Delhi has a turbulent history behind itself and therefore for travelers a lot to offer. In this article, we will introduce you to our top 10 attractions in Delhi. Have fun exploring the colorful metropolis!
Old Delhi has its roots in the time of the Mughals who used the region around the Red Fort as capital for their empire. This part of Delhi reflects the typical Indian cityscape.
- Red Fort (Lal Qila)
One of the most important sights of Delhi is the massive fortress and palace complex of red sandstone from the era of the Mughal Empire. After crossing the Lahore Gate and leaving the busy streets of Old Delhi behind you, you will find yourself here in an oasis of tranquility.You can discover in the Fort: a three-storey drum house housed in the Indian War Museum, the public reception area Diwan-e-Am, the marble palace Mumtaz Mahal, the private palace Khas Mahal, the Palace of Colors Rang Mahal, The Perl Mosque and some pavilions.
Unfortunately, many of the buildings are locked and no longer accessible. Even if it has been part of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage since 2007, the lack of instant attention on the part of the Indian authorities means that the fairy-tale glamor is lost. A visit is nevertheless worth it! We took an audio guide and could so calmly look at everything and let us explain.
Admission: 350 rupees + audio guide. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 7 am to 5.30 pm. Metro station: Chandni Chowk.
- Jama Masjid – the great Friday mosaic
The largest mosque in India was inaugurated in 1650 by Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, who had already built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. It took six years for the massive red sandstone structure to be completed with a cost of one million of rupees.When you have crossed the gate, you will be in the large courtyard. Here is space for over 20,000 believers!
You should visit the mosque in the morning because non-Muslims are often standing in front of closed doors during the prayers. Keep in mind that you wear long clothes during your visit.
Admission: free Metro station: Chandni Chowk
More attractions in Old Delhi:
Chandni Chowk – the old grand boulevard.Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib – a Sikh Temple in Old Delhi (free entry, opening hours: 24 hours open).Raj Ghat – Memorial for Mahatma Gandhi, who was buried here in 1948 (admission: free, opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm).New Delhi – New Delhi fabricated 100 years ago at the time of the British colonial rule to replace the old capital Calcutta. It is not difficult to recognize the European influence in the architecture of the government buildings.
- Connaught Place (Rajiv Chowk)
This circular square, renamed Rajiv Chowk several years ago is the hub of New Delhi. From here, eight drop-offs branch off into all directions. The most famous connecting road is the Janpath, which branches off to the south, and leads into the government quarter, which was built by the British.Rajiv Chowk is one of the biggest financial, commercial and business centers of the metropolis. There are numerous possibilities for shopping around the roundabout.
Metro station: Rajiv Chowk
- The Presidential Palace and the India Gate
The large, wide boulevard Rajpath connects the government quarter in the west and the imposing India Gate in the east. Large green areas surround the street, which in the evening attracts many locals for picnics.Towards the west, the road leads slightly upwards. To the left and right you can discover the two imposing government buildings, built of yellow sandstone. At the end of the street is the palace-like Rashtrapati Bhawan, ruled by the Indian state president. Unfortunately you cannot get close, and you have to be satisfied with a look through the big ice gates.
From the hill, however, you have a good view over the Rajpath to India Gate. The All India War Memorial is a great triumphal arch, reminiscent of the soldiers of British India who left their lives in the First World War.
Metro station: Khan Market
- Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Delhi-Sikh Temple-Gurudwara-Bangla-SahibAbout one kilometer southwest of Connaught Place you’ll find this Sikh temple. Even though he cannot keep up with the splendor and magic of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, it is still an excellent example of Sikh architecture. Very characteristic are the golden domes and the typical square temple pond with holy water. From the outside, the Gotteshaus seems a bit unimpressive, but as soon as you enter the temple, you get into a unique, spiritual atmosphere.To the right of the entrance is a tourist office. There you can give your shoes free of charge and borrow a headgear if you do not have any.
Admission: free Opening hours: 24 hours
- Humayun Mausoleum
Humayun’s magnificent tomb was commissioned by his wife and completed nine years after his death. It is considered as a prototype of the Mogul mausoleums with its 43-meter towering mosaic. In a museum, you will be shown that also the Taj Mahal was built a century later according to a similar plan.Entrance fee: 350 rupees Opening hours: From sunrise to sunset Metro station: JL Nehru Stadium
- Lodi Gardens
This beautiful park, built in 1930, attracts the attention of monuments from the 15th and 16th centuries, landscaped lawns, colorful flowers, shady trees, and ponds. Especially in the early morning and evening hours, the spacious garden is a perfect place for an early morning or simply as a relaxing retreat. If you travel a lot with your camera, you will be able to spend hours in this picturesque park.Admission: free Opening hours: daily from 6 am to 8 pm Metro station: Jor Bagh or Khan Market
- Gandhi Smriti Museum
In this house, Gandhi lived the last 4.5 months of his life until his assassination on 30 January 1948. In addition to extraordinary items such as his spinning wheel, many photographs, newspaper excerpts and film screenings, his life is presented here impressively in a multimedia exhibition. There are similarities to Mani Bhavan, the Gandhi Museum in Mumbai, but this museum is much larger and more extensive. Here you will learn everything you should know about the “father of the nation.” Bring time with!Admission: Free Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm Metro station: Racecourse
The Swaminarayan Akshardham is a different center for Indian culture. You can imagine it as a kind of Hindu Disneyland for Indians. In the heart of the over 40-hectare complex stands the magnificent Akshardham temple, built of red sandstone and white marble. The curved exterior wall consists of more than 200 sculptures. Inside the building, you will find a large, gilded statue. Entrance to the temple is free. Other exhibitions and attractions are offered, but you must buy tickets.Photographing is prohibited throughout the site. When you arrive, you must fill out a note with your name, address, and telephone number. You will not be able to put all your electronic equipment together with your backpack on the baggage claim.
- Lotus Temple
In the southeast of Delhi is one of the rare, extraordinary Bahai temples in the form of a lotus flower. Nine doors on all sides symbolize openness for the followers of the various religions.In the well-kept garden as well as in the very simple temple itself you find the peace from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Especially, worth the visit in the evening just before closing. Then the rush is not so high, and when the light changes, the temple comes into its own.
See more attractions in New Delhi:
Jantar Mantar – star shelter with oversized rosary observers (entrance fee: 200 Rupees, Metro station: Patel Chowk).Birla Mandir Temple (Lakshmi Narayan) – a red sandstone temple, opened in 1938 by Mahatma Gandhi (entrance free).Qutub Minar – Tower of Victory and the Minaret in the Qutub Complex, is regarded as an early masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture and is still one of the highest tower structures in the Islamic world (open daily from sunrise to sunset, entry: 300 rupees).Mehrauli Archaeological Park – an Archaeological area with over 100 historically significant monuments, including imperial tombs and palaces.