The best time to visit Delhi is from October, when the city is refreshed after the monsoon, to early April. Expect a dry heat with very little humidity, though be aware that it can get chilly in the mornings and evenings during December, January and February (though the days remain generally warm and sunny). Temperatures begin to rise in March and April and by June can reach a stifling 45C. The monsoon arrives in July and continues until September.
NB, please do not rely on this information for your travel planning.
DELHI: BY AIR
From the UK: carriers include British Airways, Air India and Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways.
Within Europe: try Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Finnair, Alitalia and Swiss International Airlines.
From the USA: Air India.
From within India: Air India.
FROM THE AIRPORT: Most hotels in the city offer a transfer service; alternatively you can catch a taxi from the terminal - make sure you agree a price before you get in. The airport is also connected to the city centre by a safe, modern and efficient metro line. Route maps and fare information are available here.
BY TRAIN: India has a good rail network and Delhi is served by trains from most other Indian cities - check out Indian Rail for timetables or visit Seat 61 for a beginner's guide.
BY CAR & DRIVER: If you're using Delhi as the starting point for a tour of India, we would recommend hiring a car with a driver as the best way to see the country. It's cheaper than hiring a self-drive car, and the drivers usually arrange their own accommodation and food. We'd recommend contacting our Tailormade Tours Operator, who can arrange a car and driver for you.
BY BUS: Travelling by bus is a cheap way to get around, but they can be very overcrowded and uncomfortable. They link all towns and cities, and you can always pick up a rickshaw at the bus stop for short hops to your hotel.
BY TAXI: There are taxi-cars, with or without air conditioning, and a large number of auto-rickshaws on the roads. Fares are cheap with various small extras. Some drivers try to stop off at shops where they get commissions on your purchases, while others fend off all touts and take you straight to your destination.
Almost every non-Indian needs a tourist visa from their embassy or consulate. There are 3- and 6-month multiple-entry and single-entry visas (the cost is the same), and they can no longer be issued the same day - so plan ahead!
The most common health problems for visitors to India are diarrhoea and sun-related problems. It's important to drink a lot of bottled water (tap water isn't safe to drink) and protect yourself from the sun. Also be aware of what, and where, you are eating. Choose fruits that you can peel and avoid fresh salads (or wash them yourself with purified water) and ice made from tap water. Be cautious of ice cream, cold milk and undercooked fish or meat. If you experience diarrhoea it's very important to replace lost fluids and, in the case of severe diarrhoea, lost minerals and salts (it’s a good idea to go prepared with some oral rehydration salts). If you become ill your hotel should be able to recommend a good local doctor or clinic. You may want to consider carrying an emergency treatment pack including needles and syringes.
It's important to seek medical advice at least 6 weeks before departure as some vaccinations may require more than one injection. Make sure you're up to date with vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus and polio. Vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid are also advisable (note that the current vaccine against cholera offers very low protection and isn't usually recommended). Consider vaccinations against rabies and Japanese B encephalitis if you're planning to stay longer than a couple of weeks.
Malaria is a risk in Delhi and most other areas of India - your doctor will be able to advise you on appropriate anti-malarial medication. Insect repellent is essential; use one containing DEET.
Many staff are paid very low salaries and expect to be tipped. In hotels and restaurants, 10% is normal. In other situations, where there is no bill, a few rupees will suffice.