Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Western India. This airport has the busiest network of domestic flights, making it extremely convenient to travel from major cities around India to this bustling megapolis. Located around 30 km from the heart of the city, the airport comprises the domestic and international terminals.
What to see & do
Welcome to Mumbai, home to Bollywood, one of Asia’s largest slums and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. It is here where you could get to eat at one India’s best restaurants or mingle with beautiful Bollywood stars at a posh bar. Explore the stately architecture of this city, the lush green gardens amid towering skyscrapers and tantalise your tastebuds at the numerous street stalls.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the city’s most extravagant Gothic buildings, the beating heart of its railway network and an aphorism for colonial India. This building was designed by Frederick Stevens and was completed 34 years after the first train in India left this site. It is the busiest train station in the whole of Asia. Another monument worth visiting is the St Thomas Cathderal. This charming cathedral is the oldest English building standing in Mumbai and has a colonial-era architecture.
For shophaholics, head to Mangaldas Market for silk and cloth or Zaveri Bazaar for jewellery and the Chor Bazaar for antiques and furniture. These markets are lined with an almost impenetrable ring of stalls. Haggle for cheap items with the stall owners. The meat markets are strictly for the brave.
For culture buffs, the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower are two must-see attractions in this bustling megapolis. The Gateway of India is a favourite gathering spot for locals and a top spot for people watching. The Chhatrapari Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya or the Prince of Wales Museum is the biggest and possibly the best museum in Mumbai. This museum is an intriguing hodge podge of Islamic, Hindu and British architecture displaying a mix of dust exhibits from all over India.
For a unique experience, head to Chowpatty Beach for an evening of laughter with the people from the Laughter Yoga Club or go on a tour to the Dharavi Slum Tour to see the site where the award-winning Slumdog Millionaire movie was filmed.
From the domestic terminal, visitors would be able to take the taxis and autorickshaws queued up outside. There are no prepaid counters but thankfully, both queues are controlled by the police. If you don’t have too much luggage, you can take the bus that stops on nearby Nehru Road and passes through Colaba Causeway. A better alternative is to catch an autorickshaw between the airport and Vile Parle and Churchgate. Do avoid this alternative during the rush hour in the morning between 6am to 11am.
When exploring the city, the most convenient way is to do so in a taxi or an autorickshaw. The drivers always use the meter without prompting in Mumbai. Note that drivers don’t always know the names of Mumbai’s streets, so the best way to find the place is by using nearby landmarks. If you’re brave and patient, do consider taking Mumbai’s efficient suburban trains.
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Airports near Mumbai
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