Delhi is colorful and noisy, and its never-ending hustle and bustle is part of everyday life in the big city. There are countless markets where everything you can think of is sold, traded and bought with heartfelt passion. From high-priced luxury goods to colorful textiles to exotic fruits and vegetables: if you can imagine it you can find it. But shopping can be stressful too: who is trying to take advantage of you, and who to trust? Because there’s one thing that you can’t avoid in Delhi, and that is haggling. As in most Oriental countries, also in India is haggling a common practice when dealing with all kinds of merchants, from street sellers to shop owners. It is simply an intrinsic part of the trade, but can also be a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.
Debashree knows the best places to go shopping in Delhi, those shops where you can find really beautiful gifts and unforgettable souvenirs. She isn’t taking you to places where she cashes a shady commission at the end of the purchase (an unfortunately common practice in India), but to those stores where she herself likes to shop. If you need it, she will also give you advice when selecting a product, and gladly help you negotiate a price with the vendors.
A shopping tour is not just about spending money, but also – or above all – a journey of discovery, where you can learn a lot about daily life in Delhi and the merchant trade. What is produced here, what is particularly popular, who buys what from whom and why?
The following markets can be part of the program. There are too many to include them all in one tour, so things will depend on how much time you want to spend on the respective market. Let yourself drift and enjoy the time!
Leave your prejudices and preconceptions in the hotel and put yourself in Debashree’s expert hands. A bit of flexibility and spontaneity will also help you have a better, more authentic experience. Be open to the surprising and the unexpected, and look forward for unusual things that catch your eye. Of course, you can also simply tell us which of the following markets should be in the program. If you have a shopping list or want to buy something specific, you can let us know, and Debashree will do the search with you.
The Janpath Market has a long history. It takes its name from the street that connects Connaught Place to Lodhi Road, and along which the market extends from beginning to end. The Janpath market is particularly popular with those who like to buy cheap – and this doesn’t only apply to tourists, but it’s true especially among the inhabitants of the big city. From the trendy to the modern to the classic and exotic, everything can be found here, making this market a frantic paradise for bargain hunters of all sorts.
As its name suggests, this market is located in the residential and commercial district of Lajpat Nagar, in South Delhi. Named after Lala Lajpat Rai, an Indian author and politician also known as the Lion of Punjab, Lajpat Nagar is also famous for its Central Market. It is a popular shopping destination and attracts especially those interested in textiles. A colorful and noisy mixture of people, goods, stalls and shops.
Dilli Haat is THE market by definition: an open-air food-and-handicrafts market in southern Delhi. Merchants from all over India sell their products here: wood carvings, textiles, jewelry, pearls, metalwork, silk, clay works, paintings… in short, everything that makes the heart of a souvenir hunter beat faster. The dealers change every 15 days, so it is important to try and seize as much of Dilli Haat’s diversity as possible. If you get hungry while shopping here, there is no need to leave the area: there are many excellent restaurants and food stands next to the selling booths and huts.
Paharganj has become especially famous between backpackers as a neighborhood where it is easy to find cheap deals. The name translates basically as “neighborhood of hills”. It is located in central Delhi, close to the railway station of New Delhi. In addition to cheap accommodation and excellent restaurants, Paharganj also houses a myriad of shops that sell all kinds of goods. This attracts not only tourists, but also many locals.
For 1 Person / Individual tour: 90 Euro
For 2 People: 48 Euro/Person
For 3 People: 37 Euro/Person
For 4 People: 35 Euro/Person
Taxi rides (private, acclimatized) – pick up at the airport / hotel
Guide (Debashree Chatterjee) – English language
Entrance fee for Dilli Haat
Everything else not mentioned under services
Since Debashree does not work as a guide, but as a journalist, a day tour implies “only” 6 hours. But quality is better than quantity!
If you want, you can take this tour also in a car (that’s how the motorized Rickshaws are called in India). Then it is of course a bit cheaper. However, the only air-conditioning in the car is the wind on your face. ;-P However, the vehicle will snake its way through the narrowest streets just for you.
Write us if you are looking for something more adventurous: email@example.com
To all the dear TRAVELERS: I can really truly RECOMMEND a tour with Debashree! I have been to Delhi several times, and one can’t have a more personal and exciting experience than with her! Debashree loves her homeland, her culture and its traditions – and she knows soooo much! She has a lot of exciting and entertaining things to tell – and always in the right “dose”. Something that I particularly like: through Debashree, one gets to look “behind the scenes” and can therefore learn very interesting details about the life in India. By the way, thanks to Debashree I became a Delhi lover (and that means something coming from me, for whom Vienna is already too big! 🙂
Ulli Felber, Graz
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