Top 5 things to do in New Delhi, the capital of India:
- Agrasen ki Baoli : on Hailey Road, walking distance from busy Connaught Place. This place is a supposedly haunted stepwell that was formerly used to wash clothes and get water for everyday use. It is easy to imagine the number of Indian women who must have been gossiping on those stairs. Not a touristy spot and a very impressive construction.
- Old Delhi & the Spice market : discover the very lively and authentic heart of Delhi, walk around the streets, try to recognize the different types of Spices, try a panjabi Lassi, bargain hard if you want to do some shopping and end this journey by paying a respectful visit to the Jama Masjid. Beware of pickpockets and ladies, remember to avoid tight and revealing clothes, trust me you will thank me later. Not for the faint-hearted.
- Bangla Sahib : do not miss a visit to Delhi’s biggest gurudwara, Sikh place of worship. Discover more about Sikhism in the museum placed beneath the gurudwara and contribute to the collective effort by giving a helping hand in the kitchen. Every day, food is distributed for free by volunteers to anyone who is hungry. This embodies the concept of Sewa which means to give back to the community by performing selfless service. The architecture of the main building is impressive and you will enjoy the coolness of the white marble floor when walking around the lake.
- Lotus Temple: this place is the most peaceful, quiet and surprising we have visited in Delhi. Enjoy the silence inside the beautiful white lotus temple, take a walk in the equally beautiful and more colourful gardens and hear the story of the Bahais, a spiritual community that is discreetly present worldwide. Discover more about the Bahais community on their official website.
- Street Art Lodhi Colony : the city of Delhi has decided to give this area to street artists and the result is very colourful. Discover a trendy side of Delhi by enjoying a walk along the walls, click a few cool pictures for your Instagram and have a look at Mehar Chand Market s hipsters stores, chocolate shop and art galleries. see map below
Top 5 places to go to eat the best food and have a nice shopping experience:
- Shop at Khadi India shop in Connaught Place: you will find handmade textile, clothes and accessories, home decoration articles, cosmetics and food. All articles are produced in self-reliant villages in India, following Gandhi s philosophy. Articles are handmade and of great quality. Khadi shops are famous for their thick white cotton cloth called dhotis. My favorite section was – no surprise – cosmetics. Try the almond scrub in a cute inox box and buy a few naturally scented soaps. The backpacker found an amazing cardamom green tea that followed us for the rest of our Indian trip.
- Eat as much as you can at Rajdhani in Connaught Place : discover the diversity of gujerati and rajasthani cuisine in this unlimited vegetarian thali restaurant. Try the sweet dhal, fresh dhoklas and Babette’s favorite dessert if you are lucky : jalebi with rabri.
- Shopping at Khan Market : Khan Market is one of Delhi’s expats and International Indians’ favorite place to shop. Some shops are pricey but you can find really cool gifts for your friends back home (or for yourself). I like the area because it has most of my go-to clothes shops like Anokhi, Fab India or Cottons where you will find beautiful kurtas. You can also discover some Indian cosmetics (Biotique) or home decoration (Good Earth) stores. I found a really cool store next to Anokhi where I bought many fun/fusion souvenirs like rickshaw coasters or fun accessories.
- Discover Parsi food at SodaBottleOpenerWala in Khan Market : this chain features original Parsi dishes and beverages. Enjoy the Irani Chai Bar where one tea has so much sugar that a spoon can stand standing ! The Parsis are a community originated from Iran and they found refuge in India while they were rejected by the Muslim communities. A great article in French to learn more about this very powerful community. For your information, Freddie Mercury from the Queen band or Bollywood actor John Abraham belong to this community.
- Relax at Coast Café at Haus Khaz Market : located in the south of the city, this restaurant is our favorite for South Indian curries full of coconut milk and subtle spices. You can get home delivery or eat in and enjoy the atmosphere of this area that is very lively at night especially on week-ends.
Delhi isn’t the easiest city to navigate. If you want to have a relaxed stay and be able to ask information to a helpful and trustworthy team, we recommend you stay at Scarlette Guest House. The rooms are decorated with taste and the little boutique at the reception holds rare treasures of Delhi, gathered for you to take home without having to brave this crazy city ! If you stay there, you will enjoy the outstanding breakfast and you must not miss Basanti’s chocolate cake which is to die for. Don’t leave without meeting Elisabeth, a French expat who has been discovering the secrets of the capital for 9 years.
If you need a French and English-speaking guide or local advice while in Delhi, do not hesitate to contact us directly.