If you’re strapped for cash, just don’t have any, or are saving up, here are a few things to do in Delhi for free. They don't cost a thing (just like JLo’s love). Also, it's finally cooling down and so you can now take advantage of the weather as there are a ton of options for things to do in Delhi for free, outdoors!
No Moolah Needed: 15 Things You Can Do For Free
Langar At Bangla Sahib
Bangla Sahib dishes out about 10,000 meals a day, all of which finish with the incomparable Kara Prashad. If you can’t make it to central Delhi, there are gurudwaras across the city that offer a similar experience. The closest metro station to it is Rajiv Chowk, gate no. 1 (on the yellow line).
Timings: 5am to 12pm.
The American Centre (closest metro station: Barakhamba metro station), Italian Cultural Centre (Race course on yellow line), Japan Foundation (near Moolchand metro station), India Habitat Centre (near Jor Bagh metro station), and Instituto Cervantes (nearest metro station is Rajiv Chowk) regularly hold film screenings, talks, and seminars that are, more often than not, free for all.
Since it’s on a first-come-first-serve basis, all you have to do is get there on time.
The American Centre: 10am - 6pm
India Habitat Centre: 8am -10pm
Instituto Cervantes: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Working towards making Delhi a cycle-friendly city, it doesn’t need anything but a cycle and the will to join them. With over 10,000 members, all you have to do is contact Delhi Cyclists via their Facebook group and ride away. Not only are Delhi Cyclists a group of cyclists, they're also a cycling merch shop where you can get a lot of bicycles at multiple price ranges.The closest metro station to their shop is Green Park.
Timings: 11am to 9pm.
Changing Of The Guards At Rashtrapati Bhavan
The ceremony itself was inaugurated at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2012, and now has become accessible to the public. It takes place every weekend, and all you need is a photo ID. National pride is not only for national holidays, ya know? The closest metro station to the Rashtrapati Bhavan is Central Secretariat (on the yellow line).
Timings (from November on wards): Saturdays - 9:40 am – 10:40 am. Sundays- 4:10 pm – 5:10 pm.
Try India Habitat Centre (closest metro station is Jor Bagh), Espace Delhi Art Gallery (Mandi House metro station) or Vadehra Art Gallery (closest metro station is Lajpat Nagar on pink line) for collections of the finest artists, exhibitions and installations.
India Habitat Centre: 8am to 10pm
Espace Delhi Art Gallery: 11am to 7pm
Vadehra Art Gallery: 11am to 7pm
Delhi Pencil Jammers
Pencil Jammers is an open community for those who love to draw. They regularly conduct events, jams, contests and sessions that are open and free to all. Since they are a community that communicates and co-ordinates online, we suggest you follow them on their social media page to keep yourself updated on their meetups.
Stroll Through Tau Devi Lal
Take a look at the birds and the bees with plenty of fauna at Sector 52, Gurgaon. Entry is free in the mornings and evenings; perfect time to take a walk in the park. The closest metro station to this botanical garden is Huda City Center on the yellow line, from which it'll take you roughly 25 mins by an auto/cab.
Timings: 5am to 8pm
Open Air Gyms
You’ll be happy to know the NDMC has set up open air gyms in and around the city available to use for free. You'll find some of those at Lodhi Garden (closest metro station is Jor Bagh) and Nehru Park (closest to Lok Kalyan Marg metro station on the yellow line).
Lodhi Garden: 6am to 7:30pm
Nehru Park: 5am to 9pm
Since most of the museums in the city are government-funded, you can just walk in and take a look, though some of these do have nominal ticket charges. However, entry to Gandhi Smriti, National Police Museum (closest metro station is Central Secretariat), the Philatelic Museum (Patel Chowk metro station), and Airforce Museum (Sadar Bazaar Cantonment Metro Station on Magenta line), to name a few, is free.
Gandhi Smriti, National Police Museum: 9:30am to 5:30pm
Airforce Museum: 10am to 5pm
The Delhi Public Library, Shastri Bhavan (closest metro station to it is Central Secretariat) and the Archaeological Survey of India (closest metro station is Rajiv Chowk) are all free of charge, if you want to access some books and material. For more info, read our library guide here. Also, membership to these libraries are around INR 20 and - respectively.
The Delhi Public Library: 8am to 8pm
Archaeological Survey of India: 9:30am to 6pm (is closed on the weekend)
Explore Lotus Temple
Timings: 9am to 6 pm
Explore Mehrauli Archeological Park
If you don't roam around the city to marvel at Rajon ki Baoli, Jamali Kamali Mosque and tomb, as well as the several other monuments spread out over 200 acres of Delhi, then do you really know the city well enough? Closest metro station is Qutub Minar metro station.
Timings: 5am to 6:30pm
Qawwalis At Nizamuddin Aulia
You can head to Nizamuddin Aulia for a goosebumps inducing Qawwali session. Everyday (except Thursdays) you can now catch the Qawwali performances at quarter past 8 (the most ideal time). The closest metro station to get to the Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia is JNL metro station.
Timings: 5pm to 9:30pm.
Visit Jama Masjid
Another great place to head to and be assured you'll have a great time is Jama Masjid. It is one of the best places to witness the beauty of Mughal architecture scattered throughout the city. The closest metro station to is Chawri Bazar. Although the entry is free, you've to pay INR 250 if you wish to take your camera.
Timings: 7am–12pm, 1:30–6:30pm
Stroll Through Lodhi Art District
The one thing that should want to take a walk is the Lodhi Art District. The streets in this entire area are full of wall murals on endless buildings. Imagine humongous paintings by artists such as Sameer Kulavoo, Hanif Kureshi, Sajid Wajid, and Shilo Shiv Suleman. Taking a walk here on a brisk winter morning sounds like a dream! The closest metro station to the Lodhi Art District is Jor Bagh.
Timings: Open 24 hours.