Our Shore Excursion in Mumbai
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Cheap shore excursionSave money by self organising
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Useful information for excursion in Mumbai
Below you will find information on the most beautiful sights, a map of the cruise port in Mumbai as well as many useful tips and information for your cruise excursion in Mumbai.
The most beautiful sights in Mumbai
Mumbai is a colourful city on the west coast of India that uniquely embodies enormous growth, Indian tradition, colonial history and modern India. Until 1996, the city was still called Bombay. It is the largest city in India and has about 18 million inhabitants. In the multicultural city, there are different religions and more than 200 languages and dialects are spoken. No wonder Mumbai is the economic center of India. The cosmopolitan city is also known for its Bollywood movies. Don’t miss the many street food markets. As a rule, you get very tasty and traditional food at a reasonable price, plus you get in touch with the locals.
Gateway of India
The Monument Gateway of India is Mumbai’s most famous landmark. The triumphal arch was built between 1911 and 1924 in the famous Colaba district. The plans came from George Witt, who designed other noble buildings in Mumbai. The Gateway of India is a popular meeting place for tourists: countless people romp about here around the clock. The ferries to Elephanta Island also depart from here.
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Probably the most luxurious hotel in Mumbai is the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which is also located in the Colaba district. It was opened on 16 December 1903 by order of the Persian Jamshedji Tata. He belonged at that time to the most influential entrepreneurs. The impressive Taj Mahal Palace towers majestically over the Gateway of India monument and offers a great view of the Arabian Sea.
The hotel consists of two buildings: the old building and the tower, which was added in 1973. Many international stars have already stayed here, including the Beatles and Prince Charles. Even though an overnight stay is probably beyond the budget, a look into the luxurious entrance hall is worthwhile.
Haji Ali Dargah Moschee
One of the most beautiful mosques in India is the Haji Ali Dargah Mosque in Mumbai. It was built in 1431 and is visited by more than 80,000 people every week. The mosque is located on a small island in the sea and is connected to the mainland by a 200-meter-long dam. It is therefore particularly beautiful to look at the sunrise. On the shore, you will find numerous traders and souvenir shops.
The Elephanta Caves are located on a small island in the Arabian Sea: Hindu temple caves that were probably built between the 5th and 9th centuries. The caves contain works of art, statues and stone tablets dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. “Cave number 1”, traditionally built in the Hindu Mandala style, is the main cave and in good condition. The Elephanta Caves have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. On the island itself, there are many street stalls and you will see many small monkeys.
Who doesn’t know the famous pictures of 100 m long clotheslines full of clothes?! This is the largest open-air laundry in the world: Dhobi Ghat. It lies in the middle of Mumbai. Every day over 100,000 pieces of clothing and sheets are scrubbed, soaped and beaten by the Dhobis (scrubbers) – until everything is as clean as a whistle again. Tourists and visitors usually don’t see the hard work behind it. The Dhobis – usually men – wash up to 8 hours a day, stand knee-deep in the grey water and inhale dangerous chemicals every day.
A 4 km long coastal promenade in the south of the city provides a bit of relaxation in the turbulent city. In the morning you meet joggers, in the afternoon students and in the evening friends and couples meet here. Palm trees and restaurants line the entire promenade. Throughout the year, small and large festivals take place on the Marine Drive, including the famous Ganesh Chaturthi event. At the end of the street is the popular Chowpatty Beach. From Marine Drive, you have a fantastic view of the skyline of Mumbai.
Malabar Hill is a green, upscale residential area known for the Hanging Gardens – a park with animal-shaped hedges and hillside location with a unique sea view. Malabar Hill is home to the city’s rich and unlike many other neighbourhoods it is very clean and green. In addition to various temples, the residential area is also home to the towers of silence. Corpses are placed in round towers where they are eaten by birds. This form of burial is especially common among Parsis.
The liveliest and hippest suburb of the city is undoubtedly Bandra. Cafes and restaurants that conjure up traditional and international dishes can be found on every street corner. There are also some quiet residential streets and many old town villas. The Carter Road is particularly beautiful during the Christmas season as many Christians live here. Houses and streets are decorated and shine in bright lights. On weekends Bandra turns into a hotspot for nightlife – bars and clubs open their doors. Here you can party to both Western and Bollywood music.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Station), Mumbai CST as short, is one of the largest railway stations in the world and the most important British Indian station. It was built between 1878 and 1887, following the model of the St. Pancras Station in London. The station is built in the Victorian neo-Gothic style and has an impressive 100 m high dome above the main entrance. On the dome is the statue of the Lady of Progress. In the year 2004, the UNESCO appointed the building to the world cultural heritage. Around 6 million people use the trains in Mumbai every day and get on and off at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
Mumbai is a city with a rich historical heritage. The old Villa Mani Bhavan is worth a visit. The Villa originally belonged to the famous politician and important fighter, Mahatma Gandhi, for the independence of the country. The old interior is almost completely preserved in the villa. Today the villa is converted to the Mahatma Gandhi Museum, which has the collection of the personal belongings and photographs of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, is also well worth a visit. It is one of the best museums in India and is divided into three main areas: Art, Archaeology and Natural History. Among the museum exhibits in the old palace are many old engravings, paintings, sculptures and antiques.
Markets in Mumbai
The markets in the metropolis are cult. Every day they are visited by thousands of locals and tourists. Especially popular is the almost always overcrowded Crawford Market, where you can get everything: food, clothing, electronics, animals or everyday objects. You will find great jewellery and special clothing at the lively Colaba Causeway Market. Another notable market is the Chor Bazaar, where you can buy antiques.
Map of the cruise port in Mumbai
In Mumbai, there is a cruise port terminal at the Ballard Pier in the south of the city. Directly in the Cruise Terminal, there are some small shops and you can get your currency exchanged.
As a visitor you are not allowed to move alone in the harbour area, therefore you must take the shuttle bus to get to the harbour exit. This is usually offered by the shipping company or by the port itself. Alternatively, you can take a taxi directly from the pier.
On the website Mumbai port, you can see when which cruise ships moor in Mumbai.
Worth knowing about shore excursions in Mumbai
Shipping companies and Routes
Mumbai has gained increasing importance as an international cruise port and is increasingly being served by Asian cruises. Transit cruises often last more than 20 days and include ports in Africa and the Orient. Shipping companies such as Costa, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, P&O, Seven Seas, Silver Sea or TUI Cruises have Mumbai on their routes.
Entry and Visa
British and American nationals need an electronic tourist visa (ETA) in addition to a valid passport to enter Mormugao, which you must apply in good time prior to departure. In total, the visa is valid for one year and can be used for four more seaports (Kochi, Mormugao, Mangalore and Chennai). This is especially useful if you also use one of these ports as part of your cruise. The ETA costs around £60 or $ 80 USD per person and is a so-called “visa on arrival”. This means you will receive a stamp upon entry.
It is also advisable to obtain additional information from your cruise company about the valid entry requirements of your cruise.
The currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR). One-pound equals to 86 INR and 1 USD equals to 69 INR. We recommend changing money in banks or official bureaux de change, as the import and export of Indian currency is prohibited. Alternatively, you can withdraw money from ATMs using your credit card.
More and more restaurants and businesses accept credit cards, you should still have some cash with you. It is also important that the bills may not be damaged (torn), as these can be denied as a means of payment.
Taxi and Public Transport
Public transport in Mumbai is very chaotic, especially among the crowds. There are buses, commuter trains, taxis and rickshaws.
Even if the trains from the outside look rather old, they are very reliable. However, you can easily miss a station because the platform is so crowded that you can’t read which station it is, or the trains are completely crowded and you can’t get out. For protection against sexual harassment, there are extra compartments in the trains for women only.
If you want to explore the city on your own, we recommend taking a taxi. Taxi driving in Mumbai is quite cheap. The distance from the Ballard Pier to the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is only about 2.5 km. Note, however, that silver-grey taxis are equipped with air conditioning and black-yellow ones without.
The three-wheeled Autorikschas (Tuk Tuks) is a very cheap alternative. But those who make their way through Mumbai’s chaos in the rickshaw (Tuk Tuk) should not be squeamish: dirt, smog and honking is a part of such a ride.
The best time to travel to Mumbai is in the winter and early spring months. January, February, March, November and December have an average temperature of 28 degrees, and it is a dry season. In addition, the sun shines 7 to 9 hours a day.
The high season for cruise ships is from November to April.
Website of the port operator and tourist organisations
Impressions of Mumbai
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