Delhi is India’s capital and political epicenter. Though renowned for crime, tourists should remain safe – most commonly with regards to petty theft.
Delhi was the power center of numerous empires and many of its old forts, temples and tombs still stand today. Modern Delhi is now an energetic metropolis filled with glittering office complexes, chic bars and restaurants. Cathay Pacific flights to Delhi are available right now.
1. Stay in Old Delhi
Old Delhi–officially known as Shahjahanabad–is an absolutely captivating and heartwarming part of Delhi that draws thousands of foreign visitors each year, thanks to its many historical sites, bustling markets, and delicious street food offerings. Popular attractions here include Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar among many others.
Old Delhi offers plenty of sights worth seeing, but for a truly immersive experience take a guided walking tour. A tour guide can show you parts of Old Delhi you would never find by yourself and help navigate its busy streets while imparting historical knowledge about this vibrant neighborhood.
Begin your morning at Red Fort (Lal Qila), one of India’s finest palace complexes built from red sandstone in 1644-1656 by Emperor Shah Jahan himself and built by over 5,000 craftspeople over five years – an impressive structure providing an ideal way to start exploring its palace complex without crowds! After exploring, visit Jama Masjid nearby – designed by Emperor Shah Jahan himself, constructed over five years by over five thousand workers between 1644-1656 by over five hundred craftspeople between 1644-1656 by Emperor Shah Jahan himself – one of India’s largest mosques which can hold up to 25,000 worshipers simultaneously!
After touring a mosque, you are sure to work up an appetite! Meat eaters should head straight for Al Jawahar’s or Karim’s for delicious meat dishes like badam pasanda (an indulgent beef dish in cashewnut gravy) and Jahangiri or burra kebabs from Al or Karim; non-meat eaters can explore Jama Masjid for non-meat items such as nihari, sheermal and tandoori roti – or try everything! Finally, no trip is complete without visiting FatehpuriMasji!
2. Go to the Red Fort
One of the city’s premier tourist sites, Red Fort (Lal Quila in Hindi) is more than just walls – it provides an immersive experience rich in history that comes alive through every element.
From November to February is the optimal time for visiting Delhi Fort, when its scorching summer heat has passed and it is relatively quiet – perfect for exploring every nook and cranny at your own pace without being jostled or jostled by other visitors.
Guided tours are highly recommended to gain an insider’s view of the fort’s fascinating history and architecture. In addition to having an expert by your side, an experienced guide can point out architectural details you might miss on your own tour.
Bring along a camera and capture plenty of memorable photographs at this fort, which offers excellent views of India’s national flag being raised each evening at sunset. There are also many markets and shops onsite – Chatta Chowk stands out as being an impressive barrel vault-structured shopping area that once served the women of Mughal court.
Fort Gandhi is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm; however, early arrival is recommended. A great idea would be to visit during the day before returning in the evening for the sound and light show which features both Hindi and English performances – it will certainly leave an unforgettable memory!
3. Visit the Jama Masjid
Old Delhi’s peaceful sanctuary serves as a relaxing escape from its chaotic streets, drawing travelers and devotees from around the globe.
Built between 1650 and 1656 for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as his place of worship, this mosque is India’s second-largest. With prayer halls that can accommodate up to 25,000 worshipers, two minarets that overlook its courtyard, and two minaret towers which can be climbed for stunning views, visitors should dress modestly when entering this mosque; shoes should be removed upon entry and robes can be hired at its northern gate for a small fee; women without male companionship may want to think twice about climbing its minaret tower; many women have reported being groped or harassed while ascending its tower!
Tourists are strongly encouraged to visit the mosque during night-time visits when it is lit, particularly during Ramadan when its illumination makes an impressive sight. Furthermore, be mindful that Muslims hold this site sacred; photo taking within its walls must comply with strict rules. Lastly, tourists should also be wary of scam artists attempting to take advantage of tourists by offering “guide services”, simply ignore them!
The Jama Masjid is easily accessible via public transportation from most major cities across India. Furthermore, its proximity to Chandni Chowk Metro Station on Heritage Line makes for convenient travel arrangements and opening in May 2017 is just another bonus point.
4. Go to Khan Market
This market is known for its extensive selection of luxury brands and is popular with expats and diplomats. From clothes and jewellery, to household essentials such as furniture and appliances, you will find everything here!
Khan Market boasts an abundance of fine cafes and restaurants, such as Big Chill Cafe with its delicious shakes and drinks that always draw crowds – it always seems worth waiting in line! Other top choices are The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf as well as Perch Wine Coffee & Bar.
Nehru National Zoological Park is another nearby attraction, featuring an assortment of wildlife that children will find captivating while also serving as a place for conservation research and activities.
Lodhi Garden offers an oasis of green in the middle of Delhi that’s great for morning walks, fitness and yoga sessions or simply to unwind with a cup of tea or coffee – a wonderful respite from Delhi’s hustle and bustle!
Khan Market offers some great boutiques and designer stores. Some of the biggest fashion houses can be found here, selling everything from clothing and furniture to home decor items.
Khan Market is an engaging neighborhood filled with plenty of things to see and do; however, visitors should be wary of scammers operating there at times. There may be touts touting hotels which do not exist as well as people placing dung on your shoes (with fees attached for cleaning it off later) seeking ways to take advantage of tourists. When in this part of town it’s wise to stick close to major roads rather than venturing too far afield.
5. Go to Hauz Khas Village
Hauz Khas Village is one of Delhi’s most beloved dining and drinking spots, nestled nearby the medieval ruins at QutbMinar site. Here, visitors can experience more alternative and bohemian sides to Delhi with cafes, tattoo studios, fashion roll boutiques, restaurants and galleries that occupy this vibrant neighborhood. September to May is ideal as weather cools off sufficiently so visitors can leisurely explore Hauz Khas Village.
This neighborhood exudes an air of nostalgia while exuberating with modernity, offering something for everyone in this historic and dynamic enclave – with everything from mosques and reservoirs to medieval-era monuments dotted throughout it. Additionally, it is home to numerous design agencies and specialty shops.
Hauz Khas is an ancient 13th-Century building constructed by Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji and named for a water reservoir that once covered 28 hectares, collecting enough rain during monsoon season to sustain Siri Fort during dry weather months. You can visit Feroz Shah’s madrasa and tomb near its shore or stroll through adjacent Deer Park during daylight hours for an exciting wildlife encounter teeming with wildlife as well as walking/jogging trails and numerous Lodi-era tombs tucked within its bounds!
Hauz Khas is also famous for its restaurants, offering both vegetarian and meat-based cuisine at very reasonable prices. Additionally, the atmosphere here is very lively – you could easily spend an entire day here eating, drinking and exploring its various corners!