SD › Best Time to Visit Mumbai
Updated: February 4, 2020
When is the Best Time to Visit Mumbai?
The best time to visit Mumbai is during the dry months between mid-October and April. The daytime temperature ranges from 30°C to 34°C, while nighttime can be a chilly 17°C in December-January. Airfares and room rates can peak during vacations, festivals, and events.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: From November to April, rain is negligible and sea breezes temper the heat (and humidity) which is not extreme: about 30-32°C on average during the day. April and May are still hot but more humid, with little relief overnight. Then, the monsoon rain falls, and keeps falling from June to September, with some residual rain in October.
- Best Time for Weather: The major factor that can affect travel plans is the monsoon from June to September, when it rains heavily on most days, water-logging of roads is common, and severe cyclonic storms are possible. It is hot all year, but much cooler overnight from December to March. In the build-up (April and May) to the wet season, humidity can be uncomfortable and overnight temperatures can get high. So, the best time for weather is the dry winter of mid-October to April.
- Best Time for Honeymoons: November to April offers simply the finest weather – negligible rain and cool sea breezes to alleviate the humidity.
- Best Time for Nightlife: November to May. Visiting the many bars, clubs, and cafes along the more fashionable parts of the city is popular year-round, but is definitely more enjoyable during the drier months.
- Best Time for Saving Money: Mumbai is popular among tourists and business people, but hotel rates are most likely to be lowest during the monsoon season – June to September.
Mumbai Travel Seasons
- High Season (December to March): Expect day after day of warm to cool weather, without the humidity experienced later in the year, and frequent coastal breezes. Even a little chilly after dark, when a light jumper may be needed. Although not a major tourist destination like Goa, the Christmas/New Year period can get busy, but the city is more chaotic than usual during 2 major festivals: Ganesh Chaturthi (August/September) and Diwali/Deepavali (October/November).
- Shoulder Season (April, May, October, and November): The 2 months (April and May) before the onset of the wet season are uncomfortably humid even though there is no rain. The rain can linger through early October and is negligible by November. The major 5-day nationwide festival of Diwali/Deepavali (changeable, October/November) – and the days before and after – are extremely busy times for travel.
- Low Season (June to September): The heat and humidity of April and May breaks a little in June as the monsoon arrives. It rains heavily most days, causing streets to frequently flood, and severe storms may affect travel plans. The good news is that fewer tourists generally mean lower hotel rates.
Mumbai Weather by Month
- Mumbai Weather in January: It’s now deep into the dry winter, with virtually zero rainfall recorded. While average daytime temperatures change little throughout the year (30-34°C), it is now cool overnight: 17°C, the lowest for the year. A great time to visit, but busier around the Christmas/New Year period.
- Mumbai Weather in February: The warm and dry days continue, averaging 32°C and tempered by regular coastal breezes. Still cool enough for a light jumper overnight and virtually no rain.
- Mumbai Weather in March: As the ideal weather continues, there is no sign of the wet season as temperatures remain consistently warm, without the extreme heat felt in other cities.
- Mumbai Weather in April: While average daytime temperatures remain stable at 33°C, it’s noticeably warmer overnight at 24°C. Virtually no rain for the entire month but humidity is steadily increasing as the monsoon season looms.
- Mumbai Weather in May: After little or no rain for about 6 months, there may be a few showers in May, especially later, but certainly nothing to affect travel plans (average 31mm). Most noticeable is the shirt-clinging humidity, with little relief overnight, made worse by the year’s highest temperatures at 34°C/27°C on average.
- Mumbai Weather in June: Dramatic start of the monsoon as the average monthly rainfall increases to 486mm. Parts of the city are unprepared or unable to cope, so some streets will soon be flooded. Mumbai doesn’t suffer from cyclones like other coastal cities, but severe tropical storms are not uncommon from now until late October.
- Mumbai Weather in July: Height of the wet season as the rainfall averages 731mm. Daily downpours – and possible severe storms – may affect travel if roads and railway tracks become flooded, and no umbrella will adequately cope with the sheets of rain. Average daytime and overnight temperatures drop a few degrees Celsius, but it’s barely noticeable.
- Mumbai Weather in August: Less rain than the previous month, but it still may affect travel plans. Mumbai doesn’t suffer from cyclones like Goa or Chennai, but severe storms may still occur, so always be alert. Temperatures drop to a year-low of 30°C and a warm 25°C overnight.
- Mumbai Weather in September: Same sort of daytime and overnight temperatures as the previous 2 months, but increasingly less rain; about half that of July. Severe storms can still happen and some areas of the city may still get water-logged.
- Mumbai Weather in October: With barely one-tenth of the rain of July, the monsoon will recede this month, but may linger for the first 1 or 2 weeks. Average temperatures during the day rise by 3 degrees to 34°C, equalling the high for the year, but the humidity may linger a while longer.
- Mumbai Weather in November: The start of the dry ‘winter’ is marked with negligible rain – and even less for the next 5 months. Equals the highest average daytime temperatures (34°C), though significantly cooler overnight (21°C), but never as cold and foggy as Delhi.
- Mumbai Weather in December: Like November, there are more warm days and cool nights (equals lowest temperatures for the year at 18°C on average). With minimal humidity and virtually no rain, it’s an ideal time to travel.
Mumbai Holidays, Events, and Festivals
India has the world’s second-largest population of Muslims (after Indonesia). Dates for these 4 major festivals change each year according to the Islamic calendar. Each is a public holiday when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
- Eid-al-Fitr – The end of Ramadan is celebrated with up to 3 days of feasts, music, and dance at mosques and homes.
- Eid Mulid-un-Nabi (Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday) – Celebrated with prayers and parades.
- Muharram/Ashura – Start of the Islamic New Year.
- Eid al-Adha/Zuha (Bakr-Id) – Celebrates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Animals, mostly goats, are slaughtered and shared with families and the poor.
Mumbai in January
- New Year’s Day (1st) – Celebrated by families and friends. Usually some concerts around the city.
- Lohri (13th) – Traditional harvest festival dedicated to fire and the Sun God and celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs. Public holiday so some government offices and tourist attractions may close. “Til rice” or sweet rice mixed with jaggery and sesame seeds is the traditional dish of the festival.
- Makara Sankranthi (14th or 15th)/Pongal – Similar to Lohri, but celebrated more in Western India and Varanasi, marking the end of winter with lots of kite-flying. Observed with gusto around the Fort area north of Colaba. It is celebrated as Pongal by people from South India, especially Kerala, and is marked by bonfires, decorating houses, paying respect to farm animals which help the farmers provide for their families, visiting families and friends, and exchanging gifts. Sweet rice pudding, also called Pongal, is cooked and consumed.
- Banganga Festival (changeable) – Two days of music and other cultural events in the upmarket residential area of Malabar Hill.
- Republic Day (26th) – Commemorates the adoption of the country’s constitution on January 26, 1950. Huge parades in Delhi, less restrained elsewhere. National holiday when all government offices and many tourist attractions close.
- Vasant Panchami (changeable, January/February) – Hindu ceremony where devotees dressed in yellow place books and instruments in front of Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, for blessings, and to celebrate the coming of spring.
Mumbai in February
- Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (from first Saturday in February) – Mumbai’s premier cultural extravaganza, with 9 days of literary and arts events, music, and workshops. Mostly around Kala Ghoda and the Fort area north of Colaba.
- Elephanta Festival (changeable, February/March) – 2 or 3 days of traditional performances on Elephanta Island and at the Gateway of India monument from where ferries leave for the island.
- (Maha) Shivaratri (changeable, February/March) – Day of fasting as a dedication to Lord Shiva, with ceremonies in temples. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
- Holi (changeable, February/March) – Vibrant commemoration of the start to spring. Almost everyone – including unsuspecting foreigners – is doused with colored water and/or powder. Particularly exciting at Juhu Beach.
Mumbai in March
- Chaitra Navratri (changeable, September/October) – The beginning of the new year as per the Hindu calendar. The 9th night is celebrated as Rama Navami.
- Rama Navami (changeable, March/April) – Celebrates Lord Rama’s birth. 9 days of music, dance, fasts, and feasts, and reading of the Ramayana (epic). One day is a public holiday when most government offices and some tourist attractions may close.
- Mahavir Jayanti (changeable, March/April) – Celebrates the birth of Lord Mahavir, the most revered teacher of Jainism. Colorful festivities in temples and offerings to the poor. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
- Easter (changeable, March/April) – Celebrated by the Christian minority. A few businesses may close on Good Friday.
- Gudi Padwa (changeable, March/April) – Traditional start of the Hindu New Year, celebrated with family visits, flying of a special flag, and spring-cleaning.
Mumbai in April
- Vaisakhi (usually 13th or 14th) – Another festival related to the onset of spring, as well as the start of the New Year according to the Sikh calendar. Abundant music, dance, wrestling, and wearing of traditional costumes.
- Ambedkar Jayanti/Bhim Jayanti (14th) – Celebrates the birth of late Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, a leading historical figure. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
Mumbai in May
- Maharashtra Day (1st) – Celebrates the formation of the state of Maharashtra in 1960. Following a parade at Shivaji Park in Dadar, the Governor of the state gives a speech.
- Vesak/Buddha Purnima (changeable, April/May) – Solemn festivals at temples marking the birth and death of Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
Mumbai in June
- Nothing notable, and the weather precludes outdoor events.
Mumbai in July
- Raksha Bandhan/Rakhi (changeable, July/August) – Hindu festival marking the importance of families, especially siblings. Commonly called Brother and Sister Day, where sisters tie colorful strings (Rakhis) on their brothers’ hands, and brothers give gifts in return.
- Nariyal Poornima/Nariel Purnima (changeable, July/August) – Traditional ‘Coconut Festival’ celebrated on the same day as Raksha Bandhan. Fishermen paint boats and make offerings of coconuts to the Varuna, God of the Sea, to signify the (hoped for) end of the monsoon. Best around Colaba.
Mumbai in August
- Independence Day (15th) – Celebrates India’s independence from Britain in 1947. The Prime Minister gives a rousing speech from the Red Fort. Patriotic time, with government buildings suitably decorated and ceremonies held, especially in Delhi. Also, a time for families to get together. National public holiday when all government offices and many tourist attractions close.
- Pateti/Parsi New Year (17th August) – Celebrated by Parsis who follow the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. During their New Year, houses are visited, cleaned, and decorated, special meals are cooked, and offerings are made at fire temples.
- Janmashtami (changeable, August/September) – Celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna with offerings, fasting, and decorations on buildings. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
- Ganesh Chaturthi (changeable, August/September) – Up to 10 days of celebrations for the birth of the highly-revered elephant-headed God, Ganesha. The idol immersions at all the major beaches in the city is an exciting (and deafening) experience.
- (Haryali/Hartalika) Teej (changeable, August/September) – 2-day celebrations for the arrival of the monsoon and marriage of Goddess Parvati to Lord Shiva. Lots of dancing and praying, mostly by women and girls.
Mumbai in September
- Navaratri (changeable, September/October) – Nine days of passionately celebrating the battle of Goddess Durga over a demon. Lights and fireworks all over the city, as well as colorful parades and cultural events. The 9th day is Dussehra.
- Dussehra (changeable, September/October) – Celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, and the general battle of good over evil. Praying at temples, offerings of special food, and burning of Ravana’s effigies. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
Mumbai in October
- Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti (2nd) – Sombre occasion commemorating the birthday of the country’s founding father, Mahatma Gandhi. National holiday, when all government offices and many tourist attractions close.
- Mumbai Film Festival (late October) – 1-week Bollywood extravaganza celebrating the city’s premier film industry with screenings and awards.
- Karaka Chaturthi/Karva Chauth (changeable, October/November) – Venerating Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati, it’s a social occasion for families and friends. Also, fasting and other special ceremonies among married women to wish for long and healthy lives for their husbands.
- Diwali/Deepavali (changeable, October/November) – Major 5-day festival of lights, candles, and fireworks. Busy time for travel because it’s celebrated by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. One day is a public holiday when some government offices and tourist attractions may close. Hundreds of people burst fire crackers at night on Marine Drive.
Mumbai in November
- Guru Nank Jayanti (changeable) – Celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, and is marked by prayers and parades for 3 days. Public holiday.
Mumbai in December
- Christmas Day (25th) – Celebrated by all Christians and most tourists. Public holiday, when some government offices and tourist attractions may close.
- New Year’s Eve 31st – Celebrated by most Indians, especially the more affluent, and all tourists. Fireworks all over the city and parties on Juhu Beach.
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