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Know Before You Go
- Prepare yourself for the crowds. As one of the most populated cities in the world, personal space in Mumbai is almost non-existent.
- Keep your PDA minimal. It's taboo to be seen kissing in public unless you're at one of the Lovers Points in the city.
- Look out for the no selfie zones. Due to an increase in deaths from people trying to get the perfect shot, the government has placed ten dollar fines in specific areas to discourage any unsafe behaviour.
- Check to see if you're allowed to wear shoes into restaurants or shops. Some establishments will ask you to put your footwear into your handbag or leave the shoes at the door.
- Avoid getting Mumbai belly by being aware of what you eat. Skip fruits and vegetables that have been rinsed with tap water and only eat food that is cooked.
Getting Around Mumbai
Take the train. The extensive network has over 120 stops and is the oldest of its kind in Asia. If you want to make sure you take the right train, download the M-Indicator app for an up-to-date list of fares, routes and schedules.
Hop on board one of the local buses. The city's BEST system has 100 stops around Mumbai, but it's not the fastest option due to the heavy traffic. Only use this option if you aren't in a rush.
Take a kaali-peeli cab. It's one of the cheapest ways to get around Mumbai with fares starting as low as INR 22. But before starting your journey, make sure you've negotiated a final price to your destination.
Hail a cab. The city has a number of taxi services including Uber, Ola and Meru Cabs. All three options have an app that allows you to request your ride and pay via cash or credit card.
When is The Best Time to Visit Mumbai?
The best time to visit Mumbai is between December to March. Temperatures are cool, and you'll be around for some of the city's most important cultural events such as the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Diwali and Holi.
For budget travellers, the warmer months of March to May are ideal. As the days start to reach highs of 40°C, the city empties out, and you'll have better luck finding deals on hotels, flights and tours.
Another wallet-friendly option is Mumbai's monsoon season. From June to October, the city experiences it's highest levels of rainfall, keeping most travellers at bay. But if you don't mind the less than perfect weather conditions, you'll have the city to yourself and a chance to experience a different side of Mumbai.
Airports in Mumbai
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Chhatrapati Shivaji is the second busiest airport in India. It's domestic and international terminals are 5km from each other, and a free shuttle bus operates between the two buildings. The airport is a hub for regional airline Air India as well as Alliance Air, GoAir and Jet Airways.
Getting to and from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
If you're catching a domestic or international flight and need to get between the two terminals, you have two options. There is a paid shuttle service that costs INR 230-245 for a Sedan or INR 700-750 for an SUV. Alternatively, you can use the free terminal transfer bus, but it only operates every 30 minutes.
Take an auto rickshaw. It's a unique way to get from the airport to your hotel if you're travelling light. However, the local law prevents the drivers from going straight into Mumbai City, and you'll have to transfer at Vile Parle station. Fares cost around INR 35-40 for a 15 to 25-minute ride.
Grab a taxi. There are two different types for you to choose from at the airport: metered and prepaid. Choose the prepaid option if you want to avoid haggling and being ripped off.
Hire a car. If you want more freedom getting around, and feel like you can handle Mumbai's traffic, there are several rental companies to choose from inside the Arrivals Hall.