We are entering New Delhi twice this month as we’re doing a tour so 1. To enter and 2. For me and Luke to enjoy before heading to our next destination.

We finally arrived in New Delhi airport, which was okay, (obviously you need to buy your visa online and get accepted before you go) so we headed straight to the e-visa gates where they stamp you in, they look at your visa and then take your picture and fingerprints. Once done, we went straight to baggage claim. Then quickly made our way to exit the airport. 

Money is hard to get out. We had a pre-paid currency card and they can’t accept it to exchange money out, they need a credit or debit card. But, obviously, if you use your UK one or one from your own country, you will be charged loads. So we went to an ATM and drew it out there. You can only draw 10,000INR (£118) in one transaction, but if you need more just keep doing separate transactions. Here, you can use a pre-paid currency card if you have one.

We then hopped into the nearest taxi, because if you read our Dubai blog, we weren’t making the same mistake as walking with 22KG in that heat to places we don’t know! So we got in, and drove to the hotel. Make sure you haggle! They will try anything to rip you off! We paid 1,500IND (£17) to get from the airport to the hotel and we didn’t even bother to haggle, because if that was England, that’s still an amazing price. But, later on we found out that that is how much you pay for an entire day! So don’t do what we did! It should’ve been around 600-800 INR to Old Delhi district from the Airport.

Once at the hotel (C park Inn) we checked in, had a welcome meeting to meet everyone and then went to a beautiful Indian restaurant down the road from us to have our first dinner with everyone. Traditional Indian food is nothing like back home, this has more flavour and doesn’t give you the ‘Delhi Belly’ everyone talks about – well not so far anyway!

We then got to bed ready to wake up at 4.30 to grab the train to Agra early the next day!

14 days later…

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The next time me and Luke entered New Delhi, we were definitely more prepared than last time, with ourselves prepared for the onslaught of our senses we left the airport in the early evening. Side note, we flew with Indigo to get here, the EasyJet of India basically, they were super quick and relatively comfortable so don’t be deterred by the worryingly low price they charge for some domestic flights.

Once again greeted by a hoard of taxis and tuk tuks, we grabbed a taxi for 500 INR (£5.70) to take us to Arakashan Road – this is probably the backpacker central of New Delhi. Although is a relatively short street is has all the facilities you need to easily get done what you need done in Delhi.

The first evening we headed out to a restaurant on this road that looked relatively pricey but you can’t be too careful in Delhi, if there is anywhere you’re gonna get sick in India, it’s probably in Delhi. A good meal costs around 1500 INR (£17) for two people but you can get it for as cheap as half this from less fancy restaurants which are usually ok, just do your research or alternatively, eat where the locals eat! They live here so they usually know best.

Our next challenge was to navigate the Delhi metro the following day. Compared to the Indian Railway service, the metro is 100x easier than this with good documentation, maps, and easy cheap travel, it’s 200 INR for a full day pass or 500 INR for three days (you get 50 INR back if you return the day pass card after you’re finished).

We first visited the Delhi zoo which was a relatively fun time for the amount of time we had left in Delhi, it’s a cheap and easy afternoon out. It was 200INR (£2.50) each for foreigners and 50 INR (60p) to bring in a camera. Next up we hit the Indian gate which is a moment to the fallen solider of World War 1, abbie was quite popular here with the locals, asking for pictures etc. Be prepared for this in all places in India, people are amazed to see a white person. We had to make a quick getaway here as we were drawing a bit of a crowd. 

From here we headed to Connaught palace, which is probably the most westernised area of Delhi featuring a full 360 array of western shops and restaurants (even a Nando’s). We grabbed a coffee here and returned to our hostel.

We stayed as a branch of ‘Zostels’ in Delhi which is the most widely recognised backpacker hotel in all of India, they’re super easy, have great wifi and prices. Without the tour we did that was all prebooked we would’ve probably used a lot more Zostel’s. They’re amazing. 

For our final day here we went to the Red Fort which was closed. Nope not a scam for once, it was actually closed, on Mondays it does not open. But every evening apart from Mondays there is a sound and light show which is well worth checking for 70INR (80p). 

So our back up plan was Humayun Tomb which was built in the mid 16th century and influenced by the Taj Mahal the tomb is where the last Mughal Emperor took refugee before capture and exile. It’s 500 INR (£5.70) entrance for foreigners which is a little steep but that’s India for Tourists !

After this, it was time for Hong Kong ?? our flights left at 1am that morning so we were definitely ready to be out of sleep sync….

Tips 

  • Haggle everything. Go to at least half of what they have quoted.
  • It’s very hot and humid here so ensure you’ve packed light, aired clothing.
  • Your get used to the beeping and not sleeping well because of it as that’s all they do!
  • Thomas cook exchanges are NOT Thomas cook, ignore the brand names for these things. Western unions are fine and as is ICICI bank and State bank of India for ATMs but make sure they’re in a secure room and not on the side of the streets.
  • The Delhi metro isn’t difficult, contrary to opinion, it’s actually ok and quite cheap, but stations are sometimes a little far from attractions, do your research.
  • AVOID THE RUSH HOUR ON THE METRO, believe us, enough said.

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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