‘A teardrop on the cheek of eternity’, quoted Rabindranath Tagore in praise of the world-renowned structure – Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan, on the other hand, said that ‘it made the sun and moon shed tears from their eyes’. Of course they did because Shah Jahan had commissioned the construction of the Taj in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

This is just a glimpse of what seems to be an ocean of appreciation for the ethereal monument or relic of immortal love – Taj Mahal.

If you have always wanted to visit the Taj Nagri but the idea seemed too daunting, we have curated an Agra itinerary that will help you explore the city in a better manner.

When planning to visit Agra, the most common mistake people make is to visit just the Taj. Yes, it is a major highlight of the city but there are plenty of other monuments that make for a perfect pitstop. Spend the majority of your time soaking in the beauty of Taj Mahal, however, there are other places around this monument that you can easily cover on your 2-day sojourn to Agra.

Dreaming about standing in front of the Taj already? Read on our Agra trip planner to give you a glimpse of once-in-a-lifetime brilliance. 

Agra Tour – Day 1: Explore one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Taj Mahal

Start with the Taj

Taj Mahal | Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip

Taj Mahal | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

Located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River, Taj Mahal rises like a dream from the hazy, and often times chaotic city of Agra. Completed in the year 1653, the entire Taj complex is not only a testament to the beauty and genius of artisans of the bygone era, but is also known to carry a legacy with it.

The complex was a witness to 130 years of Mughal reign. If you want to step back in history and take a peek inside what that era looked like, go for a stroll inside the complex. From the magnificent Mughal architecture to cuisines sold outside the complex, everything has been inspired by the memorable era of the Mughals.

Needless to say, you should start your exploration of the city with the Taj Mahal. It is always recommended to visit this beautiful mausoleum early in the morning; the view of the sunrise is worth every effort. The complex opens even before the sun comes up, so you can start your tour at the earliest (to avoid the crowd later in the day).

Entry Fee: ₹50 for Indians (valid for 3 hours, not valid for mausoleum entry), ₹200 (for mausoleum entry) and ₹1250 for foreigners

Timing: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes before sunset, Closed on Fridays

Accommodation: You can easily find budget hotels in Agra close to the monument.

Up next – the beautiful Mughal Gardens

After taking a tour of the minarets, tombs and the entire monument, you can sit at the Mughal Garden or just take a stroll along it. A reflection of the concept of ‘Paradise Garden’, the idea of Charbagh or a Mughal Garden around the Taj was inspired by the Persian gardens. It not only enhances the beauty of the entire complex but has a long avenue of trees laid out according to their scientific names. The fountain in the middle of the garden reflects Taj Mahal on full moon nights, making it an even surreal sight than it already is.

Know more about Taj at the Museum

Museum | Best Places  to Visit on Agra Trip

Museum | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

By the time you soak in the beauty of Taj and spend some time, pondering over life, in the Mughal Gardens, it will be afternoon. Replenish yourself with some local delicacy and get ready for an insightful tour of the Taj Museum and Gallery.

Located on the west side of the gardens, the Taj museum is the place where you can find the authentic Mughal miniature paintings including, the original ivory portraits of emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Apart from these paintings, take a tour of the museum and you will find gold and silver coins dating back to the Mughal era. {Fun Fact: Do take a look at the nifty celadon plates. These were said to have split in pieces or even change colour if the food served in them was poisonous. Such a cool thing, right?}

Entry Fee: Nil  

Timing: 10 am – 5 pm, Closed on Fridays

Visit the Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah or the ‘Baby Taj’ of Agra

Baby Taj | Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip

Baby Taj | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

The reason why Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah is called Baby Taj is pretty self-evident. Yes, it looks like a miniature version of Taj Mahal, however, it has its own charm and elegance. Located on the eastern bank of Yamuna river, the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg has a resplendent architecture and intricately carved jalis or window screens.

This was the first structure to be built entirely out of marble stones, with pietra dura, and make use of the famous pleasure gardens. Take a walk around the monument, after which you can leave for exploring the Mehtab Bagh.

Entry Fee: ₹10 for Indians, ₹110 for Foreigners & ₹25 for Camera

Timing: 6 am – 6 pm

Spend some time in Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh | Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip

Mehtab Bagh | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

Conceived long before Taj Mahal came in the picture, the powerful emperor Babur built the Charbagh or famously called Mehtab Bagh. Located north of the Taj complex, this must-visit attraction in Agra is full of greenery and provides a perfect spot to view the Taj Mahal.

Also called as the ‘Moonlight Garden’, this is just the place to get a stunning view of the sunset and capture some insta-worthy shots. Visitors often come to Mehtab Bagh to find respite from the usual touristy crowd of the city. The garden gives them that solitude and much more.

Entry Fee: ₹15 for Indians & ₹200 for Foreigners

Timing: 6 am – 6 pm

Time for splurging on souvenirs

After spending the entire day exploring beautiful attractions, it is time for some shopping in the famous markets of Agra.

So, what is the USP of Agra’s bazaar? Handicrafts and art works! Agra may not be high on the list of fashionistas but it is surely a haven for people looking to add something unique and beautiful to their collection. Start your shopping haul from Sadar Bazaar, located right next to the Agra Cantonment railway station. Here, you can easily find leather goods, handicrafts and apparels as well.

Always, we repeat, always bargain when shopping in the markets of Agra. This bazaar is closed on Tuesdays so plan accordingly.

If you are looking for some silk sarees or anything related to silk, Subhash Bazaar is the place for you. It is located near Jama Masjid in the Hawai Gali.

Apart from these two popular markets, you should also stop at Raja ki Mandi and Kinari Bazaar for some exquisite handicrafts and textiles.

Tip: Find some restaurants that provide an exemplary view of the Taj because nothing beats the experience of dining with a view, especially if that view is of the Taj itself. Also, do buy some packed murabbas for your kin.

Agra Tour – Day 2: Visit Red Fort along with a trip to Fatehpur Sikri

Start with the humongous Agra Fort

Agra Fort | Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip

Agra Fort | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

No Agra itinerary is complete without visiting the magnificently stunning Agra Fort. Touted as one of the finest Mughal forts in Agra, this one is often underrated by both tourists and tour guides.

Among the places to visit in Agra in 2 days, Agra Fort shares a close second spot next to the famous Taj Mahal. So, for your second day, we recommend taking in the red sandstone beauty of this fort along with exploring places close by. Start with the Agra Fort. Just keep walking through the long courtyards of this huge fort and you will realize what a magnanimous structure it indeed is.

The fort was the grand plan of Emperor Akbar, who wanted this to be the military base of the Mughal Empire. And the fort did serve its purposes. However, when Shah Jahan came in power, he modified the structure a bit by making some additions with his favorite material – white marble.

A palace and a fortress, this structure has hidden legacies, myths and many corridors that intrigue visitors. From Diwan-I-Am to Sheesh Mahal, you can spend an entire day just soaking up the beauty of this place; it won’t disappoint.

The fort is just 2.5 km from Taj Mahal and some 5 km from the Agra Cantonment railway station. Make sure your Agra trip plan includes the Red Fort as well because you wouldn’t want to miss visiting a UNESCO World Heritage site now, would you?

Tip: The Jama Masjid of Agra is just opposite of Agra Fort. Do visit this mosque before you leave for Akbar’s Tomb, the next place on your list.

Entry Fee: 6 am – 6 pm

Timing: ₹20 for Indians, ₹300 for Foreigners

Pay your respects at Akbar’s Tomb

Akbar’s Tomb | Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip

Akbar’s Tomb | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

At a distance of just 15 km from Taj Mahal is the mighty Akbar’s tomb. Located in Sikandra, the suburbs of Agra, take some time to soak in the legacy of one of the most important Mughal Emperor – Akbar.

According to myths, Akbar himself commemorated the construction of the tomb because it was said to be an ongoing tradition where the rulers had to build their tombs in their lifetime. Complete with minarets and inscriptions on the walls, the entire structure is built in red sandstone and should definitely be a part of your trip. 

Timing: Sunrise to sunset

Entry Fees: ₹15 for Indians, ₹210 for Foreigners

Visit Fatehpur Sikri Fort complex

Fatehpur Sikri Fort | Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip

Fatehpur Sikri Fort | Among The Best Places to Visit on Agra Trip (img source:shutterstock.com)

No trip to Agra is complete without a visit to the ancient walled city of Fatehpur Sikri. Located at a distance of around 40 km from Agra, it is famed as the political capital of Emperor Akbar.

By visiting Fatehpur Sikri, one goes further back in time to take a look at the reign of Akbar. Just like Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri Fort is also listed among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Akbar first went to Sikri to meet a Sufi saint by the name of Shaikh Salim Chishti. He prophesied about the heir to the Mughal throne and after the prophecy came true, Akbar decided to move his capital to Sikri.

Just like Akbar’s secular beliefs and his idea to take in the positivity from different cultures and religions, the fort also displays the same ethos. A blend of Persian and Mughal architecture with some glimpses of Hindu, Christian and Jain culture as well, take your time to explore each structure inside the complex.

The establishment has a beautiful mosque along with three palaces, one for each of his wife. Some of the important structures you should not miss are Jodha Bai’s Palace, Panch Mahal and Hiran Minar.

Timings: Sunrise to sunset, Closed on Fridays

Entry Fees: ₹40 for Indians, ₹550 for Foreigners 

On a concluding note, if you are planning to visit Agra, make sure you do it properly rather than a day’s trip from Delhi. Take your time to soak in the beauty, history and architecture of the world-renowned Taj Mahal. Do not miss out on the other underrated yet highly significant and glorious structures.