Delhi

For other places with the same name, see Delhi (disambiguation).
India Gate at the Red Fort

Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Urdu: دلّی) is India's capital and the home of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government. Delhi is known as a microcosm of India and is a leading world city with strengths in arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It forms the National Capital Territory of Delhi, rather than being part of a state.

Understand

History

With evidence of continuous settlement dating back to the 6th Century BC, Delhi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. The legendary city of Indraprastha from the epic Mahabharata is said to have been situated where Delhi now lies. Thought to have been built and destroyed eleven times, evidence of at least eight distinct settlements can still be seen in Delhi.

Purana Qila - ruins of Shergarh

The descendants of the builders of Delhi's many Muslim monuments no longer stay in Delhi. Most of them migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, with only a small, ever-diminishing community in Old Delhi keeping old courtly traditions alive. The city is rich in monuments and there are 174 ASI protected monuments in the grand capital of India.

Orientation

Like the rest of the Gangetic Plains, Delhi is as flat as a pancake. The only geographical features of any significance are the river Yamuna, which flows down the eastern side of the city, and the Aravalli Hills which form a wide but low arc across the west. On the west bank is the crowded and congested Old (Central) Delhi and, to the southwest, the broad, tree-lined avenues of New Delhi, built by the British to rule their empire. The rest is an endless low-rise sprawl of suburbia and slums, with southwestern Delhi (nearer to New Delhi) generally somewhat wealthier.

Districts

Districts of Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi, or the central part of what is now called the National Capital Territory of Delhi, is the British built capital of India. Characterized by its wide boulevards, many roundabouts (traffic circles), colonial mansions, and government buildings dotted with monuments from various parts of India's history, this is the heart of the capital. Amongst the many popular tourist attractions located here are Humayun's Tomb, Purana Qila and the Lodhi gardens and tombs. Connaught Place (now called Rajiv Chowk) and Khan Market are popular shopping centres and the nearby Paharganj area has many inexpensive hotels. New Delhi Railway Station and Nizamuddin Railway Stations for trains to the south and east are in New Delhi. Delhi Metro lines radiate out from the city centre so the area is well connected.
South Delhi
South Delhi contains the upmarket neighbourhoods of Delhi and has a high concentration of five star hotels, numerous smaller hotels and guest houses, shopping malls and markets, and restaurants. It is also the most accessible from the airport, with numerous overpasses constructed in 2011 making it easy to get around by car or taxi. The area is served by three metro lines: the violet line, the yellow line, and the airport express. The Qutab Minar, a major tourist attraction in Delhi, is located in this area (on the yellow line).
South West Delhi
West Delhi
North West Delhi
North Delhi
Developed mainly during the days of British rule, this area is known for its Raj era buildings and institutions. Metcalfe House, the home of the British resident at the time of Indian rebellion of 1857; Maidens Hotel, a Raj era hotel now run by the Oberoi group; the buildings of Delhi University, all lie in this area. Delhi's Tibetan refugees settled here at Majnu Ka Tilla, an area that has become a popular backpacker hangout. North Delhi is served mainly by the yellow line of the Delhi Metro.
North Eastern Delhi
East Delhi
Central Delhi

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 21.0 23.5 29.2 36.0 39.2 38.8 34.7 33.6 34.2 33.0 28.3 22.9
Nightly lows (°C) 7.6 10.1 15.3 21.6 25.9 27.8 26.8 26.3 24.7 19.6 13.2 8.5
Precipitation (mm) 19 20 15 21 25 70 237 235 113 17 9 9

Source: w:Delhi#Climate

The climate in Delhi goes through five distinct seasons. Winter, from mid-December to late January, is cold (the temperature drops to near freezing at night though the days are warm) and is notorious for the thick fog that hangs over the city resulting in cancelled flights and delayed trains. Spring in Delhi, in the months of February and March is pleasant with warm days and cool evenings. The hot season, April through June, is uncomfortably hot with soaring temperatures (going as high as 45°C/110°F). Temperatures moderate during the monsoon (rainy) season (July through September) but it is humid. October brings Fall and warm days with relatively cool nights.

Suggested reading

Talk

The native language of the Delhi area is Hindi, which also happens to be the main official language of the Union Government. Hindi is spoken by almost all locals, quite often with Bihari and Punjabi accents. Most educated people are also fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers have a functional command of English. Punjabi and Urdu are also official languages, but are not as widely spoken. The Hindi spoken in Delhi is quite Persianized, similar to the Hindi spoken in Western Uttar Pradesh and much less Sanskritized than the Hindi spoken in Madhya Pradesh. Signage is usually bilingual in Hindi and English, and some road signs (especially in South and Central Delhi) are in Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu. Announcements on the metro are in Hindi (male voice) and English (female voice). People from all over India are found in Delhi, but finding a person who can speak other Indian languages is not so easy.

Get in

Map of Delhi

By plane

During the winter, Delhi often experiences dense fog and visibility is reduced considerably, making it difficult for flights to land and take off. Both international and domestic flights are often diverted, cancelled, or delayed.

Delhi Airport has three operational terminals:

A free shuttle bus operates between the terminals every 20 minutes; however, the shuttle is only free for arriving passengers with onward connecting tickets in the other terminal. Alternatively, public city bus #4 (₹25) operates the same route and does not require a flight ticket. While the terminals share the same runways, connecting between the two requires a massive detour via a nearby highway, so allow up to 20 minutes to make the transfer.

To travel between the airport and the city:

By bus

Buses arrive from Kathmandu and Chitwan in Nepal (36 hr+) and virtually every city in India. Although not as comfortable as the trains, buses are the only choice for some destinations, mainly those in the mountains.

Delhi has a confusing slew of inter-state bus termini (ISBT), which all have two names. The Delhi Transport Corporation is the major operator, but every state also runs its own buses and there are some private operators too.

Another option is to book bus tickets online from RunBus Redbus,TicketGoose,SVLLConnect which has tied up with a number of large private bus operators all over India.

By train

Introduction

Once you have purchased a ticket either at the ticket office or on-line prior to the trip, all you need to do is go to the rail car labelled with your class of service purchased. You can either get on and sit in the first available seat or, for higher classes of service, they will often post a passenger list on the car when it stops. Look for your name and go to the assigned car, cabin and seat. There is never a need to get a boarding pass so if anyone comes out of the crowd to tell you that, don't listen to them; it is a scam. If you're brave, you can simply purchase a general 2nd class ticket and then get on any car where there is availability. The conductor will come by and check your tickets after the train starts moving. If you are in a higher fare class than you are ticketed for, all you have to do is simply pay the difference in fare to the conductor. The only risk here is that the train could be full and you could be stuck in the lowest fare class which can be very crowded with little room to sit.

Ticket buying: The easiest way is to book online through the Indian Railways booking website . (Note, however, that you are required to have both an e-mail address AND a mobile phone number that is registered within India in order to access the booking area of the site.)

Do not trust strangers who appear out of the crowd to help you; ignore them. Always ask for assistance at the enquiry counter or policemen (in khaki uniform).

Anyone who approaches you spontaneously should be completely ignored. Use one of the porters (in orange uniforms with metallic arms badges) to find your train and carry your luggage, in exchange for a tip.

Stations & ticket offices

Get around

Getting around Delhi is always an adventure. Traffic is, by and large, horribly congested and many drivers will think nothing of quoting ten times the going price to a tourist. Use the prices below as broad guidelines, agree on prices before setting off. Best way to travel is via metro, where there are separate cabins for women (that prove to be very useful during rush hour). Metro is clean, efficient, and typically ridden by relatively affluent middle-class students or commuters en route to/from work; there is almost nowhere in the city that you cannot get to by metro.

By metro

The modern Delhi Metro, a sign of India's economic development
Delhi Metro and rail network

The fast-growing Delhi Metro network provides a cheap, quick, hassle-free and air-conditioned way of zipping around the city. As of February 2011, the following lines are open:

Fares range from ₹8-30, just buy a token, change lines as necessary, and deposit the token in the slot as you exit. Tokens can be used only from the station they are bought, so you can't buy two and use the second to return home. If you're planning on sticking around for a while, you can buy a "Smart Card" for ₹100, which is worth ₹50 and includes a ₹50 deposit; using this saves 10% and, more importantly, lets you avoid the queues. There is also a "Tourist Card" allowing unlimited use for ₹150 (1 day) or ₹300 (3 days), but it's highly unlikely that you'll travel enough to make this pay off. Special fares apply for travel on the Airport Express. During rush hour, you might have to queue up for 20min+ due to security checks, especially in the central stations.

Line 2, in particular, is useful for getting to the Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid) and New Delhi railway stations, the ISBT bus terminal, the backpacker ghetto of Paharganj, Hauz Khas and Qutub Minar. Line 3 is also handy for visiting Akshardham and accessing the western parts of Paharganj through RK Ashram Marg station.

Beware: Metro stations all use the new, official, Indianised names, so Connaught Place is "Rajiv Chowk", Old Delhi Railway Station is "Chandni Chowk" and ISBT is "Kashmere Gate".

The first coach in every train is reserved for women passengers only, violating it incurs penalty. The rule does not exempt male passengers accompanying female passengers.

Be aware that if you wish to exit at a main station during rush hour, you will have to tackle your way through in order to get out before the opposite flow of passengers push you back inside. Don't be afraid of using your strength to push yourself out.

By local train

There are limited commuter services on Delhi's railways, but the facilities are a far cry from the user-friendly Metro stations. For the most part, train stations are inconveniently located. There is no passenger service on the Delhi Ring Railway outside rush hour.

Please note that the Indian Railways website does not accept foreign credit cards.

By bus

You're never alone on a bus in Delhi

All parts of Delhi are well connected by buses and with tickets ranging from ₹5-15 they are very cheap, but they are also quite crowded most of the time. The red coloured buses are air-conditioned and the green coloured are not. As bus stops do not have bus routes written properly, it can be difficult to find your way. Asking other people at the bus stop is often the best way to find out about bus routes to your destination. However, the buses are pretty frequent, running every 15-20 min or so on most routes. There are two kinds of buses in Delhi:

If you have a choice, please go for a DTC bus. They will stop less frequently and will generally be less crowded too. Note that many buses, DTC ones too, will stop pretty much anywhere if there are enough people getting on or off.

Board buses at the back and pay the ticket seller sitting right next to the door. Be sure to hang onto your tickets, as ticket checks are fairly frequent. Some seats on the left side of the bus may be reserved for women and the handicapped. When it's time to disembark, move to the front of the bus. As you might expect, all these guidelines are regularly ignored when buses are very crowded.

Hop on Hop off

Hop on Hop off Delhi Tourism Bus

Delhi Tourism operates a "Hop On Hop Off (HOHO)" bus service, (Helpline) ☎ +91 11 4094 0000. A fleet of air conditioned low floored buses follow a pre-defined set of stops around the city and passengers can hop off the bus, see the place at one's own convenience and hop on the next bus. The service runs on a 45 minute interval and covers important monuments, memorials, museums and shopping places in the city. Each bus is staffed with a knowledgeable English speaking guide. The ticket costs ₹ 300 and is valid for 2 consecutive days. The service does not operate on Mondays.

By taxi

Official Taxi

A taxi or hired car (usually with driver) is required to see many of the far-flung sites within and around Delhi. However, the metro is a far cheaper and equally comfortable option.

Most Delhi taxis are old but reliable CNG-run Ambassadors or Omnis in distinctive black-and-yellow livery and a green stripe. The hired family car of choice is usually a Toyota Innova or Chevrolet Tavera. While all are equipped with meters and should cost ₹15 for the first km ₹8.50 per km, the meters are often rigged and it's better to agree on the price in advance. Most trips around the city should be ₹200-500, while a trip to the airport would be higher, depending on starting location. An eight-hour charter should cost around ₹1,500, and a tip is expected if the driver is helpful. The prices would also depend upon the vehicle size too. Note that black and yellow taxis are not air-conditioned. Even if they do have air conditioning, you will be charged extra (and the rates are up to the driver, so bargain hard).

The death knell of the Ambassador was rung in December 2006, when modern radio taxi services were launched. At ₹20/km, they're more the list price of the competition, but they use modern vehicles with air-conditioning and GPS and can be dialed 24 hr/day. The flag fare is ₹20, and the fare increases by ₹5 for every 250 m after the first km. If you need an SUV, you need to inform the company in advance, but the fare remains the same. Night charges (25% extra) apply between 11PM to 5AM. Book up to a few hours in advance. Many corporates rely on these cabs for their daily commute and they may be booked during office hours. Tipping is not expected. After booking, you will receive an SMS with the car license plate number, and the driver's name and mobile number. Usually the driver will call you and inform you that he's arrived. Most drivers speak English, but at a very basic level, so use short phrases. You can use TaxiPixi services and avoid all the hassle. Download the app on your iPhone/Android or book online through -TaxiPixi. ☎ +91 11 64676467 BookCab. 24x7 support ☎ +91 80 30003000; - Carzonrent. ☎ +91 11 43083000, 24x7 support ☎ +91 88 82222222; - ZipMyTravel. 24x7 support ☎ +91 85 87867861; - Paultravels. 24x7 support ☎ +91 95 01114740;- GetMeCab. 24x7 support ☎ +91 93 12241121; - Commercial Taxis. ☎ +91 11 26682023; - Delhi Taxis. ☎ +91 11 25778684; - EasyCabs. ☎ +91 11 43434343 (Point to point charges@₹ 20/km); - Mega Cabs. ☎ +91 11 41414141 (Point to point charges@₹ 20/km); - Meru Cabs. ☎ +91 11 44224422 (Point to point charges@₹ 20/km); - Savaari. 24x7 support ☎ +91 93 58585237; - Tricabs. ☎ 25851290, 24x7 support ☎ +91 98 73533669; - Gcabs. ☎ 39423942, 24x7 support ☎ +91 99 11230087; - Delhi Cabs. ☎ +91 98 18707986; Tajtripcar. ☎ +91 88 00550676; Delhi to Chandigarh taxi. ☎ +91 88 00550901;Jet Fleet. ☎ +1860-3070-1002

There are also car rental portals which provide car rental services in and around Delhi.

You shouldn't take non-official taxis, sometimes they take you to a wrong hotel, or to a "tourist information centre", and try to sell you overpriced things.

By auto rickshaws

Auto-rickshaws - no doors

Auto rickshaws (also called three-wheeled scooters, tuk-tuks or simply autos) are good for shorter trips. Always in a distinctive yellow-and-green livery, auto rickshaws are three-wheeled partially enclosed contraptions (no doors!) that run on CNG and can seat three people in the back. In general, they are much cheaper than taxis and can be hailed from the street. Although by law the rickshaw drivers should charge according to the meter in their vehicle (₹25 for the first two kms, ₹8/km after), this rate is unrealistically low and they will almost always try to haggle for price. Try to negotiate a price before entering the vehicle. As rules of thumb, expect even the shortest journey to cost ₹30-40 regardless of the meter, but you should never need to pay over ₹150 for any trip within the city. If you're overquoted, don't be afraid to walk away. It's usually easy to find another one soon, usually with a driver who won't rip you off.

If you have any trouble with drivers, go to any of the numerous tourist police stations in the city center and they will give you a complaint slip which will result in a ₹500 fine for the auto driver. There should also be a telephone number written on the vehicle to call in case of any complaint.

There are a number of "Pre-paid" auto stands run by the Police. Tell them where you want to go and pay them upfront. The charge will include ₹5 for the service. You then take the coupon and stand outside where a policeman will direct you to the next available Auto. When your journey is completed you hand the coupon to the auto driver and that's it. Nothing more to pay (despite what they may say).

By cycle rickshaws

Traffic in Old Delhi's Chawri Bazaar, facing Jama Masjid

Cycle rickshaws are three-wheeled, pedal-powered rickshaws with seats in the back to seat passengers and a driver in the front. They are good for short distances, or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/auto rickshaw. Cycle rickshaws don't use meters, so establish a price before getting on. ₹20-50 is reasonable for most journeys of a few km.

Cycle rickshaws are best to use in Old Delhi to visit the intricate galis (walkways) and to enjoy the smells and sounds of the city.

On foot

Gandhi's famed Salt March

Much of Delhi is quite pedestrian-hostile. Distances are long, road signage is poor, and in the more tourist oriented areas, you'll be constantly accosted by beggars and touts. Crossing roads often involves wading across multiple lanes of heavy traffic. Try your best to move in a predictable straight line, so vehicles can weave around you. (Better yet, latch onto a group of locals and cross in their shadow.) If you really want to walk around, these places would be good:

See

Beware

There are various private "tourist information" offices around Connaught Place openly claiming to be the official government tourist office. They're actually just travel agents that have nothing to do with The Government of India, and since they prey on tourists, anything you buy from them will be grossly overpriced compared to doing it yourself.

The staff at the Delhi tourist office is very helpful, and the office has a lot of free information:

Red Fort

Lahore Gate of the Red Fort
Inside the Diwan-i-Am
Diwan-i-Khas

The Red Fort buildings within include:

The only open entrance is Lahore Gate, on the west side. Security in and around the Fort is very heavy, as it was the scene of a terrorist attack in 2000 that killed three people. Bags are allowed, but they'll be X-rayed and you'll be patted down. Tickets cost ₹ 10/250 for Indians/foreigners, photography free, video cameras ₹ 25 extra. Open sunrise to sunset daily except Monday. Allow for 3-4 hr in your schedule in case of long weekends and national holidays as lot of tourists flock around then. The most scenic way of reaching the fort is to take the Metro to Chawri Bazaar and then a cycle-rickshaw through the incredibly packed bazaar to the Fort (price negotiable, aim for ₹ 20).

The fort has a light and sound show (₹ 50) in the evenings from 19:30-21:00, depending on the season.

Be careful buying tickets at the booth, as the ticket sellers will attempt to shortchange you. Try to have a small bill. Due to enhanced security the parking can be a bit tricky as the walk from the now distanced away parking at nearby alternative slots is quite a bit. The congested traffic makes crossing the road even trickier.

Humayun's tomb

Humayun's Tomb

Qutub complex

Qutub Minar
Ala-i-Darwaza (left), Imam Zamin's tomb (right) and Qutb Minar in the background
Intricately carved alcove, Tomb of Iltutmish
Calligraphy, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
Biran Ka Gumbad

Purana Qila

West Gate of Purana Qila
Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid
Sher Mandal

Mehrauli Archaeological Park

Monuments

Agrasen ki Baoli
Barakhamba
Bara Batasha
Jantar Mantar
Kos Minar
Khuni Darwaza
Lal Bangla
Rajon ki Baoli
Razia Sultana's tomb
Safrdarjung's Tomb
Sikander Lodi's tomb

Museums

The Mahatma's glasses - inside Gandhi Smriti

Religious buildings

Churches

Gurudwaras

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

Mosques

Jama Masjid

Hindu temples

Akshardham Temple

Other religious buildings

Lotus Temple

Other

The Parliament House

Do

Rare white tiger of Madhya Pradesh - NZP

Parks and gardens

Learn

Delhi is a key centre of learning in India. The most famous universities in Delhi are JNU, DU, IGNOU, DTU and IIT. The official website of the Delhi Government's Directorate of Education is a good starting point for learning more about study opportunities in Delhi.

Apart from undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses, there are many training and diploma-level institutes and polytechnics that cater to the growing demand for skill-based and vocational education. Besides conventional educational institutes, more and more foreigners also make the effort to learn Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) and Delhi is these languages.

Work

Delhi's economy is expanding rapidly. In analogy many interesting work opportunities emerge. Monster and other online job platforms are a good starting point to see what kind of jobs are on offer. Traditionally foreigners often work in the social sector or in teaching. Increasingly, however, expats work for multinational companies and even local Indian companies.

There is a great variety of employment opportunities in Delhi for foreigners, whether they would like to work in business, NGOs, educational institutes, or even government. Still, there is one caveat: the labour market in Delhi is highly competitive and so at many prestigious organisations, the number of applicants far exceeds the number of positions available, which allows employers to receive highly talented applicants for rather meagre salaries (especially when compared to other international destinations).

Buy

If you're not afraid to haggle and bump elbows in bazaars, Delhi is a great place to shop. Also, Western-style malls are plentiful in the suburbs of Gurgaon and Noida. Many shopping districts are overly crowded on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

Malls

Bazaars

Handicrafts

The calm of Dilli Haat

Clothing

fab India

Computers

The Nehru Place IT market complex is an interesting combination of modern technology products and old world marketplace sales techniques.

Books

The Indian book industry is huge, producing annually about 15,000 books in English, and obviously far more in Hindi and other native languages. Delhi is hub of this industry, so small, specialist bookstores abound. Locally produced books can be very inexpensive and many popular Western titles are published and available here for a fraction of their original cost.

Tea

Eat

Sweet Jilebis are very popular in Delhi

Delhiites complain about many things in their city, but the food will satisfy even the most demanding gourmet. Not only can you find some of the best Indian food on the subcontinent, there is also an increasing number of excellent (if often pricey) international restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. When ordering, do remember that Delhi is about 1,000 km from the nearest ocean, so vegetarian, chicken and mutton dishes are the way to go.

Do visit Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk. This street has shops that make and sell solely parathas (stuffed Indian bread). These are available in all the possible flavours and stuffing you may imagine, with hundreds of varieties from bitter-gourd to ice cream.

Delhi has arguably the best street food in India. However, do not eat unhygienic or open food. There are plenty of restaurants offering street food in a potentially more hygienic environment.

You can join local groups of foodies who go out regularly to sample and savor what new and old dishes the city has to offer. If you want a fully customized food tour tailored specifically for you, then Food Tour In Delhi is a good choice. The guests can explore street food of Delhi in a fun and safe manner. Their tours cover food joints which are in business for 50 to 120 years and serve some of the best street food in world. The tours cover winding streets of Old Delhi as well as swanky upscale markets located all over the city. The food tours are lead by chefs and culinary experts with extensive experience and offer facilities such as pickup and drop, unlimited food which covers all major varieties of food available in city. Another one of the most active groups is Food Enthusiasts of Delhi. They organize regular food walks, better known as Raids to various parts and joints in the city. Its a non-commercial group, brought together by passion and love for food. If you are looking for professionally run setups, Delhi Food Adventure runs commercial food walks exclusively for tourists.

Budget

Chaat

If you want to eat chaat, the North Indian street side snack food, Delhi is the place to be. Like Spanish tapas or Greek mezze, chaat can cover a vast variety of things, but Delhi style tends to mean a deep-fried pastry shell, stuffed after cooking with potatoes, lentils or almost anything else. They're then topped with yogurt, chutneys and chaat masala spice mix and eaten fresh.

Some typical chaat items are paapdi chaat (a mix of small round fried crispy things with yogurt and other sauces), paneer tikka (cubes of cottage cheese baked in a tandoor with spices), pani puri or golguppa (small round hollow shells filled with a potato-based filling and a spicy sweet blend of sauces).

The best place to go for chaat is the Bengali Market (near Mandi House Metro Stn) near Connaught Place in the center of town. The restaurants are high quality and the food is great. There are ATMs as well. One of the best known restaurants there is Nathu's. But for the really good chaat you have to make your way to Old Delhi, and particularly to Ashok's near Chawri Bazaar. While connoisseurs insist that the best chaat is prepared on the street, most travellers try to find a comfortable middle ground between hygiene and authenticity.

Mid-range

You will find McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut in malls and throughout the city. The Indian menu without beef and with lots of veggie options can be interesting even if you would otherwise steer clear.

Splurge

Italian

Barbeque/grills

Japanese

Middle Eastern

Thai

Delhiites have eagerly adopted Thai food into their culinary pantheon, although the recipes and ingredients are often rather Indianised.

Tibetan

Chinese

After Indian Cuisine, Chinese is Delhi's second most popular cuisine. For a long time, only Indianised Chinese was available, but high-quality options are available today.

Korean

Afghani

Iraqi

Mexican

Drink

Delhi's nightlife scene has undergone a total transformation in the last decade. There are plenty of modern, cosmopolitan joints out to separate you from your rupees. In a desperate attempt to keep the sex ratio vaguely equitable, many lounges and clubs have couples only policies (that is, no single men or men-only groups), enforced with varying degrees of strictness. While everything is theoretically to shut down by 1AM things can keep going much longer.

Coffee / Tea

The coffee culture in Delhi consists mostly of large, heavily standardised chains. The two most common, Barista and Cafe Coffee Day, can be found in multiple locations across the city, most notably around Connaught Place. The partly UK-based Costa Coffee has also made a recent foray into the market.

Hookah/sheesha

Indian bar food, hookah and an amazing lounge experience. The crowd that frequents these two places is young, hip and trendy.

Bars/nightclubs

Gay and lesbian Delhi

It is, however, worth mentioning that homosexuality is still illegal in India and hence, such places, due to their fluid and underground nature are not possible to be listed.

Sleep

Prices quoted may not include taxes of up to 22.5%, calculated based on the published rack rates - not necessarily the price that you actually pay, which could be discounted. Smoking is not allowed in Delhi hotels.

Budget

Delhi has plenty of budget accommodation options, priced from ₹400-2,500.

Paharganj

Everything a backpacker needs and then some, Main Bazaar
Picturesque Paharganj

Paharganj is a neighborhood directly west of the New Delhi Railway Station, bordered by Panchkuian Road in the south, Igdah Road in the north, and Deshraj Bhatia Marg/Chitragupta Road in the west. The neighborhood is noisy, filthy, and full of touts, but it's also centrally-located and has many cheap hotels and thus very popular with budget travelers. Paharganj is considered a safe area.

Karol Bagh

This area, west of Paharganj, is quieter, but not as centrally located. It is served by the Karol Bagh metro station.

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk is located in Old Delhi and is close to historical sights such as the Red Fort and Jameh Mosque. It is served by the Chandi Chowk metro station.

Connaught Place / Rajiv Chowk

The centrally-located business district.

Mahipalpur/Airport Area

Mahipalpur is a neighborhood located close to Terminal 1 and within walking distance from the Aero City metro station. There are dozens of hotels in this area at several price points.


Chankyapuri

Chanakyapuri is an affluent neighborhood where many embassies and the Prime Minister's residence are located. Chanakyapuri was developed as official residences for both politicians and civil servants to the Union Government. As such, it has numerous parks and open spaces, and suffers few utility disruptions. It is served by the Chankyapuri metro station.

Majnu ka Tilla

Majnu ka Tilla is a compact Tibetan settlement and the place of departure and arrival for buses to/from Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Dalai Lama. Stay here if you have an interest in Tibetan culture, politics and religion, or if you need something quieter (and just slightly more expensive) than Paharganj. Rooms are mostly doubles averaging ₹700, but some ₹400 singles can be had (2015). An auto-rickshaw from New Delhi train station should cost around ₹ 50 (use the prepaid stand). The Vidhan Sabha metro station is also nearby and popular. From there cycle-rickshaws charge ₹ 15 and take about five minutes.

Greater Kailash

Greater Kailash is an affluent residential area in South Delhi. Most of the accommodation here is a bit of a hike to the metro, but the quality of the houses and calmness makes this area an attractive place to stay.

East of New Delhi Railway Station

Mid-range

Delhi's chronic lack of quality hotels has led to a mushrooming of guest houses of widely varying quality and price. The new official 'Delhi Bed and Breakfast scheme' has also contributed a range of private rooms available for bed & breakfast accommodation. These rooms range from cheap dumps to classy rooms in the best neighborhoods of Delhi.

Splurge

Stay safe

Delhi at night

Many first-time travellers to India find themselves falling victim to scams and touts, and unfortunately Delhi has a lot of both. Be on guard for anybody trying to help you by giving you unsolicited directions or travel advice. Do not blindly rely on the advice of taxi and auto drivers. If this is your first time to India, do not openly admit it, as this will make you more vulnerable to touts.

Delhi is an increasingly unsafe place for women. It is not uncommon to receive lewd remarks or even physical touching. If you are arriving into Delhi at night either stay in the airport lounge or well lit areas until daybreak. Try to avoid walking around alone or hiring cabs alone. Dress conservatively (preferably in Indian clothing so as to blend in). Learn to shout and consider carrying mace/pepper spray.

Carry your cash, passport, and cards in a secure money belt, with only enough cash for a few hours at a time in your wallet or other accessible place. Some travelers recommend carrying an expendable wallet with a few ten rupee notes in it in an obvious place such as your hip pocket as a decoy to Delhi's ubiquitous pickpockets.

Several tourist agencies have been known to swindle tourists, such as by changing their travel plans or charging them extra commissions and fees. The best way to secure train tickets is by navigating through Indian Railways' website. Also, you should book your flight tickets online, as all the airlines have online booking systems. Otherwise, prepare to spend a good hour sorting through the charges that the tourist agency will charge.

Delhi Police

The Delhi Police is a 70,000-strong force serving the capital region. Unfortunately, the quality of police officers varies dramatically throughout the force; some officers may be corrupt and unhelpful, while others are honest and helpful.

For police assistance during an emergency dial 100.

Police vehicles (called PCR vans) are parked on almost every major intersection.

For non-emergencies, or to report a crime, go to the police station.

Stay healthy

Delhi is a hot, dusty city and combination of the two, may reduce visibility in the summer. In April through June, temperatures regularly top 40°C, meaning that proper hydration is of the utmost importance. In winter there can be seasonal fog; on particularly foggy days, it can be difficult to see across the street. If you happen to be traveling in or out of Delhi during the winters, be aware of fog-related flight delays.

Drink only packaged bottled water so you may avoid any water-related illness. Keep yourself covered in summers to avoid a heat stroke. Drink a lot of water, 3 liters a day, particularly in the summer. Sticking to freshly, well-cooked vegetarian food will lessen your chances on acquiring the "Delhi belly."

Connect

Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. There are many service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, and Tata Indicom. It might be a good idea to buy a cell phone and use one of those prepaid plans to get yourself connected while you are in the city.

Phone numbers in Delhi begin with 011, typically followed by eight digits. To call Delhi from outside India you will need to dial the international prefix for your country, followed by India’s country code 91. If you want to dial a landline no. from a mobile, then you have to add 011 before the number.

Delhi emergency numbers

Here are the Delhi emergency contact numbers

Cope

Power outages and water shortages are common in Delhi, often occurring multiple times a day with summers being particularly bad. Better accommodations have water tanks and generators to alleviate the inconvenience, but keep a flashlight handy at night and do your part by not wasting too much water.

Embassies & High Commissions

Go next

Delhi is a major international transit hub for trains, planes and buses as well as a great connection point for domestic destinations within India. It's also a great base for exploration of the famous Hill Stations.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, March 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.