Mumbai is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in India, home to more than 12 million people. It’s eclectic, thriving, fast-paced, and very exciting here. People-watching is a treat: you’ll see fishermen and Bollywood stars, millionaires and slumlords. It won’t necessarily be easy or relaxing to explore Mumbai, thanks to a lack of comprehensive public transport, pollution, and a huge amount of people passing through. But Mumbai is full of treasures and highlights: you might just have to pace yourself.
Most tourists head to the south of the city, where the affluent neighbourhoods host art galleries, museums, fashion and retail hotspots, and fancy restaurants. This is also where you’ll find a fine collection of British colonial monuments and buildings, such as the Gateway of India, the Mumbai University, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
The street markets might be chaotic, but they’re worth wandering through if you don’t mind fighting the crowds. Chor bazaar (the “thieves’ market”) is particularly fascinating, especially if you like to bargain, haggle, and barter, while the Zaveri bazaar is known for its jewellery collections.