Nov
04

If You Read Only One Post About Delhi, Read This One!

Planning a trip to Delhi? Here’s an absolute travel guide to Delhi that answers all your questions about traveling to Delhi – how to get around, where to stay, what to eat and places to visit in Delhi.

Truth is that we never really explore our own city like we explore other cities or countries when we travel, no matter how hued and striking it may be.

It’s been six years that we moved to Delhi but all this time, we never really bothered to visit the places here.

The day hubby announced the news of his transfer; I suddenly came to this realization that we are tourists in our own city. Traveler in me wanted to delve into the beat, essence, and ethos of Delhi.

I decided that If we are about to bid adieu to this big-hearted city that welcomes everyone with open arms and warm hearts then let’s first take a walk down the lanes of history and culture of Delhi.

So, the last few months were spent exploring Delhi. We soaked in the modernity of this ancient town and relived its past. We savored the city, one weekend at a time.

Planning a trip to Delhi? Here's an absolute travel guide to Delhi that answers all your questions about traveling to Delhi - how to get around, where to stay, what to eat and places to visit in Delhi, and things to do in Delhi. #delhi #travelguide #incredibleindia #indiatravel #delhidiaries #capitalofculture #mughal #cityguide
Planning a trip to Delhi? Here's an absolute travel guide to Delhi that answers all your questions about traveling to Delhi - how to get around, where to stay, what to eat, places to visit in Delhi, and things to do in Delhi. #delhi #travelguide #incredibleindia #indiatravel #delhidiaries #capitalofculture #mughal #cityguide

Delhi – A World Unto Itself

A city, where history, culture, and tradition juxtaposed with modernity; has myriad of secrets squeezed into her soul. Delhi has a deep and long history. It has been invaded and looted by outsiders. The city’s strategic location inspired invaders to make it their capital. Everyone build and rebuild the capital in their own way. Thus, it’s built, destroyed and rebuilt several times.

Dil ki basti bhi shehar dilli hai; Jo bhi guzra usee ne loota.

(Delhi alone is a city of love; all those that have passed through have looted it.)

Delhi, the capital of Independent India, has a great history as the capital of several empires. Yes, the story of Delhi is a tale of seven cities which faded in sands of time and gave rise to our own Dilli.

Here’s how the famous Urdu Poet, Mir Taqi Mir sum up the beauty of Delhi in his words,


Dilli ke na the kuchey nahin, auraaq-e-musawwqr the
Jo shakl nazar aayi, tasveer nazar aayi

(These were not the alleyways of Delhi but pages from a painter’s album. Every figure that I saw, seemed a work of art.)

Traversing through the ancient city of Indraprastha to the seven cities during Muslim rule to the Lutyen’s Delhi; somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the city!

Delhi as a city will never cease to enchant you.

Yeh shehar nahin mehfil hai

(This isn’t a city, it’s a party.)

Mirza Ghalib ki Haveli Gali Qasim Jan Balli Maran Old Delhi
Mirza Ghalib ki Haveli, Old Delhi

Ghalib wonderfully encapsulated the spirit of Delhi in his words,

Ik roz apni rooh se poocha, ke dilli kya hai

To yun jawab me keh gayi,

Ye duniya maano jism hai aur dilli uski jaan.I


(I asked my soul: What is Delhi?
She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life!)

Delhi is huge, gushing conurbation. It literally overwhelms the first-time travelers. Hopefully, my suggestions will get you started on the right track.

How to Reach Delhi

Delhi is well-connected by air to all the major domestic and international cities. Indira Gandhi International Airport is huge and almost all the key airlines’ carriers have their flights operating from IGI, New Delhi.

Delhi airport has two major terminals; Terminal 1 (C-D) and Terminal 3. Terminal 1 is a domestic airport and is majorly used by low-cost carriers like SpiceJet, Indigo, GoAir. Terminal 1-C is for domestic arrivals and Terminal 1-D is for domestic departures.

All International flights and premium domestic flights operate from Terminal 3 (T3).

A free shuttle service is available between the terminals every 15 to 20 minutes.

Check the live flight information here.

Update: Terminal 1 (T1) is temporarily closed for renovation. All the flights operate from Terminal 2. Once T1 reopens, Terminal 2 will be replaced by all new world-class Terminal 4.

Delhi is conveniently connected by bus, train, and roads to other cities and states in India.

The three major bus stands – Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate, Anand Vihar Bus Terminus, and Sarai Kale Khan Bus Terminus plus private bus stations at Mandi House, The Bikaner House cater to other small and big Indian cities.

Delhi has five major railway stations – The New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, Sarai Rohilla Railway Station, and Anand Vihar Railway Station. The New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj is the largest of all. Click here to check the train schedules.

Delhi offers a strong network of roads and national highways to other cities in India. The drive from Delhi to Agra by NH2 and Jaipur by NH8 makes Golden Triangle Tour fun and easy.

Delhi Airport Transfers

Indira Gandhi International Airport is 22 km away from the city.

The Delhi Metro Airport Express is the best way to travel to Delhi city from the Delhi airport and vice versa. The Airport Metro Express Line aka Orange Line takes just 25 minutes to and from the airport. The cost is INR 60 for a single journey.

The train runs from New Delhi Metro Station to Dwarka Sector 21. The nearest stations to the Delhi Airport are Delhi Aerocity and International Terminal 3. Check the official website of DMRC for more details.

The Delhi Metro Magenta Line gives easy access to travelers who intend to reach the Domestic Terminal 1. The train runs from Jakapuri West to Botanical Graden in Noida. Check the route schedule here.

DTC (Delhi Transport Service) buses operate from the airport to the city center, ISBT, and the New Delhi Railway Station at regular intervals.

Good to Know: DTC has the world’s largest eco-friendly buses.

You can also hire a Pre-paid taxi, Uber, or Ola. If you are a foreigner visiting India, I’d recommend avoiding a pre-paid taxi option as you are likely to get scammed (sad but true). Plus taxi will take around an hour (way more than a metro) to get you to the city center depending on the traffic.

Getting Around Delhi

The Metro is everywhere in Delhi! It has made traveling in and around the city much easier without burning a hole in your pocket.

Download the Delhi Metro Map Here.

Tip: Invest in a Travel Card or Tourist Card if you plan to use Delhi Metro a lot to explore Delhi/NCR.

Travel Card is a stored value card with a minimum of INR 100 and a maximum of INR 1000 recharge value. The card can be recharged in multiples of 50 as and when required. The amount is refunded on return of the card. Its validity is a year from the date of purchase or the date of recharge whichever is applicable.

Tourist Card is helpful if you need unlimited travel for a short time period. It’s issued for a day (24 hours) and 3 days (72 hours) that cost INR 100 and INR 250 respectively.

The DTC buses (green and red colored buses) are reasonably priced but don’t guarantee a comfortable journey.

Click Here to Check DTC Buses Routes and Timings.

Another comfortable way to get around the city is by hiring an auto-rickshaw or a cab like Uber or Ola.

Ask a local about the rough cost to your destination to avoid being scammed by an auto-rickshaw driver. Ideally, auto-wallah should turn on his fare meter before the drive but unfortunately, rules aren’t being followed. Beware of swindlers who try to earn a quick buck from tourists.

Pro-Tip: Switch to autorickshaw mode on Google Maps to get an idea about the estimated price of the trip and route.

Hiring a car with a driver comes out cheaper and certainly far more convenient than hailing cabs all day long.

Cycle-rickshaws are recommended for traversing Old Delhi and the suburbs. Old Delhi is best explored on foot.

E-rickshaws or auto-cycles are useful for small distances like if you want to reach your accommodation from the nearest metro station or bus station. INR 10 to 50 will get you anywhere.

Traveling by your own car is onerous because of the dearth of availability and quality of parking space in Delhi.

If you are a woman solo-traveler, women-exclusive cab service is the best bet for you. There are quite a few options in Delhi. Sakha Cabs, in association with Azad Foundation, provides a livelihood to poor women in India by training them as professional drivers as part of their Women on Wheels (WOW) program.

How to Explore Delhi

Delhi is way too big to handle all at once.

How many days should you spend in Delhi? You need to spend at least 4-5 days, just to get the feel of the city.

If you are new to Delhi, you might feel lost in hustle and bustle of the city. It can seem chaotic and intimidating to the first time visitor. Delhi is not easy to get to grasp or navigate.

Here’s an easy way to navigate Delhi! We always divide cities into smaller neighborhoods or regions to make exploration easy. You can do it as well.

Divide Delhi into smaller units and subunits according to districts or geographical locations like Old Delhi, New Delhi, South Delhi, West Delhi, East Delhi and so on. Then list out the places of your interest according to the particular region like Red Fort in Old Delhi, Purana Quila (Old Fort) in New Delhi, or Dilli Haat in South Delhi and so on.

Each day or weekend, pick an area and explore with ease. This lessens that overwhelming feeling and gives a sense of direction.

Delhi Guided Tours

If you still find it hard to get around the city, just relax and take a tour which fits you the best. Heritage walks and cultural tours are the best ways to discover the culture, heritage, and history of Delhi.

Listed below are a few options for guided tours to give you a glimpse into the past and present of Delhi.

Places to Visit in Delhi

Delhi has something for everyone! Whether you’re a history buff, architectural enthusiast, culture connoisseur, mythology zealot, art lover, vintage fanatic, museum aficionado or a foodie, or a parent who wants his or her children to learn and have fun; you’ll never run short of places to visit in Delhi and things to do in Delhi.

Delhi has a lot to offer its visitors viz. Purani Dilli, historic monuments, national museums, lush green gardens, wide streets with trees, Havelis, farmhouses, and the list goes on. Phew!

Here’s a list of places to visit in Delhi. You can choose places according to your taste, style, and preference.

Delhi For History Buffs And Architectural Enthusiasts

  • Gates of Delhi India Gate, Turkman Gate, Khooni Darwaza or Kabuli Darwaza, Kashmere Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Mori Gate, Lahore Gate, and Delhi Gate

Did you know Delhi originally was a walled city? It had 14 gates out of which 5 are still standing strong.

  • National War Memorial
  • Lal Quila (Red Fort)
  • Salimgarh Fort
  • Fatehpuri Mosque
  • Tomb of Razia Sultan
  • Mirza Ghalib Haveli (Ghalib ki Haveli): When somebody asked Ghalib for his postal address, he cut him down to size: “Asadullah Ghalib, Delhi kafi hoga” (Asadullah Ghalib, Delhi, will be enough.)
  • Agrasen ki Baoli or Ugrasen ki Baoli
  • Raj Ghat: It is the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Humayun’s Tomb: It’s speculated to have inspired the Taj Mahal.
  • Barakhamba Tomb
  • Purana Qila: It is the oldest fort in the city that narrates the history of Dilli in detail.
  • Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque: It’s inside the premises of Purana Qila.
  • Sher Shah Gate, and the remains of the fort of Sher Shah Suri: It is right opposite the grand remains of Purana Qila.
  • Khairul Manzil: It is a mosque opposite Purana Qila.
  • Bāġ-e Bīdel (Garden of Bīdel): This complex has two graves, one that of the 17th-century poet Abdul-Qādir Bīdel and another one of Sufi Saint Malik Yaar Paran.
  • Lodhi Gardens: It contains Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, Tomb of Sikandar Lodi, Shisha Gumbad, Bara Gumbad, and Athpula Bridge.
  • Feroz Shah Kotla Fort: It encompasses Jami Masjid, Minar-e-Zarreen, Ashokan Pillar, and Baoli. It’s also known to be the abode of the djinns.
  • The Hauz Khas Archaeological Complex (Tughlaq Monuments)
  • Chor Minar
  • R.K.Puram Heritage Trail: It includes a visit to Wazirpur Monument Complex, Bijri Khan’s Tomb, and Munda Gumbad.
  • Ashokan Rock Edict and Park
  • Safdarjung’s Tomb: It has many small pavilions like Jangli Mahal, Moti Mahal, and Badshah Pasand and has a garden. Read more about the Tomb of Safdarjung in Delhi here.
  • Mehrauli Archaeological Park: It’s adorned with ancient tombs and monuments viz. Rajon Ki Baoli, Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb, Dargah of Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki(Qutb Sahib), Tomb of Balban, Tomb of the Sufi poet Jamali, Tomb of Adham Khan, Zafar Mahal and Jahaz Mahal.
  • Qutub Complex: It’s studded with ancient architectural ruins named Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Alauddin’s Tomb & Madrasa Complex, ltutmish’s Tomb, Imam Zamin’s Tomb, Iron Pillar, Mughal Serai, Qutb Minar, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Sanderson’s Sundial, Smith’s Folly, and Tarikh-ul-Islam Mosque. Qutub Minar is the world’s tallest brick minaret.
  • Jahanpanah: It embraces ancient ruins named Khirki Masjid, Bijay Mandal, Quila Rai Pithora, Kalusarai Masjid, Serai Shaji Mahal, Satpula, Begumpur Masjid.
  • Tughlaqabad – Adilabad – Nai-ka-Kot Fortress Complex: Read more about the ruins of Tughlaqabad here.
  • Siri Fort
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • Parliament House
  • Lotus Temple
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Rajpath
  • Haveli Dharampura, Delhi 6 (Old Delhi Haveli Tour)
  • Lal Kot

TM Recommendations: The Light and Sound Show at Red Fort and Purana Qila are unmissable. If you happen to be in Delhi on weekends, make sure to attend the Change of Guard ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Humayun's Tomb Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb

Delhi For Spiritual Zealots

  • Shahi Sunehri Masjid, Chandani Chowk
  • Sunehri Mosque, Red Fort
  • Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah: Be a part of eternal history; listen to the Sufi qawwalis at ’Nizamuddin Ki Dargah’.
  • Sis Ganj Gurudwara
  • Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
  • Jama Masjid
  • Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
  • Cathedral Church of the Redemption
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Laxminarayan Temple (Birla Mandir)
  • Hanuman Mandir
  • Neeli Masjid, Hauz Khas Village
  • Kalkaji Mandir
  • Akshardham Temple
  • Sri Venkateswara Balaji Mandir
  • Jhandewalan Temple
  • Moth ki Masjid
  • ISKCON
  • Chhatarpur Temple (Shri Adya Katyayani Shakti Peeth Mandir)
lotus temple new delhi
Lotus Temple

Delhi For Museum And Vintage Enthusiasts

  • Gandhi Smriti Museum
  • Azad Hind Gram
  • National Philatelic Museum
  • National Rail Museum
  • National Science Centre
  • National Museum
  • National Police Museum
  • Air Force Museum
  • Metro Museum
  • Tibet House
  • Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
  • Zakir Hussain Memorial
  • Archaeological Museum & Indian War Memorial Museum
  • Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets

Delhi For Kids

  • Nehru Planetarium
  • National Zoological Gardens (Delhi Zoo or Chidiya Ghar)
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Shankar’s International Dolls Museum: Read more about Dolls Museum in Delhi here.
  • Stellar Children’s Museum
  • Hauz Khas Deer Park
  • National Children’s Museum
  • Children’s Park near India Gate
  • Atlantic Water World
  • Kingdom of Dreams, Gurugram
  • Worlds of Wonder, Noida
  • Waste to Wonder (Seven Wonders of World): Recently opened in Delhi, this park features replicas of 7 wonders of the world made entirely from the waste.
chidiya ghar national zoological gardens new delhi
National Zoological Gardens, New Delhi

Delhi For Art Lovers

  • National Gallery of Modern Art
  • India Habitat Centre
  • Crafts Museum
  • Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
  • Ghalib Academy And Library
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi (Asawari)
  • Art Positive
  • Exhibit 320
  • Nature Morte
  • Vadehra Art Gallery
  • Art Heritage Gallery
  • Delhi Art Gallery
  • Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts
  • Latitude 28
  • Kamani Auditorium
  • Lalit Kala Akademi
  • Jan Natya Manch Street Plays
  • Kumhar Gram (Potter’s Village)
  • India International Centre
  • Lodhi Art District
  • Delhi Drum Circle
  • Champa Gali

Delhi for Book Lovers

  • Daryaganj Sunday Book Market
  • Charming Book Cafes
    • Cha Bar at Iconic Oxford Book Store
    • Cafe Turtle
    • Spell and Bound Bookshop and Cafe
    • Ivy and Bean
    • Music and Mountains – Hillside Cafe (Sakley’s)
    • Rico’s
    • May Day Bookstore and Cafe
    • Jugmug Thela
    • Book Talk
    • T’Pot Book Cafe
    • Serendipity – The Claridges
    • Cafe Moon River
    • Book Exchange Cafe
    • XCO Cafe
    • Woodbox Cafe
    • Fursat Se
    • Another Fine Day Cafe, Gurgaon
    • The Reader’s Cafe, Ghaziabad

Delhi For Fitness Freaks

  • Raahgiri Day (on Sundays): If you haven’t been, Raahgiri is something you must experience at least once.
  • Explore Delhi like never before with Spin Monkey Cycle Tour.

Delhi For Nature Lovers And Outdoor Enthusiasts

  • Mughal Garden: ‘Udyanotsav’ marks the annual opening of Mughal Gardens to the public from 5 February to 12 March, (except on Mondays) between 9.30 AM to 4 PM.
  • Shanti Van
  • Sunder Nursery: Delhi’s first arboretum, Time magazine ranks Sunder Nursery among the world’s 100 greatest places to visit in 2018. It’s not only a haven for nature lovers but a treat for history enthusiasts too. Just adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb, Sunder Nursery is a restored Mughal-era complex that houses 6 historical monuments – Sunder Burj, Mirza Muzaffar Hussain’s Tomb, Lakkarwala Burj, Sunderwala Mahal, Chhota Batashewala and an unidentified Mughal Tomb besides a beautiful plant nursery.
  • Garden of Five Senses
  • Delhi Flower Markets at Ghazipur and Connaught Place
  • Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Noida
  • Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary

Did you know Delhi is the world’s second most bird rich capital city after Nairobi, Kenya?

Delhi for Thrill Seekers

  • Mystery Rooms
  • Fly like a bird with Flyboy
  • Try rock climbing with Camp Wild
  • Go play Paintball with The Paintball Co

Delhi For a Traveler in You

  • One Dollar Travel Cafe, CP
  • The Hippie Trail, Hauz Khas Village
  • Kunzum Travel Cafe, Hauz Khas village: Definitely, A Traveler’s refuge! Read travel books or spend time with fellow travelers with a cup of coffee and cookie at Kunzum Travel Cafe
  • Cafe Wanderlust, Gurgaon

Delhi for Shoppers

  • Chandni Chowk Markets (Dariba Kalan, Nai Sarak, Bhagirath Place, Katra Neel, Kucha Choudhary Market, Khari Baoli Spice Market (Sadar Bazaar), Kinari Bazar, Paranthe Wali Gali)
  • Karol Bagh (Ajmal Khan Road, Gaffar Market)
  • Paharganj Market
  • Gandhi Nagar Market (Asia’s largest textile market)
  • Kamla Nagar Market
  • Majnu ka tilla (Little Tibet)
  • Inner Circle, Connaught Place
  • Janpath market
  • Palika Bazaar
  • State Emporia Complex at Baba Kharak Singh Marg houses emporiums from all Indian states selling state specialties.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Handicrafts Bhavan
  • Dilli Haat, INA and Janakpuri
  • Lajpat Nagar (Central Market)
  • Sarojini Nagar Market
  • M Block Market, Greater Kailash
  • Khan Market
  • Nehru Place Market
  • South Extension Market
  • Shahpur Jat
  • Azadpur Subzi Mandi (farmer’s market): Take a sneak peek at Asia’s largest wholesale fruits and vegetable market and enjoy the fresh produce that arrives from all across the country.

Delhicacies – Delhi for Foodies

Undoubtedly, one of the most gastronomically delightful cities in the world, Delhi has eateries for every type of craving and in every budget.

  • Yummy stuffed Paranthas at Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandni Chowk
  • Delhi’s best Jalebi at Old Famous Jalebi Wala, Chandni Chowk
  • Regional delicacies while you shop at Dilli Haat
  • Lacha Tokri at Roshan di Kulfi, Karol Bagh
  • Appetizing shakes at Keventer’s
  • Deliciousness means Legends of India, CP
  • Raj Kachori at Haldiram’s
  • Khan Chacha, CP for some mouth-watering kababs and tikkas
  • Heavenly Aloo Puri at Shyam Sweets, Chawri Bazaar. Couple it with hot halwa to enhance the experience.
  • Authentic south Indian food at Saravana Bhawan, Janpath and Andhra Bhawan, Ashoka Road
  • Spicy North Indian cuisine and Punjabi food at Pandara road
  • Bengali Market (gol gappe, papri chaat, crisp aloo chaat)
  • Gole Market (Variety of food): A shout-out for our favorite at Gole Market – Bangla Sweet House. Their mini-samosa and gulab jamun are to die for.
  • Gujarati cuisine at Gujarat Bhawan
  • Crispy, and spicy pakodas at Khandani Pakodewala, Sarojini Nagar or Vinod Snacks, Pakode Wali Gali, Lajpat Nagar
  • Awesome waffles at Wafflesome, Greater Kailash-I
  • Chacha ke chole bhaturey at Chache Di Hatti, North campus
  • Sitaram Diwan Chand in Paharganj is serving chole bhaturey since 1970. Delhites vouch for its chole bhaturey. Taste it to believe it.
  • Shawarma at Shawarma Waala, Kamla Nagar
  • Savor the old world charm of baking at Wenger’s
  • Yummy Red Velvet Sundae at Azoté, SDA Market
  • Laze around while you eat at Thadi, Hauz Khaz Village
  • Check out Great kababs at The Great Kabab Factory
  • Authentic Rajasthani cuisine at Rajdhani
  • Paneer Tikka at QD’s restaurant, Hudson Lane
  • Tibetan street food at Majnu ka Tila. Try their Laping noodles, pancakes, shabalay, and thukpa.
  • Almost divine kulfi faluda at Giani di Hatti, Chandni Chowk
  • Almond Chai at Kailash Chandra Jain Chai Wallah
  • Kulle ki Chaat or Daulat ki Chaat at Hira Lal Chaat Wala, Chawri Bazaar
  • Wouldn’t you want to conclude your dinner with Indian after-dinner treat? Savor the best paan in Delhi at Pandey’s Paan, CP.
  • Karim’s in Chandani Chowk is a haven for Mughlai food lovers.
  • YETI, The Himalayan Kitchen in Hauz Khas Village not only offers the heart-warming Himalayan cuisine but is also known to be one of the most Instagram-worthy cafes in Delhi.
  • “Delhi mein aa ke chaat nahin khayi to kya kiya?” Head to Prabhu Chaat Bhandar at UPSC road famous for its signature chaat since 1935.

Fun Fact: “It is said that Prabhu Chaat Bhandar was amongst the first chaat stalls in Delhi to be listed in the income tax bracket for its immense revenue collection.” quotes NDTV Food. This reminds me of an anecdote – Once when income tax officials arrived at Prabhu Chaat Bhandar for a raid, Nathu Lal (founder) claimed that he doesn’t have a taxable sale. Having heard that, the income tax officers started counting the used plates.

Delhi is known for its mouth-watering street food. You can’t leave the city before you try famous street food infamous for causing Delhi Belly. So, how do you consume it without getting sick?

I only have one advice – Take a legit street food tour that allows you to savor Delhicacies without the risk of Delhi Belly.

Suggested Read: How to Avoid Delhi Belly!

Pro-Tip: Delhi has so much to offer that one gets confused about what to do and what not in a limited period of time. If you plan to visit India’s cultural hub, please make a list of your type of places (I am sure list will be long enough), visit these and experience it for yourself.

Where to Stay in Delhi

I got a chance to stay in several hotels, hostels, and homestays during my past visits to Delhi. Now I have my own home in Delhi. Some of the recommendations have come from my friends, friends of friends, and fellow bloggers.

Whether you are a backpacker or a budget traveler, a solo traveler, a family traveler, or a luxury traveler – Delhi has ample options for each and every kind of traveler when it comes to accommodation.

There are certain areas popular among travelers for stay options; Paharganj, Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, South Delhi, Dwarka, Mahipalpur,and Aerocity. You can choose the area depending upon your budget, transportation access and yes, your style of travel.

Connaught Place is hands down one of the best places to stay in New Delhi. Its central location, wide-open streets lined with trees, posh experience, endless cafes and restaurants, effortless public transportation access makes it desirable among travelers.

Most of the time, Paharganj is suggested to backpackers or tourists traveling on a tight budget. I’d certainly not recommend the area if you are traveling as a family or with kids. It’s absolutely chaotic, dusty and full of touts like vultures swarm over a corpse. Moreover, Delhi offers a good number of budget options in posh and open areas.

Karol Bagh is a decent option with quite a few comfortable budget hotels.

South Delhi is one of the most affluent areas in Delhi. Neighborhoods like Chanakyapuri, Saket, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas in South Delhi have come up with amazing hostels, hotels, home stays, BnBs, and guesthouses to cater to diverse kind of travelers.

Aerocity, Mahipalpur, and Dwarka are the best areas to stay for travelers who want to stay near the airport. Aerocity has upscale hotels while Mahipalpur and Dwarka offer mid-range and budget hotels.

Here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Delhi –

Luxury Hotels

The Imperial Hotel, Connaught Place

The Leela Palace, Chanakyapuri

WelcomHeritage Haveli Dharampura, Chandni Chowk

The Lodhi, Lodhi Road

Taj Palace, Chanakyapuri

Shanti Home, Janakpuri

Mid-Range Hotels

Maidens Hotel New Delhi

Treebo Trend Trinity Residency

Budget Hotels

[email protected]

Hotel Iconic Plaza

Wood Castle

Guest Houses

Indiyah Inn

Bed & Chai Guesthouse

Hostels

Delhi Tales

The Holt – Rooms and Hostel

The Madpackers Hostel

Jugaad Hostels

Zostel

Stops Hostel

Bed and Breakfast

Maya’s Nest

Haveli Hauz Khas

Diya Bed and Breakfast

Armān, the green b&b

The Lazy Patio

Homestays

Nina Kochar’s Homestay

Thikana

Villa 33

Tree of Life

Airport Hotels

Andaz Delhi Aerocity – Concept by Hyatt

Roseate House

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Delhi at TripAdvisor.

Airbnb

Airbnb is a great option if you are traveling in a group or on a budget. It provides you with an option to cook on your own rather than eating out in expensive restaurants. Kids get more space to play and run around. You can choose from many cheap yet lovely options to stay on Airbnb.

Click here to get a discount on your first Airbnb booking.

Not your style? Fret not! There’s something for everyone in Dilwalon ki Dilli. Discover the places to stay in Delhi that matches your style here.

Some Important Links to Help you Plan your Visit to Delhi

Don’t forget to pick your copy of our trusted and insightful Lonely Planet India Travel Guide to travel to India with ease!

Words of Wisdom for the First Timers in Delhi

The culture, tradition and religious diversity you would experience in Delhi is going to be completely different than anything you have experienced in your life.

Obviously, you gonna love some places and hate others and that’s okay! You do not have to love everywhere you visit! Isn’t it?

Anything and everything that happens during travel, good or bad, is a learning experience and it certainly teaches you about yourself and about life; so try to keep calm in situations that seem to go out of control and deal with it peacefully.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Go with the flow. Experience everything with an open heart and mind.

Delhi is no different in terms of touts, scams, and other hassles. It can be a headache for first-time visitors. But then, you can never be completely safe from petty thieves in any country, so keep your wits about you and take some essential precautions.

Be wary of things that sound too good to be true. Rather than getting stressed about losing some money or being scammed, take a deep breath and enjoy the magic of wildly colorful city you are in.

To get the best out of your travel, concentrate on a few places rather than trying to tick off as many as possible. Seeing one place slowly can be much more rewarding than seeing lots of places, but not having time to cherish any of them.

Make a rough draft of the places you want to visit based on your likes and dislikes so that you can choose the wise plan for your trip.

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Best Time to Visit Delhi

Winter (October – March) is certainly the best time to visit Delhi. Delhi has really hot summers!

Delhi Travel Tips

  1. Plan, but don’t over plan.
  2. Over-plan, then go with the flow.
  3. Everything is bargain-able here. Hone your haggling skills before you set foot in Delhi.
  4. How safe is Delhi? Delhi is as safe as any other city in the world. Taking precautions is imperative everywhere. Be cautious and alert at all times. Try not to venture out late at night. If you are a woman solo-traveler, I’d recommend downloading any one of the best safety apps for women in Delhi.
  5. Keep your belongings like a handbag, mobile phone, important documents secured. It’s best to use a zipper scarf. A scarf is anyways mandatory to carry in India as it helps to avoid the heat and can be used to cover the head in religious places. So, Invest in one.
  6. Carry cash in Indian Rupees and know the conversion rate.
  7. Tap Water isn’t safe in Delhi or in India for that matter. Always use bottled water. I’d recommend carrying an eco-friendly water bottle. Refill it as and when required and keep yourself hydrated without damaging the environment. Water Purifier Bottle is also a good option.
  8. Learn some Hindi words and phrases.
  9. Tipping isn’t mandatory in India. It’s a common practice, though. I used to tip 10% of the bill to service staff at restaurants, however, most of them already add a 10% service charge in addition to the tax to the bill these days. I personally never hire a rickshaw puller. If you do, please don’t bargain with them. In fact, pay them generously. No one would appreciate the tip as much as they do.

Words of Wisdom for Dilliwallahs

There are many worlds existing within Delhi. Do you think that you know your city completely? Well, see and experience Delhi beyond your knowledge…the real Delhi.

It feels like a timeless place where things have changed, yet they have remained the same. Truly, the city you live in has more than what you think. So, get the most out of your wanderlust and celebrate the city you live in!

For me, It’s time to leave behind the familiar for the unfamiliar, to take some of the peculiarities of the city we belonged to, and to prepare myself to immerse in the quirks of another.

Humne maana ki dakkan mein hai bahut qadre sukhan;

Kaun jaaye Zauq par Dilli ki galiyan chhod kar

(We hear that poetry is greatly valued in Deccan these days but, Zauq, who could bear to leave behind the alleyways of Delhi).

In case I missed out on any place that’s worth visiting in Delhi; do let me know in the comments section.

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Planning a trip to Delhi? Here's an absolute travel guide to Delhi for the first-timers that answers all your questions about traveling to Delhi - how to get around, where to stay, what to eat and places to visit in Delhi.
Planning a trip to Delhi? Here's an absolute travel guide to Delhi by a local that answers all your questions about traveling to Delhi - how to get around, where to stay, what to eat and best places to visit and things to do in Delhi.

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