Indira Gandhi International Airport, also known as New Delhi Airport, is the largest, and busiest airport in India. Located 9.9 miles (16km) from the center of the Indian capital, it serves the surrounding area and the wider country.
As India’s main aviation hub, International Tourists traveling to Delhi will fly into Indira Gandhi, as will many taking a connecting flight to another Indian destination.
New Delhi Airport has 3 terminals offering international and domestic flights. There are currently 3 runways almost parallel to each other, plans to build a fourth runway were unveiled in 2019 with completion expected in 2022.
Travelers starting their journey, or transiting through, Indira Gandhi International, will find many services and facilities at their disposal including dining options and shops, details of which can be found below.
Information about passing through immigration and customs with an eVisa for India is also provided in this article.
New Delhi Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3
Currently, 3 terminals make up New Delhi Terminal complex with approximately 80 airlines operating out of them. Terminal 1 is now undergoing refurbishment (March 2020) and expansion, there are plans to build Terminal 4 over the coming years to meet increased demand.
Passengers should check which terminal they depart from and allow sufficient time when arranging transport.
Domestic flights arrive and depart from Delhi Airport Terminal 1
Terminal one is used for domestic flights operated by low-cost airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJet.
Terminal one is divided into 2 sections, C and D:
- Terminal 1C: domestic arrivals
- Terminal 1D: domestic departures
Some domestic flights have been moved to Delhi Airport Terminal 2
Terminal 2 was used for international flights until 2010 when they were transferred to terminal 3.
This terminal currently hosts many of the low-cost carriers, including GoAir, SpiceJet and IndiGo, which are normally stationed at Terminal 1 whilst it undergoes renovation.
International arrivals and departures from Delhi Airport Terminal 3
Terminal 3 at New Delhi Airport is one of the largest terminals in the world, with the capability to handle some 40 million passengers a year.
Travelers arriving on, or catching, an international flight will do so through Terminal 3, some domestic flights also operate out of here.Air India is the major airline in Terminal 3, Vistara also has services from here.
The arrivals area is on the lower floor and the upper floor departures.
Transfer between terminals at New Delhi Airport
Free terminal transfer services are provided for passengers who need to move between terminals:
- Shuttle service every 20 minutes between international and domestic terminals
- Golf cart service between domestic arrival and departure points
Delhi Airport Restaurants and Other Services
There is a wide selection of dining and leisure facilities to choose from. All 3 terminals offer coffee shops and places to grab a snack as well as international fast food outlets.
Whilst waiting for a flight, passengers can browse stores for everything from books to beauty products, clothing, and technology. Last-minute essentials can be picked up at the pharmacy.
Additional services include:
- Paid porter service
- Currency exchange to obtain Indian Rupees
- Baggage wrapping services
For a bit of light entertainment, children and adults can try out an aircraft simulator and experience how it feels to be a pilot in the cockpit.
Lounges at Indira Gandhi International Airport
For the comfort of passengers, Delhi Airport has a number of lounges catering to different requirements.
- Air India Lounge: domestic departures, international departures
- VIP Guest Service: domestic arrivals, international arrivals
- ITC Green Lounge (24 hours): international departures
- Plaza Nap & Shower: domestic arrivals and international arrivals
- Plaza Premium: domestic departures
- The Amex Platinum Lounge: domestic departures
- Shower & Massage Lounge: domestic arrivals level
- SilverKris Lounge: Singapore Airlines lounge
These lounges are particularly useful for people with a connecting flight and lengthy layover time at the airport.
Where can I sleep at Delhi Airport?
Travelers are welcome to take a nap and refresh at the Plaza Nap and Shower Lounge.Pay-per-use sleeping pods offer comfort and convenience, especially if arriving late at night or early morning. Three hours in a single pod costs $36 USD.
One-night stays can be booked at the on-site transit hotel. Rooms are available in both the international and domestic wings of Terminal 3. A one-night stay in a double room costs in the region of $80 USD.
Is Delhi airport safe during the day and at night?
Delhi airport is generally considered safe day and night. For security, it is recommended that those wishing to nap or sleep do so in designated sleeping areas such as the pods and lounges.Passengers are reminded not to leave any luggage unattended.
Is Delhi airport safe for female travelers?
Individuals who are concerned about safety, especially solo female passengers, may consider pre-arranging transport such as a hotel transfer or taxi.
Having onwards transport waiting on arrival provides greater peace-of-mind and can also save time.
How to get from New Delhi Airport to the City Center
There are several options for getting from Indira Gandhi International Airport to New Delhi.Public and private transportation connects the terminals to the surrounding areas and is well signposted:
- Metro/Airport Express: 25 minutes, $0.70 for a single journey
- Bus: 45 minutes, $0.20 for a single journey
- Taxi: $5-8 depending on drop off point (luggage fees may apply)
Is there Uber in Delhi?
The ride-hailing application that most Westerners will be familiar with is operative in Delhi.
This can be a practical option as the pickup and dropoff points are introduced in advance and the price quoted based on the distance, avoiding any misunderstandings or issues with fares.
Immigration and Customs at New Delhi Airport
On arrival at New Delhi Airport, overseas travelers are directed towards immigration where document inspection will take place.
Passengers who have previously obtained the eVisa for India can head straight to one of the 46 designated electronic visa counters.
It is highly recommended that foreigners from eligible countries apply online for the India visa before departure to avoid delays and joining long lines on arrival.
After passing through immigration, visitors proceed to customs, those with no dutiable goods should take the green channel.