Lifestyle in Delhi

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From its boiling summers that end in monsoons to its diverse mix of people, Delhi is a city that can either be loved or loathed by expats. One of the busiest cities in India, it’s said to house more people than it can fit.
Delhi exists in pockets. There are distinct areas for the middle class, such as Golf Links, the huge embassy area and South Delhi featuring luxury shopping malls such as Ambiance and Saket and wide boulevards with water features. The development around Jasola Apollo hospital hosts a generation of business folk and migrants. Compare this to the timeless charm of the Old City with its ruins and crowded streets and the contrasting lifestyles of expats living in Delhi can be significant.
Delhi is a mix of old and new with parks like Lodi Gardens, an idyllic place to jog, picnic or people watch. Lifestyle malls are also fashionable spots to spend free time. India is increasingly popular with international brands, such as Starbucks, which has opened its doors in Connaught Place and Ambiance Mall. Still, Delhi’s history can be seen in its architecture and the old ambassador cars that hint at a British empire of times bygone.

Nightlife in Delhi

Delhi has a diverse nightlife. Mehrauli is great for live music, while Greater Kailash has a large club scene and Khan Market has many bars and roof terraces. Phara Ganj, near the railway station, has grown in popularity for notoriously cheap and cheerful bars, which come equipped with dusty beer bottles and shots of vodka. Much of the scene is located at ground level, with cows roaming past open doorways. This is the area where Indian-style hospitality collides with hippie culture and Bob Marley tunes.
Connaught Place (CP), in the centre of Delhi, is also home to a vibrant bar and entertainment scene. Karaoke bars that double up as eateries provide a good space for relaxing. In the inner and outer circle of CP there is live music, a revolving bar and restaurants with open rooftops.
There is a culture of drinking in Delhi, especially amongst the middle class and working professionals. Around the city ‘English wine and beer’ liquor stores have opened up, although they are generally shut by 10pm. New Delhi has been catching up with the Western ideas of a bargain night out, with many bars and hotels serving plush cocktails and hosting ‘happy hours’. In particularly religious areas, such as Old Delhi, restaurants are dry but some restaurants serving Western food do have a liquor license.

Shopping in Delhi

Haggling is the norm in Delhi, especially in the mass stretch of markets across Lajpat Nagar that sell everything a person could ever need. Shoe shops and tailors also line the market stands. Kitchen and homeware can also be purchased here.

The more upmarket area of Khan Market has luxury delis and top class clothing boutiques as well as an ample selection of bars and coffee shops to quench one's thirst in between. For cheap books, shirts and other clothing, expats should head to Janpath Market, while the Tibetan market is great for trinkets and other knick-knacks.

Restaurants in Delhi

A diverse mix of cuisine is available in restaurants across Delhi, from street food vendors in Chandi Chowk to high-end restaurants attached to hotels like the Lalit, whose international '24/7' cuisine boasts a wholesome buffet.

If expats want the true taste of Delhi, they should stick to the street food. Eating straight out of work at roadside eateries is a Delhi trend, but expats should head to outlets that look busy as this is where food will be freshly cooked. Hole-in-the-wall places satisfy every palette: Try Sona’s Sweets for more than dessert; the papri chaat with yoghurt and tamarind sauce mixed with crisp bites topped with a spicy sauce will fulfil all cravings. Chain restaurants such as Birkenvala and Kwality keep the stomach safe and don’t disappoint. Delicious samosas and fresh chana along with south Indian dishes can be found. To splash out, brunching at Out of the Box or Imperfecto in Hauz Khas village are great options for an international twist.

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