From its boiling summers that end in monsoons to its diverse mix of people, Delhi is a city that is either loved or loathed by expats. One of the busiest cities in India, it’s said to house more people than it can fit.
Delhi is a mix of old and new, with lovely green spaces such as Lodi Gardens, an idyllic place to jog, picnic or people watch. Modern malls are also trendy and fashionable spots to spend one's free time. While enjoying a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Delhi’s rich culture and history can be seen in its architecture and appreciated in the many monuments and buildings, as well as major events and festivals.
Entertainment and eating out in Delhi
Delhi has a diverse nightlife. The neighbourhood of Mehrauli is great for live music, while Greater Kailash has a large club scene and Khan Market has many bars and roof terraces. Paharganj has grown in popularity for notoriously cheap and cheerful bars, and is a great space for backpackers and young expats. Connaught Place (CP), in the centre of Delhi, is home to a vibrant bar and entertainment scene. In the inner and outer circle of CP, there is live music, a revolving restaurant and bars and restaurants with open rooftops.
A diverse mix of cuisine is available in restaurants across Delhi, from street food vendors in Chandni Chowk to high-end restaurants attached to hotels. If expats want the true taste of Delhi, they should stick to the street food. Getting food from roadside eateries straight after work is a Delhi trend, but expats should head to outlets that look busy as this is where food will be freshly cooked. Hole-in-the-wall places satisfy every palette.
Shopping in Delhi
Haggling is the norm in Delhi, especially in the massive stretch of markets across Lajpat Nagar that sell everything a person could ever need. Shoe shops and tailors line the market stands, and kitchen and homeware can also be purchased here. For cheap books, shirts and other clothing, expats should head to Janpath Market.
The more upmarket area of Khan Market has luxury delis and top-class clothing boutiques as well as an ample selection of bars and coffee shops to quench one's thirst in between.
There are several shopping malls in Delhi, each housing numerous options for dining, shopping and entertainment. DLF Emporio, Ambience Mall and The Great India Place are all a shopping enthusiast's dream with lots to explore.
Sports and outdoor activities in Delhi
The brave and the adrenaline junkies can enjoy adventure activities, from bungee jumping and zip-lining to wall climbing and racing through obstacle courses. Various adventure parks can be found in Delhi offering these experiences and more. Expats of any age can also try out go-karting while camping retreats around the city offer some much-needed respite.
Active expats can discover a wide variety of sports in the city. Cricket, India's much-loved sport, is a popular choice, while those who prefer hockey, tennis or swimming can also find a venue and club that suits them.
►For more entertainment options, read What's On in Delhi
►Some top tips on recommended sightseeing can be found in See and Do in Delhi
"Delhi is a huge city with something in store for everyone. One discovers new things every day, and Delhi may be many things but one thing’s for sure: it’s never boring." Read more about Delhi life in our expat interview with Daniel Kiteski.
Are you an expat living in Delhi?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Delhi. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.