India’s bustling capital city, Delhi, is rich with history, culture, and will definitely not disappoint with awakening all your senses (and maybe even some you didn’t even know you had). Whether you’re into history, culture, food, shopping, or just about anything, you’ll find something to love about Delhi. This sample itinerary is filled with ideas and inspiration for those that are short on time!
First things first—where to stay in Delhi. I would recommend staying in New Delhi versus Old Delhi, although if you want to experience Old Delhi, I’d recommend Stops Hostel—they are super friendly, and offer great excursions through the hostel. For accommodations in New Delhi, Moustache Delhi is a popular choice for budget accommodations. Both of these hostels have rooms starting at only $10 USD a night.
Wake up early and get your butt to India Gate—a popular tourist attraction that is always swarming with people. India Gate commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War.
Across the road from India Gate, you can visit the parliament house. You can’t get too close to parliament, but it’s still worth a walk by.
After India Gate and the parliament house, head to Agarasenki Baoli—an attraction I discovered on a tuk tuk tour I did with Stops Hostel. This is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide well in New Delhi that is said to be haunted. Although I didn’t see any ghosts, I found this well to be very beautiful and a must-do in Delhi.
Time for lunch! There is no shortage of yummy food in Delhi but one place I recommend is Aroma Spice. Aroma Spice was a bit touristy but still served delicious food! I tried the chana masala with paloau rice. If you want a quick lunch, finding a vendor serving steaming hot samosas and chai is not a bad idea either.
Next it’s time for some shopping! Delhi is home to several great shopping markets. Find one that best suits what you’re looking for on this list of the top ten by Amazing India Blog.
End your day by having one of these 50 best meals rated by Conde Nast in Delhi.
P.S. You may want to swing my India Gate again to see it lit up at night.
Start day two of your Delhi adventures in Old Delhi. Many people may tell you not to head to this part of the city, but I think it’s worth a visit to see the contrast between it and New Delhi.
First visit the Gandhi Museum that is filled with a collection of just about everything to do with Gandhi. The museum grounds are a peaceful escape from the chaotic city, are free to enter and open every day but Monday from 9:30am to 5:30pm.
After a visit to the museum, visit Red Fort, said to be one of Delhi’s most spectacular monuments that is built from red sandstone. The Red Fort cost Rs. 100 and is open every day except for Monday. If you didn’t get a chance to visit Chandni Chowk market yesterday, here’s your chance because it’s located right across from the Red Fort.
Stop for lunch at Bhaja Govindam or Moti Mahal in Old Delhi and then move on to Jama Masjid, the largest Islamic mosque in the city. The mosque is free to enter unless you want to take pictures, which costs Rs. 300.
Tired of Old Delhi? Spend the rest of your afternoon exploring some of these popular attractions. Trying to hit them all in an afternoon is next to impossible but pick a few that are must-dos for you.
Bahai Temple (Lotus Temple)
Much like it’s name, this temple was built in the shape of lotus flower and was completed in 1986. Although this temple isn’t as historical as others in Delhi, it is still a site to see. The Lotus Temple is open Tuesday to Sunday and is free to enter.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the early 13th century, and was built after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. Qutub Minar is a 73-meter high tower of victory and is a popular historical spot to visit in the city. The cost is Rs. 250 and is open everyday.
Purana Qila (Old Fort)
If there’s one thing I learned about India, it’s that they have some amazing forts! Purana Qila or Old Fort in Delhi is an impressive site to see and another “must-do” if you have the time. Old Fort costs Rs. 100 to enter and is open every day.