The Taj Mahal may be touristy, but it’s a spot so breathtaking I’d really urge you not to miss it. My advice is to get to Agra, see the sights and leave… as Agra doesn’t really have much to offer. Here’s all the facts you need to make sure your trip to the Taj runs as smoothly as possible.
How much should I pay?
The price for foreigners/tourists to get into the Taj Mahal has recently inflated and it now costs 1000 rupees (£12.50) for one time entrance. Make sure you get tickets from the official ticket office and no-one else.
Which entrance do I go to?
Tourists can only enter from the West or East gate. I entered from the West Gate and found it a smooth process. The ticket office is the big building to the left of the gate and queues at sunrise weren’t too big.
What time do I go?
The Taj Mahal is open from the sunrise to sunset so depending on the time of year is what time the doors will open and close.
I went in January at sunrise and the ticket office opened at 6.40am and gates opened at 7am.
Check the time of sunrise and just get there half an hour before to ensure you’re at the front of the queue (worth it for the pics with not too many others in there).
– There could be extreme fog in the morning which is pretty usual, if so.. going at sunrise will have no benefits as you can’t see anything. We had this issue but it was worth an hour of seeing nothing as when the fog starts to lift, it’s absolutely beautiful though and the mist is stunning.
– You can’t take big bags in and only certain items are allowed in. They have lockers for 20 rupees if you need to store your stuff (but take your own lock or the whole system just seems dodgy).
– You can take cameras, phone, water, money, passport.
– You can’t take laptops, food, other drinks, liquids, cigarettes, lighters (other smoking paraphernalia) amongst other things. Some girl next to me got pepper spray, a pack of cards and a notebook taken off her. So bare that in mind and pack light.
Booking onward travel?
Outside the west gate, just past the check point gate, there is a little travel shop where you can easily book onward travel. We weren’t sure whether to trust it but they seemed awesome and our bus to Jaipur was fine.