A roundup of the 7 best Taj Mahal viewpoint locations to snap unique and iconic shots of the world’s most beautiful building! Where to go to get different perspectives of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
I still remember the first time I laid eyes on the Taj Mahal. The truth is, I found myself in Agra for the sole purpose of checking it out. Yet, I was initially skeptical. Could it really be that magnificent, or is it just another tourist trap?
I’m sure I’m not alone on this, and that many others share the same initial sentiment. However, let me tell you that from the first moment I saw that white marble dome from the riverbank viewpoint, I was speechless.
- Best View of the Taj Mahal From a Hotel
- 7 Best Taj Mahal View Point Locations: Where to See the Taj in Agra
- Roundup: Best Restaurants with Taj Mahal View
- What Can Be Seen in Front of the Taj?
- More India Travel Guides and Blogs
It's difficult to describe the beauty of the Taj Mahal, especially for travelers like me, who usually hang out at waterfalls or in the mountains rather than chasing views of a building. So, I better leave it to the literary experts, quoting the mausoleum's creator Shah Jahan:
"The Taj Mahal's beauty makes the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes."
So, I set out to find the best Taj Mahal view point locations and spots to see it in Agra. After a bit of research and by the help of some local experts, I was able to find and photograph these: the 7 Best Taj Mahal Viewpoint Locations in Agra.
Best View of the Taj Mahal From a Hotel
Want to experience the beauty of the Taj Mahal from your own hotel balcony? Below are the top options in Agra.
- Hotel Kamal - This is a great option for people looking for a hotel with a great Taj Mahal vantage point. It's located only a few hundred meters from the Taj and sports a rooftop terrace and restaurant.
- Hotel Clark's Shiraz - This one is a little further from the Taj Mahal but offers great views of the UNESCO World Heritage building as well as a pool, massage parlor, and spa.
- Joey's Hostel - If you're looking for a backpacker's hostel in Agra with a rooftop Tah Mahal view point, this might be the one. It's rated as one of the best hostels in Agra for its vibe, location, and views.
- Zig Zag Hostel - I've already mentioned Zig Zag above but in case you missed it, these guys run nightly walking tours to a secret Taj Mahal viewpoint that is only accessible to Zig Zag guests. Check them out!
7 Best Taj Mahal View Point Locations: Where to See the Taj in Agra
Below you'll find my list of the best Taj Mahal view point locations so that you can photograph some unique perspectives of this incredible mausoleum.
At the end of this post, I've also included a quick roundup of some of the best hotels and rooftop restaurants to get a glimpse of the Taj Mahal.
1. From Inside the Taj Mahal Grounds
By far, the best way to see the Taj Mahal is to witness it up close from within the grounds. Immediately upon wandering through the crimson gates, the Taj Mahal, or "crown of palaces" reveals itself under a symmetrical reflective pond. Entrance to the Taj Mahal is a little pricey, but easily worth it.
You will be able to explore the palace gardens, the riverfront terraces, and the mind-bending marble exterior as you climb up the steps. From within the Taj, you will also get a glimpse of the tomb where its creator: Shah Jahan and his favorite wife; Mumtaz Mahal are laid to rest.
Tip: An excellent Taj Mahal view point from within the grounds is from underneath the red doorways of the mosque (picture below). This is located on the left side of the Taj as you approach it from the entrance.
Be mindful that this is India's most popular tourist attraction, with more than 6.5 million people visiting the grounds each year! So, you can expect quite the line-up for a sunrise entry ticket. Below I've linked to a cost-effective tour of the Taj grounds that includes a ticket, so you can skip the line.
Skip the line: Taj Mahal Entrance Ticket & Tour Guide
Taj Mahal timings: 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset (check updates here)
Entry cost: 1100 rupees for foreigners and 50 rupees for Indians. (+200 rupees to see the main mausoleum)
2. Taj Mahal River View From the Yamuna
The Hindu temple beside the Taj known as Tejo Mahalaya Chhota Mandir is perhaps one of the most well-known alternative Taj Mahal view point location in Agra.
To get here, you just need to walk along the ground's eastern gates towards the river. Once you get to the Yamuna, you'll immediately notice why it's such a great Taj Mahal view point location.
Although there is a tall fence between the river and the palace grounds, you can still get a great view and snap some awesome shots of the incredible marble wonder from the river bank.
- Google Maps Pin: "Taj Yamuna View Point"
3. See the Taj Mahal From the Mehtab Bagh
The Mehtab Bagh, translated as "Moonlight Garden," is a quadrilateral garden complex found directly opposite the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River.
The Mehtab Bagh is another popular Taj Mahal view point where you can catch dramatic reflections and beautiful garden foregrounds.
To get to the Mehtab Bag, you will need to walk around the riverbank, heading north and crossing the Strachey Bridge. Then, it's another 2-kilometer walk back south along the Yamuna until you reach the Mehtab Bagh. Alternatively, you can take a rickshaw for around 150 rupees per person from anywhere around the Taj.
Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM
Entry cost: 200 rupees for foreigners and 15 rupees for Indian locals
4. Agra Fort Taj Mahal View Point
Agra's second-most visited attraction is the Agra Fort. Although it's largely shadowed by its marble wonder of a sister monument, it's recognized as one of the most impressive forts in India.
The Agra Fort is a monumental fortification that can be more accurately described as a mini-city than a fort. Its impressive palaces, vistas, courtyards, and temples span roughly 94 acres beside the Yamuna River, approximately 2 kilometers from the Taj.
As you'd expect, the Agra Fort is one of the best places to get a Taj Mahal view point. There are several vantage points from within the fort, including decorative windows, balconies, and towers.
Skip the line: Agra Half-Day Tour of Agra Fort and Taj Mahal
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Entry cost: 550 rupees for foreigners and 35 rupees for Indian locals
5. From a Rooftop Cafe or Hotel
One of the best ways to enjoy the magnificence of the Taj Mahal is from one of the many rooftop cafes and hotels in Agra. While all of the surrounding businesses claim to offer the best Taj view point, some are obviously better than others.
The beauty of it is that there are actually many "hidden gems" that offer great Taj views without needing to fork out the tourist tax rupees. So, make sure to check them out while you're in Agra.
6. Taj Mahal View from Yamuna River
Okay, so this Taj Mahal view point is a little different and slightly controversial. I'm sure many of you reading this have seen the iconic sunrise photo from aboard a rowboat on the Yamuna River, sporting a magnificent Taj Mahal backdrop.
The truth is that Taj Mahal river boats are actually now illegal due to security reasons. However, after doing a bit of research online, I've found that it is still possible, albeit risky.
Since I couldn't find a boat willing to take the risk during my time in Agra, I, unfortunately, can't offer you the details. However, below I've embedded a vlog that does a great job of highlighting the Taj Mahal riverboat experience.
7. Secret Sunset Taj Mahal View Point (For Zig Zag Hostel Guests)
The final item on this list of the best Taj Mahal view point locations is my personal favorite. To get here, you'll need to be a guest at the Zig Zag hostel in Agra.
Due to some local family connections, the owners of Zig Zag hostel have access to an old tower monument along the Yamuna River that offers some of the best Taj Mahal views in Agra. This Taj Mahal view point is on private land, so you can't get to the vantage point without their help.
I was told to stay at Zig Zag by two different travelers during my recent trip to India. They both mentioned that it was a must-stay considering how awesome their secret view point is.
Zig Zag runs daily walking tours and sunset trips to the Taj Mahal vantage point and if you're the kind of person that likes to stay at hostels, then I highly recommend staying here.
Book now: ZigZag Hostel Agra
Here's a fun fact: the Taj Mahal was initially supposed to be built in Burhanbpur! However, logistical issues with getting all the necessary white marble made this impossible and hence the construction was moved to Agra, where it sits today.
Roundup: Best Restaurants with Taj Mahal View
After searching for the best rooftop restaurant view of the Taj Mahal in Agra, I discovered these few gems. A few of these were local recommendations, while some I found online and one by just mere chance.
The Saniya Palace is well-renowned in Agra to be one of the best places to see the Taj Mahal from. It's slightly classy but meals are not too expensive (around 300 rupees per person).
Mumtaz Cafe Gallery
This first one is a little pricey but offers what I believe to be one of the best Taj Mahal view points from a restaurant rooftop. Although it's a little further from the Taj, the views are interrupted and quite spectacular.
Hotel Sai Palace
I stumbled on this little-known restaurant on the southern side of the Taj Mahal while looking for a budget-friendly restaurant with Taj Mahal views. These guys make great food and offer vegetarian thalis for 50 rupees and lassis for only 30!
What Can Be Seen in Front of the Taj?
Looking to skimp out and not pay for an entry ticket? Unfortunately, due to the large wall in front of the Taj, there really isn't much of a view of the front looking from the outside.
However, as you've seen in this article, there are plenty of places you can get a great vantage point without paying. In saying that, there really isn't a substitute for seeing this amazing marvel from inside the grounds.
Again, the best way to book a ticket and avoid the long line is to book online in advance.
More India Travel Guides and Blogs
I hope you've found this travel guide to the 7 best Taj Mahal view point locations useful. If you've captured some gems of the Taj, share it by dropping a link to your Instagram in the comments section.
Otherwise, if you've managed to stumble upon some more Taj Mahal viewing spots that aren't listed here, make sure to let us know!