1. Is it safe to travel there as a single woman? - Yes, its pretty safe use the same precautions you would in any other city. Do not wear very lowcut or short clothes because unfortunately you will draw the wrong kind of attention. Do not go with anyone who offers to lead you around. As for directions and go by yourself.
2. What location in Mumbai would you recommend to stay? South Mumbai or Bandra are the best.
3. What hotel would you recommend that are clean, safe, and not so expensive? Travellers inn or Sea Green, Fariyas, Shalimar
4. Where or what foods do you recommend? Do not eat street food. Its great for us but very few foreigners can handle it. Always ask for bottled water.
5. Is safe to go to any night clubs or bars for cocktails? Yes. As a single woman do not go into shady looking bars. Hire a Meru cab to take you back thats the safest. Do not leave your drinks lying around.
6. Is it safe to video or take picture in public? Yes. Unless there is a sign saying otherwise.
7. How do I go about booking taxi for pick up from and to airport? Meru or prepaid cabs are the best there may be a line but its worth the wait. In mumbai all the new taxis have digital meters chose those over the others when travelling.
8. What are some must see places to visit while in Mumbai? http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/MTDC/HTML/MaharashtraTourism/Default.aspx?strpage=../MaharashtraTourism/CitiestoVisits/Mumbai/MumbaiAttractions.html
9. Where should you change over your money? Banks are the best. Maybe not the best rate but the safest. Do not change it at small shops on the street.
10. Can you hire a tour guide? Yes. Make sure they have a licence. Check MTDC website. http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/MTDC/HTML/MaharashtraTourism/Default.aspx?strpage=../MaharashtraTourism/CitiestoVisits/Mumbai/MumbaiTips.html
Read more: http://forum.virtualtourist.com/forum-1101422-1-Travel-Mumbai-1-forum.html#ixzz1mMP0bcOq
Fondest memory: Getting lost is part of travelling. Getting lost in Mumbai under midday's heat is horrendous! Mumbai's confusing streets may frustrate even the most well-composed person. Thankfully, in the more touristy spots, there are street maps available on the pavement and tourist police which may not exactly be helpful since they hardly speak any English. If you ever lose your way, your best bet is asking a middle-class local which is easily identifiable by their dressing. A cool drink may help too :P
Get some Indian currency-RUPEES.
To have your currency exchanged, money changers & foreign exchange bureaus are available in several public places, including the airport. Several banks provide cash advances on Visa & Master Cards. ATM's are conveniently located all over the city.
Credit cards are widely accepted. Look out for prominent signs proclaiming acceptance.
1.00 USD United States Dollars = 45INR Indian Rupees
1.00 GBP United Kingdom Pounds = 85 INR Indian Rupees
BE PREPARED at the airport with regards to Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs
Indian law requires that you declare certain electronic equipment such as large tape recorders, computers and video cameras. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency or travelers checks you can bring with you, but you need to declare any money over a certain amount. Check on your immigration card (given on plane) for details.
There are 2 banks just before you exit customs. It is advisable to change at least US$200 here. Ensure that you get at least Rs200 in Rs10 notes. Change virtually does not exist in India and you will need a big supply of small money for porters, etc. Ideally you want most of the balance in large notes (Rs500) to make it easier to carry.
As you go down the corridor, you will see a booth for booking accommodation. The attendants will help you to find a room, and should call the hotel and ask them to collect you. If you are stranded, or the booth is unattended, you might take a pre-paid local taxi to one of the hotels in Mumbai. It is best to know where you are going before leaving the building. Outside, you may find van drivers offering to take you to a local hotel, but these hotels are generally quite run-down and especially expensive for the unwary
The toilet on most trains is an experience. They are cleaner these days than in the past, but the floors are often wet (and slippery) from leaking water. Most toilets are squat type and are preferable to the western style ones because you don't want to sit down on anything in a train bathroom. However, be careful, because with all the lurching and shaking, if you drop anything it's gone down that little hole in the floor. Actually using the toilet on the train is an acquired art. The floor is slippery and the train is lurching. Hang on to something. For many it will prove the biggest challenge they have faced since early childhood potty training.
Personal safety on trains is not a serious problem but it's worth keeping in mind. There are a few dangers you won't encounter in Western trains where most ways of harming oneself have been eliminated for the benefit of the foolish. Not in India. If you want to hang out the train door, no one will stop you. If you want to race down the platform and swing aboard at the last minute, you can. In the absence of restrictions, you must learn to operate with a lot of common sense.
Some visitors discover the pleasure of sitting in the open doorway of the carriage watching the country side go by, smelling the wood smoke from village fires, and listening to the bird calls over the clatter of the train. It can be dangerous, and is not recommended. Don't jump from a moving train. If you have a more serious problem, try and contact either the Ticket Collector or a member of the Railway Police who may be posted on the train. Otherwise, enlist help from fellow passengers. Many will be interested in assisting you.
In India, trains are the best way to get around. Sadly, the great puffing steam engines that pulled the trains even 20 years ago have been retired out of service, but the vibrancy, colour, and chaos of the Great Railway Bazaar is not diminished. Train travel is cheap, reasonably comfortable, and still fairly safe.
As in Europe, night trains offer an excellent way of moving between cities while saving on hotel costs. There are many trains that run overnight between major centers. A traveler can hop a train one evening, enjoy a (usually) peaceful night on the train, and alight early the next morning, ready for a new day in a new city.
At the top is A/C Class, offering chilled, dark, but comfortable compartments at pretty fancy prices. Linen and blankets are provided.
Next is First Class Here you travel in a fairly comfortable four-berth, or sometimes two-berth, compartment with vinyl upholstery. Not linen or blankets.
Around the same price as First Class, is Second Class A/C Sleeper, offering seats in the day, and berths at night in a dormitory style air conditioned carriage. These come in two-tier, and a new, slightly cheaper, three-tier configuration. This class is very popular with the India's growing middle class, and is a God-send during the hot Summer months. Unfortunately, it isn't the best way to see the countryside, as the heavily tinted windows block much of the view.
The budget service is Second Class Sleeper, where you get a place to sit during the day, and the carriage converts into three-tier bunks at night. Second Class Sleeper is extremely cheap. An overnight trip (10-12 hours and about 3-400 miles) will cost you less than $ 5.00. Because the economy and availability appeals to so many people it's also a great way to meet Indian fellow travelers from various strata of society. It's usually quite pleasant, but be prepared for a bit of noise and inconvenience at times.
FIGURING OUT WHERE TO GO UPON ARRIVAL IS A HUGE TASK. So how does one get to their hotel/destination from the airport? That is a question that plagues the minds of all visitors.
The airport is located 19 miles (30 km) north of Mumbai. Sahar is the international terminal; Santa Cruz, 15 miles (25 km) from Sahar, is the domestic terminal. There are regular shuttle buses between the two.
There are counters at the airport where you can book a taxi for a set fare. You will get a coupon to give to the driver, so there will be no uncertainty over what the fare will be. Fare to the center will be about 300 rupees ($7) and the trip will take from 30 to 60 minutes. Metered cabs are available, but not recommended.
Airlink operates a bus service from the airport to the Air India Building at Nariman Point. The fare is about 70 rupees ($2). Travel time is extremely variable, from 50 minutes to 2 hours if the streets are especially clogged, so always leave plenty of time when going to or from the airport. The bus is not always reliable, which is why a cab is recommended.
Cars with drivers are available for the trip from the airport. They cost four or five times the taxi fare, but provide a much smoother trip. Check with the tourist information counter for booking information. There are no car rental counters at Bombay-Sahar.
A trip to India would not be complete without riding the trains. We took the train from New Delhi to Agra. At the advice of our friend's uncle, we had a driver waiting for us at the Agra train station. What we understand is that at most train stations, the taxi drivers are in partnership with hotels and other vendors, and if you just grab a cab, you are likely to be taken to places you don't want to go.
Our driver was a terrific guy. So terrific, in fact, that we hired him to drive us from Agra to Jaipur!
Favorite thing: BOOK AIR TICKETS ATLEAST 3-5 MONTHS IN ADVANCE if you intend to travel DURING PEAK VACATION TIME..I make this recommendation out of personal experience.Air tickets should be booked as soon as possible in order to confirm availability, especially while travelling to India during the months of JULY-AUGUST and DECEMBER