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New Delhi City Tours

New Delhi, known worldwide for the famous Taj Mahal, offers interesting tours to learn about its history, culture, art and amazing architecture.

Lorena Morales

Lorena Morales

9 min read

New Delhi City Tours

Lotus Temple | Apostrophy Studio

There are many things to do in New Delhi besides visiting the Taj Mahal, the marble mausoleum considered one of the New Wonders of the World. Here I present the most interesting tours you can do in this city, so you can plan your next visit to India.

In New Delhi, you can take tours very different from each other, such as guided tours to know the most outstanding temples and palaces of the city; or excursions to Sajany Colony, the humble neighborhood where you will see amazing handicrafts. You can also take gastronomic tours to learn about the best dishes of India, or stroll through the city in its typical means of transport: the tuk tuk and rickshaw.

1. Explore the city of New Delhi

Gateway to India| ©Arian Zwegers
Gateway to India| ©Arian Zwegers

One of the best tours you can do in New Delhi is to visit its most iconic buildings, such as the iconic Red Fort, India Gate, the Lotus Temple, Humayun's Tomb, the grand Jama Masjid, the largest and most famous mosque in India, and many other historic buildings with amazing architecture.

These tours are usually private, so you only share them with the people you choose, and you are always accompanied by a professional guide. They can provide you with a lot of information about the history and culture of the sites you visit, and you will also learn the best times to visit each building. This is certainly a great advantage, since, for example, mosques are closed during prayer times.

These tours are available all year round, and are interesting for people of all ages. Some of these tours include pick-up and drop -off at the hotel, and even a lunch consisting of typical Indian dishes. In addition, entrance tickets to the most important attractions are usually included in the tour price, so you won't waste time waiting in long lines.

What you will see on a tour of New Delhi

Some of the most outstanding attractions you will see on these tours are:

  • Jama Masjid: is the largest and most popular mosque in India, which was designed by Emperor Shah Jahan, the same emperor who built the famous Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.
  • Red Fort: it is a red sandstone fortress with huge walls, which is surrounded by a wall 6.5 km long and 33 meters high at its highest point.
  • Lotus Temple: it is so called because of its flower shape. It is considered one of the 7 most important temples in the world.
  • Humayun's Tomb: it is the tomb of Emperor Humayun. It was built by his widow, Bega Begum, and is considered the first tomb to be built with gardens.
  • India Gate: is the icon of New Delhi, and the favorite place of tourists for selfies. It is a monument of 42 meters high with an arch similar to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Qutb Minar: it is the tallest building in India, 72.5 meters high. It was designed with red and beige stones, some of which have inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 40 € per person.
  • Duration: about 8 hours.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to visit the most important sites of New Delhi and know its historical heritage in a comfortable way and accompanied by an expert local guide.
  • Disadvantages of this option: it could be suspended due to bad weather.

Book a private tour of New Delhi

2. Get to know the heritage of Old Delhi by rickshaw

Rickshaw| ©Yun Huang Yong
Rickshaw| ©Yun Huang Yong

An interesting and entertaining way to tour Old Delhi, and see the oldest monuments of the city, is to take a rickshaw ride. These are small vehicles with capacity for 2 or 3 people that are very comfortable to travel through the crowded streets of New Delhi. In addition, you will have the opportunity to take the metro and learn about the daily life of the locals.

In this tour you usually have an expert guide, who can tell you about the history and culture of each site you visit. Tours are conducted with small groups of people and last approximately 3 hours. Most tours of Old Delhi usually include lunch and drinks, or include stops at the city's traditional markets where you can sample local delicacies.

These are year-round experiences and are ideal for people of all ages. These guided tours usually include pick-up and drop-off at the hotel or place of accommodation.

Some of the highlights you will see on these tours are:

  • Dariba Kalan, a 17th century street where you will find antique jewelry shops.
  • The Jama Masjid, the largest and most popular mosque in India.
  • The Jain Shweta Mbar Temple, one of the first Jain temples in Delhi.
  • The Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, a temple of the Sikh cult built in the 18th century.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 15 € per person.
  • Duration: about 3 hours.
  • Means of transport: rickshaw which is a bicycle cab and also used the metro.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to know the historical heritage of Old Delhi with its most important monuments.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you must wear comfortable and appropriate clothing to enter the temples of worship, with clothes that cover the shoulders and knees. To enter the temples it is necessary to remove your shoes.

Tour Old Delhi in rickshaw

3. Be amazed by the unique handicrafts of Sanjay Colony.

Sanjay Colony| ©Manfred Sommer
Sanjay Colony| ©Manfred Sommer

One of the most interesting places to visit in New Delhi is Sanjay Colony, a humble and marginal neighborhood with a lot of culture and traditions that remain intact. It is ideal to visit on foot, and explore the improvised markets in the houses, where they offer exclusive products and handicrafts.

This type of guided tours of Sanjay Colony usually lasts about 3 hours, and are conducted by a professional guide who can tell you the most attractive places to visit, and tell you about the origin of the neighborhood and the way of life of the locals. Most of these tours are conducted with small groups of people. Please note that in some places it is not allowed to take pictures or selfies, so as not to disturb the community.

These tours can be done in the morning or in the afternoon. Although the neighborhood is home to low-income citizens, it is safe to walk through, as the itinerary is very popular. In addition to the stores, you will be able to see the oldest houses, temples and schools in the neighborhood. Undoubtedly, it is an opportunity to take unique memories while collaborating with the progress of the community.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 20 € per person.
  • Duration: about 3 hours.
  • Advantages of this option: you will get to know one of the most marginalized neighborhoods of New Delhi, Sanjay Colony, and how its inhabitants live.
  • Disadvantages of this option: it is not allowed to take pictures in some areas, out of respect for the residents.

Book a tour of Sanjay Colony in Delhi

4. Tour the city of Delhi with a private tuk tuk tour

Tuk tuk| ©Jeff-Photo
Tuk tuk| ©Jeff-Photo

One of the most fun ways to get to know the city of Delhi is by tuk tuk, a small vehicle for few people that allows you to move around the city comfortably. These vehicles, also called autorickshaw, are the preferred way to move safely through every corner of the city.

Tuk tuk tours are generally private, so you can take them with your group of friends or family. In addition, they are usually in charge of an expert local guide who knows the most emblematic sites of the city, as well as its history and culture, which can tell you in detail.

Some of the most important attractions that are usually included in these tours are the Lotus Temple, named for its particular shape; the Jama Masjid mosque, which is the largest and most popular in India; and the Red Fort, a red sandstone building surrounded by a wall of 6.5 kilometers long. They also usually include a visit to Humayun's Tomb, the India Gate and the Qutb Minar, the oldest Islamic monument in the country.

The duration of these tours can be up to 8 hours, as they are some of the most comprehensive tours to see the city. Most companies offer pick-up and drop-off service from your hotel or place of accommodation, and many give you the possibility of adding to the usual itinerary any attraction you are interested in visiting.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 35 € per person.
  • Duration: about 8 hours.
  • Means of transport: tuk tuk.
  • Advantages of this option: you can get to know the city visiting the most interesting attractions of Delhi.
  • Disadvantages of this option: can be cancelled due to bad weather.

Book a tuk tuk tour in Delhi

5. Tour of the best museums in Delhi

Crafts Museum| ©Burlingamebarley
Crafts Museum| ©Burlingamebarley

In New Delhi, the capital of India, there are many interesting museums that you can visit, and a good way is to sign up for a minibus tour. If you want to learn about the culture and history of the city, you can dedicate a full day to visit its most outstanding museums, such as the Crafts Museum, the National Museum of India, the Mahatma Gandhi Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art.

These museum tours are usually conducted in medium-sized groups of people, accompanied by an expert guide who knows the most interesting things about each museum. Most of these tours also usually include the cost of the entrance fees to the museums, and the pick-up and return service to the hotel or place where you are staying.

One of the museums that is never missing in these tours is the National Gallery of Modern Art, one of the most recognized in the country, which preserves an extraordinary collection of miniature pieces.

Another museum that is always included in these itineraries is the Crafts Museum, which houses handicrafts from different regions of India. There you will find magnificent pieces of more than 3 centuries, and you can visit outstanding galleries, such as the Gallery of Tribal and Rural Crafts, the Gallery of Popular Culture and the Gallery of Courtesan Crafts.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 40 € per person. Generally, children under 5 years old can take the tour free of charge.
  • Duration: about 7 hours.
  • Means of transport: by minibus.
  • Advantages of this option: you can visit in one day the most important museums of New Delhi, accompanied by a local guide who will tell you the most interesting about each of them.
  • Disadvantages of this option: it does not include meals and drinks.

6. Gastronomic Tour of New Delhi

Street Food| ©Jnzl's Photos
Street Food| ©Jnzl's Photos

India has one of the most important gastronomies in the world, so it is a good idea to take a gastronomic tour to get to know its most outstanding restaurants and taste its delicious typical dishes. These tours are usually done on foot through the streets near the Digambar Jain Lal Temple and the JamaMasjid mosque, with not very large groups of people.

Among the typical dishes that you can try, the ones that combine sweet and savory flavors are a must, such as fruit sandwiches and samosas, stuffed dumplings that are usually served at the Digambar Jain Lal Temple. In addition, you can taste the delicious teas accompanied by fruits, as is traditional in the city.

The gastronomic tours usually last about 2 hours, and also usually include the tasting of street food, such as sweet semolina and fried bread. The guides in charge of these types of experiences are experts who will be able to tell you about the origin of each dish, its history and all its ingredients, as well as recommend the best restaurants.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 12 € per person.
  • Duration: about 2 hours.
  • Means of transport: on foot.
  • Advantages of this option: you will be able to taste the most exquisite Indian dishes and visit the most outstanding restaurants in New Delhi.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you must wear comfortable shoes to walk around the city.

What are the advantages of taking a guided tour vs. visiting New Delhi on my own?

Getting to know New Delhi| ©Takahiro Fujita
Getting to know New Delhi| ©Takahiro Fujita

The city of Delhi is one of the most populated cities in India, where thousands of people arrive every day to visit the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Undoubtedly, hiring a guided tour is much more comfortable, since you will not have to worry about transportation or traffic congestion.

In addition, the guides in charge of the tours plan an itinerary with the most important attractions of the city, which is a great advantage if you have not been able to research it before. They also know the best times to visit the different attractions, and they usually offer skip-the-line tickets, so you don't waste time at the ticket office.

These guides can provide you with a lot of information about the attractions, so you can take away a more complete knowledge about each site you visit. In addition, almost all temples and monuments contain writings and engravings in languages you may not understand, which the guides can translate for you.

It is always best to book guided tours with guides who speak your language, or a language you understand perfectly, whether you are going on excursions within the city, or on one of the excursions from New Delhi.