Like other cities in India, Mumbai is huge and busy, but you will immediately notice the European feel of the place in the architecture, the wide streets, and roundabouts and just the general persona of the city.
Mumbai is a city of stark contrasts, however -- poverty coinciding with extreme wealth; traditional customs along with modern; small, local, Indian restaurants beside Western chains; and decrepit accommodation just around the corner from luxury hotels. Shopping is excellent in the many markets and people watching on Chowpatty Beach may end up being one of your favorite memories in India.
Unfortunately Mumbai is one of India’s most expensive cities to visit, and price does not always equal quality as far as accommodation standards are concerned. The city is also very spread out, so choosing a Mumbai hostel location should be your top priority. Hostels in Mumbai near Colaba or close to Chowpatty Beach would be most desirable, since you would be close to most sites, markets, and areas of interest. You may want to avoid Kamathipura, as it is the red light district of Mumbai and is known for being quite dangerous, even according to locals. If you want to experience a different aspect of Mumbai, you could stay in a hostel in Bandra, which is known for nightclubs and bars and a top location for Bollywood actors to live. Bandra is also much closer to the airport than central Mumbai, so may be worth a night at the beginning or end of your trip. Overall, Mumbai is a great city with so much to explore and eat and buy; it is a very approachable first glimpse of India or a happily accepted break for the tired and overly cultured traveler in need of a touch of Western comfort.
Hi, I'm Amanda Haehl,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Mumbai hostels. Welcome.