Often seen as a 'transit city' and simply the gateway to Rajasthan - Delhi itself shouldn't be overlooked as a destination - filled with beautiful monuments, boutique hotels and rapidly becoming a new modern fashion hub for India. A melting pot of old and new cultures, it's been my first port of call in India for 25 years and each time I visit I discover new districts to explore - here are some of my favourite places to stay, eat, shop and visit in Delhi...
I have earmarked to stay at The Manor on my next visit to Delhi this spring as I've heard good things about the estate. Built in the 50s it's the original 'boutique hotel' with only 12 rooms it offers a real urban oasis with store, spa, restaurants and beautiful design and surroundings.
I always recommend the Bloom Rooms chain to anyone who asks - I stay there every time I visit Delhi as a functional, comfy, safe haven when travelling alone. They're reliable, modern, no-frills and great value. There are few around the city depending on where you want to base yourself.
Bukhara is one of Delhi, if not India's, most iconic restaurants - the black dahl is worth a visit in itself - it's expensive but not uptight fine dining - simply great service, authentic food and a real Delhi institution.
Rajinder De Dhaba
Rajinder De Dhaba is great for 'grab and go' Dhaba (roadside) cuisine including kathi rolls, roti and kebabs - expect to queue as it's super popular, especially in the evenings - but worth it for authentic flavours and a fun vibe.
Andhra Bhavan is a no-frills canteen style set up that serves amazing thalis from Southern India, great if you want to branch out and try new flavours without leaving the city.
Considered the 'green lung' of Delhi - Lodhi Gardens is great to keep in your back pocket if you're getting 'city overwhelm' and need to breathe. Dotted with monuments and wildlife it gets busy on holidays and at weekends as it's a great place to exercise, but for a quiet morning wander it's great.
National Gallery of Modern Art
It's very easy to get immersed in the rich art history of Rajasthan, but the National Gallery of Modern Art houses over 4000 pieces of contemporary sculpture, photography and painting and is a brilliant showcase of the new wave of artists coming out of the India this century.
An amazing example of Mughal architecture, Humayan's Tomb was the original inspiration for the Taj Mahal - the Persian-inspired gardens are beautiful too, busy and very popular as a hang-out spot for locals and tourists alike, but worth a visit!
Haus Khaz Tomb
Built in the 13th Century is it one of the oldest monuments in Delhi and is a great vantage point, overlooking the city and protected lake it's another rare peaceful spot within the city - in contrast the Haus Khaz market is a really fun 'hot spot' right now in Delhi - filled with new boutiques, eateries and has a great buzz about it.
Pic Credit Nappa Dori
Known for their beautiful leather goods - there is now a Nappa Dori outpost in Mayfair but I love the original Delhi store with its cool coffee shop for meetings or a pit stop when out exploring.
Whenever friends know I'm going to India I'm always given a long list of Ayurvedic medicines and cosmetics to bring back and Kama is one of my own favourite brands. Their rose water essence spray is always in my bag to refresh me in the heat!
Another Indian institution - Good Earth is a great example of modern 'sustainable luxury' in India. You will pay a premium for beautifully curated handicrafts but even just to visit, the store is a really great showcase of Indian artisan makers.
Dilli Haat is a Government initiative 'craft market' with individual stall holders selling folk handicrafts, street food and there are regular open-air performances. It's definitely got a touristy feel but I love the essence of the fun, colourful displays.
Inspired? Read our Jaipur and Lucknow city guides too