Bucketlist Travels logo

Bucket list ideas:

8 Best things to see & do in Agra

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Amar Grover
  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Taj Mahal

Bucket List Experience

Taj Mahal

One of the world’s most beautiful buildings is not merely an exquisite tomb but a monument to love. The Taj Mahal was completed after two decades’ labour in 1653 by the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to entomb his wife, Mumtaz.

It stands at the head of formal gardens by the Yamuna River. The combination of milky-white marble (much of it inlaid with semi-precious stones, a technique known as pietra dura), a great bulbous dome and four slender minarets lend the mausoleum an astonishing almost ethereal beauty.

Admire it at your leisure – its well-kept gardens coax lingering, relaxed visits.

Good for age: 8+

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Agra Fort

Bucket List Experience

Agra Fort

Completed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1573 on the site of a ruined fortification, Agra Fort bears a striking resemblance to Delhi’s Red Fort.

Massive, rust-red sandstone walls of around two and a half kilometres enclose 94 acres, its eastern flank overlooking a bend in the Yamuna River and within sight of the Taj Mahal.

It’s the south-eastern section, behind the Amar Singh gate entrance, that holds the most interest: gardens, open-sided audience halls, pavilions and royal apartments plus a couple of dainty mosques.

Infamously imprisoned by his own son, it was from here that emperor Shah Jahan spent his final days gazing across at his beloved Taj.

Adult price: £8

Good for age: 18+

  • Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Fatehpur Sikri

Bucket List Experience

Fatehpur Sikri

In the late 1500s, the Mughal Emperor Akbar constructed a new capital near Agra – Fatehpur Sikri.

The Mughals’ first planned city was monumental in scale and design, and notable for the mastery and finesse of its predominantly red sandstone architecture. The city’s rather abrupt abandonment after fifteen years remains a mystery, though a lack of water is usually cited as the cause.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the atmospheric ‘ghost city’ provides a fascinating and unique insight into the Mughal court. Huge colonnaded courtyards, lofty audience halls, a treasury and royal apartments skilfully blend Muslim and Hindu traditions – in keeping with Akbar’s enlightened perspective.

Good for age: 13+

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Kinari Bazaar

Bucket List Experience

Kinari Bazaar

A little west of Agra Fort and seemingly loomed over by the striking minarets of the Friday Mosque (Jami Masjid), Kinari’s tangle of streets and lanes hosts one of the city’s most enjoyable markets.

There’s likely been a bazaar here since Mughal times and its staple products are no longer merely fabrics and embroidery. These days you can find all manner of brass-ware, jewellery, marquetry and marble along with cosmetics, perfume and decorative knick-knacks. It’s popular with locals and tourists, although – fabric aside – probably not the place for high-end craftsmanship or ‘antiques’.

Good for age: 13+

Ud Daulah’s Tomb

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Ud Daulah’s Tomb

Experience

Sometimes referred to as the ‘baby Taj’, this outstanding 17th-century noble’s tomb with formal gardens showcases the kind of pietra dura inlay on white marble that reached its apogee with the Taj Mahal.

Adult price: £2

Good for age: 18+

Deeg Palace

  • Deeg, Uttar Pradesh, India

Deeg Palace

Experience

A little-visited lakeside summer resort and palace complex that was built in 1772 for the Jat kings of Bharatpur, as a luxurious retreat. Its architecture fuses Mughal and Rajput styles.

Adult price: £1

Good for age: 18+

Keoladeo National Park

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Keoladeo National Park

Experience

Over 350 species of migratory birds winter in this former royal hunting ground,  formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Spread over thirty square kilometres, it’s classified as an internationally important wetland that’s also home to resident species.

Adult price: £5

Good for age: 8+

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Elephants feature prominently in Indian culture and design, from Ganesh, the ubiquitous ‘elephant god’, to architectural & decorative motifs. But for the tiger, it would probably be the national animal.

Yet all is not well with India’s elephant population. Whether used in temples to bestow blessings, for tourist rides (for example at Amber Fort near Jaipur) or for circuses, many end up being exploited and abused.

The ECCC and its hospital look after and rehabilitate captive pachyderms, as well as educating visitors on the importance of elephant conservation.

Located near the Yamuna River and surrounded by farmland, over twenty well-fed elephants are free to roam, enjoy water pools and live as ‘natural’ a life as possible despite their domestication.

Adult price: £15

Good for age: 4+