New Delhi Basic Information
New Delhi is comprised of eclectic pockets and ‘urban villages’ – these neighbourhoods are a reminder of the capital’s rural beginnings. Of the 275 documented villages, most are low-income shantytowns, but a select few have become hotspots for culture and fashion. New Delhi is home to India’s National Gallery of Modern Art and National Museum, but the real burgeoning scene here is the up-and-coming private galleries and their affinity for contemporary art. Want to know more about India’s capital? Read on.
Australians must obtain a visa before travelling to India. If you arrive in India without a visa, the Indian Government will most likely refuse you entry. If you’re planning to stay in India for more than 180 days, you are required to register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, which has a branch in New Delhi. There are heavy penalties, including jail sentences, for overstaying your visa. Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of India.
India’s currency is the Indian Rupee. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Indian Rupee changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase Rupees when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
In New Delhi, street food is king - it’s fresh and it’s authentic! If you want to eat chaat, the North Indian streetside snack food, this is place to get it. Head to Karim’s, a shabby, though world-famous, restaurant in the middle of New Delhi’s bustling spice market for the best tandoori chicken of your life. At restaurants or local canteens, try a thali – it’s a sampling of dishes served on a silver platter akin to an artist’s palette. If you’re worried about acquiring a bout of ‘Delhi belly’, sticking to fresh, well-cooked vegetarian food will lessen your chances. It’s also a good idea to drink only bottled water or bottled drinks and avoid ice cubes if you’re not sure of the water source.
The drinking age varies across the different states in India. In New Delhi, it remains at 25 years. The capital has plenty of nightclubs, although most play run-of-the-mill commercial music and by law can only stay open until midnight. If you want a glitzy night out, start at Kitty Su for Champagne then head to Shiro for cocktails, or if you want electronic DJ beats, Club Sirrocco is the place to go. Find yourself wanting to kick on after the bars and clubs close at midnight? Head to a hotel bar or restaurant - Lap at Samrat Hotel and Hype at the Shangri-La cater to the youthful crowd and are always pumping. Or for a leisurely drinking session, head to the Blue bar at the Taj Hotel.