Delhi is a massive city, stuffed with history, art, and culture. Like Mumbai and Bangalore, you can spend weeks in the city and still not cover everything it has to offer.
Ruins and monuments from many historical periods are dotted around the city, but if you’re tired of the crowds at the Qutub Minar, or the Red Fort, here are 11 surprising things you can do instead.
1. Visit the National Handicrafts & Handlooms Museum
This is a treasure trove of arts and crafts. Located on Pragati Maidan, it has everything from old temple chariots to wall paintings. The museum also has working potters, carvers, and weavers.
2. Listen to Qawwalis at Nizamuddin Dargah
The courtyard of the Nizamuddin Dargah near Humayun’s Tomb houses qawwali concerts every week. Be sure to check which day it’s on when you’re there!
3. Take a walk in the Sunder Nursery
The recently reopened Sunder Nursery houses fifteen historic monuments and an amphitheater, while also being a botanical garden. Covering 90 acres, it is also near Humayun’s Tomb.
4. Explore Chunnamal Haveli
Hidden in Chandni Chowk, this perfectly preserved haveli has 128 rooms and is spread over an acre of land.
5. Shop at Sarojini Nagar Market
A street shopper’s paradise, you can get everything from jewelry to trendy clothes, handbags, and footwear here, all at throwaway prices.
6. Step back in time at Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Located just next to the more popular Qutub Minar, this collection of historical monuments predates the Islamic rule of Delhi. Look out for the old step wells, tombs, and gardens.
7. Eat at Old Famous Jalebi Wala
This legendary jalebi shop in Old Delhi has been around since 1884. Made in pure home-made ghee, the jalebis will leave you wanting more.
8. Instead of the Red Fort, visit the Purana Qila
One of the oldest forts in Delhi, it is often outshone by the more famous Red Fort. With architecture dating back to 1000 BC and a sound and light show, it is well worth a visit.
9. Walk down Champa Gali
This street in south Delhi was recently given a makeover and now is lined with bohemian cafes, design studios, and boutiques.
10. Stop at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
A unique and quirky museum, it explores the history of sanitation systems around the world from 2500 BC to the present.
11. Talk to Street Artists at Kathputli Colony
The world’s largest colony of street artists, this area houses acrobats, puppeteers, musicians, and dancers.