Destination: New Delhi, India // Agra, India -Taj Mahal
NAMASTE! WE WENT TO INDIA!!! I have literally always wanted to go to India my whole life, just something about the culture intrigued me. Plus, who doesn’t love Indian food?! We stayed about a week and I didn’t even think that was enough time there! So much to see, Delhi is huge -18 million people actually 😱.
We had an awesome time and met Jerry & Mona while we were there. They live in Delhi and took us around a bit and recommended things while we were there.. They were AWESOME and literally made us feel like family ❤️. Their 4 year old daughters name is Nina too! Such a cutie. Here’s a little bit of what we learned while in India along with some things we did and would recommend!
WHAT TO DO
TAJ MAHAL!!! -well obviously a must see. The Taj Mahal is in Agra, India about 4 hours from Delhi (which I had no idea it was so far). It was absolutely amazing to see one of the seven wonders of the world!!!! Make sure you get there early so you can get nice pictures before it gets too crowded!
Agra Fort aka “Red Fort” -also in the city of Agra. Gorgeous red stone.
Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah a.k.a “Baby Taj Mahal” -modeled right after the original Taj. Very beautiful!
Lotus Temple -in New Delhi. Shaped like a lotus flower. It’s very different and modern looking from all the other temples in Delhi. Open to the public to go inside.
Chandni Chowk Market -this market was literally insane! It’s one of the oldest and busiest markets. Thousands of cable wires and crowds of people. It’s safest to take a ricksha through the market to avoid pickpocketing.
WHAT TO EAT
- Rang de Basanti, Hauz Khas, New Delhi -very very authentic Indian restaurant Jerry and Mona took us to. The best Indian food I’ve ever had, literally!
- ‘Bukhara’ , ITC Hotels , New Delhi -this was rated one of the best restaurants in the world. Many U.S. presidents and celebrities come here when they visit New Delhi. It was also delicious!! You can order naan (Indian bread) the size of the table!
- Try Indian Masala Chai Tea!
- Paneer is the best dish hands down in my opinion. Anything paneer I loved. Paneer is similar to tofu but made with curdling milk. That’s pretty much all I ate for a week straight haha.
- Gulab jamun -fried milk balls soaked in syrup or honey for dessert! So good.
- Naan, curry, butter chicken… try it all!
-Traveling to a foreign country always make sure you’re careful of your surroundings.. duh right. But in India we had to just be a little bit more careful then usual for pickpocketing etc.
-I stood out like a sore thumb being blonde in India and it caused a lot of distraction. BUT I always dressed appropriately, never went anywhere alone, etc. Respect their culture and just be smart.
-Try all the food!!! It’s literally so so good. But some can be very spicy (for me anyway haha).
-If your from the U.S. you need a visa, shots, and to be taking malaria pills to travel to India.
-There’s literally cows EVERYWHERE in India. All over the freeways, roads, sidewalks.. everyone just swerves around them and acts as if they are not there! Also, there are wild monkeys!!
-We didn’t do a lot of walking around wandering aimlessly. We took drivers everywhere and then only walked around the temples/sites.
-Honestly, I would not recommend India as a solo trip, especially for women. I don’t think I would travel there without my boyfriend or brother with me. It’s a lot safer for women if other men know you’re with someone and not by yourself.
-You can’t/won’t find beef on any menus in India. Most people are actually vegetarians and the vegetarians dishes are honestly better than any of the chicken/meat dishes anyway!
-Don’t eat any of the fruit or vegetables (unless cooked), if you are not used to them because they might cause you stomach problems.
WHERE TO STAY
- ITC Grand Bharat – this hotel was BEAUTIFUL! Literally felt like we were staying in a palace. It’s gated and very safe. It was a little out of New Delhi but worth it for this 5 star experience. There is also another ITC hotel in the center of New Delhi that would be closer to the action.
HOW TO DRESS IN INDIA
If you plan on visiting India, be very respectful of their culture. Women should cover their legs and shoulders at all times. This will avoid putting men into a tizzy and women giving disapproving looks. You won’t see a single woman in India with their legs showing, at least the places we travelled (no idea if southern India is different).
When I got off the plane, we were just coming from Dubai, I was wearing a dress that went to my mid thigh and EVERYONE, I kid you not, EVERYONE was staring at my legs. So do as I say, not as I do haha. I obviously wasn’t planning on dressing like that in India but we were traveling all day and going straight to our hotel when we got there so I figured it would be okay… I was wrong.
Women traditionally wear sari’s in India. Some sari’s can actually be pretty revealing, some more conservative. Some sari’s women wear show almost their whole stomach and back with it all open.. but regardless, always cover their legs. Immersing yourself in the culture is such an important part of traveling. Food, clothing, language, etc. I bought a sari while I was there but mostly wore maxi dresses, flowy pants, etc.
We LOVED India and experiencing such a different culture! We can’t wait to go back and check out other parts of India too and see Jerry, Mona and Nina again! Little Nina sent us a video after we got back to the states and it just melted my heart. It’s in my vlog! Check it out down below! If you have any questions about India or our trip feel free to message me!