Answers from Our Experts (1)
Delhi can be overwhelming for any first time traveller. The city's chaos is what charms many visitors, as do the striking contrasts that are visible everywhere - one of the first things you'll notice outside of the airport is that rickshaws, cows, bullock carts, cyclists, motorcyclists and cars, all share the same road!
Fret not, we have an insider's perspective on the things to know before you go:
1. Form your own impressions.
It is easy to get carried away by the experiences of others in Delhi and judge the city even before you get there. Like any other city, give Delhi a fair chance to impress you, humor its oddities, and soak in its rich history and diversity of culture and food.
2. Use public transport.
The Delhi metro offers a great way to explore the city alongside the locals, and conveniently connects the best attractions, best activities and best shopping alternatives in Delhi. A separate compartment at the front of each train is reserved for women, and must be used by female travellers to avoid the jostling in the other compartments. Meru Cabs is the most reliable intra-city taxi company, and can be booked at 011-4422-4422.
3. Stay safe.
Like in any other city, it is best to avoid dark, isolated alleyways in Delhi after dark, and refrain from wearing provocative clothes in crowded places, like the street markets of old Delhi. When in doubt, trust your gut and ask for help; the majority of people in Delhi will be happy to help you find your way or escape a tricky situation. The Delhi police is reachable at 100.
4. Learn some words in the local language.
Hindi is most commonly spoken and understood in Delhi. Learn a few handy words like haan (yes), nahi (no), chalo (let's go) and kitna hua (how much is that). In most parts of Delhi, you can get around pretty well with English.
5. Avoid the Delhi belly.
Delhi is notorious for upset tummies, especially for first time visitors, and water is often the main culprit. Stick to mineral water, and avoid ice or water-based food at roadside shops. Street food, though tempting to try, is best avoided; try more hygienic, indoor street food alternatives like Haldirams and Bikanerwala. Refer to our list of the best restaurants and best bars in Delhi to find the best dining and drinking experiences in the city!