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New Delhi, India

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 02, 2023

Summary: People often describe New Delhi, India as a vibrant, bustling city with a unique mix of old and new. Expats love the city's rich culture, diverse cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. The weather in New Delhi is generally hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-90s Fahrenheit. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 to $1,500 per month, depending on lifestyle. A one bedroom apartment in New Delhi typically costs around $400 to $600 per month, while a two bedroom apartment costs around $600 to $800 per month. The approximate population of New Delhi is 18.6 million people.

What do I need to know about living in New Delhi?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to New Delhi, they said:

"Before retiring in New Delhi, it is important to consider factors such as cost of living, health care, taxes, and the political climate. Cost of living in New Delhi can be quite high, so it is important to investigate the cost of housing and other living expenses before making a decision. Health care is more limited and costs more in New Delhi than in other countries, so it is important to ensure adequate health insurance before retiring. Tax regulations in India can be complex, so it is beneficial to consult with an accountant or lawyer familiar with Indian tax laws. It is also important to be aware of the political climate in India before retiring, as this may influence regulations, cultural norms, and the perception of foreigners," explained one expat.

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What do I need to know before moving to New Delhi?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to New Delhi, they said:

"Before moving to New Delhi, you should research the local culture and customs, find out the best areas to live in, learn basic words in Hindi, research the cost of living, understand the local climate, consider transport and commuting options, research healthcare options for yourself and your family, make sure to obtain the necessary visas and permits, and research the education options for your children. It is also important to have a plan in place for any financial and employment needs you might have. Additionally, it is important to consult with a lawyer and accountant to ensure you are abiding by all laws and regulations. Finally, it is advisable to connect with the local expat community, both online and in person to benefit from the experience of those who have gone before you," explained one expat living in New Delhi.

"Visit as much as possible. Check if there is a generator and what is connected to generator. For eg it is very important to have air conditioners connected to generator. Ideally, talk with people who have lived there. Is the water supply ok? Is it safe? What kind of neighbours? Any mold risk? Who is paying for the gate guards and what is the deal. Are there quarters for servants and maids?," said another expat in New Delhi.

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How do I find a place to live in New Delhi?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Finding the right place to live in New Delhi can be a challenge, but there are a few options available. You can search through online portals such as Commonfloor and MagicBricks, where you can find listings for available housing options based on budget, area, and amenities. You could also look for classifieds in local newspapers, where you can find a range of housing options, from apartments to individual rooms. Finally, it's useful to look into the advice of local housing agents, who may be in contact with landlords who are more than willing to house you," remarked another expat in New Delhi.

"We have lived in Vasant Vihar in SW of the city. We have followed other expatriate colleagues. We have also looked around to see differences between diff zones first," explained one expat living in New Delhi.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in New Delhi?

"Expat homes and apartments in New Delhi generally come with a range of amenities including modern appliances, international finishes, security systems, wifi and other conveniences. Depending on the neighbourhood, accommodation can range from newly constructed international-style apartment buildings to traditional Indian-style homes with private courtyards. Most homes and apartments are within close proximity to markets, shops, malls and international schools. Expat homes also tend to have amenities such as a swimming pool, gym and other recreational areas. Security features such as guard houses, cameras, guards and gates are also common," said another expat in New Delhi.

"Apartment in a house. Not necessarily. Bigger budgets lived in fantastic farm houses a bit outside - in the south," added another person living in New Delhi.

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What is the average cost of housing in New Delhi?

If you are thinking about moving to New Delhi, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in New Delhi varies depending on the type of housing and its location. Prices can range from affordable to very expensive, with the average one-room apartment costing around $400 – $500 per month and larger apartments costing up to several thousand dollars per month," explained one expat.

"Higher. In my country, for something comparable, maybe we would pay apron 1000 - 1500 eur," said another person in New Delhi.

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How do I meet people in New Delhi?

When we asked people living in New Delhi about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"One way to meet people in New Delhi is to take up an activity or hobby. There are many local community centers, gyms, and sports teams that offer opportunities to meet other people with similar interests. Joining a meetup or attending an event are other ways to meet new people. Networking events, conferences, and business seminars are all great opportunities for connecting. If you’re looking for a more casual way to make new friends, cafes, bars, and restaurants are good places to socialize and chat with other people. Finally, attending lectures, book readings, and other public events is a great way to get to know the people around you," said another person in New Delhi.

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What should I bring when moving to New Delhi?

People living in New Delhi were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothes for warm or hot weather, umbrellas, sunscreen, light raincoat, mosquito repellent, a good map, portable water purifier, power adapters, copies of important documents, first-aid kit, battery powered torch/flashlight, basic toiletries, and medications for any existing medical conditions," added another person living in New Delhi.

"I wished i had brought good mattress, good pillows, I should have not brought thick clothes and medicines," explained one expat living in New Delhi.

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Where should I setup a bank account in New Delhi?

We asked expats in New Delhi what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"There are numerous banking institutions located in New Delhi offering a wide array of banking services. Some of the popular ones are State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, YES Bank, Union Bank of India and IndusInd Bank. Each of these banks offer online banking, debit cards, and credit cards among other services. To open a bank account you could visit a branch of any of these banking institutions in New Delhi and contact the staff there to help you set up an account," explained one expat.

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Will I be able to find a job in New Delhi?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in New Delhi, they reponded:

"Yes, it is possible to find a job in New Delhi. New Delhi is a major city in India and is home to many businesses and opportunities. There are many job opportunities in New Delhi and many employers are actively looking for suitable candidates. With the right qualifications, networking, and determination, you should be able to find a job in New Delhi," remarked another expat in New Delhi.

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What is life like in New Delhi?

When we asked people living in New Delhi what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat in this area is a great experience for those looking for an extended stay. The area is steeped in culture and one can expect to be exposed to a strong sense of communal pride and hospitality. Expats will find a wealth of resources to explore the local area and culture, including language classes, cultural festivals, and tours around the area. In terms of daily conveniences, there are generally many options for shopping, dining, entertainment, and public transportation. The area also has some wonderful outdoor spots like parks and beaches that allow expats to appreciate and explore the natural beauty of their surroundings. With access to plenty of resources and amenities, this area is an excellent option for expats seeking to settle into life in a new country," remarked another expat in New Delhi.

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What do expats in New Delhi appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in New Delhi appreciate the city’s rich cultural history, its vibrant festivals and street life, the incredible local cuisine, the friendly and hospitable people, the diverse range of languages spoken, the respect for religion and spirituality, the bustling markets and the wide array of entertainment options. They also appreciate the city’s laid-back attitude, the low cost of living, and the general safety and security of the area," added another person living in New Delhi.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Finding work, acclimating to a new culture and society, establishing a social network, adapting to different customs and traditions, speaking the language, dealing with paperwork and bureaucracy, finding housing, obtaining a visa, understanding the taxation and healthcare systems, being away from family, feeling isolated from home and familiar surroundings, making new friends, having a competitive job market and lower wages than at home," added another person living in New Delhi.

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Is there a lot of crime in New Delhi?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Crime in New Delhi is not as pervasive as it is in some other parts of India, such as Mumbai. The city has seen an overall increase in crime in recent years, with a reported 85,097 cases in 2018, and has some of the highest rates of sexual offences in the country. However, locals and tourists generally feel safe in most areas and violent crimes are not as common as in other major cities. Police patrols, visible CCTV cameras, and the use of technology to detect criminal activity have contributed to a feeling of security in public places," remarked another expat in New Delhi.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in New Delhi accepting of differences?

"Though New Delhi is a very crowded, busy metropolis, it has a vibrant culture of diversity and acceptance of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Whether one is Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain or some other religious or cultural background, they will find a place to belong in this vast city. In addition to differences of faith, there is a great deal of economic and social diversity in Delhi, with citizens coming from different caste backgrounds, educational backgrounds, districts and states. Moreover, the general population of New Delhi is remarkably accepting of these differences, with a vibrant culture of sharing, learning, and celebrating the various cultures that make up the city," explained one expat living in New Delhi.

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What are the schools in New Delhi like?

"Schools in New Delhi generally follow the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum. These schools are known for their high academic standards, and offer a variety of extracurricular activities and sports. Most schools offer both English and Hindi instruction, while some also teach foreign languages, such as French and German. Additionally, many schools in New Delhi have boarding facilities and have become popular due to their emphasis on experiential and life-skill education. Some schools are affiliated to the International Baccalaureate program and provide both IB and CBSE curriculums," commented one expat when asked about in New Delhi.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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