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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Taj Mahal in 2024

  • Post last modified:May 9, 2024
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Visiting the Taj Mahal in India is definitely one of those things that has to be on everyone’s bucket list. As one of the world wonders, it truly is a breathtaking place to visit.

We’ll be honest, we usually don’t enjoy our time at super touristic places, but we have to say that visiting the the Taj Mahal in India was one of the most magical and surreal moments for us.

There’s a lot to know for visiting the the Taj Mahal in India, which is why we’ve written a complete guide for you. We’ll be going over how to get your tickets, whether or not you need a guide, the rules for visiting, and also the best places to take pictures.

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Where is the Taj Mahal in India?

The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra, which is in the north of India, in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India: Getting There

Now that you know where the Taj Mahal in India is located, let's check out the options for getting there.

Which International Airport is Best for Taj Mahal?

While Agra does have its own airport, it is very small and only has domestic flights. The cities that fly to Agra include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Lucknow, and Mumbai.

The best international airport for visiting the Taj Mahal in India is Delhi, which is the capital city, and 3 1/2- 4 hours away from Agra. You can find direct flights from the US, and many cities around the world.

Another option is to fly to Mumbai, and then from there you can fly directly to Agra.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "India". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in the area to fly. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for your destination!

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How to Go to the Taj Mahal from Delhi

In order to go to the Taj Mahal in Agra from Delhi you can either take a train, a bus, or a private taxi/Uber.

The train takes around 4 hours, while the bus from Delhi to Agra takes around 3 1/2- 4 hours depending on traffic. The train is a bit more comfortable, but the bus is definitely the most affordable.

How Much is a Taxi from Delhi to Taj Mahal?

If you want to get to the Taj Mahal in the quickest way from Delhi, then you could opt for taking a taxi or private transportation. This is more common than you would think, and while it's certainly not the cheapest option, it's not outrageously expensive either.

We found prices on Uber to range from 3,000-5,000 IDR which is equivalent of $35-$60 USD. You could also arrange transportation with local drivers, which we'd recommend doing through your hotel.

Can I Travel from Delhi and See Taj Mahal in 1 Day?

You can definitely travel from Delhi to see the Taj Mahal in 1 day. However, it's not necessarily something we'd recommend, as we really enjoyed spending an extra day in Agra. 

On the other hand, if you have little time in Delhi, then it is certainly worth taking the day trip to be able to experience visiting the Taj Mahal.

Here are a few tours you can take from Delhi to the Taj Mahal:

How to Get to the Taj Mahal Once You're in Agra

Something important to know is that the streets leading up to the entrances of the Taj Mahal are all blocked off to traffic. We paid for an Uber to save us time, and then ended up having to get out just a few minutes into the ride. The road takes about 10 minutes to walk down at the East Gate, so you'll want to see this in mind for when you're visiting the Taj Mahal.

Agra itself is quite small, and you can easily get to the Taj Mahal by the brand new metro in town, a tuk tuk, or Uber.

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Visiting the Taj Mahal: What to Expect

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India is a truly magical experience, and one that you'll want to set a few hours of your day to rally experience. Here is everything that you can expect when you go.

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Visiting the Taj Mahal in India pin

There are three different gates at the Taj Mahal, the south, east, and west gates. The West gate is the most popular for Indians, so typically the most crowded, and the most popular one for tourists is the east gate, as it's the one that is closest to the majority of the hotels in Agra.

Entering the Taj Mahal

We arrived at the Taj Mahal 45 minutes before opening, and we were the second ones in line. Shortly after the lines really started to get busy, and as there are three gates and several lines (one for tourists, one for Indians, and one for tour groups), as soon as it open the crowds start pouring in.

Even though the Taj Mahal technically opens at sunrise, they started letting people in at 5:55 AM, which was a good 15 minutes before the actual sunrise.

crowds visiting the Taj Mahal in India

The Taj Mahal gets very crowded by the late morning!

You'll first show your ticket, and then go through security. It's important to have your ticket ready, and carry as little as possible on you to prevent delays.


Enjoying the Taj Mahal

Right after you enter you can choose to go straight to the fountain, to the left for the western monument, or to the right for the eastern monument.

Most people go straight for the principal photo spot, facing the Taj Mahal. While many bloggers advise going to the sides first, we were glad we went to the middle since the lines started forming very early, and it was still dark out when they let us in!

We ran and took our pictures, and then decided to wander around to really take everything in.

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India
Visiting the Taj Mahal in India
Visiting the Taj Mahal in India
Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

Visiting the Taj Mahal Monument

The Taj Mahal has the main monument, as well as the two monuments on each side. The two side monuments are able to be visited on the outsides, but the insides of them have been blocked off for visiting.

The main monument of the Taj Mahal  requires a separate tickets, which we purchased once we were inside. This allows you to go up the stairs and walk around the top of the Taj Mahal, as well as being able to visit inside the Taj Mahal's main monument.

This area has a roped area to guide you to the monument, with security around for crowd control. We actually found it not to be so crowded, and was a pretty seamless process. You must take your shoes off, and you aren't allowed to take photos or videos inside. Truthfully though, the most impressive part really is the architecture and the outside though.

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Amenities at the Taj Mahal in India

Inside the Taj Mahal there are no restaurants, nor is there anywhere to get food or drinks. There are bathrooms inside the complex, and a few benches, but other than that there aren't amenities like you'd find typically at some of the other world wonders.

Don't worry though, because there are plenty of shops and restaurants outside the Taj Mahal itself. Even right outside the gates you can find a shop that sells coffee while people are lined up before it opens!

We decided to get breakfast at a Hotel Sheela, which is right next to the East Gate, and has an outdoor area to eat surrounded by greenery.

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Visiting the Taj Mahal: Price & Timetable

Out of all of the wonders of the world, visiting the Taj Mahal in India is actually the most affordable!

Tickets for Visiting the Taj Mahal

Tickets can be purchased on the official Taj Mahal site, or at the ticket office up to 1 hour before opening at either the east or west gate. There is a 50 Rupee discount if you purchase online, and it also makes it a much more seamless process as you won't have to wait in line for a ticket, and can pay with your credit card online.

Foreigners' tickets are 1,100 IDR, and are valid for 3 hours. A ticket for the mausoleum is an extra 200 IDR, and must be paid in cash if purchased inside. Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries pay 540 IDR for entrance, and 200 for the mausoleum, and Indians pay just 50 IDR to enter, but have the same 200 IDR charge for the mausoleum.

Children under 15 are free of charge for visiting the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal Mausoleum

There is an extra charge for visiting the Taj Mahal Mausoleum.

Hours for Visiting the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset, so times really depend upon the time of year. The website states that the Taj Mahal opens 30 minutes before sunrise, and closes 30 minutes before sunset. In our case, they opened about 15 minutes before sunrise, and we still saw plenty of people leaving around sunset time.

Basically the times can vary a bit, so it's always good to give yourself extra time, and put waiting times into consideration!

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

The Taj Mahal in India opens before sunrise.

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Photography at the Taj Mahal

While visiting the Taj Mahal in India you will be overwhelmed by just how beautiful it is! There are so many incredible photo opportunities, so we'll share some of our favorites below:

Photo Spots at the Taj Mahal

1. The Famous Fountain Shot at the Taj Mahal

The most popular spot for photos at the Taj Mahal in India is the center fountain facing the front of the Taj Mahal. The bad thing is that this spot is crowded from the moment the Taj Mahal opens their gates, but the good news is that people take turns taking photos here, so the only people you'll have in your shot will be far in the background on the sides.

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

2. Sunrise at the West Side

If you're visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise, then you'll definitely want to head over to the west side, so you can watch the sun rising behind the Taj Mahal! Despite there being a ton of people there, surprisingly the plaza facing the Taj Mahal didn't really have a ton of people.

You can easily get beautiful shots of the Taj Mahal from an angle on either side, or straight from the center.

visiting the Taj Mahal in India at sunset
visiting the Taj Mahal in India at sunset
visiting the Taj Mahal in India at sunset

3. Arches at the West Side

See the large open area from the photos above? Well, there is a monument right behind it which has beautiful red arches along it. Head all the way to the left side of it and you'll find the stunning arch below, where you can also get a beautiful shot of the sun rising right in the frame.

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India at sunrise

4. The Arches of the East Side

The east side of the Taj Mahal may not have views of the sunrise, but it does have stunning tall arches that make for great photo opportunities, and is much less crowded than the west side early in the morning.

Some people use a mirror or water to get cool reflection shots in this area, but when we poured a little water on the ground this annoying guy who wanted us to pay him for photos ran to security to get us in trouble. 

We later tried to do the reflection shot with our phones, but it was really difficult. Wanting that unique shot, we were looking for another local offering their services but had no luck (and we certainly weren't going to give money to the guy who ratted us out).

arches of the Taj Mahal
arches of the Taj Mahal
arches of the Taj Mahal

5. The Towers at the Taj Mahal Monument

Part of the Taj Mahal monument on the side you'll find these gorgeous towers. Although they are typically overlooked, I found them to be really a beautiful edition to photography at the Taj Mahal.

Tower at the Taj Mahal

6. The Taj Mahal Monument

Now that we've taken photos all around the property, let's not forget the monument of the Taj Mahal itself!

This part you'll need a separate ticket for, but we really feel it's worth it. 

Head up to the top and you'll see 4 towers surrounding the main building, and some stunning architecture all around it. You can't take pictures inside, but can certainly take advantage of taking beautiful photos on the outside.

Visiting the Taj Mahal in India
Visiting the Taj Mahal in India
Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

Bonus Photo Spots (Outside the Taj Mahal)

7. Taj Mahal ADA Viewpoint

One of my favorite views of the Taj Mahal is actually outside of it! The Taj Mahal ADA Viewpoint is located across the river from the Taj Mahal (about a 25 minute drive away), and is part of a complex of gardens.

Entrance is 300 IDR, and although Google Maps shows it's open 24/7, we find this very hard to believe as there is a gate we would imagine closes at some point.

Taj ADA Viewpoint

8. Boat Ride Next to the Taj Mahal

Right next to the East Gate of the Taj Mahal you can find a street that leads down to the river behind the Taj Mahal. Here you can find a few locals offering boat rides, and a truly magical time to experience this is during sunset.

Some say that the boat ride is "illegal", but the boats make sure to stay within legal boundaries, and make you wear life jackets, so is pretty legitimate.

We honestly got lucky as we only found one boat during sunset and the guy allowed us to join another couple. Make sure to arrive early, and to bring cash with you! We paid 1,000 IDR each, and although it was just a half hour, we felt that it was truly worth overpaying for this unique experience.

sunset boat ride outside the Taj Mahal in India
sunset boat ride outside the Taj Mahal in India
sunset boat ride outside the Taj Mahal in India
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Other Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

Now you know almost everything you need to know for visiting the Taj Mahal in India! But here are a few more important things to keep in mind.

Weather in Agra

Agra experiences 4 different seasons. The winter months are cold at night, but mildly cool during the day, with dreamy misty mornings. The spring and Autumn have super ideal temperatures during the day with plenty of sunshine, and chilly nights, and the summer is monsoon season.

We visited in March, which is the end of the busiest season in India and has the best weather. While we did experience a lot of people at this time, we also know that the Taj Mahal is never really not crowded, so the time of day matters much more than the time of year when visiting the Taj Mahal in India.

What is the Best Time to Visit Taj Mahal?

The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is definitely during sunrise! While there will still be crowds, the first hour will still have far less people than you'll find later in the day. The weather will also be cooler, and the lighting will be much better.

If you're not an early riser you can opt for the later afternoon too! This way you can enjoy walking around, and then save your photos for closer to sunset when people start filtering out.

Is There a Dress Code for Taj Mahal?

Suprisingly there is no dress code for visiting the Taj Mahal! That being said, we suggest dressing modestly, and wearing shoes you can easily slip off for entering any of the monuments.

You will find a lot of women dressed in Sarees or Lehengas, which are the traditional Indian dresses. I decided to get my own Lehenga when I was in Delhi, and it really made visiting the Taj Mahal that much more surreal.

How to Prepare for Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

When it comes to preparing to visit the Taj Mahal, the less you bring the better! Security is thorough, and a lot of things are not allowed. In order to have a smooth entry, and to prevent any issues getting in, make sure to stick to the basics like your wallet, camera, and phone.

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Tips & Rules for Visiting the Taj Mahal in India

  • No tripods or drones allowed
  • Backpacks, cigarettes, matches, drinks, food, megaphones, and sharp objects are also forbidden
  • No dancing or doing disrespectful poses in front of the Taj Mahal
  • Shoes must be removed while inside any of the monuments
  • Go an hour before sunrise to guarantee being one of the first inside
  • Make sure you are in the right line (foreigners and Indians have separate lines)
  • Buy your ticket in advance to save time
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