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Mumbai Itinerary – How To Spend 1 Day In Mumbai

Mumbai, formerly called Bombay, is located on India’s west coast and is the country’s largest city with a population of over 21 million.

Known as the commercial capital of India, Mumbai attracts people from all over India looking to make their fortunes, resulting in a mix of religions and cultures all living harmoniously together.

It is has beautiful parks, beaches and iconic landmarks such as the Gateway of India. Along with a mix of old and new architecture, markets, street food, shops, restaurants, cafes and much more.

Building a one day in Mumbai itinerary is tough, with so much to see and do. So we’ve narrowed down all the best parts, into how to do Mumbai in a day.

How To Get Around Mumbai

Getting around Mumbai couldn’t be easier. There are generally 3 options:

Train

The train system in Mumbai is the most common form of local transport.

However, you must be aware that the trains running through the city are hugely over-crowded, particularly during rush hour.

The fare for train journeys in Mumbai starts from just 5 Rupees, to a maximum of 200 Rupees, depending on the distance between your stations.

Tickets can be bought at each station by paying with coins at the ticket from the counters.

A quick tip if you’re looking to avoid the queues is to cough up for first class. It may be the difference of 50 Rupees but could save you a lot of time standing around.

Just be aware that the carriages on the Mumbai trains are divided between ‘Ladies’ and ‘General’, so don’t get mixed up in the wrong compartment.

Taxi/Tuk Tuk

Mumbai taxis start from 22 Rupees, and are easy to hail anywhere in the city. Often referred to as Kaali-Peeli Cabs, just keep your eye out for the little black and yellow Fiat’s.

They are fairly inexpensive, and the drivers tend to use the meter for the most part so you should get a fair price.

The traffic situation is never good in Mumbai, therefore most people stick to using the trains.

The other option is to jump in a Tuk Tuk (or Rickshaw as known in India).

These are supposed to start even lower at 18 Rupees, however you’ll rarely find a rickshaw driver using the metre.

Haggling is always a starting point of conversation with rickshaws, so have your wits about you and be sure to agree a price before you get in the vehicle.

Uber is also available in some parts of the city for a fixed price option.

Tour

Some of the best days out we’ve had in Mumbai have been on private tours.

There’s even a Mumbai: Experience Local Transport, Sightseeing & Lunch tour available. For those that wish to experience the hustle and bustle of the train system without the stress of it all.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

From food tours, to river rides and walking tours, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the bustling city!

Best Time To Visit Mumbai

The best time to visit Mumbai is probably during the winter months from December to March. This is when the weather is dry and sunny but not overbearingly hot.

The temperatures can get very hot from April onwards, with monsoon season generally during the months of June, July and August. This is when there are torrential downpours and high humidity.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Mumbai Trains One Day In Mumbai Itinerary Mumbai In A Day
Charlie enjoying the train system on our one day in Mumbai itinerary.

Mumbai Itinerary Day 1

Dharavi Slums

The first destination we recommend on your one day in Mumbai itinerary are the infamous Dharavi Slums.

Dharavi is a locality in Mumbai, considered to be one of the largest slums in the world.

With a total area of just 2.1 square kilometres, and home to a population of around 700,000 people, you can imagine how compact and hectic the living quarters are.

To reach Dharavi the best options are to hire a rickshaw if you’re close, or jump on the train and get off at Mahim Junction.

From Mahim Junction you’ll be able to see the slums, and simply cross the railway to enter.

We opted to visit alone, and the people in the neighbourhood couldn’t have been more welcoming.

We received a few funny looks passing over the wrong side of the train tracks, but once we reached the heart of the community we were greeted by smiling faces!

If you do wish to have a guide, there are many tours available. However, just be sure to find out exactly where the money is going.

One of the top recommendations is the Ethical Dharavi Walking Tour, which promises that profits are re-invested in community initiatives such as education, skills development and healthcare projects.

”Learn the challenges of migrants as they settled into this community, their entrepreneurial stories and how to debunk the negative stereotypes of slums.”

Children ran towards us open armed, families invited us into their homes and even offered to cook food for us. Supposedly the most dangerous part of the city, turned out to be our favourite.

A great start to Mumbai in a day and a must on your overall India itinerary!

Dharavi Slums Mumbai In A Day
Charlie mixing with the locals in Dharavi Slums
Dharavi Slums Mumbai In A Day
A must visit on your one day in Mumbai itinerary

Gateway Of India & The City

From Dharavi the best way to reach the city is via the Suburban Train from Mahim Junction to Marine Lines.

Trains run every 4 minutes, and the journey takes roughly 30 minutes in total.

It will drop you within walking distance of Marine Drive. A 3.6-kilometre-long promenade that links Malabar Hill to Churchgate.

For the majority of your one day in Mumbai itinerary you’re going to want to explore around these areas.

If you’re looking for a guided tour of the city, with some local knowledge thrown in, we highly recommend the Mumbai: Private Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of the City.

This 10-hour trip takes you around the essential sights, while learning all about Mumbai’s history and culture.

One of the most popular destinations when visiting Mumbai in a day is the Gateway Of India. Built in December 1911 to welcome the King and Queen of England.

King George Pacham and Queen Mary were the first British monarch’s to visit Mumbai, and the monument has stood proudly ever since.

The monument has also been referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai, and one of the top things to do in India.

Other popular destinations in the city include Victoria Terminus, Elephanta Caves, Marine Drive, the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Crawford Market, Malabar Hill, and Bollywood’s Film City.

If you’re looking to visit Elephanta Caves you can purchase ferry tickets from the Gateway of India. The ferry takes roughly 1 hour to reach the island.

For those that prefer everything to be organised for them, the Elephanta Caves: Private Half-Day Tour from Mumbai includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a tour guide, your entrance tickets, ferry tickets and train tickets.

Gateway Of India Mumbai Backpacking India Route
The Gateway Of India is a must when exploring Mumbai in a day.

Eat Local Street Food

At some point on your one day in Mumbai itinerary you’re going to want to try the cuisine!

So we recommend exploring the streets of Mumbai in a day, and getting stuck into the local snacks.

But what is Mumbai Chaat? – Chaat is a savory snack originated in India, typically served at the road-side from stalls or food carts. With its origins in Uttar Pradesh, chaat has become immensely popular in the rest of the Indian subcontinent.

From the traditional samosas, to the Asian inspired momos, go out and grab some cheap street food!

One of the top ways to do so is on a Mumbai: Hidden Street Eats Tour by Train. You’ll experience the culture of India through the vibrant street food scene of Mumbai, with this tasting tour of local on-the-go snacks.

Plus you get to travel from location to location by train and experience the city like a local.

There’s even a 4-Hour Evening Street Food Tour, for the real foodies visiting Mumbai.

We couldn’t get enough of the Indian spices, and we’re sure you’ll love them too on your Mumbai in a day tour!

Mumbai Chaat Street Food Mumbai In A Day
A typical south Indian curry served up on a banana leaf.

Where To Stay In Mumbai

Luxury

Trident Bandra Kurla

The 5-star Trident Bandra Kurla provides an outdoor swimming pool and full spa services.

Concierge services and room service are available 24 hours. On-site parking is free. Complimentary WiFi is available in all rooms.

Stylish with accents of red, the air-conditioned rooms come with a flat-screen TV, DVD Player and iPod connections.

A minibar and personal safe are also in all rooms. En suite bathrooms come with either a shower or a bathtub.

Trident Bandra Kurla is located in North Mumbai, a 15-minute drive from the domestic airport.

It is a 20-minute drive from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and a 40-minute drive from Western Railway Terminus.

Mid-Budget

Residency Hotel Fort

Located in the heart of Mumbai, Residency Hotel Fort is 100 yards from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

It features rooms with a flat-screen TV and 24-hour room service. It also offers a restaurant and a concierge desk with ticketing service.

Residency Hotel Fort is approximately 14.9 miles from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Transfers are available at an extra charge.

The air-conditioned rooms at Hotel Residency come with private bathrooms and ironing facilities. Each room comes with a safety deposit box, a mini fridge and tea/coffee making facilities.

Budget

Sakinaka Dormitory AC Deluxe

Set in Mumbai, 2.1 miles from Phoenix Market City Mall, Sakinaka Dormitory AC Deluxe offers accommodation with free bikes, free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, and room service.

This bed and breakfast features air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony.

A buffet breakfast is available every morning at the bed and breakfast.

For more places to stay in Mumbai, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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The Perfect One Day In Mumbai Itinerary