India, home to over 1.3 billion people, this country is sprawling with bustling streets, hazy skies, incredible markets, beautiful colours and even tastier food. When travelling around India, there are many different routes one can take, therefore it is hard to try to tackle the entire country all at once. However, one city you are likely to encounter on your India tour is New Delhi.
New Deli is the national capital of India, situated in the central-northern part of the country. As the country’s capital, New Delhi is one of the most popular destinations for tourism. The city itself is a blend between a bustling metropolis and ancient ruins. The perfect harmony between the old and the new.
Although we don’t believe you need too much time in New Delhi, our guide below is the perfect resource for you to reference on your upcoming travel plans.
A Travel Guide To New Delhi
How To Get There
New Delhi is likely to be your port of entry. Thousands of flights go in and out daily, therefore it is highly likely that this is where you will be flying into. Transportation in New Delhi can be daunting at first. We relied heavily on using Uber and traditional tuk tuks. We also tried our hand at the metro service offered around the city. All three are great options for getting around quickly and safely.
Pro Tip – Transportation
When using Uber make sure to book a premium car, although it is a bit more expensive than the regular price, the price is fixed. We encountered tons of traffic and many detours on our trip, so this saved us many times from the fare going higher.
Cellular Service – Data
We strongly recommend that upon arrival, you pick up a local SIM card. Data is cheap in India and having service 24/7 is essential in a large, unfamiliar city. We purchased our SIM cards upon checking into our hostel. The staff set it up for us and we were able to pay and have the phones installed within 24 hours. It is important to note that India has strict rules when purchasing a SIM card. You will be required to provide a copy of your passport in order to receive one. We went with the carrier Vodafone and paid roughly $8 USD each for a month of data.
A Travel Guide To New Delhi
Things To Do
The Red Fort
A famous imperial residence dating back to the 1600’s, this massive sandstone red fort is located just walking distance from the markets of Old Delhi. The structure towers over the city and is surrounded by a large green park. When visiting expect there to be many people surrounding the area as it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Delhi. If you visit, try to go early in the morning for a more peaceful experience.
Qutb Minar is located a bit outside of the city, but makes for a great half day trip if time allows. This 73 meter tall tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site and sits in the center of old archaeological monuments. It is a great spot for all history and architecture buffs.
Old Delhi – Chandi Chowk (Spice Market)
If you are looking to get lost in the streets of one of Delhi’s oldest markets, be sure to spend an afternoon strolling through Old Delhi. This is where all the sights and smells come together and you are transported to a different time entirely. Be sure to remember to always carry your bag through these streets in the front and remember to be respectful when taking photographs. We spent the entire afternoon strolling around the spice markets and trying traditional Indian street food!
Agrasen Ki Baoli
This is an old stepwell located in the middle of the city. What is so great about Agrasen Ki Baoli is that it is one of the few free monuments to visit. It was used back in the day as an old water well, now emptied. It makes for a beautiful place to take photos as well. Our main tip is to arrive early in the morning when there are less people around and you can get the full experience.
This infamous tomb was the inspiration for the well known Taj Mahal. Built in 1570, it was one of the first garden tombs in all of India. It is a gorgeous structure with marble and incredible symmetry. It was incredible to spend the afternoon exploring the grounds, along with the surrounding gardens. Commissioned by Humayun’s first wife, this structure is now the burial place for over 150 Mughal family members.
This intricate and famous Hindu temple is located just outside the city. What is unique about this temple is that no photos are allowed once inside. It has great cultural and spiritual significance. The intricacies of the architecture is what drew us to it. The grounds also feature various exhibits and a musical fountain.
Hauz Khas Complex
A group of incredibly intricate buildings surrounding a reservoir, this complex makes for a great place to take some photos. The relaxing complex is also a great area to escape the hectic city.
Named the Lotus Temple after its flower-like shape and structure this temple is a sight to behold. It has become one of the most popular monuments in the city and is also free to visit. The structure itself reminded us of the Sydney Opera House.
Another famous monument in the city of New Delhi. This tall sandstone arch was formerly known as the All India War Memorial Gate. It is a war memorial gate dedicated to the troops who died in the wars between 1914 and 1919. The structure is similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris France.
A Travel Guide To New Delhi
Where To Eat
Street Food in Old Delhi
If you are spending the afternoon exploring the streets of Delhi, you must try some street food. Try fresh paratha, pav bhaji, and yummy curries.
This was one of the most exquisite dining experiences we have ever had. In-Q was the restaurant attached to our hotel, so we had a great breakfast, lunch and dinner experience. The food was all cooked to perfection. It was the perfect morning spot to relax.
If you are looking for a super trendy bar that serves up some of the worlds best cocktails, you must pay a visit to sidecar. The ambiance of the space is incredible and the selection of cocktails is endless.
Anna Maya Restaurant
A beautiful restaurant located in the Andaz hotel. This place serves up both traditional Northern Indian dishes, along with elegant European classics. The interior of the space is also gorgeous and makes for a great space for photos.
A Travel Guide To New Delhi
Places To Stay
For those budget backpackers, you can’t go wrong with Joey’s Hostel. We will admit upon arrival we were a bit sceptical, however finding social hostels in India can be hard to come by. We got a private room which was perfect for the two of us. The staff there are extremely friendly and helpful as well which was great for us on our first few days in India.
This boutique hotel is perfect for couples and those travelling for business. The rooms are extremely spacious and comfortable and the amenities are great. It is located in a posh neighborhood in New Delhi, so you feel safe. We loved the food at this hotel, like we said we ate most of our meals here and it was fantastic. If you want to stay at this amazing hotel in New Delhi, Click Here. Or you can check out our full blog of the boutique hotel Here.
For a more traditional hotel near the airport with easy access to the city, consider a stay at the Andaz. This hotel is beautiful and features all one can need. With a pool, large rooms, sleek design and even better on property dining this is the perfect place to stay in New Delhi. For the latest prices and availability Click Here.
Although New Delhi was a shock to our system, it was our first real taste of India. We spent a total of 5 days exploring the city which was ample time in our opinion. Even though there is so much to see and do, the city itself can be a bit overwhelming. We suggest you take it day by day and hopefully use our guide to help you plan what sites to see. Overall, we learned to love the city for what it was and found the history and incredible architecture to be inspiring. The blend of the old with the new, was something we admired about the city itself and the people who inhabit it. Beautiful colors, smells and food, New Delhi was an adventure from start to finish.