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Thread: Delhi questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    7

    Default Delhi questions

    Hi all,

    we will have an over night stay in Delhi on our way back from Kathmandu and wonder:

    - can anyone recommend a hotel fairly close to the airport?
    - is it far into Delhi from the airport and is it worth staying in a hotel in the city and having a night out in town instead of staying close to the airport?

    Thanks in advance,
    Nille

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    There is a hotel on the airport itself next to domestic terminal.
    There are few hotels on the main road from Delhi to airport about 10 minutes by taxi from the airport. The price should be about 50usd minimum. But the area doas not offer much beside a night in a bed. I dont use either of them but should not be difficult to find out about it browsing.
    It might me worth going further to the city (approx.45 minutes by taxi). but it depends on how much time you have. Coming out of the airport takes more than an hour, another 45 min. drive to the city. You have to be back 1,5h before the flight which including the drive will take 2 more hours. Also mind that there can be considerable difference if you drive in/out of Delhi in the middle of the night (30minutes) or during traffic congestion.
    Also there is not much fun in Delhi after 11pm beside going to fancy&pricy hotels for drink.
    Common areas to stay in Delhi are Main Bazar, Connaught Place or Karol Bagh. Main Bazar is a sort of Thamel (much noisier), Connaught is the center with plenty of shops, restaurants, Karol Bagh (Channa Market) is quiet but has some good restaurants.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    Thanks a lot- well, we will arrive in Delhi at about 5 pm and have 22 hrs to kill. So we might actually go into town. Is it a big hassle to get a taxi? Do we have to watch out for anything in particular (e.g. get a prepaid taxi or so)?
    How much can we expect to pay for the journey?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    90

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    You should definitely go for prepaid taxi. Lately the booth to book it is inside the arrivals lobby (where visitors are supposed to meet arriving passengers) on the left side. Taxi will cost you about 300irp which is about 7usd.
    You have to choose where you want to stay - perhaps Main Bazar is the best option. There are plenty of cheap places to stay there but also a bit more middle ranged hotels like Prinz Polonia www.hotelprincepolonia.com, Metropolis www.metropolistravels.com, Cottage Yes Please (incredible name!)http://www.yokosoindia.com/hotelcottageyesplease where you will spend between 20 to 30USD for double AC room. If you book a room in advance you can also arrange a pick up from the airport which might be more expensive than prepaid taxi but more hassle-free.
    Top roof restaurant at Metropolis (even if you dont stay there) is very popular dining place for tourists (mostly because ice cold beer since food is not that great but still quite expensive for India).
    If you are not too picky you can use metro to go around - there is Ramakrishna Asram Marg metro station nearby and Connaught is just one station further (Rajiv Chowk). You can also visit Old Delhi via metro.
    Another option to move around is autorikshaw but I get tired of constant bargaining for price. Most comfortable is to hire a car and a driver to take you around.
    There is no problem to get a taxi back to the airport since your hotel can arrange it on a very short notice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    7

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    Thank you very much indeed - this is most helpful and I will have a closer look at your hotel suggestions!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
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    Default Re: Delhi questions

    I am pretty sure you need a visa obtained in advance to get out of the airport into Delhi. It is not like Sigapore, Bangkok, KL, etc.

    I have staid in Karol Bagh, there are some reasonable hotels there. But for such a short time, maybe you want to stay near Connaught Place, more central.
    Go with the recommendations, else you can end up in some real dump. Even with the recommendations there's a bit of a risk.

    Pre paid taxis from the airport are the best obtion, as kolobar says.
    For the rest, make sure you agree some price in advance. Or make sure they go by meter.

    It would be interesting to find out what you think of Delhi after Thamel. I thougth Thamel and Katmandu in general was a nice picnic in the park compared to Delhi. But I like both, nonetheless.
    yakshaver

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    32

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    Stay as close as possible to the airport in the best place you can find and rock up for the night. I found Delhi to be the worst place I have ever visited and I've done a considerable amount of travel at this stage. A night on the town won't exactly blow your mind either since the bars are crap and they close early anyway. Seriously, save yourself the hassle and avoid visiting the city.

    I know that's insanely negative but I ended up in Delhi three times (don't ask) during my trip to India and had nothing but hassle and stress every time. One of the worst places in India for dickheads lying to you through their teeth and trying to rip you off.

    If you do decide to go further in then book a good hotel in advance and arrange for them to pick you up. We had a total disaster with our prepaid taxi driver trying to herd us into a stupid tourist office and eventually dropping us off in the middle of nowhere.

    FYI, here's the list of the dirtiest hotels in India according to reviews by tripadvisor users (note that nearly all of them are in Delhi!). Can't seem to find the link so hopefully you can take my word for it:

    1.Centaur Hotel, IGI Airport, New Delhi, India
    2.Hotel Regent Continental, New Delhi, India
    3.Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, India
    4.Marina Hotel New Delhi, New Delhi, India
    5.Jupiter Spa & Resort, Salcette, India
    6.Ajanta Hotel, New Delhi, India
    7.The Connaught, New Delhi, India
    8.Hotel Janpath Ashok, New Delhi, India
    9.Hotel Welcome Palace, New Delhi, India
    10.Hotel Yamuna View, Agra, India

    You've been warned! Rant over.

    I actually thought Thamel was fantastic and worlds apart from Delhi. Great buzz and pretty minimal hassle.
    Last edited by Doppelwhipper; 6th March 2009 at 06:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    113

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    I would recommend pre-paid taxi from the airport (or have pre-booked hotel send taxi) and go stay in town. I've never had a problem with pre-paid taxi from the airport.

    I enjoyed Cottage Yes Please when I stayed there and also the Jyoti Mahal which is essentially down the street and arround the corner.
    http://www.jyotimahal.net/. Both are in pajar ganj, but both relatively clean, nice and well run for india. There are a couple of nicer, quieter hotels and pricier hotels farther out in Carol Bagh, but not worth the 15-20 minutes extra to get into town if you're only there for a day.

    When you're ready to do site-seeing you can just grab a nearby autorickshaw, negotiate with a taxi for a day of siteseeing, or just have your hotel book you a car for however many hours... all depending on what level of dealing with bargains and haggles you feel like putting up with.

    You will have time to choose a couple of sites to wander around. My favorite place to get away from the noise,crowds and hassle is the complex at Humayan's tomb. Very lovely and surrounded by lovely quiet park.
    Also Red fort and Quitab Minur (sp?) also make for both good-siteseeing for early morning before the crowds arrive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden.
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    516

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    How well you fare in Delhi depends very much on yourself, whether you are a fat tourist expecting the third world to be very much like California, or if you are more of a real traveller who visit other countries and cultures to experience their own peculiarities. And rest assured that the Indians who have made it their business to deal with foreigners can tell the difference.

    I have probably been 25 times to Delhi and have never experienced it as a horrible place at all. It is not my favourite city in India, that would be Mumbai or Calcutta, but Delhi is quite interesting nevertheless.

    I have stayed at Ajanta, in Pahar Ganj, and found it fairly good.
    India is not a clean country, that is for sure. But Indians are very good at separating clean from dirty. It is not unusual that floor and walls are grimy even in a restaurant, but the food is still perfectly healthy.

    The Indians are some of the nicest, frendliest and most honest people I have ever met, and I love them. When in London or otherwise where there is a substantial Indian population, I always seek them out. I try to sit near them on subways and I go to their shops even when i don't plan to buy anything there, only to be near them, to hear what they are up to. Indians are also very curious and inquisitive. When you visit them, they feel part of it too, and want to have some memories from it as well. Try to make it a good one!

    22 hours in Delhi is a godsend opportunity to have an Indian experience of your own. Even if you end up not liking it, then at least it will be from your own experience.

    Some friends of mine, engineering students, and a bit prone to dismiss anything that is not scientifical and exact, was going to Australia to windsurf for three months. The flight included a weeks stopover in Bombay. After one day they were back at the airline office pleading to leave sooner, but it was not possible. Before the week was over they were back again at the airline, this time to cancel the rest of their flight.
    They spent their whole three months in india, and have been back several times since. Allow yourself this chance for a glimpse of a world entirely different from any other. If you are lucky you may even find yourself in there, as so many others have.

    By all means take a prepaid taxi. Since you arrive at a convenient hour I say this is better than having to find the hotel taxi guy. There are ATM's at the airport where you can draw rupees.

    Lars, with 11 India trips under my belt, totalling more than 40 months.
    Koh Chang

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Delhi questions

    The question of visa did not arise so far but yakshaver is right. You definitelly need a transit visa to get out of the airport which you have to arrange in your homecountry. Be carefule about dates since transit visa is valid for only 2 weeks. If you need one for your return trip, you can get it fast&cheep in Kathmandu. If you wait for your flight in transit zone of Delhi airport you dont need a transit (or any other) visa.
    I disagree with the idea to stay near the airport with so much time on dispose and I completely agree with Lars. Even if you will not like it (as many people dont) it will be your own experience.
    If you stay in Main Bazar i.e. Paharganj, on the first evening you can have a pleasant dinner on Metropolis terrace. Next morning you can combine a visit to Old Delhi and a stroll around Connaught before returning to the airport. The crowded alleys of Old Delhi are interesting by itself. Beside Red Fort and Jamia Masjid which are main attractions of Delhi you can have interesting experiences if you visit Sikh gurdwara and Jain temple on Chandni Chawk the main "avenue" of Old Delhi. Karim restaurant nead Jamia Masjid is the main gastronomical attraction of Delhi if you can stand spicy food.
    Since your daytime in Delhi is limited and if you can afford it, it might be a good idea to rent a car with a driver, leave hotel early with all your luggage and after a visit to the city drive directly to the airport.
    Hotel pick up is better than prepaid taxi. Lately prepaid taxis are better controlled and they are no more involved in hassels with tourist agents, drivers can be quite often ignorant about hotels&places in Delhi. Most of the time I have to direct them to the place I want to go. Even business card of the hotel does not help.

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