Mumbai

Mumbai is a shopper's town: in the same day, you can sift through alleys full of antiques in Chor Bazaar, haggle for trinkets on the Colaba Causeway, and stop in at the Brioni showroom at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel for marked-up luxury goods (though we'd recommend you get your Chanel and Armani back home to avoid the huge import taxes).

The Causeway, Kemps Corner, and Breach Candy are all trendy shopping areas in South Mumbai; the latter two are chic and pricey. A walk down Colaba Causeway will probably take you past most of the things you want to buy in India—shoes, clothes, cheap knickknacks, cheap cotton clothing, jewelry, and wraps—displayed at stalls lining the road; more expensive items are found in the air-conditioned shops and boutiques behind the stalls on this same road.

The arcades in top hotels offer a little bit of everything for a lot more money than anywhere else, but the merchandise is beautiful and the pace unhurried (and it's climate-controlled). If you're looking for the kind of stuff you can't get anywhere else in the world, and a more vibrant experience, throw yourself into the middle of one of Mumbai's famous bazaars. After all, odds are you didn't come to India to visit the Louis Vuitton boutique.

The city's department stores are good for one-stop shopping, and Fabindia and the Bombay Store both have a large number of branches in the city.

Throughout Mumbai many smaller shops are closed on Sunday (some of the suburbs are closed a different day: in Worli, up to Bandra, they're closed Monday; and in Bandra, up to the suburbs, they're closed Thursday, although many areas are also in the process of switching to Sunday). Malls, however, are open every day. They are especially crowded on the weekend (mall-gazing—that is, large-scale window shopping—has become a new Mumbai leisure activity).

Once you've exhausted Mumbai proper, you can venture out to the suburbs, where prices tend to be lower and the malls more numerous. Linking Road in Bandra is a trendy place to shop, and Juhu's main strip, Juhu Tara Road, is lined with cutting-edge new boutiques, shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

Some good and cheap Mumbai buys: silver jewelry, handicrafts, handloom cotton and silk clothing and household items, eyeglasses, DVDs, CDs, and books.

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  • 1. Ajmal

    Colaba | Perfume/Cosmetics

    You'll find a wonderful selection of rare Indian and French perfumes stored in huge decanters here. They also stock agar wood, a rare incense...Read More

  • 2. Amrapali Creations

    Colaba | Clothing

    Very prompt and efficient, Amrapali Creations usually makes Indian clothes, such as salwar kameez and sari blouses, but if you give them a...Read More

  • 3. Anokhi

    Marine Drive | Clothing

    Colorful clothes with block-print designs from Rajasthan. ...Read More

  • 4. Anokhi

    Hughes Road | Clothing

    ...Read More

  • 5. Atmosphere

    Colaba | Household Items/Furniture

    Exotic home furnishings and fabrics for the home are sold by the meter here. There's lots of expensive silk, and they'll organize tailoring for you. ...Read More

  • 6. Bombay Store

    Fort | Department Store

    A must for souvenir shoppers, the friendly Bombay Store sells clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, silk by the meter, housewares...Read More

  • 7. Central Cottage Industries Emporium

    Colaba | Crafts

    The Mumbai branch of this government-owned chain is a decent place to buy souvenirs—though you won't be doing any bargaining, as all prices...Read More

  • 8. Chor Bazaar

    CST | Market

    In this bustling but tiny flea market you can find exactly what you don't need but have to have—old phonographs, broken nautical instruments...Read More

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  • 9. Christina

    Nariman Point | Clothing

    This is a tiny, classy boutique with exquisite silk blouses and shirts, scarves, ties, dupattas (long, thin scarves for draping), and silk...Read More

  • 10. Contemporary Arts and Crafts

    Fort | Crafts

    There's a small but representative selection of Indian handicrafts at reasonable prices here. ...Read More

  • 11. Daboo Street

    CST | Shoes/Luggage/Leather Goods

    Brave bargain-hunters should take a trip to chaotic Daboo Street for all sorts of leather goods. ...Read More

  • 12. Dhoop

    Khar | Crafts

    Here you'll find a superb, unusual collection of handicrafts that includes upside-down incense holders and palm-leaf lampshades. If you're staying...Read More

  • 13. Ensemble

    Central Mumbai | Clothing

    This pricey store has exclusive men's and women's Indian and Western fashions, and lovely costume jewelry, all by high-profile Indian designers...Read More

  • 14. Fabindia

    Fort | Department Store

    This store showcases the best of Indian fabrics— khadis (homespun cotton), muslin, vegetable-dyed silks, and embroidered materials. You can...Read More

  • 15. Fashion Street

    Fort | Market

    This is a trove of cotton bargains in a long row of open-air stalls, with mounds of colorful, cheap, mainly Western clothing for all ages. The...Read More

  • 16. Gallery Chemould

    Fort | Art Galleries

    An elegant gallery in the Fort district for those looking for a break, full of works by modern masters like Atul Dodiya and rolling exhibitions. ...Read More

  • 17. Ganko Optics

    Nariman Point | Other Specialty Store

    An old and trustworthy family-run optician with good frame choices. ...Read More

  • 18. Good Earth

    Colaba | Household Items/Furniture

    All sorts of housewares, including linens, pottery, and brass, are on offer here. There's one in Juhu, opposite the Marriott Hotel, and one...Read More

  • 19. Indian Textiles Company

    Colaba | Clothing

    In the Taj Mahal hotel, this store sells quality silks, as does the Burlington store here. ...Read More

  • 20. Khubsons Narisons

    Colaba | Clothing

    Fine cotton and silk can be made into excellent shirts, trousers, or women's outfits in one day if need be. They also sell ready-made women...Read More

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