Delhi, with its many markets and boutiques, is unrivaled in India as a shopping destination. You can get literally everything there. If you've seen an item somewhere in India, it's sure to be available in Delhi too. This means that tourists who are flying out of Delhi can conveniently wait until the end of their India trip to fill suitcases with souvenirs and gifts. Handicrafts, art, clothes, textiles, jewelry, and spices are all sought-after items. Here's the pick of the best places to go shopping in Delhi.
Chandni Chowk: Bargain Goods and Spices
Savvy locals flock to congested and chaotic Chandi Chowk, in the heart of Old Delhi, for the best deals on goods in the city. The shops are largely grouped together in various sections according to what they sell. Katra Neel is known for Indian clothes and fabrics, Kinari Bazaar has trimmings and bling for Indian weddings, silver jewelry and perfumes are the specialties at Dariba Kalan, you'll find sunglasses and shoes at Ballimaran Market, shawls and pearls feature at Moti Bazaar, and Gali Guliyan has brass and copper antiques. Asia's largest spice market at Khari Baoli is another attraction. In between shopping, drop into Haveli Dharampura for lunch or grab some famed Delhi street food.
A word of warning though, the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk are challenging to navigate if you're not familiar with the neighborhood. It's wise to take a personalized guided tour to locate specific items and save money. Ketaki of Delhi Shopping Tours is excellent. Do note that shops in Chandni Chowk are closed on Sundays.
Sarojini Nagar: Export Surplus
One of the best reasons to visit Delhi is to refresh your wardrobe at Sarojini Nagar market. Export surplus garments are sold there at throwaway prices (we're talking T-shirts from only 100 rupees). The two export lanes that run off Lane E have the best stuff, including brands such as Zara and ASOS. Graffiti Lane, at the opposite end of Lane E, also has fabulous clothes. Trendy leather shoes and bags are available at Sarojini Nagar too, with Old Tree being a standout store. Make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase, as it's hard not to go crazy! Tuesdays and Wednesdays are ideal days to go for fresh stock. Follow these tips for haggling, dress down to get the greatest discounts, and bring enough cash.
Paharganj: Cheap and Wholesale Goods for Travelers
Paharganj is notoriously known for being Delhi's seedy backpacker district. However, it also has the cheapest priced goods after Chandni Chowk. Travelers who are willing to brave the crowds and unsavory bits will appreciate the array of colorful hippie clothes, bags, textiles, incense, and music. Main Bazaar Road opposite New Delhi Railway Station is lined with shops, and many of them trade in wholesale. If you have time after placing your order, it's possible for goods to be customized. See what's up for grabs in our guide to shopping in Paharganj.
Janpath: Something for Everyone
There's a bit of everything for sale on Janpath, the long wide street that runs directly south from Connaught Place. The different sections include a Tibetan market, Gujarati market, and flea market. These markets have all kinds of Tibetan thangka paintings, jewelry, curios, vibrant embroidered textiles, clothes, and accessories. Some of the jewelry is studded with semi-precious stones but you'll need to be adept in distinguishing between real and fake stones. In addition, government-owned Central Cottage Industries Emporium in Jawahar Vyapar Bhavan sells quality fixed-priced handicrafts from all over India. Janpath is in a premium part of central New Delhi and the luxury Imperial hotel is close-by, so don't expect to get a bargain easily. The busiest day is Saturday and many shops are closed on Sunday.
Khan Market: Popular Brands
Posh Khan Market near India Gate is favored by expats and India's elite, who regularly browse the brand showrooms and boutiques there. Popular stores include Good Earth, Kiehl's, Kama Ayurveda, Forest Essentials, Amrapali, and Fab India. You can stock up on gorgeous homewares, beauty products, and designer fashion. Khan Market is also a hip place to hang out, with an eclectic collection of restaurants and bars.
Dilli Haat used to be the go-to place to buy handicrafts direct from artisans in India. However, it has unfortunately lost a lot of its appeal. These days, numerous stalls sell the same thing, and there's also been an influx of cheap Chinese goods. If you're looking for unique and exclusive products, Dastkar Nature Bazaar near Qutub Minar and Mehrauli Archeological Park is a better option. Leading craftspeople from all over India come there to showcase their wares. There are permanent stalls, as well as stalls on rotation at the regular themed 12-day events held every month.
The National Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan is another great place to buy quality arts and crafts direct from the artisans. Every month, the museum hosts 25 different artisans from across India. They're provided with a dedicated market space to display and sell their products. Paintings from various regions and tribes -- such as Madhubani paintings, and Worli and Gond art -- are highlights. The museum is open daily, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entry fee is 20 rupees for Indians and 200 rupees for foreigners.
Sundar Nagar: Art, Antiques, and Tea
Those who are in-the-know head to the revitalized residential neighborhood of Sundar Nagar for its art galleries, antiques, and tea shops. Gallery 29 has a fine collection of diverse Indian art from more than 40 talented artists, while Kumar Gallery specializes in modern Indian art. Visit Curio Palace for brass and wooden handicrafts. Asia Tea House and Mittal Tea House both stock a vast variety of gourmet exotic teas. It's also worth having a meal at one of the restaurants in Sundar Nagar.
Shahpur Jat: Designer Boutiques
Once overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Hauz Khas, Shahpur Jat urban village has really come into its own in recent years. This atmospheric South Delhi urban village is now renowned for being an edgy hub of designer fashion, embroidery, tailoring, pottery, art studios, and wholesome cafes. The village was built on the remains of medieval 14th century Siri Fort, established by the Khilji dynasty. It's home to many skilled artisans from other states in India, creating an unusual amalgamation of rural and urban elements. The Delhi government holds an annual two-day Shahpur Jat Autumn Festival there to promote the area. Most of the top boutiques are situated along Dada Jungi House Lane, Fashion Street, and Gora Street. Keep an eye out for the street murals that decorate the walls of buildings too.
Mahila Haat: Second-Hand Books
Delhi's iconic Sunday secondhand book market relocated to Mahila Haatnear Delhi Gate in late 2019. It's the ideal place to pick up inexpensive books across all genres from the sprawling piles spread out by vendors. You may even get lucky and unearth some first editions! The market runs all day Sundays. Get there early, by 9:30 a.m. or so, for the best selection and hone your haggling skills beforehand.