How to get there
Delhi is a major gateway to the country and well-connected by air to all metros and as well to most cities with an airport. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is also busy with flights taking off to various corners of the globe.
The headquarters of the Northern Railway Delhi is the most well connected railhead in the country. Its four stations’ New Delhi, Old Delhi, Delhi Cantonment and Hazrat Nizamuddin are serviced by trains to all corners of India. All the Rajdhani’s no matter which part of the country they originate from come here. The luxury trains Palace on Wheels and Royal Orient, which, chug off from Delhi, offer unforgettable experiences.
Delhi probably has the best roads India has to offer, but that’s only in proper New Delhi, so do not let that carry you away. The rest of the drive, from where you are coming in from may not be a song. The capital is well connected by road to almost all parts of India.
Best time to visit
Being a land locked space and its distance from the sea the temperatures here are rather extremes. The summers in Delhi are very hot and winters very cold. The temperature range varies from 45 degrees in summers to 1 degree in winters, yes it is very cold. Summer in Delhi, from April to July, is merciless and exhausts one with its dry heat. November to March is lovely with the added splendour of the festivals, starting with Diwali and ending with Holi.
The best season to tour Delhi is during the spring seasons of February to April and August to November. But should you want to check out the lovely blossoms and colours of Delhi come here in February and March.
Food and Delhi go just as much hand in hand as politics and Delhi do, people in Delhi love to eat; it’s no wonder then that new restaurants are mushrooming here everyday. It’s really difficult to capture the best places here, but let us try to tell you our favourites.
Head to Bukhara at the Maurya Sheraton
for the tenderest Tandoori Lamb Raan you have ever had. The place is expensive and a little touristy and you might only have foreigners for company but the raan here completely melt in the mouth. Try your hand at the Naan they make, they are remarkably big, and often you wish you had come up with friends to share the dish. It has legends spun around its famous dal. More affordable is Punjabi By Nature
(11 Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar and Gurgaon).
Try out the Great kebab factory at The Radisson
; you will be treated like a king here. Kebabs and Biryani are a must eat when you are here, try digging into the Colonel’s kebab’s
in defense colony it’s owned by an ex army man, and has the best meat delicacies this side of Delhi has to offer. There’s also Al kausar's kakori kebabs
that are just out of this world, this one’s at vasant vihar.
Since we are in the area, let us take you too Stone-Located above Moet's
this is one place you can lounge in. It’s perfect for a laid back afternoon or evening. Very Mediterranean in design with its low seating, roomy in design and lots of candles all over the place
Delhi's only Kashmiri restaurant Chor Bazaar
is also one of its most beautiful, an art deco enclave with a tile floor, a spiral staircase leading nowhere, lamps in pinks and yellows, and a mixture of antique furniture and mirrors from various chor (thieves') bazaars. The bar is all dark wood and stained glass, and the salad bar is a 1927 Fiat roadster. Kashmiri food uses milder spices than many Indian cuisines, exemplified by mutton yakhni (simmered in a sauce of yogurt, cardamom, and aniseed), mutton mirchi korma (in a gravy of cardamom and cloves), and haaq, Kashmiri spinach cooked in its own juice. Try a tarami platter to sample several dishes, and punctuate your meal with kahwah, fragrant Kashmiri tea.
And if you miss your favourite breakfast menu of idli, dosa, samosa and hot sambhar head straight to Sagar
(Defence Colony) and Saravana Bhavan
(Connaught Place and Karol Bagh), they are famous for their crisp masala dosas and wholesome thalis are both value for money.
Other restaurants that are a must visit to get the true flavour of Delhi are Nirulas
(pizzas and hot chocolate fudge are eternal favourites), Bengal Sweet Corner
and Nathu Sweet
s that dot the city (for chaat, gol gappas, and sweets galore), and Roshan di Hatti
(Ajmal Khan Road) for the world's best kulfis.
If you have faith in your digestive system, then the streets of Old Delhi await you. Parathas fried in desi ghee, sweetened lassi, juicy jalebis, Karachi halwas. There’s also the legendary Karim's
(Matiya Mahal, opposite Bombay Orient Hotel, Tel: 23269800) that dishes out raan and all those awesome swimming with calories meat gravy dishes like the rogan josh and chaap, and paya and more?
And then there is the paratha walli galli
in old Delhi, where you get everything in meats but the lane is famous for its parathas.
OliveBar & Kitchen - Huge haveli turned restaurant with a buzz, has beautiful ambience in three different fine dining options.
Haveli N 6-8 One Style Mile, Kalka Dass Marg, Mehrauli.
Shalom med Lounge Bar - Mediterranean launge bar with Lebanese, Mediterranean, Spanish and Indian menu. Scintillating music keeps the mood through the evening. N-18, N Block Market, Greater Kailash – I.
QBA, restaurant and Bar - The city's favoured party zone has a split level restaurant with a comfortable lounge and plenty of dark corners for privacy. Lunch: 12 noon to 3.00 pm, Dinner: 7.00 pm to midnight, Lounge: open 12 noon to midnight. E-42/43, Connaught place.
TGI Friday's, Thank goodness its Friday's, America's first casual dining chain has its outlets in Vasant Vihar, Connaught Place, and Gurgaon. Serves over 80 food items from Far East to all American with chicken and chicken, seafood specialties. Friday's bar menu includes frozen drinks, ice cream drinks and variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic Smoothies and Flings. Open: 12 noon and 11:00 p.m.
There is no art or craft that Delhi can claim to be its own, and yet it is flooded with everything from all over the country, the excuse we can give is perhaps, being the Rajdhani, it has to showcase what the country can offer right. Decided where you want to shop, based on your budget. For branded, up market stuff, head for the grand showrooms in Connaught Place (Sundays closed), South Extension (Mondays off), and Greater Kailash 1 and 2 (Tuesdays off). For designer wear, hit the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road or HauzKhasVillage complex.
is one of the many villages subsumed by the southward growth of Delhi. In the early 1980s, it began its transformation into a chic shopping area when socialite and designer Bina Ramani opened her boutique here. Several other designer outlets followed suit, and today, Hauz Khas is a patchwork of traditional Indian homes, glass showrooms and polished display windows. New Delhi's glitterati come here to buy clothes and object d'art and to eat at one of the many gourmet restaurants that have come up here, it’s a must visit.
Lajpat Nagar market
is another must have to go too place for real cheap but good clothes. It has a magnetic pull on you making you want to go back here for more. The place literally grows on you, once you get used to the crowd. It’s a favourite haunt of college students looking for fashionable clothes at cheap prices. It's a good idea to browse through the shops and enquire about prices before you actually purchase anything. Chances are the same article you have chosen is selling for even less just a few yards away. The Sarojini Nagar market is close by and the stock is largely similar. While Lajpat Nagar has a lot of ethnic wear, the market at Sarojini Nagar deals only in western clothes. Sizes are no problem since the export-surplus stock consists mostly of larger sizes.
Santushi shopping complex
, run by the Air Force Wives Welfare Association is a must go, It is located off the Race Course Road roundabout. Like any other Forces complex, its neat, clean, greens, with handsome men in uniform going about their duties, tipping their cap in a sign of respect, its one place to go too for feel good feeling. But coming back to the shopper’s paradise here, it’s got pebbled paths that lead up to about 30-odd stores, beautifully laid out on a rolling garden. A number of the city's top designers have an outlet here. The Anokhi - selling Rajasthani fabrics, dresses, crockery, home linen and lengths of saris - will be of interest to foreign tourists. The hugely-popular Basil &Thyme restaurant is also located here.
If you are in Delhi and have not visited Chandni Chowk
, you’ve not seen Delhi; at least that’s what every one will be told. Travelling here can be an exhausting experience. The lanes are almost too narrow for comfort and are lined with stalls that sell everything under the sun! and that’s no understatement. You can buy shawls, silks, perfumes, brassware, colored glass, furniture, beads and bangles. The Kinari Bazaar nearby specializes in the rich silver and gold embroidery work known as zardosi. The richly-embroidered fabrics can be used to make gowns, skirts, blouses, bags and even shoes. And you can get the palm of your hands beautiful done up with the mehendi walli's that sit around the chowk. If you want a tattoo done, so make sure you bargain well.
And then there is Khan market one of the more up market and expensive places to shop in Delhi. It is located in the city center, surrounded by residential complexes and the greenery of LodhiGardens. The market here is very popular with the diplomatic community, yes the prices are also those that cater to these guys, but it of course has the best tailors Delhi can offer. Several shops have a range of excellent materials and will have a tailor on hand to make a suit, dress or shirt, usually within a period of one week. As one would expect this place is dotted with Barista’s, cafe, cake shops, quick bite places and more.
For arts and artifacts, it’s got to be Dilli Haat
, spread over a 6-acre area; this is the first permanent fairground in the country showcasing the arts, crafts, handlooms and food of different states. Usually, visits here last from anything two hours to the whole day; it’s an experience, complete with dining from all states of India. Note of caution though, most places here do not accept credit cards, it is after all an upgraded variance of India's traditional haat (marketplace), beautifully laid out and well maintained. The stalls are let out to for a maximum of 15 days only, allowing variety to the goods you can get here. A suggestion, if you se something you like buy it, do not wait for the next time. Vegetable dyed, block-printed and tie-and-dyed fabrics, folk art wall hangings, pottery, imitation jewelry, bamboo work, brassware, furniture and durries (lightweight carpets) are just some of the things you'll get here at any time.
popularly known as C.P. has elite shopping in clothes, handicrafts, books and jewellery, as well as colourful merchandise being sold on pavements.
Another good place to shop is the Baba Kharak Singh Marg
near Connaught Place. The street is lined with emporiums run by state governments. Be prepared to set aside at least a day for exploring the choice of handicrafts offered by each of them. Recommended buys are blankets and shawls from Himachal Pradesh emporium; Tamil Nadu emporium for sandalwood and stone sculptures; Uttar Pradesh for stone-inlay as well as copper/brass work and leather goods; Kashmir for carpets; Orissa for Ikat fabrics and traditional paintings; Rajasthan and Gujarat for textiles, pottery and embroideries. Emporiums are open 10 am-6 pm, with a lunch break from 1 pm-2 pm. If short on time, then the Central Cottage Industries (Jawahar Vyapar Bhavan, Janpath) is a one-stop shop that sells the best of things from every corner of India.
For bargain buying, the Tibetan Market
on Janpath is stuffed with antiques and silver jewellery. The famed Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh sells everything, from clothes to mobile phones, electronic goods to crockery, but buy your stuff here after having thoroughly checked it out, they might also go to the extent of showing you one piece and packing in another, this is experience talking, so take care.
The Government of India Tourist Office, 88 Janpath, Connaught Place (Ph: 011 – 23320005)
Also, Delhi Tourism counters at the airport; Maharana Pratap Inter-state Bus Terminus (Ph: 011 – 22962181); New Delhi Railway station (Ph: 011 – 23732374); Old Delhi Railway Station (Ph: 011 – 22511083).