With so much to see and do in Delhi it was hard to choose my favourites but here is what I recommend if you are here for a short time. You will need to plan an itinerary as Delhi is vast and lots of things are spread out. I did hire a driver on one day which I would recommend if you plan to cover a lot of areas.
New Delhi Railway Station – One of the busiest and largest stations I saw throughout my travels in India, we arrived to a sea of bag carriers, taxi and rickshaw drivers playing spot the tourist before I had even stepped off the train. A very interesting place once you are part of the buzz with a taxi booth outside which we used for a fair price. There is a tourist booking office upstairs which can be busy but I highly recommend stopping here to book any future journeys by train in advance if possible. There is also a café opposite it serving delicious and very cheap food and tasty chai. Check out my post on travel in India for further details.
The Red Fort – This breath-taking fort is surrounded by an 18metres high wall, houses a museum and a small market as well as the incredible architecture and beautiful gardens. Allow at least a few hours to explore inside and don’t miss the bullet holes on entering Lahore Gate from 1857 Siege of Delhi.
India Gate – A memorial for the 82,000 Indian soldiers who died during the First World War with many of their names inscribed within the gate. Not to be mistaken with the Gateway of India in Mumbai.
National Museum – Delhi has multiple museums and it was a struggle deciding on which one to visit. This one is has antiques from the silk route, musical instruments and most memorably a suit of armour for an elephant, so there is truly something for everyone and it is the perfect way to fill a rainy afternoon.
Qutb Minar – You will see what is apparently the tallest brick minaret in the world as you approach these extraordinary ruins. Once closer the carved calligraphy makes this a must see stop in your tour of Delhi and despite being charged a very hefty ‘tourist price’ for a lemon soda from one of the vendors before entering this was probably my favourite sight in Delhi. It is also a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
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Lotus Temple – Shaped like a lotus flower this is certainly the most unusual temple I have ever seen. As it is a Bahá’í House of Worship it is open to all regardless of religion however you do have to leave your shoes outside. Incredibly the marble petals came from Greece as individual pieces and have been constructed together to make this incredible architecture. To add to the almost futuristic feel the building is surrounded by ponds and gardens. Inside it has a very modern feel with television screens whilst readings and prayers can be read out to visitors no sermons take place in the temple.
Saleem Baalak Trust – Set up 28 years ago this charity provides food, security, health, education and love for thousands of children living on the streets. The ‘City Tour Walk’ is guided by former street children so is an insightful and personal account of the harsh realities they can face. After the tour we were taken back to the centre to meet some of the children they are currently working with. Learning about the work they do is heart-warming and seeing those smiling faces eager to pose for the camera is one of the most memorable experiences throughout my time in India. You can learn more about the charity at http://www.salaambaalaktrust.com/
*I did not receive any payment from anyone to write this post. All thoughts are from my own personal experience.