A visit to Old Delhi is one of the most popular things to do in Delhi and the perfect answer to the question – what to do in Delhi? Taking you back into the bygone era with its narrow lanes, archaic buildings and decade-old eating joints, you’ll feel as though you are in a different part of the world.
Most locals in Delhi visit this part of the city for a break from the urban city life and of course, to enjoy the myriad local delicacies Old Delhi is popular for. A visit to Old Delhi is also on the list for shopping enthusiasts, especially if you want to shop for wedding attire, jewellery and vintage items. From old cameras, silver jewellery, vintage sunglasses to first edition books – the offerings of Old Delhi will surprise you.
Among the most popular markets here, we recommend visiting Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Dariba Kalan, Katra Neel and Bhagirath Palace. If shopping is not on your mind, you can head to one of the most popular religious places in Delhi – Jama Masjid. Another reason why Old Delhi is one of the top places to visit in the best things to do in Delhi list is the food. From paranthas, daulat ki chaat, dahi papdi to kebabs, nihari, shirmal, phirni and biryani – the eating joints in Old Delhi are a food lover’s dream. While weekdays are generally the best time to visit owing to less rush, you can head here anytime and expect to have a memorable experience.
Cost: Including a visit to Old Delhi in your best things to do in Delhi list can cost you anywhere between Rs.200 to Rs.2000 depending on your itinerary.
Shopping is unarguably one of the best things to do in Delhi. The city offers shopaholics a bundle of experiences and one just can’t get enough. What makes this even better are the several shopping malls spread across the city. In fact, the capital city is home to some of the country’s biggest malls including Mall of India, Ambience Mall and Promenade.
Whether you are looking for a day out with family or have a long shopping list, the malls in Delhi promise everything including big brands, eating joints and activities for children. Among the most popular malls in the city, we recommend Emporio Mall in Vasant Kunj for high-end, world popular brands, Promenade, Ambience Mall and Galleria Market for budget shopping options in Delhi and Gurgaon and Select City Walk for a complete family experience.
Mall of India in Noida which is said to be the biggest mall in India is home to more than hundreds of brands, has a well-equipped food court, a movie theatre and a dedicated play area for children. While you can include a trip to the malls in your things to do in Delhi list any time of the week, we recommend weekdays since the rush is less and you can enjoy a trip without too much hassle.
Cost: A visit to the malls in your things to do in Delhi list is a must and will cost you anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs.200 depending on the mode of transport.
Delhi is one of the most popular places in the world for street shopping and if you are a shopping enthusiast, shopping definitely has to be on your list of things to do in Delhi. There are a number of shopping markets in Delhi which offer an unbelievable shopping experience but Sarojini Nagar stands out for its shopping options and overall vibe.
One of the best things to do in Delhi, Sarojini Nagar is a haunt for college students and young professionals and offers everything from apparel, home decor, jewellery to shoes, furnishings, food items and kitchenware. Usually packed with locals and tourists – the only disadvantage of shopping in Sarojini is that you will have to brave the crowds and the lack of trial rooms. Since it’s mostly a street shopping hub barring a few showrooms, most of the things you pick will be based on your guesswork and the shopkeeper’s expertise.
It’s no surprise then that bargaining is one of your biggest tools and you must reduce the prices by 50% at least. If you aren’t confident of your bargaining skills, we urge you to explore Sarojini Nagar with a local. There are a number of eating joints here which give you a break from long shopping sprees so you can replenish your energy. Remember to carry a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. Among the most popular shopping streets here, we recommend heading to Export Lane or Leather Street. The market is closed on Monday so it’s best to plan your things to do in Delhi itinerary for the week.
Cost: A visit to Sarojini Nagar in your things to do in Delhi itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs.250 depending on your mode of transport.
One of the most gorgeous religious places to visit in Delhi, Akshardham Temple is a delight for spiritual seekers and history lovers. Sprawled over a huge expanse of land, a visit to the temple is one of the top things to do in Delhi and is a part of all itineraries.
A part of the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, Akshardham takes one through Hindu teachings and traditions through a plethora of memorable experiences. Home to the largest stepwell in India, an open garden, Narayan Sarovar and eight mandapams – the temple is an architectural masterpiece.
The main temple has Lord Swaminarayan's idol as well as idols of over 20,000 deities. You will also notice elaborate exhibits detailing Indian history as well as the journey of important personalities. Remember that it takes close to three to four hours to explore the temple and you must start early to avoid evening rush.
Numerous tours are organised every day to take visitors through the important parts of the temple. Including the temple in your things to do in Delhi itinerary is a must since it gives one a chance to learn more about the evolution of Hindu culture in India.
Besides the magical boat ride, one must also attend the musical water show which takes place every day at 7:30 in the evening. It’s important to remember that food, mobile phones, cameras are not allowed inside the complex and one has to be mindful of dressing appropriately before visiting.
Cost: A must-include in things to do in Delhi itineraries, tickets to Akshardham Temple will cost you anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs.170.
While exploring a new city is a top priority for travellers, what also matters is how you explore the city. And we have discovered that cycling is one of the best things to do in Delhi since it shows the city in a different light. You will notice sights you would otherwise miss in a car. There are several sightseeing tours organised in Delhi which give you the opportunity to explore on a cycle.
One of the best things to do in Delhi is choosing a cycling tour to India Gate. One of the most impressive structures in Delhi, India Gate is synonymous with the capital city. The 42-meter was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and stands tall as the largest war memorials in the country. The Republic Day Parade is held here every year and it’s quite a spectacular sight.
A cycling tour to India Gate allows you to explore the area around as well as the monument itself. Dedicated to 82,000 Indian and British soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The foundation stone of the impressive structure was laid down in 1921 and ten years later, the majestic structure was unveiled. India Gate is also home to Amar Jawan Jyoti which is under the arch. The Amar Jawan Jyoti is dedicated to the soldiers of India and is the highlight of India Gate.
Cost: If you would like to include a cycling tour to India Gate in your things to do in Delhi itinerary, it will cost you anywhere between Rs.500 to Rs.2000.
Delhi is a popular destination for shopping, food and umpteen tourist attractions but another thing that makes the city popular is its nightlife. Exploring the city’s nightlife is one of the most popular things to do in Delhi and you must spend time visiting the many clubs in the city.
Delhi’s nightclubs are spread around the city and you can head anywhere in the city for a good experience. However, Hauz Khas Village, Khan Market, Gurgaon, Connaught Place, Nehru Place, Cyberhub and Aerocity are where most popular nightclubs are located. In fact, Aerocity is gradually becoming a hub of new restaurants, pubs and lounges.
The numerous clubs in Delhi offer different experiences and whether you are looking for a laidback evening or a night full of dancing – you won’t be disappointed. One might think that partying out in Delhi is expensive but the city has a plethora of nightclubs which offer a great experience for budget travellers.
One of the best things to do in Delhi, nightclubs in Delhi offer everything including live gigs, theme parties, cocktail nights, ladies night to lounge parties and karaoke nights. Among the best clubs in the city to include in your things to do in Delhi list, we recommend visiting Dear Donna, PCO, Hauz Khas Social, the Flying Saucer and Kitty Su.
Cost: Including a night out in your things to do in Delhi itinerary can cost you anywhere between Rs.1000 to Rs.5000.
Delhi's food culture is a mix of various culinary influences and irrespective of what you are in the mood for – the city will have it. From chole bhature, momos, dosa, chaat to tikki, fish fry, rolls and samosa bun, the streets are full of food vendors.
Every place in Delhi has its share of popular street joints and if it's your first visit to the city, we do recommend trying everything that interests you. However, if you are looking for the best street food places to include in your best things to do in Delhi, we recommend heading to Chandni Chowk, Amar Colony, Janakpuri and North Campus. Bittu tikki wala, Dolma Aunty's momos, chicken momos at Yashwant Singh Place and rolls in GK 1 are the most popular eating joints which offer a memorable culinary fare at reasonable prices.
At the same time, if you are in Old Delhi, nobody can resist the parathas in Paranthe Wali Gali or the kebabs at Karim's. For vegetarians, the puchkas in C.R Park are popular across the city and for non-vegetarians, the fish fry is a delicacy which you can't resist. While one may say Delhi doesn't have a cuisine to call its own, food lovers claim otherwise.
Cost: Exploring Delhi's food culture will not cost you too much and is ideal for budget travellers to include in things to do in Delhi itinerary. A hearty meal can cost you anywhere between Rs.150 to Rs.400.
A visit to Dilli Haat situated in INA and Pitampura is one of the best things to do in Delhi and must be part of your itinerary. Ideal for food lovers, shopping enthusiasts and art lovers – the tourist attraction makes for a perfect break amidst busy daily schedules.
Dilli Haat is home to numerous stalls dedicated to various states in India. From Bihar’s madhubani apparel, Punjab’s phulkari, Bengal’s kantha silks to Kashmir’s paper mache and Himachal’s tea products – Dilli Haat offers a range of products which are a shopper’s delight. Though bargaining is discouraged here, you can try your luck to reduce prices.
One of the best things to see in Delhi, Dilli Haat is open throughout the week but the 1st and 15th of every month is dedicated to shifting of new stalls. During the festive season, the market is bustling with busy shoppers and it’s the best time to visit if you are looking to complete your shopping lists. A number of programmes take place here throughout the year and you can enjoy folk dances and music programmes. On the other hand, if the thought of shopping doesn’t interest you, the numerous food stalls from different states definitely will. Do try the chicken momos from the Assam stall and dal bhaati churma from the Rajasthan stall.
Cost: Including Dilli Haat in your things to do in Delhi itinerary will cost you between Rs.100 to Rs.300 including ticket price of Rs.30.
Delhi is home to numerous places of religious importance and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is one such place. A visit to the sacred place should be a part of your things to do in Delhi list if you are looking for a break from the mundaneness of everyday life.
The Gurudwara was built by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783. The Gurudwara is an impressive structure and instantly evokes a feeling of warmth when you step in. It’s important to follow the customs and rules here before entering the gurdwara.
One of the most sought-after things to do in Delhi, the complex has a prayer hall, a Sarovar, a library and a museum. The Gurudwara was renovated a few years back and is an architectural marvel today. Standing tall in one of the most popular areas in Delhi, you can visit the Gurudwara any time of the day since it’s open 24 hours for 365 days.
Cost: To include a visit to the Gurudwara in your things to do in Delhi itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.300 depending on the transport you choose.
Paharganj in central Delhi is a backpacker’s delight. With quirky cafes, narrow lanes and endless rows of wholesale shops, it’s home to budget guesthouses which are ideal for backpackers. Situated opposite the railway station, one of the best things to do in Delhi is visiting this bustling market.
Perfect for shopaholics who are looking for reasonable deals and food lovers who enjoy trying new cafes – Paharganj is unlike any other place in the city. The shops here are mostly wholesale dealers but some products are also on display for everyday shoppers. From antique jewellery, quirky home decor, hand-embroidered furnishings, bags to spices, incense sticks, vintage artwork, hookahs and footwear, the shops in Paharganj will please shopaholics.
One of the most popular things to do in Delhi, the cafes in Paharganj mostly serve Israeli, Chinese and Italian cuisine to cater to their international audience. If you are looking for Indian cuisine, you can find them in the small dhabas situated at the beginning of the market. Among our favourite cafes, we recommend visiting Sam’s Cafe, Diamond Cafe, Krishna Cafe, Shim Thur, Kitchen Cafe Rooftop Restaurant and Everest Bakery Cafe.
Cost: A visit to Paharganj in your things to do in Delhi list can cost you anywhere between Rs.200 to Rs.2000 depending on what you buy and the restaurants you visit.
Any trip to the capital of India is not complete without paying your respect at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. No matter what your faith is, you'll find peace and serenity at the Dargah even among a crowd of thousands.
One of the best things to do in Delhi, the dargah is a mausoleum of renowned saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and was built in the sixteenth century. Hazrat Auliya spread the message of peace and love through his teachings. For Hazrat Auliya, humanity was bigger than any religion or any individual and he preached that only through love can one realise God. His descendants took his message forward and it is still visible at the dargah. People from all castes and religions come here to seek blessings and pay homage.
The Qawwali sessions that are held here every Thursday are a truly humbling experience and a must include in your things to do in Delhi itinerary. Soulful Sufi music acts as a bridge for humans to achieve spirituality. The qawalls create such an aura that one feels disconnected from daily mundane things and a little closer to the almighty. It is a widely held belief that tying a thread on the jaali (marble lattice) near the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, fulfils your wishes.
The lanes leading to the dargah are narrow and almost always crowded, with a number of street vendors enticing you to buy things from them. It's recommended to be a little careful while walking towards the dargah. Also, being a place of spiritual and religious importance, one has to be appropriately dressed. Women are not allowed inside the enclosure where Hazrat's tomb is.
Though the dargah is open to all year round, the best time to include it in your things to do in Delhi itinerary is from October to March.
Cost: A visit to Nizamuddin Dargah in your things to do in Delhi itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.250 depending on your mode of transport.
Delhi's historical heritage is undoubtedly awe-inspiring. There's a little gem at almost every corner of Delhi, especially in old Delhi. One of the most famous places of historical importance in Delhi is Humayun's tomb. Mughal emperor Humayun is laid to rest here and the tomb was constructed in the sixteenth century.
One of the best things to do in Delhi, Humayun's tomb is a marvellous piece of architecture made of red sandstone. The tomb was constructed on orders of Bega Begum, Humayun's Persian wife. The monument remains one of the most well-preserved monuments and was accorded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Humayun's tomb is a perfect mix of Persian, Indian and Turkish architecture and the tomb is centrally located in a garden complex of around 53 acres. There are a number of other tombs in the complex and a small museum as well.
The tomb is well connected with Delhi metro and public transport and is barely 3 kilometres away from Nizamuddin railway station. The complex is open from 8 am to 6 pm. However, the best time to include the tomb in your things to do in Delhi itinerary is either early morning or after 4 pm, to avoid the scorching Delhi sun.
Cost: Including a visit to the Humayun's Tomb in your things to do in Delhi itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.250 including transport cost and ticket price of Rs.30 for Indians.
A stunning piece of architecture in a city already full of awe-inspiring monuments, Lotus Temple is definitely one of the best-designed temples in India. Lotus Temple is one of the seven temples around the world which are dedicated to Bahai faith.
The temple is situated close to the commercial hub of Nehru Place and was built in 1986. It is made of white marble and is surrounded by lush green gardens. Lotus Temple was built in the shape of a lotus flower, as the flower is a common symbol in Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism. There are nine pools of water around the petals of the flower that make for a beautiful view when illuminated with light.
One of the best things to do in Delhi, the beautifully landscaped gardens around the temple adds to its charm and are adorned by a variety of flowers and shrubs. The central prayer hall can be reached through the nine doors and is completely lit by natural light.
The aura of the place is perfect for one to contemplate and meditate, even amidst thousands of people. The temple complex also holds various classes for children and youth along with devotional meetings, all aimed at spiritual consciousness.
The temple is open all days of the week, except Monday. The timings vary during summers and winters, though the best time to visit the temple is during the evenings, as the temple offers majestic sights in the surrounding lights. As always, being a place of spiritual and religious importance, one has to be appropriately dressed. Photography is not permitted inside the prayer hall and in the information centre.
Cost: A visit to Lotus Temple in your things to do in Delhi itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.200.