Home of the Gateway of India overlooking the Arabian Sea, Mumbai, India is an urban city with a welcoming vibe. Sitting on a natural harbor, the coast of Mumbai is dotted with lighthouses, beaches, and old-fashioned fishing boats, but it’s also home to modern nightclubs, 5-star hotels and a wealth of traffic. Named in honor of Mumbadevi, the Hindu goddess, many locals still call it by the name that Portuguese explorers bestowed on it in the 1600’s – Bombay from “Bom” (good) and “Bahia” (bay). Whatever you call the city, you’ll never forget your visit.
Book a cheap flight to Mumbai to see India’s land of enchantment, which dates back several centuries. Before the British took over in 1662, Mumbai was a cluster of seven islands inhabiting several cultures. Today, its seven islands remain a melting pot of cultures. Mumbai’s landscape is reminiscent of 19th- century England set along the Arabian Sea. Mansions, castles and Victorian homes line the city. If you’ve never been to India, book a cheap flight to Mumbai and experience a small taste of India’s history tied in with modern-day decadence.
The streets of Mumbai throng with humanity; over 18 million people call it home. It has a “New York”-type energy, and the gap between rich and poor is yawning wide. The mansions of the millionaires contrast sharply with the slums, where half of Mumbai’s population live.
There are a few landmarks that the first-time visitor should not miss. One is the Gateway of India, built by the British in 1911. From there, many visitors will take boat trips to Elephanta Island to visit the ancient cave temples. From Kamala Nehru Park, at the top of Malabar Hill, there are sumptuous views of the city, Chowpatty Beach and Marine Drive. At night, the lights twinkle and shine, resembling nothing so much as a diamond necklace, hence the unofficial name the Queen’s Necklace.
Take a flight to Mumbai and see a city that never stops; whether you are looking for a taste of India’s best nightlife, or to see beautiful sights, Mumbai has it all. Whatever the reason for making Mumbai flights and travel plans, you’re sure to find delight (and a little bit of drama) in this majestic Indian city. Here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy the smoothest possible trip.
Mumbai has a tropical climate with periods of high humidity, though the coastal location keeps temperatures lower than many areas of the country. Average daytime temperatures only fluctuate a few degrees throughout the year, but Mumbai tends to be warmest between May and June, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80’s (Fahrenheit). June is also the best month to swim in the sea, as the water temperature also mid-80’s (Fahrenheit). July weather in Mumbai tends to be humid and very rainy, with average rainfalls of approximately 25 inches. June, August and September also tend to be quite rainy but outside of these months, it’s quite dry in the city. Even during the fall and winter months, the weather in Mumbai is warm and welcoming, as the lowest temperature during the cold season is a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit on average.
There are many events and religious festivals that take place throughout India across the year, although the peak season is generally from October to April. This is when the weather is most pleasant for tourists. Late August to early September sees the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, a ten-day Hindu festival which is immensely popular. Holi is a celebration of Indian culture and is held on the full moon during March. The Holi festival is an amazing celebration of color in a bid for happiness, prosperity and peace to all who are involved. The atmosphere is electric as bright colors fill the air in Mumbai’s streets and villages. Traditionally, individuals celebrated Holi by pouring colored water over one another. When partaking in Holi, it is advisable to wear disposable clothing as you will finish the celebrations as a multicolored masterpiece. Cheap flights to Mumbai are generally very hard to find leading up to these events, however if you plan ahead you can secure some good deals on your flight tickets.
You’ll find the cheapest flights to Mumbai during the monsoon season and during the summer heat and humidity. Generally, this is from June through to early September, although as the Ganesh Chaturthi festival begins, you might find flight tickets increase in price towards the middle of August.
Other than the low season of June to September, you can find cheap flights to Mumbai around March and April if you plan ahead and secure your flight tickets a few months in advance. Regardless of when you are planning on visiting, you should aim to have your flights to Mumbai booked at least three months ahead of time, or more if you can. If you aren’t blocked in by school vacations or set weeks, then being flexible will help you find cheap flight tickets. However, you might have to pass on a particular event or season.
Flight times into Mumbai range from a few hours to eighteen hours or more, depending on your takeoff location. Certain weather conditions and wind speeds can also add time to your flight or shave a few minutes off your time up in the air. If you’re visiting Mumbai from Washington or New York, plan on a sixteen to seventeen-hour flight. Flights into Mumbai from California and Florida take approximately eighteen hours, and flights from the U.K. are around nine hours, for example.
Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport serves a wide range of domestic, U.S. and international airlines, making it simple to book a flight from practically anywhere in the world. U.S. airlines served include United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta, and international carriers include Air China, Air France, British Airways and Egypt Air. Domestic airlines that travel throughout India include Air India, Jet Airways and Spice Jet.
Mumbai is warm throughout the year, so you’ll want to pack loose, comfortable, lightweight clothing to coordinate with the tropical climate. Many visitors do a lot of walking when exploring the city, so comfortable, breathable footwear, sunglasses and sunscreen are also essential. When touring temples and churches, all visitors are required to remove their shoes before entering, so keep this in mind when choosing shoes for your trip. While the weather stays warm throughout the day, temps can dip at night, especially during the cooler months, so it’s also a good idea to bring along a few light sweaters or jackets to stay warm after sundown.
When packing toiletries and medications, keep in mind that your favorite brands may not be readily available in Mumbai, so you’ll want to pack shampoo, soap, and any other beauty or hygiene products you simply can’t do without on your trip. Hand sanitizer is also important if you plan to utilize any of the public restrooms throughout the city. Mosquitoes are also common in Mumbai due to the humidity, so make sure to pack some insect repellent or pick up a bottle at one of the local shops. Essential items to include in your carry-on bag may include a travel-sized first aid kit with bandages and over-the-counter pain medication, baby wipes to freshen up with as you land, and reading materials to keep you busy during a long flight.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) is around 17 miles north of Mumbai. There are several different methods you can use to get yourself to the city center once your flights to Mumbai land. The first is to ride a train – one of the fastest ways to travel. There are three different lines you can use; the Western, Central and Harbor lines, all of which link up to several different parts of the city, so figure out which one is best for you once you arrive. You’ll need to take a quick bus or taxi journey to the train station itself, so factor this into your plans once you’ve booked your flight tickets. The only bus service available from the airport goes to one of two different train stations, either the Vile Parle or the Andheri.
Taxis are the only way you can travel if you want to get dropped off directly at the door of your hotel, but always go for a pre-paid taxi over a metered taxi. Taxi drivers in Mumbai are notorious for overcharging and driving excessively long routes to increase the price, so avoid metered drivers at all costs. Lastly, you can opt to travel in an auto rickshaw, although these are only authorized to travel within the western suburbs beyond Bandra and in the central suburbs past Sion.
Once you’ve settled in to your hotel and are ready to explore the city, you will find that taxis are cheap and plentiful and, given Mumbai’s traffic, you won’t need to rent a car to get around. Auto rickshaws are allowed to operate beyond Bandra in the western suburbs and beyond Sion in the central suburbs. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (known as BEST) operates an efficient and comprehensive bus service. Most Mumbaikars use the extensive Suburban Rail Network. There are also intra-city ferry services such as one to the Gateway of India to the Elephanta Caves. If you’re happy to splurge, private, chauffeur-driven cars are available.
Mumbai is a beautiful, magical city with historic architecture, shops at every corner, delicious restaurants and much more. For your first adventure, visit the Gateway of India, located on the beautiful Arabian Sea in the Port of Mumbai. Standing 85-feet tall, this beautiful golden arch was built in 1911 to honor King George V and Queen Mary when they visited India. This splendid structure today provides countless photo-ops and spectacular views of the port of Mumbai. When you’re finished taking in the amazing views, hop on a ferry at the Port of Mumbai for easy access to additional nearby attractions.
For a day of sightseeing, shopping and some of the most delicious food in the land, head to the Taj Mahal Hotel. Built in 1903, this beautiful historic structure is often referred to as one of the finest hotels in the world. Enjoy authentic Indian fare at Masala Kraft restaurant on the hotel grounds, then take a walking tour to view the incredible architecture. Make sure to stop at a few shops in the hotel lobby for some tasty Indian sweets and souvenirs.
If you’re interested in learning more about India’s culture, take a ferry to Elephanta Island and explore the Elephanta Caves. The Island houses two separate groups of caves that are sculpted and etched with images of the Hindu deities Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati. While the exact date of the etchings is debated, archaeologists believe they date back at least 1,500 years. When touring the caves, you’ll also find pillars and structures that many believe were once part of an entire community in the middle of the sea.
Looking for a flight out of Mumbai? Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport serves multiple major carriers, including many that also to the airport like Air India, Jet Airways and British Airways, and Cheapflights can help you find some great deals. Visit https://www.cheapflights.co.uk for the top flight deals for routes out of Mumbai.
If you need a lift to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the most common modes of transportation are taxis and train rides. Taxis are typically readily available outside of hotels and resorts, and are also easy to hail from the street. However, when time is of the essence, it’s always a better idea to book your taxi ahead of time, as heavy traffic can lead to delays. When taking the train, it’s important to note that there isn’t a train station inside the airport, so you’ll have to grab a bus, taxi, or a rickshaw to take you the rest of the way once your train stops. If your hotel or lodging accommodations are close to the airport, you can also take a rickshaw ride. Rickshaws are three-wheeled open-air vehicles that are similar to taxis and allow passengers to take in the views as they ride. If you decide to take a rickshaw, it’s recommended to work out your fare with the driver before heading out.
Once you choose a destination, be sure to check out our Mumbai airport guides for more detailed travel information and helpful tips.