2 days in Delhi
India's capital is a massive metropolitan area located in the north of the country. Explore this city at a slow pace, keep your eyes open and don't miss anything. Apart from amazing places and vibrant markets, this country will teach you a lesson for life.
I had the opportunity to visit Delhi as part of a Virgin Holidays tour, "A Taste of India", and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a great experience that taught me a lot. From that trip I learned how lucky I am and that happiness doesn't come in the shape of material things.
I will say that poverty and air pollution are the downsides of this city.
The climate of Delhi is extreme continental with hot summers and cold winters. During the hot season temperatures could reach the 45°C and in winter the average temperature is 13°C. Monsoon (rainy season) starts in July and lasts till the end of September.
We visited India's capital in June and the weather was hot with temperatures that surpassed the 40°C. If you can't stand the heat I suggest you to visit this city in Spring (February to March) or in Autumn (End of September to November).
As my friend and I were on a tour all the transfers were included. This was really convenient as we didn't have to plan in advance how to get around and it saved us a lot of time. For information about transport to and from the airport check this link here Delhi Transport.
A taxi from the airport to the city centre will cost you around Rs 400-Rs 500.
You could buy a tourist card that allows you to use the metro rail (1-day card will cost you Rs 100 and a 3-day card Rs 250). In order to purchase your card you need to pay a deposit of Rs 50 that will be refunded to you when you return it. If you would like info about public and local transport in the city have a look to this link Local Transport in Delhi.
Try at least once the tuk-tuk or rickshaw, a three-wheeled motorised vehicle used as a taxi. It was great fun!
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO
Start the day sightseeing Old Delhi. See the Red Fort which was the main residence of the Mughal dinasty for almost 200 years.
Take a rickshaw ride.
Stroll around the vibrant Chandni Chowk, one of the busiest markets in Old Delhi. You can find stalls selling spices, silver jewellery, saris, etc. There are also many eateries and tiny shops where you can buy essential oils and traditional Indian sweets. Allow plenty of time to explore the market and, if you wish to, do some shopping.
Visit the beautiful Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. I personally enjoyed this visit. It was Ramadan and people had just finished their prayers when we arrived and the mosque itself is marvelous.
Don't miss Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial was built on the same place where Gandhi was cremated. It is surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Your second and last day in the city you can see the main sites of New Delhi: the India Gate, the Parliament building and the President's Residence.
Pay a visit to Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret in the world made up of bricks. This minaret is part of the Qutab complex, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Go to see Humayun's Tomb, the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun.
FOOD AND DRINK
While you are in India, I advise you to drink loads of water while doing sightseeing (especially when you visit this country during the hot season). Always carry a water bottle with you and do not drink tap water. If you like beer you could try Kingfisher... I loved it!
Indian cuisine is well known around the globe with dishes that are full of flavour. Here I mention some of them:
Chole Bhature: Fried bread accompanied with onions and spicy chickpeas.
Butter Chicken: Chicken curry. The creamy gravy is made with spices and cashew nut paste.
Chaat: A snack made from boiled vegetables or raw fruit with spices.
Biryani: A dish made with seasoned rice and meat, fish or vegetables.
Kulfi: A creamy chilled dessert. The most popular flavour is the kesar pista (saffron and nuts).
My personal recommendation:
Chutney Bar + Tandoor Restaurant, located at The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa New Delhi this restaurant serves pan-Indian delights.