South Mumbai Tour MTDC Open Air Deck Bus Nilambari

Ride it with Nilambari. A quick 1-hour South Mumbai tour on a breezy open-air double-decker bus by BEST is best for weekends. MTDC’s Nilambari bus tour covers 16 to 17 heritage structures and iconic buildings in South Mumbai.

A guided tour is ideal for both schoolkids and adults to gain in-depth information about the centuries-old historic structures of this island city.

Learn more about bus ticket booking, timings, ticket rates, tour attractions, and more below to make a day’s worth with this evening bus tour.

Nilambari Tour Saved by People

The decision to scrap old open-air buses and stop this famous south Mumbai heritage tour was made. But the ongoing demand by Mumbai citizens and other tourists made the plans flip. The tour buses will be kept operational, with brand new buses expected in the near future.

Nilambari Open Deck Bus
Nilambari Open Deck Bus

BEST Open Deck Bus Fast Facts

  • Places: A Guided South Mumbai Tour, Covering Old Historic Buildings and Heritage Structures
  • Duration: 1 hour, which covers about 16 to 17 structures. 2 hours each on Saturday and Sunday (i.e., a total of 4 scheduled bus tours every weekend).
  • Bus Type: Blue-colored open-air double-decker buses, which were used for public commuting for so many years in Mumbai. Nilambari is the same open bus that was used when Team India was back in Mumbai after winning the World Cup and also when Manushi Chhillar got the Miss World crown in 2017.
  • Bus Capacity: As detailed by MTDC, it is 30 people maximum. But a few photographs, as seen on Google, show 40 people sitting on the upper deck alone.
  • Cost per Person: Open Deck Roof Area costs Rs. 180 per person, and Lower Deck rates are Rs. 60 per person. (Free for kids under 3 years.)
  • Touring Days, Months: Nilambari Bus Tour operates only on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. During the monsoon, due to heavy rains and the open deck, it is completely closed between June and October. More details about timing, etc. are below.
  • Ticket Booking Options: Online Booking BookMyShow app (‘BEST Operation Heritage Tour’). Offline Booking Advance booking for the same weekend is possible. From Tuesday to Friday (Monday closed) at the Gateway of India MTDC Counter. On-the-spot booking is possible but mostly sold out, so book in advance. More locations in Mumbai to book this South Mumbai tour are at the MTDC reservation division (details below).
  • Who Should Ride : Ideal for school kids, adults, foreign national tourists, school picnic groups, and those who love to see old Mumbai heritage structures.

Tour Attractions and Route

Not just tourists and citizens from other states, Mumbai citizens get some more detailed information from a professional guide who has in-depth knowledge about those edifices seen during the tour.

The royal feel of seating on this modified BEST open-deck bus is relaxed while it travels through Mumbai traffic, age-old streets, and the breezy promenade, and you just watch the illuminated structures in the evening. It’s a feel-good ride overall. If you have already taken this ride, kindly share your reviews in the comment box below.

Nilambari Bus Route

Nilambari tour starts at Gate No.4 of CSMVS (Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) near Regal Cinema   Gateway of India (Ring route of Gateway of India with Glimpse of Hotel Taj)   Mantralaya Building   Vidhan Bhavan  Trident & Oberoi Hotel   Marine Drive (Nariman Point Promenade)  Girgaon Chowpatty (Also see the Girgaon Beach View Deck You Turn with Wilson College on left   Taraporewala Aquarium  Hotel Ambassador   Churchgate Railway Station  Eros Cinema Theatre  Oval Maidan   Maharshi Karve Road   Rajabai Tower  CST Railway Station Building  DN Road   Hutatma Chowk   Homi Modi Street   Horniman Circle   Asiatic Library  Back to CSMVS museum (Opposite Regal Cinema).

The open-air bus selected for this tour route has some of the best edifice views, starting right from where you are at the starting point and covering many known tourist locations and streets with lots more information about the listed structures and move around in this south Mumbai tour.

The same old building structure of CSMVS, which you reach 15 minutes prior to commencing the bus ride, is itself a famous tourist spot. It’s worth it if you take another 45 minutes off and visit this museum.

On the route and listed next are ‘Gateway of India’ and ‘Hotel Taj, and just opposite them, complimenting each other, are Pride of Mumbai. The shattering terror attack on Taj brought tears to citizens eyes, yet the structure stands strong and will always be iconic and beautiful. Next comes the Vidhan Bhavan, where the who’s who of political biggies meet and discuss Mumbai city, Maharashtra state, and other things related to development and other things. The structure of Vidhan Bhavan is really beautiful and has a unique shape and design.

Moving ahead, the bus reaches ‘Nariman Point Promenade, where the fresh breeze from the wide-open Arabian Sea on one side welcomes you seating on that open deck bus and huge iconic buildings like the Rotating Hotel Oberoi, Hotel Trident, and the beautiful Air India building one by one on your view. Some of those very old box trees, installed to soak up salty moisture from the air, have been standing tall since the British Era.

The queen necklace must already be glittering during tour hours, giving a spectacular view right from where you are till Girgaum Chowpatty Beach, that too from that elevated decked bus, is just wow. Moving ahead to Mumbai Gymkhana Ground and that promenade-long ride back to the next venue on the list

It’s time this bus says bye to the promenade and moves ahead towards Churchgate railway station, seen on the left, and the beautiful Eros cinema on the right side. There are lots of memories for all Mumbai citizens who came here for some work or another and many times. Billions of people have visited Churchgate railway station for so many decades for one reason or another, be it for a daily job or official work in the vicinity or just to take a tour like Nilambari, Special Mumbai Darshan by MTDC or a casual weekend hangout This South Mumbai bus tour offers ample information about this western route railway station.

Moving ahead towards this huge and green ground called ‘Oval Maidan’, a huge 23 acres of green, well-maintained ground is always up for recreational purposes. Many teams can come together at a time to play cricket, football, and other outdoor games. This ground is peaceful and also a place to relax a bit away from the chaotic surroundings of South Mumbai and find some serene personal time. Historically, Oval Maidan was called ‘Maratha Ditch, where Maratha fighters fought with Britishers.

From Oval Maidan, as the bus passes through, the renovated Rajabai clock tower is clearly visible, which is the next attraction on the route list. This Gothic tower is 85 meters tall and can be seen from all angles. It is a beautiful miniature of the ‘Great Bell of the Clock, or ‘Big Ben, as one says, which is located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. The guide on your computer will point you towards the structure and will give ample information with significance and dates in the past about the same, which is also available on Wikipedia, though with some differences.

Moving ahead to CSMT (formerly CST) railway station and the BMC headquarters building right in front is mesmerizing with the bustling traffic at the junction right in the middle. This railway station (on the central railway route) has so many things inside and upcoming plans that cannot be detailed here. To keep it simple, it is not just a simple railway station to commute to; the link on this page has much more details about it.

During Diwali and special occasions like Independence Day, etc., the colorful lighting glorifies the structure in such a way that professional photographers stop by specially to capture the beauty of lit-up stations from multiple angles. Have a glance. Check out this recent video of CST station to get an idea of how huge and beautiful this old structure is. Oh, I forgot to detail something. Do not miss the view of Flora Fountain when the bus moves ahead from Churchgate station towards CSMT.

Before finishing the 1-hour tour, which I am sure you will not believe is passing by so fast, three more attractions are on the way. After CSMT station, when the bus moves via Bank Street, it passes through ‘The Cathedral, which was once a church and was an important travel ‘Zero Distance Marker’ for Britishers staying in Bombay then. Read more about the cathedral and milestone locations. which is very interesting.

Horniman Circle showcases the admirable work Britishers did and has left Mumbai with a kind of gift to be preserved forever. It is a commercial location with a building structure to be surely praised for. The tour bus takes the roundabout from this famous south Mumbai circle and makes you think of the way, neatness, and architecture of those buildings, and most importantly, the strength the structures possess to date.

Last but not least is the ‘Townhall Asiatic Library,’ a classy huge white structure with long white pillars, which I am sure many of you have already seen in Bollywood movies. Huge pillars, beautiful structures, and the abundance of historic information about Mumbai city inside the library are what this edifice is all about.

Virtual Picture Tours

Pictures Courtesy : Saurab Raut Vlog

Ticket Booking and Timings

Bus Ride Timings

As said, It’s 60 minutes south Mumbai tour, Operates only on Saturday and Sunday.

Tour 1 Timings: 7:00 Pm to 8:00 Pm
Tour 2 Timings: 8:15 Pm to 9:15 Pm

Important Note: One has to reach prior 15 minutes before departure of the selected tour at Gate No.4 of CSMVS, Opposite Regal Cinema (Not Far From Gateway Of India).

Ticket Booking Timings

One can book this open deck bus tour in Advance (Highly recommended as limited seats so on tour day many are not lucky with on-the-spot booking). That said if lucky and no travel season or school holidays, On Saturday and Sunday one can get tickets with ease. But since it is a weekend south Mumbai tour, There are now fewer tourists around.

A NOTE: On Monday the counter is closed. So for that particular weekend Nilambari tour, One can do advance booking between Tuesday to Friday (For immediate/ coming Saturday and Sunday only). One cannot do advance booking for next upcoming weekend’s Mumbai tour. Seat numbers are mentioned on tickets and accordingly, seats are allotted.

School Vacations, i.e. May and June, Diwali, and Christmas vacations are peak seasons with foreign and other state tourists looking for this Nilambari south Mumbai bus ride, So spot booking is very difficult.

Online Booking: Not Available.
Ticket Charges: Rs.150 (Upper deck, Open Air Bus Area) & Rs.75 for Lower Deck. Charges may have changes recently.
Ticket Counter details: MTDC Reservation Counter No.7, Gateway of India, Mumbai. Contact: +91-22-22841877, Timings: 9:00 Am to 2:00 Pm (Monday Closed).
MTDC Head Office Reservation Counter (Near Churchgate station, Nariman Point): +91-22-22845678 and Toll-Free No. 1800229930 / 1800227550. Timings: 9:00 Am to 5:00 Pm.
Other Offices and Reservation Counters as detailed below (Not Sure if They Book Nilambari Bus Tour Here) :

  • Dadar Office: Near Pritam Hotel, Dadar Railway Station (East), Contact: +91-22-24143200.
  • CSMT Office : At CSMT Railway Station, Contact : +91-22-22622859.
  • Gateway Of India : Counter No.7, Contact : +91-22-22841877.
  • Navi Mumbai: Sector No.29, Urban Haat, Belapur, Contact: +91-22-27580347.

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My love towards Mumbai city took me to passion blogging from hobby. Upon quitting job, now i am one of the online city & travel guide since 2007. Hope my efforts helps citizen, foreign nationals & tourists in some or other ways.

11 Replies to “South Mumbai Tour MTDC Open Air Deck Bus Nilambari


    ONLINE BOOKING AVAILABLE ON – BOOK MY SHOW – BEST-Operation of Heritage Tour – Timings are 6.30 pm & 8.00 pm – Reach 15 mins before.



  2. There are 4 no’s given for contacting Nilambari viz
    9870802643- Busy for more than 3 hours CONTINUOSLY (which means the phone is deliberately kept busy)
    022-22841877- NOT VALID NUMBER
    1800227550- Busy for more than 3 hours CONTINUOSLY
    8850124358 – INVALID NUMBER
    Requesting BEST & MTDC to provide valid no’s in their site to avoid inconvenience to tourists.

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