13 Tips to Escape Tourist Crowds in New Delhi
Rashtrapati Bhawan © Public.Resource.Org/ Flickr.com
From glittering Mughal marvels to modern must-visit markets, the cosmopolitan city of Delhi is full of popular tourist attractions. Locations though, are often packed with crowds trying to catch a glimpse of the amazing sights. Here are our tips on how to explore New Delhi right – without the tourist crowds.
The picturesque monuments and spots you might want to visit in Delhi are often really overcrowded. The best time to visit these places is early in the day. Early mornings combine a lack of crowds with a beautiful backdrop. Find out about the opening times of the places you want to visit and head there nice and early to beat the crowds. Chances are, you might have the place to yourself for a while at least.
Lodhi Garden, New Delhi | © Thangaraj Kumaravel/Flickr.com
Apart from the popular and most visited attractions, Delhi is a treasure trove of neglected architectural wonders. Agrasen ki Baoli (historical step well), Mehrauli Archaeological Park & Purana Qila are a few hidden gems to be found in Delhi. Since these places are more or less unknown to tourists you’ll probably only see locals around.
Agrasen Ki Baoli | © Himanshu Nagar/Flickr.com
Visit Paranthe Wali Gali on a Sunday
Yes, you heard that right. The old Delhi market (Chandni Chowk) is closed on Sundays, but the famous Paranthe Wali Gali offers their popular fried bread every day. So, if you are visiting the market just for a taste of these, Sunday is an ideal day to avoid tourists and the local crowds and still dig into these delicacies.
The crowds and spices in Delhi can prove rather overwhelming for travelers sometimes. Franchises like Haldiram’s and Bikanerwala offer an array of street food choices. This way you can avoid a dose of ‘Delhi belly’ and have a bit more elbow room for your meal. Explore the flavors of Delhi the mild way – both for you and your palette.
Though street food takes the spotlight for visitors, Delhi is also home to amazing fine dining options. A number of high-end restaurants in the capital offer North Indian delicacies and Mughlai flavours. The exclusive settings and delightful food will enhance your stay in New Delhi.
Shop at Dilli Haat
Shopping at Dilli Haat market is an experience absolutely opposite to Chandni Chowk. Calmer and much more convenient, the handicraft village of Delhi is an outdoor shopping plaza. The organised market offers high-quality Indian handicrafts and food stalls with scrumptious finds from all over the country. The market is less-chaotic and very colourful.
Dilli Haat, Kidwai Nagar West, Kidwai Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110023
Spend an evening at the Kingdom of Dreams
If you find yourself near the suburbs of Gurugram/Gurgaon in Delhi, visit the imaginative theme park, Kingdom of Dreams. A melting pot of heritage, craft, cuisine, and art, this place has live Bollywood theater shows, musicals, street entertainers and approximately 250 regional dishes of India. Not highlighted as one of the best tourist spots of Delhi yet, the place is a treasure trove of entertainment and experience and still not on the well-trodden tourist track.
Auditorium Complex, Near IFFCO Metro Station, Sector 29, Gurugram, Haryana 122001
Another relatively unknown and less crowded attraction is the Changing of Guard ceremony in New Delhi. The event takes place in the forecourt of the President’s Residence. A fantastic opportunity to witness the architectural beauty of Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s Residence), the Saturday morning event showcases the President’s body guards carrying out their ceremonial duties atop their horses.
Rashtrapati Bhawan | © Public.Resource.Org/ Flickr.com
One of the weirdest museums around, this Delhi attraction takes you through the evolution of the toilet through history. From basic chambers to fancy seats, the Sulabh International Museum displays a number of toilet seats with different features. The museum is an ideal place to learn the importance of sanitation and maybe have a few laughs. Due to the mixed reviews given to the place, it doesn’t attract huge crowds. An unusual and unique thing to do, a walk through the museum could prove to be one of the most entertaining tours in Delhi.
This is another relatively unknown marvel in the capital, the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. Approximately 4 km sq in size, the sanctuary has more than 320 recorded species of birds. This includes resident, migratory, critically endangered, vulnerable, near threatened and conservation dependent species. An unexplored area, this Delhi attraction is a must for bird watchers.
Okhla Bird Sanctuary | © Srikaanth Sekar/ Flickr.com
An ideal way to avoid tourist crowds is to avoid staying in hotels near the airport area. You can easily pick homestay options and boutique hotels in residential areas of New Delhi. These options often situate you with the locals in posh neighbourhoods, close to a number of popular markets.
Pre-booked taxis can help you limit the waiting time outside any crowded place. Just stay in touch with your driver, and they can pick you up from a convenient point. Services like Uber and Ola have made moving around in the capital extremely easy.
Last but not least, go beyond the borders of Delhi and explore nearby destinations. Neemrana, Alwar and Bharatpur are some suitable places around Delhi, ideal for a short trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Each destination is full of vibrant colours, picturesque views, and culinary treats.