, richest and most populous city, with a population of about 21 million people. Based in the city is the Hindi film industry known as Bollywood, which is another major tourist draw. There is no problem getting to Mumbai for both local and international tourists since this is the most happening city in India.
Mumbai is connected with all major cities in the world. There are regular direct flights from New York, London, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur to name a few. Mumbai’s Sahara International Airport is one of the busiest international hubs in the world. There are a number of flights coming in every day from London alone, in addition to the many other international and domestic flights. Some of the major airlines coming in include British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Delta Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines, along with low-cost airline companies such as AirAsia and domestic carriers as Air India and Kingfisher Airlines. Getting to Mumbai by air is no problem.
From the airport, travelers will also have an easy transport going to downtown Mumbai, which is only about 30 km away. There is steady supply of taxi cabs going to the city, especially to the main tourist area of southern Colaba. Travelers may choose between a prepaid taxi and metered taxi. A number of foreign visitors, however, have noted that most metered taxi drivers have a tendency to take a longer route to increase the meter reading.
Where is Mumbai exactly? Mumbai is found in the western coast of India with coordinates: 18.55’N, 72.50’E. It is the capital of the state of Maharashtra. It is an island-city consisting of seven islands, which is why in addition to air travel, getting to Mumbai by land or sea is also possible. The best way to get to Mumbai by land from different parts of the country is on a train. The main train station is the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, which used to be called Victoria Terminus (VT), located in the heart of Mumbai. Other major railway stations are Dadar, Kurla and Churchgate. The newest line is the Konkan Railway, which travels through the scenic Konkan coast not very far from the center of Mumbai. This line takes passengers to the ‘coastal Paradise of India’, which is Mangalore.
Travelers who do not particularly enjoy train rides may take the bus, air-conditioned cabs or drive their own cars to Mumbai. The roads leading to this major city are among the best in all of India. The two most popular bus companies are Asiad Bus Service and ST Buses.
Finally, perhaps the most romantic way getting to Mumbai is on a cruise ship. International cruise is a new industry but already there are a number of shipping companies offering cruises to Mumbai from Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai. Getting to Mumbai by sea promises a picturesque ride through beautiful South Asian islands, beaches and Mumbai’s Elephanta caves.