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How Many Days in Delhi is Enough? A First Time Visitor’s Guide to India’s Capital

  • Post last modified:May 16, 2024
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How many days in Delhi is enough? Is it even worth visiting Delhi?

As India's capital, this city is one of the most visited in the country, and a lot of people have mixed feelings about their stay there.

Many people say two days in Delhi is enough, while some others would opt to skip it completely. However, this city does have a lot to offer, and is really incredible if you can get past the chaos.

In our Delhi travel guide we're going to go over all of the best things to do in Delhi, how to get around, how to stay safe, and give tips for visiting. This way, you can decide how many days in Delhi is enough for you!

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Where is Delhi in India?

New Delhi is India's capital, and is located in the north central area of the country, on the West Bank of the Yamuna River.

How to Reach Delhi

Delhi is one of the easiest cities to reach in India from other areas of the world, and is also the most convenient hubs to reach the incredible Taj Mahal.

Being able to experience one of the seven world wonders around the corner makes it worth visiting Delhi, and the perfect place to start your India adventures.

Flights to Delhi, India

You can fly direct to Delhi from a wide variety of cities around the world.

You can fly direct from a few cities in the US, which are Chicago, Newark, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, and you can also fly from Toronto or Vancouver in Canada.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can try out the calendar feature to see which are the cheapest dates for flying to Delhi, India from your city.

Other international cities that fly direct to Delhi include Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Almaty, Ashgabat, Baghdad, Bahrain, Baku, Bali, Bangkok, Birmingham, Bishkek, Chengdu, Colombo, Copenhagen, Dammam, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Dushanbe, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Helsinki, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kabul, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Kuwait City, Leipzig, London, Male, Melbourne, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Muscat, Nairobi, Nanning, Paris, Paro, Phuket, Port Louis, Rome, Seoul, Sharjah, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tashkent, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, Tokyo, Toulouse, Vienna, Warsaw, Xi'an, Yangon, and Zurich.

Indian Cities that Fly Domestically to Delhi

Cities in India that fly direct to Delhi include Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Ayodhya, Bathinda, Belgaum, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Bikaner, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Darbhanga, Dehradun, Deoghar, Dharamsala, Dibrugarh, Durgapur, Gaya, Goa, Gorakhpur, Guwahati, Gwalior, Hubli, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Itanagar, Jabalpur, Jammu, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kandla, Kanpur, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Kullu, Leh, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pakyong, Pantnagar, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Shimla, Shillong, Shirdi, Siliguri, Srinagar, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam.

How Long Does it Take to Get to Delhi, India from the US?

Flights from New York to Delhi are 14-15 hours, flights from Chicago and Washington to Delhi are 14 hours, and flights from San Francisco are almost 16 hours.

Connecting flights to Delhi from the US can be anywhere from 16 hours up to 45 hours depending on how many layovers and how long the layovers are.

How to Get to Back to Delhi from Other Indian Cities

Chances are that if you are making the trip all the way to India, you'll want to explore more than just Delhi. If this is the case, you'll need to know the options for making it back to Delhi.

How to Get from Jaipur to Delhi

Jaipur is one of the most popular cities to visit from Delhi, and luckily has quite a few ways to get back there. 

How to Get from Varanasi to Delhi

How to Get from Jodhpur to Delhi

How to Get from Udaipur to Delhi

How to Get from Jaisalmer to Delhi

How to Reach Delhi from the Airport

There are a number of ways to get from the airport to Delhi, and the best way really depends on which area of the city you are staying! Here are some of the options:

  • The Train: This is the cheapest and most efficient way to get to the city
  • Uber: This is the most comfortable but least cost-efficient way to get to your hotel

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Entry Requirements for India

Before planning your trip to Delhi, you'll want to make sure you know what the requirements are for entering the country of India.

Visa Entry Requirements for India

India requires a visa to visit, and you can purchase your visa online for $25. 

Nationals of Japan, South Korea, and the UAE can get their visa upon arrival, and nationals from Bhutan and Nepal are visa-exempt.

Do US Citizens Need a Visa for India?

US citizens also need a visa to visit India, which they can purchase online for $25.

All hotels ask for your visa when checking in, so make sure to keep it handy.

Do You Need to Be Vaccinated to Go to India?

US nationals and Europeans don't need to be vaccinated to go to India. However, there are other countries that need vaccines before entering the country.

Also, it is recommended to get a rabies vaccine, as there are a lot of stray animals (mostly dogs and monkeys), and it's not uncommon for tourists to get bitten.

Countries Who Need Vaccines for India

People coming from a country where yellow fever may be prevalent must provide proof of a yellow fever vaccine before visiting India.

African nationals that need a yellow fever vaccine for India include those from Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritiana, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda.

American countries that need a yellow fever vaccine for India include ArgentinaBoliviaBrazilColombiaEcuadorFrench GuianaGuyanaSuriname, Trinidad (Trinidad only), Venezuela, PanamaParaguay, and Peru.

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Local Adjustments for Delhi, India

If you're traveling to a new country, there are a lot of things that may change from where you come from such as the language, currency, or tipping culture. 

As India is such a big country, these things can even change from one state to another! 

Here are some of the local adjustments to keep in mind when you travel to Delhi, India.

What Language Do They Speak in Delhi?

The official language in Delhi is Hindi.

Being such a big and touristic city, it's pretty common that people also speak English who are working in restaurants, shops, or hotels. That being said, we were surprised by the number of drivers or street vendors that didn't speak any English at all! 

We definitely suggest having Google Translate handy, so that you can communicate properly with people who may not have a great level of English.

What is Delhi's Currency?

The currency used in Delhi is the Indian Rupee (INR). Currently (April 2024) each 1 USD is equal to about 84 INR.

It's important to note that you can only pay cash for the majority of the things to do in Delhi. For that reason, we highly suggest taking out quite a bit of cash from an ATM.

What Plugs are Used in Delhi, India?

India uses the same electrical outlets as Europe, and accommodates plug types C, D, & M. Plug type C is the one which has two round pins, plug type D is the one that has three round pins in a triangular pattern, and plug type M also has three round pins.

India operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Is Delhi Water Drinkable?

The water in Delhi is not drinkable. It's important to only buy bottled water, and to make sure that it is sealed, as many places simply refill used water bottles.

We suggest purchasing a large jug from the super market, and then refilling your own reusable water bottle each day.

Is it Customary to Tip in India?

The tipping culture in India is typically 10%, and sometimes is even included in the bill. Make sure to look out for a service charge, and if it's not included you can leave cash on the table for the server.

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The Top Things to Do in Delhi, India

Now that you know almost everything you need to know about traveling to India's capital, let's explore all of the best things to do in Delhi.

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how many days in Delhi is enough
how many days in Delhi is enough
how many days in Delhi is enough

Take a Sunrise Boat Ride at Yamuna Ghat

If you're an early riser, then you won't want to miss out on one of our favorite things to do in Delhi.

Yamun Ghat is an area of the Yamuna River where they have small wooden boats rowing around during sunrise. It's full of seagulls, and witnessing all of them flying around with the golden reflection of the sun is truly magical.

We paid 250 INR per person, and had 30 minutes on the boat. You'll definitely need to negotiate, so make sure to get there a bit early.

Yamuna Ghat, things to do in Delhi, India
Yamuna Ghat, things to do in Delhi, India
Yamuna Ghat, things to do in Delhi, India

Visit Hamayun's Tomb

Hamayun's Tomb was the first tourist attraction we got to experience in Delhi, and it surely did not disappoint! We went for sunset, and the entrance ticket was 600 INR. We suggest getting there an hour before the sun sets, so you can enjoy all of the areas, since they close each one one-by-one.

Hamayun's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Hamayun's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Hamayun's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India

Hamayun's Tomb is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset.

Check Out Safdarjung Tomb

Our second favorite place to see in Delhi was Safdarjung Tomb. Most people recommend going at sunset as well, but we absolutely loved going for sunrise and beating the crowds. It truly is an impressive site, and is really fun to photograph.

Tickets are 300 INR each, and the site is open from sunrise to sunset.

Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India
Safdarjung's tomb, things to do in Delhi, India

Explore Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar is definitely one of the most incredible things to see in Delhi, and you can easily spend quite some time exploring all of the beautiful architecture. The complex is home to the Victory Tower, which is the tallest tower in India, and also has a few buildings surrounding it.

Qutub Minar is open from 7 am to 8 pm and tickets are 600 INR.

Qutub Minar, things to do in Delhi, India
Qutub Minar, things to do in Delhi, India
Qutub Minar, things to do in Delhi, India
Qutub Minar, things to do in Delhi, India

Admire Akshardham Temple

Akshardham is a beautiful temple on the east of Delhi. Not only is the temple worth seeing itself, but it has a nightly water show!

We didn't even realize just how crazy it would be. Nothing is allowed inside (no phones, no bags, etc), so you have to check your belongings at the door, and then wait in a crazy line for a ticket to enter. The last entry is at 6, and we got there at 5, with no hopes of getting in.

If you do want to visit here, make sure to show up with absolutely nothing, and also to come in the afternoon to beat the crowds before sunset. The show starts at 7:15, and there are places to eat inside the temple complex.

Go to the Lotus Temple

Another incredible temple to check out while in Delhi is the Lotus Temple, which is a Bahai house of worship shaped like a lotus flower. 

The temple looks just stunning when it is lit up, so we suggest going in the afternoon and staying until they close.

We had plans to visit here until we saw the line all the way down the block to get in, and realized we wouldn't have enough time for our flight. That being said, it is definitely on the list for the next time!

Visit Jama Masjid

This was another place we unfortunately didn't end up making it inside of. It was simply stunning from the outside, but it is a very religious place and you need to be covered from head to toes to enter. 

Even with my long-sleeved dress to the floor they wanted me to put on their clothing, which smelled as if 1,000 other people wore it, which deterred us from entering.

We suggest dressing properly and going early. They open the main entrance at 11, but you can enter through the side entrance before that.

Jama Masjid, things to do in Delhi, India

Explore the Red Fort

The Red Fort is one of the most notable landmarks in Delhi, and definitely one of the top things to see in the city. 

That being said, the inside is really big and spread out, and is certainly not as impressive as the outside of the fort. If you have time, you can roam around the inside, but if you don't have enough days in Delhi, we'd recommend just walking around the outside.

red fort, things to do in Delhi, India
red fort, things to do in Delhi, India
red fort, things to do in Delhi, India
red fort, things to do in Delhi, India

The red fort is one of the most popular attractions in Delhi.

To better be able to appreciate the history of the fort, we definitely recommend getting a guide.

Browse the Markets

India is a shopper's dream! Full of vibrant fabrics and bold flavors, it's super fun to browse the different markets around Delhi. You could easily spend hours at each one! Here are a few of our favorite ones to check out:

  • Central Market: large market with shops for clothing 
  • Chandni Chowk: a massive market great for clothing and street food
  • Khan Market: a more upscale market 
  • Spice Market: Asia's largest spice market

Roam Lodhi Garden

Looking for a place to relax and enjoy a bit of greenery? If you're few days in Delhi is enough of chaos and site seeing, then this is a nice escape. It's also a few minutes walking from Khan market, so you can enjoy combining the two.

Lodhi Garden, Delhi

Visit the India Gate

The India gate is a war memorial in the heart of Delhi, and actually resembles the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris! With large grassy areas surrounding it, this is a great place to go and enjoy the wide open area away from the chaotic streets.

Explore the Hauz Khas Fort

The Hauz Khas Fort was definitely one of the real hidden gems we found in Delhi. We were first wondering how many days in Delhi is enough, and thought the answer was 2 until we found this place.

It just reminds you that there is so much to see in the city that a lot of people simply overlook or don't even know about!

The fort is located right next to a lake, and is a popular place for couples to go on dates. We spent about a half hour here walking around and taking photos all over.

Hauz Khas, hidden gem of Delhi
Hauz Khas, hidden gem of Delhi
Hauz Khas, hidden gem of Delhi

Take a Day Trip to the Taj Mahal

If you're only visiting Delhi for a short amount of time, then you definitely won't want to miss out on experiencing the Taj Mahal! While we certainly think it's worth visiting the city of Agra for a few days, you can in fact do a day trip from Delhi to the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal, day trip from Delhi