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How Long to Spend in Delhi (for First-Timers): Itineraries from 1 to 7 Days

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 3, 2023

Delhi, the capital of India, dominates India's north and is usually the first stop on an India trip. Here we offer you some suggestions about planning a Delhi itinerary and other travel tips.

What to Do in Delhi

In Delhi, you can enjoy many ancient buildings and temples. They are good way to learn about Indian history and its religious culture. We recommend visiting the Red Fort, once the seat of the Mughal Empire, going to Humayun's Tomb, the inspiration of Taj Mahal, and listening to the chanting in old temples, like Jama Masjid and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.

Delhi also offers many a good chance to taste authentic Indian curry and other Indian delicacies, to watch an amazing Indian dancing and singing show, to take part in an Indian cooking class, and to explore local markets.

You can also experience the festive atmosphere of Delhi and join in the celebrations during big festivals such as Holi in March and Diwali in November.

Check out more things to do on The 29 Ultimate Things to Do in Delhi.

How Long to Spend in Delhi

It usually takes 1–3 days to do the top activities in Delhi. If you have more than 3 days, we recommend you journey out of Delhi to places like Agra (where the Taj Mahal is) and Jaipur.

A Classic Delhi Itinerary: 1–3 Days

Generally, 2 days is a suitable stay length for Delhi: one day for arrival, one for classic city sightseeing, and a day tour to uncover the essence of Delhi culture.

3 days will let you travel in a more relaxed pace and explore Delhi's suburbs.

Day 1: Arrival day. You could rest and adjust to jet lag or explore freely to settle in.

Day 2: Explore Delhi's highlights. Visit the Red Fort and Jama Masjid Mosque. Take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk market. Go to Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb.

Day 3: Explore Delhi based on your interests. If you like culture and temples, visit some special temples like Lotus Temple (a Bahá'í temple), Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (a Sikh temple), and Laxminarayan Temple (a Hindu temple). If you're traveling with kids, you could go to fun parks (like Adventure Island) or somewhere educational, like the Museum of Toilets.

A Delhi and Nearby Cities Itinerary: 4–7 Days

If you have more time, exploring the popular cities near Delhi is recommended, and it is most travelers' choice. Agra and Jaipur, close to Delhi, are the most popular destinations. Together they're known as the 'Indian golden triangle' — the No. 1 itinerary for India travelers, especially for first timers.

It takes about 5 hours' driving from Delhi to Agra and Agra to Jaipur, and 6 hours from Deli to Jaipur. If you want to experience a luxury train travel, we can also arrange it for you. See our 7-Day Maharajas' Express Luxury Train Tour.

The biggest attraction in Agra is the Taj Mahal. Jaipur, the pink city, is India's most famous ancient city. Its grand palaces and forts like Hawa Mahal and Amber Fort are the highlights, and its heritage hotels are also of interest to many tourists.

India tour map

Days 1–2: Delhi exploration. Discover the most popular attractions. Visit all of the three UNESCO heritage sites: the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and Humayun's Tomb. Go to Jama Masjid mosque, and take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk market.

Days 3–4: Agra discovery. After 5 hours' driving from Delhi to Agra, visit Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb (Baby Taj) and 'Moonlight Garden'. Explore the famous Taj Mahal and Agra Fort the next day.

Days 5–6: Jaipur experience. Following 5 hours' driving from Agra to Jaipur, go to City Palace, where the king of Jaipur now lives. Visit Hawa Mahal ('Palace of Winds') and Amber Fort. Take an Indian cooking class.

Day 7: Return to Delhi from Jaipur for your departure

You can check out more on our 7-Day Golden Triangle India Tour if you are interested in this itinerary. Or you can contact us to tailor a trip based on your interests, group size, travel length, and other needs.

If you want to get more about India itinerary planning, you can check out here: How Long to Spend in India (for First Timers): from 5 Days to 1 Month and 2 Weeks in India: The Best 4 India Itineraries for You

Where to Stay in Delhi

Delhi is divided into old and new districts, known as New Delhi and Old Delhi.

New Delhi is more recommended as an area to stay. The environment in New Delhi is clean and tidy. There is lots of choice of hotels and restaurants. It is also closer to attractions.

Old Delhi, which shows more-traditional images of India, is not so recommended for accommodation. It features narrow and chaotic streets and markets. There are some economic hotels, but the choice of hotels is limited.

For business men or travelers who need to catch a flight, staying at the Aerocity hotel area is recommended. It is close to the airport, needing only 10–20 minutes' driving.

Best Times to Visit Delhi

October to March has the best times to visit Delhi when the weather is dry and it is not so hot . April, May, and June are the hottest months of the year. The scorching heat could be a challenge. Rainy season is from July to September. But the hot and rainy seasons offer discounts and quieter attractions.

See more on Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Delhi.

How to Get around Delhi

Auto rickshaw Auto rickshaw

Metro and taxi are the main ways to tour around Delhi. Most attractions can be reached by metro. Calling a taxi using taxi apps or booking online is also a common way to get around.

Auto rickshaw or tuk-tuk is an interesting way to get around Delhi. When you take a tuk-tuk, make sure the driver knows exactly where you're going and negotiate the price to something reasonable.

Delhi's buses are also a way of travel. But they have no English instructions and no arrival announcements, so they're not tourist-friendly.

Without the hassles of hailing a car or planning a route in advance, private transfers could be your best choice, especially when you need to travel to surrounding cities like Agra and Jaipur. A private and safe vehicle will get you there most comfortably and flexibly.

Delhi Travel Tips

1. Visa: You will need to apply for a tourist e-visa unless you are from a select few neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.

2. Safety: India is a relatively safe country for tourists, but you still need to be mindful of some things, like keeping important items such as your wallet and passport safe, watching out for thieves, and avoiding going out alone at night. >>>Is India Safe to Visit

3. Tipping: Tipping is expected. It doesn't matter how much you pay, even 10 rupees.

4. Customs and etiquette: Delhi, typical of India, has a lot of religious customs. Entering a temple usually requires removing shoes, covering the torso to the neck, knees and shoulders (and more ideally), and some temples require covering the head with a turban. Don't touch locals' heads or shake hands with your left hand.

5. Food: Mutton and chicken are the main meats served. 60% of Indians are vegetarians. Most restaurants do not serve alcohol.

6. Check out some India Maps, India Travel Maps

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Touring India with Us

All our tours can be adjusted as much as you like. We aim to create an ideal itinerary based on your interests, group size, budget, and other requirements. Feel free to contact us.

You can find yet more Thailand travel itineraries on our Most Popular India Tours page.

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