New Delhi is sometimes interchanged with Delhi, India’s sprawling and fascinating capital city, though geographically, New Delhi is just one of Delhi’s eleven districts. Hire an automobile and take to the streets to get to know the frustrations and splendor of city living in India most intimately, with visits to the old city markets, colonial-era government buildings, and the Gurgaon.
Avoid the extremes of summer heat (from April to June) and monsoon season (July to September) by visiting New Delhi in early and late winter. February, March, October, and November are particularly comfortable times to visit the city.
The native and official government language of Delhi is Hindi, though many official proceedings also take place in English. Punjabi and Urdu too are official languages of the city, and many locals have a good command of English, particularly taxi drivers and people involved in the tourism industry.
As in the rest of India, the currency is the Indian rupee. Currency exchange is widely available throughout the city. Note that you should exchange your remaining rupees back into your domestic currency before you clear security for your return flight.
If you are flying directly to Delhi, you are most likely to land at Indira Gandhi International Airport, located along a very busy series of streets 15 km southwest of central New Delhi. There are a number of car rental companies that serve the airport, if you’re interested in booking a car immediately. Otherwise, numerous car rental companies are located in the streets around Connaught Place.
Many nationalities can now travel to India via an e-Tourist Visa, which you apply for online at least four days before your scheduled arrival and which allows you to stay for up to 60 days. The fee for the e-Visa depends on your nationality. Double check regulations before you leave, as some nationalities must apply for a visa before they arrive.
Driving in Delhi is not for the faint-hearted. Roads are crammed with people, whether in cars or not, traffic conditions often turn to congestion for no apparent reason, and other vehicles on the road change their paths often and without warning. It is absolutely necessary to drive defensively in Delhi! With that said, driving can make your travels in and around Delhi much more independent and intimate, and if you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, hiring a driver is a viable and often inexpensive option – particularly if you’re willing to haggle.