Bombay was renamed Mumbai in 1995, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and is one of the many urban areas in the world that combines great wealth with desperate poverty. Although Mumbai’s economy is growing year after year, over 50% of its population still live in slums, which is one of the highest percentages in the world. Alongside grand old colonial buildings and beautiful temples and mosques are smart new offices, industrial factories and vibrant markets, and the streets and roads are heavily crowded for much of the day, creating a chaotic, noisy atmosphere (it feels like all 14 million inhabitants are constantly on the move at once). Emissions are barely regulated throughout much of India, and the levels of pollution in Mumbai (especially in the hot, humid summer) will surprise and dismay many visitors. However, despite all of its faults this city has a lot to offer tourists, and is undeniably an energetic, exciting and friendly place.
Mumbai is situated on a peninsula of the Indian subcontinent that just out into the Arabian Sea, but unfortunately this coastal advantage does nothing to relieve the extremely hot, stifling summers, so this is not the best time for visitors who are not used to such humid heat. The monsoon season arrives anywhere between June and September, and brings a measure of relieve from the hot temperatures making the downpours very welcome indeed. The winters are very mild, and a good time to visit the city. It is always best to choose air-conditioned accommodation when you visit Mumbai, as the nights can be very warm and uncomfortable throughout most of the year.
Mumbai is the trading and financial capital of India, and also the heart of its popular film industry (Bollywood). There are plenty of things to see and do, from visiting the historic buildings to shopping, and there are some excellent high quality, cheap hotels in Mumbai that provide cost effective accommodation.
Hotel New Bengal
From $38 per night
This lovely building was constructed in 1900 and has been refurbished into a pleasant and modern hotel. The hotel is situated in South Mumbai, near to attractions such as Marine Drive Beach and The Prince of Wales Museum.
Quality Inn Parle International
From $80 USD per night
Agarwal Market, Vile Parle E
This excellent hotel is near the airport and railway station, and is within walking distance of plenty of shops and restaurants.
Comfort Inn – Heritage
From $91 USD per night
Sant Savta Marg, Byculla,
Comfort Inns provide affordable, quality hotels all around the world and this one is situated opposite the famous Gloria Church and within walking distance of some of Mumbai’s most popular markets.
Best Western – The Emerald
From $102 USD per night
Juhu Tara Road
Another international hotel chain (Best Western), The Emerald offers luxury rooms at affordable prices and has an elegant, welcoming atmosphere.
From $110 USD per night
131-B,New Chakala Link Road,
This 4 Star hotel offers luxury and excellent facilities from just $110 per night, and has several excellent dining options, and conference and banqueting rooms.
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