Delhi Travel Guide

To holiday in Delhi is to succumb to the chaos and charm of a sprawling and ancient city that is full of surprises, and shocks. Part squalor and part exotic splendour, it is full of astonishing contrasts and a great deal of magic.

A quintessentially Indian city, the manic, noisy and labyrinthine streets of the old city give way to the imperial grandeur of New Delhi and its wide, leafy avenues. Visitors will see sprawling slums and marvellous palaces, abject poverty and glittering wealth, and be overwhelmed by the age and history of the city.

A holiday in Delhi can be exhausting, unless visitors can afford air-conditioned luxury, so this is a destination for the adventurous and energetic. Shoppers will enjoy the experience of bargaining for unique and exotic souvenirs in the crammed street markets, while foodies can sample the North Indian cuisine that the city is known for in Delhi's numerous restaurants. The city's impressive array of attractions will pack any travel itinerary to bursting point, and Delhi is also the gateway to the fascinating Rajasthan region.

Best time to visit Delhi

Unless visitors are acclimatised to intense heat and can tolerate temperatures of up to 113F (45C) and beyond, they are strongly advised to avoid Delhi in the summer (March to July). Dust storms and high humidity during the monsoon season (end of June) may further add to the discomfort of travelling to Delhi in the hot summer months. The best time to visit Delhi is between November and March, when the weather is warm and sunny. To catch the colourful Hindu festival of Holi, travellers should book trips to Delhi in late February, early March.

What to see in Delhi

-Marvel at Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque.

-Visit the residence of the President of India, the architecturally stunning Rashtrapati Bhavan.

-See the ancient symbol of Islamic power in Delhi, the Qutub Minar.

-Soak up the atmosphere at India Gate with its war memorial and green lawns.

What to do in Delhi

-Wander through the frenzied, exciting bazaars surrounding Chandni Chowk.

-Spend some time admiring the flower-like Lotus Temple.

-Explore Humayun's Tomb, one of the most beautiful examples of Mogul architecture in Delhi.

-Stroll around the famous Red Fort, Delhi's landmark attraction.

Beyond Delhi

Delhi is the perfect springboard for travel in the north of India: Agra and the iconic Taj Mahal are within easy reach; the northern hill stations, such as Dharamsala, residence of the Dalai Lama, are accessible; and cities such as Amritsar, Jaipur and Varanasi are all possible destinations with plenty to offer travellers of all kinds.

Getting there

There are direct flights to Delhi from the UK and the US, landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is located 10 miles (16km) southwest of New Delhi. It is the busiest airport in India and there are trains, taxis and buses available to take passengers into the city.

Did you know?

-The walled city of Delhi originally had fourteen gates; five are still standing.

-Although Delhi is the capital of India, it is only the third largest city in the country.

-Delhi has an International Toilet Museum.