Delhi is the capital city of India and a conglomeration of culture, traditions, history, politics and modern day lifestyle. The long list of places to visit in Delhi attracts travelers from the world over. From the bylanes of Chandni Chowk to the iconic Mughal structures, from Delhi University to busy streets of Karol Bagh – Delhi has something to offer to everyone. And the fact that Delhi has been one of the centers of Indian History lends it important enough to explore through the unread pages of its existence and know about the life here.
Famous Sightseeing Places To Visit In Delhi
So if you are new to this city, a traveler from another part of the world or just confused on where to take your traveler friend for Delhi Darshan – this city is loaded on a number of tourist places in Delhi to unravel its hidden treasures! You can enlighten your mind with the history, gain power with the political affluence and relax with the winding from the Himalayas. Here is our guide to must-visit places in Delhi!
- Red Fort
Red Fort is the epitome of cultural and political events from the era of the Mughal Emperors, India’s Independence and even today. This mighty structure and UNESCO World Heritage site was with red sandstones and took over 100 years to complete. It was the home for Mughal families until 1857. This is also the place where the first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru gave the Independence speech to the citizens of India after the freedom movement. Today Red Fort is one of the prominent places to visit in Delhi with a number of museums, light and sound shows depicting its glorious past and beauty.
- Rashtrapati Bhawan
The Viceroy’s house or the Presidential Residence is the house of President of India. Inspired by Edwardian Baroque, this building has 4 floors divided into 340 rooms and spreads over an area of 130 hectares. On the western end of Rajpath, this huge mansion is surrounded by Mughal Gardens, open spaces, stables, and residences of the officers and bodyguards. This is the mansion where most of the important meetings between politicians, officers, and generals happen. The prominent halls to visit include the Ashoka Hall and the Durbar Hall.
- India Gate
India Gate or the All India War Memorial was built in 1931 as an architectural site to commemorate the memory of the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the First World War from 1914 to 1921. Located at the eastern edge of Rajpath, this structure holds names of more than 13300 soldiers who lost their lives for the nation. After the Bangladesh Liberation Way in 1971, the structure was enhanced with Amar Jawan Jyoti, an immortal flame that represents the immortal soldiers. This structure also includes a black marble plinth where a rifle is immersed in reverse with a war helmet on the top of it. India Gate witnesses the Republic Day Parade and is a prestigious place for people to gather and express their love for the nation.
- Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Sing II of Jaipur as an observatory for astronomical studies. His inclination towards astronomy made him seek for instruments that allowed tracking of the movements of sun, moon, stars and the planets. The Jantar Mantar in Delhi one of the five installations made in India and is known to have instruments made of brick rubbles and lime plastering. These instruments are too old and have gone restoration multiple times. With a Bhairava Temple inside Jantar Mantar and a number of inspiring astronomical tables and tools, it’s a great site to visit for anyone who loves astronomy or historical structures.
- Humayun’s Tomb
Owing to its identity to the Taj Mahal, the Humayun’s Tomb is one of the ecstatic structures made in the Mughal Era. It was built in 1570 by Haji Begum, wife of Humayun and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Tomb houses the grave of Mughal Emperor Humayun, Bega Begum, Hamida Begum, Dara Shikoh, and many prominent Mughal members. Made of red sandstone and white marbles, this tomb is a rich cultural and heritage site for taking a deep insight into the lives of Mughals and their excruciate art. Take a tour around the Tomb with leisure at this is one of the best places to visit in Delhi to get insights into the life of Mughal Emperor Humayun.
- Lotus Temple
Baha’i Temple is a landmark site and is a worshipping center for the Bahai House of Worship. The temple is made of giant marble structures in the form of petals that are clustered in groups of three to make an entrance from 9 sides. One of the famous tourist places in Delhi, the Lotus Temple is visited by people of all religions to chant from the scriptures and promote harmony in all faiths. The beauty of this architecture appeals to people from the world over. And the sense of beauty, serenity, and peace that one gets while sitting in the aura of the hall that encapsulates 2500 people at once, is truly enigmatic.
- Jama Masjid
Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1655, the Jama Masjid is India’s largest mosque. With high standing minarets made of red sandstone and marbles, four towers, and three gates this large courtyard has space to accommodate about 25000 people at once. Originally named as Masjid-I-Jama, the mosque is an architectural brilliance and is known to be a must visit tourist place in Delhi. During Ramzan, people come here for their azaan and celebrate the festival of Eid with prayers and hearty street food.
- Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is one of the most famous places of worship for Sikhs in Delhi. This complex is near Connaught Place was built by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783. Originally made as a small Sikh Temple, this Gurudwara is today a large complex housing a Sarovar inside the complex. The Gurudwara has a hospital, school, and library to its name to serve the commoners. It is also known for its Langar food service that serves food for free to the visitors and reaches out to millions of people in times of need.
- Hauz Khas
Hauz Khas Village is a complex in Hauz Khas that entices both rural and urban style of living. This place gets its name from the Hauz meaning water tank and Khas meaning royal. It was built by Allauddin Khilji to secure the supply of water for the residents of Siri Fort in 1960s. The further developments were made by the DLF developers to make it a hub that it is today. For the travelers, the fort is a serene place to relax whereas the Hauz Khas Village is a hub of restaurants, pubs, cafes, boutiques and more to spend time with the near and dear ones.
- Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk is the oldest, busiest and one of the important places to visit in Delhi. While it was the old city of Delhi, soon it transformed into a hub of all trades in Delhi. It is one of the largest wholesale markets in India catering to products of all kinds pertaining to weddings, shops, retailing, spices, clothes, etc. The design of Chandni Chowk was laid down by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan while designing was done by his daughter Jahanara. While one end of Chandni Chowk meets the Red Fort, the other end connects to the New Delhi Railway Station. It’s a must visit for people looking for wedding shopping, Delhi street food, footwear, jewelry, electronic items and more. The Paranthe Wali Gali is a must visit for Delhi style paranthas.
- Dilli Haat
For handicraft lovers, Dilli Haat in INA is the best place to visit in Delhi. Run by Delhi Tourism Authority (DTTDC) this unique place is designed in a way where the artisans, craftsmen, and artists gather to showcase their handicrafts and sell their produce. Travelers are treated with unique pieces of mastery from the artists directly from different states. Dilli Haat offers an immersive journey through the art and craft, food and culture of different states of India at a glance.
- Qutab Minar
The 73m meter tall brick minaret Qutab Minar was built by Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak. The minar is known to be one of the best places to visit in Delhi considering the height and the mighty structure design. The Qutab Minar is divided into five storeys that are abundantly divided into sections with elaborate art of scriptures and chiseled carvings. The red sandstone tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that depicts excellent Iranian architecture with Parson-Arabic details.
- Sarojini Nagar
Sarojini Nagar is one of the most famous markets in Delhi. Owing to its cheap price tags in a range of products like clothes, home décor, accessories, footwear, and more the market has earned fame on its own. The luckier ones sometimes get a branded item at throwaway prices. Sarojini Nagar is one of the cheapest markets of Delhi for people who really love to dwell into lanes and explore piles of clothes to get really fashionable clothes for less the price. It is listed amongst the best places to visit in Delhi for shopping.
- Connaught Place
Connaught place in Delhi is one of the biggest hubs for businesses, commercial spaces, and financial agencies. Connaught Place was built from 1929 to 1933 and was named after the first Duke of Connaught Prince Arthur. From colonial times, the structure of Connaught place is considered as one of the best heritage structures in Delhi owing to its design. Today it is a major hub for people to base their business headquarters, hotels, restaurants, etc. Connaught place is also amongst the top tourist places in Delhi because of its rich lifestyle, shopping culture, surroundings theatres, Gurudwara, Temples, parks, business centers, Janpath Market and more.
- Akshardham Temple
Being a spiritual and religious place to visit in Delhi, The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple was inaugurated in 2005 by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as a major cultural center known for its religious learnings, art, sculpture, and exhibitions. The walls of the Temple are carved with an artistic representation of gods, deities, musicians, flowers, trees, etc. There are about 20000 idols of Sadhus, and 234 pillars in the Akshardham Complex which makes for a beautiful journey to walk through and soak into oneself.
A few hours away from Delhi is this motel like restaurant Murthal known for its rich delicacy. It is one of the best restaurants in Delhi offering the Desi paranthas with dollops of butter and deep cooked in Tandoor. The Murthal Haveli is a signature building that takes one to the feeling of being in a village and enjoying food in a traditional way. It is a 24×7 open restaurant that finds Delhiites on a regular visit to explore the plethora of dishes like Paranthas, Pav Bhaji, Chaap, Lassi, Chai, and Kulcha.
- Lajpat Market
Named after a residential area Lajpat Nagar, the Lajpat market is a commercial market bringing all forms of clothes, home décor, fabrics, raw material, food, spices, tools, jewelry, and many more items for the buyers in one place. Testing the bargaining skills of the buyers this market is highly known for meeting the needs at budgeted prices. Flooded with the locals and travelers, this market is a very popular market to buy some home essentials, project works or even for random shopping trips.
- Agrasen ki Baoli
With 108 steps taking down to a well, the Agrasen ki Baoli is an architectural structure that is one of the unique places to visit in Delhi. Stories take you back to the time of King Agrasen who built the well or Baoli and was rebuilt by the Agrawal community in 14th Century. Agrasen ki Baoli is a registered site by Archeological Survey of India and is protected, controlled and managed by them. The 15-meter wide and 60-meter long plight of stairs has a beautiful appearance. It is said to be one of the haunted places in Delhi but there are not enough recognized studies to prove it. The site became quite popular after Amir Khan’s movie PK.
- Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah is a popular tourist place in Delhi. The mausoleum of the Sufi Saint Hazrat Khwaja Syed Nizammudin Auliya is a celebrated place of worship for the Islam believers. The Dargah is known to house the tombs of Mughal princess Jehan Ara Begum, poet Hazrat Amir Khusro, and Inayat Khan. The Dargah is very popular for its Qawwali sessions where various artists come together to offer prayers at the Dargah. Thursday Qawwalis are the most popular ones to attend. Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah is one of the best places to visit in Delhi if you are keen to know about the Sufism movement and its insights.
- National Gallery of Modern Art
The National Gallery of Modern Art is a known art gallery in Delhi for its collection of more than 14000 artifacts from around the world. The gallery preserves numerous paintings, Sculptures, writings, carvings, etc from the ancient era. The National Gallery of Modern Art is primarily a popular tourist destination in India because of its stature of being the World’s largest modern art museum. In the shape of a butterfly, the building was constructed under the design of Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1936. Ever since its inauguration the modern art gallery boats of popular artwork from some of the renowned names like Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Thomas Daniell, etc. It is the best place to visit in Delhi for learning about modern art and knowing artists from the world over.
Mariellen Ward also wrote a beautiful article about things to do in Delhi, and has shared her experience about the time she spent in Delhi