One of the most popular cities in India, Delhi is visited by quite a large number of tourists every year. With centuries-long history and a cosmopolitan vibe, the nation’s capital city enchants everyone with its unique charm. This can largely be attributed to the enthralling contrast between its ancient part (called Purani Dilli) and modern counterpart (New Delhi). There are Mughal-era forts, British colonial buildings, ancient shopping bazaars, sophisticated malls, historical/cultural attractions and fun-filled places like amusement parks. And if you have already toured its famous attractions, then it’s time for you to embark on these non-touristy things to do in Delhi.
Explore Champa Gali
A beautiful vintage-themed lane situated in Saidulajab (close to the affluent Saket neighborhood in South Delhi), Champa Gali is lined with several coffee houses, cafes, boutiques, art galleries, and handicraft stores. Unknown even to most outsiders (let alone travelers), it is a secret hangout spot for Delhites. Explore the bohemian street that replaced the agricultural fields of the 1990s and soak up its laid-back vibe. If you are lucky, you might get to attend jam sessions, spoken poetry sessions, book launches, and various workshops frequently conducted here.
Enjoy Street Food Near DU
For foodies, a street food tour is the most satisfying of all the non-touristy things to do in Delhi. Don’t you agree, food lovers? Delhi’s street food is simply irresistible! The food joints surrounding the famous Delhi University (DU) are known to serve some of the best street food in the city. Try Chole Bhature at Chache Di Hatti, Maggi at Tom Uncle’s Maggi Point, Parantha at Pandit Ji Paranthe Hut, Masala Tea at Sudama Tea Stall, Chat at Shyam Chaat Bhandar, Bhelpuri at Mohan Lal Bhelpuri, Kathi Rolls at Chowringhee, and Tibetan delicacies at Majnu Ka Tilla.
Check out Asia’s Largest Spice Market
Toward the western end of Chandni Chowk lies the largest spice market in Asia, Khali Baoli. This huge spice market, dating back to the 17th century, is dotted with several stalls selling all kinds of local and exotic spices, herbs, dry fruits, nuts, grains, and pulses. The aroma of miscellaneous spices permeating through the air is inviting, but as the largest market, it is always crowded, so navigate the labyrinthine lanes carefully as you shop for spices here.
Volunteer at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Every single day, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib serves free meals to thousands of visitors (irrespective of their religion, caste, and beliefs) arriving at the temple. This tradition in Gurudwaras, called langar seva, invites everyone to enjoy a meal together as one large human community. Several volunteers, out of their own interest, come forward to cook at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib kitchen and serve devotees. You can take part in this community service too. Volunteer at the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib kitchen the next time you visit here and feel humbled by this experience of serving mankind.
Also Read: Some Weekend Getaways from Delhi You Will Never Forget!
Visit Bhardwaj Lake
Situated within Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhardwaj Lake is one of the most beautiful hidden places in Delhi and a haven for peace-seekers. Get away from the humdrum routine and spend a quiet evening here; watching the various species of birds, butterflies, and insects that call the beautiful lake and its surroundings their home. If you are visiting Bhardwaj Lake in winter, you might even spot different migratory birds. You can also explore the nature trails and trekking opportunities offered by the semi-arid forests that encircle the lake.
Other non-touristy things to do in Delhi include strolling the lanes of Lodhi Art District to admire its street art, attending a qawwali night at Nizamuddin Dargah, having a chat with like-minded travelers at Kunzum Travel Cafe, and visiting unexplored historical places like Satpula Bridge, Mirza Ghalib Ki Haveli, Hijron Ka Khanqah, Chunnamal Haveli, Jahaz Mahal, and Tughlaqabad Fort. So, why not book flight tickets to Delhi for an offbeat tour? Hurry up; Indian Eagle offers you the best flight deals!