India is an immense and spellbinding country. When you first touch down in Delhi, the kaleidoscopic swirl of colours, sounds and aromas can be overwhelming. There is a kinetic energy to this city that is unrivalled, and anyone who thinks that New York City is crowded is in for an earth-shattering surprise. Needless to say, Delhi can best be broken down into two parts: Old Delhi and New Delhi. The older section of the city is a rambling network of ancient streets, alleys, bazaars and mosques, whereas New Delhi has more modern buildings and skyscrapers. The contrast between Old Delhi and New Delhi is like a microcosm of India’s larger cultural juxtapositions. Visitors strolling through the busy capital should not embark on their tour without a map. However, one of the easiest ways to get around Delhi is to use its bus system. You can hop on and hop off the bus at your leisure. Whether you are exploring the city on foot or taking advantage of its extensive bus system, be sure to check out these 5 memorable highlights.
1. The Red Fort is one of the most popular attractions in Delhi. Designated at a World Heritage Site in 2007, the Red Fort was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. This beautiful, sandstone masterpiece fuses Indian, Persian and European architectural influences. It is located in Old Delhi.
2. Delhi may be a bustling metropolis, but it has many quiet gardens where you can escape the noise and tumult of the city. The Mughal Gardens are an idyllic place for a morning stroll. You will find Humayun’s Tomb at the centre of this exquisite garden getaway. Lodhi Garden is another place for a peaceful walk.
3. Food is an art form in India. There is nothing better than the local street vendors. Sample a chaat papdi, which is a fried wafer filled with potatoes, yogurt and chili. If that does not sound good to you, then order a golgappas for lunch. Fried dough and chickpeas never tasted this good.
4. If you like to shop when you are on holiday, then Delhi will not disappoint. From the emporiums on Janpath to the labyrinthine bazaars of Old Delhi, there is no shortage of places to explore. The Khan Market has upscale fashion boutiques, bookstores and cafes. Take a break and enjoy a strong Indian coffee.
5. Are you looking to do something romantic and nostalgic? Visit the Imperial Hotel and have a gin and tonic. The bar has been operating since 1911. Polished brass, glimmering chandeliers and walls of art create a luxurious and royal environment. It is the ideal place in Delhi for a nightcap.
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