A melange of cultures, a keeper of rich heritage and the driver of modern living – Delhi has been described in several ways. But the one fact that shines across all descriptions is that Delhi is an intriguing city. The capital of India, the political centre and to a large extent, the entertainment capital, there is more to Delhi than meets the eye.
For decades, the city has kept travellers busy and satisfied with numerous places to visit in Delhi including architectural marvels, bustling bazaars, modern shopping malls and places of religious importance. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular places to visit in Delhi.
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb is surrounded by lush greenery. The resting place of the Mughal emperor Humayun, it is an architectural marvel which sees visitors from across the world. The use of red sandstone is one of the most striking features about the construction as is the garden surrounding the tomb. Known as Char Bagh garden, it is said that it is one of the first garden tombs in the Indian subcontinent.
Travellers can admire the architecture which has influences of both Mughal and Persian art and can also spend time in the verdant gardens. It’s recommended to head here during winter when the beauty of the tomb and the surrounding greenery is enhanced. The mausoleum is also home to other significant Mughal leaders as well as their wives and sons. We recommend including this in your Delhi itinerary as one of the most beautiful places to visit near delhi.
Another architectural marvel which makes it to the list of the best tourist places in delhi is the majestic Qutub Minar. Said to be the tallest individual tower in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is thronged by tourists throughout the year.
Commissioned by the first ruler of Delhi Sultanate, Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak, the construction of the tower has been overseen by many renowned leaders. One may think that Qutub Minar is a simple tower with minimal art but the intricate carvings on the monument and around the complex will surprise you. The complex has other structures including the Iron Pillar and the Alai Darwaza which attract architectural lovers and urge one to read more about the history of the minar.
You can visit Qutub Minar any time of the year, though we recommend winter since it’s the ideal time to enjoy a picnic in the lush gardens surrounding the minar. In fact, Qutub Minar is counted among the most popular picnic delhi tourist attractions. If you happen to be in Delhi during the Qutub Festival, you are in for a treat. The three-day festival promises entertainment, culture and great food - three things that Delhi is known for.
Counted among the most popular places to see in delhi, Red Fort is the city’s most visited monument. Constructed in the year 1639, Red Fort is a testament of fine Mughal architecture and sophisticated engineering techniques which have held strong for centuries. The extensive use of red sandstone is unmissable and travellers come from across the world to admire this mesmerising work of art. Built by Shah Jahan, the UNESCO World Heritage Site functioned as a political, residential and commercial centre during the Mughal era. The seat of the Mughal Emperor, the walls of the Red Fort were said to be impenetrable and the fort functioned as a protective fortress during times of turmoil.
A symbol for Delhi, Red Fort has stood the test of time and still stands tall as one of the most important places to visit in Delhi. We suggest heading here early in the morning so you don’t have to face long queues and also have a chance to admire this beauty before the tourist rush flows in.
Your list of places to visit in Delhi is incomplete without India Gate. A symbol for Delhi, the majestic structure is located in the heart of the city. An impressive structure, India Gate is synonymous with picnics and is a huge part of any Delhite’s childhood.
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the towering 42-meter tall structure is where the Republic Day Parade is hosted every year. Dedicated to 82,000 soldiers who lost their lives during World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War, India Gate sees hundreds of visitors every day.
During the day, the gardens around the monument are filled with families looking for a break from everyday routines, but it’s at night that one can truly admire the energy and hustle-bustle around India Gate. Lined with ice-cream stalls, balloon-sellers, small eating stalls and scores of locals and tourists, India Gate transforms into a festive ground. One of the best places to visit near Delhi if you’d like to admire the true spirit of India.
A fine example of science and architecture coming together, Jantar Mantar is one of the most delightful places to visit in Delhi. A vast observatory, it was built to unravel the concepts of time and space through experiments. Not many people know that there are four other similar observatories located around the country in Jaipur, Varanasi, Mathura and Ujjain.
Through 13 astronomical instruments, one can compile data and tables to predict the movement and timings of the sun, moon and other planets. The astonishing thing is that one doesn’t need any external tools to make these readings and the naked eye is enough. Usually visited by students, we recommend including Jantar Mantar in your list of places to visit in Delhi especially if brilliant architecture and science fascinate you.
One of the most popular places to visit in Delhi, Dilli Haat offers an exhilarating mix of delicious food and shopping. Located in both South Delhi and North Delhi, Dilli Haat brings together craftsmen and artisans from across the country and gives them an opportunity to showcase their art.
Another reason why Dilli Haat is one of the best places to visit in Delhi is because of the numerous restaurants here. Each restaurant represents a state and serves delicious local cuisines. So if you are in the mood for momos from Arunachal Pradesh or fish thali from West Bengal or perhaps a crisp dosa from Tamil Nadu – Dilli Haat will surprise you.
There are many cultural shows and programs that Dilli Haat hosts in an effort to increase awareness and it's always an insightful experience for travellers. The shopping stalls include everything from ethnic wear, jewellery, stationery to shoes, home decor, cosmetics and food items. We recommend bargaining to bring down quoted prices and also suggest you carry your bags to minimise consumption of plastic bags. While most vendors accept digital payment, we suggest taking cash or withdrawing from the ATM outside the premises. It's also one of the most popular tourist places in delhi if you are travelling with little ones or the elderly.
Chandni Chowk is one of Delhi's oldest markets and should be on top of the list as places to visit in Delhi. It's not only a cluster of markets, but it's also a peek into an era gone by. Retaining its charm with decade-old shops and eating joints, Chandni Chowk almost serves as a reminder that some things never change. Offering familiar comfort to Delhiites, the market is still as it always was, barring a few cosmetic changes.
Travellers come from across the country to shop here especially for wedding lehengas and jewellery. Home to some of the best artisans in the world, you'll find copies of designer masterpieces as well as original pieces of art. We recommend visiting Dariba Kalan, Bhagirath Palace, Kinari Bazaar and Kucha Choudhary Market.
Chandni Chowk is also one of the best places to visit in Delhi for those who are looking for second-hand and archaic treasures. There are a few shops which sell old gramophones, cameras and home decor that you won't find elsewhere. One might think they are slightly expensive but if you spend some time here, the shopkeeper might give you a good discount.
One must also include the market in the list of best places to see in delhi owing to the famous eating joints here. While Parantha Gali was a favourite with travellers, it has lost its flavour and charm and you can find much better options elsewhere.
If shopping is on your mind then Sarojini Nagar is one of the best places to visit in Delhi. Located in South Delhi, the bustling market has been the city's favourite market for decades. While the market has undergone a massive transformation in the last couple of years, it’s still considered one of the best places to visit near delhi. And the market’s selling point remains – branded replicas at low prices. If it's in the showroom, it has to be in Sarojini and so the market is a favourite with young fashionistas
If this is your first trip to Delhi, you must head here irrespective of whether you enjoy shopping. The main export street is where you'll find innumerable shops selling the latest clothes, shoes and bags. Our pro tip is to head here in the morning to avoid evening rush and to make full use of your bargaining skills.
Situated in the heart of the city is the century-old Connaught Place and one of the most popular places to visit in Delhi. One of the first-ever markets in Delhi, Connaught Place or CP is the perfect example of effortless coexistence between the old and the new. Visitors who have come here before can take a walk down memory lane and recreate old moments while those who are visiting for the first time can admire the old market which has retained its charm despite restorations.
For those who'd like to shop, CP has a number of branded showrooms as well as bustling street markets. The most popular ones are Palika Bazaar and Janpath. If you'd like to shop for exquisite arts and crafts, you can also head to the many cottage emporiums here.
Central Market or Lajpat Nagar is one of the best places to visit in Delhi for shopaholics. A busy market in South Delhi, it’s visited by thousands every day and is a favourite with locals as well as tourists. One of the oldest markets in Delhi, it’s counted among the most popular tourist places in Delhi and offers visitors everything from home decor, clothes, shoes, food items to cosmetics, bags, furnishings and jewellery.
Lajpat is also home to some of the best street food joints in the city and one can try Delhi’s popular aloo tikki, gol gappe, dahi bhalla and aloo chat in any of the bustling joints. We recommend taking an auto or a cab to Lajpat Nagar since it’s very difficult to find parking, especially during rush hours.
Delhi malls are some of the best in the world and a delight for shopaholics. If you are looking for places to see in delhi which will satisfy the shopper in you, we suggest visiting Select City Walk, DLF and Promenade in South Delhi, Ambience Mall in Gurgaon and Mall of India in Noida.
Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, Akshardham Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in India and is also one of the most popular places to visit in Delhi. Depicting Hinduism and its tenets through architecture and literature in the temple, Akshardham sees thousands of visitors every day.
The temple is home to India’s largest step-well where a light and sound show is hosted every evening. We recommend keeping aside at least three to four hours to explore the temple so that you don’t miss out on anything. The beautiful Narayan Sarovar which has water from over 150 sacred holy rivers and lakes is one of the most attractive features of the temple.
An architectural marvel, the Lotus Temple is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Delhi. Dedicated to the Baha'i faith, the temple is built in the form of a white petal lotus and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Delhi. Constructed in an effort to show the oneness of mankind despite religions, nationality, race and gender differences – travellers from across the world visit this beautiful temple.
Surrounded by lush, verdant gardens, the Lotus Temple is one of the most peaceful temples in India. The temple doesn’t restrict the practice of any faith and one can meditate, pray, chant or sing from any religion without any inhibitions. It’s recommended to maintain silence and to keep phones on silent when visiting the temple.
Dedicated to Saint Nizammudin Chisti, the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah is one of the most popular places to visit in Delhi. A mausoleum and shrine located in the midst of a very crowded market, the Dargah sees visitors from across the world throughout the week.
Built in the year 1526, the Dargah is not restricted to only Muslims and allows people from all faiths to seek blessings here. The tombs of other Mughals such as Jahan Ara Begum are Amir Khusro are also situated here. Travellers typically head here during Thursdays and Sunday to enjoy and lose themselves in the melodies of Sufi singers who come here to seek blessings and propagate the love for God.
Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in the country and is certainly one of the most popular places to visit from Delhi. Also known as Masjid-I Jahan-Numa, the masjid was a part of Shah Jahan’s impressive empire. Today, the mosque is visited by thousands from across the country, especially during the festival of Eid.
With a capacity to include 25,000 people, the massive mosque is also spellbinding. Situated in Chandni Chowk, it’s symbolic with Old Delhi and is a significant part of the city’s heritage. If you’d like to visit, we recommend visiting during the evening when the sun is setting and birds are flocking over the giant structure as if it’s home.
While the masjid itself is a classic example of Islamic architecture, what stands out for travellers is the peace and serenity that the mosque promises. If you happen to visit during Eid, you have to include Jama Masjid as one of the places to visit from Delhi since you’ll be in for a treat. The lanes outside the masjid are full of local vendors selling biryani, phirni, nihari and other eid delicacies which make for a memorable experience, especially for food lovers.
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is one of Delhi’s most significant religious places. The shrine was built by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783 and is open 24 hours a day, throughout the year and one can visit any time. The Gurudwara has a main prayer hall, a library, a Sarovar, a hospital and a langar hall within the premises. The best time to visit is either early in the morning when morning prayers are in session or during the evening when the Guru Granth Sahib is being laid to rest.
There are some rules to be followed while in the Gurudwara and we recommend avoiding sleeveless tops or short clothes. There is a huge parking area underneath the Gurudwara which has made it more convenient for travellers to visit.