When to fly to Delhi
The best time to take cheap flights to Delhi is February-April when the city is blooming. August-November when the days are sunny and the nights are cool is also a great time to go. An added advantage are the many festivals that take place between September and March. These include Dussehra (September/October), Diwali (October/November), Christmas (December), Lohri (January) and Holi (March).
The months of December-January can be gloomy and not the time to experience Delhi at its best. Also, mid-summer (May, June and July) is scorching with temperatures upwards of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
India’s second-largest city is often seen as a gateway city rather than a destination in itself. Even its name is believed to mean “threshold”. But travellers on cheap flights to Delhi who then connect to other places in India are missing a colourful, cosmopolitan and fascinating city.
While Delhi is one of India’s boom cities, the disparity between the old and the new – and the rich and poor – is staggering. New shopping malls share the city with street markets, cows and handcarts and gleaming SUVs share the roads, and, from newly built flyovers, the domes of Mughal temples are visible.
Old Delhi is a must-see, with snaking alleyways, busy markets, the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and the Red Fort.
New Delhi, built on the orders of George V, has the important government offices and Parliament of India as well as the colonial-era India Gate and Connaught Place, a bustling shopping and commercial district.
Stick to a car in Delhi if you want to avoid getting run over. Traffic is hectic, drivers have little patience with pedestrians and the few sidewalks that exist are poorly maintained and crowded. Avoid travelling in rush hour like the plague.
Old Delhi has winding, narrow streets that could be considered walkable, but beware of handcarts and people with heavy loads. They stop for no one. Your best bet for getting around is by taxi or by hiring a car and driver.
If you’re hailing a cab, always negotiate your fare before you board. You can ask to see the fare chart that drivers carry with them. It’s also a good idea to carry some change, since most drivers don’t carry any with them. If you’d rather hire a car and driver, check with a travel agency.