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Things to see in Mumbai (Bombay)

Tourist Offices

Government of India Tourist Office

Address: Churchgate, 123 Maharshi Karve Road, Mumbai, 400001
Telephone: +91 22 2207 4333.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0830-1800, Sat 0830-1400.

Website: http://www.incredibleindia.org

This useful office by Churchgate train station provides information on all of India as well as the city of Mumbai and Maharashtra state. They also maintain desks at the international and the domestic airports.

Attractions

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

This magnificent railway station, formerly Victoria Terminus, was completed in 1888, and remains one of the greatest British-built constructions in India. Designed by FW Stevens, this UNESCO World Heritage site features a fantastical amalgamation of Indian and European architectural styles. It's adorned with domes, turrets, spires, stained-glass windows, gargoyles and intricate carvings of plants and animals found on the Maharashtran coast. As India's busiest train station, it's worth visiting just to witness the incredible crush of humanity.

Address: Fort, Dr D Navroji Road, Mumbai, 400001
Telephone: 139 (in India only).
Opening times:

Daily early morning to late evening.

Website: http://www.cr.indianrailways.gov.in
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Gateway of India

This huge triumphal gate was constructed for the 1911 visit by King George V, but wasn't completed until 1924. Rather ignominiously, it was the setting for the British Army farewell parade when India was finally handed back to the Indian people in 1948. Designed by George Wittet, it blends Hindu and Islamic styles, and it's a favourite meeting spot and the starting point for boat-rides to Elephanta Island.

Address: Colaba, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, 400001
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Mumbai's biggest, and perhaps best, museum is housed within a grand domed building built in classic Indo-Saracenic style. Opened in 1923, it was designed by George Wittet of Gateway of India fame. Inside, the eclectic collections cover everything from Hindu and Buddhist sculptures and miniature paintings to weaponry and stuffed animals. It's also worth exploring the peaceful grounds. Admission includes a helpful audio guide.

Address: Fort, 159-161 M.G. Road, Mumbai, 400032
Telephone: +91 22 2284 4484.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1015-1800.

Website: http://csmvs.in
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

University of Mumbai

Commonly referred to as Bombay University, this imposing gothic building was designed by Gilbert Scott in 1857 and is one of India's oldest universities. The University Library and Convocation Hall were once open to the public, but access has been limited to students since the 2008 terrorist attacks. It's still impressive when viewed from outside, with gothic spiral staircases and the Rajabai Clock Tower looming 80m (262ft) above the Oval Maidan.

Address: Fort, M.G. Road, Mumbai, 400032
Telephone: +91 22 2270 8700.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours (exterior).

Website: http://mu.ac.in
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Marine Drive

Built on reclaimed land, Marine Drive is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. Lined with grandiose Victorian buildings, ageing art deco apartment blocks and palm trees, the road runs down Back Bay from Malabar Hill to Nariman Point. At night it twinkles with streetlights, earning it the nickname 'Queen's Necklace'. At the top end is Chowpatty Beach, the only strip of sand in central Mumbai and a favourite spot with locals for evening strolls.

Address: Malabar Hill to Nariman Point, Marine Drive, Mumbai, 400007
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Mumbadevi Temple

This historic Hindu temple in the heart of Bhuleshwar Market was built to honour the city's patron goddess Mumba Devi (whose name was reputedly the source for the English word 'Bombay'). While not spectacularly ornate, the temple throngs with activity and has formed the spiritual heart of the city for more than six centuries. Devotees queue daily to pay their respects to Mumba Devi, an incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess.

Address: Mumbadevi, Bhuleshwar Market, Mumbai, 400002
Telephone: +91 22 2242 4974.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0630-2130.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat (Washing Place)

The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is where Mumbai's vast quantities of dirty laundry arrive to be washed and aired by a legion of hard-working dhobi-wallahs (washermen and women). Every day, hundreds of bags of laundry are delivered to the ghats and are washed in row upon row of open-air troughs. The view from the flyover outside Mahalaxmi train station is quite remarkable.

Address: Mahalaxmi, Dr E. Moses Road, Mumbai, 400034
Telephone:
Opening times:

Dawn to dusk.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Girgaum Chowpatty

Mumbai's most famous strip of sand is no Waikiki, but the beach is special toMumbaikers thanks to the many Bollywood movies that have been filmed here. Much improved in recent years, it's still a place to promenade rather than swim, particularly at dusk, when the sand overflows with locals taking the sea air, and hawkers selling plates of bhelpuri (Mumbai-style noodle salad).

Address: , Marine Drive, Mumbai, 400007
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

This grandiose hotel has been a Mumbai icon since it was constructed in 1903. Built by J.N. Tata, the Parsi industrialist, after supposedly being refused entry into one of the city's European hotels for being "a native", it has since hosted everyone from The Beatles to Bill Clinton. It recently hit the headlines after a terrorist siege, but with tightened security and the damage repaired, it's worth peeping into the lobby or dropping by for dinner, even if you don't stay.

Address: Colaba, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, 400001
Telephone: +91 22 6665 3366.
Opening times:

Daily 0800-1000 (for non-guests).

Website: http://www.tajhotels.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

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Featured Hotels

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Gordon House Hotel

Each floor has its own theme at this boutique hotel located just behind Apollo Bunder. Decorated in Mediterranean, Scandinavian or country cottage styles, the rooms are charming without being twee, with plenty of modern gadgets and positively 5-star bathrooms. There's also a bar and the popular Poly Esther's nightclub onsite. Light sleepers should avoid rooms adjoining the club.

Residency Hotel

The atmosphere in Fort is a bit less frantic and a bit more business-like than in Colaba, and the Residency makes a perfect base from which to explore. Rooms are modern and comfortable and decorated in calming colours, with pictures of historic Mumbai on the walls. There's also a cute little café, where breakfast is served.

Hotel Bawa Continental

A comfortable resort-style hotel along lively Juhu beach, the Bawa Continental offers neat rooms, some with grandstand views over the beach and Arabian Sea. Although a hike from the historic centre, Juhu is much calmer than Fort or Colaba, with plenty of upscale restaurants and bars within walking distance. Rooms have TVs, air-con and Wi-Fi (for a charge), and there's a Starbucks on site.

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower

A Mumbai institution since 1903 the Taj has played host to Maharajas and monarchs movie stars and media moguls. Built in striking Indo-Saracenic style this grand hotel was extensively damaged during the 2008 terrorist attacks but an artful renovation has removed all traces of the disaster. For more than a century this has been the epitome of luxury in Mumbai with graceful vaulted ceilings tall archways fine carpets and crystal chandeliers. The Taj also houses some of Mumbai's best restaurants plus luxury shops a nightclub and outdoor pool gym and even its very own fortune teller.

Traveller's Inn

Set on a leafy road in Fort, Traveller's Inn has just 21 rooms, which are small but clean and excellent value. There are inexpensive dorms and better private rooms, and the staff are friendly and accommodating. There's also free wireless internet access in the lobby. Located close to many good value restaurants.

Hotel Oasis

Rooms are compact but tastefully decorated at this inexpensive 30-room hotel in a handy location in Fort, just a short hop from Victoria Terminus and Horniman Circle. For a reasonable price, you'll get a TV, air-conditioning and an en suite bathroom. There are numerous dining options on the neighbouring streets.