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Are you wondering how to spend your 2 days in New Delhi? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this list of 10+ of the most amazing things to do and see in the city.
This is what I consider to be the ultimate 2 day New Delhi itinerary for first-timers. And exactly how I wish I had spent my first time there. Keep in mind that I have packed a lot into this itinerary, so if you know you can’t keep going from dusk until dawn, consider skipping one of the stops on both days. Here we go!
Be sure to also check out my survival guide for your first time in New Delhi. I talk all about what to expect, how to get around, which area to stay in and where to eat + scams to be aware of!
New Delhi guided tours
If you prefer not to explore this vast city on your own, I highly recommend joining one of these guided tours. It could be a good idea, especially for the first day, until you get used to the beautiful mayhem that is New Delhi.
New Delhi itinerary Day 1
Get ready for an incredible day of historic architectural gems, focused around the southern part of New Delhi.
1. Humayun’s Tomb Complex
Start your day at the tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun, a mesmerizing UNESCO world heritage site. As the first garden tomb in India and the first large-scale building to use red sandstone, it represents a leap in Mughal architecture. The complex is surrounded by smaller monuments like the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble. Make sure to take a stroll through the paradise garden, designed according to Persian tradition.
We walked there from our hotel in southeast New Delhi around 7 am and were the first people there. Humayun’s Tomb was one of the highlights for me in India, it was so nice to walk around and enjoy the beautiful surroundings almost all by ourselves.
Entrance fee: Indian nationals Rs. 30 – Foreigners Rs. 500
Opening hours: 6 am to 6 pm daily
2. Tomb of Safdarjung
The Safdarjung Tomb, made of marble and sandstone, is the last magnificent tomb garden of the Mughal era. The tomb was constructed in 1754 for Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, better known as Safdarjung. It is conveniently located close to both Lodhi Gardens and Humayun’s tomb.
Safdarjung Tomb is not on the itinerary of most people doing Delhi in less than 3 days, so it’s usually very peaceful and you won’t have to navigate around large crowds of people to get that perfect shot.
Entrance fee: Indian nationals Rs. 15 – Foreigners Rs. 200
Opening hours: 7 am to 7 pm
🌟 My top pick >> Be sure to check out this highly-rated photography tour that includes both The Safdarjung Tomb and Lodi Gardens!
3. Lodhi Garden
What do you least expect to find in a busy, overpopulated metropolis like Delhi? An oasis. But it does exist. Your next stop is Lodhi Gardens, one of the incredible, green spaces of Delhi, sprawling across 90 acres of land. Here, you get to discover the stunning North Indian Islamic architecture and history.
You can easily walk here from the Tomb of Safdarjung. I recommend picking up some street food and enjoying a nice picnic in beautiful gardens.
The impressive tombs, beautiful bridges and watchtowers were built in the 15th century by the Lodhi and the Sayyid dynasties, before the Mughal Empire took over. The gardens are also a favorite amongst Delhi’s high society – so you might be able to spot a high-profile politician or celebrity.
We went to Lodhi Garden on a Saturday which meant it was very crowded with locals walking their dogs, working out and just spending the day in the park with their families. I can imagine a weekday would be a much better time to visit to fully be able to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Entrance fee: FREE
Opening hours: 6 am – 7.30 pm daily (it might be open later)
4. Mehrauli Archaeological Park
If you have one last stop in you for the day, jump in a rickshaw and make your way down to Mehrauli Archaeological Park, an incredible area consisting of over 100 historically significant monuments spread over 200 acres in Mehrauli. Close by you’ll also find the Qutub Minar World Heritage Site and the Qutb complex.
If you’re a history buff like me, you’re going to love this place. It is the only area in Delhi known for 1,000 years of continuous occupation and includes the ruins of a fort built in 1060 AD(!!!).
To be honest, you could probably spend an entire day down here. So if you have more time in the city, consider saving this for the next day.
Opening hours: 5 am – 6.30 pm daily.
5. Flavors and Food Stories of New Delhi
Instead of just another dinner in a restaurant, book this exciting Flavors and Food stories tour. Indulge in Delhi’s signature butter chicken curry or a shahi paneer, taste Chaat from Delhi’s most famous chaat stall and visit and volunteer at Gurudwara temple to experience the “art of gratitude” ++. I’m getting hungry from just typing this. Yum!
If you would rather skip one of the architectural heritage sites, I highly recommend that you participate in an educational and ethical walking tour through the Sanjay Colony slum area instead. Here you will discover a rich sense of community and entrepreneurship and gain new insights into the lives of locals. And the best part is that all proceeds are re-invested into the development of community projects such as education and healthcare for the residents.
New Delhi itinerary Day 2
On day two it’s all about central and north Delhi.
6. Shopping & Markets
Who needs standard supermarkets, air-conditioned shopping malls or fancy boutiques when you can have the Delhi markets? Start your day and dive right into the action by exploring the amazing, large-scale markets in Delhi, like Chandni Chowk, Dilli Haat, Khari Baoli or Chor Bazaar. They are an absolute paradise for shoppers, buzzing with customers as early as 6 am.
You can buy pretty much everything you can imagine: Tons of fresh vegetables and fruit, wonderful home decorations and fabrics, handicrafts, vintage goods, tea, spices, jewelry, clothes and much more. Just make sure to bring patience, bargaining skills and endurance.
You will return with bags of wonderful goods, a belly full of delicious Indian food and a lot of new friends. Spending one day here will save you months of lessons in Indian culture and etiquette, language, history, delicacies, art and fashion.
Dilli Haat is a paid-entrance open-air market located in South Delhi, run by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation. They also operate two other locations but I do think the original one opposite INA Metro Station is the best.
What is so great about Dilli Haat is that it gives the feel of a traditional weekly village market (called a haat) but it is open every day. We opted to do most of our shopping here so we could escape the crowds for a little while. Get there just as they open at 10.30 am for the best prices and a more comfortable temperature. I bought several straw bags here for only $7 apiece so I couldn’t be happier.
Entrance fee: Indian nationals Rs. 30 for adults, Rs.10 for children and foreigners Rs. 100.
Opening hours: 10 (or 10.30) am to 10 pm daily
🌟 My top pick >> Private Custom Shopping Tour of Delhi’s Bustling Markets
7. Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple
The Akshardham Hindu Temple is another must-see in Delhi. It is a stunning spiritual-cultural site regarded by Swaminarayan Hindus as a temporal home of God on earth. ‘Akshardham’ means the abode of almighty Lord Swaminarayan, a yogi and ascetic, who revived central Hindu practices. His life and work are portrayed in the various exhibition halls. The Akshardham temple reveals thousands of years of fascinating Hindu spirituality, Indian culture and architecture.
This is one of the most intricately beautiful buildings in India and is definitely worth a visit. But remember that you’re not allowed to bring a camera, phones, umbrellas, toys, food or drinks inside the complex.
Entrance fee: Entry to the complex is free but there are different exhibitions and shows that require a ticket
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – First Entry: 9.30 am – Last Entry: 6.30 pm
8. Red Fort
The Red Fort, also known as the Lal Qila, was constructed by one of the most famous Mughal emperors, Shah Jahan. He also commissioned Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and several other majestic buildings around northern India. Not surprisingly, the period of his reign is considered to be the golden era of Mughal architecture.
Built on the banks of Yamuna River, it took over 8 years to finish the construction of the magnificent fort. When Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi, the Red Fort took over as the main royal residence of the Mughal emperors. And it stayed that way for over 200 years.
Today the fort has become an icon of the city and is a must on any Delhi itinerary. With its towering red sandstone walls measuring 33 meters high and almost 2.5 kilometers long, you can’t really miss this place. Inside you’ll find a large complex of entertainment halls, palaces, indoor canals, a stunning white marble mosque and perfectly manicured gardens.
Entrance fee: Indian nationals Rs. 35 – Foreigners Rs. 500. You have the option to book your tickets in advance here so you don’t have to wait in line. You also have the option to add a tour guide and hotel transfers.
Opening Hours: 7 am to 5.30 pm daily
🌟 Learn about the Mughals and their influence on the city’s culture and architecture on this early morning bicycle tour. Travel in a small group with experienced guides to absorb Delhi’s culture before ending the experience with a hearty local breakfast. The perfect way to start the day before you explore the Red Fort!
9. Agrasen ki Baoli
Just a short walk away from Connaught Place, down a peaceful residential street, you’ll find Agrasen ki Baoli, a centuries-old, subterranean stepwell hidden behind a seemingly uninteresting stone wall.
Stepwells, otherwise known as “baoli” or “bawli”, depending on the region, were built centuries ago in the arid zones of Rajasthan to provide water all year around. These days the wells are no longer used for storing water, instead, the aesthetically pleasing geometric features attract local and international visitors alike.
We visited Agrasen ki Baoli in the middle of the day and to our surprise, we were the only tourists there. The guard told us that “modeling” was not allowed but photos were, so we had to be a bit sneaky to get a couple of good shots here.
Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 9 am to 5.30 pm
10. Old Delhi Spice Market (Khari Baoli)
Just west of Chandni Market you’ll find Khari Baoli Road, home to Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. The market has been in operation since the 17th century and is today a vibrant and fun attraction for both locals and tourists.
Although I’m not usually a fan of guided tours I would suggest touring the market with a good guide so he can take you up to one of the rooftops for an incredible view of the bustling streets below. If you go by yourself there’s a good chance you’ll struggle to find the entrance as it is quite hard to spot.
Just like most parts of Delhi, the Old Spice Market is crazy and chaotic. So if you have the opportunity to visit early in the morning you’ll see a totally different side to the area and maybe even witness a beautiful sunrise.
Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm Monday – Saturday. The roof is open 24/7 but be aware of the people sleeping up there.
🌟 Don’t miss out! Experience the streets and bazaars of Old Delhi and learn about traditional Indian life during this 3-Hour Old Delhi Heritage Walking Tour. Visit the Jama Masjid mosque, Red Fort and the Chandni Chowk market. Taste some of the famous local snacks and enjoy a short ride by rickshaw to the spice market.
Looking for more India guides?
- First time in New Delhi: How to survive (and have a good time)
- Taj Mahal photography guide + insider tips for first-time visitors
- How to spend 2 days in Jaipur: Top 12 things to do
- Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden) – The best view of Taj Mahal
- Nahargarh Fort: The best sunset point in Jaipur
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