What do you do if you only have 1 day in Delhi?
Delhi, the heart of India is an enchanting city with rich history, diverse cultures, and an infectious energy that captivates all who visit. Be swept away from a journey through centuries that seamlessly merge with the modern.
From the bustling bazaars to the tantalizing aroma of street food and mouthwatering delicacies like paranthas from the famous Paranthe Wali Galli to the Old Famous Jalebi Wala and Karim’s for its Mughlai cuisine, Delhi will take you on a whirlwind sensory feast.
Every visit to Delhi is complete with exploring the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, a chaotic yet captivating maze of old-world charm. Here, you can ride a cycle rickshaw, navigating the vibrant chaos of shops, eateries, and hidden treasures. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine lanes and stumble upon secret temples, ancient havelis (mansions), and hidden gems that will leave you spellbound.
Follow us as we Immerse ourselves in the magic of Delhi, where history dances with modernity, flavors tantalize your taste buds, and every corner reveals a new adventure.
Get ready to be enchanted by the soul-stirring melodies of Qawwali, lose yourself in the chaos of the streets, and fall in love with a city that never fails to captivate and inspire.
Delhi awaits you with open arms, ready to leave an indelible mark on your heart.
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Get a one-way private airport transfer from the Indira Gandhi International Airport to your hotel. Relax as you enjoy a hassle-free arrival in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Enjoy a guided evening tour of Delhi and see Delhi’s famous tourist sites at night in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Take the full-day private tour of Qutb Minar, Old, and New Delhi and admire the cultural and spiritual landmarks of this vibrant city.
Visit the top sights in the Old Delhi Tuk-Tuk Private Tour with hotel drop-off and pick-up. Experience the colorful and narrow streets of Chandni Chowk and enjoy delicious street food along the way.
Walk through the streets of Old Delhi in this 3-Hour Old Delhi Heritage Walking Tour with a rickshaw. You will taste Delhi’s famous paranthas and visit a lane full of ancient houses with stunning doors.
Where is Delhi?
Delhi is in the northern part of India on the Indo-Gangetic Plains and is bordered by Haryana on its north, west, and south and Uttar Pradesh on its east. Delhi is on the banks of the Yamuna River which divides the city into two parts: Old Delhi and New Delhi.
With a diverse landscape, rich history, and many historical landmarks, 1 day in Delhi may not be enough to cover the landmarks. Delhi is also home to several parks and gardens and the expansive Delhi Ridge which is the only protected forest area and the largest green lung in the city.
With a history that spreads several centuries, the earliest known settlement dates back to the 6th century when the area known as Indraprastha was mentioned in the epic Mahabharata.
Between the 6th to 12th centuries, the region saw the rise and fall of various empires from the Mauryas, Guptas, and Rajputs. By the 12th century, the Delhi Sultanate founded by Muhammad Ghori was established.
By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire founded by Babur was established after the first Battle of Panipat. The Mughal Empire reached its peak with rulers such as Akhbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan.
The majestic Red Forts of Delhi and Agra, the Taj Mahal, and the iconic Jama Masjid were built over the years. The Mughal Empire declined by the mid-18th century after facing invasions from the Persian and Afghan rulers.
Delhi’s Colonial Era began once Delhi came under British rule. The British established a new city which we know as New Delhi which became the capital of British India. During the Indian independence, Delhi played a significant role with both Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru participating in protests in the city.
By 1947, India gained independence from the British, and Delhi was made the capital city of the Republic of India. The city has seen massive population growth, rapid urbanization, and infrastructure development over the years.
Today, the city is a bustling metropolis known for its historical monuments, and vibrant culture, and is a center of political, economic, and cultural activities in India.
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All foreigners are required to apply for an Indian visa either through the e-Visa online or through Indian Mission in their respective countries. The applications must be made through the official website which details the application process.
Alternatively, you can apply for an Indian Visa in a simple process, traveler-friendly, and get your documents reviewed and approved by immigration experts and well-trained staff.
Which season is coldest in Delhi?
The winter months from December to February are typically the coldest in Delhi. With temperatures dropping below freezing point, it is advisable to wear warm clothing and take precautions to stay warm and hydrated during these months.
How can I spend my time in Delhi?
There are plenty of ways to spend your time in Delhi. You can join the Old Delhi street food tour or join the guided tour to the spice market with a cooking class. Delhi has something for everyone.
Whether you are a history buff, a food enthusiast, or simply out to seek unique experiences, Delhi offers a range of activities to keep you busy throughout the day. With our 1 day in Delhi, we explored 8 major tourist sites with 1 off-beaten destination.
Follow us as we walk you through our 1 day in Delhi.
Our first stop for our 1 day in Delhi was the Red Fort in Delhi. The Red Fort or Lal Qila was the primary residence of Shah Jahan in the 17th century. The red sandstone fort is known for its architecture that blends Persian, Timurid, and Hindu styles.
After paying an entrance fee of Rs 550 ($6.70), we easily spent more than an hour here, walking the vast gardens, pavilions, and courtyards. You can’t miss the Lahore Gate, the main entrance to the fort. Lahore Gate is adorned with calligraphy and intricate carvings.
After Lahore Gate, the other impressive structures are the Diwan-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audience where the emperor would address the public. The Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience is where the emperor hosted receptions and meetings.
Another place that we visited was the Rang Mahal or the Palace of Colors. This was the residence of the emperor’s wives and concubines. What we loved here was the beautiful decorative elements that were designed to provide a relaxed environment during the summer months.
The Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site visit it to admire its historical significance and architectural splendor. The fort is closed on Mondays and is open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm from Tuesdays to Sundays.
An additional fee of Rs 60 ($0.73) for adults is charged for entry to the Light & Sound Show on weekdays. The weekend rate for the Light & Sound Show for adults is Rs 80 ($1).
Digambar Jain Mandir
Our second stop for our 1 day in Delhi was the Digambar Jain Mandir which was a quick 20-minute walk from the main entrance of Red Fort. The Digambar Jain Temple is known for its architectural style inspired by Mughal elements with intricate carvings and red sandstone work.
We loved the fact that the temple housed a museum which gave us an insight into Jain teachings, history, and philosophy. There is also the Jain Bird Temple dedicated to providing treatment to injured birds and animals.
There is no entry fee to visit the temple. However, a donation would be appreciated. Stepping into this temple, one can experience spiritual ambiance and tranquillity and learn about Jainism beliefs while admiring the colors and architectural beauty of this temple.
Our third stop for our 1 day in Delhi was Chandni Chowk or “moonlight square”. This is one of the oldest, grandest, and busiest markets in Old Delhi. The narrow lanes, a wide variety of shops, and a vibrant atmosphere are the attractions of this chaotic street.
Walk along the lanes and shop numerous jewelry, spices, perfumes, and handicrafts while sampling its street food. From mouth-watering iconic paranthas at Paranthe Wali Galli to jalebis, savory kebabs, and chaats.
The best time to visit this street is early in the morning as the lanes and streets can be chaotic and congested with vehicles and pedestrians jostling for space. Chandni Chowk is not only a landmark, it is the essence of Old Delhi.
Feroz Shah Kotla Fort
Our fourth stop for our 1 day in Delhi was the Feroz Shah Kotla Fort, about 2 miles from Chandni Chowk. There is an entrance fee of Rs 100 ($1.21) for adults. This historical fort was built by Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq, the ruler of the Tughlaq.
The fort was the fifth capital of the Delhi Sultanate and was a citadel for the dynasty. The many structures inside the fort include a mosque, an Islamic school, and the Ashoka Pillar.
The Ashoka Pillar is an ancient pillar that bears the inscriptions of Emperor Ashoka. However, the pillar is known for its resistance to rust despite its age.
While Feroz Shah Kotla Fort is not as famous or popular as Red Fort, the ruins and architecture are worth the stop. The fact that this fort is one of the oldest in Delhi adds to its charm.
Agrasen ki Boali
Our fifth stop for our 1 day in Delhi was the Agrasen ki Boali. This stepwell is about 2 miles or a 10-minute drive from Feroz Shah Kotla Fort. Agrasen ki Boali was believed to have been built during the medieval period by Maharaja Agrasen.
Although no one knows its exact origin and no historical records to confirm who built this stepwell, Agrasen ki Boali would have been a relief as it was outside Delhi and would have offered a cool retreat to travelers.
We loved the three-story structure with 108 steps and made of red sandstone. The underground levels were used to store water and as a retreat during the summer months.
There is no entry fee to visit the stepwell with the opening hours from 7 am to 6 pm. Visiting here was an experience of contrasts as it is located in the heart of Connaught Place. Imagine stepping back in time while being in the heart of the city.
Our sixth stop for our 1 day in Delhi was the Jantar Mantar which translates to “instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens.” Jantar Mantar is a 20-minute walk or 10-minute drive from Agrasen ki Boali.
This astronomical observatory is one of five built by Maharaj Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century. The other four observatories are in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, and Mathura.
The Jantar Mantar observatory is a large collection of instruments that were used to measure time, observe celestial bodies, and calculate the various astronomical parameters.
Look out for the Samrat Yantra or the “supreme instrument” which is the largest sundial in the world that measures time precisely. The Jai Prakash Yantra was used to determine the positions of celestial bodies while the Misra Yantra was used to calculate the shortest and longest days of the year.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is open from 6 am to 9 pm with an entrance fee of Rs 250 ($3) for foreign adults. What we loved about Jantar Mantar were the insights we gained into ancient astronomical practices and the functions of the instruments.
Our seventh stop for our 1 day in Delhi was the India Gate. This gate is about 2 miles and is a 10-minute drive from Jantar Mantar. This prominent landmark is at the eastern end of Rajpath which is the ceremonial boulevard that leads to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.
The India Gate is India’s iconic landmark dedicated to the British Indian Army soldiers who died during World War 1 and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. At first glance, the gate looks like the Arch of Constantine in Rome.
Beneath the arch of the gate is a flame-like structure on a black marble plinth with a reversed rifle. This is the Amar Jawan Jyoti which serves as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The flames are continuously lit as a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of the Indian Armed Forces.
Since there was no entrance fee, it was very crowded when we arrived here. We walked the Param Vir Memorial Park and looked for the bust of Captain Vikram Batra, the Indian Army officer known for his bravery and sacrifice during the Kargil War.
After spending an hour here, we made our way to our last destination for the day, Lodhi Gardens.
Our last and eighth stop for our 1 day in Delhi was Lodi Garden. The garden is a 10-minute drive or 30-minute walk from India Gate. These gardens are between Khan Market and the Safdarjung Tomb and are frequented by locals for their daily walks.
The gardens house the tombs of Sikandar Lodi and Muhammad Shah, the first two rulers of the Lodi Dynasty. While the Bara Gumbad is not a tomb, the Shisha Gumbad houses either an unknown family or Bahlol Lodi, the founder of the Lodi Dynasty.
There is no entrance fee. However, what we loved was the fact that the gardens are one of the best places to admire the beautiful Delhi sunset. With that, our 1 day in Delhi came to an end.
What are the best places to stay in Delhi?
Although there are many best places to stay in Delhi, these are our choices if you have more than 1 day in Delhi. We chose these hotels that emphasize on comfort, services, and amenities to cater to every guest’s needs.
Shangri-La Eros New Delhi
Our first choice if you have more than 1 day in Delhi is the Shangri-La Eros which is a 320-room that is centrally located within Old and New Delhi. The hotel has some of the best city views of Delhi and where Mughal-inspired lattice work meets Chinese motifs in its decor.
The young and enthusiastic staff make you feel at home. They remember the smallest details and effortlessly remember your name. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities. The comfortable beds and little touches such as the fruit basket are replenished daily and are added plus points.
The Leela Palace
Our second choice, if you have more than 1 day in Delhi, is the Leela Palace which is a 260-room known for its opulence, elegance, and impeccable service. The rooms are a blend of traditional Indian decor and modern amenities.
With a range of facilities such as an indoor swimming pool, a spa, a business center for corporate travelers, and various dining options, guests are spoilt for choice when staying here.
Staff are also known for their warm hospitality and attention to detail, the staff are always on hand to help you with your needs. Guests loved the food and ambiance of the hotel while other reviewers loved the comfortable beds and royal treatment received.
Our third choice, if you have more than 1 day in Delhi, is The Lodhi which is a 48-room hotel on Lodhi Road. The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens and incorporates modern architecture and traditional Indian design.
With spacious interiors and decor, the hotel provides a sense of tranquility and serenity amidst the chaos of Delhi. All rooms are meticulously designed and feature well-appointed amenities with stunning views of either the city skyline or the hotel’s garden.
The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers and cabanas, a fully equipped gym, and a luxurious spa for those seeking total relaxation. Guests loved the warm and hospitable staff and the private splash pool from the Verandah Pool Suite which was luxurious.
Overall, the Lodhi is a tranquil retreat in the heart of Delhi with elegant accommodations, exceptional dining options, and a convenient location that seeks to provide a memorable experience for each of their guest.
Our fourth choice, if you have more than 1 day in Delhi, is The Oberoi which is a 220-room luxury hotel located close to the central business district of Connaught Place and sprawling gardens.
The rooms have views of Delhi Golf Club or Humayun’s Tomb and feature opulent interiors where traditional meets contemporary elegance. Guests loved the staff who go above and beyond to ensure guests feel at home.
Guests also loved the clean and comfortable rooms and the delicious food served. The rooftop bar with views of the city skyline was also a favorite spot to hang out for guests.
Overall, The Oberoi offers a combination of timeless elegance, and impeccable service, and is a preferred choice for travelers seeking a luxurious experience in the heart of Delhi.
Our fifth and last choice, if you have more than 1 day in Delhi, is The Andaz which is a 401-room hotel in Aerocity, near the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The hotel is known for its contemporary aesthetics with rooms being modern and minimalistic.
With various dining options, the all-day European Food Hall serves farm-to-table cuisine while the Hong Kong Club serves authentic Cantonese cuisine and signature cocktails. The rooftop bar is also popular with guests with its panoramic views of the city.
Guests loved the big rooms, the delicious breakfast spread, and the free coffee and cookies throughout the day. Since the hotel is close to the airport, guests have a unique view of planes arriving and departing.
The hotel is suitable for those with early morning or late night flights due to its proximity to the airport.
Overall, the Andaz offers a luxurious experience with its convenient location and stylish design, and exceptional dining options.
Frequently Asked Questions on Delhi
There are many reasons people go to Delhi. From its historical and cultural significance to mouthwatering cuisine, Delhi is a dynamic blend of history, culture, and food. Delhi is also a popular pilgrimage place and is home to a melting pot of religions.
The main language spoken in Delhi is Hindi which is the official language of India. English is often considered the second language and is used in business and communication. The other languages spoken in Delhi include Punjabi, Urdu, Marathi, Tamil, and Sindhi.
The old name of Delhi is Indraprastha in the Mahabharata. This was the city where the Pandavas used to live. Another old name of Delhi was Shahjahanabad which was given when the city was established by Shah Jahan in the 17th century.
Delhi is called “Mini India” due to its diverse and multicultural nature. The fact that Delhi attracts people from all over India who live, work, and study there gives substance to this nickname. The result is a vibrant blend of culture, languages, and traditions.
The best months to visit Delhi is during the autumn and winter seasons from October to March. During these months, the weather is pleasant and cool making it an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Yes, street food is safe in Delhi. However, it’s always better to exercise caution to minimize potential health risks. Some tip to consider is to choose busy stalls as it indicates food is prepared fresh. Another tip is to eat food that is fully cooked and served hot.
Other tips to consider include is always trust your instincts when a food or a particular stall doesn’t feel or taste right. Also, pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the stall and observe food handling processes.
The main festival in Delhi is Diwali which falls between October and November and is celebrated with enthusiasm and joy in Delhi and throughout India. The other popular festivals celebrated are Holi, Navrathri, and Dussehra.
The founder of Delhi is accredited to Anangpal Tomar, a Rajput Prince whose name was inscribed in the Iron Pillar within the Qutub Minar complex. He established Lal-Kot in 736 BC. By the 16th century, Delhi became the capital of the Mughal Empire by Shah Jahan and was renamed Shahjahanabad.
Yes, the English language is widely spoken and understood in Delhi. English is common in business, education, and tourism. While English is used in urban areas, the rural population speaks and understands Hindi. Hence, learning Hindi is important and would help you in your travels to India.
A respectful way of saying hello in Delhi is by folding your hands and with a bow, greeting by saying, “Namaste”. The other greetings which you may hear are “pranam” or “namaskar”.
Yes, Delhi is worth visiting! This bustling city offers a mix of history, and cultural heritage, and is home to 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which are Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, and Red Fort.
The city also boasts several museums, art galleries, and cultural centers which spotlight the nation’s diverse culture and heritage. For foodies like us, indulging in Delhi’s street food is a must whenever we visit.
The vibrant markets of Chandni Chowk and Connaught Place offer a unique shopping experience where you can find souvenirs such as traditional crafts, textiles, and jewelry.
As Delhi is a big city, traffic congestion, pollution, and crowded areas can be overwhelming for first-timers. Hence, it is advisable to plan your trip to Delhi in advance and take the necessary precautions for your safety and well-being.