Delhi, the capital of India, is etched with thousands of years of history, bearing the marks of several dynasties including Chauhans, Lodis, Mughals, Hindus, British, and more, who have lived here over the centuries. When visiting a city rich in terms of history and cultural heritage, two days is hardly enough time to even scratch the surface. But if you just have 48 hours in hand, this guide will help you squeeze in the most. From historical sites to museums, art galleries, shopping markets, religious places, food, and nightlife, discover how to spend 48 hours in Delhi, India.
Day 1: Morning
Kickstart your tour of Delhi with a morning spent in the historic Old Delhi (or Purana Dilli). Once the capital of the Mughals, every nook and corner of this neighborhood has a story to tell. Start your day with a visit to Jama Masjid, which is one of India’s largest (and royal) mosques. It opens its doors at 7 am, which is perhaps the best time to visit the mosque as the area surrounding it will be blissfully quiet. Climb the narrow staircase of one of its minarets to take in the view of the neighborhood. The entry to the mosque is free, but you will be charged 1.41 USD to climb the tower and 4 USD for photography.
Old Delhi Heritage Walking Tour With Rickshaw Ride
Duration: 3 hours
Enjoy delicious breakfast in Old Delhi
After visiting the peaceful sanctuary, you can grab breakfast at one of the many street joints and eateries in the area. For a hearty breakfast, visit Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk. It is dotted with shops offering parathas (Indian stuffed bread) along with pickles, yogurt, and tamarind and mint chutney. Haji Shabrati Nihari Wale is also a great option. It specializes in nihari, which is a traditional stew of slow-cooked meat.
Paranthe Wali Gali
Address: Chandni Chowk, New Delhi 110006 India
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A few minutes walk from Chandi Chowk brings you to Red Fort. Alternatively, you can even take a cycle rickshaw ride to reach this iconic monument. Also known as Lal Qila, this structure was built by Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, and remained under the rule of Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until when the British took over it in 1857. The fort stands out with its Mughal-style architecture and the main rooms to visit include Diwan-i-khas (hall of private audience) and Diwan-i-Am (hall of public audience). Every year on August 15, Independence Day is celebrated here, with the raising of the national flag and national address by the Prime Minister of India. While you’re in the area, make sure to visit the marble memorial of Mahatma Gandhi (the ‘father of the nation’) at the nearby Raj Ghat.
Delhi Red Fort Guided Walking Tour
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
Day 1: Afternoon
Bid adieu to Old Delhi and head to Connaught Place, the commercial and financial hub of Delhi. You can take a Violent line metro from Red Fort or Chandi Chowk and it will take less than 10 minutes to reach Connaught Place. This neighborhood is dense with restaurants, bars, hotels, and national and international chain stores, so you can spend time shopping for local or imported goods.
Then, visit Jantar Mantar, which is a one-of-kind astronomical observatory that was used in the 18th century. After taking a tour of this architectural marvel, soak in a bit of art and history at the museums dotting the area. Some of the noteworthy ones include National Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art and Charkha Museum. While you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to visit the 14th-century stepwell called Agrasen ki Baoli. It is one of the best photo-taking spots in the area.
Half Day Delhi Walk Tour Includes Jantar Mantar, Agrasen Ki Baoli & Bangla Sahib
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Have lunch at Connaught Place
Connaught Place (or, CP) is brimming with restaurants and cafes, where you can enjoy a scrumptious lunch and re-energize yourself. If you’re craving for North Indian fare, Zaffran is a great option; for Indian and Chinese dishes, check out Parikrama, which is the highest and the only revolving restaurant in Delhi. Want to try out cuisines from different Indian states, 7 States Restaurants is the place for you. As the name suggests, this restaurant offers cuisines from seven different states of the country, including Kashmir, Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Gujarat, and more.
Pro-tip: Do stop for a milkshake at Keventers, which is in Block P.
Address: Hotel Palace Heights, D-26/28, Radial Road No.6, D Block, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Opening hours: 12pm - 3:30pm, 7pm - 11:30pm (daily)
Parikrama The Revolving Restaurant
Address: Antriksh Bhavan, 22, KG Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Website: Parikrama The Revolving Restaurant
Opening hours: 12:30pm - 11pm (daily)
7 States Restaurants
Address: 42, A-25, Middle Cir, Block A, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Website: 7 States Restaurants
Opening hours: 11am - 11pm (daily)
A 10-minute walk from Parikrama restaurant will take you to the city’s only wax museum - Madame Tussauds. It houses lifelike wax statues of notable celebrities from Hollywood, Bollywood, music, and sports, as well as world leaders. These include Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Marilyn Monroe, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, David Bechkam, Sachin Tendulkar, Mahatama Gandhi, and more.
Madame Tussauds Delhi
Day 1: Evening
A 12-minute walk from Madame Tussauds will take you to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a popular Sikh temple in the city. Here, you can engage with the locals over langar, which is a community meal prepared at the gurudwara kitchen. Do note it’s necessary to cover your head with a scarf or cloth and dress modestly when visiting gurudwara. Then, head to India Gate, which is a 17-minute drive away from the Sikh temple. It is a 138-feet (42-meter) tall arch-shaped war memorial that was built to commemorate the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I and World War II. As the sun goes down, India Gate lights up in wonderful colors, making it Instagram-worthy.
While you’re here, make sure to see Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of India’s president. It is known for its Mughal Gardens that are open to visitors only in February. Nevertheless, you can wander around the outside and admire the colossal scale of the architecture. The closest metro station to Rashtrapati Bhavan is Central Secretariat.
New Delhi: India Gate & Gurudwara Cycle Tour
Duration: 3.5 hour
Enjoy dinner and drinks at Pandara Road
After a day exploring the city center, you’ve definitely earned yourself a good dinner. Head to Pandara Road, which is just a five-minute drive away from India Gate. Whether you’re hankering for spicy meat dishes, North Indian food, pan-Asian fare, or Indo-Chinese, you’ll find it all here. Some of the restaurants that are worth checking out include Gulati for tandoori, Mughlai, and North Indian fare; Ichiban for pan-Asian cuisine, and Havemore for kebabs, Mughlai, and North Indian dishes.
For an after-dinner tipple, continue up to Khan Market, which is a seven-minute drive from the market area of Pandara Road. Harry’s Bar, Public Affair, and Perch Wine and Coffee Bar are some of the best spots in the area for a drink.
Address: 6, Pandara Rd, Pandara Flats, Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Website: Gulati Restaurant
Opening hours: 12pm - 12am (daily)
Ichiban Pandara Road
Address: 9, Pandara Rd, Pandara Flats, Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Website: Ichiban Pandara Road
Opening hours: 12:30pm - 4pm, 6pm - 12am (daily)
Address: Pandara Market, 11-12, Barda Ukil Marg, Pandara Flats, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Website: Have More
Opening hours: 12pm - 12am (daily)
Address: 2nd, Floor, Shop 62, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, Khan Market, Delhi 110003
Opening hours: 12pm - 12am (daily)
Address: 67-68, Middle lane, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Website: Public Affair
Opening hours: 12pm - 1am (daily)
Perch Wine and Coffee Bar
Address: 71, Khan Market, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
Website: Perch Wine and Coffee Bar
Opening hours: 8am - 12:30am (daily)
Day 2: Morning
Star the second day by visiting the iconic Qutub Minar in Mehrauli. It is a 239 ft (73 m) tall brick minaret that signals the ushering in of the Muslim empire in the city. The best of the early Indo-Islamic style of architecture is reflected in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Adjacent to the minaret is Mehrauli Archaeological Park, which comprises more than 100 monuments and each has a unique story to tell. Some of the noteworthy monuments in the complex include the 13th-century Tomb of Balban, the 16th-century Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb, and Rajon ki Baoli stepwell. If you’re feeling peckish, there will be no problem finding the perfect first breakfast near these historic places in South Delhi, from Indian cuisine to Western menus.
UNESCO Heritage Site: Qutub Minar and Mehrauli
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Day 2: Afternoon
Go birdwatching at Sanjay Van
After the historical tour, make a detour to Sanjay Van, which is a dense forest surrounding Qutub Minar complex. You can get there by auto-rickshaw, which will take less than 12 minutes from the complex. The forest is home to numerous resident and migratory birds, thus making it a bird-watchers paradise. Keep an eye out for Eurasian golden oriole, Indian peafowl, Indian paradise flycatcher, Jacobin cuckoo, and white-breasted waterhen. It has multiple entry points, but gate number five provides the easiest access.
Alternatively, you can also visit Garden of Five Senses, about a 10-minute drive from Qutub Minar. It has manicured gardens replete with bronze sculptures, contemporary art pieces, and flower beds.
Address: Near Qutub Minar on Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi
Garden of Five Senses
Address: Westend Marg, Saidulajab, Saiyad ul Ajaib, Saket, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
Enjoy a scrumptious lunch + shopping
Within walking distance from Garden of Five Senses or a short ride away from Sanjay Van are many restaurants and cafes. For European and Continental fare, try SOHO Bistro and Cafe. For fresh seafood, Mediterranean and Italian cuisines, head to Olive Bar & Kitchen. For north Indian cuisine, try Laxman Fast Fast joint, or any of the independent dhabas in the Qutab Institutional Area.
Want to take some souvenirs back home, head to Champa Gali, which is an urban village close to Garden of Five Senses and Qutub Minar. It is dotted with handicrafts and bric-a-brac shops, boutiques, and cafes. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a luxurious shopping experience, head to Select CITYWALK, about 15-20 minutes drive from Sanjay Van or Garden of Five Senses.
SOHO Bistro and Cafe
Address: 1, Westend Marg, Butterfly Park, Saiyad ul Ajaib, Sainik Farm, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
Website: SOHO Bistro and Cafe
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 1pm - 10pm (closed on Mon)
Olive Bar & Kitchen
Address: One Style Mile, 6-8, Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
Website: Olive Bar & Kitchen
Opening hours: 1pm - 12am (daily)
Address: Shed 4, Khasra 258, Lane Number 3, Westend Marg, behind Kuldeep House, Saidulajab, Saket, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
Website: Champa Gali
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 10pm, Sun: 10:45am - 10pm
Address: A-3, Saket District Centre, District Centre, Sector 6, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110017
Website: Select CITYWALK
Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)
Day 2: Evening
After a mindful day of historical and cultural spots, it’s time to see the other side of Delhi. So, hop into a cab or auto-rickshaw and head to Hauz Khas Village, which is just 20 minutes away from Champa Gali. Alternatively, you can take a Delhi Metro and it has a stop on Yellow Line, but you’ll need to take an auto from the metro station to reach the village. While here, explore the historic ruins of the Islamic seminary, mausoleum, and monuments that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to visit the deer park located adjacent to the village. It has a lake and several picnic huts. Plus, there are art galleries and boutiques in the neighborhood that are worth checking out, as well.
Private Delhi Heritage and Urban Village Walk at Hauz Khas Village
Duration: 5 hours
End the day with a delicious fare and cocktails at a local bar
Hauz Khas is one of the most popular party destinations in the city, so it definitely calls for a night on the tiles. Hauz Khas Social, Summer House Cafe, Auro Kitchen and Bar, and YETI are some of the great options. All of these spots offer Indian and international cuisines and cocktails. These places have a youthful energy that resonates through live music and DJs. Not to mention, all these places are within a mile of each other.
Hauz Khas Social
Address: 9A & 12, Hauz Khas Fort Rd, Deer Park, New Delhi, Delhi 110016
Website: Hauz Khas Social
Summer House Cafe
Address: 1st Aurobindo Place Market, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi 110016
Website: Summer House Cafe
Opening hours: 12pm - 1am (daily)
YETI, the Himalayan Kitchen
Address: 30, Hauz Khas Rd, near Deer Park, Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi 110016
Website: YETI, the Himalayan Kitchen
Opening hours: 12pm - 11pm (daily)
Auro Kitchen & Bar
Address: DDA Shopping Complex 201 Sri Aurobindo Marg Aurobindo Palace Market Hauz Khas, Aurobindo Palace Market, New Delhi, Delhi 110016
Website: Auro Kitchen & Bar
Opening hours: 12pm - 1am (daily)
Explore India's capital city
Delhi is the hub of history, culture and art. With so much to explore and experience in the capital city, this 48-hour itinerary enables you to tick off the major sights, take in some colonial history, immerse in culture, and refuel like a local. This guide will surely leave you with an aftertaste of the capital and have you asking for more.
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