Ten-Second Takeaway

Delhi Tourism’s Hop On Hop Off bus service might slip under the radar, and may not be a front-runner in ways to see Delhi’s best sights, but here’s why we think it should be.

For The Festive Few

The HOHO {even we’re wondering whether they thought this through} is a Delhi Tourism initiative, runs six days a week, and all stops are easily accessible. Blame it on our conditioned cynical approach to most government initiatives, but we experienced our share of hiccups.

The HOHO runs along two routes – the red and the green. The Green Route covers south Delhi hot spots and is shorter and less iconic in its coverage. We set out one Friday afternoon to Qutub Minar {a stop on the Green Route} at a time listed on the online schedule.

Hiccups Galore

After giving the service some leeway, since we understand traffic and general IST, it wasn’t just late; it didn’t show up at all. Our first brush with the efficient call centre: One phone call and we were told the Green Route wasn’t operational.

Lesson No. 1 – always call beforehand; looks like they don’t update their website.

Two days later, we phoned in again, and their fabulous customer care almost made up for our first encounter. The staff picks up {10 points}, is super informed and helpful, and will book your ticket online with the option of paying on board the bus.

What Next?

Armed with our IDs, we arrived at Baba Kharak Singh Marg {the first stop on the Red Route}, at the stipulated time of 4pm. The bus started right on time, had a mega-effective air conditioner, low flooring, and clean, comfortable seats. There are telltale signs of wear and tear, but nothing that can’t be overlooked.

The guide, a well-suited gentleman {complete with trousers and a tie}, took the mic with almost perfect English, to start what turned out to be an all in all, great experience.

Photo source: HOHO Delhi

Photo source: HOHO Delhi

The Red Route has 19 stops, gives you the option of getting off at any {hence the hop-on hop-off}, and arrives every 45 minutes. Routes are clearly mapped out, and you’re handed brochures and leaflets detailing your journey.

Each ticket is valid for 24 hours, so you can hop on again the next day, in case you didn’t manage to finish on day one.

The Green Route will restart soon, and will arrive at regular intervals of 60 minutes.

Tips And Tricks

We recommend catching the bus as early as 8.30am, if you intend to see all 19 sights, and strongly recommend you call in beforehand so you’re not met with unpleasant surprises.

As for timetables, given Delhi’s unpredictable traffic situations, you should cut them some slack if they’re running off schedule since most times it’s circumstantial.

We would advise solo female explorers to try and avoid hopping on alone, unless you want to feel like you’re the sight to be seen.

They go the extra mile and talk you through sights you see en route, even if they’re not official stops. They’ll also tailor-make tours for big groups {corporates, schools, and other big groups}; all you have to do is get in touch. In a nutshell, the HOHO is the perfect, air conditioned way to get around the city, and see everything Lonely Planet worthy.

PS: Also, you get a 15 per cent discount voucher for Bikanervala, valid at Connaught Place, Lajpat Nagar, and Chandni Chowk.

Featured photo source: HOHO Delhi