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Delhi City Guide

Make the most of your stay with five-star accommodations, live jazz with a round of Sazeracs, the city's first public art district and more.

Where to Stay  /  Where to Eat and Drink  /  What to Do  /  How to Get Around

Where to Stay

The Imperial

For the heritage

Built in 1931, this five-star hotel features an all-white exterior, marble floors and sprawling lawns dotted with palm trees. Don’t miss three tiers of finger sandwiches and sweets at high tea in the Atrium, whose skylight ceiling and refined English setting are reminiscent of the pre-war era.

Janpath Lane, Connaught Place, New Delhi, 91-11-23341234, theimperialindia.com

Lodhi Hotel

For the minimalist design

This minimalist palace reflects the classic lines of India’s Mughal past with oversize jaalis (stone screens) and creamy sandstone while dark wood and soft-colour accents reinforce the tranquil mood. Take a dip in the 50-metre lap pool before towelling off for lunch at the breezy Pool Cafe.

Lodhi Rd., New Delhi, 800-103-7333, thelodhi.com

The Roseate

For a romantic getaway

Ground-floor rooms in this sleek hotel come with a private pool deck, and the spa offers couples’ treatments in secluded outdoor areas. Reserve a table at Kiyan, the hotel’s moody restaurant; then unwind with a bubble bath in your soaker tub.

Samalkha, NH-8, New Delhi, 91-11-33552211, roseatehotels.com

Scarlette

Scarlette

For the cozy quarters

This guest house in the south part of the city offers comfortable, air-conditioned rooms, complete with writing desks. Framed photos on the walls, communal living rooms and welcoming owners will make you feel right at home. Start your day with a home-cooked breakfast in the small front yard.

B2/139 Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, 91-9582079058, scarlettenewdelhi.com

The Oberoi, Gurgaon

For old-school hospitality

Located 15 minutes from the airport, this property features an art gallery, a salon, a luxury shopping arcade and Amaranta, a fine-dining Indian restaurant. After a day of exploring the city, enjoy a glass of wine and live piano music in the Piano Bar and Cigar Lounge.

Udyog Vihar Phase V, Gurgaon, 91-124-2451234, oberoihotels.com

Leela Palace New Delhi

For the rooftop infinity pool

Soak up views from the rooftop pool overlooking the diplomatic enclave at this upscale hotel. For the full royal treatment, book one of the 18 suites, which include service from a dedicated butler.

Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, 91-11-3933-1234, theleela.com

Where to Eat and Drink

Indian Accent at the Manor

Indian Accent at the Manor

For modern Indian cuisine

Tuck into tandoor-fired, bacon-wrapped prawns served with wasabi cream, a highlight from Manish Mehrotra’s Chef’s Tasting Menu. Save room for the chocolate balls spiked with Old Monk rum, arguably India’s most significant gift to the world.

The Manor, 77 Friends Colony, New Delhi, 91-11-43235151, indianaccent.com

Paranthe Wali Gali

Photo: Chris Goldberg / Creative Commons

Paranthe Wali Gali

For the street food

This lane in Chandni Chowk is chockablock with food stalls dedicated to parathas, Indian breads stuffed with savoury fillings. Try the paneer (cheese), methi (fenugreek) and bhindi (okra) parathas from stall number 36.

Old Delhi

Olive Bar & Kitchen at the Qutub

For Sunday brunch

This Mediterranean-inspired garden restaurant is a Delhi classic for its proximity to the towering Qutub Minar monument and for its setting in a restored haveli (mansion). On Sundays, the sunlit courtyard buzzes as the brunch crowd dines on thin-crust pizza.

Haveli no. 6-7, Kalkadass Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi, 91-9810235472, olivebarandkitchen.com

Piano Man Jazz Club

Piano Man Jazz Club

For live jazz

This 1950s American-style bar serves Sazeracs that are as smooth as the jazz. Take in an acoustic live gig while sipping New Orleans-inspired cocktails.

B-6-7/22 Safdarjung Enclave Market, Opposite Deer Park, Safdarjung, New Delhi, 91-9871549653, thepianoman.in

Saravana Bhavan at Connaught Circus

For authentic South Indian far

The kitchen at this no-frills eatery doles out dosas (paper-thin rice pancakes) faster than you can use them to mop up their famous coconut chutney. Be warned: Wait times can be long, and reservations are not accepted.

P-13, Connaught Circus, Connaught Place, New Delhi, 91-11-8844305, saravanabhavan.com

Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters

Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters

For a perfect brew

Tea-loving Delhi gets a java jolt with Blue Tokai, a coffee shop that roasts single estate beans from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Their quaint Saket location is devoted to serving a great brew, which pairs perfectly with a slice of their banana walnut bread.

Khasra 258, Lane 3, Saidulajab, Saket, New Delhi, 91-9821126015, bluetokaicoffee.com

Yeti, The Himalayan Kitchen

For mountain cuisine

Start with an order of steaming momos (dumplings) at this restaurant featuring Tibetan and Nepalese dishes. For the main event, try the Ema Datchi, made with fresh green chili peppers and cheese sauce, and the Crispy Spinach.

M-20, GK 2, New Delhi, 91-11-41657868

Georgia Dakota

Georgia Dakota

For a sweet spot

The humble shelves of salted-caramel brownies, ginger cake, cinnamon swirl banana cake and almond-flour orange cake may look simple, but the proof is in the pudding at this mini-chain bakery. The spiced Belgian chocolate cake should hit the spot for those who avoid wheat.

Shop 5, D Block Market, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, 91-01149053736, georgiadakota.com

What to Do

Hauz Khas Village

Photo: Rohan Prakash / Creative Commons

Hauz Khas Village

For the artsy flair

Once a residential area, this south Delhi neighbourhood is now home to trendy galleries, cafés and boutiques. Tour the medieval water tank, mosque and tombs of the nearby Hauz Khas complex; then pop into Elma’s Bakery for a slice of carrot cake.

Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi

Dilli Haat

Photo: Vikram Aiyappa / Creative Commons

Dilli Haat

For the local crafts

The best of Indian handicraft from every state of the country finds a place at this open-air market. Once you’re done haggling for Kashmiri shawls and jute baskets, try juicy pork momos from the Nagaland food stall.

Sri Aurobindo Marg, Laxmi Bai Nagar, New Delhi, dillihaat.net.in

Lodhi Art District

Photo: ccarlstead / Creative Commons

Lodhi Art District

For the street art

Visit the city’s first public art district, where vibrant murals from more than 28 international artists are displayed on the walls of Lodhi Colony. Located between Khanna Market and Mehar Chand Market, the vibrant street art has reinvigorated the neighbourhood.


Olivia Dar

For the handmade jewellery

At this eponymous shop from a Christian Lacroix-trained designer, look for embroidered cuffs (think necklace meets collar) and accessories inspired by 10th-century tribal beading.

5A Jungi House​, 1st Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, 91-11-405-01899, oliviadar.com

National Gallery of Modern Art

Photo: Courtesy of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

National Gallery of Modern Art

For the cultural experience

Situated in the iconic Jaipur House, the National Gallery of Modern Art features work from 1850 onwards, including works from old masters like Raja Ravi Varma and Abanindranath Tagore. Don’t miss the permanent collection featuring over 100 pieces from Amrita Sher-Gil, a pioneer of the modern art movement in India.

India Gate, New Delhi, 91-11-233-82835, ngmaindia.gov.in

Lodhi Gardens

Photo: Nadir Hashmi / Creative Commons

Lodhi Gardens

For the ancient history

Explore the ancient tombs, Mughal ruins and gardens next to the Islamic Centre; then relax with bellinis and homemade fig ice cream at the Lodhi Garden Restaurant.

Lodhi Rd., Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi

Ashdeen

For fashion-forward saris

Ashdeen Lilaowala’s saris are reviving traditional Parsi Gara embroidery. Lilaowala travelled through Iran and China to trace the origins of the intricate craft, resulting in next-level saris that are bringing elegance back: a cheeky flash of skin winking through folds of heirloom-worthy satin, stitched with cascades of flying cranes.

B-12, First Floor, Green Park Main, New Delhi, 91-99993-88442, ashdeen.com

How to Get Around

Getting from the Airport

As you exit Indira Gandhi International Airport, you’ll see taxi stands for Meru Cabs and Mega Cabs. Beware of so-called private taxis, which might not be registered legally.


Taxis

Cabs are the preferred mode of transportation in Delhi. Black and yellow cabs (called kaali peeli) are easily hailed, while mobile apps Uber and Ola offer reliable, user-friendly service.

Meru Cabs: 91-44224422
Mega Cabs: 91-41414141

Delhi Metro

Quick, clean and efficient, the Delhi Metro offers great connectivity and is an easy way to navigate the city. The first car of every train is reserved for female passengers, but women are free to travel in the general compartment as well.

delhimetrorail.com

Rickshaw

Auto-rickshaws are most commonly found outside metro stations but can be hailed anywhere on the street. Negotiate a fare with the driver before boarding.

Tags

CITY GUIDE     DELHI     HOTELS