New York Times Journeys - The Essence of Delhi

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 4.5 hours
  • tour type Group
  • age requirement 6+ yrs
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts New Delhi, India
  • Ends New Delhi, India
  • Explore like a local and travel via Delhi’s Metro toward the oldest part of the city
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Old Delhi from a towering minaret that belongs to the largest mosque in India
  • Take a thrilling rickshaw ride through the narrow alleys of Old Delhi 
  • Taste kulfi, the delicious Indian ice cream made with spices like cardamom and saffron
New York Times Journeys - The Essence of Delhi tour starts and ends in New Delhi. New York Times Journeys - The Essence of Delhi is a walking tour that takes 4.5 hours.

Delhi can be an overwhelming experience for even the most seasoned traveller. That’s why our expert local guides have teamed up with The New York Times travel team to curate the ultimate Delhi tour. Experience colonial India with an English High Tea with a distinctly Indian twist, discover the poetic significance of kite flying in Indian culture and visit one of the country’s most famous and intoxicating spice markets. Not only will you see the city’s top sights, like the Jama Masjid and Haveli Dharampura but we will take you off the beaten path to discover what makes the city and its people tick. If you want to get under the skin of everyday life in Delhi, this is the tour for you.
5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
Ms. Tonya's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Ms. Tonya
  • On Jul 02 2016
“Alena was an amazing tour guide. I had a fabulous day with her and learned a lot!”
Mr. Andrew's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Mr. Andrew
  • On Nov 28 2015
“We felt like this would be a safe, fun way to get acquainted with a fascinating new place (Bangkok). We weren't disappointed in the least. It was a great day!”
Ms. Alison's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Ms. Alison
  • On Jul 24 2016
“I loved my tour, I got an extra special experience being the only person booked it was a very personal, local tour. This was my first visit to Malaysia and just a quick one-day stopover but I feel I learnt more in the half day tour than I would have in a week on my own. Karson was personable, knowledgable, very easy going, listened and answered questions, shared interesting information etc... everything you'd want in a tour guide!”

The best way to traverse this vast metropolis is to ride on the Delhi Metro, the world’s 10th-longest's system where the air-conditioning offers welcome relief from the overpowering heat above ground. We’ll get off at the bustling Chawri Bazar station to take a peak at India’s biggest mosque, Jama Masjid. This architectural gem was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 (he also built the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal). The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 people and there are 899 black marble tiles on the floor that act as prayer mats for worshipers. Here you will see important Islamic relics, including sandals and a strand of hair that once belonged to the Prophet Muhammad. Then we will take the steps to the top of the minaret for a bird’s-eye view of Old Delhi and try to imagine the generations of history this tower has watched over. 

Haveli Dharampura is a traditional townhouse, built in 1887 in the style of the late Mughal period which favored vibrant decoration and open courtyards. It is now an elegant hotel and restaurant. The restoration of this beautiful building was only completed in 2016, after a local politician, Vijay Goel, campaigned for it to be brought back to life. We will take a tour of the  property with one of the staff and learn about its history and its remarkable transformation.  

Kite flying is a symbol of elevated vision and high aspirations. It is a time-honored tradition in India which culminates each year with the colorful Delhi Kite Festival. Competition is so fierce that contestants often use glass-coated or metal strings in an attempt to cut their rivals’ strings. We won’t go that far but we will have a go at flying our own kite high into the Delhi sky.

A relaxing high tea is next on our cultural agenda. An enchanting remnant of the British tradition, most Indian high teas include chai and samosas instead of Earl Grey and watercress sandwiches, which adds a welcome degree of spice to proceedings. 

A rickshaw ride should be mandatory during a trip to Delhi; there’s no better way of seeing the city at its chaotic best. We’ll hop on and make our way to Khari Baoli, a street near the Red Fort that houses Asia’s largest wholesale spice market, in operation since the 17th century. A large number of the shops here are run by the ancestors of the original market founders, going back nine or ten generations. We will visit Mehar Chand and Sons, which has been selling spices at this location for more than a century, and meet the merchants. Learn about the different masala spice blends, chilies and teas from all over India from a master blender and see how the spices are stored. 

The spice market fills your senses, so calm your palate with some ice cream. This isn’t the ice cream that you’re used to though. Known as kulfi, this sweet treat is creamier and denser than what you might be used to and is infused with delicate flavors such as almond, pistachio, rosewater, strawberry, peanut and mango. After this refreshing pick-me-up, we will take the Metro from Chandni Chowk station and walk back to the starting point of our tour. 

New York Times Reading List:  

Letter of Recommendation: Indian Butterscotch Ice Cream

India’s Jewelry Tradition of Gold is Turning to ... Concrete?

Why Is India So Crazy for World Records?

India’s Influence on Jewelry Endures

India’s Rich Tapestry

A City Tour gift certificate is the perfect present for any occasion. Select a specific tour and date, or choose the value and let the lucky recipient decide how to redeem it.

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Rickshaw ride
  • Kulfi ice-cream
  • High tea
  • Kite flying activity
  • Minaret fee
  • Metro tickets.
  • Additional food and drinks
  • souvenirs and personal shopping
  • tips/gratuities for your guide
  • camera fees at Jama Masjid.
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Cancellation for this New York Times Journeys - The Essence of Delhi tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


Full payment of 147 USD is required to confirm this tour.

Travel Insurance

New York Times Journeys - The Essence of Delhi tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this New York Times Journeys - The Essence of Delhi tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Hotel Jivitesh (11,Pusa Road,Opposite Metro Pillar Number.87, New Delhi, Delhi 110005) GPS Coordinates of the meeting point.

Meeting end point :

Hotel Jivitesh (11,Pusa Road,Opposite Metro Pillar Number.87, New Delhi, Delhi 110005)

If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.