Getting around Delhi
Delhi’s metro system (tel: 155 370, in India only; www.delhimetrorail.com) comprises six lines which criss-cross the city, serving most important tourist areas. Single-journey tokens are available, as are preloadable smartcards and one-day or three-day tourist cards.
Most of the city's thousands of buses are operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation (tel: +91 11 2337 0209; www.dtc.nic.in). Others are privately owned but run the same routes. However, finding the right route can be challenging, as can dodging traffic to get to bus platforms, most of which are in the middle of busy roads.
Another option is auto-rickshaws. Although all have meters, drivers rarely use them, so agree upon your fare at the start of your journey. There's a 25% surcharge for travelling between 2300-0500. Bicycle rickshaws are great for getting around Old Delhi, though fares may be even more subject to the whim of the driver than auto-rickshaw fares. Tipping is optional but encouraged; 10% of the fare is the usual starting point.
Yellow and black Ambassador taxis are readily available, especially at local taxi stands, where taxis can be booked and prices fixed in advance – which may also be safer than hailing a taxi on the street. There is a 25% surcharge between 2300-0500. Fares should be negotiated before the journey, as even metered taxis can be misleading. You can also call one of several radio cab companies to book a taxi in advance without having to visit a taxi stand (www.delhitourism.gov.in/delhitourism/transport/radio_taxi.jsp).
Driving in Delhi is not for the faint-hearted. Traffic regulations are routinely ignored; in Old Delhi, vehicles compete for space with ox carts, wandering cows, goats and dogs. Night driving can be particularly dangerous.
Car hire companies include Avis (tel: +91 11 2430 4452; www.avis.com) and Hertz (tel: +91 11 124 301 4724; www.hertz.com). An International Driving Permit is essential for drivers in India, and in most cases the driver must be 25 years or over.
Hiring a car with a driver is the safest and easiest way to explore Delhi. Meru cabs (tel: +91 11 4422 4422; www.merucabs.com) is a reputable and reliable outfit offering air-conditioned cars, and many hotels can arrange a car and driver for you.