Day One

  • Old Delhi

Head to the Red Fort before the crowds get there, and spend the morning exploring the buildings and museums within its vast grounds. Save some time to check out the prodigious perimeter walls.

  • Lunch Tuck into mouthwatering mutton and flatbreads at Old Delhi's famous Muslim eatery Karim's.
  • Old Delhi

It's a short walk to Jama Masjid, Delhi's largest and most important mosque, after which prepare to lose yourself in the old-city bazaars between here and Chandni Chowk. With a bit of luck, you should be able to find your way to the sneeze-inducing Spice Market.

  • Dinner Dine in style at Lakhori, the regal-like restaurant inside the beautifully restored courtyard hotel, Haveli Dharampura. It's best to book ahead.
  • New Delhi

Hop in a cab to Connaught Place where you can drink under a banyan tree in the courtyard bar, Unplugged; there's live music most nights. Alternatively, sip cocktails at nearby Q'BA or beers at more down-to-earth Lord of the Drinks.

Day Two

  • Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

Take the metro south to spend the morning at the sublime Qutab Minar, but don't miss exploring the tree-shaded ruins of nearby Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

  • Lunch There are numerous eateries near the entrance to Qutab Minar, but for something special, follow the road round to the back of the complex to the Mediterranean courtyard restaurant Olive.
  • South Delhi

A couple of stops north on the metro brings you to Hauz Khas, a small arts enclave with graffitied walls, clothing boutiques and chilled-out bars and coffee shops. Best of all, at one end of the strip are the ruins of Feroz Shah’s 14th-century madrasa (religious school) and tomb, overlooking a forest-fringed lake.

  • Dinner Stay in Hauz Khas for an evening meal at the sublime, temple-like south-Indian restaurant Naivedyam.
  • South Delhi

Belly full, shuffle your way around the corner to Hauz Khas Social, a buzzing but laid-back bar-cum-restaurant-cum-nightclub with craft beer, DJ-mixed tunes, and huge windows overlooking the lake.

Day Three

  • Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

Spend the morning in peaceful, tree-shaded Lodi Garden, exploring the 15th-century Afghan monuments scattered around its landscaped grounds, before taking an autorickshaw to the immensely impressive Humayun's Tomb.

  • Lunch Cross the main road to the Hazrat Nizam-ud-din complex and tuck into grilled skewers at the Kebab Stands leading towards the entrance to the main shrine.
  • Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

Weave your way through the covered alleyways to the incredible Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah, the shrine of Muslim Sufi saint Nizam-ud-din Auliya, and one of the most magically spiritual corners of Delhi. But leave enough time to visit Purana Qila (the Old Fort), whose outer walls and huge entrance gateway look stunning in the late-afternoon light.

  • Dinner Hop in a cab to Paharganj for a down-to-earth but delicious evening meal at Darbar or Tadka.
  • Old Delhi

Join thirsty locals, and foreign backpackers, for a drink at a bar or rooftop cafe on nearby Main Bazaar. The most laid-back bar is Sam's Bar, but for views (and beer served in a mug) head to the unlicensed Exotic Rooftop Restaurant.

Day Four

  • New Delhi

If it's the weekend, ensure you've booked online for your tour of the President's House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, former home of the British Viceroy. You also need to have booked online to visit nearby Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum. If it's midweek, begin your stroll along Rajpath at the North & South Secretariat buildings, before making your way to iconic India Gate.

  • Lunch Sharpen your elbows for the queue at Andhra Pradesh Bhawan Canteen, a short walk from India Gate, and where you can feast on an authentic, and unlimited, Andhran thali (set-meal platter) for just over ₹100.
  • New Delhi

Nearby is the National Museum, Delhi's best, as well as the excellent National Gallery of Modern Art. But leave some time for your souvenir shopping at Central Cottage Industries Emporium, a short autorickshaw ride away in Connaught Place.

  • Dinner Sample rich Mughlai curries in the stylish, low-lit ambience of Véda, complete with shimmering mirror mosaics.
  • New Delhi

End the day with a flourish by sipping the perfect cocktail against a backdrop of faded photos and murals of maharajas at The Imperial's splendid bar, 1911.