Hotels near Delhi Airport International
Located to the west of the city of New Delhi is the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which now is the busiest airport in South Asia. There are now two termimals T3 and T1D which are eight kilometers apart. So budget at least 30 additonal minutes to the time required for full fresh security and check-in drill to get to T1D if you have to catch a connecting flight within India.
You can either take the free shuttle if you are transferring from T3 to T1 from the new international terminal, nicknamed T3, near Pillar 9 or take a pre-paid taxi from the same location and vice -versa. There is also a paid shuttle from T3 to T1 and vice-versa for 25/- rupees.
T3, the brand new international terminal built in 2011, is equipped with all the amenities an international traveler needs - a huge variety of duty-free shopping that is available to inbound travelers as well as to outbound, currency exchanges offering reasonably good rates, mobile phone sim cards in case you want to turn your unlocked overseas cell phone into an Indian cell phone while in India, little rooms for sleeping off your jet lag, even "wave chairs" on which you can recline almost 180 degrees and catch a nap, and loads of restaurants catering to all tastes. Please ensure that any local SIM card you use in India is legitimate and issued to you in your name under proper documentation.
Currently, international visitors will arrive at the Delhi International T3. This terminal also has a domestic wing catering to flights inside India. In case you have a direct flight to catch within India post your arrival, you can transfer immediately from International Arrivals to Domestic departures. However only the following domestic airlines operate from T3 (Jet Airways, Jet Konnect, Vistara, Air Asia India and Air India)
This will not work if your domestic flight within India is with a low cost carrier such as Indigo, Spice Jet and Go Air. All these airlines operate their domestic services from the old terminal T1D. Getting from T3 to T1D will take around 30-40 mins depending on traffic and a full fresh security check drill.
Note: Indigo and Spice Jet are primarily domestic operators running some international routes. So in case you have an Indigo or SpiceJet international flight, you will have to take it to and from T3 and in case you have an Indigo or SpiceJet domestic flight, you will have to take it from T1D. The basic logic being that T1D does not support any international traffic and has no immegration facilities.
There are various modes of transportation from T3 to the city:
1. The very efficient Delhi Metro Airport Express Line (operates from about 0500 through to about 2300) now connects the airport to the heart of the city as well as neighbouring suburban towns like Faridabad, NOIDA, Ghaziabad and in a very roundabout way from the Airport, also the neighbouring Gurgaon. The Airport line is fully integrated now with the local Delhi Metro and the same Smart Card works on both. Once you arrive at a Delhi Metro station in the city, you can coordinate an Uber or Ola or hail a radio or black and yellow cab or catch an auto (tuktuk) or even a battery or cycle rickshaw to wherever you need to go. If you are carrying no more than a suitcase and a handbag then feel free to walk the last few kilometres. The Delhi Metro is a smart way to get to the city for less than a dollar though it also makes sense to buy a day-card or a regular smart card, both of which are available from the Airport Metro station itself at prices which are very reasonable. From any Metro station in Delhi, a 3-wheeler to anywhere within 2 or 3 kilometers is probably less than Rs. 100 (about USD 1.50) so knowing the closest Metro station to your eventual destination is a good idea and the best way to learn how to travel in and around Delhi faster than by road options.
The returnable deposit for a Delhi Metro Smart Card is all of 50 rupees (about 75 cents USD) and if you load it with a few hundred rupees worth of pre-paid "charge", you will also get 10% off on each ride and be saved the trouble of standing in lines to buy tokens or worry about getting off at the wrong stations. You can buy the Delhi Metro Smart Card at the Airport Express station underground as you exit T3, please have some Indian rupee currency ready, this will be the best investment you make for moving in and around Delhi.
If you want to connect to a long distance train one option is to catch the Airport Express Metro from T3 Delhi airport and get off at New Delhi. As you walk out of the Metro you will sight the New Delhi train station, ignore the touts and others firmly. Walk and enter. Turn to left and climb the stairs. Turn right and you are on the overhead bridge that connects all 16 platforms of the station. You have entered from the No.16 end so walk to the other end to get at No.1. Exit for Paharganj is from here. As you look out with the Delhi Airport Express and Delhi Metro stations at your back you will see Paharganj on the other side of the road. The International Tourist Bureau for Indian Railways is also at New Delhi Railway Station on the First Floor - be very careful of scam artistes trying to con you to go to some other office please.
If your train is from any of the other main railway stations or the Inter-State Bus terminals, then you have to switch from the Airport Express line to the normal Delhi Metro lines. Do read up on how to do this on the Delhi Metro website or follow the signage which is very intuitive or best of all, whether at Airport or at any Metro station, ask the Indian Government CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) security for help - they are the best and always helpful. The same CISF soldiers, usually wearing disruptive pattern uniforms and with the CISF logo on their shoulder pads, work at Delhi Airport and Metro Stations, and so they know what and how to guide and if you are in need of female help, they always have female soldiers nearby.
2. Prepaid taxis (Black and Yellow colored non AC) are available at a booth inside the arrival as well as also at another booth outside on Taxi bay of T3, the international terminal, as well as from the domestic terminal T1D. These taxis will drop you at the doorstep anywhere in Delhi but you need to beware of some scams like telling you that your hotel is full or them getting another person to ride with them or engaging the child lock so that you are stuck inside. The prepaid taxi booth has a menu of all the major destinations with the approved and fixed fare for each. There is no risk of a rip off because you are charged a fixed government approved fare for the trip. Also note that between 23:00 hr to morning 05:00 Hrs there is 25% extra night charge added on to the coupons.
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