Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Tue May 05 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | May 5, 2015 3:00 AM ET

    Traveling to India? Don't Miss A Visit To Delhi

    Traveling to India? Don't Miss A Visit To Delhi

    Image courtesy of Thinkstock

    You either love Delhi or you hate it — I’ve found very few travelers fall in between. But no matter where your feelings lie on the spectrum, there’s no arguing that Delhi is a city quite unlike anywhere else in the world. My first experience was one marked my sensory overload as I tried to navigate the overwhelming noises, the foreign smells, the exotic colors, and the pulsating crowds. But after a few weeks the city began to win me over, and I fell in love with its unique and vibrant energy.

    That’s not to say Delhi isn’t without its problems. The poverty is heartbreaking. Female travelers must exercise an additional amount of discretion. The trash that fills the streets is less than inspiring. But if you can look past these issues, you’ll find warm and welcoming people who want to invite you into their rich culture. You’ll find incredible amounts of history, and you’ll savor some of the best cuisines in the world. Ready to give Delhi a try? Don’t miss these must-visit attractions:

    The Qutb Minar Complex

    One of the most visited attractions in all of India, first up is a stop at the Qutb Minar. Towering above the ground at 72.5 meters high, this red sandstone and marble minar dates back to the 13th century. In addition to the stunning tower, there are plenty of other archeological sites and ruins to visit in the complex, such as India’s first Islamic mosque. For particularly stunning photos of the archeological site, time your visit at dusk.

    The Red Fort

    This iconic symbol of India gets its name from the massive red sandstone walls that once enclosed the ancient Mughal Empire. The impressive structure dates back to 1648 when it was first built as a fortified palace to serve as the capital of the Mughal Emperor. Its grandeur lasted for 200 years until it was later converted into barracks for the British. Today wandering through the Red Fort is a memorable experience, especially for architecture aficionados.

    Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the chaos of Delhi, then head to this serene Sikh house of worship. The glittering golden domes are hard to miss; follow them, and they will lead you to an expansive pool, perfect for meditating alongside. You’re sure to find tranquility while also perhaps learning about a new culture and religion. Time your visit during lunch to take advantage of the delicious restaurant inside the temple complex.

    Humayun’s Tomb

    Humayun's Tomb was built in the 1500s as a tomb for the second Mughal Emperor of India. The historic site is perhaps most notable for its intricate Persian details. It was also the first garden-tomb of its kind in India, as well as the inspiration for the new architectural innovations that would eventually lead to the construction of the marvelous Taj Mahal. This quiet masterpiece is much less frequented than the Taj, so some prefer it to the more famous landmark.

    The Bazaars of Old Delhi

    Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the irresistible liveliness of Delhi’s bazaars. Here you’ll have the chance to mingle with locals, peruse through goods and spices, and sample the sensational food. Navigate the market on your own or get a local’s perspective with a private tour, consistently ranked one of the top attractions in all of Delhi. And don’t be afraid to try the street food, as long as it is prepared fresh in front of you. Delhi is one of those destinations that is best experienced if you slow down to allow yourself plenty of time to embrace the dynamic characteristics of the city. Though it’s easy to race from attraction to attraction (especially in a place as full of culture and history as Delhi!) remember to take the time to experience the unique energy this bustling locale has to offer.

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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