24 HOURS IN DELHI – WHAT YOU MUST SEE IN INDIA’S VIBRANT CAPITAL
With its dusty, labyrinthine alleyways filled with street vendors, tuk-tuks, and the aromatic smell of spices hanging heavily in the air, Delhi is unlike any other city in the world. There are some parts of this fascinating place, which form a living museum of Indian history. In other parts, youll find it to be very modern and more technologically aware than much of the rest of the world; a home to trendy fashion boutiques and world-class contemporary cuisine. Its a capital city that is both true to its roots, and pioneering in spirit, not to mention a delhi-ight to explore.
Wendy Wu is a highly respected travel operator, who specialises in escorted tours of the East. Their all-inclusive luxury packages will take you on a journey across India, more often than not incorporating a few nights in Delhi. This is such an exceptionally unique city that an overnight stay here is common. It also means youll have at least a few hours of leisure time to explore.
Today were going to look at how to make the best use of your time in Delhi, so you dont feel youve missed out as you make your way onwards, towards your next destination.
The best place to people-watch in Delhi! Connaught Place is a myriad of fashion boutiques, shops, restaurants, cinemas and it has an exceptional underground market. This is the commercial hub of the capital. Relax here with a cup of rainbow-coloured juice, as the evening sun slowly turns down the days heat. When you look up, youll see the biggest national flag in the country, which measures a hefty 90 feet by 60 feet.
This area took 4 years to build, but quickly became a magnet for businesses and financial centres. Its worth coming here to spend your rupees and take a leisurely stroll, especially if you end up in nearby Lodhi Gardens. Here, youll have the chance to wander around an intriguing mix of ancient monuments, 15th century Afghan tombs and a bonsai garden, before catching a rickshaw over to Hauz Khas Village.
Hauz Khas Village
Hauz Khas village is an affluent neighbourhood in South Delhi. Its close to a lake and filled with hipster vintage shops, art galleries, and independent fashion labels. Very on trend, and known as the place to be seen among Delhi youth, youll also find plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Here you can order food from all over the world; American hamburgers, Mediterranean salads and even dishes from Tibet and the Himalayas.
Having stood here since Medieval times, there are plenty of ancient ruins to take in, particularly beside the lake. Here, youll find lots of people jogging and cycling around the picturesque deer park. Why not go for a walk, after your evening meal, to take in the sights before you head back to your hotel.
Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in all of India. It can hold 85,000 people in its interior and an additional 25,000 in its courtyard. As one of the most popular attractions of the cities, we recommend you get there early, both to avoid the crowds, and the oppressive heat of the day.
You might have to pay a small charge to leave your shoes outside; and another fee if you have a camera or phone on you; a rule that applies to tourists only. Please bear in mind that, as with any mosque, women are expected to be covered up to enter the building and that you may not be permitted to enter during prayer time.
This is where youll find the citys oldest and largest markets, as well as a dizzying range of street food. The aromatic, heavily spice-laden air is unmistakeable and youll be able to either grab a table at a relaxed fast food restaurant, or buy a snack to walk around with. Karims and Haldirams are both highly-respected restaurants with a great reputation; where you can find delicious meat curries, served with roti, or South Indian snacks.
The streets here are narrow, labyrinthine and busy. Youll find vendors against the walls, markets, tradesmen and plenty of other tourists. Its also worth taking a trip into the spice market itself, not just for the incredible smell, but for the view from upstairs as well.
Once youve refreshed yourself, had a sit down and cooled off with an icy drink, youll be ready to explore more Delhi sights, and there are none more exciting than the infamous Red Fort. Originally built using white sandstone, this iconic fort got its namesake colour when the British painted it. It sits on a colossal site, spread out over 256 acres and took 10 years to build. The gardens here are beautiful, filled as they are with colourful, sweet-smelling flowers.
This was the historical residence of the Mughal emperors for over 200 years and despite being partially destroyed by British forces during the 19th century Indian rebellion, much of its courts and pavilions remain in tact. With its symmetrical archways and architectural influences from Europe, Persia and India, a tour of the private residences here will transport you back in time.
India Gate is the famously iconic site of Delhi. Its essentially a war memorial, built to commemorate soldiers of the First World War, but it looks just like the Arc de Triomphe in France. You can get chai and poppadums from the vendors here, if youre still hungry. Its a great spot for a picnic, particularly in the cooler evening sun.
Once youve finished here, youre just a short rickshaw ride away from the parliament buildings of Rajpath and the National Gallery, which is known for its excellent collections of modern and historical Indian art.
This tomb is significant in Indian history given that it was an influence for the Taj Mahal. Created from red sandstone and marble, this tower is the countrys tallest brick minaret and appeared in its original incarnation in the 11th century. There have been many restorations since. Inside, its so narrow that when a Bollywood director tried to film a music video here, the camera wouldnt fit inside and a replica tower with more space had to be built. Humayuns Tomb is also beautiful to walk around, with its attached mosques, ruins and tombs. There are over 100 graves in total at the complex.
If youd like to book a trip across India, or find out more about Wendy Wus range of escorted tours, please get in touch with our team of experienced, dedicated travel advisors. Well be able to find a trip to suit your holiday budget and preferences.