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No trip to India is complete without seeing its crowning glory — the Taj Mahal in Agra. The 17th-century, ivory-white mausoleum on the banks of the River Yamuna is an enduring icon of romance considering its backstory — the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built it to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This designated UNESCO World Heritage Site single-handedly draws 7 to 8 million visitors per year, and every celebrity worth their salt has posed in front of it, from Princess Diana and the Clintons to Oprah and Tom Cruise. Start planning your trip now by checking into one of our favorite hotels below.
The Oberoi Amarvilas has, hands-down, the best view of the Taj Mahal — you can see it from your bedroom, from the hotel’s restaurant, and even from your bathtub. Located just three-tenths of a mile from the monument, this is the only hotel in Agra that offers uninterrupted views from each of its 102 rooms, including 7 suites, not to mention premium access to the monument. The hotel itself is a tribute to Mughal splendor with landscaped gardens dotted with fountains, arches mirroring those of the Taj, intricate filigree work, marble inlays, jaali (screens), and antique furniture throughout.
At the top end is the Kohinoor Suite with wall-to-wall windows, private terrace, marble elephants and columns, and a king-size bed and freestanding bathtub both facing the monument. Enjoy all-day Indian and international dining at Bellevue or indulge in a candlelit, traditional Indian dinner at Esphahan accompanied by live folk music. For the ultimate privacy, opt for a dinner under the stars on your private terrace as your personal butler serves a four-course meal. Don’t miss a relaxing dip in the multi-tiered pool surrounded by terraced gardens.
Located less than 10 minutes from the Taj Mahal, this bright blue and yellow bed and breakfast on Taj Link Road is the perfect budget stay in Agra. Run by an affable couple, Vandna & Gopal Singh (the latter is a government-approved tour guide), the bungalow offers four spacious and sparkling clean guest bedrooms decorated with Indian motifs and posters. Each of the brightly colored, light-filled rooms comes with basic amenities like en-suite bathroom, tea/coffee making facilities, TV, air-conditioning, toiletries and hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi. All rooms have private balconies overlooking a well-kept garden that positively teems with nearly 100 species of local birds.
There’s a well-stocked library with books on India in the common lounge, which also has a communal table for breakfast; the couple offers home-cooked lunch and dinner as well as laundry services for an additional cost. You can even get a cooking lesson from the hostess or get a henna tattoo done on the premises. The owners are passionate naturalists and offer guided nature walks around the Taj Mahal and nearby areas in Agra.
Just half a mile from the Taj Mahal, Hotel Taj Resorts is a convenient and value-for-money stay option on Taj East Gate Road. Its 34 rooms (including 2 suites) are clean and comfortable, done up in neutral tones, and come with standard amenities like free Wi-Fi, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, and air-conditioning. The hotel’s rooftop pool and the Taj Terrace restaurant deliver stunning views of the monument. The restaurant offers a good mix of Mughal cuisine, Chinese dishes, and European fare and can arrange an al fresco, candlelit dinner with Taj views accompanied by live Indian classical music. The other restaurant, Bon Appetit, is also quite popular — especially for the live music and folk dance performances by local artists.
The hotel offers free shuttle services to the Taj Mahal as well as free pick-up from Agra airport, railway station, and bus station. Staff is courteous and helpful and go above and beyond the call of duty. The hotel can also arrange for a government-verified guide to accompany you on your visit to the Taj Mahal and other attractions.
Located on Fatehabad Road, just a 15-minute drive from the Taj Mahal, Courtyard Agra is ideal for a weekend break. Done up in soothing silver and matte gold, the hotel’s contemporary décor is a subtle contrast to Agra's hubbub. Plenty of natural light floods into the lobby and the rooms. Its 189 rooms, including 18 suites, are decked out in chevron patterns, etched glasswork, and elegant furnishing.
The hotel’s MoMo Café restaurant is open all day and is quite popular with locals and tourists for its varied international fare. Its sister coffeehouse MoMo 2 Go is a well-stocked deli where you can pick up sandwiches, pies, and pastries for a meal on the go. Grab a sundowner at the Onyx Bar and then tuck into some local kebabs, curries, and pilafs at the fine dining restaurant, Anise. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Relax at the Unora Spa that offers a range of treatments from Ayurvedic massages to beauty treatments.
Set over a sprawling 45 acres, the Radisson Blu Agra offers 239 rooms and suites done up in a sleek, contemporary style. While many of the rooms offer city views, you can see the Taj Mahal in all its glory from some of the deluxe rooms and suites. For the ultimate indulgence, book the Radisson Suite for sweeping views of the Taj, access to a private lawn, and a luxurious sunken bathtub, not to mention a Nespresso coffee machine at your service.
Radisson Blu Agra offers a choice of two restaurants — the all-day Palato that serves global cuisine from its five open kitchens, and Daawat-E-Nawab, which serves dishes inspired by the royal Mughal kitchens. The rooftop Infini – The Sky Lounge is perfect for an evening tipple, overlooking the hotel’s infinity pool with the Taj Mahal in the backdrop. The hotel also has a Tea Lounge at the lobby level and the Liquid Lounge Sports Bar where you can catch the latest sporting events live. Radisson Blu Agra is located on Taj East Gate Road, just a 10-minute drive from the Taj Mahal; a courtesy transfer is available upon request.
No Indian hotel chain does tasteful luxury as well as ITC Hotels and the ITC Mughal in Agra is no exception. It’s the only Indian hotel to have won the Aga Khan Award for Architectural Excellence for its representation of Mughal architecture. Set within 35 acres of formal gardens, the hotel’s soaring interiors exude a sense of space and the period artwork and detailing add to the royal ambiance. The hotel offers 181 rooms, 52 suites, and 7 Presidential and Grand Presidential Suites. The Royal Mughal Suites, located in the separate Khwab Mahal (Palace of Dreams) wing, are spread over 720 square feet and come with a deep soaking bathtub and rainfall shower, while the two categories of Presidential Suites vary between 1,033 and 2,045 square feet and offer butler service, lounge access, plunge pool, and specially crafted mementos.
Savor Indian delicacies at the Taj Bano restaurant; the live chaat (street food) counter is a real draw. For a more elaborate meal, head to Peshawri for a taste of northwest frontier cuisine or Mughal Pavilion for an international spread. The hotel also has two lounge bars, Maikhana at the lobby level and Bagh-E-Bahar overlooking the gardens and the pool.
Set amidst landscaped gardens dotted with water fountains, the red sandstone façade of Trident Agra fits right in with the city’s Mughal legacy. Inside though it’s thoroughly modern with clean-cut lines and muted colors. Its 135 rooms and suites are tastefully done up and overlook the central courtyard or the gardens or the pool. The Premier Rooms have been recently renovated and sport classic styling and Mughal-inspired art panels. The suites have also been newly refurbished and done up in warm tones and natural textures, and come with Italian Botticino marble bathroom fittings and luxury bath amenities by Kama. If you’re traveling with children, they will love the Trident Kids’ Club — a dedicated play area with toys, games, a splash pool, and their very own tent. The club offers older children many activities like pottery, painting, baking, and nature walks.
The Restaurant at Trident Agra serves up a mix of Indian and international cuisines overlooking the pool. This is the only place in the city you can find wood-fired oven pizzas. There’s a separate specialty Italian restaurant, Al Fresco, and a relaxed bar.
Built like a contemporary palace, all red sandstone, marble, and glass, Jaypee Palace Hotel seamlessly blends Mughal architecture with modern sensibilities. Located on Fatehabad Road, the hotel is a 15-minute drive from the Taj Mahal. With 341 guest rooms, including 15 suites and 40 Executive rooms, this is amongst the larger hotels in the city and an ideal destination for the business traveler. It also offers a Presidential Suite that comes with a personal valet, a private bar, luxurious Bertram Italian bed linen, Regency furniture, and a view of the nearby Swiss Hills Gardens.
Dining options range from the all-day dining Grand Buffet to a new Indian cuisine restaurant Paatra, and C’est Chine, a Chinese fine-dining restaurant. Other services include the Tamaya spa and salon as well as a well-equipped fitness center with an aerobics room, jacuzzi, and Turkish bath. The hotel also has a 1,500-seater convention center that can be divided into smaller meeting rooms, as well as a state-of-the-art business center.
Less than a mile from the Taj Mahal, Bedweiser Backpackers Hostel is the one of the most popular hostels in the city sporting a funky, colorful ambiance. Choose between a four-bed mixed dorm, a four-bed female-only dorm, or a private room with a queen-sized bed. Rooms are clean and equipped with air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. Wi-Fi is free and laundry service is available. The hostel is pet-friendly too (limited to the female dorm).
The rooftop lounge/restaurant has a great vibe and is a good place to meet fellow travelers and swap stories over a cup of coffee or some beers. There’s a separate common area with TV as well as a game room with XBOX. The owners are helpful and always around to offer suggestions and even join in in the evening for a chat or a drink. While the hostel offers meals, there are several restaurants nearby if you’d prefer to step out.
Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular hotels near the Taj Mahal. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different hotels and read over 70 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.