Take a tour of the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the many famous major and minor monuments in Agra, and sample some top notch local food.

Taj Mahal

Not much needs to be said about the seventeenth-century marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal except that it’s enchanting no matter how many times you visit. Take a leisurely stroll around the monument on the banks of the Yamuna, notice the terrific architectural details and take selfies at the popular spot in front of the monument.
Open from sunrise to sunset, except Friday.

Book tickets here.

Agra Fort - monuments of India

Agra Fort

Also known as the Red Fort of Agra, the sixteenth-century red sandstone monument is a large walled city. Built by the emperor Akbar, the fort has a number of gorgeous structures worth seeing. These include the Sheesh Mahal, a former dressing room with mirrored walls; the Diwan-i-Khas, a hall for visitors; and Muasamman Burj, a tower with a view of the Taj, where Shah Jahan is said to have died.
Open daily, 6am to 6pm.

Book tickets here.

Fatehpur Sikri - monuments of India

Fatehpur Sikri

The spectacular sixteenth century city 37 km from Agra was built by Akbar. It was abandoned not long after it was built, possibly because either the water system failed or Akbar simply lost interest in the place. He’d constructed it on the site of Sikri, a village that once stood on the spot. Among the many attractions are the Diwan-i-Khas, which served as Akbar’s chamber; the tomb of Salim Chisti, a Sufi saint who predicted the birth of Akbar’s sons; and Buland Darwaza, a monumental gateway built in 1575 to mark Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat.
Open daily, 6am to 6pm.

Book tickets here.

Akbar's tomb - monuments of India

Akbar’s Tomb

Most of the tomb, built between 1604 and 1613, was made by Akbar himself when he was alive. He chose the spot in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra. It’s a stunning tiered structure whose topmost level is made of marble. After Akbar’s death, his son Jahangir completed the mausoleum.
Open daily, 6am to 6pm.

Book tickets here.

Itmad-ud-daula - monuments of India

Itmad-ud-Daula

The marble tomb is the resting place of Itmad-ud-Daula, a wazir in the court of emperor Jahangir. The tomb was built by Itmad-du-Daula’s daughter Noor Jehan, who married Jahangir.
Open daily, 8am to midnight.

Book tickets here.

Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani - monuments of India

Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani

The tomb has the remains of Mariam-uz-Zamani, Akbar’s queen and the mother of Jahangir. Before she became queen, she was Heer Kunwari, daughter of Rajput king Bharmal of Amer. The lovely red sandstone structure stands in a sprawling garden.
Open daily, 7am to 7pm.

Book tickets here.

Mehtab Bagh - monuments of India

Mehtab Bagh

Across the Yamuna facing the Taj Mahal is this garden intended by Shah Jahan to be a viewing spot for his monument. Mehtab is moon in Persian and the idea was to gaze at the Taj Mahal in moonlight from the beautiful green.
Open daily, 6am to 6pm.

Book tickets here.

Ram Bagh

The garden is thought to have been built by Babur in the early sixteenth century. His remains were buried here temporarily when he died in 1530 before being taken to Kabul. Originally called Aram Bagh, the garden’s name was changed by the Marathas, who occupied Agra for some time in the eighteenth century.
Open daily, 6am to 6pm.

Book tickets here.

What else to see

If you’re in Agra for an extended trip, check out these other historical monuments.

Roman Catholic Cemetery
The cemetery near National Highway 2, which connects Agra and Delhi, contains the tombs of European soldiers and businessmen and Armenian traders. The most notable tombs are those of John William Hessing, a Dutch soldier, and Walter Reinhardt, a mercenary. Hessing’s tomb, built by his wife, is known as the Red Taj as it’s a mini sandstone replica of the Taj. Reinhardt’s tomb was also built by his wife. She was the famous Begum Samru, who started her career as a nautch girl and went on to rule the minor principality of Sardhana near Meerut.
Open daily.

Chini ka Rauza
Yet another tomb in this city of mausoleums, Chini ka Rauza is the resting place of Allama Afzal Khan Mullah, a poet who was the prime minister in Shah Jahan’s court.
Open daily, 10am to 5pm.

Where to eat

Seven places to grab a bite as you sweat it out from one monument to another.

Deviram Sweets and Restaurant
Go for a breakfast of their famous bedai, a kachori-like poori, which is served with aloo sabzi, and jalebi.
Pratappura Crossing, Rakabganj.

Rambabu Paratha Bhandar
The restaurant serves a wide variety of parathas, from aloo and paneer to mewa and pizza paratha.
NH2, Sikandra.

Bhajan Lal
The restaurant serves arguably the best chhole bhature in the city.
Raja Mandi.

Mama Franky
The lively stall is known for its frankies, seekh kebabs and chicken lollipops.
Sadar Bazar, Cantonment

Dasaprakash Restaurant
The veteran vegetarian joint serves quality South Indian grub like dosa, uttapam, vada and upma. They also offer North Indian items, pasta, Chinese food and snacks.
Vibhav Nagar, Tajganj.

Pinch of Spice
The popular joint dishes out Chinese, Italian and North Indian. The Indian curries and tandoori items are recommended here.
Fatehabad Road, Tajganj.

Esphahan
If you’re in the mood for a posh meal, get a table at Espahan at The Oberoi Amarvilas, which has a terrific view of the Taj. The North Indian menu comprises kebabs, curries and biryani.
Fatehabad Road, Tajganj.

Getting there: Agra is about a three to four drive from Delhi. Alternatively, you can take a train from Delhi; there are at least six from Delhi that cross Agra every day. Depending on the train, the journey takes between two and six hours. Fatehpur Sikri is an hour away by road from the Taj area in Agra.