Let’s face the facts here – Mumbai is a large and confusingly exotic place for most foreign visitors. It’s a crush of people rushing around everywhere, and you don’t know the first thing about asking for help. You could get on a bus or local train going the wrong way and end up far, far way from where you want to go. Heck, the place you’re going to might be right in front of your nose and you may still not see it through the bedlam and crowds.
If, on the other hand, you hire a local as a tour guide, it solves a lot of problems. They’ll pick you up at the airport and eliminate the hassle and cost of airport transfers. They’ll take you around and teach you how to get on and off the crowded local trains and show you the bus routes. Furthermore, all Mumbaikars speak English, Hindi and Marathi and maybe a couple more languages. They know how to talk to the shopkeepers at the markets and in stores where you can haggle and get a much lower price.
Even more important is the fact that they know every suburb and the less-famous hangouts and attractions in Mumbai like the back of their hand. You can refer to tourist brochures and guidebooks, but you’ll never find the things the locals enjoy in Mumbai. Do you know where the best and most tasty vada pav stall is in Thane? Which Udipi hotel in Matunga is the best place for idli/dosa?
The guidebooks will tell you that CST is a railway station and a magnificent example of colonial architecture listed as a heritage site by UNESCO. But does it tell you that there’s a heritage gallery inside? Or that you can get all kinds of clean, tasty and affordable food at the CST stalls? Or that you can spend hours poking around in the street markets just outside?
How about Bollywood – sure the guidebooks will tell you to take a tour of Film City. But do you know which bars and clubs the Bollywood stars and celebs hang out at in Juhu, Bandra, Malabar Hill and Lokhandwala, close to their palatial gated homes and high-rise apartments?
These are the kind of things the locals know, and this is what a local tour guide will help you with – to explore Mumbai without any hassles and show you the things in the city which the locals enjoy when they go out.
Have an authentic meal at a local families home. Experience the real food of Mumbai, India.
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Everybody's good at something! Learn from Mumbai, India locals and their cultures.