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Delhi Travel Guide

About Delhi

Delhi is a city of jarring juxtapositions: extreme wealth and outstanding beauty often alongside brutal poverty and filth. Today, many of Delhi’s less-shiny areas are seeing a rebirth, with stylish new shops and restaurants cropping up in some of the least-expected places.

India's intense and initially bewildering capital can have an almost overwhelming effect on the first-time visitor – the early impression may be of utter chaos. The traffic appears out of control, motorcycles weave dangerously among larger vehicle, pedestrians risk life and limb as they dodge across the streets. There is a constant cacophony of hooters, and livestock wanders, seemingly oblivious to the danger.

Then again, if you’re making your way here from a truly chaotic, densely-packed city like Mumbai, the stunning architecture, gorgeous green spaces and comparatively controlled traffic (yes, it is worse elsewhere) may take you by surprise.

Gradually, though, Delhi begins to make some sort of sense. It's a microcosm of Indian life, with its huge population and vast array of sights and sensations to absorb. There are monuments, mosques and tombs in abundance, impressive colonial architecture, brilliant museums, excellent restaurants, peaceful gardens and more than enough bazaars, markets and shops (both high-end and bargain).

New Delhi is remarkable for its well-planned structure. It connects some of the city’s key attractions: Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Presidential Residence), Connaught Place and India Gate, the national monument of India.

Old Delhi, on the other hand, may more closely resemble what you’ve come to expect from the bustling, crowded cities in India: crumbling walls, narrow streets jam-packed with cars, rickshaws, pedestrians and animals; people generally living life very much out in the open.

Within the chaos, you’ll find some of the most noteworthy sites in the country – Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; Rajghat, the memorial for Mahatma Gandhi; and the famous Chandni Chowk market. Not to mention some of the best street food on earth.

What is indisputable is the fact that the beauty and history you’ll see in Delhi is unparalleled. In fact, we’ll venture a guess that your only problem will be fitting it all in.

Key facts

Population:
17838842
Latitude:
28.659733
Longitude:
77.228280

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Optus Sarovar Premiere

In the heart of the Gurgaon commercial district to the southwest of New Delhi, this is a business hotel with a difference, in that it has a genuinely Indian character to its modern and comfortable facilities. It's not a bad place for relaxation either, with its rooftop swimming pool, lobby lounge bar and up-to-the-minute gym facilities. The hotel has 80 rooms, all equipped with the latest TVs and other technology, and also offers a choice of meeting/conference rooms. Central Delhi is connected to Gurgaon by metro link.

Hotel Marble Arch

A new property conveniently located at Karol Bagh – 10 minutes by metro from Connaught Place, and little further from the New Delhi railway station, this is a comfortable and friendly place to base yourself for a short stay in Delhi. The accommodation floors surround an open-air courtyard restaurant area. Wi-Fi access is available, and the hotel will arrange collection and drop-off at both the airport and main railway stations if arranged in advance.

The Lodhi

Formerly the Aman New Delhi Hotel, The Lodhi is an contemporary, upmarket resort featuring exquisite Indian decor such as hand-made rugs and jaali screens. It offers 40 rooms, with balconies offering city, courtyard or garden views, deep bathtubs, a spa, tennis courts, 50m-long (140ft) pool, restaurants and even a library and a cigar lounge.

The Imperial New Delhi

Built in 1931, this contemporary colonial hotel was a favourite haunt of Nehru, Mountbatten and other luminaries. It continues to welcome many dignitaries and affluent Delhiites who drop by for Sunday brunch (one of the best in Delhi). There are 233 beautifully appointed rooms and 43 suites. Additional amenities include a swimming pool, beauty centre, shopping precinct and a selection of superlative restaurants and bars.

The Oberoi New Delhi

An elegant and modern hotel, The Oberoi occupies a peaceful position overlooking New Delhi's principal golf course and the historic Humayun's Tomb. Ideal for business travellers and well-heeled tourists, it offers a state-of-the-art business centre, spa, swimming pool and gym. Fine dining options are plentiful and include the excellent Italian restaurant Travertino and the popular Threesixty, which is also the setting for The Oberoi's indulgent breakfasts.

The Claridges New Delhi

Positioned among the leafy boulevards of New Delhi, The Claridges is one of the capital's most elegant and atmospheric places to stay. There's a touch of art deco to this low-rise building, which dates from the mid-1900s. Its 137 rooms and suites are a blend of classic and modern styles, all spacious and well presented. There is also a decent health club, swimming pool, beauty parlour and a choice of several restaurants.