AirlinesAll major international airlines fly in and out of Mumbai quite regularly. Now there is keen competition in the domestic sector too.
AirportMumbai has one active airport but two terminals. One for domestic flights is located at Santa Cruz and the one for international flights is at Sahar. A new airport in Navi Mumbai is planned.
AltitudeMumbai is situated at sea-level but there are some small hill areas e.g. Malabar Hill and Pali Hill.
Amusement ParksThere are many amusement parks and water parks in and around Mumbai. Essel World in Gorai and iMagica in Khapoli are the largest and most popular.
AnimalsApart from stray dogs, cows, bullocks and horses, don’t be surprised to see an elephant or a camel on Mumbai roads.
ATMsATMs are in all business, shopping and residential areas
AutorickshawsThese are 3 wheeler taxis available Northwards of Mahim. There is an electronic meter that indicates the fare.
BanksApart from many Indian banks, which have branches almost everywhere, many International banks operate in prime business & residential districts.
BargainingStreet stallholders expect you to bargain. Fixed prices are the norm in major stores.
BarsThere was a time bars used to be called Permit Rooms, as a permit was required to consume alcohol. Mumbai has several bars, pubs and lounges right from tiny local beer bars to those in 5 star hotels.
BeggarsBeggars may pester you at sightseeing spots or at traffic junctions. Instead of giving them money, give them edibles like cookies, bananas or sweets.
BollywoodMumbai is the heart of India’s vast film-making industry. Major producers, directors and film-stars are based here. So are the old studios, including the famous RK Studio and Rajkamal.
BusesB.E.S.T. runs an efficient bus service in Mumbai. The fleet includes single, double-decker and A.C. buses. The routes cover the entire length and breadth of the city. The service is a fairly inexpensive was to see Mumbai
BusinessMumbai is the business capital of India. The older business districts are Ballard Estate and Nariman Point. The new ones are Bandra Kurla complex and Lower Parel.
Business CentresYou can hire business premises by the day at many business centres. Facilities include secretarial assistance, phone and fax facilities and air-conditioned office space.
CelebritiesMumbai has more celebrities e.g. film & T.V. stars, directors, producers, musicians, artists, sportsmen, socialites, businesspersons, etc per square kilometer than anywhere else in India
CinemaGoing to movies is a favourite pastime for Indians. Mumbai has a fairly good number of cinema halls & multiplexes, showing international, hindi and regional films.
ClimateBeing close to the coast, Mumbai enjoys moderate weather and almost uniform temperature throughout the year, but rains during monsoons can come anytime.
Coffee ShopsMost of the 24 hour coffee shops are in 5 star hotels, but there are several coffee parlors like Barista, Coffee Day, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, etc in almost all shopping and residential areas.
ConsulatesAlmost all countries have a consular office or high commission in Mumbai
CrimeMumbai’s organised crime does not generally involve daily life. However, it pays to be safe. Do not flash wads of currency or leave your goods unattended. Deposit valuables in hotel safe.
CurrencyEven though the Indian Rupee is divided in 100paise, the constant devaluation have made the coins under Rs. 1 redundant, coins are available in denominations of Rs. 1, 2, 5 and 10. Notes come in denominations of Rs. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 500 and 1000. Rarely one gets to see a Rs.1 or 2 note.
ElectricityA.C. 200 volts 50 Hz is the normal electric current in Mumbai (as in the rest of India). Most 5-star hotels have outlet for 110 volts 60 cycles in their bathrooms for shavers only. However, many more hotels will provide an adaptor for your use during your stay.
EtiquettMumbaikars are informal. In some homes you must take your shoes off at the entrance. Footwear should never be worn in Temples, Gurudwaras and Mosques. Look out for a pile of shoes near the door.
GeographyThe island city of Mumbai has been formed by gradual joining together of seven island by reclamation of land over hundreds of years. It is connected to the mainland by two major bridges.
GovernmentMumbai being the capital of Maharashtra state is the seat of the state government. Most ministers operate out of the “Mantralaya” building.
InternetInternet access is fairly easy when you are in Mumbai, all mobile service providers provide internet plans, 2G, 3G and now even 4G is available. Most coffee parlors offer free wifi connection, some cafes and bars too provide free wifi service. Cybercafes that had mushroomed across the city in early 2000s have now been phased out.
Broadband internet connectivity is offered by almost all mobile service providers and some cable services. Dongles (USB modems) are provided by most mobile service providers.
LanguageEven though Marathis is the official language, Hindi and Gujarati are quite prevalent. English is widely spoken and understood
Local TrainsMumbai has a very good network of local trains running across the city. There are three major networks run by the Western Railways and the Central Railways; Western Line, Central Line and Harbor Line. The trains can be very crowded during peak hours.
LocationMumbai is situated on the west coast of India at 18.54 degree north and 72.4 degree east
Mobile PhonesGSM and CDMA services are offered by many service providers. Inexpensive temporary connections are available on providing proof of identity. Many companies have roaming tie-ups with International companies.
Municipal CorporationMunicipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is responsible for the upkeep of Mumbai
NightlifeMumbai has a vibrant nightlife, there are many bars, pubs, nightclubs and lounges across the city. Barring those in 5 star hotels most outlets close by 1:30 am. But that is not where the night ends in Mumbai, most Mumbaikars head out for a post midnight snack to popular roadside eateries, juice centers or 5 star coffee shops.
PeopleMumbai is home to many famous businessmen, film-stars, sportsmen, professionals and artists. People in Mumbai are very businesslike and usually mind their own business
PhotographyAll variety of films are freely available in Mumbai. Processing usually takes 24 hours and is inexpensive. Photography at some sensitive locations e.g. airports is prohibited.
PopulationMumbai is the largest city in India and its population exceeds 18 million as per census 2011.
Public PhonesCoin operated public telephone booths are not as prevalent as in most western countries, but manually assisted booths, known as STD/ISD booths can occasionally be spotted at most locations. You can even make long distance & International calls from here
Public ToiletsPay per use toilets called “Sulabh Shauchalaya” are available at many locations. These are managed by voluntary organisations and are usually clean
RainfallMumbai has a heavy monsoon during June to September. Aggregate rainfall during this period is 216 cm
Rent-A-CarSelf drive or chauffeur driven cars are available from several agencies. Hertz & Avis have local representatives. It is advisable to go for chauffeur driven cars considering the lack of proper signage and unruly driving habits.
RestaurantsAs Mumbaikars love to eat out, there are plenty of restaurants serving a variety of Indian and International cuisine. A number of new restaurants open almost every month.
Shopping MallsFrom the early 2000s, many shopping malls have come up across the city. The city’s first mall was Crossroads, which opened in September 1999 by Priamal Holdings. Since then the mall has been renamed SoBo Central.
SightseeingMaharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (M.T.D.C.) organises regular sightseeing tours to many attractions. There is even open deck bus for evening tours.
TaxisBlack and yellow taxis are ubiquitous and can take you anywhere in Mumbai. They may look rickety but are reliable. Air conditioned blue and silver ones cost 25% more. Fares are calculated and indicated on electronic meters.
TippingTipping is expected at most restaurants. 5-10% of the bill is a norm. However if an establishment has levied a service charge in the bill, its up to you to tip or not.