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Best places to go in Delhi, best tourist places in Delhi

Delhi, the capital of India, is brimming with history of the Mogul emperors and of the British Empire in India. Delhi is one of the most visited tourist places in India and the gateway to Agra home of the Taj Mahal. The best time to visit Delhi is in winter.

Delhi has an efficient Metro line and it is quite comfortable and clean. It is a quick way to get around the city, a bit crowded during rush hours as anywhere else in the world, but the crowd is very decent and clean. We have dedicated page on how to visit tourist spots in Delhi using the Delhi Metro

Find good hotels in Delhi at affordable prices

There are many hotels in Delhi, but to find a convenient good hotel at not very high rates, you will need to use the services of an online specialist hotel reservation site. One of the best hotel booking website for Delhi is this Delhi Hotels page on Booking.com

This page has the following sections with descriptions of some of the best tourist places to go in Delhi. You can go directly to any section of this page by clicking on any item in the list below:

Historical places in Delhi worth visiting

The historical places in Delhi worth visiting are listed below:

Red Fort of Delhi

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Delhi Red Fort in the mid-seventeenth century. He called it Shahjahanabad, meaning City of Shah Jahan. The Red Fort Archaeological Museum displays rare artefacts and personal belongings of the Mughal Kings. The collection is lavish and beautiful.

Red Fort in Delhi is an imposing structure and has been enlisted by UNESCO as a world Heritage Site. Below we have a picture of the Red Fort.

A view of the walls of Red Fort Delhi

This is what the World Heritage website says about the Delhi Red Fort:

“The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The private apartments consist of a row of pavilions connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield.”

Red Fort Delhi Timings: The Red Fort is open for visitors all days except Fridays, from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening. There is a sound and light show that takes place in the evenings after dark.

Humayun's Tomb in Delhi

Humayun's Tomb is a UNESCO world Heritage site in Delhi. This is how it is described on UNESCO website

“This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.”

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest markets of Delhi built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. There are very old and popular traditional Indian food stalls like Natraj’s dahi bhalla shop, Ghantewala Halwai, Paranthe wali Gali.

Qutub Minar Tower in Delhi

Qutub Minar is the world's tallest free standing brick minaret or tower and is 72.5 meters (238 ft) tall. It is the third UNESCO World Heritage site in Delhi and this is how it is described on their site

“Built in the early 13th century a few kilometers south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters high, tapering from 2.75 meters in diameter at its peak to 14.32 meters at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.”

Qutub Minar timings: The Qutub Minar is open for visitors all days except Fridays, from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

Jama Masjid Friday Mosque in Delhi

Jama Masjid is the largest Mosque in India. Completed in the year 1656, Jama Masjid was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Lodhi Gardens in Delhi

Lodhi Gardens is a park located on Lodhi Road and stretches over an area of about 90 acres. There are domed tombs of rulers from the Sayyid and Lodi times here. There is a Big Dome (Bada Gumbad) and a Glass Dome (Shessh Gumbad), inside the garden premises. It is believed that the Taj Mahal design was inspired by these Domes.

India Gate in New Delhi

India Gate designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens was originally known as the ‘All India War Memorial’. It is a prominent landmark in Delhi and was built to commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the erstwhile British Indian Army who lost their lives fighting for the Indian Empire in World War-I. Following India's independence, India Gate became the site of the Indian Army's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as the "Amar Jawan Jyoti’ (Immortal Soldier). India Gate is 42 meters (138 feet) tall. There are fountains and gardens all around.

Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi

Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India and is the biggest residence in the world for any Head of State. Before independence it was the official residence of the British Viceroy or Governor-General to India and was known as the ‘Viceroy’s House’. In 1911 when the British decided to move the Capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi, the great British architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens was given the job of designing Delhi. He did a wonderful job and New Delhi owes its beauty to him, and in honour, it is sometimes referred to as Lutyen’s Delhi.

Mughal Garden in Rashtrapati Bhawan Delhi

There are a number of famous historic gardens in Delhi, which are open for visitors. One of these is the Mughal Garden in Rashtrapati Bhawan, located inside the premises of Rashtrapati Bhavan, and is renown for its exclusive verities of roses. The garden is open for visitors only during the months of February and March every year.

Raj Ghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi

Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. This simple memorial in remembrance of Gandhi’s simple life just a black marble platform, that marks the spot where Gandhi's cremation took place on 31 January, 1948. There is no roof and an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are located near by. The epitaph inscribed there is "Hei Ram” meaning 'Oh Ram' to mean 'Oh God', the last words uttered by the great soul. Almost all foreign dignitaries visiting India, come here to pay their respects.

Interesting places to visit in Delhi

These are some of the most interesting places to visit in Delhi:

Central Cottage Industries Emporium

The Central Cottage Industries Emporium is located on Tolstoy road, Janpath in New Delhi. The Cottage Industries Emporium is a fully air conditioned six storey showroom. It is a fixed price shopping place, directly under the control of Government of India Ministry of Textiles. Cottage Emporium was established with the purpose of showcasing traditional Indian craftsmanship. The huge building is like a permanent exhibition with items offered for sale to the visitors. There are dress fabrics, garments, teas, home decor items, furnishings, gift items, Indian crafts and so much more, all under one roof.

Connaught Place - Rajiv Chowk in New Delhi

Connaught Place is now renamed as Rajiv Chowk, built during the British Empire days and designed by the great British architect Edwin Lutyen. The shopping area includes an underground wholesale market called Palika Bazaar.

Akshardham Temple in Delhi

Akshardham Temple in Delhi is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. It displays centuries of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality and architecture. The temple is visited by the majority of tourists visiting Delhi. There is a theatre in the temple, Hall of Values, Musical Fountain, Garden of India, Boat Ride and much more.

Lotus Temple in Delhi

Lotus Temple is so named due to its Lotus flower like shape. It is a Bahai House of Worship. It is a well known tourist spot in Delhi. The temple was completed in the year 1986 and is not specific to any religion. It is a divine structure, which propagates the idea of worship without any restrictions. Nine pools of water surround the flower structure, or the petals.

Dilli Haat in Delhi

Dilli Haat is a permanent craft market. Right now there are two of these in Delhi, one in South Delhi, opposite the INA market and one in West Delhi at Netaji Subhash Place. Craftsmen from all over India display their goods here. The most colourful products from various states are thus available at one stop, and at reasonable prices. The markets have been developed by the Tourist Department of Delhi, not only to render an opportunity for the Indian craftsmen to display their creations, but also for the convenience of the Tourists. In Dilli Haat, you will also find many good food outlets with traditional Indian food from the different regions of India. It is one of the best places to collect Indian souvenirs.

Hauz Khas Village in Delhi

Hauz Khas Village in South Delhi, is a less crowded market and with some better quality shops. Antiques, designer and traditional Indian clothes, carpets, gift items, etc. are available. There are good restaurants all over the place.

Museums & Galleries in Delhi

We have a list of the famous and most popular Museums in Delhi below:

National Museum in Delhi

National Museum in Delhi on Janpath Road is one of the most well known Museums of Delhi. It gives an insight to India’s culture down the ages.

National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi

National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi is in the Jaipur House, near India Gate. A rich collection of paintings by various Indian artists are on display.

The National Rail Museum in Delhi

The National Rail Museum in Delhi in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi is spread over 10 acres and has many interesting historical displays of the over 100 years history of Indian Railways. One of their star attractions is the oldest working steam engine in the world and the Guinness book of world records holder the 'Fairy Queen' described thus on their site

"1855, The year when the majestic Fairy Queen rolled out for the erstwhile East Indian Railway. For the first time after 1908, the Fairy Queen rolled again on Feb. 1st, 1997 from Delhi to Alwar. The steam engine is the oldest working engine in the world. Finding its pride of place in the Guinness Book of World Records and also capturing the National Tourism Award, this prestigious pristine beauty that graces the National Rail Museum, New Delhi, is steaming once again."

Famous tourist places around Delhi

The famous tourist places around Delhi are Agra, Jaipur and Bharatpur. Agra is only about 200 Km from Delhi and the best way to visit Agra are by trains. Jaipur in Rajasthan is about 250 Km from Delhi. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary has India's most famous bird sanctuary and is just 20 Km from Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Also near the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is the Keoladeo National Park filled to the brim with wildlife. These are all ideal weekend holiday destinations near Delhi.

One of the best option to visit tourist spots near Delhi like Agra and Rajasthan is to take a trip on the special royal tourist train called the 'The Palace on Wheels' for a week long or the extended tours. This is an experience of a life time, while on the 'Palace on Wheels' you get to become a Maharaja for a week in the ambience of your own Palace and with a very comfortable 5 star hotel like room.

Nearest Hill Stations from Delhi

The nearest Hill Station from Delhi are Shimla, Nainital, Mussoorie and Manali as described below:

Shimla Hill Station near Delhi

Shimla is about 350 Km (about 220 Miles) from Delhi. Shimla has its own airport and is connected to Delhi Airport with daily flights. Direct Train service to Shimla is available up to Kalka and from Kalka to Shimla by the slow Toy Train or by taxis costing about Rs 2,000-. Several A/C Volvo Bus service are also available daily from Delhi for a cost of about Rs. 800- per person.

Nainital Hill Station near Delhi

Nainital is about 275 Km.(175 Miles) from Delhi. Nearest airport is Pantnagar with regular flights from Delhi. Nearest railway station is Kathgodam. Regular Deluxe and A/C Volvo bus services from Delhi are available at a cost of about Rs 750- per person.

Mussoorie Hill Station near Delhi

Mussoorie is about is 290 Km (180 Miles) from Delhi. Nearest airport is Dehradun with regular flights from Delhi. Nearest railway station is Dehradun. Regular Deluxe and A/C Volvo bus services from Delhi are available at a cost of about Rs 800- per person.

Manali Hill Station near Delhi

Manali is about is 570 Km (350 Miles) from Delhi. Nearest airport is Bhuntar near Kullu with regular flights from Delhi. Nearest railway stations are Jogindernagar, Chandigarh and Ambala . Overnight regular Deluxe and A/C Volvo bus services from Delhi are available at a cost of about Rs 1000- per person.

Luxury Train Tours from Delhi

Some of the best luxury tourist trains in India starting from Delhi are The Maharaja Express, The Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. These three luxury tour trains operates out of Delhi and visits the most important tourist destinations of Agra and Rajasthan. All these luxury tourist trains of India hope to recreate the splendors of an era when the Maharaja’s of India used to travel in their own superbly fitted Railway Coaches.

The cabins of both the Palace on Wheels and the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels are all air-conditioned with twin beds and attached toilets. Two fine restaurants, "The Maharaja" and "The Maharani", are there serving continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisines. Both trains depart from New Delhi and during its eight day journey, travels around Rajasthan with stops in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra. Some of the tourist attractions covered are the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, the Ranthambhor National Park, Chittaurgarh Fort, Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the Agra Fort and finally the Taj Mahal.

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