72 Hours in New Delhi, India.

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Curated By

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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  • New Delhi

  • India

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

View down a street with carts and cars
Curator’s statement

Delhi, the heart of India, is a city where ancient history and modernity coexist in a vibrant energy. This bustling metropolis, an amalgam of diverse cultures, religions and histories, offers an experience like no other. From the labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi, brimming with centuries-old monuments and markets, to the planned boulevards of New Delhi, showcasing colonial-era architecture and expansive green spaces, Delhi is a city of contrasts. Its rich heritage is mirrored in its majestic forts, serene temples, and bustling bazaars. A culinary paradise, Delhi's food scene ranges from traditional street food to sophisticated fine dining. A visit to Delhi is not just a journey through a city, but a dive into the heart of India's kaleidoscopic culture and history. Our 72-hour guide is designed to help you experience the best of Delhi, ensuring a memorable and comprehensive exploration of India's capital.

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Where to stay

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The Lodhi

An urban oasis centrally located in New Delhi, The Lodhi is the intuitive expression of a contemporary yet stylishly confident India.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary 50-minute massage.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi

Iconic elegance and luxury converge at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, where history meets contemporary opulence in the heart of India's capital.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

Experience modern luxury and impeccable hospitality at JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity, where sophistication meets convenience in the vibrant Aerocity district.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Day 1: Immersion in Old Delhi's History and Culture

A picture of Red Fort (Lal Qila) taken at night.

Morning: The Mughal Legacy

Begin your Delhi adventure in the heart of Old Delhi. Start at the majestic Red Fort (Lal Qila), an iconic symbol of India's rich history. This 17th-century fortress, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, showcases the zenith of Mughal architecture with its massive walls and intricate decorations. Spend a couple of hours wandering through its museums and palatial structures.

After exploring the fort, head to Karim's, near Jama Masjid, for a hearty breakfast. This eatery, a Delhi institution, serves up some of the best Mughlai cuisine in the city, offering dishes like succulent kebabs and rich curries.

Afternoon: The Bustling Streets of Old Delhi

Post-breakfast, visit the magnificent Jama Masjid, one of India's largest and most important mosques. Climbing to its tower can give you a breathtaking view of sprawling Old Delhi.

Next, dive into the chaos and charm of Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi. This market is a treasure trove of spices, fabrics, jewelry, and electronics. Don't miss out on sampling Delhi's famous street foods like parathas, chaat, and jalebis from the various street vendors.

Evening: A Blend of Spirituality and Culinary Delight

As the day winds down, plan a visit to Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, a serene Sikh temple known for its rich history and spiritual ambiance. Participating in the Langar (community kitchen) can be a humbling experience.

For dinner, head to Indian Accent, renowned for its innovative fusion of traditional Indian dishes with global cooking techniques.

Day 2: The Grandeur of New Delhi and Its Heritage

A picture of India Gate at sunrise.

Morning: Architectural Wonders

Start your day with a visit to the Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 73-meter-tall minaret is a fine example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture and is surrounded by several other historical structures.

Afternoon: The Heart of the Capital

Post-breakfast, visit the iconic India Gate and Rajpath. This war memorial, surrounded by lush green lawns, is a popular relaxation area. Nearby, you'll find the majestic buildings of the Indian Parliament and Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Residence).

For lunch, explore the offerings at Connaught Place, Delhi's premier shopping and dining district. The colonial-era white buildings house a variety of eateries, cafes, and boutiques.

Evening: A Step Back in Time

In the evening, visit Humayun's Tomb, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fine example of Mughal architecture. The tomb's design inspired the Taj Mahal and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Dinner at Bukhara is a must for food enthusiasts. This restaurant is famous for its rustic ambiance and delectable North-Western frontier cuisine, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists.

Day 3: Museums, Markets and Modern Delights

A picture of Hauz Khas Village taken from a far during daytime.

Morning: A Glimpse into India's Rich Heritage

Begin your final day at the National Museum, which houses an extensive collection showcasing India's art and history spanning over 5,000 years.

Enjoy a contemporary breakfast at Café Lota, which specializes in pan-Indian cuisine with a modern twist.

Afternoon: The Colors and Crafts of India

Spend your afternoon at Dilli Haat, an open-air market and food plaza. It's an excellent place to buy Indian handicrafts and textiles, perfect for souvenirs. The food stalls here offer a taste of regional cuisines from across India.

Evening: Contemporary Delhi

Conclude your Delhi tour with a visit to the Lotus Temple, known for its remarkable lotus-shaped architecture and tranquil environment.

For your final dinner, explore Hauz Khas Village, a trendy neighborhood with a variety of restaurants, cafes, art galleries and boutiques, perfect for a leisurely evening.

Need to Know

Phelipe's best tips for Delhi
Transport: Delhi's metro is efficient and covers most tourist destinations. For shorter distances, auto-rickshaws and app-based cabs are readily available.
Weather: Delhi experiences extreme weather conditions. Summers (April-June) are hot, winters (December-February) can be quite cold, and the monsoon season (July-September) brings heavy rains.
Cultural Etiquette: Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Also, be aware of cultural sensitivities and local customs.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Honeymoon in Paris: the most romantic hotels in the city of lights.

Phelipe wearing glasses, a suit and a hat while smiling and standing outside in front of a city street.

Travel Advisor

Phelipe Cardoso Sekai

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to India.