The fastest way to get to Mumbai is by air. The city is connected to almost all major and not-so-major cities of the world through numerous flights. Mumbai's international terminal, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is spread across the suburbs of Santacruz, Vile Parle and Andheri. This is the second-busiest airport in India, and is considered to be the 14th busiest in Asia and 28th busiest in the world as per passenger traffic. The airport is approximately 30 kms from Nariman Point, the city’s commercial district and just 4 kms from the domestic terminal of Santacruz.
Once you alight at the international terminal, you can head to the domestic terminal for your onward journey if you plan to go elsewhere. There is a regular bus shuttle service just for this purpose. If your vacation plan includes Mumbai, then you can step out of the terminal to find several pre-paid taxis and car rental services that can whisk you to your location. All you need to do is state your destination at the pre-paid counter, collect your token and get into the next available cab. Do take care to travel only with registered taxi services to avoid being taken for a ride.
Both the international as well as the domestic terminals offer all the world-class amenities that world travellers have come to expect. You can stop for a bite to eat at any of the several restaurants and cafes that abound. You can pick up last-minute gifts or souvenirs at the gift shops. Then there is the duty-free section to get good deals on your favourite perfume or chocolate. Exchange bureaus, restrooms, baby changing rooms, and comfortable nooks where you can just rest between your journeys make your time at the airport comfortable.
Do note that the area outside the airport and the main expressways have heavy traffic most hours of the day and night. Factor in travel time from the airport to your destination accordingly.
Also check out the best time to visit Mumbai and plan your journey accordingly.
If you like train journeys and have time on your hand, you could consider making a train journey to the city of dreams. The Indian railway is Mumbai’s lifeline, both within and outside the city. The city has two major railway stations, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Bombay Central Station, both of which connect Mumbai to all corners of India, including major cities of Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. Numerous super-fast and passenger trains hurtle across these steel tracks, taking people to and fro between Mumbai and all corners of the country.
Considering the heavy volumes of people traveling daily on these trains, it is important that you book your tickets well in advance. If you plan to travel in summer, when it is the holiday season here, you will need to book your tickets months earlier to get a reservation on these trains. You can visit the Indian Railway official website or go to any Indian Railway booking counter at a railway station to book your tickets. Remember, you cannot board the train without a confirmed reservation.
If you are traveling in the monsoon, as you get closer to Mumbai, you will be treated to a spectacular landscape of lush green mountains, natural waterfalls and low-hanging clouds that you can almost touch. Check out some of the best places to visit in Mumbai and plan your travel itinerary accordingly.
Once at the railway station, you can get into any of the easily-available public transport that Mumbai is famous for. We recommend a pre-booked taxi to avoid getting fleeced. If you plan on hopping aboard an auto or a regular taxi, please travel only with registered service providers and ensure that you are clear about the fare to avoid getting duped.
Mumbai is a bustling city and it needs a transport system that can keep pace with the needs of its visitors. The city is connected to the rest of India with an excellent road network that is serviced by state-run and private bus operators.
The roads leading up to Mumbai are perfect for a road trip if you are keen on seeing the country at your own pace. You could drive down from any part of the country; the journey promises to be an amazing, one-of-its-kind experience. You can enjoy the winding roads, the verdant hills and the feel of being one within nature while still never being far away from civilization.
If you are traveling from any of the nearby cities of Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad or Kolhapur, the journey is even better as it will take you just a few hours, which is enough to enjoy the drive without getting tired.
Let’s take a quick look at the distances between Mumbai and some its major neighbouring cities:
Mumbai and Pune: 163 km
Mumbai and Aurangabad: 392 km
Mumbai and Nashik: 184 km
Mumbai Mahabaleshwar: 239 km
The distance between Mumbai and some cities in its neighbouring states is:
Mumbai and Panaji (Goa): 597 km
Mumbai and Ahmadabad (Gujarat): 545 km
Mumbai and Vadodara (Gujarat): 432 km
If you are not driving down yourself, you can hire a taxi from any of these places or you can even hop into an interstate or private bus. The frequency of these buses is quite regular and you can easily get a seat at the starting point itself. During holiday season or on extended weekends you might need to book your seat in advance because of the rush.
Moving around in Mumbai is not very expensive and there are numerous modes of transport for you to choose from. depending on your budget and the time on hand. The city's public bus system (aptly named BEST) is one of the most efficient bus systems. Besides that, there are taxis, autorickshaws, and the excellent local train network that whisks you from one end of the city to another without bothering about traffic snarls.
BEST runs an efficient service that connects all corners of the city. The vehicles are well-maintained and clean, and you can count on a bus to come to its designated stop at a fixed time. A bus is a great way to see the city, as some of the routes will take you through the older parts of the city and into impossibly narrow lanes. You can pick up a bus schedule at any of the main depots or through their apps such as BEST Pravas to get a sense of the routes and bus numbers. You can also move about the city on guided bus tours that will showcase all the main attractions. You can book a seat on these online.
If you are traveling in a group, a taxi makes a lot of sense. You can either hail a black-yellow cab from the many taxis that ply on the road to reach your destination. Or you can hire a cab for a day to take you around all the main attractions. It is a convenient way to move about the city. You can find these taxis at literally every corner, or you can ask your hotel to arrange one for you. You can also book an Ola or an Uber cab for the day. Always travel with a registered taxi and arrive at the fare before you begin your journey to face any hassle later.
You can hire an autorickshaw in certain suburbs of Mumbai to cover shorter distances. This is a cheap mode of transport and you will spot one almost everywhere when you are out on the street. They are usually around bus stops, main junctions, popular restaurants and shopping districts. Carry a meter card with you if possible to avoid getting fleeced.
Walking: Mumbai is a hot and humid city which gets pleasant during the winter season. You can walk about in certain parts of Mumbai, such as south Mumbai that have lovely architecture and a quaint mood. There aren’t many footpaths in the rest of the city and many of them have been encroached upon by hawkers. Be careful while crossing the streets too. Pedestrians are low on priority here.