Introducing guest blogger Anjali from Travel Melodies
If you’re traveling to India, you will most likely arrive in Delhi, the colorfully and insanely chaotic capital city of India. The city not only serves as a great base to explore the gems of North India like the Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the Ganges, the Thar Desert, and many more but also holds some of India’s most sought-after attractions. If you’ve time on your hands, you can head to one of the best weekend getaways near Delhi with Kids.
Having spent a good part of my life in Delhi, I know the city well enough to help travelers plan a perfect trip to Delhi. The diverse cultures, traditions, and religions intertwined with a rich history – Delhi is not just an experience but an emotion.
This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of local parents
Delhi, a sprawling megapolis I call home, has so much to offer to the families with kids that it sometimes becomes overwhelming but can be a lifetime experience with the right and mindful planning. There are a few tips and tricks to ace Delhi that I’ll list down at the end of this post (so grab a cup of coffee and stay with me).
Let’s first understand the urban fabric of Delhi to navigate it properly. If you know how to navigate a new city, things become easy-peasy. Delhi is huge, and the best advice I can give is dividing the city into neighborhoods to explore it with ease.
Delhi has two regions – New Delhi or Lutyen’s Delhi (vast, clean, green, and posh area developed by the Britishers) and Old Delhi or Purani Dilli (a chaotic medieval maze of narrow alleys formed by the Mughal invaders).
Best Things to do in Delhi with Kids
Delhi is huge. It has endless things to see, do, and eat that being a local even I’m not able to tick all the attractions. Here’s a lowdown on some of the best places to visit in Delhi with kids to get you started.
#1 Red Fort (Lal Quila)
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan constructed this fort in the 17th-century when he moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. Since India’s Independence in 1947, Red Fort remains the site for India’s Independence Day Celebrations.
#2 Old Delhi Walk with Salaam Baalak Trust
Salaam Baalak is an Indian non-profit and non-governmental organization that supports the street children in Delhi and NCR. By taking a beautiful walk through the narrow lanes and alleyways brimming with history and culture in the Old Delhi, you’re not only making a load of memories but also helping the poor yet bright kids to live their lives with dignity.
#3 Jantar Mantar
An astronomical wonder, Jantar Mantar, is an observatory with a great mix of ancient architecture and the fascinating history of astronomy in India. Various astronomical instruments predict the movement and time of sun, moon, planets, and other celestial bodies. It’s a must-visit with kids.
#4 Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th-century garden tomb built for the second Mughal Emperor, is one of the best examples of Mughal architecture in India. It’s beautiful in every sense. The red and white beauty looks all the more magical during sunrise and sunset.
#5 Safdarjung Tomb
Another architectural gem in Delhi, Safdarjung Tomb, is one of the last monuments of Mughal architecture. Not as famous and touristy as Humayun’s Tomb, Safdurjung tomb gives you enough time and space to listen as it echoes the stories of India’s tumultuous yet glorious past.
#6 Lodhi Gardens
Lodhi Gardens, a sprawling green urban park with a touch of history, is a perfect place to spend time during early mornings (sunrise) and evenings (sunset). The park, apart from exotic flora and fauna, houses 500 years old impressive historic structures – Tombs of Mohammed Shah and Sikandar Lodhi.
#7 India Gate
India Gate defines Delhi like no other. This stunning sandstone archway in the heart of the city commemorates the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for India. Look closely to see the names of martyrs inscribed on the walls of the gate. Amar Jawan Jyoti (An eternal flame) under the arch is also a tribute to the brave Indian soldiers.
#8 National Rail Museum
You can’t miss this if you’re traveling with young kids. Located in Chanakyapuri, the museum houses exhibits that unfold the history of Indian Railways, one of the largest rail networks in the world. Fairy Queen, a steam locomotive engine dating back to 1855, remains the most admired of all the attractions. The fun part for the kids is a ride a joy train and monorail.
#9 Qutub Minar
Built by Qutub-Din-Aibak, Qutub Minar is the tallest stone tower in India. Though climbing the tower is forbidden now, you can admire its architecture and the other historical monuments. The Qutub Complex houses the Alai Darwaza, the Alai Minar, the tombs of Altamish, Ala-ud-din Khalji, and Imam Zamin, and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. And yes, legend has it that if you encompass the 7m high iron pillar in the courtyard with your back towards it, whatever you wish will come true.
#10 Waste to Wonder Theme Park
Waste to Wonder is a unique theme park based on eco-friendly and sustainable practices. It features replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World made up of waste. The park, all lit up, is a sight to behold at night.
Things to Keep in Mind While Planning a Family Trip to Delhi
- Plan your visit to Delhi in October. Well, it’s the best month to explore the city as the weather isn’t too hot, it isn’t too cold but just right.
- If witnessing the festival of colors – Holi is on your mind, February or March is the best time to visit Delhi. If you happen to be in Delhi around this time, don’t miss the sight of Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhawan in full bloom. Come February and March, the thousands of varieties of roses, tulips, and other colorful flowers wrap the gardens in their charm.
- Divide the city into neighborhoods and the attractions you want to tick off in those areas. It’ll save you time and hassle.
- Choose a family-friendly hotel in the center of the city. ITC Maurya and Shangri-La’s Eros are the best of the lot.
- Delhi is infamous for scams. So, I’d recommend you to keep your wits about you. Remember, if things seem too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
- The best way to explore the city is by Delhi Metro. It happens to be one of the fastest, safest, and cheapest modes of transport. You can opt for Ola or Uber for late-night travel.
- To take in the essence of Delhi, take the guided tours with locals. From Delhi Food Tours, Shopping Tours, Street Food Tour, Delhi Bike Tours, to Delhi Walking Tours, and Delhi Cooking Classes – you name it, they have it.
- You can’t leave Delhi before you taste its famous or rather infamous street food. I’d suggest you try street food only on a food tour with a local to avoid Delhi Belly. Just in case, keep medicine for diarrhoea.
- Only drink bottled water.
- Chandani Chowk, Dilli Haat, Lajpat Nagar, and Sarojini Colony are perfect shopping destinations in Delhi.
I promise you, Delhi will be an experience that you’ll cherish for your life. It’ll not just be another vacation spot but an intriguing lesson in history for your kids.
About the Blogger
Anjali is a travel blogger based in Delhi. She left her corporate job to see what having life exactly feels like and never looked back. Her 11-year-old daughter is her best travel buddy. Her goal is to travel to all the seven continents with her family. Antarctica remains her dream destination. She blogs at Travel Melodies.
With thanks to Anjali for her contribution to our guest series. You may also like to read about Bangalore with Kids.
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