New Delhi as the capital of India should be number 1 on the itinerary. It is well suited for entering a culture that is very different from that in Europe or other country. The city is incredibly diverse. It’s not just the top-rated sights of Delhi, but above all the permanent spectacle in the streets, with many fascinating but also stressful moments that are typical for India. They can give you a taste of your time in India.
We have summarized what awaits you, which sights and interesting places you should definitely see, and many other tips on New & Old Delhi districts, accommodation and restaurants in our detailed Delhi guide.
What awaits you in Delhi?
Already at the airport in Delhi you can guess how many people will surround you in the coming days and what background noise you have to be prepared for.
In the center of Delhi, almost 19 million inhabitants live in a very small space, all of whom seem to be walking the streets at the same time. Loud honking sounds, cars driving back and forth, buses, tuk tuks, mopeds, but also cows, dogs and, with a bit of luck, an elephant or camel share the streets.
Therefore rest assured that you will see and experience things that you certainly could not have imagined before your trip to the capital of India.
The best travel time for Delhi is the European winter from October to March. The temperatures are then pleasantly warm during the day around 20 degrees and it rarely rains, if at all. In the summer months May to September it gets very hot, in July and August there is a monsoon and it rains the most.
We recommend visiting Delhi in winter if your itinerary allows.
During the day we were fed up with a pleasant 20 degrees and sunshine. January was just right for us to explore the many sights in a relaxed manner and not have to look for the shade of the alleys exhausted because of the heat.
However, keep in mind that there is an average of 10 degrees in the evening and you will freeze without the appropriate equipment.
Numerous airlines fly directly to Indira Gandhi International Airport from Europe.
The airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), is about 15 km from the city center and the drive can take 1.5 hours depending on the time of day.
Since most planes from Europe arrive at night between midnight and 5 a.m., immigration can take some time, but the roads are emptier in comparison.
Delhi has a total of four railway stations that are far from each other. Therefore, check beforehand which one is the right one:
When you buy train tickets in India, you should always choose your desired route first. The best way to do this is online, for example at mapsofindia.
Train tickets are then available either directly at the train station or online.
The best way to do this is with us
Be sure to allow plenty of time to buy your ticket and find the right departure platform and train.
Red Fort New Delhi
Taxi | Uber | Ola
Tips for accommodation, restaurants and shopping in Delhi
Accommodation in Delhi
There is a huge selection of hotels in Delhi, ranging from very cheap to pure luxury, offering something for every traveller. We have chosen a central accommodation in South Delhi. Among other things, because it is located near the Hazrat Nizamuddin train station, where the train to Agra departs.
For all those who have a little more time and are longer than 1 to 3 days in Delhi, we also recommend the offer.
As in any big city, there is something to eat on almost every street corner in Delhi. The selection from the cheapest street food to the buffet restaurant or exclusive multi-course menu is immense.
However, we would not recommend the classic street kitchen to start your trip to India. A trained eye is necessary here, as there are too many stalls whose offerings are not suitable for European stomachs.
You are reasonably safe when you call up the latest tips from other travelers on TripAdvisor*ad.
If you like fast food chains, you can also go to KFC, McDonalds or Burger King in Delhi. You don’t have to do without Starbucks or Costa Coffee in Delhi either.
If you want to try the South Indian cuisine, we recommend the Hotel Saravana Bhavan.
You can get pretty much anything in Delhi. However, you need negotiating skills, because without haggling about the price, which in the end can sometimes be less than half, almost nothing works. Unless you are in a shop that has explicitly stated “fixed prices”.
If you are looking for a large shopping mall, here are a few options:
The largest shopping mall is probably Select CITYWALK in the south of the city.
Alternatives are the Pacific Mall or Ambience Mall.
There are numerous smaller convenience stores or shops with a selected range of convenience products. Unfortunately, there are no well-known chains like FamilyMart or 7-Eleven.
If you want to buy souvenirs such as jewelry, pashminas, tea or spices, the options are endless.
Delhi is big and getting from A to B can be a challenge depending on the time of day. That’s why the be-all and end-all is sensible planning and a targeted selection of sights and interesting places that you absolutely want to see.
Tips and experiences about the sights
You should definitely visit interesting places like the Humayun Mausoleum, the largest mosque in India Jama Masjid or the India Gate. In addition, a walk through the streets and alleys of Old Delhi with its countless small shops, shops and handicraft workshops is an absolute must. There is no better place to experience real Indian life.
Very close to the Kinari Bazaar in Old Delhi is one of our highlights of Delhi: the Sikh temple Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib with communal kitchen.
Here you can find detailed information about the individual sights:
The number one attraction in Delhi, Akshardham is a huge temple complex that is well worth a visit. However, we would not see the facility as the first and most important highlight in Delhi, especially if you are there for the first time.
Therefore, it is important to consider whether you would rather visit more centrally located places first.
Note: You are not allowed to take photos or bring anything into the temple except your wallet, water or money. Cell phones are also not allowed.
Admission: Free unless you want to visit special exhibitions or the water show.
Opening times: 9.30am to 6.30pm, closed on Mondays.
A wonderful place just at sunset is Qutub Minar. Here you can take a relaxing walk through an archaeological park with many ruins and its highlight is the Victory Column.
The park is great for spotting local couples or family day-trippers on Sundays.
Admission: INR 600 per person
Opening times: daily, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As already written above, this Sikh temple with its peaceful atmosphere is something very special and one of our absolute highlights in India.
What does Sikh even mean?
Sikh is a religious community in India, which makes up only 2% of the population, but is the fourth largest religion in India.
The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is ideal for getting to know this religion, which you will encounter again and again on your journey through India. Especially since the area is not only a temple, but also a large kitchen, school and hospital.
Visiting this tomb, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another must-see attraction in Delhi.
In this complex with the oldest Mughal tomb in Delhi, the mausoleum and gardens were combined for the first time, which was trend-setting for the complex. The model for the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra.
Admission: INR 600 (EUR 7.50) per person
Opening hours: daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Red Fort is a huge red sandstone fortress that is certainly worth a visit if you have enough time in Delhi. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it and decided against it due to time constraints, because we had the fort in Agra firmly on our program.
Admission: INR 600 (EUR 7.50) per person.
Opening hours: daily from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
The 42 m high India Gate is reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, after which it was also designed.
The gate is actually nothing special if it weren’t for the fact that it’s also an Indian memorial in honor of the soldiers who died in the Afghan war. Be prepared for a lot of hustle and bustle around the gate.
We recommend a walk across the Rajpath towards the gate.
Rajpath is the road connecting the Presidential Palace and Parliament Buildings to India Gate. It is best to start at the Presidential Palace on Raisina Hill and walk down with a view of India Gate.
If you want to visit a special temple, you should visit the Lotus Temple. It was built in the shape of a lotus flower.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., closed on Mondays.
If you are looking for an oasis of calm in the noisy and hectic city, the Lodi Gardens are the place for you. The huge park area is ideal for a relaxing stroll, to watch the locals or have a picnic.
Tips for Delhi you should read
How long should you stay ?
How long you should stay in Delhi depends on how much time you have for your trip around India. The city is big, so you can spend 3-4 days or more here.
For getting started and if you are traveling further, we recommend 2 days. Then you have seen many top sights and got a first insight.
Have your picture taken ?
As a European, it will often happen to you that the locals look at you with wide eyes and open mouths. For a woman, this takes some getting used to at first, but you shouldn’t suspect something bad behind every look. You are something very special, especially for small children, because they may not have seen anyone like you before.
So don’t be shy and fundamentally negative, but get involved in the photo shoot. You will definitely be rewarded with a smile.
Air pollution in Delhi
For healthy travelers on a week-to-two week vacation, smog and poor air quality make little sense. People with respiratory diseases, as well as the elderly, the chronically ill, pregnant women and children can still react more sensitively. Always get advice from your doctor at an early stage if you belong to a risk group.
Withdraw money and cash in Delhi
Withdrawing money in Delhi as well as in India is usually not a problem. The exception is a really very rural area. There are many banks with working ATMs. Some even allow toll-free withdrawals. Always make sure you have cash with you in India, as most payments are made in cash. You should have small bills in your pocket, especially for tipping, which is simply the norm in India.
Withdraw money for free and recommend credit cards
Don’t want to worry about high fees for withdrawing money abroad? As a travel credit card, we recommend the DKB Visa debit cardad, which we use as a free first card and partner card, and the GenialCard Visa from Hanseatic Bankad as our second card and back-up. You can find out why we have two different credit cards with us and detailed information in our credit card special.