If you’re into designer clothes, stylish sarees, or modern maxi dresses then you should get yourself to Fashion Street Mumbai. There are over 385 clothing stores on the MG Road, South Mumbai. Every day thousands of people make their way to Mumbai to experience this incredible opportunity. You will find anything you could possibly imagine all in one convenient street. However, there are some things you could do with knowing, along with some things you must know, before visiting Fashion Street Mumbai.
Firstly, always haggle. No matter where you are in the world, if you are at a market you should know that the locals bump up their prices as they expect you to haggle. The stores will try their luck and hope you pay extra. A standard rule of thumb is that whatever the price is, divide by 4. So, if the dress you are dying to buy at Fashion Street Mumbai is marked up at 400 IR, then you will offer 100 IR. Simple. This way you are getting a bargain and the seller is still making plenty of profit.
Let’s now get into the various stalls on Fashion Street Mumbai. You can buy t-shirts, jeans, ladies bags, eyewear, tracksuits, accessories and much more at the market. With designer clothes also available (although you are right to question their authenticity). Being Mumbai’s premier shopping hub, it does get busy. With hardly any room to get through the market, make sure you are ready to be assertive. This also applies when making purchases.
Okay now transport. Getting to Fashion Street Mumbai is simple and easy. You just need to get the train to CST or Churchgate station, as it is in the middle of the two. It is just a couple minutes’ walk from either of the stations and I really recommend using the train. Two reasons for this: first of all, you can enjoy one of the biggest attractions in India, and that is the ram packed trains; also, parking is very problematic at Fashion Street. There are never any spaces unless you work there or arrive when they [the workers] do.
So obviously the main attraction to this glorious selection of stalls and stores is the fact that everything is cheap! Also, I think that because of the atmosphere during peak market times you get so much more for your money. If you are someone that is visiting Mumbai, regardless of the circumstance, you will most likely have no problem with the hustle and bustle of a busy city such as Mumbai. In fact, you probably enjoy the erratic, I’m-in-a-rush, kind of vibe.
If you are looking to be at Fashion Street Mumbai at the busiest time of the day, aim to be there between 11-12 or 4:30-8 as this is the busiest times. If you are just looking for a peaceful bargain then [you’re in the wrong place] aim to arrive for 12 and be out of there by 4:30.
Being at Mumbai’s bargain basement means that there are going to be some pickpockets looking to take advantage of tourists with pockets lined with cash. Always ensure that you keep all valuable inside a zipped pocket. Also, try to keep everything you care about on your person! Keeping them in zipped bags are no good as you can’t often feel the zip being undone. Another way to avoid pickpockets is to stop bringing so much cash out with you! Bring what you can afford to lose!
Now that I have got that out of the way we can get to a more lighter note. Being at Fashion Street you will also see great street acts, unicycling, the ‘tin man’ act (where he moves once you have given money) and loads more. The idea of Fashion Street is to not only line the pockets of the stall holders. Which is by no accounts a bad thing as a lot of hard work goes into running a stall, producing the products and making a profit. Because there is such large demand for fashion, anything that cannot be sold by the leading companies such as Nike or Adidas ends up on Fashion Street Mumbai, where you will get an absolute steal.
Another notable fact that you need to know about Fashion Street Mumbai, is that because of the advent of malls, Amazon, eBay and huge discount mobile apps the charm of street shopping reached its demise. However, all is not lost in Mumbai with Fashion Street still around today. Unfortunately, the market is not anywhere near as successful as it was 10 years ago and so the thrill of hunting for a bargain is more of a struggle. This is because a lot of the stalls have “fixed price” signs up due to the constant haggling. In my opinion, it all depends on your intentions when visiting Fashion Street. If you are after a great atmosphere, friendly people, a new experience and a bargain, then this is the place to be.
Now it’s time to explain what to expect upon arrival. Once you get into Fashion Street, don’t be surprised if you are surrounded by a horde of stomping students and teenagers. Being a vibrant market, Fashion Street Mumbai is a savvy shopper’s garden of Eden. Fashion conscious collegians and enthusiastic shoppers are almost always enthralled by the collection of readymade garments and trinkets available here. And because the prices are very affordable many young people thrive in the environment.
From traditional dresses to colourful bangles and state-of-the-art gadgets, Fashion Street is more than just a regular market. Jewellery can also be found abundantly here. Be prepared for the wariness of shopkeepers who quote higher prices to people who are visibly new to the place. Use your intuition and shopping knowledge and bargain! If you are good at bargaining, then you might be able to get yourself some good deals at inexpensive rates.
The shops are fascinating buildings, with a slightly Gothic feel about them. You can immediately get a feel of the history within the streets and the rest of Mumbai. Fashion Street started over 20 years ago, with the idea of attracting tourism to their city and help boost their economy.
By now you should know a lot about Fashion Street but all your knowledge is irrelevant if you don’t know what to do when you are there. You should always allow a minimum of three hours when browsing the stores because there is nothing worse than running out of time when you still have so much to see. Also, don’t go with a competitive attitude because if you do, whether you walk away with a bargain or not, you still lose. You should go feeling excited and just look forward to a completely new experience.
Fashion Street Mumbai Overview
So now let me give you a little overview of what I have mentioned so far. You wake up in your house, hotel or villa. You then decide which railway line is more convenient for you to take. Churchgate Station is on the Western Line and the CST is on the Central line – the one you choose doesn’t matter as they are both equal distances to Fashion Street. Once you get off at your chosen station, you will walk around 10 minutes until you see an old building called VSNL, which is connected to the market. On the walk to the market you can enjoy various other attractions and buildings which makes the walk a preferred choice by tourists. Alternatively, you can get a cab from the station and you will be charged “minimum fare”, however, do your research and do not get ripped off, trust me it happens.
Now that you have arrived at Fashion Street – and have plenty of uninterrupted time – you can start your journey for bargains. Make sure you do not pay asking price and you will walk away with a bargain. With authentic (and fake) designer clothes many school kids love to pick up the latest pair of trainers, or brand-new headphones, all available at Fashion Street Mumbai. It doesn’t matter what age you are, what tastes you have or what funds you brought with you, because there is literally something for everyone.
Once you are finished with Fashion Street and have a smile on your face and bags full of bargains, you can enjoy the rest of the establishments in the vicinity. There are numerous restaurants in Churchgate like Umame. An authentic Asian restaurant offering everything from Chicken Tikka Masala to sweet and sour chicken balls, purpose built to fill your stomachs after a hard day haggling.
So now you know everything you’ll ever need to know about Fashion Street Mumbai, you should be able to have fun, find some bargains, and experience the real Mumbai!