Free Things To Do In Delhi, India

Free Things To Do In Delhi, India

Delhi is rich in art and culture and riddled with iconic monuments and buildings that stand next to modern constructions. Whilst some of the sites will set you back a bit of money, there are also plenty of things to do and see that won’t cost you a single rupee and they’ll allow you to dive straight into the diversity and fun of this incredible city. From a leisurely stroll in the park and exploring the historic ruins to enjoying free delectable food and catching a free gig or attending a free movie screening, here’s our roundup of the free things to do in Delhi, India.

1. Explore the Hauz Khas Village (from USD 80.0)

Taking a tour of the historic Hauz Khas Village is one of the most popular experiences in Delhi and it is totally free - unless you decide to have a meal or a drink at one of the many cafés and bars in the area. Situated to the south of the city center, the Hauz Khas Village is an urban enclave, filled with time-ravaged monuments. There are ruins from the 13th and 14th centuries, including a tomb, an Islamic seminary, a mosque and a fort - and all are free to enter. When you’re done with your historic tour, head to the Deer Park nearby, which is perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Hauz Khas Village Walking Tour

Duration: 2 hours

2. Bond with nature and history at Lodhi Gardens (from USD 21.0)

If you feel like taking a break from the city pleasures or going for a relaxing walk or a picnic at a lovely place, Delhi has plenty of parks and green spaces to do just that. One of the most famous spots is Lodhi Gardens, which is worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a taste of the city without spending a single penny.

Frequented by joggers, nature lovers and history buffs, this 90-acre (36-hectare) green space is peppered with the ruins of historic tombs belonging to Sayyid and Lodhi-dynasty eras. Behold the historic monuments and walk along the park’s lush trails to absorb some much-needed vitamin D.

Lodhi Garden Heritage Walk

Duration: 2 hours

3 reviews

3. Savor a free meal at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (from USD 21.0)

Here’s the good news: you can savor a delicious meal for free in Delhi. The Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is home to the biggest kitchen in the city and offers a free meal service (langar) to everyone, regardless of social status, race or religion. You can take a tour of the mega kitchen and even volunteer in the preparation and service of the food. However, there are certain rules to be observed while visiting the Bangla Sahib: women must dress modestly and wear a head covering, while men are not allowed to wear shorts and should cover their head. Other than that, nothing can stop you from visiting this beautiful place of worship.

Delhi Mega Kitchen Tour

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

1 review

4. Visit the museums and art galleries with free entrance

Gandhi Smriti, New Delhi (8716415073)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Matt Stabile used under CC BY 2.0

For the true history buffs and culture vultures among you, make like a local and hit up Delhi’s many museums and galleries. The city has plenty of museums and art galleries with free admission. Stop by Gandhi Smriti or the National Gandhi Museum to find out more about the life of India’s Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Explore modern Indian art at the Art Heritage Gallery. The city is also home to Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, one of the weirdest, and the only museum in India that features the history of the toilet system in the country and also raises awareness about India’s sanitation problems.

Gandhi Smriti

Address: Near Birla House, 5, Tees January Marg, Tees January Road Area, Motilal Nehru Marg Area, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Website: Gandhi Smriti

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5:30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free entry

National Gandhi Museum

Address: Opp Raj Ghat, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110002

Website: National Gandhi Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9:30am - 5:30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free entry

Art Heritage Gallery

Address: 205, Triveni Kala Sangam, Tansen Marg, Todermal Road Area, Mandi House, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Website: Art Heritage Gallery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 7pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free entry

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Address: Sulabh Bhawan, RZ-83, Palam - Dabri Marg, Mahavir Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi 110045

Website: Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 8pm, Sun: 10am - 5pm

Price: Free entry

5. Listen to Sufi music at Nizamuddin Dargah (from USD 49.0)

A visit to the Nizamuddin Dargah is bound to be rewarding for anyone who appreciates traditional music. Dedicated to one of the most famous Sufi mystics in the country, Nizamuddin Auliya, this shrine is the best place in the city to listen to live Sufi music and, best of all, for free. Every Thursday, qawwali music, or devotional songs, are performed here in the evening and people from all walks of life are welcome to enjoy the intense, emotion-packed music.

Delhi Nizamuddin Dargah Sufi Music and Songs Tour

Duration: 3 to 5 hours

6. Retrace the history of India

Jama masjid dilli6
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ashcoounter used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Over its hundreds of years of existence, Delhi has amassed enough historic monuments and structures to keep you busy for weeks. For a taste of the city’s diverse and fascinating history, visit one of the many historic monuments, such as India Gate, the Mehrauli Archeological Park, Jama Masjid, Hastsal Minar and the Qila Rai Pithora, to name but a few. You are free to gaze at these historical masterpieces for as long as you want without having to pay anything.

7. Get an immersive cultural experience

Posted by Alliance Française de Delhi on Saturday, 13 October 2018

Delhi is often represented as a bustling metropolis, with honking traffic and towering structures. But the capital is so much more than this. It’s a place that holds on to its varied art and culture. The city hosts numerous free classical and contemporary concerts, art shows and seminars on cultural traditions, history and food every year. Visitors can visit the Alliance Française de Delhi, Japan Foundation or the American Center New Delhi that hold a range of free cultural events – just make sure to check their websites for the schedules.

8. Marvel and meditate at Lotus temple

New Delhi Lotus
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kleidan's world used under CC BY 2.0

Besides being the perfect photo op, the Lotus temple in the suburbs of South Delhi is a delightful place to spend mornings, evenings, or anytime in between. It is a Bahai house of worship, where you can spend time meditating or just soaking in the peaceful atmosphere. Short prayers are held thrice a day, but no religious sermons are performed here. We recommend visiting this place in the evening, when it is beautifully lit up by the floodlights - truly a sight to behold.

Lotus Temple

Address: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi 110019

Website: Lotus Temple

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free entry

9. Enjoy free movie screenings

This one is a well-kept secret. Cinema lovers can enjoy a free screening of the latest Indian and international flicks and documentaries for free. The American Centre, India Habitat Centre, the Instituto Cervantes and the Japan Foundation are a few places in the city where you can see free movie screenings (with English subtitles). Just remember, it is on a first-come-first-serve basis, so make sure to get there early and check the location’s website for specific films and times.

The American Centre

Address: Barakhamba, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Website: The American Centre

India Habitat Centre

Address: Lodhi Road Near Airforce Bal Bharati School, New Delhi, Delhi 110003

Website: India Habitat Centre

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

The Instituto Cervantes

Address: 48, Hanuman Rd, Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Website: Instituto Cervantes

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 4:30pm, Sat: 8:30am - 1:30pm (closed on Sun)

Japan Foundation

Address: 5A, Ring Rd, Near Moolchand Metro Station, Vikram Vihar, Lajpat Nagar IV, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110024

Website: Japan Foundation

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9:30am - 5:30pm (closed on Mon & Sun)

10. Watch the 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan (from USD 43.0)

Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home and workplace of India’s president. Designed by the British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, this sprawling 330-acre (134-hectare) estate is the world’s largest presidential residence. It’s stunning architecture, which is a fusion of Indian and Western styles and includes a Mughal garden, are just some of the remarkable features of this historic building.

Another highlight of this place is the ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony. The president’s bodyguard leads a horseback parade every Saturday and Sunday morning in full regalia. The time of the ceremony varies depending on the season. From mid-March to mid-November, it begins at 8 am on Saturday. From mid-November to mid-March, it starts at 10 am. On Sundays, from mid-November to mid-March, it begins at 4:30 pm and from mid-March to mid-November, at 5:30 pm. The event is a real tradition in Delhi and it’s well worth a watch if you can get close enough to the forecourt of the presidential residence. It is free of charge – just make sure to bring along a photo identity card.

Rashtrpati Bhavan Changing of the Guard, Museum Entry Ticket

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

4 reviews

Explore Delhi without breaking the bank

Everyone loves a freebie, especially when you’ve already spent a considerable amount of money to go on a vacation. And luckily for the budget-conscious travelers visiting India’s capital city, there are plenty of free activities that will keep even the most discerning traveler entertained. Check out our above list for the things to do in Delhi for free.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Poonam is a freelance travel writer currently based in the Silicon Valley of India (Bengaluru). She has resided in about 5 Indian cities. So while there was never a permanent address, she had lots...Read more

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