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Delhi Itinerary for 3 Days (12) - Qutub Minar

Delhi is a bustling city, offering countless things to do and see! During our three-night stay in India’s capital, we crafted a list of the most remarkable experiences. This comprehensive Delhi itinerary for 3 days encompasses the must-see sights, unforgettable activities, and vibrant markets, guaranteeing an unforgettable trip. From bucket list experiences to the best hotels, let’s dive into the heart of Delhi!

Delhi Itinerary for 3 Days (2) - Qutub Minar
Delhi Itinerary for 3 Days (6) - rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk

3 Day Delhi Itinerary Overview

  • The Red Fort
  • Khari Baoli (Old spice market)
  • Qutub Minar
  • Chandni Chowk
  • Khan Market
  • Lotus Temple
  • Akshardham Temple
  • Jama Masjid
  • Humayun’s Tomb
  • India Gate
Delhi Itinerary for 3 Days - Jama Masjid
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (16) - Qutub Minar

How to get around Delhi

Navigating Delhi is most convenient with Uber, taxis, or rickshaws. We primarily chose Uber for its upfront pricing, enhancing our sense of security and helping us avoid scams. Uber fares are remarkably affordable, with our most expensive ride costing just around $3 USD.

Alternatively, the Delhi metro offers extensive connectivity at a very low cost. Due to the intense traffic in Delhi, I highly recommend against renting a car.

Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (21)
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (23) - Jama Masjid

Day 1 – Settle in and explore New Delhi’s attractions

Upon arrival at Delhi airport and settling into your hotel, take it easy for your first afternoon/evening by limiting your visits to just a couple of places. This will allow you to adjust to the city’s bustling atmosphere and start your adventure refreshed.

Khan Market

Khan Market, located in New Delhi, is an upscale shopping area known for its diverse range of boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Spend some time wandering around the market, grab some lunch, and get a coffee at one of the many cafes. If you’re a book lover, don’t miss Faqir Chand & Sons book store!

Akshardam Temple

Also located in New Delhi, the Akshardham Temple is a spiritual haven and Hindu temple offering amazing architecture, a captivating water show, a vegetarian food court, serene gardens, and much more. A visit to this iconic site is a must when in Delhi, and plan to spend approximately 3-4 hours exploring its wonders. For the complete experience, arrive around 3 pm and stay until closing time to witness the enchanting water show at 7:30 pm!

Tips for your visit 

  • The last entry is at 6:30 pm.
  • Akshardam temple is closed on Mondays.
  • If you like vegetarian food, you can get dinner inside at the Premvati food court.
  • You can’t bring a camera or phone in with you. They will hold it in a storage area.
  • There’s an ATM in the visitor’s center.
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (19) - Qutub Minar
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (26)

Day 2 – Discover the wonders of Old Delhi

Navigating Old Delhi can be intense, but we found its charm utterly captivating. It became a highlight of our journey through India’s Golden Triangle! Despite the intense sights, sounds, and smells, the vibrancy of Old Delhi infused us with a sense of vitality and wonder.

Red Fort

Start your day with a visit to Delhi’s famous Red Fort, a must-see attraction known for its historical importance and impressive architecture. Being one of the city’s top sites, it’s best to visit early to avoid the crowds and fully appreciate its beauty.

Jama Masjid

Next on your itinerary, head to Jama Masjid. This magnificent mosque is absolutely stunning. Remember to dress modestly to respect the religious customs; otherwise, you may need to rent a cover-up. Shoes are not allowed, so be prepared to remove them before entering the mosque premises.

Khari Baoli (Old Spice Market)

Indulge your senses at Asia’s largest spice market. Explore its vibrant lanes and take home some aromatic spices at wholesale prices, perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk

Aside from celebrating Holi in Jaipur, this was our absolute favorite thing we did in India! Take a cycle rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi. Witness the bustling activity, locals preparing street food, and the unique atmosphere. In my opinion, this should be at the top of your bucket list for Delhi!

Take a food tour or have dinner at Lakhori-Haveli Dharampura

For street food enthusiasts, a street food tour in Old Delhi is a must-try. These tours can be booked through GetYourGuide or other travel experience booking sites. If you prefer a sit-down dining experience, consider Lakhori-Haveli Dharampura in Old Delhi. This stunning restaurant offers a delightful selection of Indian and Asian dishes.

Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (18) - Jama Masjid
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (18) - Chandni Chowk

Day 3 – Explore more of New Delhi’s highlights

Qutub Minar

We woke up early this day and headed here straight away. We were the first people inside and had this magical place all to ourselves for 15 minutes. I highly suggest arriving at the opening time of 7 am to beat the crowds, as this is one of New Delhi’s most sought-after attractions!

Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple is a serene place to visit, offering a moment of tranquility in the bustling city. While you won’t need much time here, the temple’s stunning gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb is not only a beautiful site but also steeped in history, making it a must-visit in Delhi. Plan to spend at least an hour here to fully appreciate its architecture and historical significance. The intricate details and symmetrical gardens offer lots of photo opportunities, so don’t forget your camera!

India Gate

India Gate is a large memorial built to honor the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. It’s free to visit and a wonderful place to take a stroll.

Have dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants in Delhi

  • Indian Accent – Indian cuisine
  • Shang Palace – Chinese cuisine
  • The Sky High – Rooftop restaurant serving global cuisine
  • Sorrento – Italian cuisine
  • Veda Restaurant – Indian cuisine
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (15) - Qutub Minar
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (28) - Humayun's Tomb

Where to stay in Delhi

To escape the chaos of Delhi, we opted for a luxurious hotel experience. Our choice, the Shangri-La Eros New Delhi, provided the perfect retreat for relaxation and disconnection during our 3-night stay. With its pool, exceptional restaurants, and luxurious rooms, it offered a serene sanctuary amidst the city’s hustle.

While Delhi offers accommodations to suit all budgets, I highly recommend considering a mid-range or luxury hotel to enhance your experience and offset the city’s bustling atmosphere. Most of the 4 and 5 star hotels are very affordable, compared with other cities around the world.

Despite hearing suggestions to skip Delhi, we found it to be a must-visit destination. Striking a balance by staying in a nicer hotel in New Delhi truly helped us appreciate the city more.

Recommended hotels in New Delhi –

  • The Connaught, New Delhi – ☆☆☆☆ – from $90/night
  • Shangri-La Eros, New Delhi – ☆☆☆☆☆ – from $130/night
  • Taj Palace New Delhi – ☆☆☆☆☆ – from $150/night
  • The Imperial New Delhi – ☆☆☆☆☆ – from $170/night
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days - Shangri La Eros New Delhi
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (17) - Lotus Temple

Travel tips for visiting Delhi

  • Prepare yourself for the vibrant intensity of Delhi. Be ready for chaotic traffic, bustling crowds, incessant honking, diverse odors (some less pleasant than others), and sights that may be a bit shocking.
  • When exploring the markets, don’t hesitate to negotiate with sellers to ensure fair prices.
  • Be very careful with food and water hygiene. Don’t consume drinks with ice, open your mouth in the shower, or use tap water for brushing your teeth, even in upscale accommodations. Beware of juices, salads, undercooked eggs, and unpeeled fruits to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • You may encounter children knocking on your window asking for money. While it’s best not to give them money to discourage further solicitation, offering snacks if you feel comfortable can be a kind alternative.
  • To minimize unwanted attention and stares, opt for modest attire. This will be required in most mosques and many monuments anyway.
  • Visit a travel clinic prior to your trip to make sure that you have all required vaccinations and any medication you may need.
Delhi Itinerary for 3 days (27) - India Gate
Delhi Itinerary for 3 Days (10) - Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi

Packing essentials for Delhi

Here’s a snippet from my ultimate India packing list

  • Lightweight, yet modest clothing: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for the warm climate, like cotton or linen fabrics. Opt for modest clothing, especially if you plan to visit religious sites. Long skirts or dresses or pants + tops that cover shoulders are good choices.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Choose comfortable shoes for walking, as you’ll likely be exploring a lot on foot. Closed-toe shoes are preferable to protect your feet from dust and debris.
  • Scarf or Shawl: Pack a lightweight scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders when visiting temples or mosques. If you don’t have this, you may have to pay to rent proper clothing outside of the entrance.
  • Sun Protection: The sun in India is INTENSE. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
  • Medications and First Aid Kit: Bring any necessary medications, along with a basic first aid kit. If you’re traveling outside of Delhi or during the monsoon season, you may need malaria pills. Check with a doctor before your trip.
  • Mosquito Repellent: India is known for its mosquitoes, especially during the monsoon season. Pack a strong DEET spray or Picaridin lotion (my personal favorite is Sawyer brand) insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Travel Adaptor + Power Bank: Bring a travel adaptor and a power bank to keep your devices charged on the go.
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Hi! I'm Carrie Salter, a travel blogger originally from the USA, but now traveling and living abroad full time. I share travel guides, travel tips, and inspiration from around the world!

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