The Best Time to Visit Mumbai

Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai.

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The financial capital of Mumbai is one of the main entry points for travel to India. Experiencing Mumbai is more about immersing yourself in the vibe of the city and admiring its architecture rather than checking-off historical monuments (of which there are few). The best time to visit Mumbai is during the cooler, dry months from November to February. If you don't mind crowds, also consider planning your trip to Mumbai to coincide with one of the many festivals and events that take place there throughout the year.

Weather in Mumbai

Mumbai has four distinct seasons, albeit without extreme temperature fluctuations. Winter brings balmy weather, with endless warm sunny days and low humidity. Maximum daytime temperatures hover between 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit (28-30 degrees Celsius), and the temperature rarely drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) at night. The city transitions straight from winter to summer in March and the rising humidity can be exhausting in April and May.

In June, the southwest monsoon brings some respite from the stickiness, but the rainfall is unpredictable. It doesn't rain all day, every day. However, it can rain heavily for days at a stretch. Follow these handy monsoon season packing tips to avoid being uncomfortable. The post-monsoon period, during October and November, is often referred to as the "second summer" in Mumbai. The humidity is usually more brutal than summer, making October perhaps the most avoidable month to visit Mumbai. Fortunately, the humidity recedes in November as winter approaches.

Read more about the weather and climate in Mumbai.

Monsoon Season in Mumbai

It's important to note that Mumbai is prone to flooding during the monsoon season, particularly on high-tide days. The problem has become worse in recent years, and it often brings the city to a halt with submerged roads and railway tracks. If inconveniences such as traffic jams and difficulty getting transport don't bother you, here are some top spots to experience the monsoon in Mumbai. Tour companies still operate during the monsoon season, but the rain will impact your sightseeing. Rooftop bars are open, although their roofs are covered.

Sunset on Marine Drive, Mumbai
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Crowds in Mumbai

Mumbai is a hectic and cosmopolitan city that's always packed full of people, no matter the time of year. While there's noticeably less traffic on Sundays, as offices are shut, this is the primary day out for families. You can expect restaurants to be incredibly busy then, along with iconic places such as Marine Drive, the Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Girgaum Chowpatty, and Juhu Beach. Crowds peak during festivals as well.

Tourist Attractions in Mumbai

Different areas of Mumbai are closed on different days, which can be confusing! Many shops and markets in south Mumbai (such as Crawford Market and Zaveri Bazaar) are closed on Sundays. In central Mumbai (Dadar and around), they're closed on Mondays. Government-managed attractions such as the National Gallery of Modern Art, Elephanta Caves, and Kanheri Caves are also closed on Mondays. Chor Bazaar is closed on Fridays (although another thieves' market operates there then). Boat services in Mumbai Harbor are suspended during the monsoon season from June to August.

The Cheapest Time to Visit Mumbai

Hotel rates in Mumbai are super expensive, and unfortunately, they don't vary much throughout the year, as the city is a popular destination for business travelers. You may be able to find deals from April to October, which is the low season for leisure travel. Keep in mind the weather, though! India offers discounted e-tourist visas from April to June.

Key Festivals and Events in Mumbai

Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, Dussehra, Diwali, and Holi are the main festivals. If there's one festival you shouldn't miss, it's the epic Ganesh festival in Mumbai!

January

Mumbai's brief "winter" is most noticeable in January, with dips in the overnight temperature to around 58 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) on occasion. It doesn't happen often or last long though. Cool sea breezes are present in the late afternoons, and there's sometimes smog in the mornings. Peak holiday season extends into the first half of the month, so airfares will be high until after schools and colleges resume from winter break.

Events to check out:

February

February is an ideal month to visit Mumbai. The pleasant winter weather continues but without the spells of nippy nights, and flights are reasonably priced.

Events to check out:

March

A burst of heat and the disappearance of cool mornings sometime in the first half of the month signal the arrival of summer in the city. The weather can be erratic, with heatwaves sending the temperature skyrocketing up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) later in the month, as the weather pattern changes. The overnight temperature is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

Events to check out:

April

The weather settles down in April, with daytime temperatures consistently around 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) and nighttime lows of a warm 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).

Events to check out:

  • Gudi Padwa (Maharashtrian New Year) Shobha Yatra parade at Girgaon.

May

Although there's little change in the temperature in May, humidity levels increase noticeably. The second half of the month is particularly muggy, and there are intermittent thunderstorms as well, as the monsoon approaches. Try and arrange your sightseeing, so you're indoors from late morning until late afternoon.

Events to check out:

  • Ramadan evening feasting with an array of street food stalls lining Mohammad Ali Road.

June

The monsoon arrives in Mumbai by mid-June, bringing a small but welcome drop in daytime temperatures to about 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). Rainfall intensifies towards the end of the month, and humidity remains high. While fewer tourists visit Mumbai in June, many Indian students studying abroad return to the city and as its the start of summer break. Hence, airfares may rise.

July

July is the wettest month of the year in Mumbai. Expect daily downpours and extended periods of rain that may flood the city.

August

Rainfall eases off towards the end of August, and the festival season gets underway. Airfares are likely to be high, as Indian students make their way back to their colleges abroad.

Events to check out:

  • Dahi handi competition (groups forming human pyramids to break open clay pots) and special programs at temples dedicated to Lord Krishna for his birthday on Krishna Janmashtami.
  • The 11-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival features colorful statues of the elephant god and street processions across the city. It often extends into September.

September

The monsoon starts to withdraw in September, and this shoulder season can be an excellent time to visit Mumbai. Schools and colleges have resumed after the summer break, so you might be able to find cheap flights.

October

The heat is on again in October, with daytime temperatures returning to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius) and humidity around 80 percent. There may be a few isolated rain showers at the start of the month.

Events to check out:

November

The weather in November is much more tolerable, as the transition to winter takes place. The skies are clear and sunny. However, pollution peaks around Diwali as firecrackers are let off.

Events to check out:

December

December's superb weather is enticing as winter sets in, but peak season gets underway around the Christmas holiday period. Expect airfares and hotel rates to be inflated then.

Events to check out:

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