Delhi’s de facto city center, Connaught Place is a historical double traffic circle lined with chain stores, restaurants, and roadside stalls selling everything from snacks to magazines. It was built under British rule between 1929 and 1933 and retains its colonial flair, with white colonnaded buildings inspired by the Royal Crescent in Bath.
Connaught Place, which Delhiites frequently refer to as CP, is one of Delhi’s best places for people-watching, shopping, or just soaking up the city’s fast-paced atmosphere. It’s also a good starting point for visiting other New Delhi attractions; the Bangla Sahib Sikh temple, India Gate, Janpath Market, and the Jantar Mantar observatory are all a stone’s throw away. As such, many Delhi group and private tours start or finish in Connaught Place, and some even include a meal in one of the area’s many popular restaurants.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Beware of touts, some of whom try to befriend foreigners in Connaught Place in order to drive them to local shops—from which they’ll get heavy commissions.
- Crossing the street can be difficult here, particularly around the outer circle, but there are plenty of underground passageways, called “subways,” that make getting across roads easy.
- Bring cash for streetside shops, many of which do not take credit cards.
How to Get There
Connaught Place is located in Central Delhi, just south of the New Delhi Railway Station and north of India Gate. It’s is one of the easiest spots in Delhi to access by metro: Rajiv Chowk station sits below Connaught Place’s inner circle and serves both the Yellow and Blue Lines, making it a popular transit point. First-time travelers may want to avoid dealing with crowds in the metro and visit with a tour instead.
When to Get There
Connaught Place is most crowded in the evening and on Saturdays. Like all of New Delhi, the area can get unbearably hot during summer (May and June); during this time of year, it’s best to visit at or after sunset, when temperatures begin to cool down. Most shops open around 10am or 11am, remain open until 8pm or later, and are closed on Sunday.
Connaught Place for Foodies
Connaught Place has a ton of great spots to eat, from street-side snack stalls to classic, Raj-era establishments such Wenger’s bakery and United Coffee House, as well as a smattering of sleek bars, hip cafés, and American fast-food joints. Many tours of the area stop for a lunch in CP, often at the casual South Indian vegetarian eatery Saravana Bhavan.