New Delhi, the capital of India, is part of the National Capital of Delhi, which includes Old Delhi. The city is a study in contrasts, from the modern, western-themed architecture of New Delhi to historical temples, monuments, and forts dating back to the sixth century BCE. Even an experienced international traveler can feel overwhelmed when faced with the many things to do in Delhi, and it’s essential to do your research before visiting one of the oldest cities in our travel destination spotlights.
Delhi currency is the Indian Rupee, which has an exchange rate of approximately one rupee to $0.012 US. Rupees are subdivided into 100 paise, the Indian equivalent of a cent.
You can exchange your currency for Rupees through currency exchanges at airports or simply withdraw local cash from ATMs. While many restaurants and stores accept credit and debit cards, India is primarily a cash economy, and small businesses may only accept cash.
Delhi Time Zone
Delhi runs on Indian Standard Time, 10 hours and thirty minutes ahead of Eastern Standard Time. In other words, if it’s 9.00 am Monday in Deli, it’s 10:30 pm Sunday in New York.
When to Visit Delhi
October and March are the best times to visit Delhi if you want the most pleasant weather. The winter months in between are also options, but bear in mind mornings and evenings can get cold. If you’re in Delhi from late October through mid-November, you’ll have an opportunity to experience the Diwali festival.
Delhi’s summer lasts from April to June when temperatures can rise as high as (113°F). July to September are monsoon season, and the rain can interfere with sightseeing.
Delhi’s main airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), located in Palam, 16 km from New Delhi. The seventh-busiest airport in the world, Indira Gandhi International Airport has world-class facilities and serves over 37 million passengers a year.
The high-speed Delhi Metro Rail is the fastest way to reach Delhi from Indira Gandhi Airport. Travelers on budgets may prefer to use shuttle buses, which run every 30 minutes. Taxis and app-based ride-hailing services are also available.
Things to do in Delhi
First-time travelers will find plenty of things to do in Delhi. We recommend visiting the Red Fort and Jama Masjid Mosque, then shopping at Chandni Chowk. If you prefer to avoid crowds and explore lesser-known sights, here are some things to do in New Delhi and the surrounding region:
- Climb the Jama Masjid minaret for an amazing view of Old Delhi.
- Explore the Agrasen ki Baoli, an ancient subterranean water-harvesting stepwell.
- Find amazing furniture to ship home at Amar Colony Furniture Market.
- Go bargain hunting in the flea market stalls of Janpath and Sarojini Nagar.
- Take a peaceful stroll through the 90-acre, butterfly-filedSunder Nursery.
- Visit the tomb of Sufi SaintNizam-ud-din Auliya and listen to qawwalis, a form of devotional music.
- Watch the ceremonial Changing of the Guard at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
How to Get around Delhi
Some cities are notoriously difficult to drive through: Paris springs to mind immediately, but Paris’ congested, narrow streets have nothing on the chaos of driving in Delhi. Driving in Delhi is a nightmare and one you should avoid. Instead, use Delhi's well-connected bus and metro systems. Public transport is cheaper and much less nerve-wracking. “Ho Ho buses” follow set routes to over twenty tourist attractions. You can also get around Delhi by taxi, auto rickshaw, and cycle rickshaw.
Where and what to eat in Delhi
Delhi offers incredible opportunities for foodies, from marketplace food stalls to world-class restaurants. Some of the best Delhi food can be found at these locations:
- The Delhi University North Campus contains some of the best food in the city if you're looking for local fast food, snacks, and street food. The food is intended for students with limited budgets, so you’ll find some of the best Delhi food at low prices.
- Pandara Road ranks high among Delhi places to eat, with some of the best restaurants in the city.
- Bengali Market contains eateries that serve curries, flatbread, samosas, and other local delicacies.
- Al-Jawahar restaurant has been in business since India gained independence and is famous for goat meat kebabs.
- Carnatic Cafe offers opportunities to try South Indian breakfast food.