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Book a flight to Mumbai with Qatar Airways and you'll enjoy the hustle and bustle of India's commercial capital and largest city. Mumbai is a modern megalopolis that nurtures a thriving arts scene, historic architecture and ancient bazaars among its glistening skyscrapers.
Birthing pool for many a Bollywood (and the occasional Hollywood) hit, the city also has a generous helping of older culture. Grand colonial and Art Deco buildings, a warren of bazaars, and a sizeable roster of museums await you.
Kala Ghoda’s museums and galleries include the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Prince of Wales Museum; a visit to Sanjay Gandhi National Park and its 2,400-year-old Kanheri Caves is a must. Welcome to Mumbai.
Tourist attractionsTravel to Mumbai and be prepared to marvel at the amazing architecture. The Taj Mahal Palace – not to be confused with the more famous Taj Mahal in Agra, which is a Mughal mausoleum – was built in 1903. It faces the harbour and is one of the city's most striking landmarks. Most tourist sights are concentrated in South Mumbai and some of India's most renowned art galleries and museums are to be found here.
Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai is the place to head if you're in the mood to wander the city's museums and galleries. Here sits the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai's largest. Families can enjoy an afternoon exploring the Nehru Science Centre.
There are plenty of amazing beaches that you can visit during your trip to Mumbai. Avoid the more overcrowded shores of South Mumbai and head for the North West, where you will find Mumbai’s own residents on Sunday evenings. This is the best time to soak up some local culture, as you watch families playing on the sand. Then grab a snack from one of the many food stands, sit back and enjoy the sunset.
Mumbai is much more than a concrete jungle and has several green havens in which to while away an afternoon. Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a must, if only to visit the 2,400-year-old Kanheri Caves.
Add a dash of glamour to your trip, with a visit to Film City in Goregaon, where you can watch Bollywood movies being filmed. Or why not take a tour of Dharavi, home to one of Asia’s largest slums and the backdrop to the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire? Walking tours can be booked, with profits going towards improvement initiatives.
On a sunny afternoon, a harbour cruise or tour of the markets with a local guide is a great way to pass the time.
International dishes are easy to find in Mumbai, but for an authentic regional taste, Irani (Iranian-style) cafés and street-food vendors are the best option. Don't miss the opportunity to experience Indian sweets such as kulfi falooda (Indian ice-cream), or a taste of vada pav ( a vegetarian burger). Enjoy authentic Maharashtrian cuisine such as sabudana vada (deep-fried dumplings) or zunka bhakri (spicy vegetable dish served with roti).
Dining at a traditional Irani café is the perfect place to sample samosa as you mingle with the locals. Thali, a complete meal with bread, rice, pickles and a variety of curries, is popular here. Or cool off during hot Mumbai summers with Melwad ice cream from a street vendor.
Shopping in Mumbai is inexpensive by Western standards. Street vendors and bazaars share the city limits with air-conditioned malls. Retain a local guide and haggle for clothing, carpets, souvenirs and jewellery at the city's bazaars. Head for Fashion Street, an excellent source of affordable clothing; then Colaba Causeway, where you can find carpets and souvenirs. For jewellery, visit Zaveri Bazaar.
In Dharavi, be on the look-out for hand-stitched leather jackets, khadi (homespun cotton fabric) clothing and handicrafts, as well as saris and pashminas.
Essential facts about Mumbai
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip