Transportation in Mumbai
Get a real feel for the crowded city streets by exploring Fort, Churchgate and the market areas on foot. Fort Walks is a handy book of walking tours in the area, available from local bookshops.
Although very slow, the top deck of a double-decker bus is always a great way to travel, and also the cheapest. Like other public transport, avoid jam-packed rush hours.
Mumbai's yellow-and-black taxis are cheap, convenient and everywhere. Most drivers put on the meter but some will try to tell you that the ‘meter is broken'. Insist that they do. Air-conditioned taxis are blue and cost around double. Always get a pre-paid taxi from the airport and ignore drivers who insist your hotel is closed – and any offers to see his cousin's carpet shop.
Three-wheeled motorised autorickshaws are available in the central suburbs, and not allowed in the south. Cheaper than taxis, they are good for short journeys. Always insist that the meter is on.
Rent your car
Driving in Bombay/Mumbai is a unique experience with an array of cars, buses, lorries, rickshaws, motorbikes and pedestrians all vying for space. Traffic travels on the left but you can expect congestion, weaving traffic and potholes as you tackle the labyrinthine streets. Hiring a car with a driver is always an option.
Avoid rush hours (8-10am, 5-8pm) when it's hard to find space to breathe on the train and traffic moves at a snail's pace. Allow plenty of time in the taxi if catching a flight or train. Take extra care of valuables on trains. Women should spend a few rupees extra to make use of the first-class ladies' compartments.