Image credit: The Leela
Sleep like royalty at The Leela Palace1/16
With its gilded interiors, spectacular rooftop pool and five luxe restaurants, Delhi’s modern-day palace in the leafy Diplomatic Quarter takes opulence to a whole new level. The Leela’s 260 sumptuous rooms are some of the largest in the city, plus there’s a two-level spa inspired by India’s ancient Ayurvedic traditions.
Image credit: ROOH
Sip cocktails above the city2/16
ROOH’s chic rooftop terrace overlooks the medieval ruins of Qutub Minar, a sandstone minaret erected in 1193. But the cocktail menu is pure 21st century, touting inventive combos like the Turmeric Collins – clarified grapefruit juice and passionfruit soda spiked with ginger and turmeric-infused gin.
Admire Humayun’s Tomb3/16
An elegant mix of Persian and Mughal architecture, this 14th-century mausoleum is believed to have inspired its more famous look-alike, the Taj Mahal. Located in the centre of New Delhi, on the banks of the Yamuna River, the red sandstone and marble facade is particularly striking at dusk.
Take a street art tour4/16
Run by the non-profit St+Art India Foundation, street art tours of the Lodhi district take in everything from stencilled scenes of rural folk tales to a bright mural protesting the city’s smog (which cleverly uses ink upcycled from industrial pollution). The works are constantly changing, but all are designed to be eye-catching, thought provoking and freely accessible.
Image credit: Leading Hotels of the World
Live in luxury at The Lodhi5/16
Not only does The Lodhi boast cool, contemporary suites spread across almost 2.8 hectares near the Lodhi Gardens, it's also home to one of Delhi’s most lauded fine diners, Indian Accent. Classic-with-a-twist menu highlights include samosas filled with Ladakh apricot and goat’s cheese, and masala peanut soft serve for dessert.
Image credit: Bhawan
Get your street food fix6/16
Snack on golgappas (crispy flatbread filled with chickpeas and spicy potatoes) and vibrant jalebis (sweet swirls of fried dough) at Chandni Chowk, the frenetic market in the heart of Old Delhi. For a more low-key vibe, head to the trendy street food-inspired restaurant Bhawan.
Marvel at the Red Fort7/16
Image credit: Andaz Delhi
Consider the airport hotel8/16
Thanks to its vicinity to Indira Gandhi International Airport (a five-minute drive away), Andaz Delhi is a swanky sanctuary from the city centre’s gruelling traffic jams. Expect airy, minimalist rooms, an expansive food hall where local ingredients take centre stage, an outdoor pool, a high-tech gym and spa – plus soundproofed windows, of course.
Image credit: Aap Ki Pasand Tea Gallery
Try top-notch chai9/16
Billing itself as “India's first gourmet tea boutique”, Aap Ki Pasand Tea Gallery has been an Old Delhi institution since 1981. Spend an afternoon sampling cardamom chai, fragrant mint oolong and ‘first flush’ Darjeeling, a rare spring harvest known for its floral flavour and light golden hue.
Image credit: Unsplash
Find serenity at Sunder Nursery10/16
Sprawling across 36 hectares and a stone’s throw away from Humayun’s Tomb, this beautifully restored park provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. You’ll find more than 4500 trees as well as soothing water features, rare butterflies, Mughal monuments and a farmers’ market every Sunday.
Explore Asia’s largest spice bazaar11/16
Overstuffed bags of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, tamarind and turmeric abound at Khari Baoli, Old Delhi’s labyrinthine spice market. The high-pointed cones of powder make prime photo ops but remember to ask permission before snapping a pic – and try not to dawdle!
Appreciate India’s modern art12/16
Trace the complex trajectory of Indian art from the mid-18th century to today at the National Gallery of Modern Art. Don’t skip the Amrita Sher-Gil wing, home to more than 100 evocative, avant-garde works by one of India’s most celebrated female artists.
Check out Hauz Khas Village13/16
This neighbourhood in South Delhi is a hotspot for trendy fashion boutiques, galleries, cafés, bars and buzzy live-music venues. Stock up on souvenirs at Cottage of Arts & Jewels, a ramshackle treasure trove famous for its collection of vintage Bollywood posters and antique jewellery.
Image credit: Unsplash
Take time out at the Lotus Temple14/16
Designed by Iranian-American architect Fariborz Sahba in 1986, the striking Baha’i Lotus Temple consists of 27 white marble ‘petals’ soaring more than 40 metres high. Stroll the pool-dotted grounds or bask in the vast central hall; all religions are welcome.
Go on a shopping spree15/16
Delhi has more than its fair share of glittering, air-conditioned shopping malls – ideal spots for cooling off with a bit of retail therapy. Browse local and international designer labels like Abhishek Gupta and Cartier at DLF Emporio in the city’s south before swinging by Ambawatta One, where you’ll find luxurious fashion and home decor on every floor.