Delhi Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Delhi. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here searching for Delhi travel tips. In this article I will do my best to get you around this beautiful city with tips and tricks on how to get the best experience, hang on!
Delhi is located in the north of India and has a population of over 18 million people, and it’s a city unlike any other. It’s sprawling, loud, chaotic, hot and absolutely packed. It’s easy to get intimidated by the sheer pace of this city. As soon as you step off the plane you will experience it. This is not going to be your normal chartered tourist experience, this is something different to what you will have experienced before.
Even though at first it might not sound so inviting, there is a beauty and rhythm in that chaos and freneticism. If you are up for the next big adventure, this place is one that is just waiting to be explored. Give it a day or two in Delhi and you’ll get the feel of it and absolutely love it.
Delhi Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Delhi
The airport in Delhi embodies the sense of organized chaos that you’ll experience in the city. Delhi is served by Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is located 9 miles southwest of the city. Until recently, when they renovated and re-organized this airport, it was a bit of a nightmare. Now it’s one of the country’s best airports. But there are still some things to think about when getting here.
For example, when you’re leaving Delhi you have to go through a lot of safety controls, and you might have to show your passport and boarding pass up to a dozen times before boarding the plane for your flight.
Rickshaw in Delhi
Taxi ride From the Delhi Airport: Do’s and Don’ts
To get from the airport your safest bet is to get a taxi by getting a pre-paid ticket from one of the yellow counters inside the terminal. These are run by the police and are safe. Simply tell the person where you want to go and you pay your fare then and there. Ignore any requests for any additional payment at any point during the journey or after that.
When you get to your destination, grab your bags, give the driver your recipe and you’re thanks and be on your way. No further discussion. Avoid unlicensed taxis at all cost, not only will they cost more but they can be dangerous.
You can also grab a train from the airport which takes only 20 minutes to the city centre and costs less than a dollar.
When looking for Delhi travel tips there are a couple of things that we need to shine a light on. Delhi is not your typical tourist experience. This is not like traveling to Rome. Delhi is the second largest urban area on earth and over 18 million people live here. Every day a swarm of 6 million people ebb and flow across this metropolis. And with more vehicles on the roads than any other city on earth, traffic is and has almost always been horrendous.
Millions of hours are lost every month from commuters stuck in the city’s congested roads. So in 2002 there was a new metro launched in the city. For a city that was entirely dependent on cars, vans, buses and autos, the metro was a revolution opening up large parts of the city that were otherwise inaccessible without some serious effort. It’s clean, cool and a welcome break in this unbelievably hot climate. The metro is very easy to use and it’s a great way to get around Delhi.
To ride the metro you buy a Tourist Smart card at one of the ticket vending machines for 200 rupees for 1 day or 500 rupees for 3 days. The metro is incredibly cheap, it costs less than a dollar to ride one single trip.
Rickshaw / Auto: Do’s and Don’ts
While the metro is by far the most comfortable and convenient way of getting around the city, it’s not the only way. For the harder to reach corners of the city and to test how physically robust you are, you can go on a Rickshaw or simply Auto. It’s a small passenger vehicle with space for two people, it’s like a motorcycle with a roof on top of it.
When choosing an Auto taxi, make sure that it has an official registration number on the side of, in case you lose something or need to report a problem. Photograph the number when stepping on the vehicle for your own safety.
You can grab an Auto on the side of the street and you negotiate your fare before starting the journey. It costs as little as 30 rupees and you should not pay more than 150 rupees for anywhere in the city. Autos are a really fun, cheap and great way to get around the city.
Uber in Delhi
If you’re going on a taxi, Uber is your easiest and safest bet. Regular taxis are rarely to be trusted and you’d have to negotiate the price every time you’d ride with one. Uber saves you the hassle of having to deal with payment and and it’s a safer option since you have the driver registered.
Best Places To Stay In Delhi
When searching for Delhi travel tips it’s important to know which areas that are not only safe to stay in, but that’s going to give you the best experience. Below I will list three areas that are popular for tourists, yet offer an authentic stay in this beautiful indian metropolis.
Connaught Place is one of the best places to stay in Delhi for tourists. It is located in the heart of the city and boasts of all things cultural, historical and religious. Connaught Place gives you a glimpse of Delhi in an authentic way with all the unique experiences that it has to offer.
Man in Chandni Chowk
Visit heritage cinemas such as Odeon and Rivoli or the historical scientific prowess-Jantar Mantar. The famous Hanuman Temple or Gurudwara Bangla Sahi. These are just a few of the many attractions at Connaught Place. Get ready to shop high-end brands or cheap street side shopping at Janpath. Plenty of restaurants and tourist attractions, you can’t go wrong when staying here.
In the north of Delhi close to the Old Delhi Railway Station is Chandni Chowk beautifully located. It is the answer to your question ‘where should tourists stay in Delhi’? Have a look at some great hotels to stay in the Chandni Chowk area and you’ll find great places to stay that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. The neighborhood hosts some famous tourist attractions such as Haveli Dharampura, The Red Fort and Jama Masjid. Here’s where you’ll be exploring India’s rich cultural heritage.
Chandni Chowk also has the largest wholesale market in Asia. From spices to jewellery, fashion apparel to electronics. You’ll find it all here. Chandni Chowk is extremely famous for its magnificent street food, such as chaatwalas and paratha wale gali’s.
Karol Baghis a special place in Delhi’s age-old culture. Located in Central Delhi, it’s well connected to major metro routes, railway station and airport.
A great place for shopping, whether it be branded or non-branded clothes. Here’s also some top-notch book shops and eateries and even junk jewellery shops. Karol Bagh has all of it and definitely is one of the best places to stay in Delhi for tourists. If you are looking for some cheap and comfortable lodging, then Karol Bagh is just the place to book yourself in.
If you’re new to Delhi, picking one of these three places will get you sorted. Be aware that if you don’t do research and pick the wrong hotel in the wrong part of town, it might become a nightmare, so make sure to stick to the safe bets when it comes to hotels.
What To Eat In Delhi
Delhi has a food culture that is one of the most beloved and well-travelled in the world. Who doesn’t like indian food, right? Delhi has some incredible variety and depth of food that is quite frankly overwhelming. There are three staples in indian food: curry, rice and bread.
Down below you’ll find some of the dishes that are especially popular in Delhi. But make no mistake, I’m not even touching on the surface of what Delhi has to offer when it comes to food, you’ll
Paranthas in Delhi
be absolutely blown away with what they have to offer.
Paranthasare definitely on the top of the list when it comes to my favorite food in Delhi. Enjoyed locally as a morning snack in most Delhi households, and also to feed hungry college students and even a late-night snack. You can choose from a plain one, or select a stuffing of your choice – potatoes, cauliflower, radish, eggs, keema, bananas or even last night’s leftover dal – the options are galore. Enjoy!
Butter chicken originated in the 1950s in Moti Mahal Restaurant in Daryaganj. Known for its Tandoori Chicken, the cooks there (who might not have been completely sober) accidentally tossed the sauce consisting of butter, tomato and chicken juices with tandoori chicken pieces; and the rest is history. Today, this dish can be found in almost every non-vegetarian restaurant and is best enjoyed with rice or naan bread.
While the Delhiiteshave a lot to be thankful for to the Mughals, Kebabs are one of them. Whoever thought grilled chunks of meat or fish marinated in aromatic Indian spices can’t give you joy, then think again. Whether it is Kebabs being delivered to your car, to food stalls and fine dining restaurants across the city, this popular dish will hook you forever after the first try.
Biryani in Delhi
Biryani has stood the test of time and is today enjoyed all over India. A favourite of the Mughal Emperors, this poultry or meat based dish is prepared in an earthen pot. The lid is sealed with dough so that the spices, flavours and aromas are soaked in. The Biryani experiences in Delhi vary from the commercial chains and road side dhabas, to the Sufi shrines and five-star hotels.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Delhi
Red Fort, stands not only as a powerful reminder of the Mughal era India but also a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom and has become one of Delhi’s most famous monuments. Built by fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, when he decided to shift his capital there from Agra in 1638. To take your imagination back to the ancient era, a one hour sound and light show of the fort’s history is held each evening. The fort’s turbulent history includes being captured by the Sikhs and the British. A must for you to experience when in Delhi.
Another marvelous treasure of the Old City is Jama Masjid. This building is one of the largest mosques in India. Its courtyard can hold an incredible 25,000 devotees. This beautiful mosque took 12 years to build, and was completed in 1656. From the top of its southern tower you will get reward with a stunning view across the rooftops of Delhi. Be sure to dress appropriately when visiting the mosque or you won’t be allowed in. This means covering your head, legs and shoulders. Attire is available there.
The main street of old Delhi, Chandni Chowk is a shocking contrast to the wide, orderly streets of New Delhi. Cars, cycle rickshaws, hand-pulled carts, pedestrians, and animals all compete for space. This is chaotic, crumbling and congested, but completely captivating as well. One of the oldest and busiest markets in India, with its narrow winding lanes. These streets are full of inexpensive jewelry, fabrics, and electronics. For the more adventurous, Chandni Chowk is an excellent place to sample some of Delhi’s street food. The renowned Karim Hotel, a Delhi dining institution, is also located there.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is dedicated to showcasing Indian culture. A relatively new attraction, this massive temple complex was built as a spiritual organization and opened in 2005. As well as the astonishing architecture of the pink stone and white marble shrine, the complex includes sprawling garden, sculptures, and boat ride. Allow at least half a day to explore it thoroughly. Note that cell phones and cameras are not permitted inside.
The Humayun’s Tomb looks a bit like the Taj Mahal, right? That’s because it was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal’s creation. The tomb was built in 1570, and houses the body of the second Mughal emperor, Humayun. It’s the first of this type of Mughal architecture to be built in India. The Mughal rulers followed it up with an extensive period of construction all over the country. This tomb is part of a greater complex that’s set among beautiful gardens and is a calm place to have a walk.
After the hectic city life and chaos, Lodhi Gardens provides a serene retreat, and is the place to come if you’re feeling tired and worn out. The vast Gardens were built by the British in 1936 around the tombs of 15th and 16th century rulers. Joggers, yoga practitioners, and young couples all enjoy this park.
A visit to Gandhi Smriti will show you the exact spot where Mahatma Gandhi, affectionately referred to as the Father of the Nation, was assassinated on January 30, 1948. He lived in the house for 144 days up until the time of his death. The room that he slept in, kept exactly how he left it, and the prayer ground where he held a mass congregation every evening are both open to the public. Plenty of photos, sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions are also on display. You can also visit his memorial at Raj Ghat.