The seaside strip at Juhu Beach is lined with upmarket boutiques and fashion stores. International brand names like Nike and Adidas share space with small bespoke fashion shops and show-stores for Indian designers. The main shopping zone runs north from the Juhu airstrip along Juhu Tara Road. Make an afternoon of it and catch the sunset over Juhu Beach before taking your new purchases back to the hotel.
The old British fort is now a bustling business district in the heart of the city. Street stalls sell belts, DVDs, wallets, bags and discount electronics along most of the main thoroughfares. Dr DN Road is lined with camera shops selling the latest from Nikon, Canon and Sony. Fort also boasts several huge handicraft emporiums selling top quality crafts, clothing and curios from across the subcontinent.
Sprawling through an almost Dickensian maze of alleyways between SV Patel Marg and Grant Road, Mumbai's Thieves' Market is jam-packed with vendors selling antiques and reclaimed bric-a-brac. It's a busy area and the crowds can be outrageous, but the souk atmosphere is very evocative of times past. Occasional gems of genuine Victoriana crop up amongst the junk and reproductions.
The largest municipal market in Mumbai, Crawford Market was founded in the British era – the outside is even decorated with bas-relief carvings by Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling. Inside the fortress-like compound, you'll find narrow aisles lined with stalls selling household goods, dried fruit and nuts and fresh tropical fruit, including Mumbai's famous Alphonso mangoes (May to July).
A huge shopping mecca on Tardeo Road, a short walk from the seafront at Worli. The mall is dominated by the huge Piramyd department store and jam-packed with boutiques selling Western and home-grown brand name fashions. The electronic games on the arcade floor will keep kids entertained. Combine a trip here with a visit to Nehru Centre or the Haji Ali shrine.
Once a quiet residential neighbourhood, Lower Parel was launched onto the shopping scene with the opening of the High Street Phoenix mall on the site of the old Phoenix cotton mill. Now more mills are being earmarked for development into retail parks and shopping centres. Come here for big name brands and the full American shopping mall experience.
A continuation of the classy shopping strip in Bandra, Khar offers even more exclusive boutiques and brand-name stores. Many international chains have their main Indian franchises along Linking Road, and there are plenty of Indian designer names amongst the Levi's, Esprit and Mango stores. Half-a-dozen new shopping malls have recently opened along 33rd Road – Mumbai's newest shopping quarter.
Running down to the south end of the peninsula, Colaba Causeway is a continuous string of souvenir emporiums and brand name outlets selling jeans, trainers and other urban fashions. Come here for some of the best handicraft shops in town, plus a lively street market selling crafts, t-shirts, jewellery and reproduction antiques. Travellers from the Persian Gulf visit Colaba for the perfume shops, selling attars and essential oils in exotic perfume bottles.
This upmarket neighbourhood on the north side of Malabar Hill has numerous swish boutiques and shopping centres and one of Mumbai's best bookshops in Crossword, at Kemps Corner. Most of the action is concentrated around Kemps Corner and Peddar Road, but there are more malls and superstores along Tardeo Road, close to the Mahalaxmi Racecourse.
The area north of Mahim Creek is fast developing into Mumbai's most fashionable shopping zone. Running north from Bandra station, Linking Road is an endless strip of boutiques, department stores, Indian fastfood restaurants and brand-name franchises. Market stalls selling shoes and accessories are crammed into every back alley. Detour west to Turner Road for more upmarket fashions, or stroll along Waterfield Road to visit some of Mumbai's most exclusive gold and diamond emporiums.