Mumbai pulsates day and night with every Mumbaikar seemingly in business of one kind or another. Mumbai's telecommunications industries set a global pace from bustling high-rise towers while at street level, the cloth-bashing workers at the outdoor laundries of the ghats remove stains the old-fashioned way for bargain prices.
Tourism in Mumbai is a traveler's paradise with dozens of unique things to do and a location that makes it a gateway to India's most popular travel regions like Goa and Rajasthan. Wide-eyed visitors can spend several days wandering around Mumbai's diverse suburbs before embarking on enthralling onward journeys.
One of the primary business districts of commerce-crazy Mumbai, the Fort area is centered on Dadabhai Naoroji Road where street markets sell books and small electrical goods day and night. Some parts of the Fort area showcase the British fortifications from two centuries ago, when this was the center of the city.
A treasure trove of British colonial grandeur, waterside Colaba is one of the busiest tourist centers in the city and is popular with travelers across all budgets. The luxurious Taj Mahal hotel is here, as are several sprawling dormitories that are popular with backpackers. The Gateway of India monument marks the area.
Just south of downtown, Churchgate is a business, transport and education hub that contains the University of Mumbai and the terminal for the Western Railway. Churchgate Station is the main commuter station for Mumbai's office workers and so it surges twice-daily with incredibly large crowds of people.
Marine Drive is Mumbai in miniature, where dozens of five-star hotels tower over a noisy six-lane motorway and an incongruously peaceful pedestrian promenade that attracts locals from all across the metropolis. The string of twinkling lights that decorate the curving bay give the area its nickname.
Bollywood royalty from Shahrukh Khan down maintain ritzy residences in Bandra, the western suburb of Mumbai that overlooks the Arabian Sea and is by far the most upmarket residential part of town. Beautiful Persian and Portuguese landmarks punctuate one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world.
Four million people call Andheri home. This enormous residential area just north of downtown Mumbai is in many ways the heart of the city and hundreds of schools and churches are located here. The Mahakali Caves are a popular local tourist attraction.