Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (named after a 17-century Indian warrior king) lies around 20km north of central Mumbai. It consists of two separate terminal buildings, located a significant distance of 5km from each other:
The airport recommends that if you have a flight connection landing in Terminal 2 and leaving from Terminal 1, allow 2-3 hours for the transfer process. However, be aware that you are not allowed to check in for your flight more than four hours before your departure time.
Shuttle between terminals
The two terminals use the same airside facilities, but are some 20-40 minutes' drive landside. A shuttle bus operates between the two for passengers with valid airline tickets and onward connections. This service is free, but the bus driver may ask you for a contribution of a few rupees. Services operate 24/7 and buses run every 20-30 minutes. Or you can take a taxi.
There are unfortunately no direct and reliable public transport options to the airport, leaving taxis as the best way to get to the city.
You can only take a pre-paid taxi from the airport. If you want a (cheaper) standard taxi, you'll have to go out to the main road with your luggage. State your destination to a member of staff, pay the going rate for the ride and you will be issued with a ticket to give to your driver. No further payment is necessary. When returning to the airport, you'll save money by hailing a city taxi.
The downside of travelling by taxi is Mumbai traffic which can be notoriously bad in rush hour (08:00-11:00, 18:00-20:00) when journeys may take up to two hours. Allow plenty of time if travelling at these times.
Cost: Around INR 500-700 for a non-air-conditioned car to central Mumbai (25% more for air conditioning, costs increase at night)
Location: Terminal 2, pre-paid taxi booths
App-based taxi services like Uber or Ola are also an option to get into the city. The airport suggests that if youre going to book a cab online, please do so three hours prior to your arrival.
Cost: Around INR 600 to go to Colaba
If you're feeling adventurous, or want to save money, you can take a train from these nearby stations:
Trains are usually very crowded, and you'll need to take a bus, rickshaw or taxi to get to the nearest station. There are three lines in Mumbai: Western, Central Main and Harbour. You can take the Western line to Churchgate in central Mumbai.
Opposite Terminal 1, this high-end landmark hotel consists of plush rooms surrounding a vast tropical lagoon, as well as a marine aquarium that is home to an underwater restaurant.
Rooms start from INR 6800 per night, including free transfers to the domestic terminal. Day-room options are subject to availability and can be hired for six hours between 9:00 and 21:00.
There are left luggage offices before the exits of terminal 1A, 1B and 2. Hourly rates are from INR 75 for a small bag for up to two hours, with additional hours costing INR 10 until the 24-hour charge of INR 150 is reached.
For economy-class passengers, the Pranaam GVK Lounge offers paid-for lounge access. Located airside in Terminal 2, it includes buffet food, free soft drinks, free WiFi and luggage storage, as well as comfortable seating. Prices start from INR 2,000 for two hours and access can be pre-booked online.
Security concerns in India mean you may be asked for your paperwork several times before entering/leaving the airport – and it may even be checked midway between the domestic and international terminals if you take the free shuttle. Keep your documents to hand until safely through customs.
Said to be the largest public display of airport artwork in the world, this stunning collection contains more than 6,000 pieces of art originating from the 8th to the 19th centuries, as well as 100 pieces by contemporary Indian artists. The Terminal 2 displays are in 5.5m high cases in the terminal’s corridors and by moving walkways.
Children's play area is located at terminal 2, and available 24 hours. Children will like it, it is designed like an adventurous Jungle Safari.
Child care rooms
Long journey times to downtown Mumbai mean you should only visit central sights if you have a layover of 8-10 hours or more. For shorter transfer times, Juhu Beach is just 4km from the domestic terminal. The 6km-long stretch of sand is one of the city’s key getaways and home to a number of international hotels such as Novotel and Marriott.
Lotus House, in the departures section of Terminal 2 right after the security check, is a bright airy store offering local goods, many of them handcrafted by NGO-led projects by Aseema, Save the Children and the Shradda Charitable Trust. Items include incense sticks, scarves and beauty products.
Akbar Travels. Location: international terminal, landside, level 1.
Mauli Enterprises car rental desk. Location: domestic terminal 1A, arrivals area.
Rohan Travels and Shree Sai Rent-A-Car car rentals desks. Location: domestic terminal 1B, arrivals area.
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