The capital city of India is a massive metropolitan area in the country’s north with three UNESCO World Heritage sites within its boundaries. The populous, bustling and vibrant city has been home to several kingdoms since the 12th century from the Mughals to the British, all of which have played an integral role in the city’s architecture, art, culture and customs, religion, and cuisine. Built over the ruins of seven ancient cities, Delhi is packed with spectacular sights from magnificent mausoleums and buzzing bazaars to ancient treasures and historical ruins.
Built in the 16th century, Humayun’s Tomb is a magnificent garden-tomb that was the first mausoleum to be constructed in the grand Mughal style, setting a precedent for subsequent Mughal architectural gems like the Taj Mahal. Famously described as the necropolis of the Mughal Dynasty, the tomb was built for as the burial place of Emperor Humayun, the second emperor of the Mughal dynasty, 14 years after his death. Today, the octagonally-shaped garden tomb is the final resting place for more than 150 members of the Mughal family and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nizamuddin, Nizamuddin East New Delhi, 110013, India
Rising above the old city as an elemental a symbol of Mughal power, the magnificent Red Fort is a grand historical complex that once housed the emperors of the Mughal dynasty. Commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and designed by Persian architect Ustad Ahmad Lahori, who also designed the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort was built in 1639 out of striking red sandstone. The immense complex features vast entertainment halls, airy arcades, marble royal apartments divided by intricate fretwork screens, and expansive geometric gardens. The Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and can be explored on guided tours.
Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk New Delhi, Delhi, 110006, India, Phone: +91-11-23-27-77-05
Jama Masjid is the largest Islamic mosque in the city, an important place of worship. Built in the 17th century, the iconic landmark can hold up to 25,000 people with Friday prayers being a scene to behold. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1658, the imposing building is elevated 30 steps above street level and is named Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, meaning ‘mosque commanding view of the world.’ The grand edifice has multiple entry points, leading to the main deck, and admission is free and open to all nationalities in the appropriate attire. Climb the narrow staircase to the southern minaret for breathtaking views over the city.
Jama Masjid Road, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk New Delhi, Delhi, 110006, India, Phone: +91-11-23-36-53-58
The Qutab Minar is a towering icon standing 240 feet tall and a renowned UNESCO world heritage site. Forming part of the Qutb complex in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, the minaret and ‘victory tower’ was built in 1192 and named after its creator, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of Delhi and founding father of the Delhi Sultanate era. The impressive five-story tower is constructed from marble and red sandstone and a narrow spiral staircase with 379 steps wind to the top of the tower, which is closed to the public.
Seth Sarai, Mehrauli New Delhi, Delhi, 110030, India, Phone: +91-11-24-69-84-31
Located in the heart of modern New Delhi, Jantar Mantar, an architectural marvel dedicated to astronomical studies. Built in the form of a sundial by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1724, the observatory was constructed to observe and create astronomical charts, and estimate time through the movements of the sun, the moon, and the planets. Standing 723 feet tall, the impressive structure includes 13 astronomical instruments, including Jaiprakash yantra, Misra yantra, Ram yantra, and Samrat yantra, and the sundial is based on the ancient Egyptian Ptolemaic structure.
Sansad Marg, Janpath, Connaught Place New Delhi, Delhi, 110001, India, Phone: +91-11-23-36-53-58
Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi. Mahatma Gandhi was cremated at the historic Raj Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna River after his assassination in 1948, and the memorial was named after the ghat. It features a simple black marble platform built over the place where his body was cremated and has an eternal flame that burns night and day. The memorial exudes a sense of peace and serenity that reflects the character of Gandhi.
Gandhi Smriti, Raj Ghat New Delhi, Delhi, 110006, India, Phone: +91-11-25-67-56-09
The Lodi Garden is a 90-acre oasis in the heart of Delhi that offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Named after Lady Willingdon, the wife of Lord Willingdon created a park around the tombs of Delhi’s Lodi dynasty rulers; the Lodi Garden is dotted with captivating 15th-century Mughal monuments, including the fortress-like walled complex of Sikander Lodi's tomb (1518) and the Mohammed Shah's tomb (1450). The garden features lush, tree-shaded areas with over 100 species of trees and a small lake with an eight-piered bridge known as Athpula, which dates back to the reign of Emperor Akbar.
Lodhi Rd, Lodhi Gardens, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110003, India, Phone: +91-11-24-64-00-79
8.The Garden of Five Senses
The Garden of Five Senses is a 20-acre park in the Said-Ul-Azaib village near the Mehrauli heritage area in New Delhi that was created as a contemporary urban leisure space for the public to enjoy. Designed to stimulate one's sensory responses to the environment, the Garden of Five Senses features an array of activities for all ages, expansive plazas and terraces, sculptures and statues, water cascades and fountains lit up by fiber-optic lighting systems and manicured gardens of flowering and fragrant shrubs. There are over 200 varieties of plants, trees, and shrubs in the garden, a stone-cut amphitheater for performances, and an open exhibition area for art displays and workshops.
Westend Marg, Saidulajab, Saiyad ul Ajaib, Saket, New Delhi, Delhi 110030, India, Phone: +91-11-29-53-64-01
9.Lotus Temple (Baha'í House of Worship)
The Lotus Temple, also known as the Bahá’í House of Worship, is a magnificent architectural complex constructed to resemble unfolding leaves from the lotus flower, the universal symbol of peace. Made from pure Grecian marble, the temple is known as the birthplace of Baha’i faith. The lotus flower is a symbol of peace and unity for several religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism, and the temple is a serene oasis for meditation.
Lotus Temple Road, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji New Delhi, Delhi, 110019, India, +91-11-26-44-40-29
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Situated in East Delhi, Akshardham Temple is a modern temple and place of worship and one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. Nicknamed the ‘Abode of God,’ the spellbinding Hindu temple and complex reflect 10,000 years of Indian culture and history. Notable features in and around the temples include an 11-foot high statue of 18th-century mystic Yogi Swaminarayan, to whom the temple is dedicated and over 20,000 carvings of gods and goddesses around the temple. Other attractions in the complex range from beautifully manicured gardens, water features and shows, exhibitions and performances, and boat rides.
Unnamed Road, Yamuna Bank New Delhi, Delhi, 110092, India
Dilli Haat is a vast craft bazaar and complex that sells traditional Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and ethnic products, along with a variety of delicious regional cuisine. The bustling, colorful market has the atmosphere of a traditional Rural Haat or village market with stalls selling all sorts of traditional handicrafts, including tribal jewelry from Odisha, embroidered Kashmiri shawls, and paintings from South India. The market also offers a wide range of tasty local foods from the various regions of India, such as kebabs from Jammu, Bamboos hot chicken from Nagaland, and momos from Sikkim.
Dilli Haat, Kidwai Nagar West, Kidwai Nagar New Delhi, Delhi, 110023, India
12.National Rail Museum
The National Rail Museum is dedicated to the history of rail transport in India. Located in Chanakyapuri, the unique museum features a fascinating collection of rail-related artifacts, equipment, and working models. The 10-acre museum houses over 100 life-size exhibits of static and working model trains, coaches, diesel, electric and steam engines, antique furnishings, signaling equipment, and historical photographs. Signature displays include old coaches like the Prince of Wales Saloon (1875), the Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon (1899), and the magnificently preserved steam locomotive engine known as the Fairy Queen (1855).
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021, India, Phone: +91-11-26-88-18-26
13.National Gallery of Modern Art
© National Gallery of Modern Art
The National Gallery of Modern Art is dedicated to fine Indian contemporary and modern art. Established in 1954, the museum is based in a historic building that was once the residence of erstwhile Maharajas of Jaipur and now houses a splendid collection of paintings dating back centuries. The museum’s treasure trove includes a permanent collection of works by eminent artists such as Amrita Sher-Gil, Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Raja Ravi Verma, and Jamini Roy. There are also collections of works by 19th and early-20th century British artists like Thomas and William Daniell.
Delhi High Court, India Gate New Delhi, Delhi, 110003, India, Phone: +91-11-23-38-46-40
14.National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
Locally known as the National Crafts Museum, the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum is dedicated to exploring and showcasing arts and crafts from around India. Located in Pragati Maidan, the museum is run by the Ministry of Textiles and houses over 35,000 unique pieces that celebrate Indian artisans and their skills. Offering an exceptional and culturally enriching experience, the museum showcases all forms of art, ranging from embroidery, painting, and sculpture to clay, ceramics, and textiles. Signature exhibits at the museum include the 300-year old Bhoota collection from Karnataka, embroidery from Kutch, and Baluchari sarees. The National Crafts Museum also houses a library, a laboratory, and a center for documentation and research.
Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan New Delhi, Delhi, 110001, India, Phone: +91-11-23-37-18-87
The National Museum, also known as the National Museum of India, is dedicated to the history of India and is one of the largest museums in the country. Established in 1949, the museum is operated by the Ministry of Culture and houses a vast collection of articles ranging from pre-historic era to modern works of art. Spread over three floors of space, the collection includes Indian bronzes and terracotta pieces from 2700 BC, precious jewelry with huge diamonds, emeralds, and pearls from 2500 BC, Buddhist antiques, ancient costumes, arts and crafts, and wooden sculptures dating back to the Mauryan period in the 2nd century. Signature items include the 5,000 year-old figurine of the Dancing Girl and the terracotta statuette of Mother Goddess from Mohenjo-Daro.
Janpath Road, Rajpath Area, Central Secretariat New Delhi, Delhi, 110011, India, Phone: +91-11-23-79-27-75
16.The Imperial Spa & Salon
© The Imperial Spa & Salon
The Imperial Spa, Salon, Health and Racquet Club is a luxury hotel with an exclusive wellness center that offers award-winning healing and rejuvenation services. The high-end sanctuary is spread over 12,000 square feet and features cool marble, softwood finishes, and authentic Indian art and has several palatial treatment suites, saunas, hammams, and steam rooms in which therapeutic and regenerating treatments are offered. The spa menu features a wealth of treatments, including Ayurvedic treatments, and the signature 90-minute Imperial Depth massage.
Janpath Rd, Metro Vihar, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India, Phone: +91-11-23-34-12-34
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Based at the Roseate hotel, the Aheli Spa, which means ‘pure’ in Sanskrit, is one of the best luxury spas in New Delhi. Guests can choose from a bespoke menu of treatments and signature services that combine various wellness philosophies such as Ayurveda, Indonesian, Thai, and Yoga to heal, rejuvenate, nourish and detoxify the body and mind. The spa boasts three single suites, a private couple suite, a traditional hammam, and open Thai massage areas, along with a yoga pavilion, steam rooms and saunas, and a glass box gym. Spa and wellness services include massages, body scrubs, wraps and rituals, and several facial, skin, hair, and salon services.
D Block, Samalkha, Samalka, New Delhi, Delhi 110037, India, Phone: +91-11-30-15-85-80
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Asian Roots is a luxury spa that grew from humble beginnings as a spa and beauty salon in Delhi to several resorts around the country, including Bangalore and Chandigarh. Hailed as one of the leading day spas in India, Asian Roots offers a variety of treatments and massages for the mind, body, and soul. Treatments range from body scrubs and pampering massages to organic facials, manicures, and pedicures, as well as hair treatments and salon services.
A- 2/25, Block A 2, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi 110029, India, Phone: +91-11-46-10-30-00
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Sawadhee is a traditional Thai spa with seven private suites, a steam room and sauna, and a whirlpool. The spa is spread over 5,000 square feet and offers a wide range of treatments, including Thai and Swedish massages, and the invigorating Sawadhee Signature Massage, which uses herbal balm and aromatic oils. Other services include Sawadhee’s Vitamin Concentrate Skin Facial and other facial treatments that tackle skin issues from dehydration to pigmentation.
Plot No. 3, Local Shopping Center, Pocket C-9, Vasant Kunj 9, New Delhi, Delhi 110070, India, Phone: +91-11-40-57-63-40
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AAYNA Spa is a well-designed wellness center with chic, contemporary interiors that offers six different types of treatments for depression, poor circulation, muscle pain, insomnia, stress, and past life blockages therapy is based on the theory of reincarnation. AAYNA Spa offers a variety of treatments and massages for the mind, body, and soul. Treatments range from body scrubs and pampering massages to organic facials, manicures, and pedicures, as well as hair treatments and salon services.
Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar New Delhi, Delhi, 110003, India, Phone: +91-98-70-39-66-67
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Kairali is an Ayurvedic-focused healing center in Delhi that follows the wellbeing programs of the world-renowned Ayurvedic Healing Village in Kerala. The luxury day spa offers a variety of treatments ranging from body scrubs and pampering massages to organic facials, manicures, and pedicures, as well as hair treatments and salon services. The center also provides coaching for leading a holistic Ayurvedic lifestyle.
D - 130 Block D, Dr. Ambedkar Colony, Mehrauli New Delhi, Delhi, 110030, India, Phone: +91-95-55-15-61-56
21 Best Things to Do in Delhi
- Humayun’s Tomb, Photo: Naufel/stock.adobe.com
- Red Fort, Photo: Mivr/stock.adobe.com
- Jama Masjid, Photo: muratart/stock.adobe.com
- Qutub Minar, Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- Jantar Mantar, Photo: YellowCrest/stock.adobe.com
- Raj Ghat, Photo: Tahir/stock.adobe.com
- Lodi Garden, Photo: rpbmedia/stock.adobe.com
- The Garden of Five Senses, Photo: Azhar/stock.adobe.com
- Lotus Temple (Baha'í House of Worship), Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- Akshardham Temple, Photo: imagedb.com/stock.adobe.com
- Dilli Haat, Photo: silentgunman/stock.adobe.com
- National Rail Museum, Photo: mds0/stock.adobe.com
- National Gallery of Modern Art, Photo: National Gallery of Modern Art
- National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, Photo: PhotographrIncognito/stock.adobe.com
- National Museum, Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- The Imperial Spa & Salon, Photo: The Imperial Spa & Salon
- Aheli Spa, Photo: okrasiuk/stock.adobe.com
- Asian Roots, Photo: Gennadiy Poznyakov/stock.adobe.com
- Sawadhee, Photo: Sawadhee
- AAYNA, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Kairali, Photo: Kairali
- Cover Photo: Tahir/stock.adobe.com