Edited 16 February 2023 in Culture and Heritage

Exciting activities to indulge in a Delhi tour with family and friends

Delhi, with its vibrant heritage and culture, scrumptious cuisine and exquisite markets, is the ideal destination for a trip. Delhi offers a peek at India's rich history, wondrous art, and crafts.

If one is planning a trip to Delhi, here is an extensive list of exciting activities one must indulge in in Delhi with friends and family. There will not be a minute of boredom when one is in India's capital.

Visiting heritage sites

For numerous centuries, Delhi has been a centre of civilisation.

Ranging from the Mughals to the British and even today, there is hardly a lack of intricate architecture and heritage. So, one must explore the following historical sites as given below.

  • Rashtrapati Bhavan: TheRashtrapati Bhavan is located at the western end of Rajpath in New Delhi. The architect, Edwin Lutyens, designed the palace-like structure in an 'Edwardian Baroque' architecture. The Bhawan’s elaborate domes and arches, along with the occasional Indo-Saracenic motifs, are a sight to behold. The Mughal gardens, the vast libraries, built-in museums, and various lavish hallways are mesmerising. You can book a tour Also, a spot booking facility is available at the reception with proof of identity along with a debit or credit card.
  • Red Fort: The Red Fort,or Lal Qila, constructed by Shah Jahan in the mid-17th century, is one of the most sought-after tourist attractions. It is located on the Netaji Subhash Marg, in Chandni Chowk. It was named a UNESCO heritage site in 2007. The massive halls of red sandstone and white marble, the sheer Mughal architecture with its Persian and middle-eastern influences, make it a must visit. 

    A light show is conducted in the evening. The timings are from 1930 to 2030 hours for the Hindi show and from 2100 to 2200 hours for the English show. These timings are for the months of May to August. The timings for November to January are from 1900 to 2000 hours for the Hindi show and from 1930 to 2030 hours for the English show. On-spot bookings are available.

  • Jama Masjid: The Jama Masjid,built by Shah Jahan and located in Shahjahanabad in Old Delhi, remains a historically significant site. The structure itself was a symbol of the Islamic powers all over India during the Mughal rule. It remains in use and is a must see. The massive expanse of the courtyard, its balconies, and the sundial are of major interest. There is no entry fee.
  • India Gate: The India Gate,or officially known as the Delhi Memorial, was a memorial built for the Indian soldiers in the British Army who died between 1914-1919. The red sandstone arch, located on the eastern side of Rajpath, is a simple yet classy dedication to the martyrs. The monument, with not hundreds but several thousand names on it of those who sacrificed their lives, is worth a visit.
  • Lodhi Gardens: The Lodhi Gardens,built by the Sayyid and Lodhi Dynasty, are situated on the Lodhi Road. It houses the tombs of Sikandar Lodi and Mohammed Shah. Besides its spectacular view and beautiful gardens, this place is popular for a picnic. It is open all year round and is a serene respite from the everyday hustle-bustle of the city.
  • Hauz Khas: The Hauz Khas is a complex built around a medieval reservoir with both historical Islamic architecture and urban settlements. It offers not only ancient views and scenerybut is also sprinkled with numerous cafés, like the Kunzum Travel Café, providing delicacies with a view. A day trip to Hauz Khas is a popular recommendation.

Shopping at local markets

Delhi is also known for its local markets, with their hustle and bustle. Some remarkable shopping locales are given below.

  • Chandni Chowk: Chandni Chowk is a household name in most Indian families,with references ranging from Bollywood movies to tongue twisters. It certainly does live up to its name, with winding alleys filled with various fabrics of every kind, spices, intricate jewellery, especially glass bangles, and even numerous electronics. It is a shopaholic's best and worst dream come true. Located in Old Delhi, it is open on all days except Sunday.
  • Sarojini Nagar: Sarojini Nagar is located in South Delhi. Its prime location and huge quantities of branded rejects attract a good number of shoppers daily. It is a fashion haven, with trendy clothes coming in every Tuesday, along with accessories and shoes.
  • Khan Market: Khan market has a loyal population of buyers, being located near India Gate. It is well-known for its furnishings, ayurvedic medicines,and professional tailors. Due to its largely fixed prices, bargaining is usually a failed process here.
  • Dilli Haat: The Dilli Haat is inspired by a traditional rural weekly market with thatched roofs,and the tribal aesthetic provides an excellent ambiance. It is located in South Delhi and offers a variety of handicrafts like mirrors, handmade jewellery items, spices and blends. Music and dance performances are also quite common and, all in all, a very enjoyable experience.
  • Janpathand the Tibetan market: It is located near Connaught Place in Janpath and offers a varied selection of traditional Indian and Tibetan goods and crafts. It is advisable to use all your bargaining skills while shopping and not miss out on jewellery items, artefacts, clothes, and paintings.

Museums and art galleries

Indian art is an extravagant and unique experience, ranging from emotion-evoking contemporary pieces to classical ones. Delhi, being the capital, has a copious number of museums and art galleries.

  • The NationalGallery of Modern Art: It is located in Jaipur House in New Delhi and was established by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954. It houses not only traditional but also contemporary paintings, giving it an artistic harmony of colour. You can expect famous paintings by artists like Rabindranath Tagore and even internationally renowned pieces of art.
  • Kiran Nadar Museum of Art: A lesser-known museum in Noida is a hidden gem with arich diversity of art. It has displayed some well-known exhibitions over the years and is especially known for its themed exhibits. It also includes masterpieces by Jamini Roy, Arpita Singh, F. Hussain, and F.N. Souza. It has a vast collection of sculptures and contemporary art.
  • The DelhiArt Gallery: The place is well known for being the world's largest depository of modern Indian art. It opens doors to both the past and present evolution of artistic talent in India. It exhibits the perfect blend of modernist and traditional styles of art. It holds summer shows and frequent art exhibits and is located in the Hauz Village.
  • Akar Prakar: Unlike traditionalart displays and museums, Akar Prakar is an open-air art installation. The specialty lies in its sculpture and open-minded shows that aim to bring about a change to the already existing boundaries of art. It is located in the Defence Colony and also provides photography prints and art journals.
  • National Museum: It is one of the largest museums in India, which hosts over 200,000 pieces of art and has over 5,000 years of culture embedded in it. It has various departments,such as archaeology, prehistoric archaeology, paintings, and historical pieces. It is located in Janpath.
  • The NehruMemorial Museum and Library: It was established in honour of our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Its objective is to preserve and reconstruct the fight for independence. It is located in NCR and is a very important source of knowledge about our freedom movement, with more than 2,50,000 books and 8,000 audiotapes.

Delhi’s delectable cuisine

The capital city is a melting pot of cultures and a delight for foodies due to the large variety of mouth-watering delicacies available. One can find Punjabi, Islamic and central Indian influences in the culinary delights of Delhi. Let us explore some of those gastronomic delights.

  • Old Delhi: If you are looking to enjoy authentic North Indian and Mughlai cuisine, Old Delhi is the place. It offers flavourful, spicy chaats and street food. Some well-known places are - 'Adesh Kumar's Daulat ki Chaat', and 'Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala'.
  • Paranthas: Paranthas are lightly fried thick bread smeared with ghee. They are best enjoyed with spicy pickles, curd, eggs, vegetable curries or roasted meat. Chandni Chowk in Delhi is famous for its ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’.
  • Kebabs: The Mughal influence on Delhi led to the rise of kebabs that are chunks of minced meat, fish or vegetables marinated in aromatic spices and grilled in open coal fire, imparting a smoky flavour. They are served with a generous amount of ghee or butter and can be enjoyed alone or with paranthas. A famous kebab joint in Delhi is Ustad Moinuddin Kebabs in Lal Kuan. 
  • Chhole Bhature: Chhole bhature is a lip-smacking combination of deep-fried fluffy bread with a rich chickpea curry. It is best enjoyed with a side of raw onion and green chutney. Its roots can be traced back to Punjab. Most chhole bhature lovers prefer to wash it down with a glass of lassi, a fermented yoghurt drink. Sitaram Diwan Chand’s shop in Paharganj offers delicious chhole bhature.
  • Golgappa: Golgappas are round crispy bread served with a spicy potato and chickpea mixture along with some aromatic pudina and tamarind water. Each bite is a burst of flavours and is not for the faint hearted as it is best enjoyed with a lot of chillies. 
  • Rolls: Delhi is famous for its rolls which come with a lot of options. One can choose from veg, paneer, egg, chicken, mutton, beef and pork varieties. Rolls are flatbreads stuffed with a generous helping of vegetables and/or meat and garnished with lots of chat masala. It is a meal in itself and can be enjoyed throughout the day.
  • Nehari: Nehari is a traditional meat curry usually enjoyed in the mornings by the members of the royal family. It consists of meat cooked slowly in a rich broth along with lots of aromatic Indian spices. It takes a lot of time to cook but it is worth it. 
  • Kulfi: Kulfi is a rich Indian-style ice cream made with condensed milk, flavoured using kesar and powdered elaichi (cardamom), and garnished with pistachios. It is delicious and tastes even better after polishing off a spicy plate of biryani and kebabs. 
  • Korean bulgogi: Apart from the traditional food items that Delhi is famous for, you can also find that several international cuisines have penetrated the Delhi food scene. For example, Korean beef bulgogi available at restaurants like Gung the Palace is one of the many intriguing dishes that you should try out on your visit to Delhi. 
  • Momos and thukpa: Although Momos and thukpas are traditionally food items originating from Tibet and the north-eastern part of India, you can find that they are readily available in several street food outlets as well as classy restaurants of Delhi. With the intermingling of several cultures in Delhi, this type of variation in food habits is not very uncommon. Along with these, you can also try out other authentic Tibetan dishes like shabalay gyuma and the Tibetan platter. 
  • Sushi: Just like the cuisine of Tibet and Northeast India has infiltrated the tastes of Delhiites, Japanese cuisine that includes dishes like sushi, udon noodles, miso, and tempura fries have also carved out their own spot in Delhi’s diverse cuisine. You can try these delicacies at several restaurants in Delhi serving up international cuisine.

Fun activities across Delhi

Besides the several historic and modern places to visit in Delhi, there is also an abundance of activities you can indulge in to complete your experience of old and new Delhi. From shopping at medieval marketplaces to cycling around the city, there are umpteen things you can do in Delhi as a tourist.

  • Rock climbing: The Rock Climbing Centre in Moti Bagh offers an adventurous time and even those people who lack an adrenaline rush need to try out this activity. It is located in Moti Bagh, and it is advisable to wear comfortable and loose clothing.
  • Kalindi Kunj: This amusement park provides fun activities including water rides, a ferris wheel ride, roller coasters, and other entertainment rides and shows. It is located in New Delhi on Maulana Azad Road.
  • Book cafes: If one is looking forward to spending time by yourself, there is nothing better than a combination of books and food. Book cafés provide you with exactly that. Some renowned ones include 'Cha Bar' and 'Ivy and Bean'. 
  • Go-karting: Go-karting is gradually becoming a popular sport and recreational activity. You can try your hand behind the tiny steering wheels of these mini-cars that are powered by 160 cc engines. When visiting Delhi with friends, this can be a fun activity to do together.
  • Escape rooms: You have not experienced all that modern-day Delhi has to offer if you have not played an escape room game at Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi. It is one of the most mind-bending and life changing experiences you can have with a group of friends or even your family members. 
  • Motorised paragliding: This is another unique activity you can engage in when in Delhi. It involves a motorised cart strapped on to a large fan and parachute. You can experience the surreal pleasure of soaring high in the sky and get a fantastic view of the Delhi skyline.
  • Segway Ride: When visiting the India Gate at Delhi, you can rent a Segway, which are unique two-wheeled electric scooters that you can use to glide around the Rajpath area of New Delhi.
  • Ice skating: When visiting Delhi, you may also wish to explore an international winter sport. Hence, ice skating in Gurugram is one of the most popular activities that tourists indulge in. Gurugram is very close to Delhi and you can add it as the final activity to your Delhi itinerary. 
  • Paintball: If you are into adventure games that leverage team work, then paintball is the perfect activity for you. This action-packed team sport is best played with a large group of friends or even as smaller teams within family members.

Travel tips for Delhi

  • Dotry the yummy street food.
  • Do carry a portable wifi hotspot.
  • Use metros and public transport, they are cheaper. 
  • Book your stay at a hotel that is central to everything in New

How to reach Delhi?

  • By air: Delhi is well connected by air, with both domestic and international flights plying in and out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. You can access direct non-stop IndiGo flights to Delhi from all major cities in India, including Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Bangalore.
  • By road: Delhi is also connected by well-made highways and roads and is accessible through inter-state transport buses from all major cities. 
  • By rail: The New Delhi and Old Delhi railway stations have trains coming in every day from all parts of India. Rajdhani, Duronto, and other trains work to and from Delhi.

Best time to travel Delhi

The best time to travel is during the winter season. The best months to travel are from October to February. The weather is pleasant and comfortable.

Delhi is one of the significant cities in India known for its culture, heritage, and tourism. We hope you have an exciting and well-informed trip to this city of colour and vibrancy, with exciting and fun activities to indulge in alone or with your family and friends.

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