Review: Things to do in Delhi

"Things to do in Delhi" was last updated on Feb 26, 2014
All information below is subject to change

There's no doubt that there are a lot of attractions in Delhi.

If you hire a car or a rickshaw driver, all of the attractions below can be covered in one day.

Since we had little time on our hands, we arranged a car through Grand Park Inn Hotel in Karol Bagh. We were 5 people and paid Rs 1600 in total for a spacious AC-car.

Many of the attractions are quite close to each other; for instance India Gate, National Museum, Parliament House and Gandhi Smriti Museum. Or Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Raj Ghat.

Others are further away; for example Qutab Minar and Lotus Temple.

Here are the attractions we visited in Delhi!

Review of National Museum &
Parliament House

Parliament house in New Delhi, India
Inside National Museum in Delhi, India

Admission (Indians/foreigners): Rs 10/300

Camera fee (Indians/foreigners): Rs 20/Rs 300

Students: Rs 1 (also foreign students)

National Museum in New Delhi was probably one of my favorites because of its vast selection.

This museum hosts 5,000 years of cultural heritage - both Indian and international. The Indian history takes you all the way back to Maurya Empire. When it comes to foreign collections, Chinese artifacts is one of them.

The exhibitions and collections are divided into three floors. Indian miniature paintings were my absolute favorite at National Museum. I could just stare at the details and get lost in them. Looking at ancient armors and weaponry was also incredible.

We had little time on our hands so we only spent one hour here. But we had to rush it.

Open: Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays), from 10 am to 5 pm.

The gate by Parliament house in New Delhi

Where: On the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road in New Delhi. It's easy to take the metro in Delhi. The closest metro to National Museum is Central Secretariat.

Recommended time: 2 hours

Close to the National Museum is the Parliament House. You're not allowed to enter, but at least you can take some pictures of the beautiful garden surrounding the Parliament House.

If you're hiring a driver, him and all civil drivers are only allowed to park for a couple of minutes.

But frankly, there are more exciting attractions in Delhi than this.

Return to top

India Gate

View of India gate in New Delhi
Parade by India gate in New Delhi, India

One of the must-see things to do in Delhi: India Gate

One of the must-see's in Delhi is India Gate. It's the national monument in India and an important landmark. Its features resembles the Arch de Triumphe in Paris (France).

This monument commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Empire, from mid 1850s to 1947.

1947 is the year India become an independent country.

You should read up on some Indian history to actually understand what happened here, or else visiting the India Gate is just another pretty monument.

Where: East of National Museum. Every rickshaw driver in the city should know where it is. There's no admission fee.

Return to top

Raj Ghat

Raj ghat: Mahatma Gandhi cremation

Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Basically when you have entered the premises, you have to walk in a large lovely garden for 5-10 minutes. Then there's a 'bridge' where you have to take off your sandals, and store it in the shelf.

You have two options. You can store your sandals for free, but nobody's watching them for you. The other option is a counter where a local collects money to watch your shoes.

There will be lots of Indians here. The highlight of the trip is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Gandhi's cremation. We didn't know what to do when we saw the platform, but other visitors (the Indians) were walking around it clockwise. So we did the same.

It was pretty hot for our feet, so it might be a good idea to bring some socks.

Where: Mahama Gandhi Marg, close to Red Fort. No admission fee

Recommended time: 30 minutes

Return to top

Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple

In front of a Sikh temple in New Delhi, India

The first attraction we saw during our sightseeing was the pearl white Sikh Temple in New Delhi. There were NO other foreigners there, only us. But we enjoyed it anyway.

Pond at Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple in New Delhi

The first thing to do is to cover your head. Fortunately I brought a shawl so I wrapped that around my head. Then the staff at the temple asked if we smoked. One of the other girls smoked, and even if she had no intentions of smoking inside the temple, they asked her to leave the cigarette pack at their office.

Fish in pond at Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple in New Delhi, India

We entered the temple with no shoes and our heads wrapped. It was a special moment, watching all those people say their prayers, and being able to visit a Sikh Temple even if we weren't Sikhs.

Then we continued to the pond near the side entrance of the temple. This pond is considered holy by Sikhs.

It was a beautiful pond with large fish in it. They reminded me of Japanese fish called Koi. It was such a beautiful place.

Where: Near Connaught Place. No admission fee

Recommended time: 45 minutes

Logo cartoon   PSSSST...

Having trouble on where to travel in India? How to set up an itinerary?

Ah, I don't blame you. India is a huge country, almost a continent. Get your itinerary questions answered with Map Your Adventure: India, one of our most popular tutorials.

Return to top

Jama Masjid

In front of Jama Masjid temple in Delhi

Admission: Free

Camera fee: Rs 200

Jama Masjid is a beautiful mosque. It's the largest and most well-known mosque in Delhi. When I say 'largest', I mean it can hold 25,000 people.

The wall at Jama Masjid in Delhi

But getting to the mosque was rather uncomfortable. We were dropped 10 minutes from the site since cars were not 'allowed'.

Me in front of Jama Masjid

And while we were walking towards the mosque, we were bombarded with lots of impressions; new smells, lots of smoke coming from numerous fire places and lots of men! Who would believe that new awful smells would appear after traveling for months in India... (sarcasm)

My idea was to get inside, but when I saw that 97% of the visitors to the mosque were dominated by men, I changed my mind.

It didn't help either when people were pushing us to the side. We didn't exactly feel welcome at this place. It was very uncomfortable. But that's the way it is.

So I only got to one of the main gates. If you're more persistent than me, you can hire robes at the northern gate. 

Where: Jama Masjid is located in Old Delhi.

Have in mind that there's heavy traffic in Old Delhi.

We asked our driver to take us closer to Jama Masjid, but he said that it was a lot faster to catch a bicycle rickshaw. It was true. I mean, I don't understand why people would want to use a car inside Old Delhi. You're literally putting yourself through hours of traffic. Bicycle rickshaw... that's the thing! :-)

Return to top of things to do in Delhi

Qutab Minar

Sign at Qutab Minar in New Delhi
Qutab Minar tower, ©

Admission (Indian/foreigner): Rs 10/250

Camera fee: none

It's the world's tallest brick minaret. And a very impressive one. It's so impressive that it's proclaimed an UNESCO heritage site. It was created by the first Muslim ruler in Delhi, who started building it in 1193.

The Qutub Minar is made by red sandstone and is the highest tower in India, standing almost 73 meters above the ground. The tower has five storeys, each with a balcony.

What makes this site extra special is the carvings in the sandstone. For instance; they've carved in quotes from the holy book of Quran.

Qutab Minar carvings, ©

But I'm afraid you have to share Qutub Minar with tons of other travelers and tourists. It's wild texas when you arrive outside the entrance. Large tourist buses, cars and rickshaws are covering the entire street.

Where: Qutub Minar Complex, Mehrauli.

With all the traffic in Delhi, it takes a lot of time to get to Qutub Minar by road. We probably used 30-40 minutes from the Parliament House.

Recommended time: 1 hour

You'll enjoy:

Like this page?

Return to top of Things to do in Delhi

Delhi Attractions

Comment this page:

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.