If there’s one city that I’ve been, but I feel like I’ve never been to… That would be the one that we’re going to cover for the $10 series this week: New Delhi!
Years ago, when I still worked as a flight attendant, I once had a layover in New Delhi for only 12 hours. I didn’t get a chance to get out of the hotel because it was too short and I needed to rest before operating another flight the next day, and as surprisingly as it sounds… I never got another flight to New Delhi after that.
After covering Mumbai and Leh a couple of months ago, to make up my regret about the capital city of India, I’m happy that we’ve got Shivani from The Wandering Core here to cover New Delhi for this week’s $10 series. So, how far could you get with your $10 in New Delhi?
What to Do and Where to Go Around New Delhi When You’re on a Budget
The capital of India is also known as the foodie capital with numerous options to dine in or eat cheap on the street food options. New Delhi also has a number of places to see without any entry charge.
Delhi is a northern state, which means it gets the best of all seasons, but summers can be rough here with temperatures crossing 40°. So, the best time to visit New Delhi is December to April or July to August in the monsoons.
Most of the historical places in the capital charge as much as $8 to $10 USD from international tourists (except SAARC nations). This means I am going to focus on the places you can enjoy for free and under $10 USD.
Getting Around New Delhi
Delhi Metro is one of the best mediums to commute in the city, but due to recent fare hike, a single trip can cost 30-50₹ which is still less than a dollar.
You can also opt for HoHo buses providing tours, but sadly the price doesn’t include the monuments or museums tickets. Although they cover places like India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, all of which have free entry.
Places to See in Delhi for Free
Start your trip with Connaught place (C.P.), the business and shopping district in Delhi and also the heart of the city. Visit the central park, or roam around the premises, there is always something going on in C.P.
When here, try a pastry from Wenger’s (A-Block), the oldest pastry shop in Delhi, which won’t cost more than 150₹ (around $2 USD).
Head to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib next, one of the renowned Sikh gurudwaras in the world. They offer a langar service (free meals) to anyone who visits at all the meal times of the day, including evening tea (chai). Do relish a typical Indian (vegetarian) meal here or taste an Indian chai.
Ride an Autorickshaw
Take an auto (as locals call it) for Mandi House metro station, charging no more than 100₹ (around $1.3 USD). Riding an autorickshaw is one of the unique things to do in Delhi.
Rent a Bicycle
The Mandi House station is equipped with a bicycle rent facility, which is a fun way to see the nearby places. Hire a bike for 50₹ (less than a dollar!) and 10₹ per hour to get to India Gate next.
India Gate is a triumphal arch like the Arc de Triomphe of Paris and the free entry to the monument is another plus. Riding your bike around India Gate’s roundabout and on Rajpath till Rashtrapati Bhavan is going to be a memorable experience.
After the sightseeing of India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan, drop off your bicycle at Patel Chowk metro station and take a metro for Chandni Chowk.
Chandni Chowk is one of the best markets in New Delhi with a variety of options to eat cheap.
Try out Dahi Bhalla (around 50₹ or less than a dollar!) from Natraj Bhalle Walla or Dariba Kalan for jalebis (around 50₹ or less than a dollar per 100 grams).
For some Indian food, head to Haldiram’s restaurant and savor delicious choley kulchey.
Head to Jama Masjid next to visit one of the largest mosques in India. The area around the mosque serves some of the best non-vegetarian food in the city, although it can overshoot the budget a bit.
Lotus Temple is another place to visit in Delhi for free, a place for peace or meditation. The temple is known for maintaining pin-drop silence and huge manicured gardens.
If you like museums, there are some which you visit for free, including the Delhi Metro museum, Mirza Ghalib haweli, and Indian air force museum.
Delhi is a huge city wherein you can easily spend a lot of money on travel, or cut down your budget to as low as $10 and yet feel the vibe of the city.
Contributor: Shivani from The Wandering Core
Shivani is a passionate foodie traveler. She loves to share her culinary experiences along with the travel guides and hacks.