New Delhi has so much to offer to travellers. It’s not only India’s political capital, it’s also the economic and financial centre of Northern India. Naturally, this brings in a huge influx of business travellers to the city. Delhi successfully churns out a GDP that ranges from $167 to $370 billion, making it second, if not the most productive metropolitan city in the country. The main industries in the city are hotels, telecommunications, media, tourism, banking and information technology. It’s also has the fastest growing retail industries in the country.
If you’re on business in this glorious historical city, here are few tips to keep in mind for a memorable trip…
Getting from point ‘A’ to ‘B’ in a huge city like Delhi might seem challenging, but don’t you worry… the city has an excellent network of metros, trains, buses and cabs. The metro is the quickest and most affordable method of travelling within the city (and i’m a big fan), especially if you’re travelling long distances. The metro also has a reserved carriage for women, and is perfect if you’re a solo woman traveller. If you’re staying in the city for a longer time, you can pick up a metro card from any station and travel without the pain of standing in long queues for a token.
If you’re travelling short distances, choose a cab or bus. Uber / Ola cabs are your best option for safe travel around the city with one touch of your smartphone. The buses in Delhi run at low prices and a few of them even have ACs. If you want to travel by auto rickshaw, make sure you settle on a price with the driver before you board – Delhi’s auto drivers have an infamous reputation for taking advantage of customers.
In the Middle of It All
Delhi is a massive metropolis and boasts a number of popular commercial and industrial areas right from Vasant Vihar and posh Hauz Khas Village to the bustling Panchsheel. The smartest thing to do is to find accommodation close to your area of business.
Most of the business travellers coming to Delhi prefer air travel and stay near the Delhi airport. While you might want to save your money, you don’t have to compromise on quality. Choose a Treebo budget hotel near Delhi airport for proximity from the airport, and a great balance of comfort + affordability.
What’s the Weather Like
Summers in Delhi can be extremely hot and humid with an average temperature from 27°C to 41° C. Summer starts from mid-April, reach its peak in the months of May and June and then dies out in July when the monsoons arrive. It’s best to not visit the city during this time. The monsoon season normally arrives around mid July and lasts till September. The rain lasts a couple of hours and normally brings the heat and humidity back again, which can be quite unbearable. If you’re visiting at this time make sure you carry an umbrella and rain boots. You should also carry medication for a common illnesses like a cold, cough and fever, since flu season comes along with the rain. Winter in Delhi comes in at around mid November and lasts a short time, until January or so. They can be quite harsh though, so make sure you carry some cosy woollens.
When in Delhi: Things To Do
Getting some time off a busy work schedule might be hard, but if you do get some time off do try and visit Delhi’s many beautiful monuments, gardens and markets. The city is large and needs a considerable amount of time to discover. If you don’t have as much time though, here are few places you can visit. If you’re closer to New Delhi, visit Connaught Place, Agrasen Ki Baoli, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb and Rajghat. If you stay in South Delhi, visit Hauz Khas Village, Qutb Minar, and the Lotus Temple. If you prefer to visit Old Delhi, visit the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Lal Mandir, and Chandni Chowk.
If you’re here for a longer time though, I would suggest you travel to Agra over a weekend. The city is only four hours away by train or car and houses many beautiful monuments, including the Taj Mahal.
Shop Like A Boss
Delhi is a paradise for shopaholics and has tons of local and budget markets where you can find all sorts of goodies. You’ll find everything from clothing to toys to traditional handicrafts from all over India. A few places to shop include Janpath Market, Dilli Haat, Khan Market, Chandni Chowk, Paharganj, and Sarojini Nagar. A word of advice though, make sure you take a local friend with you. You friend should be a pro at bargaining though, because shopkeepers tend to hike their prices up whenever they see an opportunity, especially if you’re from abroad. Also, make sure you check the goods you want for damage or you wouldn’t be able to exchange or return them later on.
Absorb The Culture
Since Delhi is the capital of India, you’ll find people from all over the country here. Still, almost everyone here speaks Hindi. If you aren’t familiar with the language make sure you pick up a few important phrases to avoid confusion. A few people do speak English too, so you’ll be able to communicate and get around pretty easily.
The city is known for it’s balance of modernity and traditional values as well as its colourful and lively neighbourhoods. The best way to discover the place is to make friends. If you get the chance, get to know a few of your colleagues and they might take you around the city. With the right company you can really enjoy Delhi’s nightlife, food and shopping scenes.
Delhi is THE place to be if you’re a foodie. Whether is local chole bhature, momos, chaat, or rolls, or international pizza, tacos, or noodles, the city has it all. I would suggest you save a day to give yourself a personal food fest. A few places to visit to sample some street food are Amar Colony Market, Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, SDA Market, and Sarojini Market. Make sure you sample a few goodies like parathas, chaat, butter chicken, chole bhature, kebabs, nihari, momos and sweets wherever you go.
That was my breakdown of Delhi. If you’ve just found out that you’re visiting Delhi, plan ahead to absorb as much it as you can. Remember, work hard but party harder!