5 Must-See Delhi Sights
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | March 21st, 2017
Serving as India's capital city, Delhi is steeped in history, culture, and breathtaking sights. From mesmerizing mosques and forts to bustling markets and tranquil gardens, this magnificent city has something for everyone. Whether you're visiting Delhi for an in-depth look, or simply using it as a gateway to the Taj Mahal, here are five sights that you mustn't miss.
One of the most beautiful sights in Delhi happens to also be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Humayun's Tomb was built in 1570 for the late Emperor Humayun. Its breathtaking Persian architecture and exquisite grounds can be seen daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission costs 500 INR / $8 USD per person.
Lotus Temple is a Bahai house of worship that attracts millions of tourists each year. People come to pray, meditate, and study at this beautiful monument. Constructed of twenty-seven marble petals, the temple got its name because it resembles a large white lotus flower. Around the blooming petals are nine pools of water that glow in the sun's direct light. Admission is free, and the hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am until 5:30 pm.
It's no secret that Delhi is a crowded city. For a nice escape from the busyness, take a stroll around the tranquil Lodhi Gardens. Spread over ninety acres, this city park features tombs, bridges, and fascinating architectural sights. For lunch, or a cold beverage, the nearby Lodi Restaurant offers fantastic dining options in an unbeatable setting.
One of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi is Chandni Chowk. Filled with shoppers, vendors, sight-seers, and locals, this market is the best place to find fabrics, spices, books, jewels, and electrical goods. It can be tricky navigating through the packed narrow streets of the market, but it's something everyone should experience while in Delhi. Chandni Chowk is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am until 8 pm, and admission is free.
When in Delhi, a day trip out to the Taj Mahal is a MUST-DO! After a two hour train ride to Agra, you will arrive at one of the most beautiful structures in the world. Wander around this marvelous creation, see the intricate interior, and relax beside the stunning reflecting pool. You will not be disappointed by the beauty of this incredible mausoleum.
The best time to visit Delhi is from November to March when the weather is comfortable and warm. The months of April through October bring the heat, with temperatures often surpassing 90° or even 100°F.
Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in Delhi, but most locals speak English, too.
Prices will be higher during Holi (February or March) and Diwali (October or November), and hotels sell out quickly.
Delhi has some of the tastiest food in the world, with lots of delicious vegetarian options to choose from. Remember to ONLY drink bottled water. Also, remember that ice cubes are usually from tap water.
A lot of people develop "Delhi Belly" in the first week of their visit. Ask your doctor ahead of time for medicine to carry along with you on your trip.
Most hotels have toilets and toilet paper, however, not all restaurants and tourist sites do. Be sure to carry toilet paper with you, and be prepared to go to the bathroom in a hole in the floor.
The Delhi Metro is a great way to get around. Tuk-tuks / Auto-rickshaws are also convenient and affordable.
Delhi is a beautiful city with beautiful people, but there is a lot of poverty. If you're traveling from a first-world country, you may be in for a bit of culture shock. You may witness people throwing trash on the ground, or defecating on a sidewalk. Just remember to keep a open mind and accept the cultural differences.