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Delhi (दिल्ली) also pronounced as Delli is the capital city of India. Delhi is one the globe’s oldest cities counting well over 5.000 years. In the city’s long existing it has been destroyed and rebuilt 11 times, slowly but surely traditions being set side by side with local boom in dot com and business outsourcing centers especially in the Gurgaon area. Delhi’s population has rise to well over 16 million people.
Delhi can be intimidating for the first time traveler with its tenacious touts, beggars and crush of thick smog between continues horns, mechanical and human traffic. Unlike other Asian capital cities Delhi has no skyscrapers and is completely flat. But don’t let your first impressions ruin this fabulous city, beyond the gritty surface you’ll discover that India’s capital is sprinkled with glittering gems: historic museums, magnificent ancient monuments, spacious parks, large shopping malls and high class restaurants to eat. Getting around Delhi is rather easy as well, with many ways of transportation in the auto-auto & bicycle rickshaws or old Ambassador taxi’s and even by metro or public bus. That is, if you know where to go.
Simply booking an official airport taxi in the arrival terminal of Delhi International Airport should be an eye opener to any traveler as well an interesting start of the incredible India journey to be. When you are ready to explore Delhi there’s one basic rule that should be followed: Know where you’re going. As the average taxi driver speaks little to non English, as well can’t read or write it, not knowing where you are going will result in being redirected to commission handy crafts, Indian arts and carpet bazaars. As well the “Indian Tourist Information Center” which are advertised for being non profit, government operated establishments while in fact they are overcharging resell agencies. The sales-men are very sweet, speak good English and try to lighting you up by offering free tea, coffee or soft drinks. Try to avoid entering them, and be careful if you do. Read more travel tips to ease your trip around India!
If you have absolutely no idea where you’re going and are up for an adventure!
Central Park an circle park in the middle of New Delhi. Several bazaars are nearby as the Palika Bazar in the outer circle of Central Park selling mainly electronics, as well the Main Bazar Pahar Ganj right across the New Delhi Railway Station which is a long stretched (backpacker) street market with touts and beggars left and right, as well several rooftop bars and cafe’s.
Canought Place has several commission bazaars which aren’t so persistence and display handicrafts being sold country wide. It’s not commended to buy here but have a good look at the goods being offered and know their pricing. Once you’re on the markets you should be able to get the exact same goods 5 to 10 times less than the commission bazaars.
PVR Plaza in Canought Place is Delhi’s best known cinema, all of the taxi drivers should know it. There’s many restaurants with different themes in the area as well International brand stores and several official book and music stores. If you’re seeking fine dining, laid-back shopping, Bollywood & Hollywood movies here’s where you take a stroll around.
Defence Colony in South Delhi is an step into a different world, no horns or busy traffic within the nightlife area, the tourists and upper class Indians are left alone wandering in the streets without any hustling from the establishment owners. The long stretched street are filled with bars, restaurants and rooftop lounges on both sides such as Moets, Shack, Soi 46, Swagath, Little Itally, Sagar, Colonel Kababand and Red Coral.
Tagore Garden Extension when you are looking for serious shopping in 5 stories plus malls you will love this New Delhi area. Several malls in this area are the Shoppers Stop, West Gate Mall and City Square Mall. This is were upper class Indians go shopping, you will notice that most malls don’t offer an ATM inside the mall which is because most high class Indians use credit cards.
Also try any of these random ones South Extension Part 1, South Extension Part 2 and Gate of India.
The city of Delhi offers various options for sightseeing. The best to get round is by private taxi which can be rented by day. Either contact an official taxi company or arrange one in your hotel. A regular 4 person car should cost around 800 Indian rupees for 8 hours, including parking and tollways. It’s the best simply because the auto-auto rickshaw drivers can’t be trusted, and peddling from one sightseeing to another they will charge extra.
When wandering around the streets of Delhi you will notice the signs displaying “ISD” “STD” “PCO” “XEROX”. Basically these little booths and shops are the payphones of India, these terms do not only apply in Delhi but throughout the entire country.
ISD International Subscriber Dialing
STD Subscriber Trunk Dialing (Local)
PCO Public Call Office
XEROX Copy & Printing
All nationalities traveling to India must have an Indian Visa prior to arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), even for airline transits. Travel destination India is pretty strict issuing visa’s and has multiple requirements which count for all travelers. For price inquiry please contact the embassy, a basic tourist VISA to India for 3 months costs €65 in Europe and $80 in North America, while Students, Business, Journalists or Family visa’s start at €99 ($120). The best period to visit Delhi is between March and May this is in the summer period with the least rain.