Where to stay in Delhi in 2024

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 17.01.2024

Given Delhi’s size, it’s pretty important to give serious consideration to where you’d like to stay. Proximity to the city’s main sights can be a factor, and prices vary by area. In addition, you might prefer to be near to a railway station, or far from the hubbub. With that in mind, read on to find out where to stay in Delhi, as related in The Rough Guide to India, your travel guide for India.

Overview of where to stay in Delhi

Delhi has a vast range of accommodation, from dirt-cheap lodges to lavish international hotels.

It’s easy to book rooms online, and that includes cheaper places. In fact, we advise even independent budget travellers to book at least the first night in advance.  

For example, hauling a backpack from place to place around Paharganj is not only stressful but will see you treated as a target by touts. 

From a visitor’s perspective, Delhi is divided into two main areas. Old Delhi is the city of the Mughals and dates back to the seventeenth century. It’s the capital’s most frenetic quarter, and its most Islamic ­— a reminder that for more than seven hundred years Delhi was a Muslim-ruled city. 

Old Delhi’s greatest monuments are undoubtedly the magnificent constructions of the Mughals. These include the mighty Red Fort, and the Jama Masjid, India’s largest and most impressive mosque. 

To the south, encompassing the modern city centre, you’ll find New Delhi This was built by the British to be the capital of their empire’s key possession.

A spacious city of tree-lined boulevards, New Delhi is also impressive in its own way. 

Considering visiting Delhi? Browse our customisable India itineraries, or talk to our local India travel experts.


Wondering where to stay in Delhi? You might want to be near attractions, like the Lotus Temple © Shutterstock

Where to stay in Delhi: Old Delhi

The best for an authentic experience

Though it’s not in fact the oldest part of Delhi, the seventeenth-century city of Shahjahanabad, built for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, is known as Old Delhi. 

Construction began on the city in 1638, and within eleven years it was substantially complete, surrounded by more than 8km of ramparts pierced by fourteen main gates. 

Today much of the wall has crumbled, and of the fourteen gates only four remain, but it remains a fascinating area, crammed with interesting nooks and crannies.  

That said, you’ll need stamina, patience, time, and probably a fair few chai stops along the way to endure the crowds and traffic.  

The same is true of Paharganj, the district just across the rail tracks. Despite being rather unrepresentative of the city as a whole, this somehow manages to encapsulate Delhi in a nutshell. 

Note that few tourists stay in Old Delhi, which many find dirty, noisy and overcrowded. Most hotels here are mostly geared to Indian visitors rather than foreigners.  

The hotels around Delhi station are particularly bad value, but there are a couple of good options.  

Just west of Old Delhi, and also New Delhi railway station, the Paharganj area is prime backpacker territory. It’s home to innumerable lodges offering inexpensive and mid-range accommodation.  

Some are good value, while others offer very little for very little, and many suffer from slamming-door syndrome and people shouting till dawn.  

As a result, you’ll want to choose carefully if you value peace and quiet.  However, of all the areas to stay in, this is by far the most colourful. 

Going it alone? Arm yourself with our tips for backpacking India

    Where to stay in Old Delhi 

  • Best for period charm: Maidens. Stylish, understated luxury in a lovely old colonial mansion, with a pool and restaurant.
  • Best for mid-range budgets: Hotel City Empire is a hotel with comfortable rooms and excellent hospitality for a good price.
  • Best for backpackersFriends Hostel by Backpackers Heaven. This hostel is worth a mention for its cheap private rooms — the beds aren’t the best, but the rooms are large, and those with private bathrooms only cost a fraction more.
Qutub Minar tower in Old Delhi, India © Shutterstock

Qutub Minar Tower in Old Delhi, India © Shutterstock

Where to stay in Delhi: New Delhi 

With its wide, tree-lined avenues and solid colonial architecture, the modern area of New Delhi has been the seat of central government since 1931.  

At its hub, the royal mall, Rajpath, runs west from the palatial Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate war memorial in the east. Its wide, grassy margins are a popular meeting place for families, picnickers and courting couples.  

North of the Rajpath lies busy Connaught Place, one of the city’s most important hubs for dining and drinking. 

Further south, Khan Market is a more chilled-out version of the same, with some great sights on its periphery. 

Accommodation in New Delhi is focused on Connaught Place, but you pay a premium to stay here, so if you want value for money, stay elsewhere.  

South of “CP”, grander hotels on and around Janpath and along Sansad Marg cater mainly for business travellers and tour groups.

    Where to stay in New Delhi

  • Best for modern stays: The Singh Empire features 24-hour room service and modern rooms with free WiFi. It is 14 km from New Delhi International Airport and 600 metres from New Delhi Railway Station.
  • Best for relative peace: Hotel Krishna is located in central New Delhi. A 5-minute walk from New Delhi Train Station and Metro Station, it features a restaurant and air-conditioned rooms.
  • Best for budget travellers: Joey’s Hostel.  Located out across the river, this homely hostel isa good choice if you want to keep your distance from Delhi, but remain within a metro or cab ride of the centre. 

Find more places to stay in New Delhi.

Rajpath in Delhi © Shutterstock

Rajpathm, New Delh, India © Shutterstock

Where to stay in Delhi: South Delhi 

Most of the early settlements of Delhi, including its first city at Qila Rai Pithora (around the Qutb Minar), are to be found not in “Old Delhi” but in South Delhi This wide area south of Lutyens’ is characterised by carefully planned boulevards.  

The rapid expansion of suburban Delhi has swallowed up what was previously countryside. Whole villages have been embedded within it, and the area is now home to some of the city’s newest and most happening locales. 

The most notable of these is Hauz Khas Village, a lakeside area filled with shops, bars and restaurants. 

Home to some very pleasing mid-range hotels and guesthouses, and an increasing number of hostels for backpackers, more and more travellers are staying in South Delhi.

In short,  the area is a great choice for those who want to stay somewhere quiet. 

South Delhi also makes an ideal introduction for those who’ve never been to Delhi — or even India — before. 

New to the country? Read our first-timer’s guide to India.

    Where to stay in South Delhi

  • Best for peace and quietTree of Life. Friendly little B&B in a quiet neighbourhood close to the Qutb Minar and Archaeological Park – ideal if you’re looking for somewhere tranquil. 
  • Best for classy comfort: Vivanta. Low-key but well-run and classy, this friendly place has a few good restaurants and free use of the pool at the nearby Taj Mahal Hotel. 
  • Best for budget culture vultures: LetsBunk Poshtel. An upper-end hostel, located in trendy Hauz Khas. 

Find more places to stay in South Delhi.

Ready to take a trip to Delhi or India more generally? Dive into The Rough Guide to India. 

For inspiration, browse our customisable India itineraries, or get in touch with our local India travel experts.  

You might also want to wise up our travel advice for India, and read up on the best time to go to India.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 17.01.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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