Situated in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal is an architectural marvel and one of the world’s most popular (and spectacular) UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The monument’s grandeur, the intricate detailing, and the stunning play of light as the sun rises and sets all contribute to an experience that captivates millions of visitors each year. Many take the journey to the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh solely to see the Taj — in fact, many would argue to trip to India would be incomplete without making the detour. Because of this, most visitors who come to Agra are there for the same reasons and stay for only a night or two. And there’s nothing wrong with this. There’s a huge amount to see at the Taj Mahal complex (with differing times of day offering a varying experience) and you shouldn’t overlook visiting other heritage sites such as the Agra Fort, and Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb. And when you add the crowds and heat, a trip to Agra can be full on. That’s why carefully handpicking your accommodation is important. There’s a handful of superb hotels near Taj Mahal, the number one being The Oberoi Amarvilas that offers views of the monument from its range of suites and bedrooms. If your budget allows, a stay at this luxurious hotel will make the chaotic city easier to handle. But there are also a handful of other trustworthy, comfortable, and budget-friendly hotels in Agra. Here’s some of the best.
The Best Hotels Near the Taj Mahal With Incredible Views and Service
The best time to visit the Taj Mahal
The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is from October to March. The weather during this time is pleasant with temperatures averaging from 59 — 81°F, making sightseeing comfortable. Sunrise is the optimal time during the day to visit the Taj Mahal. This is when the monument is bathed in a soft, ethereal light, providing perfect photo opportunities. It’s also usually less crowded early in the morning, offering a more tranquil experience. However, the Taj Mahal is beautiful at any time of day and each time offers a unique perspective. During the afternoon, the sun illuminates the monument, while at sunset, the colors change from soft yellow to a warm golden hue.
Remember to plan your visit on any day except Friday, as the Taj Mahal is closed on that day.
And as if a trip to the Taj wasn’t going to be special enough, about once a month it is opened for a special viewing in the silvery light of the full moon. These viewings are available for two days before and after the moon is at its zenith, but if one of these days is a Friday then, of course, it will still not be open.
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The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra
Situated just 600 meters from the iconic Taj Mahal, The Oberoi Amarvilas offers an unparalleled view of India’s most famous attraction. The hotel itself is a stunning tribute to the rich architectural heritage of India, making it an ideal base for exploring the city’s history and culture.
The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra is set within lush gardens, terraced lawns, and sparkling fountains, offering a tranquil escape amidst the bustling city. The country is renowned for its hospitality, and Oberoi Vilas delivers at an outstanding level with every room coming with a 24-hour butler service. As most of the guests stay here to visit the Taj, the hotel caters to assist with tickets, guides, and transportation to the main gate.
The hotel offers an array of amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center and a spa offering rejuvenating treatments. It also features a temperature-controlled enormous outdoor pool, where guests can relax while enjoying the view of the Taj Mahal. And that view can be enjoyed throughout the property, including from its guest rooms and suites.
The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra has two restaurants on-site. Bellevue (an all-day restaurant where an excellent buffet and cooked to order breakfast is served) and Esphahan (a more intimate dining space offering traditional Northern Indian dishes cooked in a tandoor.)
The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra : Taj East Gate Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 28 2001
Price per night: $427
In the heart of the city, ITC Mughal offers an ode to the great age of the Mughal Empire. This sprawling luxury hotel covers over 35 acres of luxurious gardens, inspired by the characteristic use of water channels and fruit trees seen in Mughal-style gardens. It’s a short ten-minute drive to the front gates of the Taj Mahal and from the roof terrace, you can marvel at the structure at sunrise and sunset.
The hotel features 233 elegantly designed rooms, each inspired by the history of the city. They vary from standard rooms with garden views to suites with private reception and entrance area, a butler and free spa access.
There are multiple dining options on-site and although Agra is a small city, it’s nice to have the option to eat at the hotel, especially after a long, hot day. The restaurant, Peshawri, offers a delightful selection of Northwestern Frontier cuisine, while 24-hour Taj Bano serves an array of international dishes. Bagh-E-Bahar is the hotel’s stylish bar overlooking the gardens — the perfect spot for enjoying a quiet evening.
One of the standout features of ITC Mughal is the Kaya Kalp — the spa. Covering 99,000 square feet, it’s one of the largest spas in India and offers a range of therapies and treatments.
ITC Mughal : Taj Ganj Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 282001
Price per night: $79
Courtyard by Marriott Agra
This modern-style hotel is also conveniently located within a couple of miles of the Taj Mahal. It’s a reliable option and is popular with business and leisure travelers. Don’t expect a huge amount of character — it’s a Marriott after all — but that comes with a degree of stability. The brand is famed for its consistency and the level of service here is professional and dependable. Rooms are contemporary with a dedicated work-space, soaking tubs, and come in a verity of sizes. There’s a nice outdoor swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant, spa, and a fitness center. If you are traveling with children, the Courtyard is a solid option. The joining rooms are a bonus, as is the price point and degree of safety you get with booking a stay with the brand.
Courtyard by Marriott Agra : Taj Nagri, Phase II, Fatehbad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 282001
Price per night: $65
DoubleTree by Hilton Agra
The DoubleTree is 10 minutes from the Taj Mahal. Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daula. And honestly, unless you have an affiliation with Marriott, the DoubleTree is a better option. They are pretty neck and neck, but the DoubleTree’s decor is less dated, there’s an infinity pool, and you get that token chocolate chip cookie at reception. There are a nice range of tastefully decorated rooms and suites, many featuring a balcony with views of either the Taj Mahal or the city. When it comes to dining, the hotel houses two restaurants, Kebab-e-que offering Indian barbecue specialties and North27 serving an array of international dishes. It’s also a super choice for families, there’s an on-site playroom and a games room for older children with a pool table.
DoubleTree by Hilton Agra : Taj Ganj Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 282001
Price per night: $63
Trident Agra is a beautifully-run five-star one mile from the Taj Mahal. Reception can arrange a transfer to the gates for around $10. The hotel is set on two floors around a very pretty garden area with a large swimming pool. What sets this hotel apart (other than the nightly rate for a five-star) is the service. No request is too much. The concierge desk can organise anything you need from sightseeing with local guides to car transfers. The rooms are spotless (they change linens daily) and overlook the central courtyard and gardens. In the evening, there’s light entertainment, including a puppet show and a magician. If you’d like something with character at a decent rate, have a closer look at the Trident.
Trident Agra : Tajnagri Scheme, Fatehabad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, 28 2001
Price per night: $52
Avalon Palms Agra
If you’re in Agra for one night and want a comfortable bed, Avalon Palms delivers. It’s five minutes from the Taj Mahal and has everything you need, air-conditioning, an on-site bar and restaurant, multi-lingual staff, and a 24-hour reception. There’s nothing to write home about here. The decor is seriously dated, and it’s not in the nicest part of town (keep in mind Agra is not the prettiest places), but it’s cheap and would do in a pinch if you’re budget conscious, or there’s nothing else available.
Avalon Palms Agra : Taj East Gate Rd, Agra, UP, 282001
Price per night: $26
How many nights do you need in Agra?
To experience the main attractions of Agra, including the iconic Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and the lesser-known but equally fascinating Baby Taj (Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb), one to two nights is typically sufficient.
Most visitors arrive in Agra early in the morning, spend the day sightseeing, stay overnight, and then visit the Taj Mahal again for sunrise the next day before departing. This gives you enough time to take in the historical sites without feeling rushed.
However, if you’re interested in exploring beyond the main attractions, such as visiting Fatehpur Sikri, a city about 25 miles west of Agra, or enjoying the local markets and cuisine, you might consider staying an extra night.
What is the best way to get to the Taj Mahal?
The best way to reach the Taj Mahal depends on where you’re coming from. If you are based in Delhi, the most convenient way is by train. The journey from Delhi to Agra takes approximately two hours on the Gatimaan Express, which is India’s fastest train. Once you arrive in Agra, you can take a taxi, an auto-rickshaw, or a cycle rickshaw to reach the Taj Mahal. If you’re already in Agra, you can easily reach the Taj Mahal by taxi, auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw. There are also electric buses and golf carts available from the east and west gates of the Taj Mahal.
How much does it cost to visit Taj Mahal as a tourist?
Understandably, given the disparity in income for locals compared to foreign visitors, the price of entering the Taj Mahal is different depending on where you’re from. For locals, it’s around 40 rupees; for those from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries, it’s 530 rupees; for the rest, it’s 1000 rupees.
Still, only about $15 to see one of the most elaborately constructed and beautiful palaces in the world seems fair. And paying more for your ticket has its perks too. Foreigners get to skip the long-ass local queue and get a bottle of water and a pair of shoe covers thrown in with the price of the ticket.