Where to Stay in Delhi (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

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What do you think of when you hear ‘Delhi’? If it’s a riot of colour, sounds and flavours, you’re not alone! Delhi is the heart of India and popular for its history, culture and food.

But a city with almost 20 million people definitely isn’t easy for the uninitiated to navigate.

That’s why our crack travel team have come up with this insider guide on where to stay in Delhi. On a budget? Gotcha. With the family? Tick!

We’ve taken the stress out of picking your accommodation so you can get on with sorting the fun stuff, like what to see first!

So read on, dear traveller, and you’ll finish this guide ready to take on the city like an expert, knowing exactly where to go and where to stay in Delhi!

 

Quick tips – Where to stay in Delhi

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

Karol Bagh
This neighbourhood has long been a destination for first-time travellers to Delhi, due to its easy transport and amazing shopping. It’s also super close to Paharganj, Connaught Place and Old Delhi, so you can weave your way in and out of the different areas like a local!
Places to Visit:
  • Check out the electronics on Gaffar Street.
  • Browse the used books on Arya Samaj Street and find a new or old favourite!
  • Try the tandoori momos (dumplings) at Art of Spices.

 

Where to stay in Delhi

More interested in finding the best and the location isn’t as much a priority? Check out our top picks for Delhi in general!

 

Best Hostel in Delhi: Nivasa Backpackers

Nivasa backpackers is beautiful place amidst nature and close enough to explore the core Delhi, just 5 mins drive away from Saket metro station. They help their guests throughout their stay and help to explore the city’s art, culture, and heritage along with the nightlife of Delhi.

Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in Delhi!

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Best Airbnb in Delhi: Comfy condo with outside space

A cosy space with lots of natural light and a timeless view will help you feel situated in no time. Besides your room, you have access to a bathroom (with shower), living room and kitchen. There is also a small garden, shared with the neighbours, that you can use!

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Best Hotel in Delhi: The Leela Palace

The Leela Palace New Delhi provides luxury 5-star accommodation, as well as an outdoor pool, a rooftop terrace and a Turkish steam bath. Guests can enjoy a range of massage treatments and beauty therapy at the on-site spa, ESPA.

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Delhi’s Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Delhi

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Karol Bagh

  • This neighbourhood has long been a destination for first-time travellers to Delhi, due to its easy transport and amazing shopping.
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Paharganj

  • If you can handle a bit of noise, don’t mind dodging a speeding rickshaw or two, and have a modicum of resilience for staring, then you may find this to be your unexpected travel love affair!
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Connaught Place

  • Looking like it belongs somewhere in England, rather than India, Connaught Place is the central business district of the city.
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Hauz Khas

  • It’s not only hip, it’s historic, dating back to the 13th century. You can find out all about it in the Hauz Khas Complex, with free entry just as a treat!
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South Delhi

  • South Delhi is, unsurprisingly, located south of the central area of Delhi, and just east and south of Hauz Khas. It’s known for being a lot more chilled out than the rest of the city, and its for this reason that we’ve named it the best neighbourhood in Delhi for families.
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Located in the central north of India, and its own union territory, Delhi is the second largest city in the country. It actually contains the capital city, New Delhi, entirely within its borders!

It’s a loud, busy city that has been in settlement for 27 centuries.

Though many people get a bit nervous when confronted with the idea of heading to Delhi, there’s so much to the city and region that deserves your attention.

Like in most gargantuan cities, the neighbourhoods here are diverse and can’t be lumped in as one.

Old Delhi is 600 years old and where, they say, you find the ‘Real India’ with the chaotic Chandni Chowk market within its walls. Lodhi Colony has a huge open-air art district amongst its indie bookstores and boutiques, while Shahpur Jat is home to the health-conscious – mind, body and soul. In Nizamuddin celebrities live in close proximity to Sufi devotees and in Majnu ka Tilla, or little Tibet, you’ll find traces of that culture amongst the Buddhist artworks on sale.

You can get hectic, spiritual, family-friendly, or peaceful in Delhi, if you just know where to look!

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Delhi’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Delhi is big, so we’ve narrowed it down to five brilliant neighbourhoods for you!

 

#1 Karol Bagh – Where to Stay in Delhi for your First Time

In the north of Delhi, nestled between a railway line and a metro line, is Karol Bagh.

This neighbourhood has long been a destination for first-time travellers to Delhi, due to its easy transport and amazing shopping. It’s also super close to Paharganj, Connaught Place and Old Delhi, so you can weave your way in and out of the different areas like a local!

This is the area where the tour groups stay, so this may help you feel more at ease. Of course, they’re easy enough to escape as soon as you duck into the huge Karol Bagh market that sells anything you could want. The electronics section, on Gaffar Street, is very popular!

The whole area is a shopping haven, with different streets or areas dedicated to different items. There’s a jewellery street and a used-books street. As a bunch of keen readers, this sounds like a fantastic destination to our travel crew!

Beyond the shopping, Karol Bagh is a foodie haven as well, for traditional dishes in particular. Eating proper Indian in India should probably be on your bucket list, if it isn’t already!

There’s also a big, famous old kulfi (Indian ice-cream) centre here, to help you beat the everpresent heat!

Karol Bagh, Delhi

source: Bahnfrend (Wikicommons)

 

Five things to do in Karol Bagh:

  • Check out the electronics on Gaffar Street.
  • Browse the used books on Arya Samaj Street and find a new or old favourite!
  • Try the tandoori momos (dumplings) at Art of Spices.
  • Cool down with a tasty treat from Roshan di Kulfi.
  • Visit the Monday Market, for a whole new range of goods from the rest of the week!

 

Best Hostel in Karol Bagh: Hotel Unistar

An epitome of top-notch hospitality that has always remained a favorite accommodation of people visiting Karol Bagh, Hotel Unistar offers convenience blended with luxury and affordability. Rooms are well-equipped to give you a memorable and happy stay.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Karol Bagh: Comfy condo with outside space

A cosy space with lots of natural light and a timeless view will help you feel situated in no time. Besides your room, you have access to a bathroom (with shower), living room and kitchen. There is also a small garden, shared with the neighbours, that you can use!

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Karol Bagh: Pawan Plaza Hotel New Delhi

Pawan Plaza Hotel is within a short walk of local sightseeing spots, such as Karol Bagh Market. All modern rooms, commended by guests for their cleanliness, are comfortably furnished and include wireless internet access.

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Best Hotel in Karol Bagh: Hotel Surya International New Delhi

This 3-star New Delhi hotel is set a few minutes from Karol Bagh Market, and offers charming accommodation. It also has a reception that is available 24/7 with staff who have been noted for their friendliness and helpfulness by previous guests.

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#2 Paharganj – Where to Stay in Delhi on a Budget

Sitting slightly southeast of Karol Bagh, directly on top of Connaught Place, and only separated from Old Delhi by a set of railway lines, Paharganj has been a backpacker destination since the 1970s.

Known for its cheap accommodation and convenient for its proximity to many of the destinations of Delhi, it’s a bit (read: a lot!) grittier than some of our other destinations.

But if you can handle a bit of noise, don’t mind dodging a speeding rickshaw or two, and have a modicum of resilience for staring, then you may find this to be your unexpected travel love affair!

Having been in existence since the 18th century, Karol Bagh is everything you’d imagine an old Indian neighbourhood to be. The main bazaar is often peopled with foreigners, but young Indian students are starting to frequent it as a spot for bargain meals as well.

The food choices here range from instant eateries to bakeries to rooftops serving international dishes, and the price tags are generally in your favour. This is another reason why we’ve chosen Paharganj as the best place to stay in Delhi on a budget.

The main bazaar covers most of your shopping needs but there’s also a bunch of funky hippie stores selling clothes and incense. Why not get right into the spirit of things, since you’re there!?

Paharganj, Delhi

source: McKay Savage (Flickr)

 

Five things to do in Paharganj:

  • Use your proximity to head over to the Red Fort, the symbol of Delhi and one of India’s foremost monuments.
  • Get lost in the Main Bazaar, amongst the fellow traveller and young locals.
  • Find a quiet rooftop bar to sit above the chaos for a while!
  • Hunt out one of the few places legally serving alcohol for a cool beer.
  • Grab a train from the New Delhi Metro nearby and explore the outskirts of the city.

 

Best Hostel in Paharganj: Himalayan Hostel

Himalayan Hostel is a new hostel, offering simple clean bunk and private rooms – an awesome rooftop and a common lounge on our ground floor. This is a new space offering a place to rest and relax amongst the excitement of the Main Bazaar in Paharganj.

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Best Airbnb in Paharganj: Private room in Delhi’s most central hostel

A pretty standard room in well-loved hostel slap bang in the centre of Delhi. This private room with ensuite is great for those looking to meet new friends and manage their budget.

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Best Hotel in Paharganj: Hotel Suzi International

Hotel Suzi International is an easy drive from Connaught Place and Red Fort. Those staying at the property can also enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi. Rated 9.0 by previous guests, the hotel has 26 rooms and has been recently refurbished.

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Best Hotel in Paharganj: Hotel City Star New Delhi

Boasting free Wi-Fi, Hotel City Star is situated in New Delhi and provides modern accommodation. It offers 3-star accommodation with 31 air-conditioned rooms. Previous guests have noted its fast internet and tasty breakfast options.

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#3 Connaught Place – Best Area to Stay in Delhi for Nightlife

Looking like it belongs somewhere in England, rather than India, Connaught Place is the central business district of the city.

Starting off as a forest where locals hunted partridges, almost a hundred years of development and a new metro line have brought Connaught Place into the limelight as one of Delhi’s liveliest destinations.

In its bounds, you’ll find a sprawling park where you can take a breath from the chaos of the city, then make your way back through the three rings that make up its streets.

This is another excellent destination for shopping but, as we know what you’re really here for, let’s talk nightlife!

The bars and restaurants of Connaught Place are multiplying at a phenomenal rate, giving you a wide range to choose from for your evenings and cementing this as the best neighbourhood to stay in Delhi for nightlife. For this, you’ll want to head to the outer circle of the three, as the centre is more banks and so on.

The Odeon Cinema is an icon of the area and a great place to see vintage films – both Bollywood and blockbuster. Then head upstairs to the Odeon Social to jump back in time to your school days in this classroom themed space with matching menu.

Connaught Place, Delhi

source: Vladislav Bezrukov (Flickr)

 

Five things to do in Connaught Place:

  • Get your 1960s hippy-hat on and head to Lady Baga, with its psychedelic artworks and vibrant surroundings.
  • Channel your inner Bollywood star at Bombay Bar.
  • Stroll through Pebble Street, for its epically long happy hour (12.30pm-8.30pm).
  • Visit Hanuman Temple – because you’ve got to do something with your days!
  • Similarly, be amazed at the ancient astronomical advancements at Jantar Mantar.

 

Best Hostel in Connaught Place: goStops Delhi

Located right at the cusp of Old Delhi and New Delhi, the hostel serves you the best of both worlds. Though not right in Connaught Place, it’s the best hostel in the vicinity, and serviced by three metro stations and hundreds of ‘tuk-tuks’.

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Best Airbnb in Connaught Place: Self contained apartment with a local vibe

Peaceful, charming and comfortable first floor flat is kitted out in a European style and decorate with a Delhi flair. It’s available at a great price for the area and is well situated for those looking for a night out

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Best Hotel in Connaught Place: Hotel Palace Heights

This modern 3-star New Delhi hotel is situated within a 10-minute walk of Rajiv Chowk Metro Station. It offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a car rental desk and a 24-hour reception. Hotel Palace Heights’s 14 modern rooms offer wireless internet access.

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Best Hotel in Connaught Place: Shangri La’s – Eros Hotel

Featuring an on-site night club and a beauty parlour, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel is situated in New Delhi and offers 5-star accommodation. Offering free wireless internet, a restaurant and an outdoor pool, the hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bharat Sanchar Nigam.

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#4 Hauz Khas – Coolest Place to Stay in Delhi

A lot further south than the previous three recommendations, it wasn’t hard to choose Hauz Khas as the coolest neighbourhood to stay in Delhi.

It’s not only hip, it’s historic, dating back to the 13th century. You can find out all about it in the Hauz Khas Complex, with free entry just as a treat! The ruins are incredibly picturesque and intact, really taking you back eight centuries to their heyday.

Also in the complex is an Islamic seminary, a historic village and an enormous Deer Park. Most excitingly, there’s also a pretty fun light and sound show. Who doesn’t love those!?

The wider neighbourhood of Hauz Khas began its ascent to coolness in the 1980s when it became home to upscale home and businesses.

It’s now that place where you can’t turn a corner without bumping into another funky eaterie or hip coffee shop. You’ve got the culture of the art galleries, the foodie haven aspect of the restaurants and the nightlife of the late-night bars. If that doesn’t leave you aching to visit, the neighbourhood houses themselves are brightly coloured and add to the general feeling of fun!

Hauz Khas, Delhi

source: Varun Shiv Kapur (Flickr)

 

Five things to do in Hauz Khas:

  • Stick on your fake moustache (provided) and have a dance at The Living Room.
  • Relax in the Deer Park in the northeast corner of the neighbourhood.
  • Stop in for a latte and the free wifi at the increasingly famous Kuznam Travel Cafe.
  • Enjoy some crafted cocktails at ELF Cafe and Bar.
  • And obviously, spend an entire day in the Hauz Khas Complex, seeing all it has to offer!

 

Best Hostel in Hauz Khas: Madpackers Hostel

They’ve got all your backpacker-needs covered: from a safe, accessible location, comfortable beds and spotless bathrooms to a passion for showing you the unknown, chaotic underbelly of this enormous city and beyond.

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Best Airbnb in Hauz Khas: Rajastani style apartment overlooking historic views

Stocked with crafted wood furniture and kitted out with an old school Rajasthani flair, the apartment is just right outside the oldest 12th-century monument in Delhi and has views over the lake. Great for culture vultures

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Best Hotel in Hauz Khas: Justa Panchsheel Park

Justa Panchsheel Park offers 3-star accommodation in New Delhi. It is ideally located for those wanting to discover the area’s attractions. This stylish hotel offers 24-hour room service, babysitting services, currency exchange and a reception that is available 24 hours a day.

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Best Hotel in Hauz Khas: Haveli Hauz Khas

Located close to Hauz Khas Metro Station, this comfortable 4½ -star bed and breakfast is a convenient base for those wanting to discover New Delhi and its surrounds. It also offers a swimming pool, a sun deck and free Wi-Fi.

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#5 South Delhi – Best Neighborhood in Delhi for Families

South Delhi is, unsurprisingly, located south of the central area of Delhi, and just east and south of Hauz Khas. It’s known for being a lot more chilled out than the rest of the city, and its for this reason that we’ve named it the best neighbourhood in Delhi for families.

The inner city is hectic for even the hardiest traveller, so we thought it’d be nice to have a more relaxed haven to return to at the end of each day.

There’s plenty to see and do in South Delhi alone, so even when you don’t venture into the chaos, you’ll be entertained for days!

The astounding Qutub Minar is here: the world’s largest free-standing minaret. Like with all impressive things constructed long ago, you’ll be marvelling at how it could’ve been constructed back then. We’re talking almost a thousand years here!

The neighbourhood is leafy too, and visitors report feeling safer here than they might elsewhere. The Garden of the Five Senses is sure to have you relaxing amongst the greenery, while the kids have a great time exploring the patterns and shapes hiding in the landscaping.

There’s a whole swag of historic stuff here too, from archaeological sites to ancient forts. You just might need to dangle the treat of Puppychino in front of the young ones to keep ‘em going!

South Delhi, Delhi

 

Five things to do in South Delhi:

  • Split the bill with strangers at the brilliant community cafe, The South Delhi Kitchen.
  • Let the kids cuddle with puppies at Puppychino, the first dog cafe in Delhi.
  • Visit the immense Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the 100 significant monuments therein!
  • Take a family photo amongst the sculptures and scenery at the Garden of the Five Senses.
  • Wander the winding narrow streets of hip South Delhi area of Shapurjat.

 

Best Hostel in South Delhi: LetsBunk Poshtel

LetsBunk Poshtel is a luxury lifestyle hostel located in the most picturesque neighborhood of Delhi. The Poshtel has been designed in a Scandinavian minimalistic design theme. Here you can interact with a vibrant community of travellers.

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Best Airbnb in South Delhi: Relaxed apartment with excellent connections

This is a private and self-contained apartment. It’s got all the amenities you’ll need to look after a small family on the go, and excellent public transport links to the airport, city centre and major attractions.

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Best Hotel in South Delhi: Home@F37

This hotel is located in South Delhi, and offers a coffee bar, meeting rooms and 24-hour room service. It provides 3-star accommodation with 25 air-conditioned rooms, including several for families. Staff are available 24 hours a day and can assist with booking tours and tickets.

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Best Hotel in South Delhi: Dan & Clover Home Guest House

Located within walking distance of Kailash Colony Metro Station, this comfortable bed and breakfast is an ideal base for those wanting to explore New Delhi and its surrounds. Dan & Clover Home Guest house offers comfortable 3-star accommodation for families.

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A final word…

Delhi is a place that will never leave you. Though it’s not for everyone, those that manage to find its charm are devotees for life.
We’ve set you on the right track to a happy and exciting holiday with our 27 great accommodation picks, for every budget.

Those staying at our best overall hotel, The Leela Palace, will be situated right near a central station, with excellent links to the busy central district. Oh, and they’ll be fairly pampered too!

So there you have it. Now get out there and get booking. Though Delhi will wait, now you know what’s on offer, you won’t want to! And remember – the Taj Mahal is less than two hours away by train!

“Delhi means everything to me. The city has given me everything and I love it” – Virat Kohli

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

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