The easiest and most favoured mode of transport is the Delhi metro. It connects you to almost all parts of Delhi at a nominal cost. Alternatively, you can catch a cab or roam old Delhi on a cycle rickshaw – a quintessential experience. For a sightseeing tour covering attractions like the Red Fort and Feroz Shah Kotla, you can use the HoHo Bus service.
Bazaars to boutiques
Delhi has a wide variety of shopping areas to choose from. Janpath, Sarojini Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Mehar Chand and Dilli Haat are must-visit streets for bargains. You can find anything from clothes to trinkets, knick-knacks and jewellery here. DLF Emporio mall features all the top international brands from Chopard to Giorgio Armani. Select Citywalk offers both international high-street stores and local brands. I like Fabindia’s clothes and jewellery, while Forest Essentials has skincare products developed by Ayurvedic physicians.
If you’re looking for indie designers – like Bodice for chic apparel and Nappa Dori for hip bags and accessories – head over to Hauz Khas Village or Shahpur Jat, both located in South Delhi.
Delhi is all about soaking in the history and heritage. In the morning, visit historical sites like Lotus Temple (below), Lodhi Garden and India Gate in Rajpath, to see them shine in their splendour.
Make a three- to four-hour journey to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The UNESCO World Heritage site, Shah Jahan’s grand gesture of love for his wife Mumtaz, is an example of the fine architecture of the Mughal Empire. Just 3.5 hours from Delhi is Fatehpur Sikri, a fascinating city of palaces.
The local specialities at tiny street food stalls come with big flavours. Visit Natraj in Chandni Chowk for great dahi bhalla (deep fried dumplings served with yogurt and chutney) and Khan Chacha in Khan Market for kathi rolls (kebabs wrapped in Indian flatbread). Paranthe Wali Gali is a narrow lane in Chandni Chowk where many sellers hawk delicious parathas (wheat pancakes).
For fine Indian dining, head to Bukhara at ITC Maurya for its legendary dhal and sikandari raan (slow-roasted rack of lamb). Delhi also offers the best of global cuisines. Le Cirque at The Leela Palace serves a great steak.
Hauz Khas Village is great on Saturday nights with live bands and superb DJs. You can also visit Monkey Bar at Vasant Kunj. This gastropub with a relaxed vibe serves a bit of everything, from American burgers to Mexican and Indian cuisine. Their playlist includes alternative and retro tunes. PCO (D4, D Block Market) in Vasant Vihar is a speakeasy bar which plays good music.
A recent addition, Dramz Whiskey Bar & Lounge is spread across four floors and offers a great view of Qutub Minar.
Arts and architecture
I enjoy visiting the National Gallery of Modern Art for a dose of arts and culture. The former residential palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur showcases India’s cultural evolution and has one of the most significant art collections in the country. India Habitat Centre features creative outdoor spaces and is a hub for theatrical performances and art.
Drive around Rajpath to admire the splendid architecture of important buildings like the Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.
Go to Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin on Thursdays for a soul-stirring Sufi experience. Watch Sufi devotional singers perform qawwalis (Sufi devotional music) and enter a trance-like state.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.