It is often said that historical places have a soul of their own and we couldn’t agree more! There are places that take you back in time; monuments with more stories to tell than you can ever listen to; and structures where you can hear history talking to you, through every nook and cranny. Wondering where to experience such a delightful and one-of-its kind tryst with history? Head to Delhi, my friend! Our national capital is a fascinating place that offers you a complete dose of history, heritage, culture, and tradition on any given day.

To put it bluntly, there is no dearth of historical sites in the capital city; if anything, there is only abundance, which makes your task of choosing a few sites to visit a little difficult. If you are doubtful where to begin, stay with us till the end of this post while we unravel some of the must-visit historical places in Delhi that will leave you spellbound. When history reveals itself in all its grandeur and glory, what can we, the mortals, do than watching and listening in reverence?

Historical Places in Delhi That Have Earned A Place in UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The historical places in Delhi offer a visual treat and soul-stirring experience to history buffs, art connoisseurs, and tourists alike. Even better, some of these places have made it to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. As of 2018, there are three World Heritage Sites in the city and you shouldn’t miss out on visiting any of these. Here’s the list. 

Red Fort

Red Fort | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Red Fort | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Also known as Lal Qila, Red Fort was brought to life by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, in 1639. Since then, it had been the regal residence of numerous Mughal emperors who enjoyed a royal stay in this magnificent fortress-palace during their reign in Delhi. The fort derives its name from the red sandstone used in building its fortified walls. Today, Red Fort is not only a tourist site thronged by millions every year but also the chief venue of the country’s Independence Day celebrations, where the Prime Minister hoists the flag and addresses the citizens. History has it that the fort was once decked with several artworks and jewels, all of which were plundered during Nadir Sha’s invasion. Yet, this massive structure still remains as the most prized jewel in the list of India’s heritage sites.

Location: Netaji Subhash Marg, Chandni Chowk

Timings: 09:30 am to 04:30 pm all days; Monday closed

Entry fee:

Indian Citizens – ₹ 35 per person

Foreign Nationals – ₹ 500 per person

Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk 

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

If on the one hand, Delhi consists of astounding forts, on the other, it is dotted with beautiful mausoleums housing the tombs of great emperors who were instrumental in shaping Indian history. Humayun’s Tomb, also called Maqbara e Humayun is no less than an architectural splendor, although it is a monument with the tomb of the great Mughal emperor Humayun. Designed by two Persian architects in the famous charbagh layout, it is one of the first and finest garden tombs in the country, which also inspired several other monuments, including Taj Mahal.  Another interesting fact about this mausoleum is that it was commissioned and supervised by none other than Humayun’s bereaved wife, Bega Begum, in 1570.

Location: Mathura Road, Nizamuddin East

Timings: 06.00 am to 06.00 pm; every day

Entry fee:

Indians: ₹ 30 per person

Foreigners: ₹ 500 per person

Video Filming: ₹ 25

Nearest Metro Station: JLN Stadium/ Jorbagh 

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Qutub Minar | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

This surely tops the list of top 10 historical monuments in Delhi as this is a must-visit for everyone the city. The tallest brick minaret in the world, Qutub Minar is identified as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO owing to its rich history and the creative design. Though the construction of this gigantic structure was started in 1192 by Qutb-Ud-din-Aibak, who founded the Delhi Sultanate, the minaret was completed over many years under the supervision of many kings who came after him. Not just the minaret but several other historical monuments inside the complex, such as the Alai Darwaza, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Tomb of Iltutmish, etc., are major attractions that often leave the onlookers awestruck.

Location: Mehrauli

Timings: 07:00 am to 05:00 pm, every day

Entry fee:

Indians: ₹ 30 per person

Foreigners: ₹ 500 per person

Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar 

Other Important Historical Sites in Delhi

From the Mauryas and Mughals to the British, Delhi has seen many reigns, each of which left its traces in the form of monuments and colossal structures. Each site in Delhi has a rich and compelling story to tell about these dynasties that reigned and flourished and declined in its soil. Here are a few historical places that will take you down the lane of history.

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Jantar Mantar | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

If you are curious to know how the rulers of former times created their calendar each year, all you need to do is head straight to Jantar Mantar, an equinoctial sundial and observatory built several centuries back, in 1724, by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur.  It houses 13 astronomy instruments that were built to predict the distance and speed of heavenly bodies, their location, and the movement of the sun and other celestial bodies. Top three instruments built here include Samrat, Jayaprakash and Mishra Yantra that were often used for predicting the position of the sun and also figure out the longest and shortest days of the year.

Location:  Sansad Marg, Connaught Place

Timings: Sunrise to Sunset; every day

Entry fee:

Indian Citizens – ₹ 5 per person

Foreign Nationals – ₹ 100 per person

Nearest Metro Station: Patel Chowk 

Purana Qila

Purana Qila | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Purana Qila | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

This fort is famous for two things. First, it is one of the oldest forts ever built in Delhi (5000 years old) and second, it is the spot of the death of Mughal emperor Humayun who slipped from the stairs of his library and succumbed to the injuries. Purana Qila, which literally means Old Fort, is more of a boundary wall around which the city was built and has fortifications that are as tall as 20 meters with a thickness of four meters – indeed an impenetrable wall. The light and sound show conducted here walks you through the history of this lesser known fort that traces its origins to the 16th Century. Apart from this show, one can even opt for a refreshing boat ride in the outskirts of the fortress.

Location: Mathura Road

Timings: 7:00 am to 05:00 pm; every day

Entry fee:

Indian Citizens – ₹ 20 per person

Foreign Nationals – ₹ 200 per person

Nearest Metro Station: Pragati Maidan

Light and Sound Show Timings:

Hindi – 07:30 pm to 08.30 pm; closed on Fridays

English – 09.00 pm to 10.00 pm; closed on Fridays

Light and Sound Show Entry Fees:

Adults – ₹ 100 per person

Children (3 to 12 years) – ₹ 50 per person

Students, senior citizens, and differently-abled people – ₹ 50 per person

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Jama Masjid | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

This wondrous mosque made of red sandstone and marble was built by the great Shah Jahan and is considered to be one of the biggest mosques in India. It was built at a whopping cost of one million rupees between 1644 and 1656 and it was an Imam from Uzbekistan who inaugurated this beautiful place of worship. The mosque can accommodate nearly 25,000 worshippers at a time in its courtyard. The festival of Eid finds thousands of worshippers performing their morning Namaz in this monumental structure. Visit this site in the evening for a surreal experience of the brilliant sunset where the dome and minarets are drenched in the beautiful hues of crimson orange.

Location: Off Netaji Subhash Marg, Chandni Chowk

Timings: 07:00 am to 12:00 pm and 01:30 pm to 06:30 pm; every day (tourists not allowed during the hours of prayer)

Entry fee: No fee

Nearest Metro Station: Chawri Bazaar

Agrasen Ki Baoli

Agrasen Ki Baoli | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Agrasen Ki Baoli | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

If you have never visited a stepwell, a common sight in many Indian forts, you will surely be awestruck by Agrasen Ki Baoli, a historical step well with a length and width of 60 meters and 15 meters, respectively. Historical records regarding its origins are scanty, but it is believed that the well was built by Maharaja Agrasen and rebuilt in the 14th century. This ancient water reservoir protected by the Archeological Survey of India has 108 steps, and as you step down deeper into the well, the dank smell of moisture and the solid structures carved out of rocks will transport you to the historic era. Do not venture too deep as you might have to fight hundreds of bats before you find your way back to the top. This one-of-its-kind historical site in Delhi has been featured in many films, including PK and Sultan.

Location: Hailey road

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:30 pm; every day

Entry fee: No fee

Nearest Metro Station: Barakhambha 

Lodhi Tomb

Lodhi Tomb | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Lodhi Tomb | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

If you still linger on and wish to check out more tombs in the city, head next to the tomb of Sikandar Lodi to get a glimpse of the architectural marvel of the Lodi dynasty that ruled Delhi in the fifteenth century. Nestled amidst the lush Lodi gardens, this tomb entwines the rustic beauty of the surroundings with the age-old history. Built during 1517 and 1518 by Lodi’s son Ibrahim Lodi, the tomb is a fine example of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture.

Location: Lodi gardens

Timings: 05:00 am to 08:00 pm; every day

Entry fee: No fee

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh/ JLN Stadium 

Hauz Khaz Siri

Hauz Khaz Siri | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Hauz Khaz Siri | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

If you choose to explore this fort built by Alauddin Khilji in 1303, you are sure to be intrigued by an eeriness this fort creates, and a feeling of haunted-ness creeps inside you. That’s because the heads of close to 8000 Mongols were buried here and the meandering walls of the fort were created to safeguard the once beautiful fort from Mongols. The palace and fort were destructed and stolen off their precious stones and other artifacts during the rule of Sher Shah Suri, leaving behind damaged rubble in lieu.

Location: Hauz Khaz

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm; every day

Entry fee: No fee

Nearest Metro Station: Green Park 

Feroz Shah Kotla

Feroz Shah Kotla | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Feroz Shah Kotla | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

This fort built by the Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century houses the pristine Topra Ashokan Pillar of the 3rd century, which is a remnant from the Mauryan dynasty. The fort also has Jami Masjid, a Baoli or well, and a garden complex inside it. Behind this fort lies the famous cricket stadium of the same name. This fort is believed to be haunted owing to the djinns that reside in its dark alleys and ruins. One surely experiences goosebumps when walking around in these alleys, especially after sunset.

Location: Vikram Nagar

Timings: 10:00 am to 07:00 pm; every day

Entry fee:

Indian Citizens and SAARC Members – ₹ 5 per person

Foreign Nationals: ₹ 100 per person  

Children (Up to 15 years) – Free

Nearest Metro Station: Pragati Maidan 

Safdarjung Tomb

Safdarjung Tomb | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Safdarjung Tomb | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

This garden tomb made of marble and sandstone for the Wazir or the Prime Minister of the Mughal dynasty, Safdarjung, is touted to be the last such mausoleum, depicting the Mughal architectural style. The tomb, which was built in 1754, was also featured in the American biographical drama Jobs. The sprawling charbagh or the gardens with the water canals running adjacent to it makes the mausoleum look nothing less than an artistic wonder. 

Location: Delhi Race Club

Time: 07:00 am to 05:00 pm; every day

Entry fee:

Indian Citizens – ₹ 15 per person

Foreign Nationals – ₹ 200 per person

Video Filming: ₹ 25

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh 

India Gate

India Gate | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

India Gate | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

The India Gate is one of the best places to visit in Delhi with friends to not only admire the splendid architecture of the imposing structure but also to walk on the lush green pavements and enjoy ice creams on a breezy evening. It is a war memorial of the British Era built during 1921 and 1931 in the memory of the soldiers of British Indian Army who died during the First World War. Later, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was installed and surrounded by four eternal flames to commemorate the soldiers who were killed in the Bangladesh Liberation War. In the evening, this 138-feet tall tower with a triumphal arch is lit in brilliant lights, and in this light glows the names of all the soldiers that are inscribed on it.

Location: Rajpath

Time: 24×7

Entry fee: No fee 

Rashtrapati Bhavan

Rashtrapati Bhavan | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Rashtrapati Bhavan | Among The Best Historical Places in Delhi

Visiting the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the dream of every Indian citizen who wishes to take a tour of the massive Presidential Estate, the elegant Mughal gardens, and the newly inaugurated museum that deftly depicts the history of this building. Built during the period 1912 to 1929, this 340-room building once served as the British Viceroy’s House and was first occupied by Lord Irwin during the British Raj, and later by C Rajagopalachari after India gained independence. The building incorporates classical motifs, evidently the Indo-Saracenic motifs, and also possesses structures such as statues of elephants, acanthus leaves, four pendant bells, etc., that depict a blend of Mauryan, Mughal, and regional architectural styles. This Presidential Palace is the second largest in the world after the Quirinal Palace in Rome.

Location: President’s Estate

Timings: There are three circuits and the timings of each may vary.

Entry fee: ₹ 50 per person

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat

The intricate designs and carvings seen on each of these monuments explain how brilliant and innovative were the sculptors and artisans who sacrificed their lives to build these astounding structures. Traversing this splendid city and visiting each of these monuments requires at least three to four days’ time. So what are you waiting for? Book a room in any of the best hotels in Delhi, explore the city with your friends or alone, and be smitten by all these historic monuments. Make sure you carry a good sunblock to save yourself from the scorching sun and a camera to click your heart away!