Representing a significant part of New Delhi’s historic and cultural heritage, the Red Fort is an architectural marvel. It was home to the rulers of the Mughal dynasty for nearly two centuries. Every year on India’s Independence Day, the fort stands as the backdrop for the Prime Minister’s public appearance, but it’s so much more than that throughout the year, too. The complex dates back to the 17th century, and takes its name after its surrounding red sandstone walls. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the important landmarks New Delhi has to offer. Read on as we go behind its red walls, explore the best things to do there, and offer you the best travel tips in our complete travel guide to Red Fort, New Delhi.
Things to do
A trip to New Delhi wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Red Fort, one of the city’s landmarks and major tourist attractions. Here are the top things to do and what not to miss when visiting Red Fort in New Delhi:
Marvel at the architecture
The first thing that will strike you when reaching the front gate is the impressive structure of the fort, built with red sandstone and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Seeing it in all its glory, it comes as no surprise that it took approximately 10 years to be built. The complex takes the shape of an octagon, has two main gates, is a mix of red sandstone and marble, and its tallest point measures 33 meters (108 feet) in height.
The Delhi Gate
While you’ll enter the fort through the Lahori Gate, take the time to walk to the Delhi Gate, too. Its impressive structure spreads over three stories, is embellished with arched panels, and is made of red sandstone. At the top, the gate has several miniature domes, with two towers on the sides.
Check out the Chhatta Chowk
Right behind the Lahori Gate, you’ll find Chhatta Chowk, a covered bazaar that sells anything from gems and stones to velvet and silk fabrics, silverware, and many more. It’s an excellent place to buy souvenirs to take home or gift loved ones.
Walk the halls of the Red Fort Museum
Also known as the Palace Museum, the Red Fort Museum is home to six galleries and an impressive number of collections. The items you’ll get to see inside include everything from jade items and porcelain to curtains and carpets, as well as dresses and a wide range of textiles. Visitors can also spot several portraits of famous court poets.
Attend a Red Fort Light & Sound Show
When visiting the fort, don’t miss one of their spectacular Light & Sound Shows, available at different times in the evening, depending on the time of the year. The shows in English take place between 9 pm and 10 pm from May to August, at 8:30 pm in September and October, at 7:30 between November and January, and at 7 pm from February to May.
Entry to the fort
Red Fort has two main gates, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate. Keep in mind, however, that the latter is the main gate and the entry point to the fort. The Lahori Gate is located on the west side of the complex.
Best time to visit
When planning your trip to New Delhi, make sure you take the weather into account, as August and September constitute the monsoon season. We recommend you visit New Delhi and Red Fort anytime between November and March, as summer starts in April in India, and it gets especially hot and humid.
Be aware of pickpockets
Pickpocketing is a common occurrence at the fort. They usually work in groups. So, be careful of your valuables, particularly if anyone tries to distract you.
How to get there
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Red Fort is located in the heart of New Delhi, on the banks of Yamuna River, making it easily accessible to visitors. Here are some of the ways to reach the fort:
The Red Fort is a short, eight-minute walk from Old Delhi, so travelers can easily walk to the fort complex. The shortest way is via Chandni Chowk Road that will take you straight to the Red Fort.
Public transport is another option to get from one place to another in New Delhi, as it is very affordable. Visitors can reach the Red Fort by bus, either from the Delhi Airport or from the center of the city. Depending on where exactly in New Delhi you’re coming from, the bus ride can take between 15 and 40 minutes.
The nearest metro station is Chandni Chowk Metro Station, situated on the Yellow Line. From there you can take a battery-operated rickshaw or enjoy a 15-minute walk.
Taxing a taxi is another cheap and fast transportation alternative when in New Delhi. A ride to the fort will cost between 1 and 3 USD and will get you there in approximately 5 minutes.
Uber also works in New Delhi, so if you have the app already installed and want to find a car quickly, you can order an Uber, and it will take you to Red Fort for a total cost of approximately 7 USD.
How to get tickets (from USD 1.0)
You can purchase tickets to see the Red Fort from one of the third-party websites or on-site, at the main entrance. The entry fee varies between less than 1 USD for Indians and 8 USD for foreigners.
If you’d like to attend the Light and Sound Show at the fort, you need to purchase an additional ticket that costs 1 USD for adults and a third of that for children. During weekends, the entrance to the Light and Sound Show costs a bit more, but still around 1 USD for adults and less than half for children.
Visitors who bring a video camera and want to use it will have to pay an additional fee of less than 0.5 USD.
Red Fort Fast-Track Entry Ticket in Delhi
Red Fort information
Address: Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 6am - 9pm (closed on Mon)
Cost: 0.54 USD for Indians; 8 USD for Foreigners
Department of tourism: Delhi Tourism
News & updates for Red Fort: Red Fort: Know The History About The Monumental Structure
Delhi: Red Fort and Old Delhi Sunrise Cycle Tour
Duration: 3.5 hour
Get Trip101 in your inbox
Create an account to bookmark our articles, like local expert tips, receive great stories in your inbox, and follow writers and topics that you love.Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log in with Google ×