Arriving at New Delhi Airport it may be best to arrange a pick up through your Hotel, if not then there are pre-paid taxi booths and also a metro link.
If you are travelling on from New Delhi and not using organised trips then train journeys can be arranged through www.makemytrip.com also great background information is available at the web site www.seat61.com.
Train travel is very cheap and the executive coaches and air conditioned first class are comfortable, the station life however may come as a shock. If you have baggage do use the porters, they know the platforms and where the coaches stop, agree a price first.
Within Delhi the metro is incredibly efficient, easy to use, clean and very cheap, it is also very cool when the city is very hot. Tuk tuks are everywhere, there are set meter prices from organised stands but most of the time you just jump in the nearest one having agreed a price, check with your hotel as to what you should pay, the rate is 30 rupees for up 1.5kms. Around the bazaar area of Chandi Chowk use the cycle rickshaws to go around the area from one bazaar area to another, such as the spice market.
You can ask a tuk tuk driver to take you round the city to see various sites, just point out what you want to see and then agree a price.
Check out the usual booking sites such as www.booking.com or www.venere.com we stayed at the Palace Heights Hotel, Block D, Connaught Place (CP), it is a small boutique hotel in the heart of Delhi, www.hotelpalaceheights.com the web site does not do it justice, but you will see how highly it is rated on review sites. The rooms are very well designed and appointed, the staff so friendly and helpful, it also has an excellent restaurant.
If you are in New Delhi on business you may well stay in Gurgaon which is well placed for the airport and where most of the multi-nationals have their offices. The Trident Hotel, www.tridenthotels.com/gurgaon is wonderful to stay at, it is a beautiful oasis of calm, with fantastic staff, and excellent restaurants and bar, plus the Oberoi it’s even more upmarket sister hotel is next door and you can take advantage of the restaurant there including their Sunday champagne buffet brunch.
United Coffee House, Block E, Connaught Place, this is an old fashioned gem, popular with both locals and visitors. Excellent waiters, good food. both Indian and continental, and you can also just pop in for a refreshment to escape from the heat and the tuk tuk drivers and sellers around CP.
QBA, at the side of Block E, before Block F, Connaught Place, is a very smart slightly trendy bar and restaurant with a wide variety of food and a very reasonable lunch time buffet during the week. Not the easiest to find but look up and then go round the corner and you will see the entrance, has Happy Hour offers.
Zaffran, Palace Heights Hotel, Block D, Connaught Place, this is very popular with locals and that is not surprising, the India food is excellent and the Tandoori choices are a speciality, it is open for lunch and dinner.
Tao, Block E Connaught Place, has an excellent value set lunch in this smart Chinese restaurant, it also does Happy Hour Drinks.
Blues Bar, Block N, Connaught Place, as the name says music bar with live music on some nights and karaoke on others, happy hours every night, it seemed to be a popular place with the local crowd.
24/7 Bar, Lalit Hotel, Barakhamba Avenue, not far from CP this is a very up market hotel and the 24/7 bar is apparently open 24 hours unlike other Delhi bars which shut at midnight. Didn’t manage to prove this, it was very smart, however when we were there, there were many business type guests.
Side Wok, No 45 Khan Market, Metro Khan Market, this serves Pan Asian food and it is excellent, this branch is unlicensed, but they have another branch at Block P, Connaught Place which serves alcohol.
Blanco No 62 Khan Market, is another smart eating place in the area and does a Happy Hour drinks offer. Like most bars in this area they are up a flight of steep stair and you are not sure what to expect, however in this case a very smart designer place.
Toro, No 29 Khan Market, again up a flight of stairs, Happy Hour Drinks, oriental food and another smart place.
Beer and wine are available in most middle to upper range restaurants and in some of the more basic places a beer can usually be sourced. The most common beer is Kingfisher which is a pleasant lager type beer. Indian wine is becoming more and more common and Sula is one of the most often seen brands. They produce red, rose, white and sparkling and are perfectly drinkable, the price varies from state to state as there are local taxes included in the price.
There is loads to see in New Delhi, one way to see the sites is on the Hop on Hop Off Bus, HoHo, which runs between every 30 and 45 minutes from their office at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Opp Hanuman Temple, not far from CP, the whole tour takes about 4 hours but the tickets are valid for 2 days.
As mentioned before, jump in a tuk tuk and take a tour from the Red Fort, to India Gate and past the parliament buildings, other sites can be reached on the metro.
The Akshardham temple, is worth visiting but no cameras or phones are allowed, and only small bags, therefore you would be better taking just money and water as the queues to deposit bags can be long. There are also some exhibitions including a boat ride but unfortunately you cannot do that part without the other two presentations and shows which take 90 minutes.
Khan Market in south Delhi has some good shopping and also an excellent selection of places to eat and drink. It can be difficult to find places and some of the best are up narrow stairs, Fabindia above 20 & 21 has great clothes and materials. There is a branch of Hidesign, where the bags and wallets are a fraction of the prices at home.
There are also numerous malls of which currently Select City Walk is most highly rated but it is quite a way from the centre, it is in the area called Saket which is on the Metro.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Palaki Bazaar under Connaught Place, be prepared for serious bargaining !
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