Mumbai: Market Town
Like that of any great city, the soul of Mumbai is captured in its famous bazaars and markets. From internationally renowned haute couture to dirt-cheap, one-season wonders, intricate jewelry and unique antiques to knick-knack gifts and fabulous textiles, Mumbai is known as a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re shopping on the street or in the markets, the key is to take your time, sift and sort, establish authenticity and make sure your haggling skills are razor sharp. Leave the pier by coach to visit one of the famous markets in Mumbai—Crawford Market. En route you’ll stop for photos and view the outside of the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus—the Rajs’ pièce de résistance, complete with carved stone friezes, stained-glass windows and flying buttresses. Crawford Market is housed in a building that looks like something out of Victorian London, but is overrun with a crazy riot of local color, including the chaotic wholesale cloth market with a tremendous variety of fabrics at hundreds of indoor stalls. Your next stop will be at the Zaveri Bazaar—a maze of narrow lanes lined by hundreds of jewelry shops that sell ornaments made of every conceivable gemstone and precious metal. Re-board the coach for a short ride to the Colaba district for some free time for shopping. Barter with the locals at the market stalls or browse in the many shops where the prices are fixed. Afterward, you’ll drive back to the pier and re-board the ship with your day’s treasures.
Most of the tour involves walking and being guided quickly through the markets, but there will be a 30-minute (±) stop for souvenir shopping at Colaba Causeway. Expect to navigate tight spaces and dense crowding.