Doing the Golden Triangle is on almost everyone’s bucket list and two of stops on the Golden Triangle are doing the Delhi to Agra trip. In previous posts I covered 13 places to visit in Delhi, I also covered tips on visiting Taj Mahal, with the recent post covering 5 places to visit in Agra beyond Taj Mahal. In this post, I wanted to provide tips on how to get from New Delhi to Agra by train, bus or car, depending on your budget and how much time you have to explore.
In some of my posts, you may have already read about how I managed to jump on the opportunity to visit India when my husband had a project in India for about a month and a half. While I had plenty of time in New Delhi to visit Humayun’s Tomb, The Lotus Temple and other places, my husband’s exploration were only on weekends. So while planning the trip to Agra from Delhi I wanted to make sure we could maximise our time in Agra to not only the Taj Mahal but surrounding attractions. So below I have a quick guide one how to get from Delhi to Agra so that you can compare and see which method works for you.
- 1 Don’t Fall For Scams in Delhi (Or India)
- 2 Tips on Booking Ticket for Train Travel in India
- 3 How to Get From Delhi to Agra By Train
- 4 How to Book Train Tickets for India Online
- 5 Delhi to Agra By Tour
- 6 How to Get From Delhi to Agra By Bus
- 7 How to Get From Delhi to Agra By Car
Don’t Fall For Scams in Delhi (Or India)
First things first, people hustle in all cities and that’s no different to India. You just have to have your wits about you. Most of the tickets for buses and trains can be bought at the tourist office at Delhi Station but make no mistake about it, you will have rickshaw drivers(aka touts) coming up with a million excuse about why you need to let them take you to some tour agent elsewhere. They will literally come up with all manner of excuses. From the place being closed, flooded, burnt and all sorts. Insist on to the International Tourist Bureau inside New Delhi station or find another rickshaw driver. The other excuse or scare tactics will be that there is some sort of commotion in the area and it’s too dangerous to visit. This goes for when requesting directions or a ride to your booked accommodation. But hey presto, they know just the place that is “safe” to stay or buy tickets. Don’t fall for it!
Tips on Booking Ticket for Train Travel in India
You can book tickets for trains in and around India at the main stations of most big cities like New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Agra, Jaipur, and Varanasi. You can book tickets at the International Tourist Bureaus that you will find in the main stations. These cater mainly to tourists and are usually less crowded. So whether you are in Delhi or Jaipur, aim to go there for your tickets to avoid scams or paying beyond the price of the tickets. You can see the full list of stations with International Tourist Bureaus and their opening times by visiting India Rail.
If you are just arriving in at Delhi International Airport. There is also a 24-hour rail booking office at Delhi International Airport. I arrived at like 3 am and was in a rush to just get some sleep but that is another option if you are not in a rush to get to your hotel or other destination when you arrive.
How to Get From Delhi to Agra By Train
- There are plenty of trains leaving from Delhi to Agra and on to Jaipur.
- Fast trains in Delhi leave early in the morning around 6 am and reach Agra around 8 am.
- You also have Hazrat Nizamuddin, another station in Delhi where trains leave from 7 am and arrive at Agra Cantt Station.
- You can buy tickets online or at the stations or online – details below.
- There is now a new 100-minute journey on the Gatimaan Express, from the New Delhi to Agra, and home of the Taj Mahal. This will cost between 750 and 1,500 rupees (£8-£16 – AC Chair Car coach and Executive Coach. You can book below the train via the sites below of via a tour that includes the express train.
- Gatimaan Express runs six days a week, except Friday, in both directions. The train leaves from Nizamuddin station in Delhi at 8:10 am and reaches Agra at 9:50 am. From Agra, the train will start its return journey at 5:50 pm and will reach Nizamuddin at 7:30 pm. This means you can easily do a day trip to Agra by train.
How to Book Train Tickets for India Online
At first, planning and booking train tickets when abroad looks complicated as some of the sites require registration and just look downright complicated! There are three options when it comes to purchasing tickets in India. I have added them below but in order to use any one of the last two you need to register with the first option first:
- IRCTC – All online tickets have to go through via IRCTC but it’s not the easiest of websites to use.
- First, register and verify your account. You can then either buy your ticket through this site or use the other slightly more easy to navigate sites.
- You can book tickets at least 120 days in advance.
- You have options for an e-ticket or an i-ticket that requires an Indian address to send the ticket to. The best option is for the e-ticket.
- They now take foreign cards but if yours is not working you can use an Amex.
- Clear Ttrip – It’s probably the easiest & simplest website to use to buy Indian train tickets online.
- Clear Trip is allowed to link their website to the official IRCTC Indian Railways reservation & ticketing system.
- It has a simple interface and lets you find your train routes, popular cities, train timings and train availability without hassle.
- Enter the name of the starting station and the ending station
- Select the seat or class along with the date of journey
- Fill in the information about the number of passengers
- Click on “Search trains” to get the names of the trains running along the desired route
- You can also have a look at the train routes in India at the bottom of this page.
- You can pay by card. For more details on payment on the site, they have an FAQ.
- Make My Trip – Private much like Clear Trip and much like Clear Trip is also connected to the official IRCTC system.
- You can buy tickets with an international card and print and e-ticket at home.
- They charge a small fee when buying tickets through their site.
For more details in train travel in India, I highly recommend Seat61.
Delhi to Agra By Tour
There are so many options to get from Delhi to Agra and one hassle-free option is to go via a tour. Most of these will provide options of going to Agra by train bus or car, all arranged for you via the tour. You can also book them online before traveling to India. Check out Viator and Get Your Guide to find a suitable option.
How to Get From Delhi to Agra By Bus
- You can book tickets for the Delhi to Agra bus ride via Make My Trip. Currently, there are about 40 buses leaving from Delhi to Agra.
- You have many operators to choose from on the Make My Trip site.
- The journey takes about 2 hours with the lowest fare around Rs 250.
- You can also buy tickets from the International Tourist Bureau at the main station. Details above.
How to Get From Delhi to Agra By Car
Whichever hotel you stay at, they can help you arrange a car and driver in addition to getting a guide when you arrive in Agra. Having gone through the process of looking at trains and buses to Agra in the end we opted for a car arranged by Marriott Hotel in Delhi, where we staying in Delhi. Prices for this can range depending on whether you are booking a one-way trip, a return trip includes or excludes a guide when you get to Agra. If you are staying overnight in Agra you can also enjoy Taj Mahal at sunrise before driving back to Delhi. Just get the prices and then compare to the above. We went with this option simply for ease of having it all sorted out by someone else including having an air-conditioned car to escape to between tourist sights while exploring during the hot Indian summer.
More on India on the blog:
- 13 Places to See in Delhi.
- Five Things to do in Agra Beyond Taj Mahal.
- Tips for a Stress-free Visit to the Taj Mahal.
- Humayun’s Tomb – A Tomb That Gave Birth to the Idea of Taj Mahal.
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