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Discover Delhi: The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary

Delhi is a city that takes time to uncover the hidden charms that lie beneath its chaotic exterior.

As India’s capital and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Delhi has plenty to offer visitors from majestic monuments to vibrant markets.

With so much to see and do, planning an itinerary is key to making the most of your time here. This 3-day itinerary hits the highlights and helps first-timers structure their visit to this historical and cultural hub of India.

Discover Delhi: The Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary

Complete Delhi Itinerary

As a metropolitan city with over 20 million residents from various walks of life, Delhi can seem overwhelming as visitors are confronted by crowds, traffic, noise and thick pollution.

However, its rich history spanning over a millennium has bestowed Delhi with some of India’s most impressive monuments, fascinating neighborhoods still carrying age-old traditions as well as an exciting food scene and arts/cultural events.

Getting around Delhi is quite easy thanks to its world-class metro system. Guide books and apps are handy for navigating the sights but having a planned itinerary takes away the stress of what to do. This 3-day itinerary covers the must-see attractions to help first-timers make the most of their visit.

Day 1: Old Delhi Exploration

On your first day, dive right into Old Delhi’s pulsing streets and market lanes to sample authentic flavors, smells and sights.

Start at the iconic Red Fort – an impressive 17th century Mughal complex of palaces and gardens. Give yourself at least 2 hours to walk around the massive ramparts and expansive grounds with pavilions, museums and mosque.

From there, flag an auto rickshaw to zip through Chandni Chowk – one of Asia’s oldest and busiest bazaars dating back 300 years. Pass by the iconic Sisganj Gurudwara, aromatic spice markets and brightly colored sweet shops.

Make your way to Old Delhi’s famed street food havens like Paranthe Wali Gali for stuffed flatbreads or Gali Parathe Wali for deep-fried treats. Don’t miss Old Delhi’s lip-smacking Mughlai cuisine as well – opt for Karim’s or Al Jawahar restaurants, popular stops for melt-in-the-mouth kebabs and curries since 1913.

Wrap up by experiencing the magnificent Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque built in 1650, housing over 25,000 devotees at a time. Don’t miss the panoramic city views from its towers.

Day 1 Highlights: Red Fort Chandni Chowk Paranthe Wali Gali Gali Parathe Wali Karim’s /Al Jawahar restaurants Jama Masjid

Day 2: New Delhi Sightseeing

On day 2, admire New Delhi’s stately British-era architecture coupled with excellent museums showcasing India’s heritage.

Start early with a tour of Humayun’s Tomb, said to have inspired the Taj Mahal with its harmonious style and garden setting.

Spend the morning at the National Museum – one of India’s largest museums spanning 5000 years of antiquities, art, carvings, artifacts and paintings (give yourself 2-3 hours).

Post-lunch, explore the imposing 42-meter India Gate war memorial and surround yourself with lush gardens at the shady Lodi Gardens nearby filled with tombs, mosques and monuments.

In the evening, drive past regal buildings like the Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhawan in Lutyens Delhi built for British royalty. Sit down for High Tea at the historic Imperial Hotel’s verandah restaurant to feel like royalty yourself!

For dinner, splurge on fine-dining at award-winning Indian Accent or innovative Indian cuisine with a twist at Varq at the Taj Palace hotel.

Day 2 Highlights: Humayun’s Tomb National Museum India Gate Lodi Gardens Lutyens Delhi/Imperial Hotel Indian Accent /Varq restaurants

Day 3: Exploring South Delhi

On your last day, venture into South Delhi neighborhoods to uncover Delhi’s spiritual side – scattered with serene gardens, diverse shrines and crumbling tombs.

Begin at Qutb Minar, a towering 73-meter minaret built in 1193, ringed by intricately carved pillars and arches dating back to India’s first Islamic sultanate.

Next make your way to the Bahai (Lotus) Temple, able to accommodate 2500 people of all faiths. Marvel at its unique lotus-shaped architecture and tranquil vibe.

Spend some time getting lost amid the hundreds of historic monuments dotting the lush grounds surrounding Humayun’s Tomb.

In the afternoon, dive into the colorful alleyways of Hauz Khas Village peppered with boutiques, galleries and bohemian cafes. Street Art also abounds on neighborhood walls.

Wrap up your Delhi wanderings with rejuvenating treats like massages or yoga sessions available aplenty in South Delhi’s upscale neighborhoods of Green Park, Defence Colony or Shahpur Jat.

Day 3 Highlights: Qutb Minar Bahai Lotus Temple Humayun’s Tomb complex Hauz Khas Village Green Park/Defence Colony/Shahpur Jat

Conclusion/Tips

In this manner, within 3 days, first-time visitors can experience Delhi’s evolution over centuries through its iconic monuments while also discovering its urban neighborhoods still clinging to old-world culture and traditions.

Beat extreme temperatures by planning sightseeing during cooler mornings/evenings. Drink lots of water, wear breathable cottons and sunscreen.

Avoid heavy meals before long trips. Carry small snacks and ORS satchets to stay nourished and battle sudden tummy issues.

Pack smart, comfortable shoes, sunglasses & umbrella for negotiating Delhi’s unpredictable weather.

Hope this itinerary helps you craft fond memories exploring India’s rich capital! Let us know in comments if you discovered any other hidden gems not mentioned.

Manvendra Singh
Manvendra Singh

Hi, I am Manvendra Singh, a passionate travel vlogger with a vision to enrich the travel experience for adventurers around the globe.

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