Before you head out into the big city read our guide to keeping safe in Mumbai
Mumbai is one of the safest cities in India. A cosmopolitan city where women can feel safe walking home alone is what every city in India should aspire towards. However, as in any big world city, there is always an underbelly of crime and scam artists looking to make a quick buck from unsuspecting foreign tourists and Indian visitors from other cities. Here is our guide on how to stay safe in Mumbai.
Mumbai is a crowded place at the best of times but during peak hours you are strongly advised to avoid traveling on the trains, unless travelling first class. The stations will be teeming with travellers packed in close quarters and an ideal hunting ground for pickpockets and opportunist thieves. If you must travel at peak times always ensure you keep your valuables in a safe and do not become complacent. You should take the same cautions in any crowded area such as a bazaar or tourist sites.
2) The Heat
No, we don't mean the police! We mean the high temperatures you are likely to experience especially during the summer months. The same rules apply here as everywhere for keeping cool; wear light, natural fabrics, make sure to use sunscreen, stay hydrated, wear a sun hat and avoid being out in the open for too long.
3) Drinking Water
Falling ill during your stay in Mumbai from having drunk contaminated water is sadly a too familiar tale but can be easily avoided by simply sticking to bottled mineral water and nothing else. If served a bottle always ensure the seal is intact.
4) Street Food
We love to promote everything Mumbai here and street food is truly a part of the city and its people, however, a word of caution especially for foreign travellers who are tempted by the smells, colours and textures that entice them from the street food vendors. Unless your stomach is up to the job you are probably better off avoiding Mumbai street food in general.
5) Taxi Scams
It is a sad fact that taxi scams are still fairly common in Mumbai. If you are a foreign tourist you will invariably be more suseptable to the numorous scams some unscrupulous taxi drivers will attempt in a bid to extract as much of your cash as possible. Here are a few things you should know to avoid getting scammed:
By law, all taxis in Mumbai must be metered. Avoid any cab with no meter or a broken meter. If you want to pay the correct price for your journey make sure the meter works and is set at the right fare.
Can't Find Your Hotel Scam
Your taxi driver will pretend he can't find your hotel. He may even drive around for a while pretending to look for it. After a while he proposes he takes you to a nice hotel he knows. Jet-lagged, tired and hungry that may look like a good option to you right then. You will end up at undoubtedly a far less superior hotel, be charged exorbitant prices for it and your taxi driver will receive his commission from the hotel owner for yet another tourist he has successfully diverted to his hotel
We strongly recommend you arrange an airport pick-up from the hotel you will be staying at. Most hotels will offer this service and that way you can sit back and enjoy Mumbai rather than worrying about being scammed.
This page is being continually updated so check back again soon for more tips on staying safe in Mumbai.
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