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City description  

It is known as the “Maximum City”. Lapped by the saltiness of the Arabian Sea, the island of Mumbai, the biggest city in the Indian sub-continent, brings its hopeful and exaggerated dreams together, turned towards a future in fast gear. Behind the ultra-modern glass, concrete and steel architecture of the Bandra Kurla Complex or Nariman Point, beats the economic heart of India, while Bollywood studios call to mind that Mumbai is the land of possibilities. Everywhere bold skyscrapers and luxury malls, High Street Phoenix in the lead, rise up in a flash, creating an endless megalopolis which serves as a backdrop to Marine Drive. The “Queen’s Necklace” extends its long tarmac promenade along the seafront.

Yet Mumbai is not limited to its captivating modernity. At the far south of the “City of Gold”, a mixed crowd occupies every square inch of Colaba, like everywhere else in Mumbai, where 20 million people live together and, caressed by the sea breeze, it converges towards the triumphal Gateway of India. The iconic stone arch, intrinsically linked to the former British Empire, perpetuates the memory of a past which is still visible. In the adjacent streets, colonial buildings in elegant style, a unique mix of Victorian, Art Déco and Indian architecture, bow under the weight of the decades. These high façades disseminate an old-fashioned atmosphere – you could almost expect to see Rudyard Kipling show up here. This nostalgia for a bygone era resurfaces at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, gives a patina to the legendary Taj Mahal Palace hotel or even the Leopold Café, one of the oldest in the city.

A stone’s throw or two away, the National Gallery of Modern Art testifies to the Indian megacity’s creative DNA. There, as at the Nehru Centre or the Jehangir Art Gallery, the exhibitions are unanimous: the talent of the young generation of Indian artists is a force to be reckoned with. Their buzz originates in an old Portuguese enclave with its appeal preserved, transformed into a trendy district, Bandra West. It is here that the Zeitgeist is moving. For if the large open-air bazaars congested with rickshaws, Chor Bazaar, “thieves market”, or Zaveri Bazaar, “the jewellery market”, remain a must in an Indian-style shopping experience, Bandra West lines up concept stores with specialised ranges. Restaurants are just as many, enlivened by high-quality street food, a refined gastronomic tradition which uses spices with panache, and a cosmopolitan essence. Joël Robuchon was not mistaken: he is opening his first establishment in Mumbai in 2016.
At Bandra, as at Colaba and Malabar Hill, the trilateral of nightlife, Mumbai never sleeps, haunted by the appearance of the stars of Bollywood and the Mumbai Film Festival.
Because, more than Holi and its coloured pigments thrown to the four winds, more than the celebrations for  Indian Independence or the Proclamation of its Republic, it is the life dreamed in technicolour projected on the big screen which manages to unite Mumbai’s diverse population with the same enthusiasm. Otherwise, what common trait would there be between a worker at Dhobi Ghat, the world’s largest open-air laundry, the Muslim bowed at the Haji Ali Mosque, the Hindu of the ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, a young woman in a sari from the vast Dharavi slum, the setting for the film Slumdog Millionaire, and the rich young things of Malabar Hill?

Top things to do in Mumbai

Enjoy our selection of finest attractions

  • All
  • Highlight
  • Art & design
  • Shopping

Where to Eat

  • Sofitel restaurants
  • Café
  • Restaurants

Sea Lounge

On the first floor of the legendary Taj Mahal Palace, the Sea Lounge is a cosy, timeless bubble with its Art Deco furniture and its famous Tea Time. Enjoy traditional English and Indian cuisine.

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The Dome

With its 8th-floor swimming pool in the InterContinental, its breathtaking view over Marina Drive and its subtle cocktails, The Dome is an ultra-chic address in Mumbai.

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Blue Frog

In this highly stylish club, top DJs and hip live music groups shake the dance floor. Blue Frog is undoubtedly one of Mumbai’s hottest nightlife spots.

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Golden Dragon

Since 1973, Golden Dragon, located in the Taj Mahal Palace, has been a hit on Mumbai’s Cantonese cuisine scene. Discover its wonderful Dim Sum buffet on Sundays.

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Ziya

The refined tables of Ziya shine out from the lobby of the Oberoi and overlook the sea thanks to a huge bay window. Contemporary Indian cuisine is showcased on the menu of one of Mumbai’s top addresses.

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The Table

The Table, a chic and designer hideaway, is a multi-award winning restaurant in Mumbai which is one of the most popular in Colaba. Its San Francisco-born chef has created a sleek menu reflecting an array of influences.

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Hakkasan

The Indian branch of the multi-award winning London restaurant opened its doors in 2011 in Bandra. In surroundings created by French designers Gilles & Boissier, Hakkasan’s signature dishes revisit Chinese cuisine.

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

With roots in Southern California, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain boasts five locations in Mumbai and is a haunt for coffee-lovers due to its signature iced coffees. Opt for a sinful double chocolate ice blend with whipped cream or keep it simple with a rich espresso made using the finest Arabica beans sourced from growers around the world. 

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Jyran

Set within the Sofitel Mumbai BKC in the city’s bustling financial district, Jyran Restaurant brings the rich flavours and traditions of the Northwest Indian frontier to Mumbai. Lavishly furnished in a contemporary style in glittering gold, the relaxed lounge-style of Jyran invites its guests to sink into cushion-strewn seats as cocktails are mixed at the bar and mouthwatering aromas drift from the open kitchen overseen by Head Chef Shaukat Ali Qureshi. Savour the taste of traditional tandoor cuisine, featuring perfectly tender chicken, lamb and beef served with fluffy rice, freshly baked naan and Tandoori roti. Don’t miss Jyran’s local resident – a beautiful elephant sculpture perched above a glittering pool.  

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Practical information

  • where to stay
  • when to go
  • Travel transportation
  • event calendar

Mumbai • India

Sofitel Mumbai BKC

The flagship of Sofitel Luxury Hotels in India, Sofitel Mumbai BKC is the new ge...

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When to go

Mumbai has a tropical savanna climate, with hot and humid weather and low variations in average temperature. The hottest month in Mumbai is May with temperatures around 32°C and the coldest is January with 24°C. The wettest and most humid months are during monsoon season from June to August with very strong rainfall, reaching an average level of almost 700 mm.
The best period to visit Mumbai is between November and March when the weather is dry and mild.

Mumbai annual calendar

  • Jan

    Republic Day, National holiday commemorating India’s Constitution, 26 January 2016

  • Fev

    Mahindra Blues Festival, 13 – 14 February 2016

  • Mar

    Holi, Hindu Festival of Colours, 23 March 2016

  • Apr

    Mahavir Jayanti, Most Important Religious Holiday for Jains, 19 April 2016

  • May

    Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, 25 – 29 May 2016

  • Jun

    Watch a cricket game at the National Stadium, June 2016

  • Jul

    Indian Independence Day, 15 July 2016

  • Aug

    Lakme Fashion Week, bi-annual fashion show in Mumbai, August 2016

  • Sep

    Ganesh Chaturthi, Hindu Holiday Celebrating Ganesh, 5 September 2016

  • Oct

    Mumbai International Film Festival, 20 – 27 October 2016

  • Nov

    Diwali, Hindu Festival of Lights, 30 October – 3 November 2016

  • Dec

    Christmas Decorations & Celebrations in Mumbai, December 2016

Travel transportation

Transportation

Transportation in Mumbai includes many options: fleets of local cabs and auto/cycle rickshaws, private drivers, rental car, bus, ferry and the brand new monorail. However, in Mumbai it is much more convenient to book a taxi or a car with a driver, even though the traffic can be chaotic. Keep in mind that when driving in Mumbai, you must drive on the left side of the road.
Cycle-rickshaws are very convenient to visit the historic area of Mumbai, but are not allowed in many parts of the new town. We highly recommend negotiating the fare in advance before starting the journey (expect to pay around IND 10 per kilometre).
Several transport companies operate an important network of bus lines covering the greater metropolitan area of Mumbai. However, we do not recommend this as a primary form of transport since the buses can be slow and are often very crowded.
A brand-new metro has been operating in Mumbai since 2014. Until now, it only has one line composed of 14 stations and covering a distance of 11 kilometres. The network should be extended within the next few years with 3 additional lines. A monorail has also been inaugurated the same year (with 3 more lines to be built).
Metro and Monorail are both very comfortable, fast and reliable.
Trains run from 6am to 11pm and can become incredibly busy during peak hours (especially around 9am and 5pm). Expect signs and arrival/departure announcements in Hindi and English. A one-way trip starts at INR 10.

Taxis

There are approximately 58,000 ​taxis, the iconic black and yellow Fiat, and 250.000 rickshaws that ​operate in ​greater Mumbai at different times of the day and night.
You can hail them in the street, find them at a taxi rank or book them through one of Mumbai’s taxi firms. The CoolCab are air-conditioned, which is always an advantage during the hot and humid months of summer.
The flag fall is a standard INR 21 for the first 1.5 km and each additional kilometre is INR 14 (INR 23 and then INR 15.50 for a CoolCab). Taxis usually charge twice the fare of the auto-rickshaw. Fares are systematically increased for foreigners, so don’t be afraid to negotiate.

getting to & from the airport

Mumbai International Airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) is​ located approximately 20 km north from Mumbai city centre. The journey by car takes approximately​ 1 hour but can vary greatly depending upon the traffic. Private transfers, rental cars and air-conditioned and metered taxi  can be arranged and booked at the airport. Meru Cabs charges INR 27 for the first kilometre and INR 20 per additional kilometre There is also a 25 % night charge. A regular cab (non air-conditioned and metered) should be around INR 400-700, depending upon the destination in Mumbai and the time of the day/night. Make sure to confirm the price before entering the vehicle.
You can also take a train at the station of Andheri (INR 60 by auto-rickshaw from the airport). From there, the Churchgate or CST Train will take you in 45 minutes and for INR 9 to downtown Mumbai. Please note that this is only a suitable option if you’re arriving outside peak hours and are not weighted down with luggage, as the trains can be particularly busy.

Getting around

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* Prices start from. Offer subject to the hotel's conditions and availability. See the sales conditions for the rate. Depending on the country, these prices may not include taxes, may include VAT only or may include all taxes (VAT and city tax). When prices do not include all taxes, the relevant taxes (VAT and/or city tax) will be stated in the following stages of the reservation process. The price is only guaranteed at the time of reservation.

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