15 Best Mumbai Tours to Really Get to Know the City

Gateway of India, Mumbai.
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Multi-faceted Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India. Numerous migrant communities have influenced its development since the 17th century, when the British gained the seven Bombay islands from the Portuguese. These insightful Mumbai tours offer unique opportunities to really get to know the city.

  • 01 of 15
    Mumbai, dhobi ghat.

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    Visiting Mumbai but only have one day to go sightseeing? Take this comprehensive tour. You'll get to see 21 of the top attractions in Mumbai including the Gateway of India, Taj Palace hotel, dhobi ghat open-air laundry, Victoria Terminus railway station (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), Crawford Market, Rajabai Clock Tower, Bombay High Court, and the exterior of businessman Mukesh Ambani's towering $2 billion home. There's no other tour like it!

    • Tour Operator: Grand Mumbai
    • Duration: Full day.
    • Cost: Based on the number of people doing the tour. Contact the company for pricing.
  • 02 of 15

    Dharavi Slum

    Dharavi slum, aerial view.
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    Mumbai's Dharavi slum may have the dubious honor of being the largest slum in Asia but it's hardly the depressing place you may expect. Be prepared to be amazed and impressed as this tour aims to break the negative stereotype associated with the slum. Put aside your initial apprehensions and you'll discover a place that's alive with small scale industries and high community spirit. The tour is lead by local Dharavi residents, who refer to the slum as the "Land of Opportunity". Read about why you MUST go on a Dharavi slum tour.

  • 03 of 15
    Urban Safari.
    Khaki Tours.

    Ever been on an urban safari? Now, you can in Mumbai! This offbeat and unique new tour will take you through some of Mumbai's top heritage precincts in an open-top jeep. The most popular one is the imperial Fort Ride, covering more than 100 heritage buildings from the time of the British in Mumbai. Read more about the Fort Ride Urban Safari. The company also conducts immersive heritage walks across the city.

    • Tour Operator: Khaki Tours.
    • Duration: Two and half or four hours.
    • Cost: From 2,200 rupees per person.
  • 04 of 15
    Sasson docks and the early morning fish market.


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    Experience Mumbai come to life on this special morning tour, which visits many of Mumbai's bustling early morning markets. These include the fish market at Sassoon Dock, flower market, wholesale fruit and vegetable market, and herb market with vendors sitting atop a bridge. You'll also get to see newspapers being sorted and distributed. No Footprints is renowned for telling the city's stories, and this is one of their most in demand tours despite the early starting time.

    • Tour Operator: No Footprints.
    • Duration: Three hours, from 5.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.
    • Cost: Depends on the number of people. Expect to pay about 8,500 rupees for a solo tour, with the per person rate reducing accordingly for more participants.
    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15
    Mumbai.
    Tuul and Bruno Morandi/Getty Images.

    This tour is perfect for those who like to step out of their comfort zones and experience the local way of living. You'll be shown many of Mumbai's famous attractions but you'll travel around using the city's black and yellow taxis, double-decker red buses, local trains, and on foot. At the end, you can look forward to sampling some authentic Mumbai chai (tea) and snacks. The tour is lead by enthusiastic young people from the Akanksha Foundation, who come from underprivileged backgrounds but were trained to become tour guides.

    • Tour Operator: Mumbai Magic.
    • Duration: Four hours starting from 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. daily, from the Gateway of India.
    • Cost: 2,500 rupees per person.
  • 06 of 15
    Crawford market, Mumbai.

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    According to this walking tour, Mumbai's heart lies not in its monuments but in its markets. You'll be expertly guided through the vibrant but chaotic bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar, where it's otherwise easy to get lost. The area is a fascinating mix of shops, stalls, noise and activity, mosques, temples, and tranquility. The tour includes Crawford Market (fruit, vegetable and spice market), Mangaldas Market (cloth market), Zaveri Bazaar (gold market), and Mumbadevi temple (an ancient Hindu temple from which the city derived its name).

    • Tour Operator: Mumbai Magic or Grand Mumbai.
    • Duration: Two hours, daily except Sundays.
    • Cost: Depends on group size. Expect to pay 3,000 rupees for a solo tour.
  • 07 of 15

    Mumbai's Street Food

    Mumbai street food.

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    Mumbai has some distinctive street food that's different to the rest of India, and you'll get to learn about it and try it on this tour. The tour will explore some of Mumbai's renowned street food destinations and khao gallis (food lanes), such as Mohammad Ali Road and Marine Drive Chowpatty (beach).

    • Tour Operator: Various options including Amaze Tours, and Reality Tours & Travel.
    • Duration: Four hours in the evening from 5.30 p.m.
    • Cost: 1,800-1,900 rupees per person. This includes food.
  • 08 of 15
    Dabbawalas sorting tiffin lunch boxes before delivery in front of Churchgate railway station


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    Mumbai's iconic dabbawalas are an essential part of the city's functionality. These men carry and deliver about 200,000 dabbas (tiffins/lunch boxes) to the city's office workers every day. The concept was started to meet the needs of British rulers. However, it's continued on to cater to Indian businessmen who can't get home for lunch. This tour starts with an informative talk by the Chief of the Dabbawala Association. After this, you'll be involved in sorting and delivering the tiffins with the dabbawalas.

    • Tour Operator: No Footprints.
    • Duration: Half day, ending with lunch at 12.30 p.m.
    • Cost: Depends on the number of people.  
    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15
    Marine Drive Chowpatty at sunset.
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    Mumbai has a very different vibe at night and you'll be able to enjoy it on this tour. Visit Marine Drive Chowpatty, Banganga Tank, the Jain temple, businessman Mukesh Ambani's $2 billion home, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus.

    • Tour Operator: Reality Tours & Travel.
    • Duration: Two and a half hours, from 7 p.m. daily except Sunday.
    • Cost: 1,300 rupees per person.
  • 10 of 15
    Female Bollywood dancers doing routine on set
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    Mumbai is the center of India's booming Bollywood film industry. More than 100 films are produced each year there. It's possible to visit Film City (where many movies are made), go inside TV shooting studios, take a drive past Bollywood stars' homes, and see a Bollywood dance show.

    • Tour Operator: Bollywood Tours.
    • Duration: Half and full day. Can be combined with other sightseeing tours.
    • Cost: Varies depending on the tour.
  • 11 of 15

    Mumbai's Ganesh Festival

    Mumbai Ganesh festival.

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    The Ganesh Festival is the biggest festival in Mumbai and it takes place on an epic scale in late August or September each year. It's worth planning your trip around when it happens. There are various ways of experiencing the festival including seeing the statues of Lord Ganesh being made, seeing the statues on display, and attending the immersion of statues on the last day.

  • 12 of 15
    Hindus in Mumbai.

    Sharell Cook

     

    Mumbai is a melting pot of different faiths and cultures. This tour will take you through the neighborhoods where they all live. You'll learn about their clothes, religion, food and ways of life. Communities include the Kolis (fisher folk), Parsis, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. That's quite a mix! The tour visits churches, mosques, and other religious monuments. It's a very interesting tour.

    • Tour Operator: Mumbai Magic.
    • Duration: Four hours, with flexible timings daily.
    • Cost: Based on the number of people doing the tour. Contact the company for pricing.
    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15
    Worli fishing village, Mumbai.


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    Get a peek into the daily lives and rituals of the koli fishing community, Mumbai's original inhabitants, on this walking tour. The fishing village is located on what was one of Mumbai's seven islands. It was recently given a colorful makeover, when a group of young city residents painted its buildings as part of an ongoing slum beautification project. Another significant but little-known attraction there is the remains of historical Worli fort.

    • Tour Operator: Mumbai Magic.
    • Duration: Two hours, daily from 10 a.m.
    • Cost: Depends on the number of people. Expect to pay 3,000 rupees for a solo tour, with the per person rate reducing accordingly for more participants.
  • 14 of 15
    Mount Mary Church, Bandra.

    Frédéric Soltan / Contributor/Getty Images

     

    One of Mumbai's cool neighborhoods and "Queen of the Suburbs", Bandra was originally a Portuguese settlement that continued to exist after the British gained possession of the Bombay islands further south. The neighborhood's liberal attitudes have made it a firm favorite with the city's hipsters and celebrities. Portuguese-style heritage bungalows, modern street art, historical churches, fort remains, and groovy cafes are some of the eclectic attractions.

    • Tour Operator: Mumbai Magic.
    • Duration: Four hours, daily. Recommended starting times are 9 a.m. or 2 p.m.
    • Cost: Depends on the number of people. Expect to pay 3,000 rupees for a solo tour.
  • 15 of 15
    Vasai street.

    Sharell Cook

     

    Have a day to spare and want to go somewhere offbeat on the outskirts of Mumbai? Take this tour of Vasai! Most likely, you haven't head of Vasai. It's hard to believe but it was a headquarters of Portuguese rule and a thriving fort city in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Mumbai was merely a string undeveloped islands. These days, it remains delightfully cutoff from the city's urban sprawl and feels more like Goa. Read more about the Cultural and Heritage Tour of Vasai.

    • Tour Operator: Amaze Tours.
    • Duration: Full day, 10 hours.
    • Cost: 3,500 rupees per person.