Why go to Delhi?
The city of Delhi, in the north of India, is an exciting and dynamic metropolis, with a fascinating history and vibrant cultural scene. Top sights include the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Complex, all of which date from periods of Muslim rule. The Qutub Complex is a UNESCO Heritage Site with interesting structures that dates from the 13th century. The 16th century Humayun’s Tomb is also UNESCO recognised and built in a similar style to the Taj Mahal, and likewise, the impressive 17th century Red Fort dates from the Mughal period. The historical structures and well maintained and relaxing gardens of the three sites make them a pleasant excursion.
Interesting museums in Delhi include the National Museum, with its unparalleled historical collections, and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, which houses some superb modern exhibits. For insights into the lives of past heroes and leaders, the Gandhi Smriti and the Nehru Memorial Museum are both well worth a visit. Other good museums include the National Railway Museum and Tibet House.
There are many religious buildings in Delhi, covering various faiths from Islam and Hinduism to Christianity and Sikhism. The Baha’i Lotus Temple, built in the shape of a lotus flower, is one of the most beautiful and peaceful buildings and is open to all faiths. Other temples include the Hindu Chattarpur Mandir and Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Christian Sacred Heart Cathedral and Islamic Jama Masjid.
How far is the airport from city centre and which airlines fly to Delhi from UK?
Indira Gandhi International Airport is about ten miles from the city centre. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air India and Jet Airways all operate frequent direct flights between Delhi and London Heathrow. Air India also flies direct from Birmingham.
What’s the best way to reach city centre from Delhi airport?
The Delhi Airport Metro Express (DAME) is one of the quickest and most convenient ways of reaching the city centre from the airport, taking about 20 minutes. Some hotels may also offer airport pickup, or visitors can book a prepaid taxi on arrival from official booths – touts should be ignored. Public buses run services into the city and take about an hour.
What are the visa requirements for British and non-EU nationals?
All foreign nationals, except Nepalese and Bhutan nationals, need a visa to enter the country. British Nationals are currently required to obtain a visa in advance – tourist visas can last up to one year with multiple entries. Nationals of a few EU and non-EU countries, including Finland, Singapore and Japan, may obtain visas on arrival - this scheme is set to be extended to other nationalities in the near future.
How to get around Delhi?
Traffic in Delhi can be congested and difficult to navigate, and the various tourist sights are spread out over quite a large area. Taxi and rickshaw prices should always be agreed in advance. The Delhi Metro system offers a cleaner and more efficient way to travel, and there are also women-only carriages.
What's the best time to visit?
The best time to visit is October to March, when temperatures and humidity are both reasonable. Average temperatures in October, November, February and March are around 18°C to 22°C, and slightly lower in December and January. From April the temperature rises, with averages around 32°C from May to August and highs up to 40°C or more.