Delhi: The capital of India
Delhi, the chaotic capital of India, a city of great contrasts, one of the most populated in the world, full of color and noise, of life and that will not leave you indifferent. If you want to know what to see and do in Delhi, to enjoy your days apart from other interesting information, do not miss this post. There is a lot to see in Delhi and we are going to show you!
What to see and do in Delhi in three days
Many travelers who decide to travel to India doubt whether or not it is worth spending a few days in their capital. After our experience, we do not understand how a traveler can get to know a country without its great capital. While one of the most important cities in the world.
We are among those who believe that you have to stop in Delhi, know it, enjoy it and understand it. It can be a very good first contact with the country.
We started and ended our 22-day tour of India on it and we have no regrets. It is a city that has a lot to offer and where you can see and do countless things. That is why we are required, as always, to list our special activities. Or what to see and do in Delhi.
What to see and do in Old Delhi
We start our route through the Hindu capital and we do it by its oldest part, known to all as Old Delhi . For the area that perhaps in a first contact with the country, will impact you more in every way. Welcome to chaotic India!
Price: free admission. But you have to pay a ticket of INR 300.00 ($ 2.65) per photo or video camera.
Hours: 08:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. until sunset. Closed to tourists at times of prayer.
It is one of the largest mosques in the country and we assure you that if it already impacts from the outside, it is impressive from the inside. Its central courtyard is truly spectacular, with its minarets and if you see it like us in the middle of crowded Ramadan, you will not forget the experience!
There is the possibility of climbing one of its towers and observing the views of Old Delhi from the highest point. Please note that entering barefoot is mandatory, and women must cover their shoulders and legs. For this reason, we always advise you to carry a foulard or a handkerchief in your backpack throughout your trip around the country.
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Very close to the mosque, is the most famous fort in Delhi: the Red Fort or Red Fort . You can imagine that it is named for the reddish sandy color of its walls and architecture. It boasts of having the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2007 and is one of the must see and do in Delhi . The fort inside is huge and has many buildings to visit, gardens and palaces.
Price: INR 500.00 ($ 6.62) + INR 25.00 ($ 0.31) per photo or video camera / Children under 15 free
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The best-known neighborhood in Old Delhi is without a doubt, Chandni Chowk. Strolling and getting lost in this area of labyrinthine streets is an essential activity in the capital of India. It would become a huge bazaar distributed in hundreds of small streets, organized by guilds (bookstores, silver, fruits and vegetables, clothing, hardware …).
In short, streets and streets full of people, cows, rickshaws, noise, life, color, smell … A wonderful chaos! Our advice there is to wander aimlessly and let yourself be surprised by everything you will find along the way.
Old Spice Market
And on that route through Chandni Chowk, you cannot miss the famous Old Spice Market or the old spice market. You will notice that you have come because of the number of stores next to each other, and because of the smell, of course!
We recommend that you look for the oldest building in this market and go up to its roof. From above you will get wonderful views of all Old Delhi!
What to see and do in New Delhi
Once you know Old Delhi, the oldest and somehow more authentic and chaotic part of the city, it is time to discover another side of the capital: New Delhi. We continue with the essentials of what to see and do in Delhi, and we do it with New Delhi.
We start this route and we do it with one of the symbols of the city: its door! The India Gate is one of the most visited points in the city , not only by tourists but also by locals. Go to the door, photograph it and walk through it, and enjoy its atmosphere! It is very likely that they will ask you for many photos with it in the background.
The India Gate is located on one of the most important streets in the city, the Rajpath. If you walk through it leaving the door behind you, you will reach the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The official residence of the President of the country. And in the vicinity, you will also find other important buildings such as the National Museum and the Parliament Museum.
If you are looking for a place to walk calmly, breathe fresh air and escape for a while from the chaos of any city. Come to this park! The Lodhi Garden are large gardens where you can find tombs of the country’s rulers with a particular architecture. It is an ideal place to disconnect and take a good walk. Do not miss it!
Price: free entry
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
And from the best-known park in Delhi, we go to the most prestigious Islamic minaret: Qutub Minar and It measures nothing more and nothing less than 73 meters high and has 5 floors. It is somewhat removed from the rest of the tourist sites. So we finally decided not to visit it.
But if you have the time. It is another must-see and do in Delhi.
The ticket price is INR 500.00 ($ 6.62) and is currently open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Another icon of New Delhi is its spectacular and modern temple in the shape of a lotus flower.
The Temple of the Lotus, the national flower, draws your attention not only for its architecture. But also for its color of white marble. It’s really pretty and stands out from the rest of the city’s architectural buildings!
The most beautiful thing about this temple is to observe it and see it from the outside. Because inside there is really nothing special, so you can skip perfectly enter its interior.
Price: free entry
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For us, along with the impressive Jama Masjid Mosque, this tomb is one of the most spectacular visits we made in Delhi . Do not skip this point in your own particular itinerary of what to see and do in Delhi. Take the time this site deserves and visit it without haste, walking and photographing every corner. Because it has beautiful and very special places.
Price: INR 500.00 ($ 6.62)
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 07:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
Paharganj, Main Bazaar
This area is known as Main Bazaar or locally as Paharganj is the quintessential backpackers’ neighborhood. Its streets are full of shops, souvenirs, restaurants, hostels and hotels for pockets and low and medium budgets. Its streets will not leave you indifferent, as they are full of that wonderful chaos that characterizes India: people everywhere, cars, rickshaws, cows, fruit and vegetable stands on the ground, street vendors …
If you stay in it, you will experience it in first person every day, but we always advise you to take a tour of it if you have time. It is worth seeing!
And from one neighborhood, we go to a very different one. Welcome to the hippest area of central New Delhi! The Rajiv Chowk metro stop is located in the city’s cosmopolitan stock exchange area. In its surroundings, you have international brand shops, restaurants, markets and tourist attractions such as the Jantar Mantar Observatory or the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib temple.
And for shopping lovers, if you want to take a souvenir from Delhi, we recommend you visit the Janpath Market . Open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. You will go crazy with the amount of stalls they have! Clothes, jewelery, jewelry, accessories, paintings … everything and very good prices! Always remember to carry cash and to haggle at least up to half the initial price they give you!
Delhi City Tour
If you want to get to know Delhi in a different way, with the advice and explanations of a guide, we always advise you to go with a travel agency for a Delhi tour with a Spanish guide. We love to make them all around India since they give us another perspective of the place we visit.
Transport. How to get around Delhi?
After knowing what to see and do in Delhi, it is time to know the best way to get around it.
Delhi is a very big city with a lot of traffic. That is why we believe that the best way to get around it is by subway.
Using underground transportation will allow you to get to sites faster. The prices of the metro ticket vary depending on the area you go to. But to give you an idea, it is around 20 INR (0.25 $) or 30 INR (0.40 $) per person and route.
What we did realize is that being a city of such magnitude. Many of the closest metro stop to tourist spots are far away and that another subway on foot must always be added to the metro journey.
But we still believe that it is the best quality/price/speed of transportation to get around Delhi.
If you are tired and want to shorten those sections of walking, you can always negotiate the price of a rickshaw or tuk-tuk to drop you off at the doors of the place you want to visit. We did it once and we had no problem.
Accommodation. Where to stay in Delhi?
Our visit to Delhi was divided into two parts, at the beginning and at the end of the trip through India, as we made the entry and exit of the country through the Delhi International Airport. We stayed the first two nights and the last one we spent in India in the capital. And each of the stays we did in different accommodations. So, in this case, we can recommend two places to stay in Delhi.
The first is a youth hostel in the heart of the Main Bazaar, the quintessential backpacker neighborhood of New Delhi. We spent a couple of nights there at Smyle Inn. It is a very modest accommodation, with private rooms with bathroom, air conditioning and free wifi. They also have breakfast included that they serve on their rooftop terrace. The good thing is that it is in a neighborhood full of life and that it has a metro stop 5 minutes walk. If you have a low budget, this may be your accommodation in Delhi.
If you are looking for something a little better, but backpacker, backpacker and youth style, we recommend the second accommodation we stayed in: Jugaad Hostel near Bikhaji. We loved it in every way! The roll it has, cleanliness, the comfort of the room, its rooftop terrace with views, breakfast included, free wifi and they have picked up and drop off services to the airport.
If you want to know even more about these accommodations, we invite you to take a look at the special post about accommodations in India. There you will find all the details!
Where to eat in Delhi?
The time has come for foodie recommendations in the capital of India. In this city, feeling it very much, we don’t have much advice on where to eat. We were traveling through India in the middle of June, summer and more than 40 degrees daily with a humidity of more than 90 percent. It was even hard to breathe! That, together with the accumulated fatigue of 6 months traveling through Asia, made us not too hungry.
In the mornings we had breakfast, normally we did not eat or rather had something to eat on the way, and then we had dinner. We were in a couple of places having dinner that we do recommend and that we want to share with you:
Pind Balluchi. This restaurant is very close to the Rajiv Chowk metro stop. It is a good restaurant where you can eat quality and very tasty North Indian dishes. It has a very varied menu. We recommend it for dinner or lunch one night. The price is medium. We dined very well for $10.
Tadka 4986. This small place is located in the Main Bazaar area and it is a very good option for local vegetarian food. The price is very good and very tasty. We spent on a dinner $ 5.
Tips about Delhi
Before finishing this comprehensive guide to what to see and do in Delhi , how to move, where to sleep, where to eat…
Our final Tips are here!
1. How many days to be Delhi is a huge city and as we have told you one of the most populated in the world. That is why we believe that on a first visit, you deserve 2 full days of travel at least. To have time to discover it as it deserves.
2. Money. Being a capital it will not be difficult for you to find ATMs, especially in the New Delhi area, to be able to withdraw money. We always recommend the BNEXT card that allows you to withdraw money around the world and without commissions.
3. Telephone / Internet. We advise you to buy a SIM card as soon as you step into the country’s airport or even better, take the card from home and forget about headaches as soon as you land. With Holafly you can have Internet wherever you travel, without changing your WhatsApp number, the SIM arrives at home and they have 24h help service.
4. Clothes. Especially if you are a woman, do not forget to carry covered shoulders and knees whenever you can. The less you teach the better, think that you are in another culture and it is better to respect it. Do not forget to put a foulard or handkerchief in your backpack or bag to cover yourself!
With these final tips, we end our comprehensive guide to the capital of India. Chaotic and wonderful Delhi! A place that we can assure you that will not leave you indifferent and that we do believe deserves to be visited on a route through India. We invite you to leave us your comments on the article, your experience in Delhi or doubts.
We will reply to you as soon as possible. Enjoy India and its capital!