If you are visiting Delhi first time, then (like many others) don't plan a trip to Agra for seeing Taj Mahal. I strongly believe that if you only have a weekend of so, there is lot to see in Delhi (including mini Taj in red stone) and that's the best use of your time. Now let me come to the nest part - prioritization of places to see. Delhi has lot of heritage sites and beautiful architecture to explore. But if you only have a weekend, you can't explore everything. So in my opinion, the very first thing should be 3 World Heritage Sites in Delhi - Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb and Red Fort. Now this post doesn't finish here, because I intend to share you a full day plan to visit these places along with the places where you can have your food. Let's check out this post and I hope that it helps you plan your day trip in the capital city of India - Delhi.
Let me share some quick facts about Heritage sites in Delhi. Delhi has lot of Heritage sites but above mentioned are only 'World heritage Sites' in Delhi. Apart from these 3, some of the other heritage sites are listed in the bottom of this post.
Above photograph show Qutub Minar, which has huge compound and various monuments apart sky hight minaret called Qutub Minar.
Now let's quickly talk about these 3 World Heritage Sites in Delhi and how can you explore 3 of them in a day. Please note that all these 3 have fixed time to open & get closed. Each of these monuments open at around sunrise time and close at sunset time. Do check out Delhi Tourism or ASI website to know exact time at the time you are visiting Delhi.
There is an entry fees in all these 3 monuments. For Indian visitors, it costs 10 Rs and for non-Indian citizens it's 250 Rs.
Above photograph shows silhouette of front part of Red Fort with shinning sun on the top. A friend captioned above photograph as - 'Like a Diamond in the sky' . Red Fort is again huge from inside and there is lot to explore.
Let me propose a day plan to explore Red Fort, Humayun Tomb and Qutub Minar. When I am sharing this plan I am assuming that you would be taking a taxi for a day to visit these places, as that would save your time. Metro can also be an option but it may slow you down a bit because you need to find commute from these places to the Metro stations. If you have 2 days or more, Delhi Metro can be pocket friendly option and you can use cycle-rickshaw to commute between metro station & these sites. HOHO bus by Delhi Tourism can also be a good option for moving between these sites.
So let's get started with the plan.
1. I suggest to go to Qutub Minar first and try to reach before the ticket counter opens. Queue up there and be the first one to enter into Qutub Minar campus. That is very advantageous and you would appreciate that better when you go inside. Qutub is most popular amongst these 3, so lot of folks come here. Probably Red Fort is equally crowded. Make it a point that you have good breakfast in the morning and carry water bottle with you. There is audio device available at Qutub which can be accessed from entry gate by paying some money and showing your id proof. This device help you know about various places inside the monument compound. Other way is to hire a guide who can tell you about the history associated, architecture and some interesting stories. If I have to money on this, I will go for human guide in comparison to audio guide.
2. After Qutub Minar you can head to Humayun's Tomb. Out of these 3 monuments, mine favorite in Humayun's tomb. I would recommend to keep good time for this place and I am sure you will like it. There is no provision of audio guide here, so you may want to hire a guide who can be found around the ticket counter.
3. After Humayun's Tomb you can head to Khan Market for Lunch or probably late lunch. Khan market has varied options and there are some cool restaurants here. Do enjoy your meal after walking a lot around above 2 monuments. Keep a watch on time because Red Fort if little away from Khan Market. You can plan commute timings by monitoring maps & traffic situation. When you start from Khan Market, ask your driven if he can drive you around India Gate and President House quickly. Don't get down but take a ride around these places and explore. This part is comparatively greener and have wide roads. Most of the ministers and top officers of the country stay around this part of the city. You would see huge bungalows around the roads when driving through these roads.
4. Towards the end, you go to Red Fort. Be a little careful around Red Fort and try to keep your valuables in a bag. It's pretty crowded and you encounter different kind of people there. Precautions are always helpful. When you are done with a tour of Red Fort and you feel you have energy/time, you can plan to visit Chandni Chowk which is just across the road. This is Old Delhi and the place is very different from rest of the Delhi. If your stomach can afford street food, it's best place to try some of the special snacks of Delhi.
Hope above plan would be helpful for you. If you try this plan, please comment back how it went. And any suggestions would be helpful. Let me share few bonus things now.
Other places to explore in Delhi include a list like -
If you have more time and want to go outside of Delhi, here is a list of Weekend destinations around Delhi.