New Delhi is a city of sharp contrasts. Chaos, culture, dirt, heritage, pollution, congestion, religious diversity, history, shopping and tourism all amalgamate to make it a dynamic and vibrant destination. It is also the hub of India with its airways, railways and roadways connecting it to other major cities.
Paharganj is ground zero for the backpacker community. It has the cheap hotels, travel agencies, shopping, tours, etc. - no need to stray far to get these amenities.
New Delhi Blogs by TheLoneRider
Meditation with Shirly Pnina at Lodi Garden, New Delhi(May 15, 2018) It was a chance meeting at Cafe CoffeeCo when Shirly talked about meditation with a Polish traveler. I got into the conversation, and before I knew it, I was already part of the meditation group for Lodi Garden with like-minded seekers....more »»
A First-Timer in New Delhi, India(May 12-17, 2018) I've read so many things about New Delhi. As India's capital, it is a land of sharp contrasts - bustling, spiritual, scams, dynamic, dirty and hot. It was intimidating. When I disembarked from the plane, the first thing that greeted me was the heat - like the gush of hot air when you open up the oven door to see if the turkey is done! It was a foretelling start.....more »»
New Delhi (city), India
Travel Tips for New Delhi
- the backpacker area in New Delhi is Paharganj. Paharganj is close to the Delhi rail station which gets handy for local and provincial travels. Anyone checking-in in Paharganj, I strongly recommend you arrive by day. It could be a system shock to arrive by night...seriously! Some hostels are tucked inside narrow dark alleys with bystanders and hard to find by day, let alone by night
- if taking the New Delhi Airport Express Metro upon landing, buy a Metro Card and load it up. It saves you time (instead of lining up to buy a ticket everytime you ride the Metro). Besides, riding the Metro is the most convenient way of getting across town - no traffic!
- Delhi is aggressively promoting the "water re-filling" station, usually located along the Metro stops. Use it! It stops more plastic bottles ending up in the bellies of whales!
- if Paharganj is too much for you (Danish rape of 2014, scams, filthy, congested, chaos, etc.) you can try other developing areas in the south which are increasingly becoming an alternative to the seedy Paharganj. These new alternatives offer quality food, more hygiene and safer, upscale neighborhoods - Jugaad, Greater Kailash I, Asaf Ali Road and IGNOU road
How to get to Paharganj (New Delhi) from the Indira Gandhi International Airport
- cab - cab takes you to Paharganj, $8-$11, 21 mins, 20 kms
- Metro - from the airport, take the Delhi Metro - Orange Line and it will take you all the way to the Paharganj rail area, 22 mins, $1, trip every 15 minutes. From the train station, you can pay a motorickshaw INR 50 for the 1.4km trip to Paharganj
Travel Tips for India
- e-VISA - visa on arrival is no longer done. Tourists should apply online for an e-VISA. Tourist e-VISA for 60 days = US$51.25 (including surcharges, non-refundable). NOTE: e-VISA is only honored in 25 designated airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore,Mumbai,Chennai). You CANNOT do a land crossing using an e-VISA.
- US$1 = Indian Rupee (INR) 67.18
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
- other travel destinations in India
- always good to have an Indian SIM. It's handy to get wifi in some cafes
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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