Mumbai Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Mumbai
How safe is Mumbai?
Crime is not particularly high in Mumbai and could be classed as “moderate”. Indian government figures released in 2016 registered 6096 violent crimes, this equates to 33.1 cases per 100,000 people, this is compared to an Indian average across manor cities of 40.6 per 100,000 people.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing, bag snatching and muggings do take place in Mumbai, like in any major city. It is advised to make sure that you are aware of your surrounding and that you do not venture out at night alone, or in an unknown area.
Poverty does play a major part in the crime issues that Mumbai has and can be a bit of a shock if you have never seen begging before. It is estimated that up to 40% of the population of Mumbai live in the cities slums. Begging is an issue in Mumbai, like other major cities in India. It is said that much of the begging is "organised" and is targeted towards foreign tourists and is prevalent in areas with high tourist footfall, such as important monuments, religious and spiritual sites, and shopping areas. It is also not uncommon to have begers at traffic lights.
In recent history, Mumbai has seen a number of coordinated terrorist attacks including bombings across the city with the largest seeing 209 killed and over 500 injured during a coordinated bombing campaign targeting seven Mumbai trains during rush hour in 2006.
The Indian Mujahideen, Taliban and ISIL (Islamic State) have all at times been involved in terrorism in India. These groups or the ideology behind them still poses a threat to visitors of Mumbai. Indian Police and Intelligence Services do work hard to combat terrorism within the city and countrywide, and are reasonably well-funded compared to other comparable units in the region.
The majority of the terror threat in India has its roots in the India-Pakistan disagreement over Jammu and Kashmir, disagreement that was caused by the partition of "British India" in 1947. A disagreement that has born three wars between the countries. The partition of India was a disaster that displaced over 14 million people along religious lines, created a large-scale refugee crises as well as large-scale violence in the regions. The death toll from that violence is not known, but said to be a million or more, with many injured and affected.
Travelling around Mumbai
Mumbai is one of the most populated cities in the world and is the largest city in India. The city enjoys very good public transport connectivity including road, rail and has the oldest Suburban Railway in Asia, that was founded in 1853.
Travel in the city is often crowded, but it does need to be remembered that the city has doubled its population since 1991; it’s a very fast-growing city and its infrastructure is constantly having to keep up with that pace of growth.
The city has around 300,000 Taxis and auto-rickshaws (known as autos) that are relatively cheap to use and reasonably safe.
The Maharashtra government is struggling to keep up with road maintenance in Mumbai, with potholes being a major issue in the city and beyond. Heavy rainfall adds to the problem and the roads deteriorate at a quick rate during the monsoon season.
If you are looking to hire a vehicle during your stay in Mumbai, then you should bear in mind the road conditions when planning any journey and consider that the monsoon season flooding will affect routes.
Extreme weather in Mumbai
The unstable and tropical climate in Mumbai means extreme weather conditions frequent the country. Monsoons, flash floods, landslides, snow and dust storms, and tropical cyclones can cause widespread devastation. Mumbai has suffered regular flooding in the last decade that has resulted in the loss of life. The major flood of August 2017 saw 14 killed by flooding and a further 21 killed by building collapse.
Up to date weather warnings can be found at the India Meteorological Department
Earthquakes in Mumbai
There is no major risk of earthquakes in Mumbai, although there are active faults near the city so the possibility of a major quake in the future cannot be ruled out. Earthquakes that have occurred in the region of Maharashtra have been felt in Mumbai as recent as July 2018, but this is an irregular occurrence and you should not be alarmed by it.
The last major earthquake that hit Mumbai was over 40 years ago and the last one to note, was over 400 years ago and it is recorded that earthquake killed thousands.
If there is an earthquake while you are in Mumbai, the best advice is not to panic, to get to a safe place, under a table, stairway or shelter. Monitor local news and social media for news and immediate safety advice.
Information relation to earthquakes in India can be found here: List of recent earthquakes in India.
Emergency services in Mumbai:
Ambulance: 102, 108, 1298 or 24308888
Police Control Room (Mumbai City): 22621855, 22621983, 22625020, 22641449 or 22620111
Disaster Management Cell: 22694725
Tourist Police: 22621855
Women Help Line: 22633333 or 22620111
Religion: Hinduism and Islam
Currency: Indian rupee
Time now in Mumbai:
Mumbai is at risk from terrorist attacks and the last attack in 2011, was a coordinated terrorist attack involving three bombs at different locations across the city.
The largest city in India, Mumbai is home to more that 21 million people and a city steeped with history, having been under both British and Portuguese Colonial rule during its long history.
Mumbai is home to India’s Bollywood film industry and for more that 20 years has hosted the Mumbai International Film Festival, a celebration of film, Documentary, Short and Animation Films.
Euromonitor lists Mumbai in 2017, as the 30th most visited city in the world, with 6 million visitors each year. The City is the financial and commercial capital of India and benefits from a “tropical wet and dry climate”, with temperatures that are in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on average for a number of months each year.
Consular information for Mumbai
US Consulate General, Mumbai
C/49 G Block Bandra Kurla Complex,
Mumbai 400 051,
Telephone: +91 22 2672 4000 (Mumbai)
Email: email@example.com (Mumbai)
British High Commission Mumbai
C/32 G Block Bandra Kurla Complex,
Mumbai 400 051,
Telephone: +91 22 6650 2222 (Mumbai)
Visa requirements for Mumbai
A visa is required when travelling to India and Mumbai. British citizens can apply for an e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) to enter India at designated airports. Further information can be found at the Tourist Visa Website
All passports must be machine readable, non-machine readable passports will not be accepted and entry can be denied.
Those with Pakistani origin or descent are subject to administrative processing and should expect additional delays when applying for Indian visas.
Health Care and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to India are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations.
Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in India, if you have been in a country where there is a risk of the disease in the last 6 days, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Failure to do so can lead to you being detained in isolation for up to 6 days. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Medical facilities in much of India are not as advanced as many Western countries, but, being a major city, Mumbai does offer very good facilities, on par with what you may expect for large cities. If you require medical assistance, private care is recommended. This can be extremely expensive so it is of paramount importance that you purchase adequate medical insurance that will cover you for all treatment.
Influenza is transmitted from November to April in northern India and from June through November in southern India. There is a risk throughout the year, however peaks do occur from February through to April.
Dengue and Zika that are two viral infections transmitted by mosquitoes are present in the country. You should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
It is recommended against swimming in fresh water as Schistosomiasis can be contracted via a parasite that penetrate human skin when the water is contaminated.
It is highly recommended full travel and medical insurance is checked for coverage prior to travel. The Medical facilities can vary. Personal hygiene must be paramount, the local water supply avoided and bottled water inspected prior to consumption.