Messy, comical, unpredictable, dramatic, impossible, beautiful. It's the city where people lie in the gutters and dream of the stars. From slumdogs to millionaires, fashion to finance, Bollywood to beggars, it serves as a microcosm of the unwieldy, dichotomous country it exists in. Look past the dirty streets and the bright lights and you'll see a city that's warm and welcoming.

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  1. The heat can be draining; keep bottled water at hand. Fresh coconut water from a roadside vendor is a refreshing substitute.
  2. June to September is monsoon season. Carry an umbrella and, ideally, wellies.
  3. Mumbai is unofficially divided into north and south and people cluster activities in one or the other. Plan ahead to avoid hours in sweaty traffic.
  4. If you're travelling by taxi, make sure the driver puts on the meter and ask to see the meter card at the end of your journey.
  5. When bargaining in markets, offer half the price quoted. If you settle on two-thirds, well done.

Two-hour tour

  • The Gateway of India, Apollo Bunder — Mumbai’s iconic monument.

  • Kala Ghoda Art District — Includes the National Gallery of Modern Art.

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus — Magnificent Gothic architecture.

    Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort


  • Independent and easy

    Abode Boutique Hotel

    First floor, Lansdowne House Building, MB Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba

    +91 808 023 4066

    Visit website
  • Dependable chain

    Taj/Vivanta by Taj

    Four properties throughout Mumbai.

    +91 (0)22 6665 3366

    Visit website
  • Premium

    The Oberoi

    Nariman Point

    +91 (0)22 6632 5757

    Visit website


  • Fast breakfast


    Branches in Powai, Colaba, Bandra West, Banda Kurla Complex, Andheri West, Goregaon, Peddar Road.

    Visit website
  • Business breakfast

    Indigo Deli

    Apollo Bunder, Colaba

    +91 (0)22 6655 1010

    Visit website
  • Mid-morning coffee

    The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

    Inox Building, Nariman Point

    +91 (0)22 6615 1168

  • Working lunch with colleagues

    Britannia & Co

    16 Ballard Estate

    +91 (0)22 2261 5264

  • Need-to-impress clients lunch

    The Table

    Apollo Bunder Marg, Colaba

    +91 (0)22 2282 5000

    Visit website
  • Afternoon tea/drink

    Cafe Zoe

    Mathuradas Mills, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel

    +91 (0)22 2490 2065

    Visit website
  • Dinner on your own

    The Fatty Bao

    Off Linking Road, Bandra West

    +91 (0)22 2600 5220

  • Dinner with colleagues

    Smoke House Deli

    First International Financial Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex

    +91 (0)22 2653 0762

  • Big dinner with partner/clients

    Masala Library

    First International Financial Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex

    +91 (0)22 6642 4142

    Visit website
  • Drink after dinner

    The Good Wife

    The Capital Building, Bandra Kurla Complex

    +91 (0)22 4010 9433

    Visit website
  • Late drinks

    Aer Bar

    Four Seasons Hotel, 114 Dr E Moses Road, Worli

    +91 (0)22 2481 8444

    Visit website
  • Late bite

    Bade Miya Kebabs

    Behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Tulloch Road, Apollo Bunder, Colaba

    +91 (0)22 848 038

  • On the tiles

    Todi Mill Social

    242 Mathuradas Mill, Lower Parel

    +91 (0)22 6511 0361

    Visit website


  • Bookshop

    Kitab Khana

    Somaiya Bhavan 45/47 Mahatma Gandhi Road Fort

    +91 (0)22 6170 2276

    Visit website


  • Something you can't get anywhere else

    Antiques from Chor Bazzaar

    Mutton Street

  • Lost luggage - where to buy shirts

    Marks & Spencer

    Outlets in Lower Parel, Malad and Ghatkopar

  • Something for the kids


    Phoenix Mills Compound, Lower Parel

    +91 (0)22 4347 3444

  • Something for someone you love

    D Popli & Sons

    Apollo Bunder, Colaba

    +91 (0)22 2202 1694

  • Something for yourself

    Bungalow 8 Concept Store

    Wankhede Stadium, Churchgate

    +91 (0)22 2281 9880

    Visit website


  • — Trains are fun but avoid rush hour. Don’t bother with buses, take a taxi.



  • Good gym

    Gold's Gym, Bandra

    Landmark Building, Pali Naka Bandra West

    +91 (0)22 6699 2291

    Visit website
  • Good running route

    Juhu Beach — Soft sand running; watch the sun rise or fall over the Arabian Sea.


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