12 Things To Do In Delhi For Less Than $25 A Day

Quit the cubicle for the road

Today’s post is written by amazing Renuka of the Voyager For Life. She is an Indian travel blogger who loves to travel and click photographs. She travels solo, and with anybody who’s as curious as her! She also believes more than money one needs ‘courage’ to travel, and more than destinations. She counts “experiences”, because the real meaning of travel is to discover, learn and grow.

Delhi has been my home town for a decade. I have loved it both as a laid-back inhabitant and as an inquisitive traveller. To begin with, it’s a super bustling, crazy and a hip capital of India. But, behind the façade of big shopping malls, multiplexes, rich people and their many fancies, there is a classic side of Delhi, which remains unruffled. It’s a heritage city, which has a legacy of innumerable architectural attractions, artistic and cultural delights and not to forget, an amazing variety in food. So, let’s check out the things that should introduce you to the genuine joys of Delhi – things that you can enjoy under $25 a day:

Also, know that Delhi has excellent public transportation facility – Delhi metro and DTC Buses, which are both cheap and easy travel options.

1) Begin your jaunt with the iconic heritage sites

As soon as you arrive in Delhi, your prime focus should be on its age-old heritage attractions. You can start with India Gate, which is right opposite the Presidential Residence. Take a walk around it and absorb its charismatic aura. Then you can move on to all the other great sites, such as Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Lotus Temple to name but a few.

IMG-Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rashtrapati Bhavan

The entry fee for each site is in the range of $2 to $5 for foreign tourists.

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2) Explore the world-class art galleries and photo exhibitions

Delhi has a variety of art galleries that showcase exemplary art, paintings, sculptures and photographs. My personal favourite is the National Gallery Of Modern Art, which is also known as Jaipur House. Some of the other popular and esteemed art galleries in Delhi are Delhi Art Gallery, Art Alive Gallery, Gallery Espace, Dhoomimal Art Centre, and Indira Gandhi National Centre for The Arts.

Entry fee should be $2.5 at most places, while some of them allow free entry also.

3) Peek into the royalty at Rashtrapati Bhavan

A visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Residence) is an exclusive experience, as it allows access to the grandeur of the presidential life of India. Besides, you can enjoy a stroll in the beautiful Mughal garden and the Herbal garden. Even the surrounding vicinity of the Presidential House is easy on the eyes.

IMG-Humayuns Tomb
Humayuns Tomb

4) Jama Masjid

Rise up early and watch the first ray of sunlight fall over Jama Masjid. It’s a huge, beautifully built mosque in Old Delhi. You must pay a visit here for that authentic experience of Muslim culture and belief. Although there is no admission fee for this site, you might be charged for photography.

5) Wander the alleyways of Old Delhi

Old Delhi has a certain charisma that an inquisitive traveller must explore. Daryaganj, one of the prominent neighbourhoods of Old Delhi, is popular for ‘old books’ Sunday market and a small flower market. If you are intrigued about old poets and writers, loiter around at Ghalib ki Haveli, which was poet Mirza Ghalib’s residence, and to add a dash of spices in your food, explore Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market.

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6) Savour all sorts of local cuisines at Chandini Chowk

There is no way you should leave Delhi without experiencing the bustle of Chandini Chowk, and indulging in some of the classic cuisines at some of its popular shops, such as Parathewali Gali (lane). After you have had your fill of scrumptious Indian dishes like Parathas, Dahi Bhalla, Chaat, etc, head to China Ram Sweet Shop, which is an absolute delight for your sweet tooth!

IMG-Cafe Turtle in Khan Market
Cafe Turtle in Khan Market

7) Check out the designer boutiques in Hauz Khas Village

Delhi loves fashion and Hauz Khas Village is definitely a place that has the best of haute couture for you. There is an array of designer boutiques in the alleys of Hauz Khas. Besides, you can also check out some interesting art galleries and upmarket restaurants along the way.

Nothing is too cheap here, but simply checking out the stores and exploring the village is an excursion of its own.

8) Loiter around at Connaught Place

Connaught Place is one of the most frequented hangout places in Delhi. There is a lot to do here – eat, drink, shop, check out some old book stores, catch a movie at one of the theaters or simply linger around.

IMG-Jantar Mantar in Delhi
Jantar Mantar in Delhi

9) Take a morning walk in Lodi Gardens

Lodi Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in Delhi. Locals come here for relaxation, morning walks and exercises. However, it is not a typical park. It has many impressive ancient tombs, which give you a glimpse into the past era.

There is no entry fee for Lodi Gardens.

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10) Sip coffee at Khan market

Khan Market is one of the top markets of Asia. It is upscale and sophisticated with high-end brands and designer stores, quirky cafes, confectioneries and restaurants. Café Turtle is my personal favourite, which also has a bookstore.

IMG-Lotus Temple
Lotus Temple

11) Shop from Sarojini Nagar

Sarojini Nagar is one of the best places for picking up ‘cheap’ designer clothing. You need to have tons of patience to really pick and choose from the huge bundle of clothes that are sold in the open. It’s a place for young chicks looking for trendy outfits at dirt cheap rates.

IMG-Shopping in Delhi
Shopping in Delhi

12) Savour the colors at Delhi Haat

Delhi Haat is a colorful hub for foodies and shopaholics, where you can take a quick tour of the entire India. You can buy funky jewellery pieces, traditional clothes and shoes, home décor items and so many other things. You should know the knack of haggling to be able to get good deals though. In my opinion, eating different delicacies of different regions of India is a better idea than shopping.

So that was Delhi for less than $25 a day!


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Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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33 thoughts on “12 Things To Do In Delhi For Less Than $25 A Day”

  1. Avatar of Antonina

    Wonderful review, thanks Renuka. I’m going to Delhi in a couple of months and some of your tips were really useful, like dining at Chandini Chowk and taking a walk in Lodi Gardens. It’s not my first visit to the city, so I’ve already seen most of the “must see” places.

    1. Avatar of Renuka

      Thanks Antonina! Great that you have already been to Delhi. I hope your second trip is even better than the last one and my tips helps you out in sightseeing Delhi. :-)

  2. Avatar of Emily

    I really loved Delhi’s Jantar Mantar – it was a calm and beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. We preferred it far more than the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur!

  3. Avatar of Leanne

    That’s what I hate about being in America, I’ve never heard of pretty much all of these places that sound amazing. Everyone here only cares about the Eiffel tower, big Ben (maybe), and Rome. That’s basically it. I can’t wait to get to India and see these awesome sounding things!

    1. Avatar of Renuka

      India is waiting for you, Leanne!:-) The world is so big and there are so many places to see that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. And, India is a mini-world of its own! So you can imagine how much there is to explore here!

  4. Avatar of Vanessa @ The Travelling Colognian

    Fantastic tips, Renuka. I have been to Delhi in November 2011 before starting to travel across Northern India. On the day we explored Delhi I took my camera with me but forgot its battery in the charger. So I have no photos of the from neither the city nor any of its amazing sights. I always planned to go back but your post makes me want to return as soon as possible.

    1. Avatar of Renuka

      Oh no… no photos from India! That’s sad, Vanessa. Anyway, you can take it as an excuse to visit India again! :-) I’m glad this post triggered your desire to be here soon!

      1. Avatar of Vanessa @ The Travelling Colognian

        Well, fortunately I only left the battery of my camera in the hotel room on the day we explored Delhi, so I have many photos from all the other places we visited in India. But I totally agree with you, Renuka, it’s definitely a good excuse to go back to India and I can’t wait to revisit Delhi and explore more of the country.

  5. Avatar of Franca

    Wow there is SO much to do in Delhi that I’d love to experience myself. I especially like the idea of visiting all the historic buildings to see the interesting and for me different architecture. One day I’ll make it there, I must! Thanks for teh tips :)

    1. Avatar of Agness Walewinder

      Awesome, Anna!! I was also planning to go somewhere in the summer and I was hesitating between South America or India!

  6. Avatar of Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    My family are from India so I’ve been to Delhi lots of times and this is a great round up Renuka – lovely to see so many familiar places on the list :)I must say, I went to Chandni Chowk for the first time a couple of years ago and it certainly has lots of character but personally, it was too crowded for me!! When I was stuck in the crowds, it felt like being in a stampede – I don’t know if it’s always that crowded or was just that day!

  7. Avatar of Ryan Biddulph

    Thanks Renuka ;) I fell in love with Indian sweets in Chennai. Why? I met a bunch of my Indian blogging buddies there and they kept bringing sweets to my hotel room lol! Reading your suggestion about the food brought me back to my trip there not but a year ago. I only chilled at the airport in Delhi as I did South India; Pondicherry, Bangalore, Muhamma and Kovalam Beach here. Thanks for the tips and hey, living in Delhi for $25 a day ain’t bad!


  8. Avatar of Alisha Paul

    Much appreciated Antonina! Extraordinary that you have as of now been to Delhi. I trust your second outing is shockingly better than the last one and my tips bails you out in touring Delhi. :-)

  9. Avatar of Gagan

    As a regular traveller, we visited Delhi last month, it is known for historic monuments. Designer clothes are very cheap and i really enjoyed our trip

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