The top 10 attractions in Delhi – you should not miss!
Holidays in India | 12 Comments Last update on 27.04.2019
Hardly an India trip leads past the capital. Delhi has a rich history and therefore has much to offer travelers. In this article, we introduce you to our top 10 attractions in Delhi. Have fun discovering the colorful metropolis!
Our tip: If you mark the map with the star, you’ll have it with you everywhere in your Google Maps app!
Delhi is extreme and many travelers who come to India for the first time and go on their own are shocked by the conditions in the country. For a more comfortable start in India and a culture shock, it may be wise to start a guided tour of Delhi.
1. Red Fort (Lal Qila)
One of Delhi’s most important attractions is the mighty fortress and palace complex of red sandstone from the Mughal Empire. After crossing the Lahore Gate and leaving behind the bustling streets of Old Delhi, you find yourself in an oasis of tranquility.
You can explore the fort: a three-story drum house housing the Indian War Museum, the public lobby, Divan-e-Am, the marble palace Mumtaz Mahal, the private palace of Khas Mahal, the Palace of Colors Rang Mahal, Royal Baths, the Perl Mosque and some pavilions.
Unfortunately, many of the buildings are closed and no longer accessible. Although it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007, the lack of maintenance on the part of the Indian authorities means that the magical splendor is being lost more and more. Nevertheless it is worth a visit! We took an audio guide and were able to look at everything and be explained in peace.
Entry: 600 rupees + audio guide | Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 7:00 am to 5:30 pm | Metro station: Chandni Chowk
2. Jama Masjid – the big Friday mosque
The largest mosque in India was inaugurated in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. It took six years for the massive red sandstone structure to be completed at a cost of a million rupees.
If you have crossed the entrance gate, you are in the large courtyard. There is room for over 20,000 worshipers here!
Entry: free | Metro station: Chandni Chowk
Other places of interest in Old Delhi
- Chandni Chowk – the old boulevard
- Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib – a Sikh temple in Old Delhi (Admission: free, opening hours: open 24 hours)
- Raj Ghat – Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, buried here in 1948 (Admission: free, opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
New Delhi was built around 100 years ago during the period of British colonial rule to replace the old capital of Calcutta. It is not difficult to see European influence in the architecture of government buildings.
3. Connaught Place (Rajiv Chowk)
Renamed Rajiv Chowk a few years ago, this circular square is the hub of New Delhi. From here branch off eight arterial roads in all directions. The most well-known connecting road is the Janpath branching off to the south and leads into the government district created by the British.
Metro station: Rajiv Chowk
4. The Presidential Palace and the India Gate
The large, wide boulevard Rajpath connects the government district in the west and the imposing India Gate in the east. Large green areas surround the street, which in the evening attracts many locals for picnics.
Heading west, the road leads slightly uphill. Left and right you can see the two imposing government buildings, which were built of yellow sandstone. At the end of the street is the palace-like Rashtrapati Bhawan, governed by the Indian president. Unfortunately you can not get close and have to settle for a look through the big iron gates.
From the hill, however, you have a good view over the Rajpath to the India Gate. The All India War Memorial is a large triumphal arch reminiscent of the British Indian soldiers who died in the First World War.
Metro station: Khan Market
5. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
About one kilometer southwest of Connaught Place you will find this Sikh temple. Although he can not compete with the splendor and magic of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, it is still a fine example of Sikh architecture. Very characteristic are the golden domes and the typical square temple pond with holy water. From the outside, the church seems a bit inconspicuous, but as soon as you enter the temple, you get into a very special, spiritual atmosphere.
Entry: free | Opening hours: Open 24 hours
6. Humayun Mausoleum
The magnificent tomb of Humayun was commissioned by his wife and completed only nine years after his death. It is with its 43 meters towering marble dome as a prototype of the mogul mausoleums. In a museum you are shown that the Taj Mahal was built a century later according to a similar plan.
Entry: 600 rupees | Opening hours: From sunrise to sunset | Metro station: JL Nehru Stadium
7. Lodi Gardens
Built in 1930, this beautiful park has monuments from the 15th and 16th centuries, manicured lawns, colorful flowers, shady trees and ponds. Especially in the early morning and evening hours, the sprawling garden is a great place for a morning run or just a relaxed retreat. If you travel a lot with your camera, you will be able to spend hours in this picturesque park.
Entry: free | Opening hours: daily from 6:00 to 20:00 | Metro station: Jor Bagh or Khan Market
8. Ghandi Smriti Museum
In this house lived Gandhi the last 4.5 months of his life until his assassination on January 30, 1948. In addition to impressive utensils such as his spinning wheel, countless photos, newspaper clippings and film screenings, his life is impressively presented here in a multimedia exhibition. There are similarities to Mani Bhavan, the Ghandi Museum in Mumbai, but this museum is much larger and more extensive. Here you will learn everything you should know about the “Father of the Nation”. Bring your time!
Entry: free | Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm | Metro station: Racecourse
Swaminarayan Akshardham is a unique center for Indian culture. You can imagine it as a kind of Hindu Disneyland for Indians. At the heart of the 40-acre complex is the magnificent Akshardham Temple, built of red sandstone and white marble. The decorated outer wall consists of over 200 sculptures. Inside the building you will find, among other things, a large gilded statue. The entrance to the temple is free.
There are more exhibitions and attractions on offer but you will need to buy tickets. Among other things, you can visit:
- A film showing a pilgrimage to India’s sacred places, festivals and traditions
- A boat trip through 10,000 years of Indian culture
- The Hall of Values: Here are scenes from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (the central figure of a Hindu sect) presented by means of film, light and sound shows and animation figures
- A water-light concert at Yagnapurush Kund and music fountain every evening at 6:45 pm
Photography is prohibited throughout the area. On your arrival you have to fill out a note with your name, address and telephone number. You can not stop storing all your electronic devices along with your backpack at the baggage claim.
Entry: free, but many activities require entrance fee, information booklet 5 rupees | Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, Temple: 09.00 to 19.00, Exhibitions: 09.00 to 18.00, Parking: 09.00 to 22.30. From October to March, the temple and exhibitions are closed one hour earlier. | Metro station: Akshardham
10. Lotus temple
In the southeast of Delhi is one of the rare, extraordinary Bahai temple in the form of a lotus flower. Nine gates on all sides symbolize openness to followers of different religions.
In the well-kept gardens and in the very simple kept temple itself you will find the peace from the hustle and bustle of the city. Especially worth the visit in the evening just before closing. Then the rush is not quite as big and when the light changes, the temple really comes into its own.
Entry: free | Opening hours: 9.30am – 5.30pm | Metro station: Kalkaji Mandir
Other places of interest in New Delhi
- Jantar Mantar – Observatory with oversized pink observation instruments (entrance fee: 100 rupees, metro station: Patel Chowk)
- Birla Mandir Temple (Lakshmi Narayan) – Red sandstone temple inaugurated in 1938 by Mahatma Gandhi (Admission: free)
- Qutb Minar – Victory and Watchtower and Minaret in the Qutb Complex, considered an early masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture, is still one of the tallest towers in the Islamic world (open daily from dawn to dusk, entrance fee: 250 rupees)
- Mehrauli Archaeological Park – Archaeological area with over 100 historic monuments, including colonial tombs and palaces
Here you can stay overnight
As accommodation I can recommend the Zostel. This hostel in the city center is a great place to get in touch with other India travelers. The double rooms are spacious with air conditioning, TV, desk and private bathroom. The dorms are not too tight; mostly with private bath and you have a large compartment where you can include your complete backpack. And best of all: In all areas (also in the rooms!) You have free, fast Wi-Fi available.
Apart from the Zostel, the following accommodations are also very popular with travelers:
Accommodations of the higher price category:
- Bloomrooms: Very centrally located on Connaught Place, modern 3-star hotel
- GG Bed And Breakfast: Beautiful accommodation with free breakfast near the Humayun mausoleum
- Cp Villa: An oasis of tranquility right in the center of Delhi with comfortably furnished double rooms and a private terrace
Accommodations of the lower price category:
- goStops Delhi: Simple, clean rooms and a cozy lounge to relax and get to know other travelers quickly
- Joey’s Hostel: Popular accommodation with double rooms and dormitories in eastern Delhi near the Akshardham Temple
- Nomadia Hostel: Very clean hostel with common areas, balcony and kitchen
- Bunkmates: Great hostel where you’ll feel like you’re in a second home
Otherwise you will find more nice places to stay with the help of this search mask. You can also narrow down the selection with many filters (such as location, features and price) to quickly find the best accommodation for you.
Our accommodation, the Zostel, was within walking distance of Central Station and New Delhi Metro Station. That was very convenient! With the Delhi Metro you can easily reach the main attractions of the city and the annoying bargaining with taxi and riksha drivers is totally superfluous.
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Hey! Nice that you pass us by. We are Bina & Francis – globetrotters, adventurers and drone freaks. Since January 2015 we travel with camera drone in the luggage around the world. We love to explore our Earth from a new perspective!
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