India is definitely a remarkable travel destination. Not only it is full of color and diversity but it is also not an expensive getaway. If one decides to pay this magnificent country a visit, s/he must most definitely spare and spend a couple of days in India’s capital, New Delhi. This stunning metropolis certainly has a lot to offer.
Arriving and finding accommodation
Even if it will be your second or third or even fourth time to Delhi, you are still bound to find dozens of places of interest. However, there are things you need to be aware of, once you arrive in Delhi. The main thing is cab and auto rickshaw drivers. Delhi is a huge town so you will definitely need to find an easy, fast and not-too-expensive means of transportation. Especially if you arrive late in the evening. Once you get into a cab/rickshaw, ask to be taken to Paharganj. It is the main bazaar next to the rail station, and is the so called “backpackers” district. It is the place with the most affordable hotels and hostels. Prices for start from as little as $2 per room. If there is even the smallest grain of doubt that the driver is taking you to a place different than the one you have requested, threaten him by calling the police. Swindlers are usually easily scared by a threat like this one.
Discover the city by auto rickshaw, by metro or even on foot.
Even though a lot of people will do their best to rip you off (you, being a tourist), you can avoid such mishap by having your eyes peeled and always being alert. When getting a taxi or an auto rickshaw, always ask the driver to turn the meter one, because not many do it. Especially not for a tourist. Also, getting around is made really easy by Delhi’s metro system. If you are ready to spend a little money, pay a visit to Connaught Place shipping district. Not only it is one of the newest and cleanest areas in Delhi, but it is also the place where you can find the familiar fast food restaurants as well as many famous brands clothes shops.
However, the true gems in Delhi are the palaces, temples and various monuments. For example, just a few minutes on foot away from Paharganj is the statue of the half-man, half-monkey god Hanuman. The statue is actually a temple, which you can enter and see shrines of many other Hindu gods. Another temple worth of your attention would be the ‘Lotus Mandir’. It is dedicated to the Bahai religion and is basically a huge lotus flower made of stone. Also, if you have the time, spare a couple of hours for the Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya. This is a tomb, dedicated to a Sufi Saint (sufism is a liberal side of Islam). The Dargah is in the Muslim part of Old Delhi and is easy to reach by metro.
In Delhi you can find basically everything you might want to take as a souvenir from your trip to India – saris, jewels, incense, spices, etc. The are a huge amount of stalls located in Paharganj, where you will probably be staying. However, beware of the prices, because many of them are inflated in order to fool tourists. Look around before actually buying and remember that simply because someone is offering you something, you are not obliged to buy it.
Indian cuisine is notorious for being really spicy. However, no trip to a foreign country is complete, unless you get a good taste of most of the dishes they have to offer. Still, remember that it is very likely to get sick at least once. If that happens, add re-hydration salts to your water and also boil it prior to drinking it. That shouldn’t put you off of trying all the tasty Indian meals, just be careful and don’t indulge in massive piles of spicy food.
Overall, Delhi is a city of extremes (just like India itself) – there are polluted and filthy areas, as well as marvelous metropolitan districts. So, in order to have a pleasant stay, get yourself well informed prior to arriving and you will be bound to have a splendid time.