How to navigate the chaos of Delhi

Even for the most seasoned of travelers, Delhi is a bit intimidating. I’ve been to over 40 countries and I still had trouble finding my ground here. If you want to navigate the chaos of Delhi, you’ve got to keep a few things in mind.

The chaos of Delhi
The chaos of Delhi

Navigate the heat of Delhi

The most obvious challenge that Delhi will present you is the heat. But it’s even worse than you imagined, mostly because of the dust and pollution. Even if you’ve been in extremely hot countries before and can cope with 40+ degree weather, you’ll still find this overwhelming.

Just make sure that you’ve always got water with you. Always. And take plenty of stops off at air-conditioned cafes to relax and have a coffee. Or take advantage of the cool nights to check out the sights that are still open.

Delhi at night
Delhi at night

Find your way through Delhi

You may have guessed that Delhi is one of the least friendly cities for walking. Don’t get me wrong, I walk almost everywhere when I’m in a new city just to be a part of the street culture and take photos, but here, it’s really a challenge. Just take a rickshaw–it’s a strangely romantic way to get around.

Just be aware of the “foreigner” price. You can either use Uber or Ola to set the fare in advance, or just negotiate with the driver. I just look the guy straight in the eyes and shout:

If you come to my country and take a taxi, you pay the same price as I do! If I come to your country and take a taxi, I’m paying the same price as you!

Travel advice in Delhi

You never know who you’re going to make friends with in India. It could be someone who is there to help you, or it could be someone who will waste your entire day trying to anticipate exactly what you are looking for.

Do your research before setting out and have an idea of what your plan is. However, do understand that anything is possible in India. Anything. So don’t expect anything to be easy, or for anything to go your way, at least not initially.

Finding your way in Delhi
Finding your way in Delhi

India has a strange spirit that likes to test the patience of those who think that they are experienced travelers. It is totally unlike anything you have ever experienced before, and that is the beauty of it. Sometimes it will seem that things are moving slower than your grandmother does to get her morning bread, and sometimes things will move so fast you’ll experience entire lifetimes in an hour.

India is a world within a country. If you’d like some advice about how to find those hidden gems, or just how to navigate through Delhi, get in touch!

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