Wares from all over India glitter in Delhi's step-back-in-time bazaars, emporiums and markets. The city is also increasingly a centre of contemporary design (especially fashion), with independent boutiques and big shiny malls.

Away from government-run emporiums and fixed-price shops, haggle hard, but with good humour. Many drivers earn a commission by taking travellers to overpriced places – don’t fall for it.

Markets

The lifeblood of Delhi's shopping scene, street-market bazaars are what make this city so wonderfully enchanting. Old Delhi is the hub of this traditional commercial world and losing yourself, and your bearings, in its back-alley bazaars will rank high in your favourite Delhi memories. Things to seek out include silk saris, jootis (leather slippers), embroidery, metalwork, electronics, bangles and other jewellery, and a seemingly endless amount of clothing.

Many of the narrow-lane bazaars fan off Chandni Chowk, itself a busy, traffic-clogged market street, while a short walk north is the world's second-largest spice market. Not far away, Paharganj's backpacker-hub Main Bazaar is great for souvenirs, and nearby Connaught Place has large handicrafts emporiums that are perfect for a last-minute souvenir dash.

Further afield in South Delhi, you'll find higher-class markets such as Khan Market, Hauz Khas and Shahpur Jat Village with coffee shops and restaurants alongside trendy clothing boutiques.

Socially Conscious Shopping

Numerous charities sell handicrafts, clothing or foodstuffs that are made or grown by the disadvantaged people the charities are aiming to empower. The products are sometimes handmade items that make unusual souvenirs, and buying them helps the charities directly.

A few fair-trade stores can be found amongst Delhi's state emporiums along Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Connaught Place. The emporiums themselves promote traditional regional crafts.

Delhi also has a growing number of organic products in its shops and cafes. Beware of their authenticity, though. Organic certificates can be easily obtained with a little baksheesh from unscrupulous traders.