Agra is home to the Majestic Taj Mahal but there is so much more to offer, so even if you are tight for time in Agra this is a great itinerary for the best places to visit in Agra in one day.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN AGRA IN ONE DAY
I’ve put together a list of the 9 best places to visit in Agra in one day. Obviously, you don’t need to do all of them but you can pick and choose which items on the list you want to add to your 1-day itinerary. Agra is pretty small so you should be able to see a lot. How much can you fit into one day in Agra?
Visit the Taj Mahal for sunrise
Witnessing the Taj Mahal at sunrise is an experience of a lifetime, offering a mesmerizing view that truly encapsulates the monument’s ethereal beauty. As the first rays of the sun gently illuminate the ivory-white marble mausoleum, the entire complex appears to glow, changing hues from soft pink to a warm golden, giving a whole new dimension to its elegance.
The tranquility of the early morning, complemented by fewer crowds, allows visitors to soak in the magnificence of this architectural masterpiece at a leisurely pace. The reflections of the monument in the Yamuna river further enhance the surreal ambience. This iconic symbol of love, commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, truly comes alive in the golden light of dawn, making a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal an unforgettable experience.
If you don’t want to line up in the ridiculous lines you can buy a fast track ticket, which will give you express access into the Taj Mahal for just a few extra dollars on a guided tour. On hot days it would definitely be worth it!
Book your ticket now: Taj Mahal ‘Skip The Line’ Guided Tour
Luxury breakfast at the most expensive hotel in India: The Oberoi
After you have finished marveling at the Taj Mahal you will probably be hungry. It’s time to get well fed. Only two minutes walking from the Taj Mahal is the Oberoi Hotel.
The most expensive hotel in India has rooms starting at $541. However, the breakfast isn’t going to break the bank, in fact, it is probably cheaper than most you would have at home in Australia or the U.S.A.
A continental breakfast will set you back only $12 USD or the full gourmet buffet will be $35 USD. Expect them to break out the fancy cutlery, this joint doesn’t hold back with pools and fountains left, right and center.
Click Here to check availability a the Oberoi Hotel (Best hotel in Agra)
Visit the Agra Fort / Red Fort
The Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the city of Agra, is a monumental testament to the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Built by Emperor Akbar in 1565, this sprawling red sandstone fortress stands as a symbol of power, resilience, and architectural brilliance. Its imposing double-wall fortifications, which rise over 20 meters in height, enclose a complex of exquisite buildings, including the Jahangiri Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, and Sheesh Mahal, among others. Each of these structures displays a blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, featuring intricate carvings, domes, and sprawling courtyards.
The fort also offers a stunning view of its more famous neighbor, the Taj Mahal, across the Yamuna River. A visit to the Agra Fort takes you on a journey through the pages of history, offering insights into the lives of the Mughal emperors who once walked its halls.
Visit the Baby Taj Mahal / Tomb of Itimad Ud Daulah
The Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, affectionately referred to as the ‘Baby Taj’, is a charming mausoleum located on the eastern bank of the Yamuna river in Agra. Built between 1622 and 1628 by Nur Jahan, the wife of Emperor Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the monument is considered a precursor to the Taj Mahal due to its intricate carvings and extensive use of white marble.
Unlike the more massive mausoleums of the Mughals, this smaller, jewel-box-like tomb is noted for its detailed craftsmanship and delicate inlay work, featuring semi-precious stones and a latticework of marble screens. Its symmetrical layout, with the central tomb surrounded by lush gardens, a reflection pool, and corner minarets, set the trend for future Mughal architecture. Visiting the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the subtler aspects of Mughal architecture and the evolution that led to the creation of the world-renowned Taj Mahal. This is one of the key places to visit in Agra in one day.
Take a tuk-tuk to Akbar’s Tomb in Sikandra
I decided to grab a tuk-tuk and continue on my tour of the temples in Agra. Situated in the suburb of Sikandra, on the outskirts of Agra, lies the majestic Akbar’s Tomb, the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great. Built between 1605 and 1613, this mausoleum showcases a harmonious blend of architectural styles from Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain, and Christian traditions, reflecting Akbar’s philosophy of religious tolerance.
The sprawling complex is marked by a beautiful gateway, adorned with intricate carvings and floral patterns. Inside, the monument consists of five levels, with the cenotaph on the top floor open to the sky. This tomb, unlike other Mughal tombs, is oriented towards the rising sun instead of Mecca. The vast surrounding gardens, laid out in the Charbagh style, house various wildlife species, making it a serene and tranquil spot. A visit to Akbar’s Tomb in Sikandra offers a rich historical experience and a deep appreciation for its architectural elegance and the progressive vision of the emperor it honors.
Support acid attack survivors by eating at Sheroes Hangout Cafe
Sheroes cafe is run by acid attack survivors as part of the #StopAcidAttacks movement. The food is awesome and you will be supporting an amazing cause and a courageous group of women. They serve western style food and local dishes. I had a vege-burger, fries, and a mango smoothie.
The best part about the whole experience was finding out there are no prices on the menu. You are encouraged to pay as you wish!
Check out the action along the Yamuna River
The Yamuna River, often referred to as Jamuna in various Indian languages, holds significant geographical and cultural importance in India. As the largest tributary of the sacred Ganges River, it originates from the Yamunotri Glacier in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. Flowing southwards for about 1,376 kilometers, the river traverses several states including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi before merging with the Ganges at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad (Prayagraj).
The Yamuna River is a central feature in Agra. Many families are using the river for washing, playing and fishing. I found myself having to walk across the bridge during the day on a couple of occasions and stopped for a while to watch all of the action going on along the banks of the Yamuna.
Watch the sunset at Mehtab Bagh / Taj Mahal Viewpoint
The Mehtab Bagh is probably one of my favorite places to visit in Agra in one day. The entrance fee was only a couple of dollars but you look straight across the Yamuna River at the Taj Mahal. In fact, I thought this was a better view than from in the Taj Mahal.
Experiencing the sunset at Mehtab Bagh, also known as the Taj Mahal Viewpoint, is a breathtaking spectacle that captures the ethereal beauty of one of the world’s most iconic monuments. Mehtab Bagh is a centuries-old garden complex situated directly across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal. The carefully aligned symmetry between the garden and the Taj offers a spectacular and unobstructed view of the mausoleum, making it a perfect spot for photography, particularly at sunset.
As the sun descends, the fading light paints the Taj Mahal in an array of hues, from soft golden to mesmerizing pink, enhancing its marble architecture and providing a visual treat that’s nothing short of magical. The lush gardens of Mehtab Bagh, away from the usual crowd, offer a tranquil space to sit, relax and soak in the awe-inspiring view. This experience is a must for any visitor to Agra, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Have a local delicacy ‘Petha’ for dessert at the Bazaar
I couldn’t believe it when the vendor told me it was made from pumpkin. It looks like a normal gelatin-type sweet and even tastes like Turkish delight. Petha comes in so many different flavors and they were all actually really tasty.
I tried chocolate, pineapple, and strawberry and I just wouldn’t have been able to pick the origin as a pumpkin. Petha is definitely a local delicacy to check out and maybe take home as a souvenir. You will find a Petha store on most market streets.
TOP 3 HOTELS IN AGRA
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT VISITING AGRA
While exploring the best places to visit in Agra in one day, take note of these important tips!
- When is the best time to visit Agra? The ideal time to visit Agra is between October and March when the weather is pleasant and conducive for sightseeing. The city can be extremely hot during the summer months (April-June).
- What are the main attractions in Agra? The most popular attraction in Agra is the Taj Mahal. Other significant attractions include Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar’s Tomb in Sikandra, the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj), and Mehtab Bagh.
- What are the visiting hours for the Taj Mahal? The Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset every day, except for Fridays when it is closed for prayer. There are also night viewings available on the day of the full moon and the two days before and after.
- Are there any guidelines or rules for visiting the Taj Mahal? Yes, there are certain restrictions in place for the preservation of the monument. These include restrictions on large bags, food, smoking materials, and certain types of photography. It is advisable to check the latest guidelines before visiting.
- What are the best places to shop in Agra? Sadar Bazaar, Kinari Bazaar, and Munro Road are popular for local handicrafts, leather goods, marble inlay work, and traditional sweets.
- What local dishes should I try in Agra? Agra is famous for its Mughlai cuisine. Try dishes like biryani, kebabs, and Agra’s petha, a sweet made from ash gourd.
- How can I travel around Agra? Agra offers various modes of local transport including auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, prepaid taxis, and local buses. For a more convenient and comfortable experience, hiring a private taxi for the day could be a good option.
- How many days should I plan for an Agra trip? Agra can be covered comprehensively in 2-3 days, depending on your pace and interest in local culture and history.
- Are there any good hotels to stay in Agra? Agra offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. These include luxury hotels, mid-range hotels, guest houses, and budget hostels.
- Is Agra safe for tourists? Agra is generally considered safe for tourists. However, like any popular tourist destination, it’s advisable to be cautious of your belongings and avoid isolated areas late at night.
COMMON SCAMS TO BE AWARE OF IN AGRA
While Agra is a beautiful city with welcoming locals, it’s essential to be aware of common scams that tourists may encounter while exploring the best places to visit in Agra in one day Here are a few to watch out for:
- Ticket Scams: Beware of unauthorized ticket sellers outside monuments or attractions. Purchase tickets from official counters to avoid paying inflated prices or acquiring fake tickets.
- Tour Guide Scams: Some unauthorized individuals may pose as tour guides and offer their services. It’s advisable to hire licensed guides from authorized tourism offices to ensure accurate information and a trustworthy experience.
- Gem and Jewelry Scams: Exercise caution when purchasing gemstones or jewelry from street vendors or unestablished shops. Counterfeit or low-quality items may be sold at inflated prices. Opt for reputable stores with proper certifications.
- Rickshaw and Taxi Overcharging: Negotiate the fare before getting into a rickshaw or taxi. Some drivers may attempt to overcharge or take longer routes to inflate the fare. Use registered taxis or agree upon a fair price in advance.
- Fake Charity or Begging Scams: Be wary of individuals asking for donations or claiming to support charitable causes. Verify the legitimacy of charitable organizations before making any contributions.
- Unsolicited Help: Be cautious of strangers offering unsolicited assistance or guidance. They may expect payment for their services, even if you didn’t request their help.
- Hotel Booking Scams: Avoid booking accommodations through unauthorized or unknown sources. Stick to reputable booking platforms or book directly with established hotels to avoid potential fraud or overbooking issues.
Remember to stay vigilant, use common sense, and rely on trusted sources of information to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Agra.
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