With a history stretching back to the 6th century BC, Delhi offers endless fascination for the adventurous traveller. From the glittering Red Fort of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the UNESCO-listed monuments of the fabled Qutb complex to the iconic petals of the Lotus Temple and the high-end fashion boutiques of Khan Market, Delhi’s spicy blend of ancient and modern packs a powerful punch. Best of all, direct flights from London to Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport now lay the jewels of India’s sparkling capital at your feet in under 9 hours.
Delhi’s subtropical climate delivers vastly different weather conditions from season to season. The monsoon rains peak during July and August following temperature highs in May and June. Despite these extremes, July is one of the most expensive months to fly from London to Delhi, owing to the traditional school holiday exodus. For the best choice of cheap flights to Delhi from London, consider travelling in February or March, when the weather is also pleasantly mild. Book at least 2 months in advance if you're planning a trip for Diwali in October or November. This so-called ‘festival of lights’, when buildings are beautifully decorated with colourful flowers and lanterns, is a favourite time for family reunions, and a popular visitor attraction.
Travellers from Heathrow have a choice of 3 different carriers offering direct London to Delhi flights. India’s Jet Airways is generally the most budget-friendly direct service, with an average flight time of 8 hours 30 minutes, and British Airways and Virgin Atlantic also cover the 4,200-mile journey in a similar time. Widen your options with one-stop routes via international hubs – examples include Turkish Airlines’ competitively priced departures from London Gatwick via Istanbul, Aeroflot-Russian Airlines’ service from Gatwick via Moscow, and Oman Air’s flights from Heathrow via Muscat.
There's a variety of ways to complete your journey once you land at Indira Gandhi International Airport. One of the fastest and most efficient means of reaching the city centre is via the speedy ‘Orange Line’ of the Delhi Airport Metro Express, which connects Terminal 3 with major destinations – including the transport hub of New Delhi Railway Station – in under 25 minutes. Alternatively, eco-friendly public buses serve the route between the airport and various central locations. For a convenient transfer direct to your hotel, licensed metered cabs can be hired from the taxi rank outside the terminal building.
Each era has left its mark on Delhi’s colourful heritage, but perhaps none so dramatically as that of the Mughal dynasty, whose powerful emperors ruled from the 16th to 19th centuries. Shah Jahan’s fabulous Red Fort is one of the most-visited attractions of Old Delhi. The palace complex encompasses numerous museums alongside some breathtakingly beautiful gardens. Visit in the evening to see the sound and light show that describes the fascinating history of the Mughals.
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