in the middle
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New Delhi is India's capital and it's one of the world's fastest growing cities. And it's not just the local population who are discovering its appeal, with more cheap flights to New Delhi available and high profile sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and the Indian Grand Prix held here, tourists are increasing in number too. Numbers of visitors are set to increase over previous years, and the trends looks like it will continue into 2017/2018. What are you waiting for? Come and join the throng!
The old part of New Delhi is famous for its wide boulevards, historic temples and grandiose architecture which is the legacy of the Mughal Empire. There are plenty of things to see including the Red Fort, which is surely a must-see on anyone's itinerary after booking New Delhi flights. Humayun's Tomb and the Qutub Complex make up the triplet of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are the other top attractions here, along with the modern Lotus Temple. India Gate is a great spot for people-watching and impromptu outdoor entertainment whilst the Mughal Garden is great if it's open - alternatively try Lodhi Garden. For more check out our Delhi blogs.
Watch out for huge annual events like the World Book Fair, the Republic Day Parade and the musical extravaganza that is Swar Utsav. These and other events can swell the tourist numbers and push prices up. There are plenty of great cheap New Delhi hotels to be had, so bag yourself a bargain after you book your flight to New Delhi by booking early.
New Delhi flights land at Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is a vast hub serving more than 24 million passengers a year. There are plenty of direct Delhi flights from the UK, with travelling times of just over eight hours. The majority of these depart from London, with Air India, Jet Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic all departing daily from London Heathrow. There are also direct flights to Delhi from Birmingham, operated by Air India.
Although direct flights are the quickest route to Delhi, with a flight time of around eight and a half hours, it almost always works out cheaper to catch a connecting flight. This also gives you an increased choice of UK departure airports. Middle Eastern airlines like Etihad, Oman Air and Emirates offer cheap flights to Delhi with one stop in their international hubs. They are frequently the most convenient option from airports like Manchester and Glasgow, though expect your journey time to be increased by four hours or more.
When it comes to onward travel from your New Delhi flight there are a choice of ways to get to your hotel. Many hotels actually offer a free transfer service, so it's certainly worth checking if yours does before you look into other possibilities!
Metro - taking 20 minutes this is a good, fairly cheap, way of getting into the city. The airport is on its own metro line, so transferring to other metro lines at New Delhi Metro Station is a bit of a trek but should be ok unless you have huge bags!
Local Bus - there are a choice of two bus companies running eight lines to different destinations in the city, so it's best to book with the bus desk in the arrivals lounge to make sure you get the right one! Journey times are around 50 minutes, and you can expect to pay a little extra for big bags.
Taxi - use the prepaid booth and keep your receipt until you arrive, then once you're out of the taxi hand the receipt over. Private taxi operators will be mor expensive because they are usually air conditioned, but make sure you book at their booths and do not accept touting.
Car hire - driving yourself with car hire from New Delhi Airport is certainly not for the faint of heart as a city with 21 million occupants is bound to have busy traffic day and night! However in India it is easy to hire a car with a driver who is experienced at navigating the roads.
Delhi is an enormous city but you shouldn't be afraid to venture out on foot, especially in the daytime. There is a decent bus network although it's a hot and crowded way to travel, and you need to be on your guard against pick pockets. The new metro is a much cleaner, more reliable and quicker way to get around New Delhi.
The alternatives are taxis and auto rickshaws which are certainly a good way of seeing the city. Be prepared to haggle hard before getting into a taxi or rickshaw. Drivers will usually demand well over double the real price of the ride and even after lengthy bartering, you're unlikely to get anywhere near the price that locals would pay for the equivalent ride.
Delhi is something of a travel hub with connections to pretty much every city in the subcontinent and a variety of modes of transport available to do so. There are five main bus stations in New Delhi - Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan, Anand Vihar, Bikaner House and Manju Ka Tilla. Buses are generally speaking a slower and less comfortable way of getting around than the train, though they also offer a greater number of stops.
Travelling by train in India is an experience in itself. There are four train stations in Delhi, these are: Delhi Junction, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin and Anand Vihar. Tickets can be booked in advance at the station or online and many trains book out days in advance.
Those looking to travel large distances across India might want to consider making the journey by air rather than spend several days making the journey by land. There are a number of airlines operating internal flights - Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher all operate full services whilst Go Air, IndiGo Airlines and Spice Jet are the no frills alternatives.
Delhi has some incredibly hot, dry summers which fall in May, June and July. It's best to avoid visiting Delhi at this time of year as the heat can become truly oppressive. The rains arrive in August and have finished by October leaving the city much refreshed. You'd be best advised to head out to Delhi in October and November or February and March.
The peak season for travellers to New Delhi is during the spring months of February, March and April. The city is also particularly busy for annual festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr, Holi and Janamashtami.
The currency of India is the Rupee. It's possible to live on a shoestring in Delhi or to be as extravagant as you might be anywhere else. There are ATMs springing up all over the city as well as a number of Western Union and Thomas Cook branches where foreign currency can be exchanged.
Whilst English is one of the official languages of Delhi, at street level, it is not commonly spoken to any great degree of fluency. That said, hotel and museum staff and all those involved in the tourist industry will speak a reasonable amount of English.
+91 (India) , 11 (Delhi)
Delhi has a rich history of scams and hustles and you should be constantly on guard against being taken for a ride. Cab drivers will constantly attempt to overcharge you and even if they do agree to a price will still try to take you to a shop/hotel/travel agent which will pay them commission instead of the one you asked to be taken to. The only response to this is to be firm and insistent. Pickpockets are known to operate and there have even been tales of tourists being mugged. Be vigilant of your possessions especially when you're in a crowded place, use safes in hotels and don't walk around on your own after dark (this especially applies to women).