All The Museums In Delhi You Need To Visit

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Somewhere in the middle of all the malls, events and yet another place to eat, we tend to forget the essence and rich history of our capital city. Lucky for us, some spaces have dedicated themselves to reminding us. Here we go, presenting the quiet wonders of the city and the past.

Gandhi Smriti Museum

You may be advised to visit Birla House or Birla Bhavan; which is now Gandhi Smriti. Built as a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the space is where Gandhi himself spent the last 144 days of his life.

#LBBTip: It hasn’t been maintained very well, which has the potential to spoil your visit.

Timings: 10am – 5:30pm, closed on Mondays.

National Museum

Think Harappa Civilisation relics, artefacts from the Silk Route, war memorabilia, and a fantastic collection of miniature paintings. The museum also has over 2,00,000 works of art, both Indian and foreign, from the last 5,000 years.

They have an audio guide, too, which you can rent (carry photo ID). The National Museum is next door to the Archeological Survey of India, in case you want to drop in for a bit.

Timings: 10am – 6am, closed on Monday.

National Philatelic Museum

This place will appeal to the inner collector in you. This museum has an entire collection of all Indian stamps, including the first Indian stamp by Sindh Dak in 1854. You’ll also be moved by the range of foreign stamps available here. We hope you go have a look and are able to find that elusive stamp that you’ve been looking for.

Timings: 10am – 5pm, closed on Saturday & Sunday.

Indian Air Force Museum

The museum of the Indian Air Force is split into viewing galleries. The indoor gallery features historic photographs, memorabilia, uniforms, and vintage personal weapons of the Indian Air Force. This indoor exhibit leads to a hangar displaying wall aircrafts and other inventory.

For the larger planes, radar equipment, and captured enemy vehicles, make your way outside. The museum also houses large transport aircrafts, which are displayed only on the annual Air Force Day.

Timings: 10am – 5pm, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Shankar's International Dolls Museum

No prizes for guessing what they have on display, but be a doll, try and guess. The collection is classified into two parts – one caters to dolls collected from European countries, and the other consists of dolls collected from Asian countries.

Timings: 10am – 5.30pm, closed on Mondays

National Science Center

A unit of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), this body tries to popularise science amongst those who feel science is blah. Also a haven for science buffs, this museum hones scientific awareness and temper and has galleries that promote innovation and learning.

Timings: 10am – 5.30pm, open all days.

Nehru Planetarium

If you went to school in Delhi, you’ve probably been here. It was set up with the aim of promoting astronomy education, especially for children. A wing of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the planetarium prides itself on live shows on the space and other interactive programs. 

Timings: 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4pm, closed on Monday. 

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

This private art museum holds most of the modern and contemporary art of India and beyond. Changing exhibitions every three months, viewers can catch any artist anytime during the quarter. Completely free, KNMA caters to the art enthusiast and expert alike.

Apart from this, they also curate a permanent collection and hold regular workshops for students.

Timings: 10.30am – 6.30pm, Closed on Mondays

Find out more here.

National Rail Museum

A museum dedicated to the rail heritage in India, National Rail Museum is another children and young adult checklist item. It houses over 100 exhibits of Indian Railways {static and working models}, antique train furniture, signalling equipment, historical photographs and related literature.

Not to be missed are the Patiala State Monorail Trainways, Fairy Queen {world’s oldest working steam locomotive in operational service}, and the Morris-Belsize fire engine {one of two in the world} exhibits.

Timings: 10am – 4.30pm, closed on Mondays

Find out more here.

Metro Museum

Like the Transport Museum in London, we now have our own metro museum that holds a special place in the Dilliwala’s heart. The place mostly shows what goes on behind the scenes of our favourite public transport, ranging from the management style and work culture of the DMRC, and the construction, to photographs, a model of the metro train, stations and more. The museum also has a gift shop {yay, souvenirs!} and monitors for film shows.

Timings: 10am – 4pm, closed on Sundays and Saturdays

Tibet House

This is Delhi’s premier destination for an insight into Tibetan and Buddhist culture and practice. Founded by His Holiness Dalai Lama, the five-storey museum houses Tibetan art and artefacts, and has an in-house library with over 5,000 volumes of manuscripts and books.

Tibet House offers incentives and resources for research and translation projects, and also hosts events focusing on Indian and Tibetan Buddhist culture.

Timings: 9.30am – 5.30pm, closed on Sunday and Saturday

Find out more here.

Ghalib Academy And Library

The Ghalib Museum {inside the academy} presents artifacts and views of Ghalib’s time. Ghalib’s residences, the poet’s favourite foods, and attire make up the most interesting parts of the museum. The coins, seals, postal stamps and specimens of handwriting are housed for those who are intrigued by and interested in Ghalib.

You’ll even find paintings by renowned artists {like MF Hussain} here.

Timings: 10am – 6pm, closed on Sundays

Find out more here.

Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum

Another Gandhi, another living-quarter-turned-museum. This one takes a turn for the tragic, with the sari she wore at the time of her assassination {now bloodstained} on display.

A lot of rooms have been preserved along with a lot of her personal memorabilia, including her Rubik’s cube, and an enclosed crystal pathway marking her final steps. It sounds morbid, but it is fascinating to see the sight of a historical event.

Timings: 9.30am – 4.45pm, closed on Mondays

Find out more here.

National Handicrafts And Handlooms Museum

Modeled as a traditional Indian village, the museum aims to preserve, display and promote Indian crafts and weaves. Also called Crafts Museum, it houses over 35,000 rare pieces, showcasing traditional Indian paintings, embroidery, textiles, and crafts, including the 300-year-old Bhoota collection from Karnataka, rare Kashmiri Dushalas, rare brocade and Baluchari saris, and Kutch embroidery.

Timings: 10am – 5pm, closed on Mondays

Find out more here.

Sangeet Natak Akademi

This gallery of musical instruments is the most awe-inspiring place that any amateur or expert could set foot in. Catering to enthusiasts, the Akademi Museum is called Asawari, a kind of raga, and showcases over 2,000 objects related to performing arts. These include musical instruments, masks, puppets and headgear.

#LBBTip: We recommend not only visiting the museum but also the exhibitions that take place along with it.

Timings: 9.30am – 6pm, closed on Sundays and Saturdays

Find out more here.

National Gallery Of Modern Art

The definitive place for those interested in modern art, NGMA is a must for all art students and lovers. Curating and housing art from way back, it even houses items from the government toshakhana {treasury}. The outside itself is magnificent, and inside even more so.

There are 17,000 works of art in there; including over 100 of Amrita Shergill’s we saw the last time we went. We’re sure you’ll find something to your liking {it’s hard not to}.

Timings: 11am – 6.30pm, closed on Mondays

Find out more here.

Archaeological Museum & Indian War Memorial Museum

Set inside the Red Fort, the Department of Archaeology runs this museum. Built as an honour to soldiers who’d been part of WWI, this war memorial cum museum now houses dioramas and weaponry including guns, swords and khurkis. The last two galleries are super-impactful, showing the use of modern technology in war, which includes telephones, radios and periscopes.

The Archaeological museum also has objects from the Mughal period on show.

Timings: 10am – 5pm, closed on Monday

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

A preservation of Nehru as a heroic individual, this museum demonstrates how the struggle for Independence matured over the years, and how Nehru as a person coped with it. The best part, according to us, is the gifts gallery. It has cool gifts from all over the world that Nehru received.

Timings: 9am – 5.30pm, closed on Mondays.

Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets

Set up as recently as 1992 by the founder of Sulabh International School Service Organization (a non-profit NGO working towards the sanitation of India), the museum is an incredible journey through the evolution of toilets and toilet designs (ahem, a 200-year-old toilet awaits).

Timings:  8am  – 8pm; on Sundays, it is 10am  – 5pm

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum has opened up in the heart of the city last year, and you can now officially hang out with the A-listers of Bollywood, Hollywood, sports, music, and other significant industries right here in your hometown. The museum showcases real wax figures and lookalikes of the celebs we’ve come to know and love. The legends like Amitabh Bachchan, Milkha Singh, SRK, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lionel Messi, David Beckham and a whole bunch of others are all there.

Timings: 10am  – 6pm; on weekends, it is open till 7.30pm.

National Gandhi Museum

The two-storey National Gandhi Museum, right opposite Rajghat, houses personal relics, manuscripts, journals and photographic and audio-visual material, all that could go into a Museum on the life and work of Gandhi. Some of the most notable items in this museum include one of Gandhi’s walking sticks, the dhoti worn by him when he was assassinated and one of the bullets that were used to kill him.

Timings: 9.30am to 5.30pm, closed on Mondays