Cheap Flights to Delhi
Delhi is forever alluring. It is truly the heart of India where millions of tourists arrive every year to explore the country’s historical, cultural, traditional, political and gourmet hub. When your flights to Delhi arrives at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), get ready to visit two distinct cities in the nation’s capital – New Delhi, the seat of national government designed by famous British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, and Old Delhi, the imperial walled city founded by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan called Shahjahanabad in 1639.
Visiting these two cities, which together comprise the city of Delhi, is a fascinating experience in itself. This cosmos of sorts is a true convergence of the modern and traditional. The history and culture of this iconic city will keep you captivated endlessly wherever you go.
Top Things to Do in Delhi
Delhi abounds in monuments and relics. The repository of historical monuments is mostly influenced by Islamic, European, Persian and Indian architectural designs. Some of the popular attractions that are great hits with tourists include the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila, Jama Masjid, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Tughlaqabad Fort, Akshardham Temple and Lotus Temple.
Delhi is a paradise for foodies. Old Delhi is renowned as the “Food Capital of India''. This is a great place to gorge on street food, especially chaat and a variety of snacks. The streets of Old Delhi are filled with the shops of halwais (sweet sellers), namkeenwallahs (savories sellers) and paranthewallahs (flaky breads sellers), and are delightful to watch. Whether you relish Punjabi, Tandoori, Mughlai or other North Indian cuisines, Delhi caters to every palate. The best places to sample delicious cuisines include Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Kamala Nagar, Sarojini Market and SDA Market.
New Delhi has some amazing experiences in store for the shopaholics. You will find plenty of flea markets and upscale stores selling all kinds of stuff, especially clothes and traditional handicrafts from across India. You can enjoy shopping at some of the popular places, including Dilli Haat, Janpath Market, Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar, Paharganj, Hauz Khas Village, Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk.
Best Time to Visit Delhi
Delhi has extreme climate because of its unique location on the Ganges plains. The city therefore experiences cold winters and intense summers. Avoid visiting Delhi during the summer season from June to August as the temperatures are quite unbearable and often increase above 40 C (104 F). The best time for travel to Delhi is between November and March when the weather is comfortable with daytime temperatures in the low 70 F and dipping below 50 F at night. However, you need to plan your trip in advance and book flight tickets to Delhi instantly as these months are also typically the traditional wedding season with the flights and hotel rates quite high.
Where to Eat in Delhi
Delhi has some of the best food to offer to the quintessential visitors. Whether you enjoy Mughlai cuisines, vegetarian street food like chaat and cholla bhatura, or eat out at international restaurants, Delhi caters to every taste. The top places to relish traditional delicacies include Sagar Ratna for Dosas, Karim’s for Old Delhi style curries and Biryani, Haldiram’s for typical vegetarian food, and Kebab Gali for Indian curries.
Places to Stay in Delhi
Delhi has plenty of accommodations catering to all types of travelers. Wherever you choose to stay, be it boutique hotels, luxury hotels, mid-range or budget hotels, you will always find a good place to stay suiting your budget. For the well-heeled tourists, luxurious 5-star and 4-star hotels are available in upscale areas of Chanakyapuri, Connaught Place, New Friends Colony and Greater Kailash. You will also find 3-star hotels in few posh areas as well. Those seeking budget accommodations should prefer to stay in Paharganj and neighborhoods, where you will find a wide range of guest houses, homestays and backpacker hostels that don't drain your wallet.
Major Festivals in Delhi
Holi and Diwali are the two most popular Hindu festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm in Delhi. “The festival of colors”, as Holi is popularly called, is celebrated in March. The festival is a lot of fun when celebrated with a local family or friends.
Diwali, also called “the festival of lights”, is celebrated around October or November. It is marked by lighting of traditional earthen diyas, or candles, and a night-long fireworks display. The houses are decorated beautifully, and good food and sweets are served on the occasion. The major highlight of the festival is Diwali Mela (Fair), and is enjoyed mostly with children.
Getting Around in Delhi
No matter whichever part of the world you live, New Delhi is easily accessible with all flights arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), located 12 miles from the city center Connaught Place, and can be reached within an hour. Flights to Delhi from USA are mostly offered by Air India (nonstop flights from New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington), United Airlines (nonstop flights from Newark), Delta Airlines (one-stop flight from New York and Chicago), Qatar Airways (one-stop flight to Delhi from Boston), Etihad Airways (one-stop flight to Delhi from New York and Los Angeles), Emirates (one-stop flight from Boston), and Singapore Airlines (Two-stop flight from New York and Los Angeles).
Travelling around in Delhi is easier with its efficient public transport system such as public buses, metered taxis, car rentals and metro rail system, which connects Delhi with its neighborhoods like Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.
Delhi is absolutely a must on the itinerary of every tourist visiting Asian destinations. It’s a great place to learn about history, culture and traditions of the wonderland that is India. Delhi will never fail to surprise you no matter the number of times you keep visiting here.
Tips for first-time Tourists to Delhi
- Public display of affection should be avoided in many parts of Delhi. Walking holding hands is acceptable. Many areas of South Delhi are though quite liberal. You should however be mindful of the area you are visiting
- If you are out for shopping then don’t hesitate to bargain whichever shops you visit, even in big designer showrooms too. It’s a norm with shoppers. The best way to bargain is to negotiate a middle figure after cutting the quoted price in half
- As soon as you get out of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, head straight to the pre-paid taxi booth. You need to beware of touts, who will keep on harassing you to their recommended hostel or hotel. Don’t fall in their trap or else you will be fleeced
- If you are a backpacker visiting Delhi then staying in the city is affordable indeed. You will find many hostels in better areas at cheaper rates that are easily connected via Delhi metro
- The best way of getting around in the city is through Delhi Metro, which efficiently connects most parts of Delhi and its neighborhoods. A special coach is dedicated for female travelers
- Solo women travelers to Delhi are recommended to dress sensibly and avoid walking around alone at night. It’s okay walking around wearing a pair of shorts in popular tourist hubs like Hauz Khas Village, Khan Market, etc. But, you should avoid wearing the same when visiting conservative areas like Old Delhi
If you plan to travel at night then it’s better to avail app-based taxi services like Ola Cabs and Uber. These are safe and tracked by GPS