Checking flights...

Air

Indira Gandhi International Airport

Indira Gandhi International Airport is about 14km southwest of the centre. International and domestic flights use Terminal 3. Ageing Terminal 1 is reserved for low-cost carriers. Free shuttle buses (present your boarding pass and onward ticket) run between the two terminals every 20 minutes, but can take a while. Leave at least three hours between transfers to be safe.

The Arrivals hall at Terminal 3 has 24-hour foreign exchange, ATMs, prepaid taxi and car-hire counters, tourist information, a pharmacy, bookshops, cafes, a Plaza Premium Lounge with short-stay rooms (there's another of these at Terminal 1 arrivals) and sleeping pods under the banner of Sams Snooze at My Space.

You’ll need to show your aeroplane ticket or boarding pass to enter the Departures building; a digital version on your phone will suffice. If you're meeting someone at the airport, you can pay ₹100 to enter the Arrivals building. Otherwise you'll have to wait outside for them.

Delhi’s airport can be prone to thick fog from November to January (often disrupting airline schedules) – it’s wise to allow a day between connecting flights during this period.

Airlines include:

Air India

Jagson Airlines

SpiceJet

Transport Options

Whatever time your flight arrives, it's a good idea to book a hotel in advance and notify staff of your arrival time – some places (especially cheaper guesthouses) may allow you to check in early. Organised city transport runs to/from Terminal 3; a free shuttle bus runs every 20 minutes between Terminal 3 and Terminal 1.

Prearranged Pick-ups

Hotels offer prearranged airport pick-up, but these are usually more expensive than arranging a taxi yourself. However, it may be worth it to ease your arrival. You’ll pay extra to cover the airport parking fee (up to ₹220) and ₹100 charge for the driver to enter the arrivals hall. To avoid the entry fee, drivers may wait outside Gates 4 to 6.

Metro

The Airport Express line (www.delhimetrorail.com) runs every 10 to 15 minutes from 5.15am to 11.40pm, completing the journey from Terminal 3 to New Delhi train station in around 30 minutes (International/domestic terminal to New Delhi, ₹60/50). It’s rarely overcrowded because it’s a separate, more expensive line from the rest of the metro. You can't use the one- or three-day tourist cards on this line; just buy a single-journey token.

Bus

Slightly cheaper than the metro, air-conditioned buses run from outside Terminal 3 to Kashmere Gate Interstate Bus Terminal (Delhi's main bus station) every 10 minutes, via the Red Fort, LNJP Hospital, New Delhi Station Gate 2, Connaught Place, Parliament St and Ashoka Rd.

Taxi

In front of the arrivals buildings at Terminal 3 and Terminal 1 are Delhi Traffic Police Prepaid Taxi counters offering fixed-price taxi services. You’ll pay about ₹350 to New or Old Delhi, and ₹450 to the southern suburbs in a battered old black-and-yellow taxi. There's a 25% surcharge between 11pm and 5am. Travellers have reported difficulty in persuading drivers to go to their intended hotel. Firmly insist that the driver takes you to your chosen destination and only surrender your voucher when you arrive where you want. Also offers Himmat Plus, an app for women to download. Register and then you can send an alert if you have a problem.

You can also book a prepaid taxi at the Megacabs counter at both the international and domestic terminals. It costs ₹600 to ₹700 to the centre, but you get a cleaner car with air-con.

Taxi-app services such as Uber and Ola Cabs tend to offer cheaper rates than any other types of taxi in Delhi, though you'll need to already have a local SIM in your phone for the driver to call you on if there's any problem with him finding you (almost always the case, wherever you are). So it may be easier to use an ordinary taxi if you've only just arrived in India.

Air Fares

Flights run from Delhi to Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Leh, Srinagar and other hubs across India and beyond. Sample fares include ₹3400 to Mumbai, ₹3850 to Kolkata and ₹4000 to Chennai.

Departure Tax

Departure tax is included in the price of a ticket.

Bus

Although train travel is more popular for long distances, buses are a useful option to some closer destinations, or if the trains are booked up.

Practically all state-run services leave from the large Kashmere Gate Inter State Bus Terminal in Old Delhi, accessible by metro (exit gate 7). There are offices representing the states to which buses from here frequently travel to (Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand), though they are generally useless, as tickets are instead bought from booths downstairs, beside the individual bus stands. Most destinations are served by both local buses and more comfortable, more expensive AC (air-con) buses. You can't pre-book the local buses, and there's no need to anyway; just turn up and buy a ticket on the next available bus. Tickets for AC buses, which are less frequent, can be booked in advance though, either in person a day or two before, or through a travel agent or some hotels. Offices at the terminal include:

Delhi Transport Corporation

Haryana Roadways

Punjab Roadways

Rajasthan Roadways

Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation

Uttar Pradesh Roadways

Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation

The Anand Vihar Inter State Bus Terminal has some services to Nainital and Kumaun in Uttarakhand. Some cheaper buses to destinations in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan leave from the Sarai Kale Khan Inter State Bus Terminal on the ring road near Nizamuddin train station.

Himachal Bhawan has buses to Manali and Simla, both in Himachal Pradesh.

There are buses to Agra, but considering the traffic at either end, you're better off taking the train.

Wherever you're going, it's wise to arrive at the bus station at least 30 minutes ahead of your departure time.

Note that some, more expensive private deluxe buses leave from other locations in central Delhi – enquire at travel agencies or your hotel for details. You can also book tickets or check information on Cleartrip (www.cleartrip.com), Make My Trip (www.makemytrip.com), Goibibo (www.goibibo.com) or Red Bus (www.redbus.in).

Ambedkar Stadium Bus Stand has international bus services to Kathmandu in Nepal, and Lahore in Pakistan.

Car & Motorcycle

Car Hire It's easy and relatively cheap to hire a car and driver in Delhi; most agencies and many hotels offer the service. However, given the excellent public transport system and the affordability of taxis and autorickshaws, there's little reason to do this unless you're planning a road trip beyond the city limits. Very few foreigners hire self-drive cars – it's hugely stressful driving on Delhi's streets, and parking can be a nightmare – but it can be done as long as you have an international driving license. SelfDrive (www.selfdrive.in/delhi) is one of many companies that rents cars in Delhi.

Motorcycles Karol Bagh Market is the place to go to buy or rent a motorcycle. There, amongst a myriad of other motorbike shops and garages, you'll find Lalli Motorbike Exports, run by the knowledgable and trustworthy Lalli Singh. He sells (₹75,000–140,000) and rents (₹700–1350 per day) quality Royal Enfields, and customers get a short course in running and maintaining these lovable but temperamental machines. It's tough to find in amongst the gazillion bike shops; from Arya Samaj Rd, walk up Abdul Aziz Rd and its the third lane on your right.

Train

There are three main stations in Delhi: (Old) Delhi train station (aka Delhi Junction) in Old Delhi, New Delhi train station near Paharganj, and Nizamuddin train station, south of Sunder Nagar. Make sure you know which station your train is leaving from. All three have metro stations outside them.

New Delhi Railway Station is the largest and best connected of Delhi's train stations, and the best option for foreign travellers wanting to buy train tickets, thanks to its very helpful International Tourist Bureau, a ticket office reserved solely for the use of foreign travellers (you have to show a foreign passport to even be allowed inside). To find it, walk in the station's main entrance (on the Paharganj side of the train station) then, just before you reach platform 1, walk up the staircase to your right. At the 1st floor turn right and the office is along the corridor on your left. Do not believe anyone who tells you this ticket office has shifted, closed or burnt down – this is a scam to divert you elsewhere. Walk with confidence and ignore all ‘helpful’ or ‘official’ approaches. The ITB is a large room with about 10 or more computer terminals – don’t be fooled by other ‘official’ offices.

Once inside, first take a queuing number. While you wait for your number, go to the information desk to one side of the room to get details of your journey. Once you know which train you wish to book, fill in one of the passenger booking slips and take it, along with your passport, to the booking desks once your number has come up. You can pay with cash or card.

There's also a public Train Reservation Office a few hundred metres outside the train station, closer towards Connaught Place. Anyone, local or foreign, can buy train tickets here, but for foreigners it makes no sense to come here where queues are longer and English-language skills less prevalent. There's also an Unreserved Booking Office to your right as you exit the train station (again, at the Paharganj side of the station). This is for buying same-day 'general' tickets to nearby destinations; a very cheap option, but although you'll be allowed to get on the train, you're not guaranteed a seat.

Selected Trains from Delhi

Agra

Train No & Name

12280 Taj Exp

Fare (₹)

105/375 (A)

Duration (hr)

3

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

6.45am NDLS

Train No & Name

12002 Bhopal Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

525/1020 (B)

Duration (hr)

2

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

6am NDLS

Amritsar

Train No & Name

12029 Swarna Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

905/1725 (B)

Duration (hr)

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

7.20am NDLS

Train No & Name

12013 Amritsar Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

905/1725 (B)

Duration (hr)

6

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

4.30pm NDLS

Bengaluru (Bangalore)

Train No & Name

22692 Bangalore Rajdhani

Fare (₹)

3010/4190/6795 (C)

Duration (hr)

34

Frequency

4 weekly

Departures & Train Station

8.45pm NZM

Chennai

Train No & Name

12434 Chennai Rajdhani

Fare (₹)

2910/4020/6475 (C)

Duration (hr)

29

Frequency

2 weekly

Departures & Train Station

3.55pm NZM

Train No & Name

12622 Tamil Nadu Exp

Fare (₹)

780/2050/3005 (D)

Duration (hr)

33

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

10.30pm NDLS

Goa (Madgaon)

Train No & Name

12432 Trivandrum Rajdhani

Fare (₹)

2705/3780/6175 (C)

Duration (hr)

25½

Frequency

3 weekly

Departures & Train Station

10.55am NZM

Train No & Name

12780 Goa Exp

Fare (₹)

775/2040/2990 (D)

Duration (hr)

38½

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

3pm NZM

Haridwar

Train No & Name

12017 Dehradun Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

610/1200 (B)

Duration (hr)

5

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

6.45am NDLS

Jaipur

Train No & Name

12958 ADI Swama Jayanti Rajdani

Fare (₹)

825/1100/1710 (C)

Duration (hr)

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

7.55pm NDLS

Train No & Name

12916 Ashram Exp

Fare (₹)

235/595/830 (D)

Duration (hr)

5

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

3.20pm DLI

Train No & Name

12015 Ajmer Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

655/1305 (B)

Duration (hr)

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

6.05am NDLS

Kalka (for Shimla)

Train No & Name

12011 Kalka Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

615/1270 (B)

Duration (hr)

4

Frequency

2 daily

Departures & Train Station

7.40am NDLS

Khajuraho

Train No & Name

12448 UP Sampark Kranti Exp

Fare (₹)

365/960/1360 (D)

Duration (hr)

10½

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

8.10pm NZM

Lucknow

Train No & Name

12004 Lucknow Swran Shatabdi

Fare (₹)

910/1865 (B)

Duration (hr)

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

6.10am NDLS

Mumbai

Train No & Name

12952 Mumbai Rajdhani

Fare (₹)

2105/2925/4760 (C)

Duration (hr)

16

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

4.25pm NDLS

Train No & Name

12954 August Kranti Rajdani

Fare (₹)

2105/2925/4760 (C)

Duration (hr)

17

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

4.50pm NZM

Udaipur

Train No & Name

12963 Mewar Exp

Fare (₹)

415/1100/1565 (D)

Duration (hr)

12½

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

7pm NZM

Varanasi

Train No & Name

12560 Shivganga Exp

Fare (₹)

415/1105//1575 (D)

Duration (hr)

12

Frequency

1 daily

Departures & Train Station

6.55pm NDLS

Train stations: NDLS – New Delhi; DLI – Old Delhi; NZM – Hazrat Nizamuddin

Fares: (A) 2nd class/chair car; (B) chair car/1st-class AC; (C) 3AC/2AC/1st-class AC; (D) sleeper/3AC/2AC