Take whatever preconceived notions you have about New Delhi and throw them out the window! India is impossible to define, and New Delhi illustrates this perfectly: it is a modern city surrounded by a pulsing metropolis of 26 million people, with a mix of cultures and history that goes back to the sixth century BCE. New Delhi and its surroundings can feel overwhelming on arrival, but all of that activity just means there is more room for adventure. Whether you’re practicing yoga or preparing for a Himalayan trek, an adventure in New Delhi is the perfect introduction to India.
What you need to know for trips abroad to New Delhi, India
Even though adventure travel in New Delhi is about as urban as you can get, options for an adventurous stay in India are nearly endless. Many adventure programs begin in New Delhi, and the city is a short ride from animal sanctuaries, yoga retreats, and other adrenaline-pumping activities.
Popular activities / experiences in New Delhi. New Delhi is a frequent stop for those heading out on trekking programs, and it’s a great place to get your bearings before heading into the mountains. Others come to India to practice yoga, and New Delhi is a great place to learn more about this ancient practice. For younger travelers, student tours often begin in New Delhi, providing an introduction to Indian culture before heading out for hiking, volunteering, and other activities around the country.
Best time of year to travel to New Delhi. When you visit New Delhi can really make or break your visit. Most travelers agree that conditions are best between October and February, when temperatures are tolerable and rain is scarce. Average temperatures in the summer months, combined with monsoonal rains beginning in June, can make for an unpleasant experience.
Average costs for tourists in New Delhi. India is not an expensive country for travelers, and a small budget will take you far. That said, many adventure programs are all-inclusive and the price tag can add up. Plan to spend between $3,000 and $7,000 for a four-month trip around India with a provider, but remember that the cost will include lodging, meals, transportation, and activity fees. If you need a little help, check out FundMyTravel and set up an account for family and friends to contribute to your trip.
Life in New Delhi for Travelers
If one thing is for certain, it’s that being bored while visiting New Delhi is impossible. Even on your rest days there’s enough to keep you busy for weeks, if not months. Museums come in all shapes and sizes, from the standard National Museum and National Gallery of Modern Art, to niche topics like the National Philatelic Museum and the National Rail Museum. When you can’t bear to look at yet another exhibit, you can wander the garden paths at Lodi Gardens or shop to your heart’s content at Connaught Place.
Adventure travel in New Delhi is a bit of an island within the Delhi metropolitan area, and there’s much to discover by roaming farther than the city’s wide boulevards and colonial buildings. To the north, Old Delhi is filled with bazaars, spice markets, and the seriously impressive Red Fort. For an easy day trip, the Taj Mahal in Agra is a must-see, despite the constant crowds. With all of these options, it’s easy to restrict yourself to “must see” lists, so be sure to take some time to wander your neighborhood streets as well. With so much to see and do, there’s a chance for a meaningful encounter on every street corner.
GoAbroad's Inside Scoop
If you’re headed to New Delhi for adventure, you probably move through life quickly and are already mentally packing your backpack. Fortunately, a trip to India is the perfect reminder to slow down and pace yourself. The city may feel frantic, and not everything will happen on schedule, but stopping to have tea with the guest house owner or checking out a new Bollywood film will allow you to more fully experience Indian culture before hitting the trail.
You can put that patience into practice before stepping on the plane by keeping in mind visa regulations. It’s mandatory to obtain a visa before arrival and processing times can vary (as can the level of frustration during the application process). Most adventure seekers coming to India only need a tourist visa, but if you’ll be in India for a long time or participating in other activities like classes or volunteering, you may need to apply for a different type. For more information on obtaining a visa in your home country, check out the Embassy Directory.
Just being in New Delhi can feel like an adventure in itself, as everything is just a little bit different. You’ll re-learn how to cross the street among barrelling rickshaws; taste new foods with names like chikki, pani puri, and kulle chaat; and figure out how to bargain with the best of them. You’ll also come across devastating poverty and profound need, which can be difficult to witness and may drive you to want to do more. Whatever your experience in New Delhi, you’re sure to come away from it with intense emotions, vivid memories, and a newfound appreciation for its enigmatic culture.
Read our comprehensive guide on adventuring all around India here.