What's Delhi like?
Delhi and its surrounding suburbs make up the most populous city in India, with more than 26 million official inhabitants (and many more unofficial ones). Compared to the likes of Auckland and Wellington, Delhi has a hugely dense population, but it isn't quite as tight for space as other Indian cities like Chennai and Mumbai.
First time visitors to India are amazed by the hustle and bustle, with the roads seeming completely chaotic. Low prices, friendly locals and incredible food more than make up for any initial misgivings.
What airlines operate flights to Delhi?
Although there are no direct flights from New Zealand to Delhi, there are several options for 1-stop or 2-stop flights. AirAsia, Emirates and Singapore Airlines offer this route from Auckland, as well as combinations from airlines like Air New Zealand and Air India.
Best time to book
Skyscanner's Best Time To Book research has found that the cheapest flights to India are available 16 weeks (roughly 4 months) before the date of your flight.
Do you need a visa to visit Delhi?
Yes. Since the end of 2014, New Zealand citizens have been able to get Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), usually in 72 hours. More details are available on this Indian Government website.
How long is the flight to Delhi?
From Auckland: 18 hours 10 minutes (1 stop)
From Christchurch: 18 hours 40 minutes (1 stop)
From Queenstown: 20 hours 35 minutes (2 stops)
From Wellington: 19 hours 20 minutes (1 stop)
When is the best time to visit Delhi?
Delhi is warmest during New Zealand's winter and coldest during our summer. Expect days to reach the late 30s or early 40s from March to November, while January still averages at 20°C.
July through to September is the wettest time of year, but the rest of the months receive very little rain at all.
Delhi can get (even) busier during Holi (February or March) and Diwali (October or November). Be sure to book your accommodation early if you're planning to travel during these times.
How expensive is Delhi?
Delhi is far cheaper than New Zealand, with everyday costs like meals and drinks a fraction of the price they are at home. Accommodation, travel and other essentials for a good holiday are also much cheaper.
Arrival at Delhi airport
Indira Gandhi Airport currently has 3 terminals. Terminal 1 is used for domestic flights, Terminal 2 only on a seasonal basis (for Haj flights, for example) and T3 for international flights. Full-service domestic airlines also use Terminal 3.
The international flights come into a chamfered wing to the side of the terminal, with passengers converging in the middle for immigration and customs. Once through here, you enter the main hall where you can get tourist information, take out some rupees and organise transport to your hotel.
Find out more about the airport in this video:
How to get from Delhi's airport to the city centre
Transportation from the airport to the centre of Delhi is cheap and regular. Be aware of taxi drivers who approach you in the terminal, as they may not be properly accredited.
Metro: The quickest way into the city is the Airport Express line on the Metro. Tickets are available at the station or in the arrivals section of T3. Expect to pay between 10 and 60 rupees, depending on the length of your journey.
Bus: Public buses are the cheapest way to get to the city, but be aware that these will get extremely crowded and you'll be very lucky to get a seat.
Taxis: There are 2 companies licensed to operate from Terminal 3 – Mega Cabs and Meru Cabs. Once you step outside the terminal, you'll see a stand selling tickets to various points around the city.
Delhi is a city that will ignite the senses like nothing you've experienced in New Zealand.
Be sure to check out some of the historical sites, like the impressive architecture at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and the peaceful Lodi Gardens.
Roam the local markets for the fragrant delights and join a cooking class to bring back the authentic taste of the smattering of delicious restaurants.
Delhi Train Station connects the city to much of the rest of the country, making it easy and cheap to see more of this beautiful land.
Almost every price in Delhi is negotiable. Be sure to haggle with shopkeepers, stall owners and taxi drivers to get into the local spirit and avoid getting ripped off.
Avoid drinking the tap water and be wary of ice cubes.
Be prepared to forego personal space and the idea of orderly queueing while in Delhi.
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Please note: all information is correct as of August, 2017.
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