The center of New Delhi is manicured and groomed to perfection; neo-classical and manageable. Old Delhi is chaotic, jam-packed, and built up like a sandcastle with layers of history, different cultures and ancient architectural achievements. Think spice-filled air, the hurly-burly of the marketplace, scads of people, and the cacophony of tuk tuk horns.
Where to Eat
1. For a true fine-dining experience, I love Indian Accent, where indian food has been reinvented as haute cuisine. 2. Visit Pandara Road to find authentic north indian cuisine. 3. For a meat-loving group, nothing beats Bukhara in the ITC Hotel, and don’t forget the big-as-the-table naan.
Where to Drink
4. Drink gin and tonics while you people watch at the Gymkhana Club if you’re lucky enough to be invited. It’s members only! 5. To see an incredible colonial art collection, go to Patiala Peg Bar at the Imperial Hotel for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Where to Shop
6. Shop through stacks and stacks of fabulous shawls, pashminas, and scarves at Shaw Brothers. 7. The chicest store in Delhi is En Inde in Meherchand Market. They sell non-traditional but locally made jewelry, hand-woven baskets and some fabulous local art.
Where to Explore
8. Marvel at Humayun’s Tomb a Mughal structure in the vein of the Taj Mahal 9. Hop in a rickshaw and visit Old Delhi. Hit the spice market, explore Bangle Alley, and try on a rupee note necklace in Wedding Alley. 10. Jantar Mantar, an architectural wonder, is a complex of astronomical instruments to measure the stars and calculate the time, with stairs that lead nowhere and strange walls within walls.
Where to Stay
11. Stay at the Imperial for its art collection and its incredible massages.