Best Things To Do in New Delhi

New Delhi is a city with many amazing destinations that you can visit at any time of the year. Here are the places you can't miss during your stay.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Best Things To Do in New Delhi

New Delhi | Laurentiu Morariu

The federal capital of India, New Delhi, is a place with as many tourist destinations as there are types of tourists. There, you will find a great religious, historical, cultural and human legacy that will take your breath away. You will see amazing monuments, many of them world-renowned, natural spaces, open-air galleries and much more.

During your stay, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of activities in the city. You can take a walk or tuk tuk ride to explore the city, as well as visit the majestic Taj Mahal, considered the greatest love poem of mankind. You also have the option to stroll through the Lodhi neighborhood, known as the art district; go to the Mangal Mahadeva Birla Kanan temple to honor the god of destruction, Shiva; among other of the best things to do in New Delhi.

1. Take a walk around New Delhi and identify its highlights

Humayun's Tomb| ©Rckr88
Humayun's Tomb| ©Rckr88

Strolling through the streets of New Delhi is one of the must-do activities during your stay. You will be able to take a look around the city, identifying along the way its main areas of historical, cultural and religious interest.

Some of the main destinations you will see during this tour include the following:

  • The India Gate; this is a monumental 42-meter high structure, erected to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the First World War.
  • The Red Fort, which owes its name to the color of the sandstone with which it was built during the seventeenth century by the Mughal Empire.
  • Humayun's tomb, representative of Mughal architecture. This complex of buildings houses the tomb of Emperor Humayun, some mosques and other structures.
  • The Qutb Minar, with a height of about 72.5 meters, this tower of Islamic architectural style is one of the tallest in the world.

The city has many outstanding areas that you will have the possibility to discover at your own pace without any inconvenience. In addition, you can take a private tour of New Delhi and enjoy the company of an expert, who will tell you the history of each destination and take you directly to them, allowing you to save time and money.

Book a private tour of New Delhi

2. Hop on a tuk tuk and move around New Delhi in a different way

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

If you want to live a unique experience, you should get on the most popular means of transport in the city: the tuk tuk. You will move around the city in a comfortable and safe way, accessing the most emblematic places in New Delhi in less time. In addition, you will get a unique perspective of the streets.

You can take a tuk tuk on any street in the city and go from one attraction to another at your leisure, marking your own route. For example, some popular destinations are:

  • The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib; this is a Sikh place of worship with an amazing golden dome and a monumental structure in Sikh architectural style.
  • The Red Fort or ancient Mughal fortress, converted into a museum complex which, due to its location, is often the meeting point for some of the best day trips from New Delhi.
  • The Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhawan. Current residence of the President of India, noted for its neoclassical architecture and beautiful Mughal gardens.
  • The Lotus Temple, which is a construction winner of several architectural awards, inside which the cult of the Bahai faith is professed.

You can also connect with a tuk tuk tour of Delhi, with pick-up at the door of your hotel. You will explore the city for approximately eight hours in the company of a driver-guide, who will take you directly to each site of interest.

<div class="post-button"" markdown="1"><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><a href="link|text=Book a tuk tuk tour of Delhi|element=pa-3874">Book a tuk tuk tour of Delhi</a><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span></div><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="3. ">Be amazed by the architecture and romantic character of the Taj Mahal</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=Taj Mahal up close | ©Christopher John SSF">Taj Mahal up close</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Visiting the <a href="link|text=Taj Mahal from New Delhi|element=sc-203-4769">Taj Mahal from New Delhi</a> is an experience you should not miss during your stay in the city. It is the <strong>most famous funerary monument</strong> in the world, which will surprise you with its <a href="link|text=romantic history|url=">romantic history</a> and combination of <strong>Indian, Islamic, Turkish and Persian architecture</a>.</strong><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>During the visit, you will tour the <strong>main corners of this mausoleum</strong> built in white marble and decorated with inlaid precious stones. For example: <ul> <li><strong>The south garden,</strong> which surrounds the main facade of the monument and whose design is inspired by the Muslim paradise.</li> <li><strong>The main glass dome</strong> inside the monument. There, you should probably queue up to take some photographs.</li> <li><strong>The tomb area,</strong> in which is that of the Muslim emperor <a href="link|text=Shah Jahan|url=">Shah Jahan</a> along with that of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Because the monument is easily accessible by car or train, you can go <strong>on your own</strong> at any time of day, during its opening hours, between 6:00 am and 6:30 pm. In addition, you have the option of connecting with a wide range of tours and excursions such as a <strong>guided tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort,</strong> which will allow you to visit two 17th century monuments in the same activity. <span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><div class="post-button" markdown="1"><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><a href="link|text=Book a tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort|element=pa-3868">Book a tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort</a><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span></div><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="4. ">Go to the Sanjay neighborhood in Delhi and get to know the entrepreneurial spirit of the locals</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=New Delhi slum | ©Manfred Sommer">New Delhi slum</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>If you want to get to know the more human side of New Delhi, you should approach the <strong>slum Sanjay.</strong> This is a residential area with <strong>narrow streets</strong> and people with a great entrepreneurial spirit. You can walk around the slum, while immersing yourself in the <strong>local culture and way of life.</strong><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>This small neighborhood is surrounded by the industrial area of the city, near the <a href="link|text=ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple|url=">ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple</a>. Head there any time of day and wander among the labyrinthine streets lined with brick houses, dotted with <strong>small businesses</strong> electronics, automotive and garment manufacturing.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>At any <strong>drive through Delhi's Sanjay Colony,</strong> you'll be amazed to see mountains of textile sacks as you pass by, along with women sorting through the material to sell to factories. You will interact with the <strong>sympathetic children playing</strong> in the streets and may have the opportunity to visit places such as a small Hindu temple and a school.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><div class="post-button" markdown="1"><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><a href="link|text=Book a tour of Sanjay Colony in Delhi|element=pa-3872">Book a tour of Sanjay Colony in Delhi</a><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span></div><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="5. ">Explore some of the city's cultural heritage in the Old Delhi neighborhood</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=Jama Masjid | ©nborun">Jama Masjid</figcaption></figure></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Another must-see destination is the <strong>old Delhi neighborhood,</strong> where you'll find several places of <strong>cultural, religious and architectural interest.</strong> You'll get a close-up look at the rich heritage of this place, immersing yourself in its bustling streets as if you were a local.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Throughout the tour, you can <strong>stop at the places that catch your attention</strong> to explore them in depth, some of them being the following: <ul> <li><strong>The Kinari Bazaar,</strong> a well-known wholesale market specializing in traditional handicrafts, tapestries and all kinds of textiles.</li> <li><a href="link|text=The Jama Masjid|url=">The Jama Masjid Mosque</a>, with a Mughal style of architecture, is considered one of the largest mosques in India with a capacity of 25,000 people.</li> <li><strong>The Jain Shwetambar Temple;</strong> this is a place of worship frequented by followers of the Jain religion.</li> <li><a href="link|text=The Fatehpuri Masjid|url=">The Fatehpuri Masjid</a>, erected in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.</li> <li><strong>The Chandni Chowk market</strong> and one of the oldest, with stalls selling dried fruits, traditional sweets, spices, essential oils, silver jewelry and more.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>And, if you want to enhance the experience, you have the opportunity to join some of the organized activities such as the <strong>old Delhi heritage tours with rickshaw ride,</strong> also known as a tuk tuk. Not only <strong>will you have a guide</strong> but you will explore old Delhi in a <strong>traditional transport</strong>.</strong><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><div class="post-button" markdown="1"><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><a href="link|text=Book a heritage tour of Old Delhi with rickshaw ride|element=pa-3871">Book a heritage tour of Old Delhi with rickshaw ride</a><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span></div><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="6. ">Visit the Lotus Temple and marvel at its monumental structure</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=Lotus Temple | ©Jools Asher">Lotus Temple</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>The <strong>Baha'i House of Worship,</strong> better known as the <a href="link|text=Lotus Temple|url=">Lotus Temple</a>, is a universal religious compound with great symbolism for locals. You will be amazed by this monumental expressionist structure, surrounded by gardens and pools.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>As you arrive at this Lotus Temple, built in 1986 by Iranian architect <a href="link|text=Fariborz Sahba|url=">Fariborz Sahba</a>, you will not fail to admire the shape of the structure, which recreates a flower with 27 petals grouped in threes. All of them are covered in marble. A stop where you can undoubtedly <strong>take amazing pictures.</strong><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span></span>In addition, you will find a total of <strong>nine doors,</strong> corresponding to the sides of the building and leading into the interior. This <strong>central hall</strong> has a capacity for up to 2,500 people and has a height of approximately 40 meters. There, you will feel an <strong>atmosphere of tranquility and spirituality.</strong><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h3 data-number="">Information of interest</h3><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><ul> <li><strong>Price:</strong> admission is free.</li> <li><strong>Hours:</strong> Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Usually closed on Mondays.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="7.">Enjoy a tranquil atmosphere at Mangal Mahadeva Birla Kanan Temple</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=Mangal Mahadeva Birla Kanan | ©lameato feliz">Mangal Mahadeva Birla Kanan</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Your itinerary in New Delhi will not be complete without a visit to the <a href="link|text=temple Mangal Mahadeva Birla Kanan|url=">temple Mangal Mahadeva Birla Kanan</a>. This is an open-air place dedicated to the <strong>god of destruction,</strong> Lord Shiva. You will behold a series of <strong>silver and bronze statues up to 16 meters high,</strong> both of Shiva and <strong>other deities.</strong><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>As you arrive at the temple you will see:<ul> <li><strong>The imposing statue of Shiva</strong> in the center of the garden. The god stands holding his trident and a drum resembling an hourglass.</li> <li><strong>Two tall statues of the god Rama,</strong> who is credited with right conduct and, next to him, his wife Sita, known to be the incarnation of Lakshmi.</li> <li><strong>The statues of a couple considered the perfection of love:</strong> Krishna (incarnation of God Vishnu) and by his side the consort, Radha.</li> <li><li><strong>Three statues accompanying Shiva.</strong> These are the goddess Parvati, who represents the feminine principle and is the wife of Shiva; Ganesha, who is the son of the gods Shiva and Parvati; the Hindu god of war, Kartikeya.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>This Hindu temple is located in a square in Rangpuri, on the avenue leading to <a href="link|text=New Delhi Airport|url=">New Delhi Airport</a>. You'll be able to access it easily, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and get closer to local beliefs. In addition, you will take <strong>amazing photographs</strong> especially at night, after the lighting of the lights.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h3 data-number="">Information of interest</h3><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><ul> <li><strong>Price:</strong> admission is free.</li> <li><strong>Hours:</strong> daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="8.">Watch animal species from around the world at the National Zoo in New Delhi</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=New Delhi National Zoological Park Animal | ©Public.Resource.Org">Animal of the National Zoological Park of New Delhi</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Visiting the <a href="link|text=National Zoological Park|url=">National Zoological Park</a> is another must-see and do in New Delhi. You will have the opportunity to see approximately <strong>130 species of animals:</strong> mammals, reptiles and birds. All of them, grouped in separate enclosures, which resemble their natural habitats. <span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>The zoo is located in a 16th-century citadel near the <a href="link|text=anciguo fuerte Purana Quila|url=">anciguo fuerte Purana Quila</a>. It is a space of about 176 acres, which you can <strong>walk</strong> or, if you prefer, <strong>rent a battery car</strong> in the park facilities, to move more comfortably.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>During the walk through the zoological park you will observe closely the behavior of endangered species. Such is the case of the <strong>legendary white tigers, imposing elephants,</strong> lion-tailed macaques, jaguars, rhinos and more. Also, during the winter season, you will see the <strong>migratory birds,</strong> among others.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h3 data-number="">Information of interest</h3><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><ul> <li><strong>Price:</strong> general admission costs approximately €1 per person. However, there are several types of tickets that you can <a href="link|text=consult previously|url=">consult previously</a>.</li> <li><strong>Hours:</strong> daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="9.">Go to the open-air gallery in the Lodhi district of New Delhi</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=Lodhi | ©David Minty">Lodhi</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>The <strong>Lodhi</strong> neighborhood in New Delhi is a place with a vibrant atmosphere, which will surprise you from the very first moment. There, you'll see an impressive <strong>exhibition of street art,</strong> captured on the walls. Go to this open-air gallery created by local artists and the <a href="link|text=St+art India Foundation|url=">St+art India Foundation</a>.</span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>During your tour of Lodhi, you'll see a series of <strong>colorful murals with impeccable techniques,</strong> capable of telling you part of the local history and culture with images. You will be amazed by the talent and ingenuity of street artists such as <a href="link|text=Blaise Joseph|url=">Blaise Joseph</a>, <a href="link|text=Yok and Sheryo|url=">Yok and Sheryo</a>, among others.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>Some of the works you will see are the <strong>sardarji sitting reading the newspaper</strong> next to a pile of books and accompanied by a woman. Also, illustrations of old matchboxes, a <strong>traditional flute seller</strong> standing playing the instrument, a cow quietly looking at the surroundings, among many more.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h3 data-number="">Information of interest</h3><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><ul> <li><strong>Price:</strong> access to the Lodhi neighborhood street art gallery is free.</li> <li><strong>Hours:</strong> you can stroll through the Lodhi neighborhood 24 hours every day.</li> </ul><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span><h2 data-number="10. ">Meet the historic India Gate in central New Delhi</h2> <figure><figcaption href="image|size=medium|url=|caption=India Gate | ©Arian Zwegers">India Gate</figcaption></figure><span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>The <a href="link|text=India Gate|url=">India Gate</a>, is a national monument in central New Delhi, visited daily by locals and tourists. There, you'll see a structure of great historical significance, honoring soldiers who died in the <strong>Afghan War and World War I.</strong> <span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>The roughly 42-meter-high arch was designed by British architect <a href="link|text=Edwin Lutyens|url=">Edwin Lutyens</a>. Enjoy its exquisite <strong>neocolonial style,</strong> read the inscriptions with the names of the war dead and contemplate every ornate detail.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>You can take amazing photos of this national monument, especially after sunset, when the lights are turned on and projected onto the structure. India Gate is a <strong>very popular destination,</strong> usually incorporated into the itinerary of <a href="link|text=guided city tours of New Delhi|element=sc-203-1712">guided city tours of New Delhi</a>.<span data-type="non-translate-span" translate="no"></span>.