The Insider’s Guide to Delhi

Born and raised in Delhi, founder Manpriya shares her coveted list of must-visit hidden gems in India’s capital city.

India’s diversity is mesmerising. Each state feels like a different country, with unique customs, food, languages, and landscapes. Exploring India is an endless adventure! The nation’s vibrant colours—from bright saris and turbans to lively markets—are a feast for the senses. To truly experience India, visit the bazaars, savour street food, and people-watch. Observing how Indians dress and adorn themselves, often with beautiful gold jewellery, reflects their pride and prosperity.

The warmth and hospitality of Indians is remarkable. Guests are treated like family, with genuine generosity and kindness. I fondly remember growing up in Delhi and the grand dinner parties my parents hosted, inviting dozens of guests on short notice. The house buzzed with conversation, and the buffet spreads my mother prepared were always spectacular.

Family is the heart of Indian society. Relationships extend beyond immediate family to a wide network of relatives, providing a deep sense of belonging and support. These connections taught me the values of respect and togetherness, which still guide my life. As I grow older, I feel a stronger desire to reconnect with family traditions and warmth.

Spirituality and religion are deeply ingrained in Indian culture, offering comfort and a sense of belonging. The resilience seen in everyday life is inspiring. Despite challenges, people maintain a positive attitude and an unshakeable belief that everything will be fine. It’s astonishing to see whole families riding scooters through busy streets, relying on their strong faith and belief in protection.

Read my list of recommendations when visiting India’s capital, Delhi, one of the most historic places in this world and where I grew up:

Must Visit:

  • National Crafts Museum & Hastkala Academy: Discover India’s rich cultural heritage through exquisite handicrafts and artworks. It’s a favourite spot of mine in Delhi with rotating exhibits featuring craftspeople from different regions of India. You can often buy pieces directly from the artists.
  • National Museum and National Gallery of Modern Art: Though Indian museums may not have the finesse of those in the West, the art they house is fabulous. You have to visit this space to understand India’s history and culture through fascinating exhibits and contemporary art.
  • Lodhi Gardens: My favourite spot in Delhi. I visit every trip for a peaceful stroll amidst historical monuments and lush greenery. The gardens are calming and the monuments magical. If you do nothing else from my list, make sure you visit Lodhi Gardens!
  • Bangla Sahib Gurudwara: As a Sikh, this holy temple is very important to me. I’ve been visiting since I can remember, often after school or on special occasions like birthdays and festivals. It’s especially serene at 4 AM, and during winter, you can enjoy hot masala tea and biscuits as the sun rises. The sweet prashad and the langar, where thousands are fed delicious vegetarian food for free, are highlights. There is also a museum detailing the rich history of Sikhism, offering deeper insights into the faith and its traditions
  • Safdarjung Tomb: Admire the grandeur of Mughal architecture in this stunning mausoleum, built in the style of the Taj Mahal but in red sandstone.
  • Sunder Nursery: Recently restored, this hidden oasis has stunning landscapes, heritage monuments, and vibrant flora. It’s not as busy as other tourist spots, making it a perfect place for a quiet, leisurely exploration.
  • Bikaner House: A cultural hub with art exhibitions, performances, and unique shopping experiences.


  • Patine: A heritage brand owned by my sister, creating heirloom pieces with beautiful hand embroideries inspired by Parsi Gara work and Spanish shawls. Their classic styles can be dressed up or down, offering timeless fashion.
  • Rajesh Pratap Singh: Known for high-quality, handcrafted clothing with innovative designs. They weave their own yarn, producing the best cotton shirts. I love them so much that I even buy the men’s shirts.
  • Vayu: Find eclectic home decor and lifestyle products inspired by Indian craftsmanship.
  • Bahri Sons: A legendary bookstore offering a wide range of books and stationery. I’ve been going there since childhood.
  • Kama Ayurveda: Natural and Ayurvedic skincare products perfect for gifts.
  • Kashmir Loom and Shaw Brothers: Scarves and shawls that revive old designs. My family has been buying from them for generations, and we still enjoy the cherished tradition of them visiting our home to show new pieces.
  • Drishti: My favourite place for glasses. They have a huge selection of top worldwide brands. Mention my name for a discount!
  • Delhi Haat: A vibrant market showcasing traditional crafts and cuisines from different states of India 

Favourite Cafés and Restaurants:

  • Tres: Fabulous cocktails like an Old Fashioned or pineapple margarita, with fusion world cuisine like spicy chorizo and pan-fried sea bass.
  • Fig and Caara: Both these places in Malcha Marg are great for coffee, small bites, pizza, and delicious desserts!!
  • Devan’s Coffee House: An institution for coffee aficionados with a wide selection of coffee. You can even mix your own blend.
  • Sagar Ratna: Best for South Indian fare. Their dosas are my favourites. My father used to pick up my son from the airport and drive straight to this restaurant. When I met my partner, who was used to fancy London restaurants, I took him to Sagar Ratna for his first taste of South Indian food, and he loved it. It’s fresh, quick, and truly the best fast food.
  • Annapurna in Green Park: Known for mishti dahi and Bengali sweets. Winter is the best time to have Bengali sweets as they are delicate and need to be eaten fresh. Go early because they often run out by early afternoon.
  • Natraj Dahi Bhalla in Chandni Chowk: Another institution next to the bank, known for its dahi bhalla.
  • Gopala: Famous for the best rasgulla—light and fluffy, and not too sweet.