Golden Triangle India itinerary with map: Golden Triangle by train, bus, taxi uber. Best places to visit in Golden Triangle tour with best things to do in Jaipur, Agra, Delhi. Backpacking North India

 

So, in order to see the Golden Triangle of India, is a tour necessary?!

While a tour CAN be beneficial in many ways, it IS very possible for you to create your own Golden Triangle itinerary and do it on your own too!

You can get around the Golden Triangle by train, bus, or taxi.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Jaipur, Agra, Delhi

 

 

What cities make up the Golden Triangle?

  1. Delhi
  2. Agra
  3. Jaipur

 

Each of these cities are important for their own reasons.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Jaipur, Agra, Delhi

 

For more ideas about how many days to spend in each city, have a look at the best places to visit in Jaipur and the best places to visit in Agra.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Agra, Jaipur, Delhi

 

And if you have more time, it can be worthwhile to venture further out into Rajasthan to the city of lakes, blue city, golden city, or for a camel safari in the desert.

 

 

Golden Triangle map

Where is the Golden Triangle anyway?!

It’s located in North India, and the location means that a Golden Triangle tour can go perfectly alongside a tour of Rajasthan. (And if you want a contrast to North India, one week in Kerala in South India can be perfect too!)

 

Golden Triangle India map: Where is Golden Triangle? Jaipur, Agra, Delhi. Backpacking North India

 

And, if you look at a map of the Golden Triangle… you’ll see that it really does make up a triangle!

 

The Golden Triangle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.

This means that there are plenty of hostels in the Golden Triangle to choose from when you’re traveling on a budget.

 

 

Best places to visit in the Golden Triangle

 

1. Amber Fort, Jaipur

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best places to visit in Jaipur - Amber Fort and Amber Palace, things to do. Backpacking India

 

2. Jaipur City Palace

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best places to visit in Jaipur - City Palace, things to do. Backpacking India

 

3. Taj Mahal, Agra

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best places to visit in Agra - Taj Mahal visit, things to do. Backpacking India

 

4. Agra Fort

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best places to visit in Agra - Agra Fort, things to do. Backpacking India

 

5. Qutab Minar, Delhi

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best places to visit in Delhi - Qutab Minar, UNESCO world heritage site, things to do. Backpacking India

 

See more:

 

 

How many days in the Golden Triangle?!

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Jaipur, Agra, Delhi

 

You could easily make it 2-3 days in Jaipur and one day in Agra to visit the Taj Mahal.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Agra, Jaipur, Delhi

 

For Delhi, you can easily make it 3 days in Delhi with enough to fill your days. Or if you’re short on time, or your interests aren’t in what the chaos of Delhi offers, then you can make it one day in Delhi too.

 

5 days in the Golden Triangle

So that would mean it would be ideal if you have at least 5 days in the Golden Triangle, if you make it:

  • 2 days in Jaipur
  • 1 day in Agra
  • 2 days in Delhi

…and you really plan out the transportation between the cities well so you aren’t wasting any time so you can do plenty of activities on the days you travel.

 

6 days or one week would give you a bit more breathing room, and you can plan it so that you don’t plan anything specific on your travel days.

The distances between these cities is short enough that you won’t NEED a full day of travel.

But extra days will allow you to take it easy in the morning, travel comfortably without stress for a few hours, then maybe take in one sight or tourist attraction when you get to your new destination, and then rest easy in the evening for a full day of activities the next day!

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Jaipur, Agra, Delhi

 

10 days in the Golden Triangle

With THAT type of schedule, this is around 10 days in the Golden Triangle, taking it pretty easy:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Delhi
  • Day 2: Travel Delhi to Jaipur
  • Days 3-4: 2 days in Jaipur
  • Day 5: Travel Jaipur to Agra
  • Day 6: One day in Agra
  • Day 7: Travel Agra to Delhi
  • Days 8-9: 2 days in Delhi
  • Day 10: Fly out of Delhi!

 

Jaipur is still a big city in India, but somehow it just seems a little less chaotic, so it could be a better city to start in when it’s your first trip to India.

You can use your arrival day in Delhi to rest up a bit and walk the streets a bit, while saving more of the real touring for the end of your trip.

And once again, if you’re short on time, planning it out very well, you can condense the travel days into the activity days, by allocating half day of time in transit.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Agra, Jaipur, Delhi

 

 

How long does it take to get between the cities?

Just to give an idea, the travel time by road is around:

  • Delhi to Agra: 4 hours
  • Delhi to Jaipur: 5.5 hours
  • Jaipur to Agra: 4.5 hours

Your actual time may vary based on your mode of transportation.

You can opt for train, bus, or hired car with driver (taxi). You can even consider booking a flight too.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Best things to do in Jaipur, Agra, Delhi

 

 

How to get around the Golden Triangle

Touring the Golden Triangle by bus, train, taxi

 

By bus travel

When you’re backpacking India on a budget, travel by bus can be a reasonable and reliable way of getting around this part of North India.

Because these distances are relatively short, you can find tons of buses leaving between Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.

There are government buses that you can take, and you can also find slightly more comfortable bus options too.

For government buses, you can just turn up at the bus station with no reservations necessary and catch the next bus to your next destination.

For the more comfortable option (and to be able to reserve a seat so you won’t end up sharing your personal space), you’ll want to book with a private bus company. These bus tickets you would book in advance, but you’ll probably be fine to book it in the days prior, as opposed to weeks in advance.

To give you an idea of what bus travel might be like, see examples of travel by bus in North India to Jodhpur and from Udaipur.

You won’t need an overnight bus for travel around the Golden Triangle, but in case you’re considering the bus for other parts of your India travel, see an example of travel by overnight bus to North India.

Search for buses through redbus.

You can book bus tickets online through redbus too.

As of May 2019, I’ve recently booked a few tickets with redbus and could use my US number and pay directly with my US credit card.

The first time it did require multiple attempts though, because at first my bank declined the transaction thinking it might be suspicious activity. So if it doesn’t work for you, check your text messages/email to see if you’ve received a notification from your bank about the charge.

You used to need an Indian mobile number, and you needed to use Amazon pay to buy tickets with a foreign credit card. But it seems that’s no longer the case, which is great!

 

By train travel

Golden Triangle India itinerary: By train - Delhi to Agra to Jaipur. Backpacking India

 

Train can also be a reasonable way to travel around the Golden Triangle.

For comfort on the train (well, as comfortable as regular trains in India get!), you’ll want to book a train ticket in AC class – 1AC, 2AC, or 3AC. (The numbers indicating how many berths/sleeper seats are on one side.)

 

There is also the more comfortable train that’s called the Shatabdi Express.

These Shatabdi Express trains run on the Delhi to Agra route and the Delhi to Jaipur route. It used to also run between Jaipur in Agra, but as of spring 2018 that route got cancelled.

For this type of train, there’s executive class and chair class, and it comes with food.

I’ve traveled in both classes, and they are both good options.

So if you’re looking to save a bit of money, chair class on the Shatabdi Express is still a reasonable and comfortable option.

 

Generally speaking, trains in India do sometimes sell out well in advance.

This can make it challenging to travel by train with seat reservations as it means that it can require planning out your schedule well in advance also.

You can also consider traveling by train without booking in advance by taking the train in general class.

You would buy your ticket at the train station on the day you want to get to your next destination.

But general class means there are no seat reservations, and that means there’s a chance that the train will be crowded and you may not be able to get a seat.

Also keep in mind that generally speaking, trains in India are known for delays. (Another reason to allow a full day of travel for a less stressful day of travel – you don’t need to feel like you must make it to your destination by a certain time!) 

The distance between the Golden Triangle cities is short enough that you might consider traveling by general class train to be a reasonable option. (This is compared to an overnight train which I would never go for general class.)

See examples of travel with a general class train ticket in North India to Jaisalmer and to Udaipur.

You can search for trains through trainman.

 

Major train stations in Delhi:

  • New Delhi NDLS
  • Hazrat Nizamuddin NZM

 

Train stations in Agra:

  • Agra Cantt AGC
  • Agra Fort AF

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Agra train station - Delhi to Agra train, Jaipur to Agra train, Agra to Delhi train, Agra to Jaipur train. Backpacking India

 

Train station in Jaipur:

  • Jaipur JP

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: Jaipur train station - Delhi to Jaipur train, Agra to Jaipur train, Jaipur to Delhi train, Jaipur to Agra train. Backpacking India

 

Check the train schedule and train ticket costs

 

Delhi to Jaipur (or Jaipur to Delhi)

Train timings:

 

Jaipur to Agra (or Agra to Jaipur)

Train timings:

 

Agra to Delhi (or Agra to Delhi)

Train timings:

 

By taxi or Uber

Hiring a private car with driver, or taxi, or Uber might also be options to consider.

This can also give you flexibility in making stops along the way.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: By taxi, uber, ola - Delhi to Agra to Jaipur. Backpacking India

 

By flight

India is well-connected by flights, especially around the major cities.

Although bus, train, and car are more popular options, you can also have a look to booking a flight too.

Search for domestic flights in India through makemytrip.

 

Golden Triangle India itinerary: By flight - Delhi to Agra to Jaipur. Backpacking India

 

Airbnb in Delhi and Jaipur

In many other places around the world, airbnb can be a good way to save money on accommodation.

But for India, guesthouses and hostels are cheap enough that I wouldn’t necessarily say to look at airbnb as a way to save money.

Instead, I think that airbnb can be a good way to find more easily places to stay with modern amenities in a guesthouse or apartment.

Arranging an airbnb before your first trip to India can also give you a local contact to ask questions about your trip to the Golden Triangle.

For the Golden Triangle, I think the best cities to consider an airbnb is in Delhi and Jaipur.

You’ll also find a number of guesthouse and hotels listed on airbnb.

If you haven’t signed up for airbnb yet, sign up through this referral link to get up to US$40 off an airbnb stay!

 

 

So that’s the Golden Triangle!

 

Now…

More for your India itinerary

Where to go next after your Golden Triangle tour?!

Of course, there are many more cities to consider if you have more time, like one month in India!

With Jaipur being in Rajasthan, spending a few more days in Rajasthan can make perfect sense. Among the top cities in Rajasthan are Udaipur, Jaisalmer, and Jodhpur.

Making a side trip to the holy city Varanasi from Delhi or Agra can make sense too. (Side trip here means a few days.)

 

Then, after you are finished with North India, you can head to Mumbai from Rajasthan, or head to Goa from Rajasthan.

Then… Goa to Kerala with one week in Kerala to rest up after the chaos of North India! 😉

 

If you don’t have time to make it to these places for this trip to India, then that just means you’ll have to come back for more!

 

Have a deeper look at what these places have to offer for the rest of your India trip.

 

1. Udaipur (city of lakes)

Golden Triangle India tour with Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, Udaipur. Backpacking India

 

2. Jodhpur (blue city)

Golden Triangle India tour with Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, Jodhpur. Backpacking India

 

3. Jaisalmer (golden city)

Golden Triangle India tour with Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, Jaisalmer. Backpacking India

 

4. Thar Desert

Golden Triangle India tour with Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, Thar Desert camel safari. Backpacking India

 

5. KERALA! 😉

Golden Triangle India tour with Taj Mahal and Kerala backwaters. Backpacking India

 

HAPPY GOLDEN TRIANGLE ITINERARY PLANNING!