Delhi, the capital city of India, is home to over seventeen million people and attracts millions of foreign tourists every year. The sprawling city is divided into two parts: Old Delhi and New Delhi.
The former features the modern city center, filled with well-planned streets, extensive green spaces, historical monuments, and government buildings. The latter features magnificent pieces of architecture dating back to the Mughal era, lip-smacking street food, and historical monuments that conjure up the rich history of the city.
There are plenty of things to see and do in both parts of Delhi, from its countless markets and bazaars to beautiful monuments to performing art venues. The city also has a burgeoning food scene, offering a diverse range of dining experiences. Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip to the buzzing metropolis.
What’s the best time to visit Delhi?
Delhi’s climate overlaps between semi-arid and monsoon-influenced humid subtropical, with a great difference between summer and winter temperatures. The weather in Delhi is the most pleasant and enjoyable between October and March and these months may be the best time to visit the city.
Though winters are generally mild in Delhi, it can get uncomfortably cold during the month of January with the temperature dropping as low as 3 to 4 degrees Celsius. The city is the hottest between April and June, with temperatures reaching over 45 degrees Celsius. The monsoon season somewhat eases weather during June and October, making it suitable for tourists to visit nearby hill stations where the heat is not unbearable.
How to get to Delhi?
You fly into Delhi through Indira Gandhi International Airport, located six miles south of the city. The airport receives overseas flights from over 50 destinations around the world. Many airlines such as Cathay Pacific offer direct flights to Delhi from all major cities around the world including Sydney, Australia.
How to get around in Delhi?
Delhi has one of the best public transportation systems in India. From air-conditioned trains and buses to app-based cab services like Uber, there are so many ways to get around the Indian capital. You can also choose to get around in traditional rides like auto-rickshaws.
What to see in Delhi?
Delhi boasts an impressive array of historical treasures dating back to the seventeenth century. Head to Old Delhi if you want to explore the glorious constructions of the Mughals like Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, and the towering monument of Qutub Minar.
New Delhi’s collection of historical gems is in no way less impressive than Old Delhi’s. The modern city center is home to a plethora of historical and archeological sites, including the Rajpath, Connaught Palace, the India Gate, Neela Gumbad, Safdarjung Tomb, and Sultan Ghari. You’ll also find most of the city’s museums in New Delhi. Here’s an overview of some of the must-visit attractions of Delhi.
- National Zoological Park
Established in 1959, National Zoological Park is considered one of the best zoos in Asia, providing habitat to about 1,500 species of animals. The park displays abundant wildlife from all seven continents of the world. You’ll find numerous monkeys, deer, tigers, zebras, hyenas, chimpanzees, and hippopotamuses on the display.
- The Hauz Khas Complex
Located a little south of New Delhi, The Hauz Khas Complex is a charming urban village boasting various ancient stone monuments and domed tombs of minor Muslim royalty, dating back to the fourteenth century. The surrounding neighborhood is as beautiful as this historical complex, featuring art galleries, trendy eateries, and boutique shops.
- Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is one of the most famous attractions of Old Delhi. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is India’s tallest minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex. The “victory tower” rises over 70 meters and is covered with inscriptions from Koran and other intricate carvings. The architectural treasure was constructed with many different types of stones including red sandstone, marble, and sandstone.
- The Red Fort
Built by a Mughal ruler in 1648, the Red Fort is a historic fort in Old Delhi covering an area of about 492 acres. The magnificent structure beautifully combines Persianate palace architecture with Indian culture and represents the Mughal architectural peak under Shah Jahan.
Its grand main entrance faces Lahore in Pakistan and is called the Lahore Gate. As you enter through the Lahore Gate, you’ll be amazed by the seventeenth-century-inspired bazaar featuring a massive variety of goods, such as jewelry, silverware, souvenirs, food items, silks, and gems.
- Lodi Gardens
Located between Khan Market and Safdarjung’s Tomb on Lodi Road in New Delhi, Lodi Gardens is a beautiful city park stretching over 90 acres. The park boasts spectacular works of architecture from the fifteenth century, including a triple-domed mosque, an eight-pier bridge, and the Glazed Dome famous for its blue tiles.
Where to eat in Delhi?
Delhi holds the title of “India’s culinary capital”, offering an eclectic variety of Indian and international food. The city’s diversity is best portrayed by its rich food scene that features a delicious mix of cultures and cuisines. From ancient Middle Eastern recipes introduced by Mughals to elaborate delicacies from Lucknowi cuisine to Punjabi delights from Pakistan, Delhi offers an ever-evolving array of food options.
The upscale restaurants in New Delhi close around 11 p.m. However, it’s never too late to hit the streets in Old Delhi and treat your buds with parathas, kebabs, and other savories of Chandni Chowk.
Chawri Bazar is a breakfast hotspot, offering all staples of India including halwa puri, bedmi kachori, and daulat ki chaat. Moolchand, Connaught Place, Yashwant Place, Lajpat Nagar, and Karol Bagh are an important part of Delhi’s culinary map.
If you are looking for South-Indian delights, there is no place better than INA Market and Dilli Haat in New Delhi. The alfresco food court at Dilli Haat offers all kinds of Indian cuisines including Tamilian cuisine, Bengali cuisine, Rajasthani cuisine, Telangana cuisine, and North Indian cuisine. The market features a massive array of stalls dedicated to regional food, serving dosas, kachoris, chuski, appams, samosas, and curries among other options.