To really experience Delhi you must walk crowded streets and ride a rickshaw through its chaos of traffic.
To experience the Paharganj area of Delhi you must walk crowded streets. The video on this page can only introduce you to some of the sights and sounds of fascinating Delhi and encourage you to experience it for yourself.
Let our second video introduce you to Old Delhi: explore Red Fort, walk Chandni Chowk (the main avenue), sit on stairs with locals at Jama Masjid (India’s largest Mosque), meander through the Meena Bazaar and ride the streets in auto-rickshaws and pedal-rickshaws amidst beeping horns and rich history.
Metropolis Tourist Home
Address: 1634-35, First Floor, Main Bazaar,
Paharganj, New Delhi – 110055
Phone: +91-11-23561782, 23561794, 23585492, 41541396
Travelin’Ted review for Trip Advisor
“LOCATION – VALUE – STAFF”
Pleased with the Metropolis location we just headed left out the hotel’s main door and we were on Main Bazaar and a short walk to the New Delhi Train Station.
ROOM 103 faces east on the floor above ground level. It is a small room with double wide bed, bedside tables, mirror above the desk, fridge, wardrobe (2 hangers), safe (not bolted down), air conditioning and balcony access through a glass door. The attractive modern bathroom had a large shower, stylish sink, hand soap but no toilet paper (available on request). Wifi is included in the hotel rate but we experienced some difficulty in strength of signal from this room.
ROOM 202 is two floors above ground. Larger in size than 103, it had 2 beds made up as 1 to give it the width of a king with the length of a double. The room’s furniture included bedside tables with wall lamps above each, a cocktail table, luggage bench, cabinet with bar fridge, wardrobe (no hangers), safe (not bolted down), desk, chair, in-room wifi, air conditioning, wide double windows opening to good size deck with a single plastic chair. [In the photo, this room is situated above the word ‘Hotel” on the lit sign]. Like 103 the bathroom was modern with stylish sink and large shower with rain head. Hot water required running the tap for a couple of minutes (we found dinner time the hottest – great for freshening up before going out).
ROOFTOP RESTAURANT & BAR offered excellent food and Rama Kant is a friendly, skilled waiter. (All the staff members at Metropolis were friendly and outgoing.) Lonely Planet and shop owners along Main Bazaar (without knowing we were staying there) recommended Metropolis as the area’s best restaurant. The hotel’s good food doesn’t end with the rooftop restaurant but continues to the breakfast room with a variety of dishes and beverages from which to choose. We had chosen to include breakfast in our room price selection and, in this particular hotel, felt it was a good decision. During one breakfast, we met a lone woman traveler (staying elsewhere) who was switching her hotel accommodations to the Metropolis because of the food, room quality and their friendly, helpful, respectful staff.
FINANCES. During checkout we were charged for an extra night for our early check-in, however, because we had confirmed no additional early-arrival charges would be levied BEFORE we engaged the rooms, they deducted the extra night immediately. They added 450 Rs for taxi fare (based on a casual inquiry) to the airport but after asking twice they removed that charge as well (taxies are cheaper and plentiful on the street).
RECOMMEND Metropolis? Oh my, yes. So much so, we made reservations for our return trip through Delhi on our way home. (Update: We were just as pleased on our return visit when we we were in room 102.)
Room Tip: No elevator. Breakfast room a half floor above ground. Rooftop restaurant serves good dinners at reasonable tourist prices. ”
SIGHTSEEING IN DELHI
Red Fort; Jama Masjid (if only to sit on the stairs and people watch); Meena Bazaar (you’ll be looking at it as you sit on the Jama Masjid stairs); walk Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi’s main avenue); tuck the guide book away and roam the street and alley markets. Don’t fall for the touts’ line of “I’ll show you where the mall is” – enjoy the neighbourhood on your own.
FOOD & DRINK IN DELHI
To the palate of many Westerners, the highly flavourful, spiciness of Indian cuisine can be unagreeable. But even for those who prefer a blander diet, India is still doable.
India’s population has the lowest individual consumption of meat in the world and animal based ingredients, other than milk products and honey, are seldom used in traditional dishes. Ghee (clarified butter) is the traditional cooking medium. For the traveller who wants their animal protein most restaurants have meat options unless they advertise themselves as vegetarian. Most popular meats are chicken, lamb and goat as religious practices forbid beef products to Hindus and pork to Muslims. Finding truly fresh fish in Northern India may be challenging. In place of animal protein most of India turns to dhal (curried lentils or pulses). Yogurt and other dairy products also play a big part in providing protein.
If a steady diet of Indian spices and dhal are not appealing the traveller will find, on most menus, an oriental style noodle dish with influences from Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.
In Northern India, flat bread and rice are the staple starches. Bread, more commonly referred to as roti and chapati (the latter being a thinner unleavened, whole-wheat version). They are often used as a vehicle to get food, such as dhal, from plate to mouth.
Vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive. Other than in American style hotels, salads are a rarity and the savvy traveller would be best to avoid anything which is not cooked or, in the case of fruit, peeled.
Vegetable pakoras are a popular finger food in India and can be ordered spicy or non-spicy. Made from chickpea flour and a variety of vegetables, then deep fried, pakoras are a tasty option for the non-spicy traveller and can be accompanied by yogurt or sweet & sour sauce for dipping.
For some excellent recommendations on restaurants consult a Lonely Planet guidebook – money well spent.
It is advisable for travellers in India to consume only bottled water. A nice change, when available, is bottled carbonated water. Buying water in large two litre bottles from a small vendor is usually the least expensive. With the proprietor watching, check the cap to ensure it is sealed.
Chai (tea) is a much consumed beverage often accompanied by heaps of sugar and generous pours of milk. Although tea is by far the most popular drink, coffee is gaining in acceptance.
Street stands offering fresh squeezed juices can seem tempting however lax hygiene practices – reusing cups which have been sloshed through a basin of tepid water – can ruin a vacation.
Lassi is a traditional drink of blended yogurt and water available ‘savory’ or ‘sweet’. The savory contains spices such as ground roasted cumin, whereas, sweet is made with sugar, honey or fruit. Sweet lemon, a variety of citrus, tastes more like orange to Western taste buds than lemon.
GETTING AROUND DELHI
Train travel is a great way to experience India. Day travel will allow you to see the countryside as it whizzes (sometime plods) by. Night travel can get you to where you are going and provide an inexpensive place to sleep. If you have limited time in India it may be best to make reservations prior to leaving your home country.
Lonely Planet India
Note: There are very convincing scam artists at railway station entrances ready to ‘help‘ you by telling you the ticket office for foreigners has changed locations, after which they put you in a rickshaw and then hop in for the ride to their ‘travel office’ some distance away. The real foreign office was exactly where it should be, inside the railway station.
The motorized auto-rickshaw provides an exhilarating experience and offers a wonderful way to get around a city while affording some protection from the elements. The driver is supposed to use a meter but generally a bartering exchange is carried out before you get in … if the price is not agreed to BEFORE the cost at the end of the ride could be substantial. We were often able to squeeze four people and four backpacks into an auto-rickshaw.
Bicycle-rickshaws offer a slower paced view of a city and are good for short distances. They have limited protection from poor weather. The pedal-drivers work hard for their money.
Taxis are best for longer distances, wet weather conditions or for transporting over-luggaged tourists. Like the auto-rickshaws, taxis have meters which are seldom used. Before getting in, or putting luggage in the trunk, agree on the total cost to get to your destination.
Insisting on hiring another cab or rickshaw usually either “fixes” the meter or lowers the price. If your hotel offers to make transportation arrangements for you, it may be cheaper to decline and walk out to the street and flag down a rickshaw or taxi.
If you like your driver you can make arrangement to have him pick you up at another time and/or place; most often they will be there, particularly if you paid them fairly or tipped above the agreed price. For sightseeing you can arrange to be taken from place to place for the day at an agreed price payable at the conclusion of the day’s travels. Drivers may also be a good source of information as to where to go and what to see.