ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The comprehensive guide to travelling in Agra, India

Updated on August 21, 2017
gary-low profile image

Gary is a globetrotter who has been to over 50 cities and regions worldwide as a backpacker, while working in a corporate job.

What's there to see in Agra?

Home to the Taj Mahal, Agra is much more than just the famed mausoleum. Just a short distance away, the Agra Fort is a stark reminder that the Mughal kings had equally brutal-looking palaces and forts meant to stave off invasion, even as they embarked on grand architecture projects.

Agra has a long history dating as far back as the epic poem Mahabharata, and history is steeped in its city walls and in the culture of the people. You find out the best places to dine, and stay in regal palaces without burning a hole through your coffers.

The first glimpse of the Taj Mahal


The auto rickshaws of India

Also known as tuktuks across Asia, the auto rickshaw is a convenient and cheap means of public transportation, although road safety is sometimes suspect. At the expense of comfort, air-conditioning and seating space, the auto-rickshaw is more than half the price of hiring a taxi, and it might get you around faster in Agra's gridlocked roads. For a full day tour of Agra, bargain hard and you might get a driver to shuttle you around for as low as 600 Rupees.

Getting into Agra

There are many ways to reach Agra, with huge price differencs and comfort level.

By Train

Trains pulls into Agra Cantt station, which is located right in the city. Indian trains are mostly punctual, give or take 30 minutes, and second class sleepers and seats are comfortable even by western standards.

To reserve tickets, you'll need to register for an IRCTC account. Visit their website to register for an account, and you'll be asked for an Indian mobile number to receive a PIN code by SMS. Just write in to their customer care email address and explain that you're a tourist, and they'll activate your account within 48 hours.

By Private Transport (Car/Bus)

From Delhi, many travel agencies run tours to Agra and back as day trips. For group tours, the government run Delhi Tourism charges 1,525 Rupees per person to visit the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, and includes transportation and a guide.

By Public Bus

Buses ply the long distance routes between Agra and other nearby cities, and you can get arrange bus trips from a tour agency. Alternatively, do it yourself on Redbus by finding buses and making the bookings yourself.

By Plane

Definitely more expensive than other options, but you'll get to reach Agra fastest. Bear in mind that the distance of the airport is further from the city center, so you might end up stuck in traffic on the way to your hotel, which might negate any time saved.

Riding in an auto rickshaw may get very interesting


Getting around town

For travellers wary of auto rickshaw and taxi touts, the prepaid kiosk offers a fair price. Nevertheless, be prepared to be surrounded by a crowd of drivers clamouring for your business, as you squeeze your way to the counter. Do not be intimidated by them, and always stand your ground. As a benchmark, any quote offered by a driver should be halved.

Here's another tip for the tech savvy - use Uber. The price is reasonable, the cars are comfortable and you don't have to deal with touts!

What to see in Agra

The Taj Mahal

The grandest building in all of Agra is also, unfortunately, the most crowded. Conventional advice is to beat the crowds by heading in the early morning, since the Taj Mahal opens at sunrise. Do not expect empty streets though, since there'll probably be a hundred other like-minded visitors. But at least you can be assured that you're missing the main bulk of tourists who'll come in after breakfast.

The Agra Fort

Once the main residence of the Mughal emperors, the 380,000 sqm Agra Fort is an impressive fortified structure that boasts of a large moat, layered defences and has an amazing view of the Taj Mahal from across the river.

Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah, or the Baby Taj Mahal

Also a mausoleum and purportedly a draft for the Taj Mahal, this beautifully designed tomb is located across the river from the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. It's worth spending an hour here, listening to the distant honking on busy streets while taking a respite from the hot Indian weather.

Entrance Tickets

Indian Nationals
Taj Mahal
1,000 Rupees
40 Rupees
Agra Fort
520 Rupees
20 Rupees
Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah
110 Rupees
10 Rupees

The Taj Mahal


The view of the Taj Mahal from the Agra Fort


Water Safety

Travellers routinely complain about getting Delhi Belly or food poisoning. This is preventable as long as you maintain a strict discipline about what goes into your mouth. Drinking water should come from mineral water, and avoid iced drinks from stalls or restaurants. Make sure food comes hot, especially for soupy dishes like noodles.

Even if you're brushing teeth, it is advisable to use mineral water. Despite the hassles, these precautions will keep you in the pink of health.

Restaurants to visit in Agra

Agra has a wide range of restaurants and cafes to cater to every type of traveller. Here are a few recommended ones sorted by budget.

Peshawri - Expensive, classy dining

This restaurant serves a mean Dal Bukhara, and their meats are also cooked to perfection. In a town where good meat dishes is sometimes hard to find, Peshawri is a jewel.

Pinch of Spice - Good hearty local Indian cuisine

If you ask a local for a recommendation, Pinch of Spice might be one of their top few choices. Well known for their Northern Indian dishes, this is one place that has an amazing ambiance, and yet doesn't break the bank.

Good Vibes Cafe - Cheap backpacker grub that offers great value

Along the street are many hostels and cafes, but the Good Vibes cafe stand out as a great place to hang out and chill to good music, cheap food and a can of beer. Travellers might even meet each other here and embark on adventures together!

Safety Tip: Look out for vehicles, even if they don't look out for you!



Agra is not just about the Taj Mahal and nothing else. In an ancient city with so much history, it pays to dive deeper into the culture and find out how the people have lived and changed over the past centuries.

Of course, everyone comes for the Taj Mahal. The main must-take photo is the classic straight up symmetrical shot, so jostle for that shot. Apart from that, try different angles of capturing the building, and you might even manage one with no one in the frame. Now that's a shot that no one will ever believe you took during visiting hours!

As always, keep an eye on your belongings, especially since pickpockets and touts are preying on unsuspecting tourists everywhere. Don't let the actions of a single person spoil your entire trip!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)