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15 hr stop in Delhi airport on the way to Bangkok - - HELP!!

Posted by agp105 on 11/7/2010 at 17:17

Hi, i need some help!!! I have a 15 hr stop off in delhi on my way to thailand and by the looks of things i need a visa to leave the airport!! Is this the case and is there anything to do during those fun filled 15 hrs!

#1 agp105 has been a member since 25/6/2010. Posts: 7

Posted by rawjer on 11/7/2010 at 22:51

I suppose it depends on your nationality, but I do know that Americans definitely need a visa for India, and I believe most, or all, Europeans do as well.

When I went to India 5 years ago I got a visa in Cairo and it took nearly a week and cost me about US$70. I don't know the fees or hassle of it these days, but I just read when doing research for myself a bit ago that they are using an outside company for visa approvals now, so that might at least speed things up.

As far as things to do on a layover in Delhi, it really depends on how fascinated you are with the place. Honestly it's a bit of a hell-hole, especially when you first see it, but on the other hand it's amazing too. I plan on going there again, maybe soon.

There's a new and enormous temple in the greater Delhi area that might be worth a look:

Depending on the time of day you arrive I think it would actually be possible to hire a taxi and make it to the Taj Mahal down in Agra. The train takes 3 or 4 hours each way, and I think the taxi would be faster. Taxis there are also surprisingly cheap, although it would also be a bit of a risk in case it broke down or something else happened.

Within Delhi itself there are a few interesting attractions, but honestly probably nothing worth going through all the expense and hassle of a visa for half a day. Most people can't believe their eyes, and not really in a good way.

On the other hand, when I had a half-day layover at the Mumbai airport I was happy to discover they had a cheap hotel/hostel right in the terminal. I think I paid like $5 for a big bed in a room with 4 or 5 beds and I stayed there for maybe 6 hours. I'd guess that the Delhi airport might have something similar, although anything is possible since they just opened their massive new terminal there.

#2 rawjer has been a member since 20/1/2010. Posts: 104
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Posted by agp105 on 11/7/2010 at 23:33

Thanks for the info, but not really looking to get a visa as trying to do this part of the trip on a budget!! Anyone know if there is a bar in the airport we can chill at or something like that whilst waiting for our plane?

#3 agp105 has been a member since 25/6/2010. Posts: 7

Posted by rawjer on 11/7/2010 at 23:41

I'm sure there are dozens of bars and restaurants at the airport. As mentioned, they just opened an enormous and modern new terminal about a week ago that is one of the largest in the world. In general, alcohol can be difficult to get in India, but at the airport the drinks will be flowing.

#4 rawjer has been a member since 20/1/2010. Posts: 104
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Posted by exacto on 12/7/2010 at 00:55

it looks like you can get preliminary info on what services are available at the delhi airport at this site:

there is also an article on the new terminal that rawjer mentioned at this link:

it sounds like this new terminal three has a transit hotel, showers, a few pubs, etc. i've had long layovers like you describe in places like dubai and seoul, and they can actually be pretty fun, particularly if you can grab a shower and a nap inbetween wandering around.

sometimes the fee-entry business-style lounges are your best deal, since they have food and drinks, more comfortable seats for relaxing, and often internet access. but it looks like these lounges in the delhi airport may charge extra for alcohol, so you can do the math to see if it is worth it for you. have fun and let us know what you discover. cheers.

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Posted by p2010 on 12/7/2010 at 11:58

I was in exactly the same situation last week! Kingfisher Airlines, right?

If your lucky the shiny new airport terminal will be opening around now - which shouldn't be a bad place to spend 15 hours. The old terminal 2, which was still operating last week is/was VERY basic - if you find yourself here for 15h, your in for a miserable time!

You will need a visa to in advance to get past immigration (unless your a Kiwi, strangely). I picked mine up in London for 25 quid, took a few days. Ended up hiring a driver and doing a whirlwind tour of Dehli.

I wouldn't disagree with rawjer here - Delhi's a bit of a hell hole. Don't get me wrong, it's I'm glad I went out the airport - it's fascinating, but filty, the drivings downright scary, and the touts are relentless. Plus, as if it wasn't chaotic enough, at the moment they're pretty much rebuilding the place at the moment for the Commonwealth games.

I guess it comes down to how much you want to see of India... If the new airports open, my advice would be to find a good book!

#6 p2010 has been a member since 30/6/2010. Posts: 5

Posted by agp105 on 12/7/2010 at 18:41

Cheers for that...with any luck then that new terminal will be open!!! Can you move across from terminal to terminal then? We dont have to stay in a particular area to wait for the flight? Sounds like im in for a great time either way!

#7 agp105 has been a member since 25/6/2010. Posts: 7

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