Mumbai Transportation Tips by Donna_in_India Top 5 Page for this destination
Mumbai Transportation: 156 reviews and 172 photos
Daily flights to Mumbai are offered from almost every Indian city with an airport.
Domestc airlines serving Mumbai include:
Air India www.airindia.in (not a favorite of mine)
Indian Airlines www.indian-airlines.nic.in (not a favorite of mine)
Go Air (*) www.goair.in
Jet Airways/Jet Lite(*) www.jetairways.com
Kingfisher/Kingfisher Red(*) www.flykingfisher.com (serious financial difficulties. I'd avoid)
The budget airlines are denoted by a (*). All of them are very good. They sometimes offer excellent rates when booking far in advance, but you can easily book the same day and get a very good rate.
For a one-stop comparison of flights check www.cleartrip.com or www.makemytrip.com. I'd recommend booking directly with the airlines though in case you need to change your travel plans. I have had occasion to change my dates and have never had any hassles and never been charged any fees.
Updated 2/12: I'm not quite convinced that Mumbai has the hang of this taxi on call thing. We used Meru and not only could the driver not find where to pick us up but he took a "short cut" to the airport and we ended up missing our flight. Also - these taxis are more expensive than the black taxis off the street. If you do find a taxi driver that you like, take his cell number and call him first if you need a taxi. It's a good option.
Other than pre-paid taxi service from the city's 2 airports, taxi on demand is a fairly new concept. You can now call in advance or book online for a taxi pickup. Check each company's websites as some may require an advance booking of as much as 24 hours.
Once you book, keep the company's number handy in case you need to call them while waiting for the taxi. With Mumbai's traffic it's important to allow extra time to reach your destination, especially when going to the airport. Also if you have alot of luggage, be sure to inquire what type of car will be sent; unless otherwise requested you'll get a small car. Large cars/SUVs such as Innovas are available for large groups or those with alot of luggage.
The three companies I have used are: Cool Cab (usually smaller cars with A/C) - http://www.citycoolcab.in/, Meru is another company - http://www.merucabs.com/ and Star Taxi - http://www.startaxi.in/. We have used these companies for trips to the airport as well as local destinations.
It's a good idea to call and confirm your pickup a couple of hours before the scheduled time.
Phone: See above
Mid-day in the suburbs
Mumbai and its suburban trains are famous for being very overcrowded. Locals hang from the doors and ride on top of the trains. Only for a few hours during midday are the trains less crowded. Be prepared to exit the train before your stop because crowds entering will be pushing you back as you try to exit. Be extremely cautious if you have to travel late at night – you may even consider an alternate mode of transportation.
If you are a woman, get a ticket for the woman’s (only) compartment or at the very least a first class ticket. DO NOT even think of going in a general/men’s compartment. It is so crowded someone most likely will be pushed up against you.
The trains are cheap, on time, and still the fastest way to get into town from the suburbs or vice versa. Just be smart and safe!
Mumbai's buses transport millions of people. The bus system, known as BEST, is run by a government organization, Brihanmumbai (formerly Bombay) Electric Supply and Transport. BEST is the largest organized bus transport network among the major Indian cities.
The BEST fleet consists of red colored single and double decker buses. Although traffic to/from the suburbs can make for a long ride, the buses are a great way to get around the actual city. There are frequent buses and fares are very cheap (usually just a few rupees). I would avoid taking the buses during rush hour(s) because they are usually extremely crowded (standing room only!). I would take the bus at least once though - it's a fun way to meet the locals.
Check the BEST website which now lets you check specific bus routes and fares easily.
Over the last couple of years, the airport has been expanding - more restaurants, nicer/larger duty-free shopping, etc. The latest is a spa. If you find yourself with extra time at Mumbai International (Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport) you may want to head to the spa. The O2 Spa is located in the departure area - once you pass through immigration and security.
Although the prices are a little higher than outside the airport, they're still considerably less than other cities. Treatments include foot reflexology (Rs 695 for 30 minutes, Rs 1,350 for 60 minutes), facials (starting at Rs 895), manicures and pedicures (startind at Rs 795), and neck and back massages (Rs 695 for 30 minutes, Rs 1,350 for 60 minutes). Relax and enjoy!
If you're flying internationally chances are you will arrive late at night or in the early morning. If your hotel does not provide transfers and especially if it's your first time in Mumbai, book a prepaid taxi from inside the airport. The booths are right outside the arrival hall just after customs clearance (before you exit the airport). Do not try to arrange a taxi or a rickshaw on your own. Chances are you would be "taken for a ride" for sure or worse.
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