Dusty bazaars, historical alleyways, magic, chaos, honking horns non-stop, beautiful palaces and 25 million people. Welcome to Delhi, India’s capital and the first city we visit in India. Delhi hits all your senses; the sounds, the colors, the taste, the smells and the heat are a lot to take in all at once. This guide will make it a little easier for you to explore this overwhelming big city.
Stay at Hotel The Manor
Staying in a comfortable luxury boutique hotel is a nice break from the chaos, noise and buzz of Delhi. Hotel The Manor is located in the quiet and classy area Friends Colony. It used to be a small country hotel back in the 50’s and has turned into an oasis. Each room is elegant designed and features king size beds with luxury linen, television with a range of DVD’s available, Ayurveda toiletries and air conditioning. The hotel has everything you need and features one of the best restaurants in India, a gym, a luxury spa and a quiet garden to relax after a day of sightseeing. For current prices and bookings check The Manor, Delhi
Eat in one of the world’s best restaurants: Indian Accent
It is the only restaurant in India that is featured in the World’s 50 best Restaurants of 2016.Chef Manish Mehrotra launched Indian Accent in 2009. He creates unique dishes combining fresh local products with ingredients from across the world. Indian Accent is located at the Manor hotel.
Book a ride in an arty Van Gogh inspired rickshaw
Public transport is probably the last place you’ll expect to see mind-blowing art, unless you’ve been inside the designer rickshaw inspired by Vincent van Gogh. The Taxi Fabric project that started in Mumbai to give taxi seats an arty make over has now arrived in Delhi. Nasheet Shadani designed a Van Gogh-inspired ”taxi fabric” that stretches from the back seat all the way to the ceiling. It’s a painting of Humayun’s Tomb in the likeness of Van Goh’s ”Starry Nights’. Taxi Fabric cooperates with Manas Foundation, an organization which gives training to taxi drivers. Each of the chosen drivers of the designed rickshaws are rewarded for their good behavior.
Visit the Lotus Temple
The temple, built in the shape of a lotus flower, is the last of seven Major Bahari’s temples built around the world. It is made of pure white marble. The architect Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus as a symbol for Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. The temple is surrounded by nine pools of water that light up in the evening.
Book a henna artist
Hanuman Mandir near the Rajeev Chowk metro station is the hottest hub for Mehndi (henna) artists and Mehndi lovers in Delhi. Akhbar Mehndiwala is the most popular one and always full of customers so make sure you book in advance (Bridal Mendhi starts at Rs 1,100.) But you can also go to the Central Market (near Metro station: Lajpat Nagar) where you”ll find many Mendhi designers too and it is much cheaper. A single small design costs 100 to 1.500.
Stroll around Khan Market
This laid-back market is filled with many fashion boutiques, bookshops and interior stores. It’s a popular place for expats to hang out and drink a cup of coffee.
Walk around in Old Town
One of the city’s most crowded, chaotic areas filled with little shops, historical sights, temples and colorful old houses with beautiful doors. Get lost in the narrow lanes in the bazaars and feel like you’ve wandered somewhere medieval.
Visit the Red Fort
The Red Fort was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanaba – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan-. It is surrounded by massive walls of red sandstone and contains several pavilions set in a beautiful garden. The architecture is a fusion of Persian Timurid and Hindu traditions.
Hang out in Hauz Khas Village
The funkiest spot in the capital is popular for its creative scene. It is filled with design agencies, galleries, shops, vintage concept stores and cafés. It’s a small area, easy to navigate and not too crowded (except for the weekends). Stroll around the historic Hauz Kauz complex with its historical Madrasa tombs, mosque and a bright green lake. For a stunning city view visit Out of the Box rooftop restaurant. The place serves multi cultural food and there is often live music.
Relax in the Lodhi Garden
Wander around city park Lodhi Garden in the afternoon. It’s the perfect place for people watching and to escape the noise.