There are many ways when getting around New Delhi. But to fully enjoy what the city has to offer, one should be aware of where to go and what the best mode of transportation to take to get there. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the best tourist destinations around the city.
The Delhi Metro is the fastest-growing mode of transportation when getting around New Delhi on land. It’s convenient, cheap, fast and best of all, air-conditioned! The train is clean and it offers separate cabins for women, a very beneficial feature during rush hour. There are three major metro lines passing through New Delhi as of February 2011. These lines are connected to many key parts of the city, so there is almost nowhere that travelers cannot go to by metro. Commuters who commonly use the Metro are affluent, working professionals and middle-class students.
Local trains and buses are also available to travelers. However, travelers should know that foreign credit cards are not accepted by Indian Railways websites especially when they want to buy their tickets online. Even if trains and buses are abundant throughout the city, they may not be as convenient as the Metro.
Although offering relatively cheap fares, taking a bus when getting around New Delhi can be a challenge. Although they run more frequently than other modes of transportation with 15 to 20-minute intervals, bus stations are crowded most of the time and can sometimes test a person’s patience and endurance. Bus stops have no clearly written bus routes as well. The best and maybe only way to get to the right destination is to ask around. Red-colored buses are air-conditioned while the green ones are not. There are also two kinds of buses running around New Delhi: the government-run DTC buses, distinguishable by their red and green colored windows and the privately-owned Blue-Line buses and orange colored buses. Most buses can stop at any point around the city, so people can get on or off the bus at any time. DTC buses stop less frequently though and are less crowded.
Delhi Tourism introduced a bus service called HOHO or Hop On Hop Off that is air-conditioned, staffed with English-speaking employees with stops at designated areas. It runs at a 45-minute interval that covers important shopping places, museums, monuments and other tourist attractions in the city. Tickets costs around 300 rupees and can be unlimitedly used for two days. Do know that the HOHO does not operate during Mondays.
Taxis are commonly used to get to hard to reach destinations around New Delhi. There are usually two types of taxis found on the streets of New Delhi: the older CNG-run Ambassadors or Omnis with a black-yellow-green combination that are not air-conditioned, and the family car Chevrolet Tavera or Toyota Innova. All are equipped with meters, but most drivers would agree to a fixed payment. There are also car rentals for hire and can be provided by the hotel.
Auto rickshaws or three-wheeled scooters called tuk-tuks are good for short trips. There are many pre-paid stands run by the police. Cycle rickshaws, on the other hand are better for shorter rides.
Walking is not recommended since most destinations have poorly-written signages as many beggars are known to accost travelers. The best places to go on foot would be from Jama Masjid to Red Fort or Chandni Chowk area, south of Indian Institute of Technology through Sanjay Van to Qutb Minar and Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate on the Rajpath.
New Delhi is relatively an average sized city so getting around New Delhi by plane is not necessary. Do know that the best way to experience life in the city is by getting to try any of these modes of transportation. After all, you haven’t really been to New Delhi when you haven’t ridden a local transport when getting around New Delhi.