I Made the Most of Delhi in Just 48 Hours. Here’s How You Can Too!

Photo of I Made the Most of Delhi in Just 48 Hours. Here’s How You Can Too! by Namrata Das Adhikary

Exploring Delhi, our very own capital city, can be an overwhelming experience. After all, “Yeh Shehar nahi mehfil hai” – as Mirza Ghalib rightly says, and with so much to see and do, it's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city. While 48 hours may not seem like enough time to take in all that Delhi has to offer, I decided to challenge myself and make the most of my two days.

With no specific agenda in mind, I set off on a journey of discovery – from bustling markets to peaceful gardens and mouthwatering street food – exploring different neighbourhoods, trying new cuisines and learning about the culture and history of this incredible place. This is how you can do the same!

Day 1:

Nothing better than starting the day with a delicious breakfast at Wenger's Bakery in Delhi!

This iconic family-run bakery that has been around since 1926 will take you back in time with its legacy of delicious pastries and other treats. Started by a Swiss couple to feed the British troops stationed in Delhi, today, they also offer an array of modern fast food options like burgers, pizzas and waffles-on-the-go for those who want something more contemporary. And don’t forget their smoothies – the perfect accompaniment to any meal!

After eating to the brim, teleport yourself to the heart of Old Delhi and explore the majestic Red Fort. You can't say you've truly explored Delhi without visiting this 17th-century Mughal fort, which was built by Shah Jahan and has since become a symbol of the country’s rich history and culture.

The fort is surrounded by walls made out of red sandstone that is 2 km long, hence its name - Red Fort or Lal Qila. It's a sprawling complex that houses several monuments such as the Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Aam, Hammams or baths, Rang Mahal, Moti Masjid and more. You can explore the buildings that are richly decorated with intricate carvings on walls, ceilings and floors. The fort also has a museum that showcases artefacts from its heyday - paintings, manuscripts, coins and jewellery.

A short rickshaw ride will take you to the Jama Masjid, undoubtedly my favourite spot in Delhi.

The entire ride to the masjid is like an assault on the senses - with sights, sounds and smells that are so unique to this city. The Jama Masjid stands majestically on a high plinth, with three imposing red sandstone domes and two towering minarets that can be seen from afar. The interiors of the masjid are equally impressive - you can explore its intricate carvings, colourful frescoes and beautiful chandeliers. The grandeur of the masjid will leave you in awe and make you understand why it is one of Delhi's most iconic landmarks.

You can't say you've truly experienced Delhi without having a meal at Karim's, one of the city's most popular restaurants.

If I have to be honest, I'm a bit biased towards this place as it has been my go-to spot for years. Here you can savour some of the best Mughlai cuisine - from succulent kebabs to melt-in-your-mouth biryani, and oh, the korma is to die for! The restaurant is quite popular, so make sure you reach there early to get a table. It's only a few minutes walk from Jama Masjid, and the lanes can get slightly confusing. So thank God for Google Maps!

Honestly, my legs almost gave up after the long day of exploring. But I still managed to drag myself to India Gate, because the travel bug in me kept craving for more. From what I've heard, evenings at India Gate are truly magical.

The place is lit up with colourful lights and the atmosphere is just so lively. You can take a nice stroll around the area, admire the majestic arch and watch people go about their business. P.S.: Grab an ice cream and thank me later!

If you go about your day without even stopping to shop, then you're missing out on your ‘Dilli waali feeling’, trust me! So there I was, just in time to take the metro right from Central Secretariat to INA, and then head straight to Dilli Haat.

This open-air market has been around for years and is the perfect spot to pick up souvenirs or gifts for your loved ones. You can find all kinds of traditional items here - from jewellery and clothing to handicrafts, carpets and more. The vibes here are just amazing - it's like a mini India with its own unique culture, art, food and music. So don't forget to explore this little gem while in Delhi!

There's no other way I could calm my Bollywood-induced hunger pangs than by having dinner at the Hauz Khas Social. I have always fancied eating at this restaurant after watching "Tamasha" and I realised that there couldn't have been a better day!

Located in the Hauz Khas Village, this restaurant is a must-visit for all foodies. You can try out some of their signature dishes like the 'Elvis Presley French Toast', China box, Mezze platter or the Shawarma platter. And some chilled beer or drinks to go with it!

Day 2:

Another day, another new adventure! This time, I decided to start my day with a leisurely breakfast at Khan market. It's one of the most popular markets in Delhi and has been around since the 1940s.

You can find all kinds of things here - from trendy clothing stores to bookstores, cafes and restaurants. I had my breakfast at Blue Door café - a quaint little place with vibes that just make you want to sit there forever! Their Crepe Bretonne and Chipotle Cheese Burger are to die for.

Following a scrumptious breakfast, I decided to take a look at the Qutub Minar. This 72-metre tall minaret is made of red sandstone and marble, representing Mughal architecture.

It features five storeys with balconies that are embellished with elaborate carvings. You can make your way up the stairs for an awe-inspiring view of Delhi's skyline or spend some tranquil moments in its verdant gardens. Taking an Uber from Khan Market seemed to me like the most convenient route to get there.

Gosh! I can never get enough of Delhi's historical sites. This stunning 16th-century mausoleum is an excellent example of Persian architecture and the first garden tomb in India.

The tomb stands tall on a raised platform surrounded by lush green gardens and pathways that are lined with fountains, pools and pavilions. You can spend hours here admiring its symmetry and perfect proportions or take a stroll through its peaceful gardens as you soak up the tranquillity of this place. But, the lack of time meant that I had to leave soon. And I was super hungry!

Trying out South Indian cuisine in a North Indian city might sound like a weird idea. But with all the craze around Saravana Bhavan, I thought why not give it a shot? And boy, was it worth the try.

The restaurant is known for its authentic South Indian delicacies like Masala Dosa, Vada Sambhar and Uttapam. But my pick of the day was their signature dish - Pongal. It's a rice-lentil dish that is cooked with ghee and spices - so delicious!

As I walked out of Saravana Bhavan and continued through the outer circle of Connaught Place, I could spot the Janpath market in the distance.

It is a paradise for shopaholics - from street-style clothing to jewellery, bags, accessories and more. I found some really cool stuff here at pocket-friendly prices, and my heart was full!

A few metro stations away from Rajeev Chowk, I arrived at the Purana Qila - a 16th-century Mughal fort with some stunning architecture. y

It was time for their evening light and sound show, and I could not have been more excited. You can witness stories of Delhi's past come alive as they are narrated in both Hindi and English, accompanied by an amazing light show that will leave you mesmerised.

Two days of unlimited fun– and it was time to end the day on a high note, so I headed straight to Diggin - one of Delhi's most popular cafes.

The ambience was cosy yet chic; with bunting decorations on the walls and ceiling, posters of quotes hung around, and a huge shelf with curious objects that acted as the centrepiece – everything screamed out hipster café! From burgers to sandwiches to salads – they had something for everyone’s taste buds. I decided to go for their Special Chicken Loaded Pizza and Baked Pasta, and yummmm, why do good things come to an end?

Exploring Delhi in two days is no mean feat, but with a little bit of planning and lots of enthusiasm, you can make the most out of your time here. So, when was the last time you became a tourist in your own city?

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