A Guide to Broke Living in Delhi-NCR

There’s no doubt that Delhi NCR is an open playground for those with fat wallets. However, even the broke can find ways to go out and have a good time, even though it might be a little limited. Okay, it’s quite limited. There are at least these 28 things you can do without spending a significant chunk of your rent money.

Most are free, the rest are affordable, and everything from day trips, to the community get togethers, to tours and tastings is covered.

  1. Food at state bhawan canteens


If you want to have a tasty and filling meal but can’t afford it, a visit to any of the bhavans should satiate the craving. Place your bet on the unlimited thaali — the best way to taste multiple dishes and even get a dessert without having to order them separately. So even if you’re all by yourself, you can always eat at a bhavan when broke.

  1. Visit the archeological monuments in delhi


As long as you’re a citizen of India, the tickets to monuments is more than affordable. So next time you want to get out of the house but can’t afford a coffee, take a bus to the closest monument to stroll in its green lawns and watch the sunset.

  1. Shopping in Delhi


Shopping in Delhi is possible even when you’re on a shoestring budget. Head over to Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini, Janpath or any street market of your choice and for less than a thousand rupees, you can bring home things you’d wear, use or just buy and forget about. Find out more here.

  1. Heritage walk


Delhi has multiple neighbourhoods with a rich history and going for a stroll in them isn’t just cheap, but free. All you’ll be shelling out will be for the commute and food which doesn’t have to be in a big restaurant. Read more here.

  1. Siri Fort Sports Complex


If sports is more of your thing, for a nominal fee you can swim, play football, basketball of any popular sport at the Siri Fort Sports Complex’s top-notch courts and pools.

Where: Asiad Village

Price: INR 400/Day for all facilities, INR 30/day to use the walking track

  1. Langar at Bangla Sahib


Bangla Sahib is at the center of Delhi and is the ideal place if you’re looking for peace. You can do service by helping in cleaning or washing and at the end of it, have a meal with fellow visitors.

Where: Gurduwara Bangla Sahib, Gol Dak Khana

Nearest Metro Station: Patel Chowk

Timings: 5.30am – 11.30pm

  1. Film Screenings


If you’re a movie buff but can’t afford the tickets, get yourself to a free film screening in the city. There are several of them every week, just follow the right pages on Facebook and you should be attending them in no time.

  1. Delhi Pencil Jammers


For the artsy ones, join the Facebook group that organises a get together every Sunday for people to share ideas, draw, trade art and more. Join their community here.

  1. Little Free Library


They are a bit tough to find, but you can set one up in your neighbourhood. These public boxes are homes for books that people can pick up from or add to.

Where: L- shaped park, J block, Sarita Vihar

Find out more about them here.

  1. Museums


Museums are one of the best ways to learn about the past or a subject. Walk into one of the many stories waiting to be heard. Read about some of the extraordinary museums here.

  1. Visit Paharganj


Paharganj has cheap cafes and shops you can bargain at. So when you can’t afford Hauz Khas, this is the place you should consider. Learn more about Paharganj here and it’s speciality.

  1. Dilli Haat


Dilli Haat isn’t the cheapest place but rich in culture, art and ambience to help you get by without paying out of your nose.

Where: Dilli Haat, West Kidwai Nagar, Opposite INA Market

Price: INR 20/ticket and INR 350/person for a meal {approx}

  1. Raahgiri


Spend your Sunday jogging, cycling or working out with fellow Delhiites to give a healthy start to teh week. Just drop in at Connaught Place, Dwarka, Shahdara, Rohini or Gurgaon in the early hours. For more information, check out their website here.

  1. Visit ‘em Galleries


Galleries are my personal favorite for they ooze of inspiration, creativity and expression. An evening spent around art has to be an evening well-spent. Read more about them here and here.

  1. Take the metro


Even if you’re not on a budget, just try travelling in the metro with a book. It can prove to be one of the best places to read.

  1. Book Cafes


Or, go find more people like you at cafes for book lovers. Order a cuppa and sink into your read. Most of these places even have books so that you can just get there and pick one up.

Find out all about these cafes here.

  1. Travel to the space at Nehru Planetarium


For a meagre Rs 60, you can watch an entire show on planets stars and space. A definite go not just for astronomy enthusiasts but everyone.

where : Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi


English show is at 11:30 AM and 3:00 PM

Hindi Shows are at 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM

Typical show duration is 30-35 minutes

  1. Light & Sound Show at Old Fort


Another such show happens at the Old Fort that takes you through the history of Delhi in one of its oldest forts. Read more about it here.

Where: Purana Qila, Mathura Road and Red Fort, Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg, Chandni Chowk

Price: INR 90/ticket {for both shows}

  1. Qawwali night at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah


Every Thursday, you get to dive into Sufi music at the Nizamuddin Dargah and create an unparalleled ambiance.

Where: The Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin

Nearest Metro Station: Jangpura

Timings: Every Thursday, 6.30pm

  1. Delhi Drum Circle


Delhi’s Drum Circle is a bimonthly event where people gather with their drums and other instruments to play, sing, dance and basically have a good time. They start around 5 pm every second Sunday. Keep up with them here.

  1. HOHO Bus Service


This bus takes you to 20 places in two days or 9 in one. Just pick a plan hop on and you’ll have seen most places that you would in an entire month.

Where: Book online, and catch the bus anywhere, find out more, here.

Price: INR 400/ticket

  1. Dastkar Nature Bazaar


Dastakar — a society of artists and craftsmen — organises a sale of things made from natural resources in Kisan Haat. You can get in for Rs 60 and most of the products cost less than Rs 500.

Where: Kisan Haat, Andheria Modh

Price: INR 60/ticket

  1. Bengali Market


To satisfy your sweet tooth, make your way to the Bengali Sweet House on Bengali market near Barakhamba Road and for Rs 300-500, you can taste multiple sweets, and snacks.

Where: Off Barakhamba Road

Price: Meal for one at Bengali Sweet House, between INR 350-500

  1. Explore the street art in Delhi


Delhi is full of street art and to start exploring it, all you need to do is start walking from Rajiv Chowk metro station to Agrasen Ki Baoli and you’ll spot a few. You can find more near Khan Market and Aurobindo Marg among other places.

  1. Go on a Pokewalk


This is probably the cheapest way to have a good time. Install the Pokemon GO app and get to one of the Pokewalks over the weekend to meet people with similar interests.

Watch a video on Pokewalk.

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