Visit the forts: the17th century Red Fort is best entered through the stunning Lahori Gate and contains the exquisite white marble Hall of Private Audience, the Pearl Mosque and Royal Baths. The oldest fort in Delhi is Purana Qila, with its charming gatehouse and gardens.
Eat chaat: this street food is a way of life in Delhi and comes in lots of forms and flavours using fried potato, chopped onions and spices. Golgappas, tikki and pakodas are favourites and best found in the Chandni Chowk area of the city.
Wonder at the beauty of Humayun’s Tomb: built in the 16th century, this splendidly-preserved ancient monument is believed to have strongly influenced the design of the Taj Mahal. White marble and red sandstone are united in geometric patterns while the surrounding gardens provide the perfect spot to relax.
Relax in the gardens: get away from the hubbub at the tranquil Lodi Gardens, which includes stunning architecture like the tombs of Mohammad Shar and Sikander Lodi. Or try the more contemporary Garden of Five Senses which has high-end restaurants nearby.
Walk the streets of Chandni Chowk: this market place, one of the city’s oldest, is Delhi at its most local and lively. Filled with rickshaws and mopeds, loud music and even louder shopkeepers – the smells of oils and spices add to a heady cocktail that encapsulates the Delhi experience.
Enjoy the art: for a city so full of colour it’s little wonder that there’s a thriving art scene, with the National Gallery of Modern Art showcasing the best works from Delhi’s complex history and the Nature Morte gallery home to more contemporary works.
Get something fixed: you’ve not fully experienced Delhi until you’ve visited its markets and haggled with one of the excellent local tradesmen. Locals get everything repaired, no matter how small, so take along any broken bags or shoes and watch as they’re fixed in minutes.
Visit the malls: the air-conditioned malls in Delhi are where the upcoming middle classes go to shop and socialise. Western food and fancy bars are also on hand if you try the Metro Walk Mall to pick up a few essentials.
Agra is just a few hours’ drive from Delhi, and worth an overnight trip – not just for the Taj Mahal but also the stunning Agra Fort.
Hot sulphur springs, an ancient temple and a lake that’s great for bird watching draw visitors to Sohna, 60km from Delhi. The town, which has a large park, also hosts several fairs throughout the year.
The mix of history and modernity is most apparent in Hauz Khas, Delhi’s vibrant arts centre where the narrow streets and doorways in this Deer Park neighborhood reveal some of the city’s best bars, nightlife and galleries. Medieval madrasa, ancient tombs and historic mosques rub shoulders with high-end restaurants, small hotels and independent boutiques.