Delhi, India

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Delhi has a population of around 25 million, making it one of the most populous cities in the world. People say India is a land of contrasts and there is no better place to experience the strikingly different ways of life than in Delhi, India's capital city. From the minute you step out of the airport, the chaos and vibrancy of the city will hit you. The intensity of the city is not for everyone, but if you do Delhi in the right way I believe anyone can enjoy their encounter with this lively and interesting place.

Delhi is home to mix of modern and traditional architecture and most people will be familiar with the two zones: New Delhi and Old Delhi. As you would expect, New Delhi is home to an increasingly modern way of life with contemporary infrastructure, diplomatic zones and legislative homes. Whereas, Old Delhi depicts a more traditional India, set on historic values and consists of some of the most lively and well visited areas in the city. 

Many visitors might skip Delhi due to its reputation for being insanely busy and polluted. However, I strongly urge you to carve out at least a couple of days to experience India's incredible capital city, which is home to some of the most amazing sights any capital has to offer. I hope you find this mini Delhi travel guide helpful!

2-3 Days is a good amount of time to stay in Delhi to ensure you take in a large proportion of the sites and atmosphere. There is a lot to see and do so if you want to experience everything stay for 4/5 days!

See & Do 

Humayan's Tomb - Built in 1570 and the first garden Tomb on the Indian subcontinent (more info here)

The Red Fort - The main residence for the Mughal Empire (more info here)

Jama Masjid - One of the largest mosques in India. Close to the Red Fort so can be done in combination. The only set back is you have to pay around 200 rupees extra to enter with any form of camera (including phones).

Lodi Gardens - Wander through the park just before sunset. Women gather in circles to knit and drink chai from a flask, young men take bachelor style photographs of each other - the perfect place to people watch and absorb Indian culture in a beautiful and peaceful environment.

Safdarjung's Tomb - An incredible tomb of equal beauty and magnificence to Humayan's but with  hardly any foreign tourists! We nearly had the place to ourselves and we simply sat on the grass and admired the intricate beauty. A must if you want to escape the tourist crowds and general chaos of Delhi.

Chandni Chowk - As crazy as Delhi gets. Chandni Chowk is one of Delhi's main shopping streets and is entirely chaotic and lively. It is a good place for shopping and close to the Red Fort and Jama Masjid.

Other places worth looking into: Connaught place, Jantar Mantar, Lutyens Delhi, India Gate, The National Museum, Gandhi Smriti, Akshardham temple, Qutb Minar, Lotus Temple & much much more!

Top Tips
  • Bring a mouth guard or a scarf to cover your mouth from the pollution, especially when you are driving around in rickshaws at exhaust pipe level!
  • Always ask your hotel/hostel how much you should pay for a rickshaw/taxi so you don't get ripped off.
  • Avoid wandering around at night as the streets aren't well lit and proper pavements do not really exist! If you want to go out for dinner find somewhere through a recommendation or trip advisor and get a rickshaw to take you there. Walking around the city at night is not fun so its worth paying a little extra for the safety and convenience of a rickshaw!
  • Travel through the city via the metro! It is super cheap, efficient and clean and a great way to experience modern Indian life. There are also women only carriages at the end of the train (well sign posted)!
  • To see as much of the city as possible, negotiate a price with a rickshaw driver to take you to all the sites you want to see and they will wait for you and be your (modest) chauffeur for the day! The best option if you don't wish to travel by public transport in Delhi and or you have a limited time in the city! 

Bed & Chai - A great budget option with double ensuites as well as a dormitory. The hostel has a rooftop (see pictures below) and a couple of lounge areas to meet other people and or relax in. The breakfast is good and they do a delicious Chai (as you would expect). Located in South Delhi and in an affluent/safe area as well as walking distance to a metro station. A budget option with dorms from around £10 a night and double ensuite £40 a night. 

Scarlette, New Delhi - An intimate french run guesthouse which has been beautifully decorated (white walls, Indian antiques, vintage prints & bohemian fabrics). A non budget option with prices ranging from £93-£105 per night (peak).

Narrated/location labelled photographs below. Taken by myself and James.

Humayan's Tomb complex

Humayan's Tomb

Sunset at Lodi Gardens

Youths playing badminton and women knitting and drinking chai 

A couple of male photoshoots taking place...

Alone at Safdarjung's Tomb

Bed & Chai Hostel rooftop

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Much love, 
Lizzie xx


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