About New Delhi
Landing in New Delhi from a more sedate region can be overwhelming as the city flows at its own rhythm. If you dive straight in and embrace the seemingly chaos, you’ll quickly realise that it’s a thriving, bustling city of enterprise. New Delhi is officially an area within Delhi, but outside India’s capital the names are used interchangeably.
The choice of hostels in New Delhi is abundant, spanning nearly the whole city and ranging from the budget to the fancy boutique hostels. Book a hostel with a courtyard or a roof terrace if you want to take a look at the city alongside other backpackers, from the comfort of your base. Join your hostel crew for food walks, where you can taste delicious Indian food and bar crawls where you can erm… mingle. There are communal kitchens, free Wi-Fi and plenty of travel desks to book tours and onwards adventures. Dorms in New Delhi come in all shapes and sizes, with female-only and mixed available throughout the city. Book a private room for more privacy and you’ll still be able to meet other backpackers in the buzzing social areas.
If you’re looking to stay in a trendy part of the city then Hauz Khas is a great place to book with its own medieval village, independent shops, cafes and bars. Or, just a ten-minute walk away you’ll find Shahpur Jat another arty hub where you’ll see plenty of street art and get your health-fix! If you want to stay in an area with great transport links, then Connaught Place is an excellent choice. There are many hostels dotted around and within walking distance from lively bars and restaurants. A key backpacker hub where you’ll find many hostels is Paharganj. Just north of Connaught Place, this was once a hippie hangout and travellers have followed in their tracks. Here you’ll find a main bazaar with a lively crowd of students, travellers and even a hippie or two!
New Delhi isn’t short of impressive landmarks, it’s home to 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So flag down a rickshaw and head to Qutab Minar, a huge lighthouse looking tower built in 1192. Keep travelling to visit the Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb, which was built before the Taj Mahal and served as its architectural inspiration. If you’re more into experiencing the culture and meeting New Delhi’s people head to Sadar Bazaar, one of the city’s most prominent spice markets. At a loose end on a Sunday, then seek out the mile-long book market in Old Delhi. If you’re itching to escape the bustling city, then have a morning stroll in the tranquil Lodhi Gardens where you’ll stumble upon various tombs and ruins within this huge park.
Delhi is huge so although you can obviously walk around some districts it can quickly become overwhelming. It’s often easier to flag down a rickshaw, or moto rickshaw and agree a price with the driver for a day or half-day of exploring. The experienced drivers will dodge and weave around the traffic and you’re free to watch the city flow around you. If you know where you’re heading and it’s a fair distance away it may be best to take the metro, it’s air-conditioned and modern. The hop-on, hop-off Hoho buses are also a handy way to get around, the public buses are less reliable and not recommended. Travellers often fly into New Delhi Airport and it’s easy to take the Metro Express train straight into the city centre.