Delhi is not just a city, it is a feeling, an essence and the best way to experience a feeling is by living right through it; opening all of your senses and allowing yourself to take it all in, till the point this essence fills up all of your being. This city brings to you the best of both worlds – the charm and chaos of the old world through the by-lanes and havelis of Old Delhi and the royalty and sense of entitlement through its posh areas of New Delhi and South Delhi. This city is anything but boring and every minute, you can experience a new emotion if you allow this city to take you in. Here is the list of top 15 things you can do in Delhi to get a glimpse of its essence.
1. Explore the by-lanes of Chandani Chowk
You must have heard a lot about Chandani Chowk, it’s not just a place in the city but is the heart of the city itself. Spread across a large part of Old Delhi, it has various markets, eating places, Jama Masjid and old havelis – all crammed up together. They fuse into each other, enhancing the essence of each other. There is Khari Baoli, the spices market to get a hang on Indian spices; there is Paranthe Wali Gali to fill up your stomachs with delicious and piping hot paranthas; there is Kinari Bazaar with all the beautiful laces and motifs stocked up and then there are numerous by-lanes, each with its own story to tell.
2. Get mesmerized by ancient havelis at Naughara
A little quaint haven amongst all the chaos of Old Delhi, Naughara is a place just off Kinari Bazaar which has gorgeous Jain havelis of 18th century lined up. Go here and marvel at the amazing architecture and the clever use of space and tradition.
3. Heritage Walk
Delhi is filled with monument: Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, etc. are all historically significant places and equally beautiful to explore. So don’t just visit these, book yourself a heritage walk which is fast becoming popular in the city. Go with an expert guide and get to know about all the cool things about the monuments.
4. Qawwali at Nizamuddin Dargah
A prime pilgrimage site in the Islamic religion, this dargah is a sight to behold at night when its air comes alive and becomes divine with the sounds of spiritual songs of qawwali. Be sure to grab a good spot by arriving early and see yourself melt in the soothing environment.
5. Visit Crafts Museum
A lesser-known museum in Delhi, this one is for all the handicrafts and art lovers. See all the rich handicraft culture that India has to offer, all assembled at one place. If you are lucky, you might even see the making of an art piece right in front of you.
6. Visit Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
Located in the heart of the city, this is a popular Gurudwara offering a scenic and soothing break from city life. Sit inside the shrine, volunteer at the kitchen and prepare food for langar or just simply sit by the huge and calming sarovar inside the premises.
7. Explore New Delhi
Lutyen’s New Delhi is pretty much an architectural marvel and a stark contrast from Old Delhi. Go in there and explore the area by foot and rest assured, you are sure to be amazed by the planning and structures around.
8. Experience mini Tibet at Majnu Ka Tilla
Another hidden gem in the city, MKT is a small area which serves as a Tibetan refugee colony and has shops and cafes lines up. What makes this worth a visit is the monastery right in the middle of the place and the delectable Tibetan and Korean food this place has to offer.
9. Enjoy street shopping
Shopping and Delhi go hand in hand. Keep one full day to explore the budget-friendly markets in Delhi like Sarojini, Janpath, Dilli Haat, Karol Bagh, etc.
10. Watch performances at various auditoriums
Culture has always been a part of Delhi and hence its people are actively involved in a lot of cultural activities which they regularly showcase at the numerous auditoriums in New Delhi. Book yourself a ticket and enjoy various classical dances, theatre plays, music concerts, etc.
11. Visit the museum
Get to know more about art, history, modern art, science, dolls, toilets and the glorious Indian Railways through the plethora of museums lined up in the city. Book yourself a fun and informative day by visiting them.
12. Take a HoHo bus tour
An experienced and fun way to explore the city and all its major landmarks is by hopping onto one these tourist buses which show you all of Delhi in a day.
Delhi is not only just art and culture but also resonates with the party culture of contemporary times. With various party destinations like Hauz Khas, CP, Saket, let yourself experience a wild night of partying.
14. Bird watching at Okhla
A paradise for all the nature lovers, visit the wildlife park in Okhla to spot various birds that often come here to take a rest while flying to other places.
15. Food, food and more food
The number one thing that makes Delhi stand out is all the amazing food options it has to offer. Gorge on the delicious chats at Bengali market, have a full south Indian lunch at Sarvana Bhawan, stuff momos in Lajpat Nagar and eat like the royals in Chandan Chowk’s haveli, the options never get over.