Autorickshaws & E-rickshaws

Autorickshaws Delhi's signature green-and-yellow autorickshaws are everywhere. You never have to worry about finding one – drivers will find you! They have meters, but they are never used, so ensure you negotiate the fare clearly before you start your journey. As a guide, Paharganj to Connaught Place should cost around ₹30.

Delhi Traffic Police run a network of prepaid autorickshaw booths, where you pay a fixed fare in return for a ticket that you hand over to the driver once you reach your destination. There are 24-hour booths outside the three main train stations; New Delhi, Old Delhi and Nizamuddin. Other booths are outside the India Tourism Delhi office and at Central Park, Connaught Place.

Fares with ordinary autos are invariably elevated for foreigners, so haggle hard, and if the fare sounds too outrageous, find another ride.

An auto ride from Connaught Place should be around ₹30 to Paharganj, ₹60 to the Red Fort, ₹70 to Humayun’s Tomb and ₹100 to Hauz Khas. However, it will be a struggle to get these prices. From 11pm to 5am there’s a 25% surcharge.

To report overcharging, harassment, or other problems take the licence number and call the Auto Complaint Line.

E-rickshaws Delhi's ever-expanding fleet of golf-cart-lookalike e-rickshaws (electric rickshaws) offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to autorickshaws and taxis. Many of them are shared rickshaws, plying fixed routes for very cheap individual fares, but many can also be hired privately. Fares should be roughly the same as autorickshaws.

Bicycle

Bike Rental New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) unveiled 250 shiny new smart bikes in November 2018, hoping to soon expand the fleet to 500. Bikes are docked at 23 stations, mostly around central New Delhi for now, and are unlocked via a mobile app. The first 30 minutes of use is free. Only time will tell if they are destined go the same way as the Delhi Metro bike-share scheme, whose underused bikes can still be seen locked up and covered in dust outside many metro stations. Note, that non-Indians were unable to register with the scheme when it was first unveiled. Pesumably this will change.

Bike Tours DelhiByCycle offers recommended cycle tours.

Purchase To buy your own bike, head to the Jhandewalan Cycle Market, near Videocon Tower, five minutes walk from Jhandewalan metro station.

Bus

Foreign travellers rarely use Delhi’s public buses, which can get crowded and are difficult to negotiate for non-Hindi-speaking passengers. But there are several useful routes, including the Airport Express bus and Bus GL-23, which connects the Kashmere Gate and Anand Vihar bus stations. Most short hops cost around ₹10.

Car & Motorcycle

Most hotels or travel agencies will rent a car with driver, or you can negotiate directly with taxi drivers at taxi stands around the city. Note that some taxis can only operate inside the city limits, or in certain surrounding states. For a day of local sightseeing, there is normally an eight-hour, 80km limit – anything over this costs extra.

For motorbikes, Lalli Motorbike Exports rents and sells good quality Italian scooters and Royal Enfields, and is trustworthy.

Cycle-Rickshaw

Cycle-rickshaws are useful (and great fun) for navigating Old Delhi and the suburbs, but they are banned from many parts of New Delhi, including Connaught Place (though they'll still drop you off there from Paharganj). Negotiate a fare before you set off – expect to pay ₹20 to ₹30 for a short trip. Tip well; it's a tough job, and many rickshaw riders are homeless and spend the nights sleeping on their rickshaws.

Metro

Delhi’s metro is fast and efficient, with signs and arrival/departure announcements in Hindi and English. Trains run from around 6am to 11pm and the first carriage in the direction of travel is reserved for women only. Trains can get insanely busy at peak commuting times (around 9am to 10am and 5pm to 6pm) – avoid travelling with luggage during rush hour if at all possible (however, the Airport Express line is much less busy and has plenty of luggage space).

Tokens (₹10 to ₹60) are sold at metro stations. A metro smart card (₹50 deposit plus ₹100 minimum initial top-up) gets you 10% off all journeys (20% outside the peak hours of 8am to noon and 5pm to 9pm). There are also tourist cards (one-day card ₹200 plus ₹50 deposit; three-day card ₹500 plus ₹50 deposit), but they're really not worth it unless you're planning on taking a lot of metro journeys, as most journeys only cost around ₹20.

Because of security concerns, all bags are X-rayed and passengers must pass through an airport-style scanner.

Taxi

Local taxis (recognisable by their black-and-yellow livery) have meters but, as in autorickshaws, these are effectively ornamental as most drivers refuse to use them; negotiate a price before you start your trip.

Taxis typically charge twice the autorickshaw fare. Note that fares vary as fuel prices go up and down. From 11pm to 5am there’s a 25% surcharge for autorickshaws and taxis.

Kumar Tourist Taxi Service is a reliable company; a day of Delhi sightseeing costs from ₹3000 (an eight-hour and 80km limit applies).

Metropole Tourist Service is another reliable and long-running taxi service, and decent value, too.

Taxi & Auto Apps

Car-sharing services Uber and Ola Cabs have transformed travel around Delhi. If you have a local number and a smartphone, download these apps and you can arrange pick-ups from your exact location (theoretically), then pay the electronically calculated fee in cash when you complete the journey and thus side-stepping much haggling. Uber Autos is another option on the Uber app, and helps find you an autorickshaw rather than a taxi. They are even cheaper than the taxis.

Note that drivers will almost always call you en route, asking for directions and clarification of where you want to go (even though this information is in front of them on their phone's app), and will often not be able to speak English, so you'll sometimes have to get a bilingual local to help with communication.

Cabs also tend to take a lot longer to arrive than your app says, and they often arrive at a point that is a short walk from the agreed pick-up.

Given these issues, it's usually much quicker to hail an ordinary autorickshaw or taxi from the roadside. However, Uber and Ola do tend to work out cheaper.

Train

Suburban trains are slow and infrequent compared to other public transport methods such as the metro, and so are not really a viable option for transport around the city.