Want to plan a Golden Triangle India Itinerary to see the famous cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur? You can do this with just 1 week in India, here’s how!
The Golden Triangle is where most tourists start when going on a trip to India or on holiday in India.
And it makes sense, Delhi provides lots of flight options and is a melting pot of cultures, religions and sights to see. Jaipur also known as the pink city gives a rich cultural experience of the state of Rajasthan, and Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, one of the must-see wonders of the world!
Although you could spend 10 days in India doing the Golden Triangle, I think it’s very possible to do the Golden Triangle with 1 week in India and it offers the perfect 1 week India itinerary too! Especially for first-timers to India!
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Golden Triangle India Itinerary
I have been to India multiple times and ran 2 group tours there. The one mistake people often make when planning a trip to India is trying to fit too much in.
You have to remember that India is huge so journeys take a while. It’s also busy, hot and a hit on the senses meaning you’ll need time to relax otherwise you’ll end up totally overwhelmed and this could quickly negatively impact your experience which we don’t want to happen.
Overview of Golden Triangle Itinerary
Here’s a quick breakdown of how I recommend you plan your Golden Triangle India itinerary in 1 week. Below, I give day-by-day details of how to get around India’s Golden Triangle, things to do in the Golden Triangle and more information on Delhi, Agra and Jaipur which make up the Golden Triangle.
Day 1 – Arrive in Delhi & Do Evening Street Food Tour
Day 2 – Explore Delhi
Day 3 – Morning Train to Agra. Afternoon City Tour in Agra
Day 4 – Sunrise Visit to Taj Mahal, Lunchtime Train to Jaipur
Day 5 – City Tour of Jaipur
Day 6 – Morning in Jaipur. Afternoon Train to Delhi
Day 7 – Morning Bike Tour of Delhi. Leave Delhi.
Recommend India itineraries
Got more time to spend in India? The Golden Triangle is a must-visit, especially to start off a trip to India but there is so much more to see in North India and South India.
Here are my popular India itineraries based on my trips there to help you plan the rest of your trip to India:
Delhi Agra Jaipur Itinerary
Here is my detailed day-by-day breakdown of how to plan your Delhi, Agra and Jaipur itinerary with 1 week in India!
Day 1 – Arrive in New Delhi & Go on Evening Street Food Tour
How To Get To Delhi
Remember to apply for your visa for India before you arrive!
New Delhi Airport is a huge international airport so there are plenty of flights arriving to start your Golden Triangle India itinerary and it is an easy airport to navigate. Check flights on Skyscanner here!
Before you leave the airport, I recommend buying a sim card so you can be connected on your 7 day India tour and Delhi Airport is the easiest place to buy a sim card from.
Here is my full post on how to buy a sim card in Delhi Airport.
Where To Stay in Delhi
When it comes to where to stay in Delhi, I recommend staying in South Delhi, in or near the area of Hauz Khas because this is a residential part of the city and is much more relaxed than the centre. There really is no need for you to stay in Central Delhi on this 7 day India itinerary.
Things To Do in Delhi
On your first day in Delhi and to start your Golden Triangle itinerary I really recommend you book an evening street food tour with Reality Tours in Old Delhi. You will meet a guide at about 5:00 pm and spend the next few hours learning about Old Delhi, trying so many amazing foods and being amazed at this city!
Delhi is overwhelming, especially on your visit day and the first visit to India. Old Delhi is even overwhelming even once you’ve been there a few times, so the best way to see it is with a local, trust me!
I did Delhi wrong the first few times I visited, so here are 10 Delhi Travel Tips to enjoy Delhi, so you don’t make the same mistakes as me!
Day 2 – Explore Delhi
Things To Do in Delhi
For your first full day in Delhi on your Golden Triangle India itinerary, I would recommend hiring a guide and going on a private tour. It is really reasonable to hire a guide and driver for 1 day.
The top places to visit in Delhi and that a guide can take you to are:
- Old Delhi Red Fort
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Qutub Minar
- India Gate
- Lotus Temple
Here are some highly-rated private day tours of Delhi you can book:
Day 3 – Train to Agra. Agra City Tour
Getting around India is actually pretty easy, and that’s why you can (pretty) easily see 3 cities in 1 week in India on a Golden Triangle Itinerary.
The train is the best way to get around India so I recommend you experience a train ride to get from New Delhi to Agra, alternatively, you can book a car and private driver like this. Your accommodation in Delhi can help you with this too.
New Delhi to Agra Train
I recommend catching an early morning train around 8am or 9am and the quickest option like the 1 hour 40 minute train from Hazrat Delhi Train Station to Agra Cantt.
Where To Stay in Agra
When I was backpacking India, I stayed at Moustache Agra Hostel, it wasn’t my favourite but it was fine and walkable to the Tak Mahal!
Things To Do in Agra
Once you have arrived in Agra, get a tuk-tuk to your hotel, drop your bags at your hotel and go on a city tour.
You can book a city tour like this in advance, or ask your hotel to help you. If you want an explanation of where you’re visiting you should go with a guide, but if you just want transportation you can go with an auto-rickshaw driver.
It’s really fun to spot the Taj Mahal around Agra before going in, here are ways to see the Taj Mahal from the outside!
3 Agra Travel Tips!
1 – there is so much more to Agra than just the Taj Mahal.
2 – Agra is not walkable apart from around the Taj Mahal and there is no public transport so you will need a driver to help you with this day of your Golden Triangle India Itinerary!
3 – The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays!
I really recommend you visit the Taj Mahal tomorrow morning at sunrise on this Golden Triangle itinerary as this is the best time of day to visit the Taj Mahal, but, note that the Taj Mahal is closed on Friday so if it’s Thursday on day 3 of your 1 week India itinerary, go to the Taj Mahal when you arrive in Agra!
Places to visit in Agra that I recommend you go to are:
- Agra Fort
- Akbars Tomb
- Baby Taj
- Mehtab Bath for Sunset
- Taj Mahal nature park
Day 4 – Taj Mahal & Train To Jaipur
Sunrise at the Taj Mahal
Sunrise is the best time of day to go to the Taj Mahal because although it may seem busy when you arrive, even on a dark morning, it only gets busier and busier later on. Plus, if you are visiting India in hotter weather, this is the coolest and most pleasant time of day to visit.
Your accommodation will advise you on the best time to leave in the morning depending on the sunrise time so you can get to the ticket office as it opens. You can go to the Taj Mahal without a guide, but to understand what the building means and the history, which is fascinating, you can get a guide as you walk in.
Related post: My Top Tips for Visiting the Taj Mahal!
Most hotels will have breakfast ready for you when you return at about 9:00 am if you ask them to.
Agra to Jaipur Train
For your Agra to Jaipur train, I recommend getting the train that leaves Agra at 14:50 and gets to Jaipur at 18:55 so you don’t need to rush at the Taj Mahal in the morning and you can even nap until check-out once you return to your hotel.
I would recommend AC Chair Class so you have a comfy experience watching the Indian Countryside go by!
Alternatively, your accommodation can help you book a private car like this from Agra to Jaipur which might be more preferable because of your short timeframe on this 7 day India itinerary!
Where To Stay in Jaipur
A hotel that I love in Jaipur and really recommend is Shahpura House. It’s a luxury heritage hotel in the centre of the city offering high quality but at a food price! And why not treat yourself seen as you are now in the most royal city in Rajasthan?
If you are looking to stay in a hostel, I really recommend Moustache Jaipur Hostel, this is one of the best hostels I stayed in in India!
Day 5 – City Tour of Jaipur
Things To Do in Jaipur
Jaipur is another big city with so many things to see! Again, on this Golden Triangle India itinerary, in order to see the best of Jaipur I recommend you hire a guide and driver for the day, or at least a tuk-tuk driver to take you around.
There are so many Jaipur day tours and private day tours of Jaipur to book, here are high-rated options:
Remember, tuk-tuk drivers are there for transport only, they may give you snippets of information but do not expect to get an informational guided tour in good English if you only hire a tuk-tuk driver.
The top places to visit with 1 day in Jaipur are:
- Amber Palace
- Hawa Mahal
- Jaipur City Palace
- Jantar Mantar
- Monkey Temple
Finish off your day in Jaipur in the perfect way by watching a Bollywood film at the Raj Mandir Cinema with local Indians and other tourists, it’s quite an experience!
Be sure to book your tickets a few days before on their website here.
Day 6 – Train From Jaipur to Delhi
To end your Delhi, Agra and Jaipur itinerary, you can either get the quickest train from Jaipur to New Delhi at 7:55 in the morning, or you can enjoy a relaxed morning in your hotel in Jaipur. You can visit any of the things to do in Jaipur that you missed the day before and leave in the afternoon instead.
Jaipur to Delhi Train
Most of the trains from Jaipur to Delhi leave early morning or late afternoon and variry in time from 3 hours 40 minutes to 5 hours 50 minutes so don’t plan to get a train at lunchtime.
Jaipur to Delhi Flight
I don’t recommend getting a private car from Jaipur to Delhi as it’s about a 5 hour drive. If you are in a rush, I’d recommend a flight as both cities have big airports with regular internal 55 minute flights.
Day 7 – Delhi and Leave
Now you’ve experienced 1 week in India, you should feel more confident coming back to Delhi and exploring again before you leave.
One of the things I recommend for Delhi is a morning bike tour. I’ve done this 3 times and on both my group tours and although it’s an early wake-up call, it’s amazing to see Old Delhi wake up and explore by bike!
Spin Monkey run the morning’s bicycle tour of New Delhi which you can view and book here!
Golden Triangle India Tours
If you don’t fancy getting around India yourself and you’d rather hire a guide and driver for the duration of your trip. You can do this.
The Golden Triangle India Tours on offer range from 2 – 5 days. Personally, I think 2 days is too quick to see all 3 cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. 5 days works best so you aren’t rushed, but you don’t need 1 week to do the Golden Triangle of India because you won’t need to fit in scheduled train times and time to research as your guide will look after all of that for you.
Honestly, if you can travel to India independently and feel confident doing my itinerary above, I would highly recommend doing it this way, if not, look into a private tour.
Here are some highly-rated private Golden Triangle Tours:
- From Delhi: Private 4-Day Golden Triangle Luxury Tour
- From Delhi: 4-Day Golden Triangle & Ranthambore Tiger Safari
- From Delhi: Private 5-Day Golden Triangle Tour
- Delhi: Private 3-Day Golden Triangle Experience
I hope this post has helped you plan your Golden Triangle India itinerary and given you ideas of how to spend 1 week in India!
- For more of my India posts see:
- Reasons to Book Luxury Camping in Rishikesh, India!
- 5 DELICIOUS Online Indian Cooking Classes To Bring India To Your Home!
- How To Do the Wagah Border Crossing on Foot? India to Pakistan!
- 3 Easy Ways To Get a Sim Card in India For Tourists!
- How To Book Trains in India as a Tourist Online?