India’s capital is a place of incredible contrasts that blends different experiences seamlessly and offers the best of both worlds – old and new. To soak in the best in just a couple of days, follow this itinerary and on the third day head out.
Delhi Metro: Twelve lines connect different parts of the city. Two kinds of cards available – a one day card for Rs 200 and a 3-day card for Rs 500. Both allow unlimited travel on the metro.
Other transport options include radio taxis, auto rickshaws and city buses.
Morning: Lutyens’ Delhi
India Gate: This 42m-high stone memorial arch pays tribute to around 90,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British cause in World War 1 and the 1919 Anglo-Afghan War.
The Republic Day parade is held at India Gate starting 9 am. Only individuals with tickets are allowed in the premises on 26th January.
Also Read: A heritage tour of Delhi
Also Read: Going local, for the locals
Rashtrapati Bhawan & Around: If the weather is good a walk from Rajpath to Rashtrapati Bhawan is an experience in itself. Rajpath was the imposing approach to New Delhi and hosts the huge Republic Day parade each year. At the western end of Rajpath is the Rashtrapati Bhavan, built in 1929.
Closest metro station: Central Secretariat
Connaught Place: This is a famous white colonnaded colonial era market which is divided into blocks. Its streets radiate from the central circle leading to outer and inner circle.
Stop for a milkshake at Keventers or grab a pastry or savoury puffs at Wenger’s.
Jantar Mantar: This striking 18-century astronomical observatory, built in 1725, is an architectural marvel.
Closest metro station: Rajiv Chowk
Afternoon: Old Delhi
Red Fort: This massive fort is a sandstone shadow of its former self, but it dates from the peak of Mughal power.
Jama Masjid: India’s largest mosque can hold 25,000 people. Towering over Old Delhi, the ‘Friday Mosque’ was Shah Jahan’s final architectural opus, built between 1644 and 1658.
1.5km from Red Fort
Chandni Chowk: It’s all about endless shopping. For silver jewellery, head for Dariba Kalan. Kinari Bazaar is famous for zardozi, temple trim and wedding turbans. Nai Sarak is lined with stalls selling saris, shawls and lehengas. Prepare to tuck into some of the subcontinent’s finest food, including the famous Dilli ki chaat, which, rather like the city itself, tosses up several flavours in a bite.
Closest metro stations: Chandni Chowk & Lal Qila
Delhi is full of nightlife options. Head to Hauz Khas Village, which has plenty of watering holes- TLR, Hauz Khas Social, Out of the Box and The Beer Cafe are good options.
Morning: Around Lodhi Garden
Hauz Khas: The artificial lake is a beautiful blue-green expanse, alive with birds, overlooking which are Firoz Shah’s 14th-century domed madrasa and his tomb.
Dilli Haat: This colourful open-air food-and-crafts market sells a variety of handicrafts. There are some gorgeous bits and pieces on offer and food from states across the country.
Closest metro stations: Hauz Khas & INA
Lodhi Garden & Khan Market: The landscaped garden is dotted by tombs of the Sayyid and Lodhi rulers and is popular among all people, from politicians to couples.
After this head to Khan Market, 5 minutes away. Favoured by expats and Delhi’s elite, it has a number of boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Grab a coffee and a macaroon, dessert or sandwich before leaving.
Closest metro station: Khan Market metro station
Humayun’s Tomb: Set amid landscaped gardens, this red sandstone and white marble mausoleum is the most graceful monument belonging to the Mughal era in Delhi. What gives it a special touch is the restoration work done for over six years to return this monument to its original glory.
4km from Lodi Garden
Closest metro station: Jor Bagh
Afternoon: Mehrauli & Saket
Lotus Temple: After lunch head to the gorgeous Lotus Temple. The Bahai House of Worship is shaped like the lotus flower with 27 white marble petals.
Closest metro station: Kalkaji
Qutub Minar: This soaring 73m tower dominates the skyline of south Delhi. Covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Koran, it is one of the world’s tallest brick minarets.
Closest metro station: Qutub Minar
Saket Malls: At Delhi’s glitziest malls – Select Citywalk, MGF Metropolitan and DLF Place – you’ll find stores, eateries and chic bars. For dinner head to Big Chill, a legendary film-poster-lined café with a telephone directory of continental dishes. But before that have a drink at one of the bars. Take your pick from Hard Rock Cafe, The Beer Café or Harry’s Bar + Café.
Closest metro station: Malviya Nagar