Delhi

Most of sprawling Delhi is best navigated on wheels—hire a car, taxi, or auto-rickshaw to get around. In contrast, the narrow lanes of Old Delhi are a walker's delight, though you can hop on a cycle rickshaw if you get tired. Most people speak workable English, so don't assume there will be an insurmountable language barrier.The
Most of sprawling Delhi is best navigated on wheels—hire a car, taxi, or auto-rickshaw to get around. In contrast, the narrow lanes of Old Delhi are a walker's delight, though you can hop on a cycle rickshaw if you get tired. Most people speak workable English, so don't
Most of sprawling Delhi is best navigated on wheels—hire a car, taxi, or auto-rickshaw to get around. In contrast, the n

Most of sprawling Delhi is best navigated on wheels—hire a car, taxi, or auto-rickshaw to get around. In contrast, the narrow lanes of Old Delhi are a walker's delight, though you can hop on a cycle rickshaw if you get tired. Most people speak workable English, so don't assume there will be an insurmountable language barrier.

The challenge Delhi presents is to find areas—beyond the Old City—in which walking is a viable mode of exploration. One of these areas is the central British-built commercial hub, Connaught Place. "CP" is a tourist magnet for its travel agent bucket shops, restaurants, and shops, as well as proximity to a number of mid-range and budget hotels. It’s also the location of Delhi’s main Metro station and can be a pleasant area to meander along colonnaded circles, or people-watch in the central park. There are plenty of shopping options nearby, including the street market, Janpath, where everything from brightly colored kolhapuri slippers to designer overstock to incense and natural soaps can be found. Keep in mind that even though it's commonly referred to as Connaught Place, the name was officially changed to Rajiv Chowk, which is what you'll see on metro stops and maps.

Around the hubs of Connaught Place and India Gate is the British-built city. This is the seat of the Indian government, with Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Presidential Palace), the North and South Secretariats, Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House), and India Gate (a monument to British Indian Army soldiers killed in World War I and the Afghan wars) within a tight radius. Getting ice cream at India Gate’s huge lawns or boating in the ornamental canals here are "very Delhi" things to do. Many museums are nearby, including the National Gallery of Modern Art and the National Museum.

Also here are the palatial residences of the affluent and lavish government bungalows. Khan Market, one of Asia’s most expensive retail locations, is perfectly at home in this setting. It’s also the place where Delhi’s expats feel most at home, with its coffee shops and multiple ATMs. Down the road is Delhi’s green lung, Lodhi Gardens, and several cultural centers, including the elite’s mainstays the India International Centre and the India Habitat Centre (performances are pretty much on tap, especially in winter).

The mostly residential areas of South Delhi, West Delhi, North Delhi, and East Delhi (across the Yamuna) all have their own flavor, but visitors are most likely to venture into the neighborhoods, markets, and monuments of the first, roughly defined as south of Lodhi Road. In between semi-gated colonies are a good mix of urban villages, hectic alleyways, posh markets, and office complexes. Some of the city’s oldest monuments can be found here, as well as some of its newest monuments to modernity: the massive malls squatting southward, en route to mega-suburb Gurgaon. The hippest of Delhi’s hot spots though, is not a mall, but a gentrified urban village—Hauz Khas Village—with boutiques and trendy restaurants nestled atop each other along narrow alleys, next to a 13th-century reservoir and several Sultanate ruins.

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  • 1. Chandni Chowk

    Old Delhi | Neighborhood/Street

    This was Delhi's former imperial avenue, where the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan rode at the head of his lavish cavalcade. That scene is hard to...Read More

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  • 2. Humayun's Tomb

    South Delhi | Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    Freshly restored in 2013 after six years of painstaking conservation work, this moument is a sight to behold. Built in the middle of the 16th...Read More

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  • 3. Jama Masjid

    Old Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    An exquisite statement in red sandstone and marble, India's largest mosque was the last monument commissioned by Shah Jahan. Completed in 1656...Read More

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  • 4. Akshardham Temple Complex

    Central Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Rising over the traffic jams of National Highway 24 on the way to the eastern suburb of Noida lies a massive, 100-acre temple complex. Completed...Read More

  • 5. Baha'i House of Worship (The Lotus Temple)

    South Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The lotus flower is a symbol of purity and spirituality throughout India, and Delhi's Baha'i Temple celebrates this in a unique architectural...Read More

  • 6. Bangla Sahib Gurdwara

    Central Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This massive gurdwara (Sikh temple) is always full of activity—no surprise, given Delhi's huge Sikh population, most of whom came here as...Read More

  • 7. Charity Birds Hospital

    Old Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Across from the Red Fort is this unusual attraction: a hospital for birds and rabbits. Founded by Jains in 1956, the hospital is modest, but...Read More

  • 8. Chhattarpur Temples

    South Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    If you're on your way south to Agra or Jaipur, drive a few miles beyond the Qutub Minar on Mehrauli Road and check out this massive Hindu temple...Read More

  • 9. Gali Paranthe Wali

    Old Delhi | Neighborhood/Street

    This narrow, festive lane is filled with shopkeepers selling fabric and saris, including the well-known Ram Chandra Krishan Chandra's, where...Read More

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  • 10. Gandhi Smriti

    Central Delhi | Museum/Gallery

    Mohandas K. Gandhi, better known as the Mahatma (Great Soul), lived a life of voluntary poverty, but he did it in some attractive places. It...Read More

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  • 11. Hauz Khas Village

    South Delhi | Neighborhood/Street

    The road south to the urban village of Hauz Khas is lined on both sides by ancient stone monuments, and the entire village is dotted with domed...Read More

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  • 12. Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah

    South Delhi | Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    One of Delhi's greatest treats is hearing devout Sufis sing qawwalis, ecstatic devotional Muslim songs with a decidedly toe-tapping quality...Read More

  • 13. India Gate

    Central Delhi | Building/Architectural Site

    Anchoring a traffic circle near the far end of Rajpath from the Indian government, this massive sandstone arch was designed by Lutyens in 1931...Read More

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  • 14. Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum

    Central Delhi | Museum/Gallery

    On October 31, 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot outside her home by two of her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for her violent suppression...Read More

  • 15. ISKCON Temple

    South Delhi | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is better known as the Hare Krishna sect, and despite the 1960s association they are very...Read More

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  • 16. Jantar Mantar

    Central Delhi | Observatory/Planetarium

    This odd grouping of what might seem like random modern sculptures is actually a huge sundial and open-air observatory. One of five such...Read More

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  • 17. Lal Qila (Red Fort)

    Old Delhi | Historic District/Site

    Named for its red-sandstone walls, the Red Fort, near the Yamuna River in Old Delhi, is the greatest of Delhi's palace cities. Built by Shah...Read More

  • 18. Lodhi Gardens

    South Delhi | Garden/Arboretum

    After the Mughal warrior Timur (aka Tamerlane) ransacked Delhi at the end of the 14th century, he ordered the massacre of the entire population...Read More

  • 19. Lutyens' Delhi

    Central Delhi | Neighborhood/Street

    Rajpath—the broadest avenue in the city—leads to Delhi's British capital: Sir Edwin Lutyens' imperial city, built between 1914 and 1931 in a...Read More

  • 20. National Crafts Museum

    Central Delhi | Museum/Gallery

    Designed by the Indian architect Charles Correa, this charming museum near the Purana Qila houses thousands of artifacts and handicrafts. You...Read More

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