“In this series, we take you to explore India’s most famous and possibly most romantic tourist route – The Golden Triangle. Comprising of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, these 3 most-visited cities in North India together will fascinate you like no other place on earth.”
Agra – Well-known as the home of Taj Mahal, a landmark of eternal love built in 1632. But aside from the remarkable love story encapsulated in this mausoleum, the city has more than meets the eye. We enjoyed historical forts, sprawling palaces, age-old tombs surrounded by lush gardens, and busy markets selling vibrant local wares. Every corner of Agra exudes romance and tender affection! It is a perfect stop for couples seeking to have a romantic getaway. Make your newlywed trip memorable with these 15 romantic things to do in Agra on your honeymoon.
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Read our Incredible India Golden Triangle Series:
- The Golden Triangle Part I – 10 Things to Do in Delhi
- The Golden Triangle Part II – 15 Things to Do in Agra
- The Golden Triangle Part III -12 Things to Do in Jaipur
1. Bask in the majesty of Taj Mahal, one of the world’s New Seven Wonders
The way the early morning sun hits the pristine white marble dome makes it worth getting up for at the crack of dawn; it is indeed a world’s wonder! This grand structure is a mausoleum commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan nearly 400 years ago. It was made to remember his 3rd wife Mumtaz Mahal, a symbol of his eternal love concretized by thousands of artisans and craftsmen—this story alone is also the reason why it’s popular among hopeless romantics, if not wanderers.
The Taj Mahal complex opens at exactly 6:00 AM, but to secure a ticket and a good spot in the line, you’d have to get there way earlier than that. More than 2 million visitors drop by to see this gorgeous piece of Muslim architecture each year, and was hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, so it can be pretty crowded. And since it’s a highly prestigious site, security is tight when entering the complex so best not bring along weapon-like things like tripods and selfie sticks. We know how irresistible and overwhelming it is to capture Instagrammable spots here and there, but it’s better to snap a few and just thoroughly enjoy the majestic presence of Taj Mahal. Words won’t justify the glory of this place; it has to be seen with the naked eye.
Getting There: You can board 12050 Gatimaan Express in Delhi that takes an hour and 40 minutes to get to Agra. It costs INR 1,505 for 1AC executive class and INR 755 for CC (air-conditioned chair car).
Entrance fee: INR 1,100.
Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday from sunrise to sunset. During Full Moon (two days before and two days after – 8:30PM to 12:30AM)
2. Watch the sunset cast a magical orange glow on the Taj at Mehtab Bagh’s Taj Mahal Viewpoint
Taj Mahal has its magic up close, but it also has its own enchantment from afar! If you want to take in its splendor as a whole, you’ll need to see it from a distance, and Mehtab Bagh is the perfect place to do just that. Situated across Yamuna River, this vast stretch of manicured greenery offers a fantastic sunset view of the Taj Mahal. It has Aladdin feels to it, or is it just us? Anyway, we loved how peaceful it was here compared to when we were at the great white marble mausoleum where flocks of people got into your shots. It’s a nice break from the buzz and a high vantage point from where to take wide shots of the monument beyond. Mehtab Bagh is also known as The Moonlight Garden; it looks as whimsical as it sounds!
Getting There: From Taj Mahal, you can ride the electric rickshaws or hail a cab; buses can be an option, too.
Entrance Fee: INR 200
Opening Hours: 6:00AM to 6:00PM daily
3. Enjoy an eventful honeymoon at Radisson Blu Agra Taj East Gate
Even closer to the Taj Mahal is Radisson Blu Taj East Gate. A short walk will take you right to the doorstep of this breathtaking wonder. You will also be close to the red sandstone walls of Agra Fort, the exotic birds of Keoladeo National Park and the historic cities of Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri. Home to us for 3 nights, our deluxe room offered us a nice view of the city. You can choose to upgrade to one with a sunrise view of the Taj Mahal! From the patterned carpet to the warm-hued throw pillows, each room incorporates a touch of local culture in its decor. On top of the comfortable bed, the shower has strong water pressure that made bathtime luxurious! There is also a free-standing bathtub that’s great for a nice, warm soak.
During your stay, do not miss heading up to the roof deck, for there is an infinity pool and bar where you can lounge at and enjoy the view of the Taj Mahal. We spent evenings here with a book while overlooking the city. We also suggest getting a traditional Indian deep tissue massage at the Alive Spa. Their in-house therapists are trained to have a gentle yet dexterous technique in rubbing out all the knots in your muscles. You can also opt for refreshing facials, skin treatments, and detox body wraps. Maximum relaxation awaits you at the jacuzzi whirlpool in the couples therapy room.
For local cuisine, Daawat-E-Nawab allows you a taste of Indian Nawabi style cooking. Enjoy a scrumptious 4-course meal set on bronze Kansa dinnerware while being serenaded with classical Indian music – it does not get more authentic than that! It’s no wonder Daawat-E-Nawab has been awarded ‘Best Restaurant and Indian Cuisine’ by India Hospitality Awards. Palato serves up meals with a little more flair, for you can watch chefs whip up their meals live! For entertainment, a 40-minute performance titled Noor-E-Taj is also showing at the hotel. At Radisson Blu Taj East Gate, you will have yourself an eventful honeymoon, from exploring the nearby attractions, to dining, entertainment and relaxing.
4. Explore the mystery within the Agra Fort
A mere 2.5 kilometers away from the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort is the next most visited site in Agra. It has one gate on each side, the Kizri Gate leads to the river while the Lahore Gate, which also goes by the name Amar Singh Gate, is the only one accessible to tourists. There are many structures inside Agra Fort. Hathi Pol is an inside gate flanked by two life-size stone elephants on each side that you can marvel at. There’s also Jehangir’s Palace, named after and used by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar’s son. These are just a few of the places to see inside the fort, so allow a couple of hours if you want to see everything here. Do not forget to wear comfortable shoes, too. It is filled with historical tell tales and architectures that will leave you more curious the more you explore this 94 acres of land in a semi-circle form. There’s a nice mix of Hindu and Muslim design here, and it truly embodies the Mughal dynasty which ruled India for over three centuries.
Getting There: Everywhere in the city is accessible through the rickshaw or cab. If you are coming from New Delhi, you can take the 12002 New Dehli Bhopal Shatabdi Express for INR 555 to INR 1,050.
Entrance Fee: INR 650
Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
5. Score some great finds at Kinari Bazar
Kinari Bazar is a traditional Indian market famous for selling garments and accessories for special occasions. It’s right next to the Agra Fort metro station, which makes this a logical shopping stop after visiting the historic site. There are actually several different bazaars inside this general area, but they’re collectively called the Kinari Bazaar since they branch out from Kinari Bazaar road. You’ll find all kinds of wedding attires and embellishments here whichever faith you belong to. Of course, this place specializes in local wedding garb (which makes it more perfect for couples), although there are also stalls selling festival clothes. Come the Sankranti festival (a harvest festival) in January, you’ll also see beautiful kites being sold. The best time to visit this market is between 12:00 noon and 4:00 PM to get to the best wares. We were even pleasantly surprised to see a couple of worker elephants squeezing their way through the crowded streets! If you’re okay with crowds and doing a bit of bargaining, you’ll score awesome souvenirs here.
Getting There: From the Chandni Chowk Metro station, you can either walk or take the rickshaw.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday; 9:30AM to 8:00PM
6. Catch a glimpse of rare birds at Keoladeo National Park / Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
What used to be Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is now officially Keoladeo National Park. If you need a nature break after seeing endless forts, bazaars, and palaces, Keoladeo National Park boasts over 375 bird species, making it one of the most popular bird watching sites in Asia. It was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1971. Because of its strategic location in Central Asia, it’s one of the rare sites to see the endangered Siberian Crane when it migrates for winter. It would be genuinely exhilarating to see that!
For bird watching, the best time to visit is between October and February. Otherwise, it’s nice to book your flight from August to November. There are accommodations inside the park if you want to stay the night, but we opted for just a day trip. We encourage that you come here as part of a tour to not have to deal with all the different vehicle charges. Still, this national park is a lovely peaceful getaway from the business of the city. Lovebirds and bird lovers will enjoy this all the same.
Getting There: From the nearest railway station, Bharatpur Junction, it only takes 15 minutes by car. Otherwise, you can go for train and regular buses.
Entrance fee: INR 500. Note that there are also camera fees depending on the type of camera you bring. It might cost you around INR 600 for handycam alone, so expect camera for films to be higher than that.
Opening Hours: 6:00AM to 6:00PM (summer); 6:30AM – 5:00PM (winter)
7. Enjoy a cozy honeymoon at DoubleTree by Hilton Agra
From the moment we stepped into the brightly-lit lobby of DoubleTree by Hilton Agra, we were greeted by warm smiles and a warm chocolate chip cookie! Their signature welcome led us to reminisce our enjoyable visit to DoubleTree by Hilton in Johor Bahru. The amazing level of attention and care that we received made us feel like we were staying in an intimate bed and breakfast but with luxurious amenities, leaving a lasting impression.
The guest rooms at DoubleTree by Hilton Agra are spacious and decorated in calming warm tones, with wide windows that open up to a beautiful view of the gardens, pool or the city skyline. From our windows, we could even see the Taj Mahal! Located 2 km from Taj Mahal, the close proximity to this majestic monument made it easy for us to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowd and get amazing photos. Other famous landmarks like the Mughal Gardens, Taj Museum and Gallery, Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, Agra Fort, Akbar’s Tomb, Kinari Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar are a short distance away from DoubleTree by Hilton Agra. Whether you stay in their deluxe rooms or suites, the ultra-comfortable king-sized bed will help you sleep away all fatigue after a long day of sightseeing. The ensuite bathroom has a huge walk-in rain shower and a tub for a relaxing soak.
North 27, their all-day dining restaurant serves up your complimentary breakfast in a warm atmosphere. For authentic local cuisine, Kebab-E-Que presents a fine-dining experience for you to enjoy. Grab a quick snack or coffee at the Food Store, or unwind with a glass of wine at Plush Bar. Don’t miss the live music and performances in the courtyard too. If you plan for a relaxing day, hang out at the poolside. Order up a tasty cocktail and spend the day lounging by the pool with Taj Mahal in the distance. For a laid-back and memorable honeymoon, DoubleTree by Hilton Agra would be a fine spot to stay when in Agra.
8. Celebrate at the “City of Victory’: Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri or the “City of Victory” is a tiny town within Agra. Emperor Akbar founded it in 1569 and made it the capital of his Mughal Empire in the years 1571-1585. It would be a great place to celebrate one of your victories, too—your marriage. While it’s located a little ways away from Agra proper, this former Mughal capital is worth the visit for the various stunning structures within its red sandstone walls. This city perched on a rocky ledge is home to one of India’s biggest and most well-known mosques, the Jama Masjid. If you want to get into the details of each building’s history, there are local guides you can hire; you will be surprised by the number of tombs along with the historical tales buried in it. There is a thing or two that you can’t read in textbooks.
Getting There: A taxi from Agra cost INR 1,800 For a cheaper option, you can take the bus for less than INR 50.
Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset; daily
Entrance Fee: INR 510
9. Walk the paths around Baby Taj Mahal / Tomb of Itimad Ud Daulah
This tomb, which resembles a jewel box, was constructed out of filial love. Its nickname is “Baby Taj” and may lead people to think that this structure was built to resemble the Taj Mahal, but it’s actually the other way around. Here’s a little travels-back-in-time moment because we admire how everything here came to life because of love. So, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s daughter-in-law Nur Jahan had this mausoleum built for her father, who held the title I’timād-ud-Daula, which means “pillar of the state.” Baby Taj’s design elements, as well as the layout of its complex, served as a draft for a new kind of architecture, which was perfected in the Taj Mahal. Of course, it helps that the emperor responsible for the Taj, Shah Jahan, is the son of Nur Jahan, who commissioned this very tomb. Now, going back to the present time, Baby Taj is less busy, so we were able to take our time walking around the gardens and tracing the waterways and pathways. Tripods aren’t allowed inside in case you are thinking of bringing one.
Getting There: From any part of the city, there are cars and rickshaw that can take you here. It is also just 4km from the Taj Mahal.
Entrance fee: INR 310
Opening Hours: 6:00AM to 6:00PM
10. Pay a visit to the amazing Mughal Emperor Akbar’s Mausoleum at Sikandra
Another tomb and great architecture! Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra occupies 119 acres of land and is made out of the signature red sandstone of this era adorned with white marble and black slate panels. Jahangir, Akbar’s son, was the one who actually oversaw the finishing of this great structure since his father passed away in the middle of the construction. At the top of this 4-tier pyramid, you will see a pavilion made of marble housing a tomb which is actually fake. The real tomb is located in the basement. This can be accessed through the south gate, where a white marble minaret topped with a chhatri stands in each corner, resembling that of the Taj Mahal’s. It can feel like unraveling secret passageways of ancient times! Also, a mere kilometer from here is his wife Mariam’s tomb. We spent a long time trying to capture each unique inlay pattern. It’s just a feast for the eyes, a day is not enough to appreciate its intricate details.
Getting There: From Agra Cantt, Agra Fort, or Raja Ki Mandi, you can take a taxi, cab, or rickshaw. The ride lasts for about 30 minutes.
Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset; all days
Entrance Fee: INR310
11. Grab dinner with a cause at Sheroes Hangout Cafe
Sheroes is a combination of the words “she” and “heroes” – an apt description for the brave acid attack survivors that run this cafe. Sink your teeth into delicious local and Western dishes that they serve. The exterior and interior decorations are vibrant and inspiring, and it’s great to know that you’re supporting the meaningful #StopAcidAttacks movement when you dine here. What’s surprising is how the menu doesn’t list prices! We were a bit overwhelmed being given the freedom to pay what we want because of the inspiring courage that these women show every day is truly priceless.
Getting There: It is just a 15-minute walk from Taj Mahal, but you can also hail a taxi or cab. It is situated opposite The Gateway Hotel.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri from 10:00AM to 9:30PM
12. Spend a peaceful few hours at Samadhi Swamiji Maharaj Bagh
This tomb’s official name is quite a mouthful, so people usually refer to it as simply Soami Bagh. Made with white marble, this cavernous mausoleum was built by the founder of the Radhasoami Faith, Shiv Dayal Singh Seth, who’s more respectfully known by his devotees as Huzur Swamiji Maharaj. It also serves as his tomb. This religion was founded in the hopes of bringing together all faiths, that’s why Soami Bagh has a temple, mosque, gurudwara, and church inside. There are devotees from different faiths who come and worship here daily. The intricate marble carvings, predominantly floral, exhibit exquisite masonry arches upon arches populate the sprawling structures while polished pieces of stone come together like jigsaw pieces to form images. However, up to this day, it’s still not completed.
If you want to visit, best time your trip in the morning to witness a satsang or a spiritual discourse by devotees. You have to be discreet when taking photos and remove your shoes before entering the temple. Of course, since this is a place of worship, a modest dress code is enforced, so make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothes before coming here.
Getting There: From Agra Cantt, ride a rickshaw or taxi; it is 40-minutes away from the railway station.
Opening Hours: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
13. Get up close and personal with the locals by going on the Mughal Heritage Walk Through Kachhpura Village
Most foreign tourists visiting the Taj Mahal aren’t aware that there is more to where the great monument stands than just a magnificent marble dome. Beyond the river is Kachhpura Village, a rural village filled with friendly faces. The Mughal Heritage Walk takes you to this kilometer-long adventure with local tour guides who are also resident of the said village. This initiative was started by CURE (Center for Urban and Regional Excellence) in the hopes of contributing to the villagers’ income. This walk will let you witness local life up close and interact with the people. It’ll also bring you to off-the-beaten-path Mughal monuments in Agra. You’ll also get the chance to sample local cuisine and go on rickshaw rides. If you’re gunning for a sunset view of the Taj Mahal in Mehtab Bagh, the walk ends right there, so it’s a perfect item for your honeymoon itinerary!
Getting There: If you are already within Agra, you can get through the new bridge near the Redfort and taking a right from the Railway Godown.
Opening Hours: 9:00AM to 6:00PM
Entrance Fee: INR 1250 for adults; INR 750 for children up to 12 years old
14. See the story of the Taj Mahal come to life via the Kalakriti Dance Drama Show
Get a feel of the love that fueled the Taj Mahal’s construction by seeing a Kalakriti Dance Drama show! It is perfect to make your honeymoon romantic and just full of love. This renowned performance happens every 6:30 in the evening at the Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Center. The show runs for 80 minutes, and involves a ginormous Taj Mahal replica, even accurately depicting the various lighting cast upon the white marble monument at varying times of the day. It’s really a different experience watching the love story behind the world’s wonder unfold through song and dance.
Getting There: If you are staying at Radisson Blu Agra, the show is situated just opposite the hotel. Otherwise, you can walk or hail a taxi through the Taj East Gate Road.
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:15 PM (Mon-Sat), 10:30 AM – 9:00 PM (Sun)
Entrance/Ticket Fees: starts from INR1,200
15. Experience Agra through gastronomical delights by trying Mughlai Cuisine
Honestly, experiencing a different culture will never be complete without sampling their local cuisine! Agra is home to some of the most delicious Mughlai cuisine restaurants. You can head to the Taj Ganj area and take your pick among the numerous cafes and restaurants there. Park Restaurant along Taj Road is a guidebook staple for sampling good boti kebab, seekh, and chicken tandoori. Happy couples shall have happy stomachs, too! We deserve it after all the energy we spent venturing the 16th century city.
Agra filled us with love and romance – from the historical forts, parks, gardens and tombs to the full-of-life markets with locals buzzing with excitement. The dynamics of the place really makes it worth it. It is amazing how you can get the best of both worlds of the city life and the serene ambiance of nature. The food is really something you should not miss to try as well! It will complete the final taste of your adventure in this historical city.
This post was brought to you by The Wedding Vow.