2 days in
Agra stands on the banks of the Yamuna river in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This city is a major tourist destination because of its many Mughal-era buildings, three of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and its breathtaking Taj Mahal, which is considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
Agra is part of the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Jaipur.
Agra has a semi-arid climate that borders on a humid subtropical climate. It features mild winters, hot and dry summers and a monsoon season. From March to November the weather could be really hot, so avoid these months if you are not a fan of high temperatures. The coolest months are December, January and February.
We visited Agra in June and it was really hot, but I am used to the hot weather so it really depends on what you like.
We visited Agra as part of a Virgin Holidays tour, so all the transfers were included. The journey from Delhi to Agra was around 4 hours by private coach.
If you are not travelling as part of a tour, you have different options to reach Agra. If your flight lands at Delhi Airport, you could take the Airport Express line to get to New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS). It will take you around 20 minutes. After that you could take a train to Agra. The journey could take between two and three hours. There are different companies that operate this service. You can check this link Indian Railways Enquiry for useful info about timetables.
If you prefer to take a taxi from Delhi Airport, it will cost you around £60-£70 and it will take you around three hours to your final destination.
Once in Agra you can make use of the rickshaws to move around the city. I recommend you to agree on the fare before entering the rickshaw.
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO
Start your day visiting Itmad-ud-Daula, a Mughal Mausoleum that is described as a "jewel box". This tomb is known by the locals as Baby Taj, and it is not difficult to see why. The use of white marble and the intricate inlays are similar to the ones found at the Taj Mahal.
Take your time to wander around Agra Fort, a historical fort that was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638.
After a break for lunch and some rest, end your day paying a visit to, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful sites that I have ever seen, the Taj Mahal. I can't describe with words the feeling to be there, in front of that beauty. You really need to experience it! This outstanding ivory-white marble mausoleum was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, and it houses the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Go at dawn and allow plenty of time to take it all in.
Your last day in Agra and you can explore the magical ambience of Fatehpur Sikri. This 16th century city was built by Akbar the Great and abandoned on the emperor's death.
Pay a visit to the Panch Mahal, a palace renowned for its exceptional architecture. Since it is situated close to the harem or zenana quarters, it was used for entertainment and relaxation.
Why do not finish the day with some shopping? You can stroll around Subhash Bazaar which is a popular market that sells a variety of products. The most famous ones are the silk goods, like the traditional saris.
FOOD AND DRINK
When you are travelling to other countries one of the best parts of the experience is to try the local cuisine. Indian dishes are spicy and I am not a big fan of spicy food, but I gave it a try! Here I mention some traditional plates that you could try if you are visiting Agra.
Paratha: Parathas are made from wheat with stuffing that varies from grated potatoes, grated cauliflower or carrots etc.
Mughlai Cuisine: Various dishes that consists, mostly, of meat flavoured with dried nuts.
Tandoori Chicken: Who has not heard about Tandoori Chicken? This dish is, for sure, the most famous street food in Agra. It is juicy chicken served with green mint chutney.
Jalebi: Hot and crispy dessert made from fermented batter and dipped in sugar syrup.
My personal recommendation:
I loved the food and the service at Mughal Room. This restaurant is located in the Hotel Clarks Shiraz and offers Indian specialities. Address:
54 Taj Road, 282001 Agra, India.
WHERE TO STAY
We had a really enjoyable experience at Hotel Clarks Shiraz. Everything was perfect since the moment that we checked in. This five star accommodation offers spacious rooms with comfortable beds, great breakfast and amazing service.
If you would like to book a room here, have a look at this link Hotel Clarks Shiraz Agra.
Agra is not an expensive city. I guess you will need around Rs 5000 (Indian Rupees) for two days (£50). That includes food, transport, tickets and shopping.