The Old Delhi Spice Market Rooftop is a popular spot amongst young travelers and Instagrammers. Also known as Khari Baoli and Asia’s largest spice market, this place is crazy and chaotic from the moment the sun rises. As you walk through the market, your senses are sure to be overwhelmed by the intense smell of all the spices.
How to get to the Old Delhi Spice Market Rooftop
We found that the best way to get around New Delhi without the stress is to hire a driver. We were shown around by India Driver Tours and definitely recommend their helpful and friendly service. Without our drivers help, we wouldn’t have found the Old Delhi Spice Market Rooftop. If you would rather get to the market yourself, the best option would be to take a rickshaw.
Your driver will be able to ask locals how to get to the rooftop so he can show you the way. If you make your own way there, theres a good chance you’ll struggle to find the entrance. The entrance is very hard to spot and easy to miss. We walked around the outside of the complex past the flower merchants. Then we went down a small lane leading into the spice market. There will be a small opening with stairs leading up to the roof. Follow the stairs all the way up until you’re on the rooftop. Locals live in this area so you’ll catch a glimpse of how they live. It isn’t always pretty but the view from the top is amazing!
Opening hours/Best time to visit
If you just want to head to the rooftop for photos, then you’ll be able to do so at anytime. We visited for sunrise just before 7am. It was the perfect time as the locals were still asleep. When we went, we had the whole area to ourselves. If you plan to visit in the afternoon, expect to have quite a few people watching you.
If you want to experience the locals selling spices and the market in full swing, then the best time to visit would be around lunch time. There are currently no official hours for the market, although we’ve read that they start trading at around 8am.
What to expect
Just like most parts of Delhi, the Old Spice Market is crazy and chaotic. If you get a chance to visit this spot early in the morning then you’ll get to experience a slightly more quiet side. From the Old Delhi Spice Market Rooftop you will have endless views over the spice market. Additionally, you’ll see into the local way of life as you may spot some locals showering outside with buckets of water. Getting off the street to watch the hustle and bustle from a rooftop is really an awesome sight and a great insight into Indian culture.
As you make your way through the spice market, be sure to cover your nose as the smell is so intense that you’ll instantly start to cough. Another thing to be mindful of when visiting early are the homeless that may still be sleeping on the roof. They’ll be sleeping, wrapped in blankets or anything they have so try your best not to disturb them.
The Old Delhi Spice Market rooftop is definitely an awesome spot to visit while you’re in Delhi! After you’re done at the spice market, be sure to also stop by the Ancient Stepwell in New Delhi for some incredible architecture.
Where to stay
The best area for backpackers and budget travellers to stay in is Paharganj. This place accommodates most to tourists so you’ll be able to find plenty of cheap restaurants, shopping and other travellers. Paharganj is a very chaotic and bustling place that isn’t the cleanest. If you’re looking to stay somewhere more luxurious and clean, there are still plenty of options around New Delhi.
Radisson Blu Marina Hotel Connaught Place – Luxury: The Radisson Hotel is located in Delhi’s city centre so you’ll be able to experience everything on offer. The hotel has plenty of dining options and facilities such as the spa and fitness centre. This location is great for people interested in culture, ancient landmarks and food as it’s so close to everything!
Hotel City Star – Midrange: Hotel City Star is a very affordable and safe place to stay during your visit. It’s 400m from New Delhi Railway Station and only 1 km from the well-known Connaught Place. They have a beautiful rooftop restaurant and large enough rooms for you to relax after a full day exploring the city. The property is clean and the staff are also super friendly, making you feel right at home.
Sprinklers – Budget: Sprinklers is a great hostel that’s clean and has very helpful staff. They’ll be able to help you book any tours or sightseeing and they’ll even be able to help set you up with a sim card. The hostel is also walking distance to the train station which makes onward travel super easy!
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