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Know Before You Go
- If you go shopping at the local markets in New Delhi, don't forget to bargain to get the best price. Cut the quoted price in half and negotiate towards a middle figure.
- Many of New Delhi's diseases are waterborne. To avoid getting sick, only drink bottled water. This includes ice cubes from tap water.
- Don't pet or feed stray dogs in the city. While it is sad to see so many on the street, it's best to move along because of the high risk of rabies.
- Before visiting a shrine or tourist attraction research the dress code to make sure you are respecting the local culture.
- Pack diarrhoea medicine in case you develop "Delhi Belly". If you do, curd rice or bananas will help, but avoid melons or papaya.
Getting Around New Delhi
- The best way to get around New Delhi is with the metro. Fares range from INR 8-30 depending on the distance, and there is a dedicated coach for female passengers.
- You'll save time by buying a smart card which you can load with credit, as it can take up to 30 minutes to buy individual tokens at the stations.
- Travelling by bus is one of the cheapest ways to get around the city. Fares range from INR 5-15 and buses run every 15-20 minutes on most routes. But they are usually crowded, and bus stops are not always clearly marked.
- New Delhi's Hop On Hop Off bus service is one of the best ways for tourists to visit the 20 major sites in the city. The buses are air-conditioned and staffed with a knowledgeable English speaking guide. Saturdays and Sundays are the best time to go as there is little traffic and fares start at INR 500.
- The city has a slew of taxi service providers. Choose from the popular Uber, Ola and Meru to women-exclusive cap operators like ForSheCabs and Sakha Cabs for Women.
- Don't leave New Delhi without going on a tuk-tuk ride. Before jumping into one negotiate a price for the trip with the driver. Expect to pay INR 30-40 for a short journey, but never pay anything over INR 150 for a trip within the city.
When is The Best Time to Visit New Delhi?
The best time to visit New Delhi is October to March. The temperatures are mild, and the city celebrates many of its biggest cultural festivals during this period such as Diwali and Holi. But the favourable climate and celebrations attract high numbers of tourists. Expect higher hotel and airfare prices, especially around October and March.
High humidity and temperatures mark new Delhi's summer months (April to June). As a result, tourists tend to be sparse during this time and hotels drop their prices, making it the perfect time to explore if you are on a budget. Be sure to pack light, breathable clothes, sunscreen and sunglasses to beat the heat during this season.
June to September is the city's monsoon season. If you don't mind the occasional downpour, you'll get the chance to experience the city when it's most beautiful and enjoy the lush green inner city parks and gardens.
Airports in New Delhi
Indira Gandhi International Airport
Indira Gandhi is New Delhi's international airport and is one of the busiest airports in South Asia. In 2015, it won Best Airport in Central Asia at the Skytrax World Airport Awards, and Indira's Terminal 3 is one of the largest in the world. The airport serves as a hub for numerous airlines such as AirAsia India, Air India, IndiGo, Jet Airways and more.
Palam Domestic Airport
If you fly into New Delhi on a domestic flight, you'll land at Palam Domestic Airport. It's located 12 kilometres from the city centre and handles all domestic air traffic. If you have a connecting flight at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you can take one of the free transfers offered by the Airport Authority of India.
Getting to and from Indira Gandhi International
The fastest way to get into New Delhi is with the Metro Express. It has a travel time of 25 minutes, with the first train leaving at 4:45 am and the last departing at 11:30 pm. Fares for a single journey ticket will cost INR 10-60 depending on your destination.
To crack down on scams, the airport offers services from three official taxi operators. Meru and Mega Cabs are outside Terminal 3 International Arrivals, and Easy Cabs is outside Terminal 1C Domestic Arrivals. All taxis are integrated with a GPS system to ensure the fare is tracked, and you can expect to pay INR 20-25 per kilometre.
There are also private airport transfers that you can pre-book. These are helpful if you have a flight arriving in the early hours and don't want to wait for the metro line to open.
There are also buses that connect the airport to central parts of Delhi. The shuttles run every 30 minutes, come with air-conditioning and are an affordable option.