Agra, a city brimming with art, culture, and tradition is home to several astonishing historical gems such as the Taj Mahal. The city of Taj has always been at first on the travel wish list of millions of people from different parts of the world. Likewise several other cities of the country, Agra has its own glory that seems extremely unique and intriguing to visiting travelers.
From the roadside delicacies to the sweltering heat, there is a lot to take in on your trip to Agra, the city of love. Keep on scrolling down the pages to read on a complete list of handy travel tips to keep yourself safe and secure throughout the trip and to remember this Agra tour for many years.
Select the Best Month and Stay Updated With the Climatic Condition
Although Agra is a year-round destination yet it is best to plan your holiday in Agra during the cooler months i.e. between November and February. Autumn is also a great time to plan your vacation in Agra as the weather is quite pleasing and favorable at that time and if you love rainy season go between August and October.
Try avoiding your best to not visit this place in the summer months as it will be very difficult for you to face the scorching heat of the sun rays. However, if you are looking for great deals and discounts on hotel bookings then this is the best time as fewer tourists plan their visit.
Eat At A Genuine Restaurant And Hotel
Food in Agra is known for its unique flavor and is bound to make mouths water. The city serves with several specialties especially roadside food such as Bhalla with Chutney, Aloo Tikki, Kachori, Jalebi, Samosa, and many more. No matter which street you enter into, you are always going to spot something frying or cooking but you need to be very careful while eating roadside food as they are very spicy and might upset your stomach.
If you are thinking that restaurants will only serve you modern delicacies then it is your misconception as there is quite a few restaurants and food stalls that cater the same authenticity as the roadside food does. The best thing is that they prepare the food in the best hygienic manner but the roadside foods are not cooked properly.
Hence, to keep yourself fit and healthy try eating food from a decent place only or else you get to have food poisoning. Pinch of Spice and Bon Barbeque are the two most popular and reliable dining places in Agra.
Tap water is the main source of drinking water in several cities of India and even different countries also but in Agra, you need to avoid drinking water from tap. Also, take sealed bottle of good brands such as Kinley, Aquafina, and Bisleri.
Beware Of the Local Guides
We understand that exploring a new city is not at a piece of cake and you need to have enough knowledge about the particular places you are planning to visit. There is endless number of local tour guide approaching the travelers especially the foreigners to avail them of their guiding services.
Save yourself from hiring an unauthorized guide as they are not acquainted with proper knowledge and generally offer incorrect information. Even many of them don’t tell you their charge upfront and start charging very high after the completion of your tour. Hence, we recommend you to hire a guide from any reputed travel agency.
Save Yourself from Consuming Fake Alcohol
Alcohol is easily available in almost all the areas of Agra but you need to be very vigilant while buying alcohol as the shopkeepers might cheat you by selling fake alcohol. You need to be more attentive while walking down the main road of Fatehabad especially during the night as there will be several bootleggers approaching you very professionally.
They catch your eyes with the affordable rates by claiming the authenticity of the alcohol. Therefore, it is always better to purchase alcohol from a licensed wine shop only like Suroor Model Shop in Sanjay Place.
Don’t Get Mislead By the Local Sellers
The moment you step out of your vehicle you will find yourself accompanied with many local vendors whose only job is to convince you to visit their shops and the worst thing is that they even become very aggressive in the process. Once you get convinced with them you are surely going to buy the stuffs at higher prices than those sold at wholesale markets.
Additionally, they sometimes even sell fake marbles and it is really very difficult to differentiate between the real and fake ones. Oswal Emporium and Akbar International are a few of the most reliable and ideal places to purchase the local handicrafts of marble and stone.
Save Yourself from Pickpockets
You need to remain cautious whenever you visit a new place and avoid walking alone especially when it gets dark as this may lead to any Mishappen. Although quite rare but you might get looted by the pickpockets, hence, do keep your eyes on your belongings or else you get to bear a great loss. Avoid walking alone at night especially if you are a woman and if walking is unavoidable then try to stay in the accommodation.
Also, if possible avoid wearing expensive jewelry, and carrying enough amounts of cash as it unnecessarily attracts unwanted attention.
Things to keep in mind before you embark on your journey towards Taj Mahal, the ultimate destination of the city.
There is nothing to deny that Taj Mahal is the most recognized monument of India and millions of travelers visit Agra to witness the glory of this astonishing historical site. If you are also planning for a holiday in Agra then below enlisted are some essential tips that you must know to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Know The Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Taj Mahal, the iconic attraction of Agra, is during the early summer in India i.e. March and April. Try not to prefer winter month as you won’t be able to witness the real charm of this epitome of love due to massive fog. The entire region gets covered with thick sheet of fog and even if you stand only a few meters away then also you won’t be able to see it.
Note- The best phase of the day to visit Taj Mahal is early morning as this is the time when you don’t have to face huge crowd.
Check Your Entry Ticket And The Inclusions Carefully
The entry ticket to Taj is INR 1000 and a pair of shoe is inclusive in this price. It also includes golf cart or bus service to the entry gate, a water bottle, and a tourist map of Agra city. Children below 15 years are free from ticket charges. Feel yourself super fortunate if you get to see the incredible charm of Taj on full moon nights.
Things That Are Not Allowed Inside The Premises
Due to security reasons, there are certain things that are prohibited inside the complex of Taj Mahal. The moment you enter into the complex you would get to see checkpoints at almost every entrance gate. Travelers carrying large bags or day packs are not allowed to enter into the premise as only small bag with essentials is allowed. Tobacco, other smoking products, drinks, food, tripods, and even mobile phone chargers are not allowed.
There are locker rooms available where you can keep your belongings if in case you forget to submit the above-enlisted items. The only things that you can carry along with you are phone, camera, and the water bottle that was given to you at the time of ticket booking.
Hire A Professional Guide
Hiring a guide is must for your visit to Taj Mahal and the reason behind this is that they are the only ones who are well aware about the history and the related tales and facts about the monument. Additionally, they also help you in collecting some really amazing pictures for your travel frames as they know the perfect place to capture a shot.
The guides also help you in knowing about the nearby places from where you can purchase souvenirs for your family, friends, and for yourself too.
Arrive Early To The Ticket Booth
Last but not the least, we advise you to visit Taj Mahal in the morning as there will be less people, nice lighting, and you can also keep yourself away from the scorching heat of the rays coming out of the sun. The ticket booth is established at a distance of 1 km from the entrance and this could be a great way to complete your morning walk. If you are not comfortable in walking then you can opt for a rickshaw ride.
Other- We would advise you to carry bug spray with you especially if you are visiting the site in the evening or else you are going to be attacked by the swarm of mosquitoes. As the place is heavily crowded all the time, so you might get separated from your travel companion, therefore, you both are advised to carry your personal phones to stay in touch all the time.
A trip to Agra is never said complete if you don’t try the different varieties of Petha sold here. We again remind you to try this sweet only from a genuine shop and yes, don’t forget to pack some Petha for home. We hope this article will help you in your future trip to Agra. Have a great journey in advance.