Living in Delhi or visiting Delhi over the weekend and wondering what to do without spending a bomb?

Read on to see how you can spend a great weekend in Delhi without doing the usual pub/ club/ movie/ dinner kind of thing.

This post lists a bunch of interesting things you can do in Delhi/ NCR at a minimal budget and get to meet some very interesting people in the process.

Text in red is a link to the respective group’s facebook/ meetup page.

1. Bird watching in Delhi

Delhi bird walks

Delhi bird walks – Picture from Dr Surya Prakash’s fb timline

Birding walks in and around Delhi – The Delhi Birders group is the most active of all groups in Delhi. Every weekend members of the group meet up and go for birding walks without fail. Several senior members of this group are walking talking birding encyclopedias.

A few favorite haunts of Delhi Birders: Sultanpar lake, Basai, Yamuna Bio diversity park, JNU, Hauz Khas lake, Okhla bird park, Asola wildlife sanctuary and others.

Tip: Carry breakfast with you and share with the group. The breakfast is a very integral part of the bird walk and usually it is a feast with home made food from a lot of different parts of India.

All walks are free.

If you have Binoculars, carry them along.

2. Cycling

cycling in delhi

cycling in delhi

Delhi cyclists – Very regular group of cyclists. The group rides every Sunday morning and a few members of the group lend or rent out cycles for people without cycles. Usually the group does road rides with several rides being long distance ones.

Starting point – Green park metro station in South Delhi. Rides are free, cycles can be rented out from a few members. A few rides which require support are charged.

Noida cyclists, Noida cycling club – Both these groups are quite regular with their rides and get together on Saturday and Sunday for road rides.

Starting point: Great India place mall, sector 18, Noida. Rides are free. Some members who have extra cycles may rent or lend them to people without cycles.

3. Photography

Delhi photography enthusiasts guild

Delhi photography enthusiasts guild photowalk

Delhi photography enthusiasts guild – A highly motivated and regular group of photography enthusiasts. In additional to weekend photography walks, they organize photography sessions for beginners and and intermediate level photographers. Several of their walks are lead by photography experts.

What kind of Photography – Pretty much everything. Usually walks are held on Saturday and Sunday. Walks are free of cost, while some expert sessions/ tutorials are to be paid for.

Heritage photography – As the name suggests, they are into heritage photography only. It is ideal for people who want a glimpse of History and do some photography in the process. Walks are free of cost.

4. Book lovers

Delhi book club

Delhi book club

Picture from the Delhi Book club page

Delhi book group – If you love reading, you might want to join the members of this group. They usually meet on weekends at coffee shops or similar places.

Attending this meetup is free, however, the group’s meetup page says you should buy a coffee or something from the establishment where the meetup happens.

5. Sketching and drawing

Pencil jam at Nehru place

Pencil jam at Nehru place

Delhi pencil jammers – An enthusiastic group of professionals and amateurs who love drawing and sketching.

Meetups happen fairly regularly, check the link above to their facebook page for details.

6. Walking/ Hiking

Lets walk gurgaon

nikhil singh – lets walk gurgaon

Lets walk Gurgaon – is an eclectic group of walking enthusiasts from Gurgaon/ Delhi who meet up every Saturday morning to explore areas around Gurgaon, especially the forest areas of Asola wildlife sanctuary.

Lets walk Gurgaon walks are free.

7. Rock climbing

Rock climbing at IMF

Rock climbing at IMF

GoMissing group at IMF

Indian Mountaineering Federation – The best place for spending a weekend morning for the climbing enthusiast. There are several artificial climbing walls of varying difficulty level. Beginner or pro, you’re going to find a fun wall to climb. The instructors are quite good and the regular climbers who frequent IMF are extremely helpful and welcoming.

Do call IMF to find out what time they open and the charges for climbing sessions. Climbing charges are nominal and there is monthly membership option if you choose to do this regularly.

Indian Mountaineering Federation address: 6, Benito Juarez Marg (Road), New Delhi.

Phone: 011 – 2411 1211

8. Music

delhi drum circle

delhi drum circle – by Gurpreet singh nanda

Delhi drum circle – Lots of music, dancing and camaraderie. Drum jams are usually held on alternate weekends and people with any acoustic instrument are welcome to join. The group plays in a circle and several people who enjoy dancing dance in the center of the circle.

Join this one if you enjoy playing an acoustic instrument, love dancing or just want to enjoy the music.

Gurgaon drum circle – Similar to the Delhi drum circle, with drum jams being held in Gurgaon.

Both drum circles are free.

The above activities are all run by enthusiast clubs and most of these clubs are very regular with their activities (every weekend or alternate weekend).

Going solo

If you prefer going solo or just with a couple of your friends, here are some really nice places you can visit in Delhi

1. Hauz Khas lake and deer park – Ideal for bird watching and nature walks.

2. Qutub Minar Complex – ideal for History and photography

Twilight photography at Qutub Minar

Twilight photography at Qutub Minar

Photography tip: Go there for the night viewing which typically happens just around sunset. You’ll get some absolutely incredible blue hour pictures at the monument.

Away from the crowds tip: Reach there early in the morning as soon as it opens up and you will be able to soak in the surroundings at a leisurely pace without the hustle and bustle.

3. Humayun’s Tomb – Visit for photography and history.

Humayun's Tomb - Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb – Delhi

4. Chandni Chowk – The old baazar of Delhi. Always crowded always vibrant and always overwhelming to the senses. If you’re in to street photography, this is one place you cannot miss.

For more about Delhi, take a look at our Delhi blog archives.

Want to add a group/ club/ favorite place in Delhi to this list, let us know by adding it in the comments section below.