The world-class Indira Gandhi International Airport of Delhi is well-connected to the significant cities of India and all across the globe. From South Africa, the cheapest flights to Delhi will be with Etihad Airways, closely followed by Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines. Air France, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa will also get you to Delhi in style. South African passport holders require a visa to travel to India, which is free of charge and can be obtained in two different ways. Apply for an E-visa through Indian Visa Online, which is valid for 60 days, a minimum of four days before departure. You can also apply for a regular visa at a VFS Global Application Center, which is located in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. This visa is valid for 6 months, but the application will not be accepted more than 30 days prior to departure.
Escape the humdrum of life and experience the bustling city of Delhi, where vibrant colors and thrilling cultures will capture your imagination with beautiful chaos. This city is a great starting point for travelers interested in exploring the country’s wealthy heritage, cultural identity, superb cuisine, spellbinding mosques, and monuments fused with a magic of their own. The history of the city is as ancient as the Yamuna stream, one of the sacred rivers in Hinduism which serves as a dividing line between Old and New Delhi. Humayun's Tomb is a lofty mausoleum constructed of white marble, designed as a prototype of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Along with the Red Fort, built from red sandstones, these are excellent examples of Mughal architecture. The India Gate, a memorial in tribute to the soldiers martyred in the Afghan War, resembles the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris and is a treat to visit at night time when the fort and nearby fountains are floodlit. Monuments like Qutub Minar, which is the tallest monument in India and the Lotus temple, which is an architectural masterpiece, are also some of the best places to visit in Delhi. As you indulge in the street food and take in this powerful culture, you will not leave Delhi untouched.
As you step out of the New Delhi railway station and cross the street, you will stand at the doorway of Paharganj, known as the Main Bazaar. It stretches for roughly one kilometer and teems with a procession of people, animals, and vehicles. It is also the best bargain shopping spot in Delhi, and the perfect location to hunt out unique and inexpensive goods like raw silks, leather goods, bangles, scarves and gifts to take back home. Connaught Place is the central business district of New Delhi and one of the most famous shopping destinations of India. Taste the different flavors and spices of India in the streets of Delhi, especially the jalebis, which is a popular sugary treat made from deep-fried batter soaked in syrup. The best Delhi street food is without a doubt found in Chandni Chowk. From the traditional to the contemporary, Delhi has some of the best cuisine and restaurants in the world. Bukhara is known for its rustic atmosphere and At Varq for giving traditional Indian cuisine a contemporary twist. Indian Accent, Farzi Cafe and Dum Pukht deliver dining experience resplendent with marble, chandeliers, and the most refined forms of royal Mughal cooking. Always remember to drink only bottled water during your stay in Delhi.
New Delhi is the third largest city in the world and is extremely spread out, so visitors mainly rely on public transport to reach destinations. As traffic jams are an issue, the best way to get around is the Delhi Metro, which is clean and efficient. Delhi is the headquarters of the Northern Railway, connecting Delhi with all the important cities and states of India. From outside the railway station, DCT busses, private and pre-paid taxis, and auto-rickshaws are available. The simplest way to negotiate your rickshaw fair is to cut the quoted price in half and bargain your way to a middle figure since drivers rarely use meters to give an estimate price of the trip. The Delhi bus network works sufficiently if you want to get anywhere in the city cheaply, however, the quality of your trip may vary depending on the bus and route. For traveling at night, the app-based taxi service called Ola Cabs is recommended. It's common to see cows roaming the streets or buses driving without doors. Chaotic, loud, sultry and crowded, Delhi sure is a beautiful and intense place.
In Delhi, travelers have the option of staying in budget hotels, BNBs, or luxury accommodations, or a mix of all three. Delhi does luxury in ways that reflect both the ancient and modern: The Oberoi and Taj hotel have been around for decades, while places like the Leela Palace boasts with 5-star luxury and opulent interior. The Claridges is a three-story hotel that lies in the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi which is close to India Gate, Jama Masjid, and Khan Market. Stay at the Imperial Hotel if you are looking for heritage in the capital's heart, or the LaLiT if hip and happening is your vibe. La Sagrita is perfect for solo travelers, and Roseate House is recommended for business people wanting to stay close to the airport. Bright and cheery Bloom Rooms, supremely neat and colorful, is also a popular new model in budget hotels in Delhi. Contrary to popular belief, you need not stay in Paharganj to find a budget hotel. The best budget stay is at Wood Castle, which is centrally located in Karol Bagh. If you’d prefer to stay in a quiet and more upmarket area, head for South Delhi.
Flights from Johannesburg will get you to the Indira Gandhi International Airport within 12 hours and 55 minutes. Major airlines flying from Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town to New Delhi are the following: Etihad Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France, Air India, British Airways, KLM, Qatar airways, Turkish airlines and Lufthansa. Etihad Airways has the cheapest flight to New Delhi. There are no direct flights available from Johannesburg to New Delhi, but flights that connect with one stop-over will quickly get you to this bustling, historic and majestic destination. The travel time to the city center of Dehli is about 45 minutes to one hour from the airport without traffic.
The heart and soul of India is found in the magic attraction of Delhi’s streets. Every nook and corner seems to narrate incidents of the bygone era and is a life changing experience to embrace. During winter time, Delhi bustles with festivals like Diwali, the festival of lights, and Holi, the festival of colors. October to March is the best time to visit Delhi where day temperatures are ideal for sightseeing and nights for savoring delicacies and tasty street food. After visiting the gripping monuments and relishing the history of Indian culture, the Main Bazaar is the best place to visit during your stay in Delhi. The exploration of its many winding and narrow alleyways to strike a bargain will certainly be a cultural adventure for any traveler.