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India’s capital is one of the world’s oldest cities, and here you will discover not only historic India, but also the beating heart of a modern nation. If you’re travelling to Delhi and India for the first time, be prepared to immerse yourself in a heady variety of cultures, traditions and architecture.
Book a flight to Delhi with Qatar Airways to explore ancient mosques, colonial treasures and bustling streets that enliven the senses.
The first thing you’ll notice on your trip to Delhi that the city is an intricate tapestry of districts, all with their own individual characters. In Old Delhi you’ll discover the city’s most historic sites, including the famed Red Fort that served as the powerbase of India’s Mughal emperors. Nearby you’ll also find the country’s largest mosque – the Jama Masjid.
Despite its title, New Delhi is still home to some of the most exotic and ancient of the city’s wonders. One of the most impressive is Humayun’s Tomb, which is said to have inspired the Taj Mahal. The tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is the Qutb Minar, a fluted red-sandstone tower that tapers up to a height of 72.5 metres, surrounded by a cluster of well-preserved buildings from the 13th century.
Other highlights include the extensive National Museum and the Gandhi Smitri, one of the largest museums in India, and the estate where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last months of his life. The nearby India Gate is now a war memorial, but still has the ability to inspire visitors.
Delhi (Dilli) is fondly referred to as “the heart of the nation” and the city's importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the diverse cultures that live there today.
Throughout the city you’ll find plenty of representations of these cultures, including a thriving performing-arts scene that includes the Kingdom of Dreams, a masterful display of the colour and energy within the Indian culture.
One of the most rewarding things you can do in Delhi is to take a stroll through its labyrinthine streets. On your travels, you may end up exploring Old Delhi’s bustling bazaars or sampling the tranquillity of the Garden of Five Senses in Said-ul-ajab, which has been specially landscaped for the purposes of relaxation.
If you prefer something a little more organised, there are many historical sightseeing tours on offer, each of which will help you to make sense of the city’s centuries-long heritage.
Delhi is the cuisine capital of India. From age-old eateries in the lanes of the Walled City (another name for Delhi and a reminder of its Mughal heritage), to fine dining at restaurants in five-star hotels, Delhi is a food lover’s paradise. Head to Old Delhi to try chaat, a North Indian street food consisting of a stuffed pastry shell, deep-fried and coated with chutney, natural yoghurt and spices.
There are many places to try traditional street food throughout Delhi, though it may be advisable to sample these morsels at respected restaurants.
Alongside Indian staples, you’ll also find top-quality international cuisine in Delhi, ranging from Middle-Eastern to Italian, for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.
As with other Indian cities, visitors should travel to Delhi prepared to haggle for the best prices. Shopping in crowded bazaars like Chandni Chowk is a quintessential part of the Delhi experience and you’ll discover all manner of authentic Indian crafts, fashions and foods. Paharganj market, Janpath market and Kamla Nagar are particularly popular with bargain hunters.
Whether you’re looking for cheap trinkets or high-end luxury goods, there’s plenty of choice in Delhi. Spoil yourself with the popular tourist choices, such as jewellery, carpets, handicrafts, precious stones, silks and silverware – all synonymous with India. Visit Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Parliament Street for handicraft artefacts representing different states of India, at government-controlled prices.
Haus Khas Village, Connaught Place and Chandni Chowk each have distinct character and special attractions, while each captures the spirit of the city. From crowded bazaars to the glitziest malls, Delhi has it all.
For a more upmarket experience, visit DLF Emporio at Vasant Kunj. It claims to have the largest luxury collection in Asia, with 74 international and 111 Indian brands. Global brands include Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Dior, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Prada and Ranna Gill.
Essential facts about Delhi
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip