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A maze of madness called Delhi

Welcome to Delhi, the capital of India. Wherever you go, whatever you do: you will not forget this metropole. Delhi is a mix of insanity, extraordinary culture and stunning architecture. A tornado of people, a flavour explosion and a blend of colours. With an estimated population of 30 million people (2020) Delhi is the largest city of India, leaving Mumbai behind with ‘only’ 20 million inhabitants. Although the city has its fair share of problems, you’ll be amazed by the beauty found within all the chaos.

Is Delhi and New Delhi the same?

The city’s official name is ‘New Delhi’ because this is the ‘new’ part of the city where the three branches of government are located, as well as embassies and most hotels. It typically has big lanes full of traffic that lead to several tourist attractions. ‘Old’ Delhi as the name indicates is the old part of the city with narrow streets and shops full of trinkets, colourful fabrics and spices. Most Indians just refer to the city as ‘Delhi’, which we’ll do too in this article.

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Best time to visit Delhi

The best time of the year to visit Delhi and Northern India, in general, is between the months of October and March. During these months the weather is the most pleasant with temperatures ranging from 10 °C to 30 °C during the daytime. This is the dry period of the year, with a big chance of blue skies and little rain. The monsoon season is from June to September. Expect heavy rainfall combined with extremely hot temperatures, reaching 45 °C not being uncommon.

How to get around Delhi

Delhi airport to city centre

Delhi is India’s capital so naturally, the biggest airport is Indira Gandhi Airport. It’s in the top 20 biggest airports in the world. You can find cheap flight tickets to India from many places, but we recommend you book ahead of time.

Once you’ve arrived at Indira Gandhi Airport, picked up your luggage and continued through immigration, choosing a means of transport to go to the city can be overwhelming. There are multiple ways to reach the city centre: either by taxi, metro or public bus. If you arrive at night, we strongly recommend booking a taxi in advance, as the city can be unsafe at night.


Negotiating with taxi drivers at Delhi Airport should be considered an extreme sport. There will be plenty of drivers waiting for you in the arrival hall. Each of them is a talented bargainer, and you’ll often end up paying quite a lot of money. We tried both the metro and taxi and would recommend you book a taxi in advance to save yourself from the hassle.

The apps Uber or Rapido also work well in India but are prohibited from use in Delhi. In other cities in India, you can use Uber, but it’s always a surprise whether the driver will actually agree with the price stated in the app.


Delhi has an extensive subway network with different lines connecting all parts of the city. The metro station of the Airport is located in Terminal 3. The metro takes you in just 25 minutes to the city centre. During the daytime, it is a safe, cheap, and fast option to go almost everywhere in Delhi.

You can buy tokens for one-way trips from the airport to the city at the counters or on one of the machines. To go from Indira Gandi Airport to the city, take the orange line to New Delhi Station. A token from Airport (T-3) to New Delhi Station will cost you ₹ 60 Rs (about €0.67). For as little as ₹200 Rs (about €2.25) you buy a day pass to go all around the city. This card is not valid for the airport rail.

Before you go, download the Delhi Metro Rail app to navigate around the city and top up the smart card. This app is fantastic. It will navigate you everywhere around the city. The app shows in detail which colour metro line to take, how many stops or intersects are on your way, what station is closest, how much your trip will cost and how long it will take you to get there. There’s even a special tourist function where you can choose tourist attractions. The app will tell you which metro station is closest to the attraction, as some names are very different from the highlight. Truly amazing for travellers!

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

Grab a Tuktuk or rickshaw

One of the more obvious ways of travelling in India is by tuk-tuk or rickshaw. Although these little vehicles can skilfully navigate through Delhi traffic, negotiating with them can be a pain in the ass. It is very common to negotiate in India, never just get in a tuk-tuk or rickshaw without agreeing on the price. Even after having a deal on a price, we experienced that during the ride they want to increase the price by ₹50 Rs or more. They will tell you that you gave them the wrong location, and it appears to be further away, or one of the other 300 excuses we’ve heard. Although this seems insignificant, be aware that accepting this is promoting the unpleasant way they treat travellers. It is also possible to hire a tuk-tuk for an entire day. You’ll have a private driver that will drop you at your tourist attractions of choice and wait for you to return. We personally preferred walking and taking the metro everywhere.

Getting a sim card in Delhi

India has one of the fastest data speeds throughout Asia. There are numerous sim card providers available, but Airtel is our favourite. It has a high speed and good service. It is possible to buy the sim card directly at the airport. An easy option, but the waiting line is long and the price is higher. The price of an Airtel sim card with a value pack of 1.5 GB/day for 28 days at 4G speed will be around ₹1000 Rs (about €11.20). In some hotels or in the city centre, it is possible to get a sim card for half the price. The staff will assist you in the process, requiring only your passport, visa, and a photograph which is taken on the spot. Keep in mind that administration takes a long time in India, so be prepared to sit there for a while.

What to do in Delhi

Delhi is an enormous metro pole and deciding what to visit can be challenging. Just being in the city and walking around can be pretty overwhelming. We selected some of the best places in Delhi to visit. To experience the city to the fullest, take a tuktuk at least once. Because there is so much to do and see, we listed some extra tourist sites at the end of this article in case you have more time.

Sikh Temple (Gurdwara Shri Bangla Sahib)

This Sikh temple is our best recommendation when visiting Delhi. Sikhism is a minority religion in India whose followers believe in spiritual development combined with everyday good moral conduct. Sikh people are extremely friendly and helpful, which is also one of the most important virtues of their faith. There are around 26 million Sikhs worldwide and they are easily recognizable by their turban.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

The Gurdwara

A ‘gurdwara’ is a place for meeting each other and worship for Sikhs. Gurdwara Shri Bangla Sahib is located near Connaught Place, one of Delhi’s busiest traffic intersections. The Gurdwara is visible from a distance and is instantly recognizable by its golden dome and tall flagpole. Upon entering the Gurdwara, one of the members will friendly welcome you, and explain what they do. They will kindly ask you to take off your shoes and cover your head. You will be provided with a headscarf. A Sikh host will provide a short introduction to the history of the religion and the Gurdwara and will then show you around the complex. Take a moment to sit down, look around and feel the clean and fresh energy of this place. It is filled with positive energy and the work they do is amazing. There’s a true community of several generations that gathers here to connect and pray together.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

The community kitchen

After walking around the premises of the Gurdwara, it is time to visit the kitchen. Every day, an estimated 40,000 meals are prepared by the Sikhs for the poor and hungry. In Sikhism, helping another person is one of the greatest virtues of life. Walk around the kitchen and have a look at how the dahl, chapatis and rice are prepared. You can even help them prepare the food if you like.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

Join for lunch

Now it is time for lunch. Every half an hour or so, there is place for another couple of hundred people to enter the large dining hall. Everyone receives a silver platter and spoon, while food is distributed. You can eat as much as you want and the food is delicious. Please don’t waste any food and accept no more than you can finish.

Although the Gurdwara and the lunch are totally free of charge, it is possible to make a donation at the end of your visit. Donations are not mandatory, but after visiting this amazing place, we cannot imagine anyone not wanting to make a donation. The money supports the Gurdwara in their mission to help everyone in need to eat and drink regardless of faith, wealth, or opinion. The whole experience of the Gurdwara takes at least two hours but is definitely worth it.

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Take selfies with locals in the Jama Masjid

Shop for souvenirs in the Lal Qila (Red Fort)

The Red Fort or Lal Qila is a large historic fort near Old Delhi built in 1638. It served as the main residence for the heads of the Mughal Empire. The Mughals were Muslims who ruled a territory that is now called India and Pakistan and has a large Hindu majority in the 1500-1600’s. One of the main architectural masterpieces built by the Mughals is the Taj Mahal in Agra. The Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone. 

The Red Fort is a tourist attraction which can be packed with people at times. We recommended visiting as early as possible to avoid the heat and the masses. Inside the immense Red Fort, there is an indoor bazaar where you can buy beautiful (but slightly expensive) souvenirs and jewellery. There is a park and all sorts of monuments and temples inside the complex. Estimate about 1.5 hours to visit the Red Fort. 

The entrance fee to the Red Fort for a foreigner is ₹600 Rs (€6.70). Don’t be surprised if you pay more than Indians. This goes for almost every tourist attraction throughout India.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

Take selfies with locals in the Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid is just opposite the Red Fort in Old Delhi and is one of the largest mosques in India. Just like the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal, it was built by the Mughals between 1650 and 1655 as a symbol of Islamic power in India. Every Friday, the Muslims of Delhi gather here to offer prayer. 

Because of the immensity and antiquity of the mosque, it is continuously under construction. It is possible to enter the mosque inside, but be aware that this is a place of worship. Try to be respectful. Men and women need to wear clothes that cover both legs and arms. Inside the premises of the mosque, it is allowed to relax and take pictures, which we definitely recommend because the building is beautiful. In front of the mosque, there is the Meena Bazar, where you can buy all sorts of food and other things. The Jama Masjid also has a name like the metro station on the violet line. 

The entrance fee to the Jama Masjid is ₹300 Rs per person (€3.40) and if you need clothes you can rent those for ₹100 Rs (about €1.12).

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

Experience a culture shock in Chandni Chowk market Old Delhi

Close to the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid are the narrow and crowded streets of Old Delhi. Chandni Chowk Market is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, and it is easy to get lost in this maze of colour, smell, and sound. Old Delhi is not for everyone, as it is very crowded, there are lots of poor people and beggars, and you have to watch your belongings carefully. Although Chandni Chowk is crowded, dirty, loud, and full of cows, street dogs and other animals, it is truly an amazing place to plunge into Indian culture. Buy a couple of souvenirs, look around and take loads of pictures.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

We were in Delhi the day before the famous Holi festival and a Hindu parade was just passing by on Chadni Chowk road which we were lucky to witness. Pink, red and green colours are sold everywhere, and it’s heaven for photography.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World
what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

Admire the India Gate

The India Gate is located on one of Delhi’s busiest traffic intersections and looks a bit like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. This giant monument was erected to honour the 84,000 Indian forces who fought for the British Empire during World War I.

Remember Gandhi at the Raj Ghat

Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi located at the west bank of the Yamuna station. The memorial can be easily reached using the violet metro line. The Raj Ghat is a black marble platform that marks the spot where Gandhi was cremated. A beautiful park surrounds the whole monument.

Indulge yourself in Indian history in the Gandhi Museum

Just around the corner from the Raj Ghat is the Gandhi Museum about the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, who gained India’s independence from the British colonial rulers. In this free museum, every aspect of his life is highlighted. Even the clothes Gandhi wore during his assassination are on display. This museum is a great opportunity to indulge yourself in India’s recent history and learn about the life of this national hero.


Akshardham is a recently completed (2005) Hindu temple located on the east banks of the Yamuna river and is easily reachable using the blue metro line. The temple serves thousands of Hindu religion and serves as a spiritual-cultural campus. Every evening at 7 p.m. there is a light- and water fountain show. It is a beautiful place to watch the sunset (as far as possible in Delhi’s polluted air) and spend the evening. Be aware, you have to put your belongings and phones in boxes for their employees to be watched, as you are not allowed to take this with you into the complex.

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

Other things to do in Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun and is beautifully decorated. It was the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent. The complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. This beautiful tomb is said to be the inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra. 

what to do in Delhi India Mice Around the World

The Lotus temple

The Lotus temple is a house of worship open to all religions. It was constructed in 1986 as a Bahá’í house of worship. Bahá’í is a religion founded in the 19th century that teaches the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. The temple consists of 27 freestanding ‘petals’ ranging over 34 metres in height.

Qutb Minar complex

The Qutb Minar complex are a series of monuments dating from the Delhi Sultanate during medieval India (1206-1526), of which the Qutb Minar or ‘victory tower’ is the most famous. Qutb Minar complex and the adjoining archaeological park consist of over 40 monuments dating to this period.

Jain temple

Just across the Red Fort is the oldest and best-known Jain Temple in Delhi, recognizable by its red structures. The Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir temple is quite small but beautiful. Jainism is an Indian minority religion which is characterized by non-violence, chastity and non-possessiveness. They live by strict rules and have very peculiar music. Visit the temple to learn more about this interesting religion.

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Where to stay in Delhi

Take your time to book a decent hotel in Delhi and don’t go for the cheapest option, as you will find yourself in a dirty and noisy hotel room. We stayed at the Blue Pearl Hotel, which is quite pricy for India. Rooms start from €36,- a night including breakfast. This hotel is located a five-minute walk from New Delhi train station, which was a good option considering we booked the train to Agra two days later. The hotel room was clean, noise-cancelling and the breakfast was good. It had both Indian and Western options for those who do not like to eat Indian food in the morning.

Where to eat in Delhi

Everywhere in India, you have to be cautious about where you have dinner to prevent getting sick. But Delhi is known for getting food poisoning. ‘Delhi belly’ is a digestive illness resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea. Most Western people will become ill once during their stay in India, especially during the warm months, as the chances of having bacteria in the food increase greatly. I was in Delhi 3 times and got sick 3 times. Because I have not been able to find places to eat without getting sick, we will not recommend any places to eat here.

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