I still remember the moment I stepped out of the Delhi metro station and into a sea of eclectic chaos that can only be found in New Delhi.

My first day in India – over 5 years ago – began with a rickshaw ride that swerved through cows and madness, and ended up with me eventually living in South Asia.

While that certainly isn’t the norm, a trip to India is often life changing for many, and this city is truly unlike any other in the region or the world.

And as you can imagine, a city with almost 20 million people definitely isn’t easy to navigate. My first few days in India’s capital were a world of chaos, and boy let me tell you, your experience in this city is highly dependent on getting your accommodation RIGHT. But with so many different areas, figuring out exactly where to stay in Dehli can deff be tricky.

To help you out, I’ve come up with this insider guide on the best places to stay in Delhi for any type of traveller.

Let’s dive right in…

Where to Stay in Delhi

More interested in finding the best accommodation and not too fussed about location? Check out my overall favourite places to stay in Delhi.

Weekend Delhi

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Wood Castle

Wood Castle | Best Hotel in Delhi

While many Delhi hotels tend to have a similar look and feel to them, Wood Castle stands out. It (unsurprisingly given the name) features a ton of wooden decor, and has a cozy, homely feel that I didn’t quite find elsewhere.


Yes Boss by Backpackers Heaven | Best Hostel in Delhi

Yes Boss by Backpackers Heaven

Yes Boss combines traditional backpacker accommodation with the kind of services you’d expect from a fancy hotel. One of the best things about this Delhi hostel is the location – it’s situated away from the bustling streets and provides a peaceful environment while still being close to top attractions.

Self-contained apartment with a local vibe | Best Airbnb in Delhi

Self contained apartment with a local vibe

This peaceful, charming, and cozy first 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 situated close to bars, restaurants, and nightlife. Up to three people can stay here, making it ideal for couples or small groups.

Delhi Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Delhi

FIRST TIME IN DELHI
Karol Bagh, Delhi
FIRST TIME IN DELHI

Karol Bagh

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

ON A BUDGET
Paharganj, Delhi
ON A BUDGET

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!

NIGHTLIFE
Connaught Place, Delhi
NIGHTLIFE

Connaught Place

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

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Hauz Khas, Delhi
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

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!

FOR FAMILIES
South Delhi, Delhi
FOR FAMILIES

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.

Delhi is located within its own union territory in the central north of India. It’s the second-largest city in the country, and actually contains the capital, New Delhi, entirely within its borders!

It’s a loud, busy city that has been in settlement for a whopping 27 centuries. With a history this long, there’s bound to be some cultural attractions that deserve your attention! Finding the perfect place to stay will help you make the most of your time.

If you’re visiting Delhi for the first time, I recommend basing yourself in Karol Bagh. It’s got a bit of everything, food, shopping, popular attractions are all within easy reach. It’s well-connected to other awesome places to visit in Delhi, so you can discover the city at ease.

Stroll through Old Delhi
This city is a world of its own.

Paharganj is my top pick if you’re backpacking India on a budget. It’s got a bunch of cheaper accommodation options, and is close to top attractions. It’s a vibrant student area and has been a popular destination with backpackers for decades.

Check out Connaught Place for some of the best nightlife in Delhi. Here, you’ll find some of the top bars and nightclubs in the city.

Hauz Khas is the coolest area of Delhi. It’s a fun and quirky neighborhood where travelers can experience funky bars and quirky coffee shops.

Finally, South Delhi is our top pick for where to stay in Delhi with family. It’s slightly removed from the hectic centre but is still bustling and full of fun things to do for travelers of all ages.

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

Delhi’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. I’ve included my top accommodation and activity picks in each neighborhood, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

1. Karol Bagh – Where to Stay in Delhi for Your First Time

Karol Bagh, Delhi
Karol Bagh is the best area to discover Delhi
Photo: Bahnfrend (WikiCommons)

Karol Bagh sits in the north of Delhi, nestled between a railway and a metro line. It’s well connected to the rest of the city, making it the best place to stay if you’re visiting Delhi for the first time. It’s 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!

Wood Castle | Best Hotel in Karol Bagh

Wood Castle

While many Delhi hotels tend to have a similar look and feel to them, Wood Castle stands out. It (unsurprisingly given the name) features a ton of wooden decor, and has a cozy, homely feel that I didn’t quite find elsewhere.

The rooms are spotless (a rarity in India), it’s centrally located near some of the city’s top attractions, and the staff is super helpful and friendly in case you need them! The beds are really comfy, and best of all it’s somehow located in a quiet, residential area despite being close to all of India’s capital city action.

Beautiful Central Delhi House | Best Airbnb in Karol Bagh

Beautiful Central Delhi House

If you’re looking for a relaxing place to base yourself in Central New Delhi, look no further than this epic Airbnb right in residential Karol Bagh. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a medium sized group of up to six travellers can stay here.

You’ll have the entire space to yourself (which includes a kitchen) for a fraction of the price of luxury hotels! The metro station (a must use if you ask me!) is just 2km away, and the Delhi airport is 15km. The space is well-designed and even features a large terrace that’s filled with house plants. It’s a bit more expensive than most Delhi hotels, but trust me – this is a city worth paying extra in exchange for some peace and quiet!

Things to See and Do in Karol Bagh:

  1. Check out the electronics on Gaffar Street.
  2. Browse the used books on Arya Samaj Street and find a new or old favourite!
  3. Try the tandoori momos (dumplings) at Art of Spices.
  4. Cool down with a tasty treat from Roshan di Kulfi.
  5. Visit the Monday Market, for a whole new range of goods for the rest of the week!
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2. Paharganj – Best Place to Stay in Delhi on a Budget

Paharganj, Delhi
The infamous Paharganj.
Photo: McKay Savage (Flickr)

Sitting slightly southeast of Karol Bagh and directly on top of Connaught Place, Paharganj has been a popular backpacker destination since the 1970s. 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.

Known for its cheap accommodation and convenient location, it’s a lot grittier than the other destinations in this guide! 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!

Jyoti Mahal | Best Hotel in Paharganj

Jyoti Mahal

No doubt the very best place to stay in wild and crazy Paharganj is this elegant heritage hotel, which features a unique antique interior just five minutes away from the New Delhi Railway Station.

In a part of the city known for chaos and debauchery, Jyoti Mahal is like an oasis in the desert – it even has a peaceful rooftop terrace and onsite restaurant. Trust me that it’s also a steal that it’s within walking distance of a major train station – you’ll be able to easily move along to your next destination in India! Set in an old haveli mansion, the rooms are super clean and you won’t have to worry about any scams either.

Yes Boss by Backpackers Heaven | Best Hostel in Paharganj

Yes Boss by Backpackers Heaven

Yes Boss combines traditional Delhi backpacker accommodation with the kind of services you’d expect from a fancy hotel. Rooms are modern and stunningly decorated, providing the perfect space to relax from your travels. One of the best things about this hostel in Delhi is the location – it’s situated away from the bustling streets to provide a peaceful environment while still being close to top attractions.

Things to See and Do in Paharganj:

where to stay in Delhi, Paharganj
Red Fort, Delhi
  1. Head over to the Red Fort, the symbol of Delhi and one of India’s foremost monuments.
  2. Go on a guided tour of the city’s top sights.
  3. Find a quiet rooftop bar to sit above the chaos for a while!
  4. Give your tastebuds a gift with some epic street food
  5. Grab a train from the New Delhi Metro nearby and explore the outskirts of the city.

3. Connaught Place – Best Area in Delhi for Nightlife

While it started off as a forest, 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. 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 neighborhood to stay in Delhi for nightlife.

Connaught Place, Delhi
Photo: Vladislav Bezrukov (Flickr)

There’s plenty to explore here during the daytime as well. You’ll find a sprawling park where you can take a breath from the chaos of the city, as well as temples and busy shopping streets.

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

Shangri La's - Eros Hotel

Featuring an on-site nightclub and a beauty parlour, Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel offers 5-star accommodation in New Delhi. It’s within a ten-minute walk of Bharat Sanchar Nigam, as well as Delhi’s top-rated bars and restaurants.

goStops Delhi | 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. The hostel is serviced by three metro stations and hundreds of ‘tuk-tuks’, so you can travel around with ease.

Self-Contained Apartment With a Local Vibe | Best Airbnb in Connaught Place

Self contained apartment with a local vibe

This peaceful, charming and comfortable first floor flat is kitted out in a European style and decorated 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 in the city. The apartment sleeps three guests, making it perfect for couples or small groups.

Things to See and Do in Connaught Place:

Connaught Place, Where to Stay in Delhi for nightlife
An exciting destination by day and night
  1. Get your 1960s hippy-hat on and head to Lady Baga, with its psychedelic artworks and vibrant surroundings.
  2. Channel your inner Bollywood star at Bombay Bar.
  3. Stroll through Pebble Street for its epically long happy hour (12.30 pm-8.30 pm).
  4. Visit Hanuman Temple.
  5. Similarly, be amazed at the ancient astronomical advancements at Jantar Mantar.
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4. Hauz Khas – Coolest Place to Stay in Delhi

Hauz Khas, Delhi
Photo: Varun Shiv Kapur (Flickr)

A lot further south than the previous three recommendations, it wasn’t hard to choose Hauz Khas as the coolest neighborhood to stay in Delhi. It’s as hip as it is historic, dating all the way back to the 13th century. You can find out all about it in the Hauz Khas Complex (entry is free, so there are no excuses not to!).

It’s the kind of place where you can’t turn a corner without bumping into another funky eaterie or hip coffee shop. You’ve got cultural art galleries, the foodie haven aspect of the restaurants, and the nightlife of the late-night bars.

Villa 33 | Best Hotel in Hauz Khas

Villa 33

For a unique stay in Delhi, check out this bed & breakfast. The Victorian villa is ornately decorated both inside and out, with a whitewashed exterior and a traditional Indian colonial interior. Each room comes with a balcony or terrace, and guests have access to a shared lounge, expansive gardens, and a dining room/bar. It’s ideally situated just moments from quirky cafes and beautiful temples.

Orania B&B by Atsar | Best Budget Hotel in Hauz Khas

Orania B&B by Atsar

This hotel provides modern rooms, free wifi, and a terrace. Breakfast can be enjoyed in your room, and kids meals are provided for little ones. Staying here, you’ll be right next to Hauz Khas Village and its many bars and restaurants. Hauz Khas Lake and Deer Park are also nearby if you fancy a break from the city!

Rajastani style apartment overlooking historic views | 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, this is one of the best Airbnbs in Delhi! It’s situated right outside the oldest 13th-century monument in Delhi and has views over the lake, making it great for culture vultures.

Things to See and Do in Hauz Khas:

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

5. South Delhi – Best Place to Stay in Delhi with Family

South Delhi is known for being a lot more chilled out than the rest of the city, making it the best neighborhood in Delhi for families. Despite being quieter, the area is still full of things to see and do.

South Delhi, Delhi
This quiet(er) area is perfect for families

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

The neighborhood 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.

Home@F37 | Best Hotel in South Delhi

Home@F37

This hotel is located in South Delhi and offers a coffee bar and 24-hour room service. Family rooms are available, making this a great base from which to explore Delhi.

Relaxed apartment with excellent connections | 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.

Things to See and Do in South Delhi:

Fruit market in Delhi, India
  1. Get into some yoga at Lodhi Garden
  2. Let the kids cuddle with puppies at Puppychino, the first dog cafe in Delhi.
  3. Visit the immense Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the 100 significant monuments therein!
  4. Take a family photo amongst the sculptures and scenery at the Garden of the Five Senses.
  5. Wander through some stunning street art.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Delhi

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Delhi and where to stay.

What To Pack For Delhi

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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How many days do I need in Delhi?

I’d recommend spending 2 full days in New Delhi. This will give you enough time to get a feel for the city’s best sights, but honestly, there are many, many more beautiful places to explore in India.

Which is better Karol Bagh or Paharganj?

Absolutely Karol Bagh, full stop! Why? Well, for one it’s significantly quieter and more peaceful. It’s also cleaner, and is mainly a residential area as opposed to a major cheap tourist spot. But you won’t need to compromise on convenience – Karol Bagh is super close to all the city’s major sights.

Where should I go after Delhi?

The possibilities are truly endless! I’ve gone to several places from New Delhi – including Haridwar, Agra and one time even straight up to Himachal Pradesh. I think it all depends on how much time you have in India and what are on your list of priorities to see. Luckily the Delhi train station can cheaply get you to virtually anywhere in India, just try to book in advance (especially around holidays) as popular routes can get busy!

What are some scams to watch out for in Delhi?

Don’t believe any rickshaw or taxi driver who tries to tell you your hotel is closed! This happened to me back in 2018, and needless to say it was an EVENT. Areas/hotels do not simply “close” in New Delhi, but scammers are keen to target tourists who don’t have cell phone plans or maps access. To get around this, arrange an airport/ train station pickup with your hotel, or make sure you have some sort of offline maps access if you’re rolling in without a functioning SIM or eSIM!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Delhi

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. With my top picks for where to stay in Delhi, I hope you’ve found something to suit your travel style and budget.

If you’re still not sure where to stay, you can’t go wrong with Villa 33 in South Delhi. It’s an oasis from the city that won’t even come close to breaking the bank!

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 three hours away by train!

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

a purple colored sunset above the indian city of jaipur as seen from the amer fort
Once you’ve explored Delhi, the rest of India awaits!
Image: Samantha Shea

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