Mumbai is a city that will excite your senses and completely blow your mind. 

It is one of the most vibrant cities in the world – with its bustling streets, DELICIOUS food, cultural festivals and famous Bollywood film industry. It is impossible to be bored in this busy city!

Mumbai has a rich and diverse history, incredible food, world-class shopping and unique and captivating architecture. The seamless combination of British colonial influence and traditional Indian-style structures is out-of-this-world.

But it is a massive city and choosing where to stay in Mumbai is super important. There are loads of different areas and neighborhoods to choose from, each offering something unique from the last.

That’s why I’m here! I’ve explored this sprawling city and found the best places to stay – no matter your travel style or budget. I’ve compiled the top five areas and what makes them unique.

So whether you’re looking to party, shop, step back in time or simply find the cheapest bed in town, this guide has all the info you need.

So, let’s get into it and find which area of Mumbai is best for you.

Where to Stay in Mumbai

Looking for a specific spot in Mumbai? These are the best places to stay while backpacking India’s largest city!

Mumbai

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Taj Mahal Palace Hotel | Best Hotel in Mumbai

Luxury hotels in India don’t get better than this! The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is easily the most famous hotels in Mumbai and perhaps the entire country. Built in 1903, this incredible 5-star hotel has every amenity you can imagine, as has long been the first choice of the rich and famous.

Opposite the Gateway of India and overlooking the Arabian Sea, you’ll love the 10 on-site restaurants and massive outdoor pool.
The luxurious rooms also offer 24/7 butler service–visiting Mumbai
doesn’t get better than this!

Namastey Mumbai Backpackers | Best Hostel in Mumbai

Namastey Mumbai Backpackers is our favorite hostel in Mumbai. It is a 100-year-old Portuguese cottage that offers modern dorm rooms with air conditioning and colorful décor. Guests can enjoy a relaxing front yard, cozy common room, board games, and free breakfast. This hostel is located in Bandra West, one of Mumbai’s’ best neighborhoods.

Private Studio Apartment | Best Airbnb in Mumbai

This epic Juhu Beach Airbnb is perfect for those looking for a homier feel while still being close to one of Mumbai’s most beautiful stretches of sand. You’ll be but a two-minute walk from the sea, all for an incredibly affordable price given the area.

Mumbai Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Mumbai

FIRST TIME IN MUMBAI
Colaba
FIRST TIME IN MUMBAI

Colaba

Colaba is our top pick for the best neighbourhood in Mumbai to stay in if you’re visiting the city for the first time. This southern neighbourhood is the tourist capital of the city.

ON A BUDGET
Bandra West, Mumbai
ON A BUDGET

Bandra West

If its good-value accommodations you’re after, then look no further than Bandra West. This northern neighbourhood is our best recommendation for where to stay in Mumbai for one night or if you’re on a budget because it has such a great selection of affordable accommodation.

NIGHTLIFE
Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai
NIGHTLIFE

Bandra Kurla Complex

Bandra Kurla Complex is a large neighbourhood situated in central Mumbai. By day it is the city’s financial district, catering to business people and travellers. But, by night, Bandra Kurla Complex comes alive and offers visitors some of the most vibrant and happening bars, clubs and restaurants.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Fort/Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Fort/Kala Ghoda

The Fort/Kala Ghoda neighbourhood is without a doubt one of the coolest places to stay in Mumbai. Home to Mumbai’s arts district, Fort/Kala Ghoda is a neighbourhood bursting with energy, colour, excitement and fun.

FOR FAMILIES
Juhu, Mumbai
FOR FAMILIES

Juhu

Juhu is one of the most iconic neighbourhoods in Mumbai. It is located north of the city centre and is best known for its stunning beach and lavish mansions.

Mumbai is a massive and sprawling cosmopolitan city. It is the largest city in India and boasts an incredible population of more than 12 million people. Many backpackers end up visiting Bombay at some point.

The city covers an impressive of 4,355 square kilometers and is divided into two district regions, which are each home to hundreds of diverse neighborhoods and suburbs.

There’s plenty to see, do, eat and experience in Mumbai, which is why we recommend you try and visit at least three or four different neighborhoods depending on the purpose of your trip.

In this guide, we’ll look at the best areas to stay in Mumbai organized by interest, budget and needs.

Located on the southern tip of the island is Colaba, the main tourist district and our number one pick for the best neighborhood to stay in Mumbai for sightseeing. Here you can experience old-world charm, incredible sights and exciting food.

aerial view of downtown where to stay in mumbai
Sunset over the Arabian Sea sure is something…

Set north of here is Fort/Kala Ghoda. One of the coolest places to stay in Mumbai, this neighborhood is home to a whole host of culinary, artistic, and cultural attractions.

Continue traveling north and you’ll pass through Bandra West. A lively and vibrant district, this is the best area in Mumbai to stay in if you’re on a budget because it has the best hostel and an excellent array of good value hotels.

Head east from here to Bandra Kurla Complex. This exciting neighborhood is our best recommendation for where to stay in Mumbai for nightlife because it has a great selection of bars, clubs and restaurants.

And finally, Juhu is a neighborhood characterized by its lush landscapes and its close proximity to the beach. That’s why it’s our choice for where to stay in Mumbai for families.

Mumbai’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, we’ll take an in-depth look at the best places in Mumbai to stay. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to read each section carefully and choose the Mumbai accommodation that’s right for you!

#1 Colaba – Where to Stay in Mumbai for Your First Time

Colaba is our top pick for the best neighborhood in Mumbai to stay in if you’re visiting the city for the first time. Its famous for sure, and an integral part of any Mumbai itinerary.

This southern neighborhood is the tourist capital of the city. It boasts a rich history, and world-class food, and has plenty of landmarks and attractions that will entertain and enthrall you.

This part of the city is bursting with charm, colorful décor and unique architecture. No matter where you look, visitors to Colaba will find themselves falling in love. From the vibrant Colaba Causeway to the tiny tucked-away bars and pubs, there’s something for everyone in Colaba. Colaba can get very busy if you are visiting Mumbai at the weekend.

Colaba, Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace | Best Hotel in Colaba

Luxury hotels in India don’t get better than this! The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is easily the most famous hotels in Mumbai and perhaps the entire country. Built in 1903, this incredible 5-star hotel has every amenity you can imagine, as has long been the first choice of the rich and famous.

Opposite the Gateway of India and overlooking the Arabian Sea, you’ll love the 10 on-site restaurants and massive outdoor pool.
The luxurious rooms also offer 24/7 butler service–visiting Mumbai
doesn’t get better than this!

Backpacker Cowies | Best Hostel in Colaba

India’s largest city isn’t without its fair share of epic hostels. One of these is Backpacker Cowies, a well-decorated spot conveniently located in Colaba. While slightly more expensive than other hostels in Mumbai, you won’t find a better price in the area.

Each dorm bed has its own light, charging station and luggage storage and some of the private rooms even have a balcony! Meet
other travelers and chill out right near the city’s most famous sites–
there’s no doubt this is the best hostel in South Mumbai!

Luxurious Two Bedroom Apartment | Best Airbnb in Colaba

This epic Mumbai Airbnb is situated right in the city’s coolest area: Colaba. You’ll get to come back to spacious rooms that are full of sunlight and sweet city views! The building itself overlooks the Arabian Sea, and is super close to essential South Mumbai hotspots like the Gateway of India and Marine Drive. Free wifi and basic kitchen equipment are all yours–there’s even a washing machine for your convenience!

Things to See and Do in Colaba

  1. Explore Mumbai’s very best attractions and monuments
  2. Excite your senses at the famous Leopold Cafe.
  3. Take a day trip to the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  4. Feast on an array of Indian dishes and sweets at Bade Miya.
  5. Hunt for treasures at the Colaba Causeway Market.
  6. Go on an epic early-morning cycle tour.
  7. Visit the classic and legendary Café Mondegar for afternoon drinks.
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#2 Bandra West – Where to Stay in Mumbai on a Budget

If it’s good-value accommodations you’re after, then look no further than Bandra West.

This northern neighborhood is our best recommendation for where to stay in Mumbai on a budget because it has such a great selection of affordable accommodation.

Bandra West, Mumbai
The iconic Bandra Worli Sea Link is something you’ll end up driving on at least once in Mumbai.

From backpacker hostels and boutique hotels to homestays and vacation rentals, this central neighborhood is packed with options that will cater to travelers of all styles and budgets.

Culture vultures will also love exploring Bandra West thanks to its exciting and eclectic mix of culture, tradition, and contemporary landmarks and attractions.

Hip hangouts, lively restaurants, excellent shopping and colorful décor are just a few of the things you can enjoy in Mumbai’s Bandra West neighborhood. Bandra also has a lot of good Mumbai Airbnbs some of which are priced very low.

Taj Lands End | Best Hotel in Bandra West

As one of the best luxury hotels in Mumbai, you can set your expectations high for Taj Lands End. It has one of the most incredible swimming pools in the city, adjacent to the Arabian Sea and surrounded by greenery.

The iconic Bandra Worli Sea Link is also visible from the property, which also features a fitness center and sauna. Fine dining options are readily available, and you’ll get to choose between
several types of royal-feeling rooms.

Namastey Mumbai Backpackers | Best Hostel in Bandra West

Namastey Mumbai Backpackers is our favorite hostel in Mumbai. It is a 100-year-old Portuguese cottage that offers modern dorm rooms with air conditioning and colorful décor. Guests can enjoy a relaxing front yard, cozy common room, board games, and free breakfast. This hostel is located in Bandra West, one of Mumbai’s best neighborhoods.

Comfortable Ensuite Penthouse | Best Airbnb in Bandra West

This fully-furnished modern penthouse gives you full access to 3 of the 5 rooms and is well-decorated with a modern artistic flair. Both AC (super important in Mumbai) and free wifi are included, and there are plenty of delicious breakfast options nearby. While not exactly a budget hotel, it’s certainly cheaper than any hotel in this upscale area! A flat-screen TV and a massive shower also make this vacation rental just a bit more comfortable.

Things to See and Do in Bandra West

  1. Dine on a festival of flavors at Monkey Bar.
  2. Enjoy amazing sea views from the Bandra Fort.
  3. Go for a stroll along the Bandstand Promenade.
  4. Pick up a few souvenirs at the Link Square Mall.
  5. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the famous Hearsch Bakery.
  6. Visit the beautiful Mount Mary Basilica Roman Catholic Church.

#3 Bandra Kurla Complex – Where to Stay in Mumbai for Nightlife

Bandra Kurla Complex is a large neighborhood situated in central Mumbai. By day it is the city’s financial district, catering to business people and travelers.

But, by night, Bandra Kurla Complex comes alive and offers visitors some of the most vibrant and happening bars, clubs, and restaurants. That’s why Bandra Kurla Complex wins our vote for the best neighborhood to stay in Mumbai for nightlife.

While it might not have any notable Bombay Airbnbs, there are plenty of epic hotels (and even a cool hostel) to choose from.

Looking to shop until you drop? Then Bandra Kurla Complex is for you! This neighborhood is home to a number of malls and shopping attractions, like Fashion Street, Crawford Market, and Inorbit Mall, where you can pick up everything from the latest fashion to one-of-a-kind finds.

Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai

Sofitel Mumbai BKC | Best Hotel in Bandra Kurla Complex

The Sofitel is one of our favorite hotels in Mumbai because it has amazing features, modern amenities and exquisite rooms. Enjoy one of the many wellness facilities, like the outdoor swimming pool, sauna, and jacuzzi. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant and a stylish lounge bar to enjoy when you’re not lounging in one of the luxurious rooms!

Trident Bandra Kurla | Best Hotel in Bandra Kurla Complex

The Trident Bandra Kurla Hotel is a modern five-star property in the Bandra Kurla area of Mumbai. It has a fitness center, outdoor pool, and an epic sun deck. Rooms are well-equipped with contemporary amenities, luxurious slippers, and all types of other luxurious amenities. There’s also an elegant restaurant and lounge bar on-site.

Forrest Hostels | Best Hostel in Bandra Kurla Complex

This hip hostel is pretty new to Mumbai’s overall hostel scene, and boy is it a fab addition! The decor is incredible–think hand-painted murals and ceilings dripping in greenery. Dorm beds are spacious and offer privacy curtains, and each room ensures high-speed wifi and 24/7 hot water. The shared common area is a fab place to connect with other backpackers, and a mini kitchen meets those late-night munchie needs!

Things to See and Do in Bandra Kurla Complex

  1. Don’t miss the beer cocktails at Gateway Taprooms BKA.
  2. Eat, drink and party the night away at True Tramm Trunk BKC.
  3. Excite your sense at Hitchki Bkc.
  4. Feast on rich and delicious Latin American dishes at Lima Bar.
  5. Indulge in amazing dim sum, dumplings and more at Yauatcha.
  6. Sip exotic cocktails at Illuminati.
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#4 Fort/Kala Ghoda – Coolest Place to Stay in Mumbai

The Fort/Kala Ghoda neighborhood is without a doubt one of the coolest places to stay in Mumbai. Home to Mumbai’s arts district, Fort/Kala Ghoda is a neighborhood bursting with energy, colour, excitement and fun. It offers everything from funky cafes and delicious restaurants to world-class museums and exquisite art galleries.

Fort/Kala Ghoda is also one of the most historic neighborhoods in Mumbai. It is home to a number of ancient relics and important landmarks that sit alongside designer cafes, indie art galleries and hipster hangouts. There’s no better neighborhood to add to your itinerary than Fort/Kala Ghoda for enjoying a seamless mix of historic charm and contemporary appeal.

Fort/Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

Residency Hotel Fort | Best Hotel in Kala Ghoda

This three-star property is ideally located in Fort/Kala Ghoda, the best area in Mumbai to stay in for hipsters, trendsetters and cool kids. It is close to popular art galleries, museums, bistros and bars. Rooms are modern and comfortable with great amenities. There’s also an excellent in-house restaurant.

Hotel A K International | Best Cheap Hotel in Kala Ghoda

Comprised of 28 rooms, this excellent hotel makes for the perfect home away from home in Mumbai. It has comfortable and spacious accommodation with free wifi, cable/satellite channels and contemporary amenities. There’s also a tour desk and ticket service that can help you plan the perfect holiday.

Things to See and Do in Kala Ghoda

  1. Be amazed by the architecture of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
  2. Get to know Mumbai’s delicious street food scene
  3. Browse a comprehensive collection at the National Gallery of Modern Art.
  4. Excite your sense with exotic and authentic Burmese food at Burma Burma Restaurant & Tea Room.
  5. Experience the stunning Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.
  6. Explore the art, sculpture and exhibitions of the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct.
  7. Laugh your head off at The Comedy Store.
  8. Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Nutcracker.
  9. See incredible works of art at the prestigious Jahangir Art Gallery.

#5 Juhu – Where to Stay in Mumbai for Families

Juhu is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Mumbai. It is located north of the city centre and is best known for its stunning beach and lavish mansions. The neighborhood is home to many of India’s most beloved Bollywood stars, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled when exploring this lush and luxurious ‘hood.

Juhu, Mumbai

This neighborhood is also our best recommendation for where to stay in Mumbai with kids. It is a hotspot for activity and boasts a vast array of attractions as well as cafes, restaurants, shops and more.

From lush landscapes and days at the beach to delicious meals and feasts for the eyes, Juhu is a neighborhood that will satisfy the needs of any and all travellers. Just be sure to add something to swim in to your India packing list before setting off!

JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu | Best Hotel in Juhu

This spectacular five-star hotel has not one, but THREE swimming pools, a fitness center, a Jacuzzi and a sauna. It has elegant rooms with private bathrooms and modern amenities. Guests can enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the hotel’s many restaurants.

Sun-n-Sand Mumbai | Best Hotel in Juhu

A stunning pool, great views and large rooms are just a few of the reasons we love this hotel. This five-star property is located in Juhu, one of the best areas to stay in Mumbai. It is close to a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops, and allows for easy access to the city centre.

Private Studio Apartment | Best Airbnb in Juhu

This epic Juhu Beach Airbnb is perfect for those looking for a homier feel while still being close to one of Mumbai’s most beautiful stretches of sand. You’ll be but a two minute walk from the sea, all for an incredibly affordable price given the area.

The studio features fast and free wifi, consistent AC, and simple but sleek decor. The hostess is highly rated, and the entire place is incredibly clean, which is truly a blessing in India! Enjoy the dozens
of restaurants, bars and street food that can be found all over the area–
which is about as close to the beach as a Mumbai Airbnb gets.

Things to See and Do in Juhu

  1. Catch a performance at the stunning Prithvi Theatre.
  2. Eat upscale Indian cuisine at Saffron.
  3. Enjoy drinks, snacks and excellent views at Beijing-inspired Dashanzi.
  4. Experience the opulent Muketeshwar Temple.
  5. Indulge in fresh and delicious Indian dishes at Tanatan.
  6. Rest, relax and soak up some rays at Juhu Beach. Or, enjoy the carnival-like rides, games and food stalls.
  7. Soak in the hustle and bustles of Mumbai at Shiv Sagar.
  8. Start your day with amazing French toast, croissants and coffee at Bombay Baking Company.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Mumbai

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Mumbai and where to stay.

What To Pack For Mumbai

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
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Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
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Hanging Laundry Bag

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Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Mumbai

Mumbai is a magical and mysterious city. It offers exciting cuisine, interesting history, diverse culture, and a vibrant nightlife that will excite your sense and enchant your imagination. From north to south, east to west, every corner of Mumbai offers something incredible for travellers to experience.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the five best neighborhoods in Mumbai. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here is a quick recap of our favourite places.

Namastey Mumbai Backpackers gets our vote for the best hostel because it has an excellent location, comfortable rooms, and plenty of places to sit back and relax.Backpacker Cowies

Meanwhile, The Taj Mahal Palace easily wins first place for the best hotel in the city. This incredibly luxurious property is ideally situated and boasts an amazing variety of wellness amenities and features, including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and sauna.

Looking for more info on travelling to Mumbai and India?
Girgoan Chowpatty Beach
Chowpatty Beach has some of the best sunsets in the city!
Photo: Christian Haugen (Flickr)

Updated December 2022 by Samantha Shea