New Delhi Travel Guide: Best Things to Do + More

· Everything to know about visiting New Delhi, including the best things to do and how to get around. ·

Jun, 23, 2023
Red fort in new delhi on sunny day

New Delhi is India’s bustling capital city, and it is one of the largest cities in the entire world. The city’s chaos is part of its charm, and it is one of the craziest, most hectic places we’ve ever visited.

We’ve been to some hectic places, too. Between the crowds on Nanjing Road in Shanghai to the crazy traffic in Chittagong, we thought we knew what to expect in New Delhi. Needless to say, it was like nothing we had ever seen.

From epic temples and beautiful gardens to endless delicious food, New Delhi is packed with things to see and do, once you get over the insane traffic and noise.

This post will break down all you need to know about visiting Delhi, including the best things to do, how to get there, how to get around, and more.

parents with toddler smiling at New Delhi's red fort

The Best Things to Do in New Delhi

1. Explore the Stunning Akshardham Temple Complex

Far and away, the best thing to do in New Delhi is explore the Akshardham Temple and its grounds. This place is an oasis in the middle of all the craziness of New Delhi, and you won’t want to miss it. Construction on the temple only started in the year 2,000, and it is absolutely striking.

The main temple isn’t the only thing to see here, either. The complex is filled with numerous tourist attractions that are all worth checking out, including a short film, a historical boat ride that teaches about Indian culture and history, and more. There is also a food court that serves a variety of food options at very competitive prices.

The only catch about visiting Akshardham is that it is a phone-free space.

To enter the sprawling grounds, your pockets need to be pretty much empty. Make sure to leave everything except for your money in the car or stow it in one of the lockers by the entrance.

2. Check Out the Red Fort

The Red Fort is one of Delhi’s most iconic tourist attractions. It was once the residence of Mughal emperors, and it remains one of the symbols of the city. This gorgeous, red sandstone fort is located right in the heart of Delhi, and its massive grounds are filled with areas to explore.

The Red Fort has been around for centuries, and you can learn a lot about New Delhi’s history while visiting it. While it is not the most impressive fort in India, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to visit in Delhi. The exterior of the fort is filled with hecklers and solicitors, but once you finally make your way inside it is actually a pretty relaxing place.

3. Head to the India Gate in the Evening

The India Gate is a nearly 140ft. tall monument in the heart of New Delhi. It was constructed as a war memorial to Indian soldiers in 1931, and it remains one of the city’s iconic spots.

As such a hotspot, the India Gate is always buzzing with people. Be prepared to encounter plenty of solicitors, pushy vendors, and tourists. We recommend heading to the India Gate in the evening, as it is very pretty when it is all lit up!

brown concrete Indian gate under blue and pink sky during daytime

4. Visit Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun was the second Mughal emperor, and his tomb is a really beautiful place to visit in Delhi. Commissioned in 1569, the tomb complex remains a very popular tourist destination and is worth visiting. 

The whole complex was designed by esteemed Persian architects, and there are other notable tombs located here, too. The ticket prices are a bit steep for foreigners since it is one of Delhi’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but I’d argue it’s worth every rupee.

5. Have a Picnic in the Lodi Gardens

The Lodi Gardens is a large urban park in the middle of Delhi. There are ruins scattered all throughout the park, as well as a few ponds and gardens. This very central park is a very popular place for families to get some fresh air, couples to go on dates, and runners to exercise. 

One of the best things to do in the Lodi Gardens is bring some foot and have a picnic in the grass. There are good walking trails in the park, and you can always find a nice place to sit. Beware of monkeys by the park’s northern exit, as they will come and take your food if you aren’t careful!

6. Check Out the Lotus Temple

The Lotus Temple is one of the newest popular attractions in Delhi. Shaped like a lotus flower, the temple has 27 white marble petals and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The temple is a shining white gem in the middle of Delhi’s craziness.

The temple is technically dedicated to the Bahá’í Faith, but it is meant as a place of worship and introspection for people of all faiths. The Bahai religion believes that all are equal in the eyes of God, regardless of race, gender, and religion. This temple is open to all to sit and reflect in its near-silence for as long as they wish.

7. Go Shopping at Dilli Haat

Dilli Haat is an open-air artisan market filled with great souvenirs to take home. From religious items and art to clothing and food products, you can find just about any souvenir you’d like at Dilli Haat. There are also a few restaurants towards the back of the market that cook up great Indian and other Asian foods.

You need to buy an entrance ticket outside before you can enter into the market itself. Once you enter, expect to barter for anything that you’d like to buy. The prices are generally good here, and the quality of the products is pretty great, too.

man standing in front of shop stand in the street of India at night

8. Admire the Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in Delhi. Built in the 1600s by the Mughal Empire, this massive mosque can hold 25,000 people in its main worship area. Entrance is free, although some solicitors might try to fraudulently charge you a few hundred Indian rupees on the outside.

The mosque is unmissable, and it is easily one of the best places to see in Delhi. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Islam is the second-largest religion in India, and this is a clear sign of that.

Jama Masjid mosque in new delhi

9. Try Some of Delhi’s Famous Street Food

India is famous all around the world for its cuisine. Indian cuisine can be found in just about every country on earth in a variety of different styles. Each area of India has its own unique cuisine, but there is nowhere as diverse as India’s capital.

DISCLAIMER: Only taste ‘street food’ dishes in established restaurants.

As New Delhi is the most populous and diverse city in India, its street food offering is broad too. Street food may not be safe for all foreigners due to different sanitary standards, but it can always be tried in established restaurants. There are also some food halls that offer high-quality street food dishes that are much safer for foreigners to try!

10. Soak Up the Sights and Sounds of Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk is a maze of bazaars and markets located in the heart of Old Delhi. This area is as hectic as it gets, but this also means that it is as authentic as it gets. From spices and foods to clothes and souvenirs, Chandni Chowk has a little bit of everything.

I wouldn’t recommend visiting Chandni Chowk with small children, as it is absolutely chaotic.

I wouldn’t recommend visiting Chandni Chowk with small children, as it is absolutely chaotic. There are people everywhere, and it is not a great place for small children – especially foreigners.

​There are two other popular places to visit in Delhi that are worth mentioning even though they don’t make the cut of my top ten. Firstly, the Qutub Minar is a red sandstone obelisk that is almost 1,000 years old and is really special. It is a quick thing to look at and doesn’t demand much more time, but its location in South Delhi makes it a bit time-consuming to get to.

The other popular area to check out is Connaught Place, which is where most of the city’s best night life can be found. This area was very popular while the British occupied Delhi, and it is one of the swankier parts of New Delhi.

How to Get to New Delhi

Flying to New Delhi

New Delhi is served by one major international airport, which is Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). This airport is located a short drive from the heart of New Delhi, about halfway between New Delhi and Gurugram.

There is no other good airport option to fly into anywhere near Delhi. Delhi has the country’s biggest airport, and it is almost always going to be the cheapest entry point into India. Delhi is also the best airport to fly into if you want to visit the Taj Mahal, as getting to Agra from New Delhi is very easy and straightforward.

Once you land, you can get to your hotel or other accommodation either via metro, bus, or Uber. I recommend just calling an Uber and preparing for a long ride, as the traffic is pretty rough for the majority of the day. The metro is perfectly fine to use, but it can be tricky with baggage since it is often very tightly packed.

Train or Bus to New Delhi

As the capital of India, New Delhi is very well connected to other cities by buses and trains. There are many train lines and intercity bus lines that stop in New Delhi, and they are often very affordable. 

New Delhi has two train stations, but only one of them really functions as a major transportation hub anymore. Cities like Jaipur and Agra are short trips and easy to get to by train from the New Delhi railway station, but further cities like Goa, Mumbai, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur are better reached by plane.

How to Get Around New Delhi


New Delhi is one of the most chaotic cities on Earth, and the traffic is a perfect example. Driving in New Delhi is hard enough to deal with as a passenger.

I would never recommend renting a car to drive around New Delhi! 

The metro system is a very safe, efficient, and cost-effective way to get around the city. There are 10 lines connecting most of Delhi’s most important neighborhoods, and it completely evades the traffic of the streets. Rides are less than a dollar.

The metro system is great, but it isn’t always the best option.

If there is no convenient station near you, or if you would prefer to avoid the metro station, the best way to get around is by tuk-tuk. Also known as an auto-rickshaw, a tuk-tuk is a small, three-wheeled taxi that can effectively weave in and out of traffic and travel through the narrow streets of the city center.

These little rides are very cheap, usually faster than cars for routes within the city, and very unique to this part of the world. Tuk-tuk prices can always be negotiated, but you can use the Uber or Didi app to skip the negotiation process. Both Uber and Didi work exactly as they do in other parts of the world, with the added bonus of allowing you to hail tuk-tuks in addition to cars.

selfie of traveling father and mother on a tuk tuk with baby son sitting on lap
Tuk Tuks are our preferred method of transportation in New Delhi. This was Nicola’s first time riding one!

How Many Days Do You Need in Delhi?

Delhi is one of the biggest cities in the world, and there is simply so much to see and do. Allotting the number of days to visit Delhi is actually very tricky because there is a lot to juggle. 

Firstly, there is a lot to do, and you need a lot of time to do it all. Add to that that the traffic is terrible, and you will be able to do a lot less each day than you might initially plan for. We had hoped to visit the Red Fort, Lotus Temple, and Jama Masjid all on the same day and quickly realized that it wasn’t going to happen because of the crazy traffic between each destination.

On top of that, it’s easy to get sick of Delhi quickly. The chaos and pollution are next-level, and the city can burn you out pretty quickly. For this reason, I don’t recommend spending too much time in the city.

If you want to see everything on this list, you can probably do it in 5 days. I recommend no more than 5 days in New Delhi, with an ideal amount being closer to 4 days in New Delhi. You might miss out on a couple of the things on this list, but there are plenty of things to see in other nearby Indian cities, too!

black and white picture of woman standing underneath elaborate mosaic ceiling

When Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit New Delhi?

Frankly, there is no great time to visit New Delhi. The weather is pretty hot and humid for the majority of the year, and the cooler months also coincide with the worst air pollution. What looks like a dense fog is actually a thick cloud of ash and other air pollutants that engulfs the city for weeks.

Most people recommend visiting Delhi between October and March when the weather is cool. Personally, I would recommend the opposite. While the weather is very pleasant in these months, the air pollution is at its worst levels of the year.

This is because farmers burn their crops to prepare for the next planting season. The winds blow all of this air pollution into Delhi, where it forms a large cloud over the city. When we visited in January, we could hardly see higher than 50 feet in the air where a thick gray cloud hung over the city.

Personally, I’d rather sweat in the heat with cleaner air than experience cool temperatures and breathe the foul air that comes with it. This is just an opinion, but I’d recommend visiting in May or April after the pollution dissipates a bit and before the crazy heat really picks up.

Is New Delhi Safe to Visit?

Delhi wasn’t my favorite city in India, but safety was never a problem. While there is a high risk of scamming and pickpocketing, we never once felt an actual threat of anything more. Other than the scammers and hecklers, everyone that we met in Delhi was very friendly and welcoming, and we had no need to worry about our safety.

This should be especially meaningful, as we did it all with our toddler. We took him on tuk-tuks, into markets, and through the hectic streets. While we did feel anxious, never once did we feel threatened!

As long as you practice basic safety precautions and take measures to avoid pickpockets and scammers, you will likely have no issues in Delhi. Like any major city, risks increase when the sun goes down and when you venture out of touristy areas, so be smart about where you go and when you go there. If you do this, you will probably be fine.

Is New Delhi Worth Visiting?

Delhi is absolutely worth visiting if you are traveling to India. It is not the most popular tourist destination in the country, but it is absolutely worth a stop on any itinerary to India. Most travelers plan to visit Taj Mahal, and Delhi is almost always a necessary stop on the way to Agra anyway. I recommend spending a couple of days in Delhi before moving on to other areas of India.

While the city is chaotic, its chaos is something that everyone should see and experience. It is very eye-opening. The Delhi way of life coupled with some of the unique things to see and do in the city make Delhi a really cool place to visit in India, even if only for a couple of days.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit Delhi, but if your flight route connects through Delhi at any point, I recommend turning it into an extended layover. After all, you can’t visit India without seeing the Taj Mahal, and it is hard to get to the Taj Mahal without passing through New Delhi!

That’s all we have for you about Delhi! I hope this post was helpful as you plan your trip to India’s capital.

Please comment your thoughts and questions!


Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.

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Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.