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Delhi Getting There & Around

Unlike several cities in Europe and other places, which can be explored on foot, Delhi’s attractions are spread out across its vast landscape. So walking from one place of interest to another isn’t always feasible. The city is not very pedestrian friendly either, with vehicles of all shapes and sizes dominating the roads. People cross roads at any point in the street, like elsewhere in India, and it can be a bit daunting if you’re not used to it!

Public transportation is in abundance and you can hire a taxi or a rented car for a certain period of time. Taxis usually have a fixed rate for either four hours or eight hours, or they will charge you per kilometer, the rate ranging from Rs. 9 per km to Rs.13 (1 US Dollar = Approximately 45 Indian Rupees). The best option is to hire them from a pre-paid taxi booth, where the rates are clearly shown and there is some accountability. This is strongly advised when making your way from the airport to the city, especially at night.

The public buses are generally overcrowded, spilling over with passengers who cling even to the doorway, trying to get a toe on to the already crowded steps. So unless you’re particularly adventurous they are not the most comfortable way of getting around. The green and yellow three-wheeled autorickshaws are a much better option. The drivers are supposed to charge you according to an electronic meter, which clocks the distance and rate per kilometer, but find haggling for a rate far more satisfying (and profitable!).

It’s best to get a general idea about rates for your destination before you make the trip so that you don’t literally get taken for a ride. There is usually a 25 percent hike in rates for both taxis and autos from 11pm to 5am.

The Delhi Metro is great, but since it is relatively new, having opened in 2002, it does not cover all parts of the city yet. There are two lines that go from east to west and a shorter one going from north to south.