New Delhi: The Ultimate Travel Guide for India’s Capital City

A Trip to Delhi

Is it your first time to New Delhi and you have no clue where to stay and what to do? No worries, below are essential tips for first-time travelers to the capital city of India. 

To better prepare for your trip, you might also be interested in reading my blog post about Top tips for your first trip to India.

WHY VISIT DELHI

Usually, tourists don’t stop in New Delhi, continuing their trip directly to Agra a few hours away to see the Taj Mahal. However, Delhi is definitely worth a few days of your time. The moment you set foot in Delhi, you realize that you are in the capital city of India. Not only will you find grand avenues and better infrastructure compared to the other metropolis in India (e.g., Mumbai), but Delhi is also filled with rich history and culture. 

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TOP EXPERIENCES

Riksha Tour through Old Delhi 

Definitely one of my highlights in Delhi: A 30 minutes Riksha tour through Old Delhi (one bicycle can take 2 persons). You can start at Jama Masjid Mosque and drive to the Spice Market and back. It was really fun. We were able to see so much from the daily life in India. Totally recommend it! 

India Gate 

India Gate was built in 1921 as a tribute to 900,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War I. In front of India Gate are some food stalls and several merchants. 

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Humayun’s Tomb

The Humanyun’s Tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built 1570 for a Mughal emperor (I love Mughal architecture) and was the first ever garden-tomb in India. It looks so similar to the Taj Mahal because the Humanyun’s Tomb inspired the emperor to build the Taj Mahal. 

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Lodi Gardens

Omg, I loved the Lodi Gardens. It is basically the Central Park of Delhi. You see a lot of young couples and families having picnics or just taking a stroll through the park. 

Step-Well (Agrasen ki Baoli)

It is not a super famous tourist destination but I still think that it’s worth mentioning. The step-well was built in the 10th century and served to store water. Nowadays it is a really lovely place to sit and relax. It is very close to the main centre of Connaught Place.

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 Spice Market (Khari Baoli)

You definitely have to see the beautiful spice market in Old Delhi. I believe that it is one of the largest spice markets in the world. It feels like nothing has changed here for centuries. You walk through the narrow lanes until you reach the inside of the market – it’s so spicy there that you can’t stop coughing and sneezing. The colours of the spices are so beautiful!

Jama Masjid Mosque

Jama Masjid is definitely one of my personal highlights in Delhi. It is India’s largest mosque which is built on a 10 meter elevation, towering above the old town of Delhi. To enter the mosque, you will need to take off your shoes and women will need to wear a coat. Emperor Shah Jahan built the mosque – the same creator of the Taj Mahal! 

Red Fort

The Red Fort is one of the most beautiful buildings of Mughul architecture (17th century) in India. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enter the Red Fort when I was in Delhi but I heard it is truly gorgeous inside. It served as the royal palace when the capital of India was shifted from Agra to Delhi.

EAT & DRINK

Honestly, there are so many great restaurants in Delhi, I really don’t know where to start. But if I were to mention one restaurant recommendation, then it would be Bukhara, a North-Indian restaurant in the ITC Maurya hotel.

Restaurant ITC Maurya – Bukhara

No way that you leave Delhi without having eaten at Bukhara! The North-Indian restaurant won many awards – all well deserved if you ask me (“Top 50 Restaurants in the World”). The meals haven’t changed for years. You are encouraged to eat with your hands to experience a genuinely Indian meal but you don’t have to. Reservation might be required. 

HOTELS

Gurgoan – Trident

If you are on a business trip like I was, most likely you will have to travel to Gurgoan. If you are planning to stay in Gurgoan, check out the Trident hotel. We were very impressed by their service and quality of restaurants!

ITC Maurya

A well-known hotel in Delhi, ITC Maurya has hosted Heads of State, royalty and business leaders from across the world. Check out their internationally acclaimed Indian restaurant Bukhara as well (mentioned above)!

The Imperial

Built in 1931, The Imperial was designed in the colonial style and attracts a lot of European guests. Its charm lies with the traditional heritage that is very well kept alive. 

The Lodhi

If you ask me, the Lodhi is one of the best hotels in Delhi. The service is impeccable! The Lodhi is a modern, contemporary hotel, which will offer you a safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of New Delhi. Simply loved it!

The above information is not paid advertisement but solely reflect my own experiences.

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