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Rediscover The Magic Of "Dil Valo Ki Dilli" Right Here!

By Trishi Dhingra

Updated - Jan. 23, 2021 19 min read

Dilli isn't just a state, a capital or a union territory, it's a feeling. Ask anyone who spent their fair or even the tiniest share of life in Delhi, you'd know that it's impossible to get rid of it. The city will live in you. The narrow streets of Chandni Chowk, 4 AM drives to Murthal, making your way to Connaught Place for no reason, savouring Bhuttas, Bhel puris with a view of India Gate, Dilli ki Baarish... Dilli ki Sardi...in here everything is better and full of life. You wouldn't realise it until you leave the town for a few days but the epiphany sure hits you soon. 

 

 

I was born and raised a Delhiite. I've spent my entire life here and despite all the awful stuff you hear about Delhi, I couldn't imagine my life anywhere else. To give you an insight into this beautiful city, I have a few famous tourist spots you need to revisit in Delhi along with some off-beat hidden gems!

 

Ready? Hop on the Delhi tourism bus but of course virtually!

 

Famous Tourist Spots In Delhi

 

1. Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar isn't just any other sight to see in Delhi, it's one of the pivotal monuments of the city. The 73 m tall minaret, 5 distinct tapering storeys, decorative Quranic text engraved on the walls, spiral staircase with 379 steps and first mosque ever built in India, "Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid" at the foot just says it all. And I bet you skipped this information while you were there last time. Therefore, as my proposal suggests, revisit Qutub Minar one afternoon and gather more. And afterwards, you can have a nice & fancy dinner at Lavaash By Saby or QLA or Thai Hight and still savour the view. 

Image Courtesy: Indian Express

 

Timings: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entry Fee: INR 30 (Indians); INR 500 (foreign nationals)

Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar metro station, New Delhi,

 

2. Red Fort

Built in 1639 by Mughals, this fort is situated in old Delhi. The land of forgotten architecture and lip-smacking street food. We've all been there or at least sailed by it while travelling through the city. But did you know... The Red Fort is a fusion of Mughal, Persian, Hindu & Timurid architectural traditions and spread over 254 acres of land? Now, while we are on a quest to rediscover Dilli, why don't you pack a picnic and spend some time in this marvellous octagonal-shaped fort or should I say, one of the most famous tourist spots in Delhi with friends & family.

Image Courtesy: Outlook India

 

Timings: 09:30 am to 04:30 pm (closed on Mondays)

Entry Fee: INR 10 (Indian citizens) and INR 150 (foreign nationals)

Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

 

3. Akshardham Temple

60 acres of lush green, bronze statues of Indian heroes including patriots and warriors within, dubbed as an architectural marvel and honoured as the world's largest comprehensive Hindu temple by Guinness World Records. What more can I say about this beautiful temple situated right at the outskirts of Delhi. However, I am not finished. Other than being the eye-candy to a lot of tourists and citizens alike, this place organizes exhibitions on Swaminarayan's life's teachings followed by a musical fountain and light show after the sunset. Truth be told, expedition here will take up your entire day so plan accordingly. 

Image Courtesy: EaseMyTrip.com

 

Timings: 09:30 am to 06:30 pm

Entry Fee: INR 170 (Adults); INR 100 (Children)

Nearest Metro Station: Akshardham, New Delhi

 

4. India Gate

One of the most visited picnic spots in Delhi, India Gate is one of the trusted landmarks for Delhizens. Each of us has spent a lot of sunny wintery afternoons in the lush green lawns surrounding the structure nibbling on Bhel Puris whilst enjoying the view. And many times after. But the monument, in fact, was built to commemorate the sacrifice of 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives battling against foreign armies during World War-I. And the Amar Jawan Jyoti beneath was constructed after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, honouring the dead and unknown soldiers who lost their lives in the conflict, that resulted in the creation of independent Bangladesh The burning flame is considered immortal. It's one of the historically significant and the most visited tourist places in Delhi.

Image Courtesy: Trip Advisor

 

Timings: 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Entry Fee: None

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat, New Delhi

 

5. Lotus Temple

Baha'i house of worship harvesting harmony of humanity in a lotus-like architectural wonder is a must-visit tourist spot in Delhi. Lotus Temple is known for its tranquil ambience, unique design, 27 free-standing marble-clad petals and beautiful gardens & ponds that surround it. A single tour of the place and you'd want to shift there permanently. It's so quiet and peaceful that even silence seems a tad bit louder. Since the temple is equipped to accommodate 2500 people together, I think my chances of becoming an eternal resident are quite bright. 

Image Courtesy: PondoTrip.com

 

Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entry Fee: None

Nearest Metro Station: Kalkaji Mandir, New Delhi

 

6. Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb was built in the memory of late Humayun, the Emperor by his widow Bega Begum. This tourist spot in Delhi is one of the first examples of Mughal architecture in India but is mostly inspired by the Persian line of designing. Today, every Delhizen and tourist can't resist this place, mostly for its incredible view and symmetry no other monument in Delhi can give. I remember visiting this tomb with my fellow batchmates during my Masters to capture the essence, the lines, the angles and everything that's beautiful about Humayun's tomb in our cameras. Yes, it was an introductory class to Photography. To be honest, this tourist spot has worked out to be an impeccable background for a lot of photoshoots and many landscape shoots in Delhi. 

Image Courtesy: MakeMyTrip

 

Timings: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Entry Fee: INR 30 (Indians); INR 500 (foreign nationals)

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh, New Delhi

 

7. Mughal Gardens

Open for a limited period of time, Mughal Gardens is a 15-acre spread of thousands of tulips, 100 types of roses and more than 5000 seasonal flowers right inside the premises of Rashtrapati Bhawan. So, if you find yourself in the capital city between the month of December to February do check this place out. It's amazing and unforgettable. 

Image Courtesy: Curly Tales

 

Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM between Thursdays and Sundays (Open for visitors only between December and February)

Entry Fee: INR 50 per person

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat Metro Station

 

 

Best Places To Hangout In Delhi

 

1. Chandni Chowk

One of the oldest markets in Delhi, Chandni Chowk is the hub of the wholesale market, colourful quaint stores and mouth-watering street food. From Natraj Ke Dahi Bhalle to the famous Parathe Wali Gali, everything delicious and worth savouring could be located in the narrowest streets of Chandni Chowk. Everyone who's been to Delhi or lived here can never skip a tour to the best markets in Delhi. The place becomes brighter and scrumptious as the sun... sets!

Image Courtesy: OYO

 

Timings: Most shops remain open between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM on all days except Mondays.

Entry Fee: None

Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk Metro Station

 

2. Hauz Khas Fort & Lake

Remanents of 13th-century Mughal structure amidst the modernised cluster of bars, eateries, cafes and restaurants on the other side is a sight you cannot afford to miss. Embellished with a deer park on one end and a gigantic lake frequented by swans and ducks in the middle. It's truly one of the best places to hang out in Delhi. The fort and the village are usually bustling with Delhiites looking to soak in on architectural beauty by the day and party hard through the night. 

Image Courtesy: India Today

 

Timings: For the fort - 10:30 AM to 7 PM (Closed on Sundays & Holidays) while the village is open until midnight since all restaurants and pubs remain open till midnight

Entry Fee: For the fort - INR 25 per person; For the village: None

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas, New Delhi

 

3. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is a beautifully built structure enclosing a mesmerising worship place and a holy river called Sarovar. I've been going to this gurudwara since childhood and I've never been bored of peering at the lake, ghee-dripping Atta Halwa and their delicious Langar. I know most of it involves food but Bangla Sahib is one of Delhi's most famous landmarks and millennial's go-to place for some peace, quiet and again... Atte Ka Halwa!

Image Courtesy: Viator

 

Timings: Open 24 hours a day

Entry Fee: None

Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk Metro Station

 

4. Lodhi Gardens

A landscape worth visiting. Lodhi Gardens a well-maintained garden with 4 historically significant tombs and a pretty little lake not many people know about. Now, I've been there more times than I can count on my fingers. And mostly during wintery afternoons for a nice picnic with my friends and sometimes family. You should definitely try one of the best hangout places in Delhi with your favourite people because you'll regret it if you don't. The lush green surrounding alone will take away your heart and the company there will just help you get back home. Trust me, it gets difficult. 

Image Courtesy: FabHotels

 

Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM on all days

Entry Fee: None

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh Metro Station

 

5. Kingdom Of Dreams

D-Town's ultimate entertainment destination, Kingdom Of Dreams is a must-visit place in Delhi-NCR. Why? Well, you begin with getting mesmerized by the splendid architecture, followed by appreciating the displays of rich Indian culture and then finally falling head over heels for the Nautanki Mahal. And just when you think it's over... there comes more. An auditorium showcasing the fanciful cinematic musicals, live entertainment shows one after the other and finally a cultural gully where you leave your heart for eternity. Now, how can you miss out on this?

Image Courtesy: Delhi Tourism

 

Timings: 12:30 pm to 12:00 am on weekdays and 12:00 pm to 12:00 am on weekends

Entry Fee: INR 1099 onwards (On Weekdays); INR 1,199 (On Weekends)

Nearest Metro Station: IFFCO Chowk, Gurugram

 

6. Dilli Haat

Spread over 6 acres and 62 stalls brimming with handicrafts and ethnic cuisines from the various parts of India, Dilli Haat is a cluster of the traditional rural side of our country we tend to miss out while living in our tall building of developed cities. One of the best places to hangout in Delhi, it's also an off-beat market experience and a sneak-peek into our rich culture and heritage. Not to forget nibbling on those drool-worthy cuisines that represent our nation. In addition to this, Dilli Haat is also famous for organizing cultural events of all sorts. Truly worth visiting. 

Image Courtesy: Delhi Tourism

 

Entry Timings: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Entry Fee: INR 30 (Adults), INR 10 (Kids) and INR 100 (foreign nationals)

Nearest Metro Station: INA, New Delhi

 

7. Damdama Lake

When you can't deal with the hub-bub of the city, just take a day-off at Damdama Lake. Just a 2-hour drive away from Delhi lies a splendid view of Aravalli Hills made even better by the natural lake underneath. It's a perfect hangout spot in Delhi where you can take your friends & family for a nice picnic. In addition to that, there are a bunch of sporting activities you might really enjoy. Para-sailing, hot-air ballooning, rock-climbing, camping and trekking are some of them. If you ask me, it's a total family getaway spot for when the city feels like too much to handle.

Image Courtesy: OYO

 

Timings: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm

 

8. Lodhi Art District

This is the newest addition to the must-visit places in Delhi list and I must say, it's terrific. Delhi's first open-air Art District featuring 25 street artists from India & around the world. These guys painted most of the Lodhi colony with peppy, note-worthy masterpieces while we as Delhizens have been swarming the place with our cameras and friends. Within a few months of commencement, the place became the hottest zone for photographers and videographers in town. Everybody wants a shot of some art or the other to complete their own picture. And in a way, it's more than amazing. Now, not many travel blogs will suggest this place but as a true Delhiite, I can't afford to skip this one from the trail of best tourists spots in Delhi.

Image Courtesy: Urban Utopia

 

 

Famous Museums & Parks In Delhi

 

1. Waste To Wonder Park

The latest addition to the interactive themed parks in Delhi, Waste To Wonder is a unique space spread over 7 acres, stacked with the 7 miniature versions of the actual 7 wonders of the world. But there's a catch. Everything built in the park is life-like and made using industrial waste material. It's super awesome and the entire park runs on renewable energy sources. So, not only it has become one of the most famous tourists spots in Delhi but actually saves energy. 

Image Courtesy: Infosot

 

Timings: 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM (Closed on Monday and National Holidays)

Entry Fee: Adults: INR 50; Children (between 3-12 years): INR 25; Senior citizens and the children attending Corporation Schools: No entry fee

Nearest Metro Station: Nizammudin Metro Station

 

2. National Crafts Museum

A vintage museum constructed as a themed village is the hub of specimens of handicrafts, textiles and local decor worth checking out. The museum preserve, protect and revives the tradition of local handicrafts, an art form on the verge of dying. Within the premises, you can locate a beautifully crafted temple chariot amidst a beguiling Gujrati Haveli and more. Also, do try one of the famous places to eat around the National Crafts Museum... Cafe Lota. I hear their breakfast menu is excellent.

Image Courtesy: Trip Advisor

 

Timings: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Closed on Mondays

Entry Fee: Indians - INR 20, Foreigners - INR 200

Nearest Metro Station: Indraprastha

 

3. National Art Gallery Of Modern Art

A premier art gallery under the Ministry Of Culture, Govt. Of India is filled with the collections of more than 1700 artworks by 2000 plus artists from India and around the world. The gallery is in possession of artwork as old as 1857 and it is said that Delhi's branch is one of the world's largest modern art museum. If art is something you long for, missing out on this art gallery in Delhi will be a crime you'll regret for life. 

Image Courtesy: Holidify

 

Timings: 11:00 AM - 6:30 PM (closed on Mondays and National Holidays)

Entry Fee: Indian National- INR 20; Foreign National- INR 500; Children and Students with a valid ID card- Free; Professional Photography- INR 1000 per picture

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat

 

4. National Zoological Park

With more than 130 species of animals, birds and reptiles, National Zoological Park is one of the most visited and favourite tourists spots in Delhi. You can never miss this out. Especially when the zoo's main attraction is the majestic White Bengal Tigers. Eating is prohibited in the zoo but there are a lot of options just outside. However, you can find things to drink on the premises so that you don't go thirsty. In addition to this, there are motorised vehicles if you don't wish to walk but that would be charged separately. 

Image Courtesy: Delhi Tourism

 

Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (1st April to 15th October), 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (16th October to 31st March). Fridays – closed.

Entry Fee: Indians – adults – ₹40, Children (3-5 feet) – ₹20, Children under 3 feet – Free; Non-Indians – adults – ₹200, children (above 5 years) – ₹100, Children under 5 years – Free

Nearest Metro Station: Pragati Maidan Metro Station

 

5. Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti

The man who contributed his life for our country's freedom. Even today his teachings and thoughts are gold. Why visit here? Well, first of all... Gandhi Smriti is one of the biggest museums of Gandhi and has a library where around 60,000 books are kept and have a bookshop selling books of Gandhi. Secondly, there are around 6000 original photos of Gandhi preserved here. More than that, the house treasures many memories of the last 144 days of Gandhi’s life. And finally, the exhibition on the Mahatma, the room he lived in and the prayer ground where he fell a martyr with God’s name on his lips attract a large number of visitors daily. 

Image Courtesy: TOI

 

Timings: 10 AM to 4:30 PM

Entry Fee: None

Nearest Metro Station: Lok Kalyan Marg Metro Station or Khan Market Metro Station

 

 

Best Places To Eat In Delhi

 

Image Courtesy: magicpin

 

Most delicious, fresh and authentic chocolate desserts and drinks along with a tour of Chocolate factory, like in movies. You tell me what's not to like? This restaurant in Chhatarpur is the newest addition to the list of best places to eat in Delhi and if you're looking for one... this is it. Enjoy Dilli ki Sardi and the most luxurious chocolatey experience at Colocal the next time you're in Delhi. 

 

Image Courtesy: magicpin

 

Echoes. What can I tell you about this place? This restaurant has two outlets in Delhi... one in Satyaniketan and the other in Hudson Lane. You can visit both or any one of these and you'll be amazed. These guys are employing deaf and mute staff, making the cafe-going experience even more worthy. And the food here is exquisite. It's so amazing that you'd thank your lucky stars and me for making you go here. Do try their Mezze Platter and burgers... they are amazing. 

 

Image Courtesy: Mint

 

You'll know you're at Aslam's when the charcoal alongside the restaurant isn't spewing heat but the tantalising smell of handmade, mouth-watering chicken. Every Delhizen has tried it and if you haven't well... go there right now. The place is usually swarming with foodies like myself but it's worth the wait. Their version of Tandoori Butter Chicken is to die for. This eatery is full-on "Agar Dilli Aye Aur Jama Masjid Nahi Gaye Toh Kya He Kiya!" feel. So, don't miss it. 

 

Image Courtesy: Dynamite News

 

Looking for the best places to eat in Delhi? Well, Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala is a famous little shop just around the corner from Metro station in Chandni Chowk, known all over the country for their mouth-watering Dahi Bhalle. People from around the city come here to satiate their street food cravings and this is coming from the person who has tried and tested almost everything in Delhi. Yes, me! 

 

Image Courtesy: Migrationology.com

 

Now, I am not a mutton-person per se but I genuinely love everything Bhape Da Hotel has to offer. Even their brain curry. It's one of the oldest eateries in CP famous for its authentic flavours and recipes of everything that's good in the world. I highly recommend this best place to eat in Delhi to all the non-vegetarian tourists and Delhizens. Enjoy!

 

Image Courtesy: magicpin

 

Dolma Aunty ke Momos are more famous than any other food joint in Delhi. Now, I don't when it happened but Delhiites fell in love with momos a few years ago and they never made it back. Places like Dolma Aunty in NFC and North Campus is the entire reason why. If you wish to get a load of Dilli Walo Ka Khaana, these momos are a good and honestly, yummy place to start. 

 

Image Courtesy: Eat Outs Delhi

 

You're not a Dilli Wala if you didn't cross the trail of thousand red lights and dodged traffic and hot-headed people just to have that perfect plate of Chole Bhature across the town. Yes, we all do it. Om Corner in Karol Bagh is one of the best places to eat in Delhi and you'll know it when you try them.  

 

Image Courtesy: Facebook

 

Tucked in the lanes of Majnu Ka Tila, a Tibetan refuge colony is a cafe as bright as the day. A 3-story cafe that serves the best food in Delhi. There I said it and I will not take it back. Not only their breakfast menu is out of this world but their fresh juices, pizzas and 3-cheese fries are work of art. Every foodie in Delhi or elsewhere should try this place at least once. However, don't blame me if you keep going back for more. 

 

Image Courtesy: magicpin

 

An iconic eatery and bakery in CP, Wengers. More than just the best places to eat in Delhi, Wengers is a famous landmark for travellers and foodies alike. Their deli pays homage to one of the best savoury dishes in the city and their bakery is the only place to get toothsome desserts, especially cakes. To be specific... Fruit cakes. Fair warning though: They make their cakes fresh and right in the morning. So, if you wish to take your pick, be there early... by 11ish at least. 

 

 

Hidden Gems In Delhi

 

1. Rajesh Khanna Food Van

Known as "The Treat" is a Chinese van located behind Jesus And Mary College in Chankyapuri is a hub for Rajesh Khanna's fans and foodies. It's one of the most popular food joints in Delhi playing Rajesh Khanna's popular songs all day whilst serving lip-smacking Chinese dishes to the customers. A must-visit hidden gem in Delhi. 

Image Courtesy: Delhi Planet

 

2. Asola Wildlife Sanctuary

On the Southern Delhi Ridge of Aravalli hill range on Delhi-Haryana border lies a wildlife sanctuary not everyone knows about. One of the least-known hidden gems of Delhi, this wildlife sanctuary is the home to thousands of birds and animals including the Indian leopard. The place is also filled with lakes and beautiful settings to spend a Sunday with your adventurer's gang.

Image Courtesy: Instagram

 

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM & they host events during the weekends

Entry Fee: INR 100

Nearest Metro Station: Badarpur Metro Station

 

3. Tughlaqabad Fort

Tughlaqabad Fort is a ruined fort in Delhi, built by Ghiyas-ul-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty, of the Delhi Sultanate of India in 1321. Why go here? History is the most beautiful part of the present and to be able to witness one in concrete is an opportunity you shouldn't pass on. It's one the lesser-visited hidden gems in Delhi which I think should be mentioned in the list of best places to go in the city list. 

Image Courtesy: Sushant Travels

 

Timings: 7 AM to 5 PM

Entry Fee: For Indians - INR 5; For foreigners - INR 100

Nearest Metro Station: Govindpuri Metro Station

 


From the heart of a true Delhizen to yours... it's one of the best cities in India. All you need a little change of perspective. 

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