Welcome to New Delhi: getting to the city centre from Indira Gandhi International Airport

Photo courtesy of IGIA

New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is the nation’s busiest airport. We aren’t surprised by this, as the city boasts a myriad of monuments, markets and food options to discover. We’ve put together a list of ways to make it easy for you to decide how to get into New Delhi:

Metro

We love New Delhi’s metro system. It is air-conditioned (which, during the inferno of summer heat is a lifesaver), cheap, and reliable throughout the day. Within 20-30 minutes, one can get from the airport to the city centre. Upon arrival, follow signs to the Airport Express metro line (“Orange line”). This metro line takes you from IGIA and stops at Dhaula Kuan, Shiavji Stadium, and ends at New Delhi Railway Station. Alternatively, if you arrive in Terminal 1 (domestic terminal), you can take the new “Magenta line” that is directly connected to IGIA Terminal 1.

  • Operating hours: 04:45 am to 11:30 pm, every 10-15 minutes
  • Accessible from both Terminal 1 (Magenta line) and 3 (Orange line)
  • Cost: (IGIA to New Delhi Station) 60 rupees

Ride-sharing apps: Ola and Uber

Uber and Ola have made us lazier beings, as we succumb to the ease of booking a ride to take us directly to our destination. There are designated areas outside of the arrivals area where your Uber or Ola driver can pick you up from. Although there are no official signs to guide you, you can ask travellers or airport staff to point you in the right direction.

  • Cost: Approximately 250 rupees to 400 rupees (fares fluctuate according to demand)
  • Ensure you have data or internet connection, as well as the Uber/Ola app already downloaded on your phone to make your booking experience seamless
  • Note: Traffic at certain times of day in Delhi can cause long delays; thus, if you need to be somewhere at a particular time, do factor this into your plans.

Taxi

One of the most frequented methods of getting to central Delhi from the airport is via prepaid taxi. This service is overseen by the Delhi Traffic Police: taxi drivers are held accountable for their service.

Prepaid taxi are available at both domestic and international arrival areas. Upon arrival at Terminal 3, you’ll find a prepaid taxi counter inside the terminal as well as another one when you exit and head towards the taxi zone. We advise travellers to arrange for their taxi from the counter inside the terminal to avoid being approached by unofficial taxi drivers and touts. Your fare is pre-determined by the government and varies depending on the area you are going.

  • Cost: approximately 400-500 rupees to the city centre (a surcharge of 25% is applicable for late night travel from 11pm to 5am)

Here are few tips to ensure you have a smooth experience:

  • When you pay for your taxi at the counter, you will be handed two receipts (one green and one pink) with taxi’s number.
  • The green receipt is to be handed to the driver at the end of the trip; this is what he needs to show to get paid by the taxi office. Ensure that you do not give the taxi driver this receipt until you arrive at your destination. If your driver is being difficult, this receipt will be useful in navigating negotiations with him.

Bus

Buses are another cheap way to get into the city. Most buses are owned by the State-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) or private companies. DTC runs shuttle services every 30 minutes, taking passengers from Terminal 3 to central New Delhi (for example, Connaught Place and Interstate Bus Terminals). These buses also offer comfort of air conditioning.
  • Pick-up/drop-off point: Terminal 3 “staging area,” across from the Centaur Hotel
  • For detailed routes and schedules visit:¬†http://www.delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/DOIT_DTC/dtc/all+services/igi+airport+bus+service
  • Note: when on the road in Delhi, traffic can pose a problem so do keep in mind that getting into the city centre may take longer than expected.

Happy travels! We can’t wait to take you around Delhi.

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