• Humayun's

New Delhi

India

The gateway to India, New Delhi (or more accurately, Delhi) is so much more than just a hub for international tourists. The seat of some of India's most powerful rulers for over 800 years, including the mighty Mughal Empire as well as Hindu kings and British colonialists, Delhi’s rich history is visible today in the scented gardens of the Lodhi dynasty, the ornate Islamic monuments of the Mughals; the haughty efficiency of British colonialism and the city’s proud status as the capital of modern India.

In spite of these echoes of the past however, most visitors’ lasting impression of Delhi will be that of the living: swarms of rickshaws, colourful bazaars and street markets that’s punctuated by the clamouring cries of sellers. At night, some of India's top restaurants and bars cater to an increasingly cosmopolitan and sophisticated population. Taken as a whole, Delhi is both a legacy of India's colourful past as well as a symbol of its bright future ahead.

Why go?

The capital of India, New Delhi is a sprawling metropolis that bears the imprint of mighty medieval rulers, British colonialists and its current 25 million inhabitants.

When to go

Situated on a desert plain, Delhi has a subtropical climate of extremes. The best times to visit are in February to early April, as well as October to November when temperatures average a pleasant 25ºC (78ºF). The city is barely tolerable during the hottest months of late-April to June, with temperatures reaching as high as 45ºC (113ºF).

Summer is soon followed by the monsoon season, starting from the end of May until July.  During this period daytime temperatures hover around 30ºC (90ºF), with suffocating humidity and frequent thunderstorms making travel difficult. Winter brings about a short break from the heat, with temperatures dropping to around 10ºC (50ºF), which gives the city a more pleasant atmosphere but also brings about Delhi’s notorious haze.

Average Temp

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

High °C

18

23

28

36

39

37

34

33

33

31

27

21

Low °C

7

11

15

22

26

27

27

26

24

19

13

8

High °F

64

73

82

97

102

99

93

91

91

88

81

70

Low °C

45

52

59

72

79

81

81

79

75

66

55

46

Book to Pack

City of Djinns by William Dalrymple; a fascinating and humorous blend of fiction and history, which peels back the layers of time to paint a rich portrait of Delhi and its colourful inhabitants.

  • Visit New Delhi
  • Colourful sarees in New Delhi
  • Delhi restaurant buffet
  • Indian snake charmers
  • Indian wedding Henna
  • New Delhi security guard
  • New Delhi monument
  • Carved monument in Delhi

Things to Do

  • Visit the historic residence of India’s Mughal Emperor for nearly 200 years, the 17th century Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed monument that dominates the Old Delhi skyline with its majestic sandstone walls, white marble mausoleums and delightful gardens.
  • Take a stroll inside the gigantic Jama Masjid mosque and admire the panoramic views of Old Delhi from the minaret; or its vivid bazaar Chandni Chowk for a glimpse of the old city and its bustling street life.
  • Follow the reveries of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, while strolling through the compounds of the 16th century, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Humayun’s Tomb refreshed by a grid of water streams.
  • Rise at dawn and greet the new day in the exquisite Lodhi Gardens for beautiful sunrises over the misty tombs of Delhi's pre-Mughal Sayyid and Lodhi rulers, including Mohammad Shar's tomb (1450) and Sikander Lodi's tomb (1571)
  • Get a first-hand experience of mystical Sufi traditions, including mesmerising Sufi singing and langar meals every Thursday and Sunday evening at the Nizamuddin Dargah, the sacred mausoleum and shrine of the 13th century Sufi saint that’s visited by thousands of people from all faiths every day.
  • Pack a picnic and head to the shady gardens surrounding the monumental 73-meter high Qutub Minar. Built to commemorate the Sikh victory over the Mughals, it enjoyed the title of the tallest construction of the world during the 12th century.
  • Browse the countless bazaars, the Pallika underground market or Government emporiums, where shopaholics can delight in all manner of items ranging from street bargains to high-end designer shopping. Wander the street markets and neighbourhoods of Hauz Khas, Chandni Chowk, Lajpat Nagar, Khan Market and Karol Bagh, which offer equal rewards for the bargain-hunter as well as the stomach.
  • Taste cricket fever at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium and soak up the passionate atmosphere and rabid fans of the country’s favourite sport.
  • Experience Delhi like a local with numerous guided tours and heritage walks such as those offered by Delhi Heritage Walks. From kings to beggars, street stalls to palaces, this is the best way to navigate the streets and come face-to-face with the city's vibrant past.

Qutub Minar New Delhi
Indian buffet

Getting There

NOTE: Travel information such as flight, train, bus and boat schedules and fares are subject to constant change. The information below is intended as a basic guide only; please check with the relevant companies/authorities before planning your journey.

By Air

New Delhi serves not only as a central hub for the South Asian region, but also as a vital link that connects remote destinations from around the country. Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) offers direct flights from nearly all major capitals in Asia including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Hong Kong as well as domestic flights to just about every large city in the subcontinent.

By Rail

The British colonial rulers left behind an excellent road and railroad network and road leading to and from the capital, and no visit to India is complete without experiencing the vast country by rail. From the packed General Class to the luxurious First Class, only your budget will determine how comfortable you want to spend these days (and nights) travelling across the country.

The scale of India can only be assessed by the (rather intimidating) duration of train rides: 17 hours to Calcutta, 22 hours to Mumbai, 36 hours to Bangalore, and so on. Fortunately, the upper classes offer a comfortable service for a very affordable price, complete with air-conditioned cars, full-size berths, full board and electricity sockets.

Getting Around

Delhi’s modern Metro system is a cheap and efficient way of getting around the city while avoiding the chaotic traffic. Refillable Metro passes are sold in every station, while ladies can feel safe by riding in the dedicated, women-only first carriage of each train.

With more than 100,000 auto-rickshaws zooming around, hailing a ride is the easiest way to get around. Just be wary as unscrupulous drivers may not always operate the meter, and haggling down a fixed price can be tricky.

Taxis are another option, with both metered cabs as well as cabs charging for different time blocks available. We recommend using the Ola Cabs app that’s an easy way to book reliable and metered cab rides in minutes: download it on IOS or Android for free at https://www.olacabs.com/mobile.

The Essentials

Visa Requirements

India is moving towards an e-Tourist Visa (known as the eTV) on arrival for most countries in the world. Currently over 200 nationalities can be granted a hassle-free 30-day visa for less than USD 60. Visit the Ministry of Home Affairs' website for a list of eligible nationalities and requirements.

Currency

India uses the Indian Rupee (INR), currently exchanging at around 100 rupees to 1.6 US dollars. Visit xe.com for the latest exchange rates. Delhi’s frenetic development means that credit cards are widely accepted at most shops, restaurants and hotels, but keep in mind that small change is necessary for tips, street food or rickshaw rides.

 

Health & Safety

Woman’s safety is still an issue in Delhi, therefore women should take care to dress conservatively with shoulders and legs covered, avoid venturing out unaccompanied at night and take only reliable transports. For police assistance, dial 100.

As with many large cities in India, Delhi is brimming with touts and beggars. Avoid falling victim to street scams such as cheap guesthouses, free tour rides, tailoring offers, etc. Young beggars can be fairly insistent and harrassing, but you should refrain from giving them anything as this only encourages the mafia-like cartel and keep kids out of school. If you wish to help, consider donating to well established organisations instead such as Plan India or Ladli India.

Responsible Tourism

A crossroads of many religions and cultures, Delhi has sometimes struggled to prevent its melting pot from boiling over. Help and do your part: always remove your shoes and cover your head when entering mosques or temples and respect prayer times. It is proper to eat, give and salute with the right hand (the left hand is reserved for toilet functions), bargain with a smile and only when necessary, and tip fairly.

Sikh man with turban

Learn the Lingo

Hindi is the most widely spoken language in Delhi, followed by Urdu and Punjabi. English is also widely spoken.

Hello - Namaste

Thank you - Dhanyavad / Sukriya

What is your name? - Ap ka nam kya hai

My name is... - Mera nam ... hai

How much is this? - Kitane ka hai?

Where is the bathroom? - Tayalet kaham hain?

Have a nice day! - Ap ka din accha bite!