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The best tips for a trip to the Golden Triangle in India

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From crazy Delhi to the world wonder Taj Mahal and to Jaipur: A journey through the Golden Triangle is fascinating, contrasting and a adventure, that you won’t soon forget. Some of the country’s most beautiful and important sights lie in the Golden Triangle in northern India.

Planning a trip to India’s Golden Triangle? In this article we will tell you our best tips: What is the ideal itinerary? When is the best time to travel? How safe is a trip to India? How do I get from A to B? Answers to these questions can be found in our personal travel guide.

1. The Golden Triangle in India: Overview & Interesting Facts This awaits you in the Golden Triangle The Golden Triangle is the best-known tourist region in northern India and extends over the two states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Some of India’s most famous attractions are found in the Golden Triangle.

As the name suggests, here you travel to a total of three places: There is first once Delhi, the capital of India. Then of course the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. And last but not least the so-called pink city of Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan.

The best travel time for the Golden Triangle The optimal travel time for the Golden Triangle is in February and March. This can be from April thermometer ever read temperatures above 21 degrees Celsius increase. In December and January, on the other hand, it can still be very cool. The summer months of July and August are monsoon season. In October and December the climate is suitable for traveling again.

When choosing a travel time you should always consider Indian public holidays. For example, we were in India during Holi, which is of course very exciting on the one hand, but can lead to restrictions on the other.

Travel guide: Our tip Of course you can also find many tips for India on the internet, but we would also recommend a printed travel guide . Our choice fell on the Lonely Planet Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra (English). We don’t have our decision ready for a second.

Like all Lonely Planet travel guides, this one is also very clear and attractively designed. In addition, it is not as thick and heavy as, for example, the complete India travel guide. The new edition was published in the year 2019 and is therefore quite up-to-date. Clear recommendation!

You can buy the travel guide here: Lonely Planet Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra

2. Entry to India: Visa Tips German and Austrian citizens need a visa to travel to India. You can conveniently apply for an electronic e-Tourist-Visa here, and betweenar at least four days before entry.

A photo is required for the application, oddly enough in square format. You also need a scan of the first page of your passport (i.e. the one with the information and photo).

The e-Tourist visa is usually valid for one month requested. (A little information on the side. You can also apply for the e-tourist visa for one year. However, the maximum length of stay is only 70 days, ie even with the 1-year visa you have to leave the country again.)

The price for the e-Tourist Visa varies depending on travel time: Between April and June it costs 12 dollars, between July and March 25 dollars. We strongly recommend that you apply for the visa on the official website, as many agencies add a tidy fee.

Official website: Application e- Tourist Visa India

3. Transport in the Golden Triangle: How to get from A to B Transport Possibilities Of course, the most comfortable (and also most expensive) way to travel is with a private driver. You can stop, when you want and are very flexible. Of course, a private driver is also a good choice in terms of safety.

A great way to get from A to B in India is by train. We personally were very impressed by the morning train ride to Agra. We really enjoyed watching the landscape go by.

The third variant: Of course you can also travel through India by public buses. . To be honest, that was a bit too adventurous for our first trip to India.

Tip: Book transport tickets We ourselves opted for a combination of private driver and train and found it perfect. Unfortunately, it is not that easy to book the train ticket for India from Europe, because you often need an Indian phone number for the booking.

But we have a tip for you: With 21go.asia works fine. There you can even book a private driver or bus tickets if you want.

You can book your transport here: Transportation in India via 25go.asia

Individual or organised? One of the most important questions to ask yourself before traveling to India: Do you want on your own traveling or would you rather get help with organizing. Of course, both have advantages and disadvantages.

We didn’t want to be completely on our own on our first trip to India, so we decided to travel to India with erlebe-fernreisen. Erlebe-fernreisen supported us in organizing our transport and booked train tickets, private transport and accommodation.

So although we had an individual trip for two, we were able to enjoy some comfort. When we arrived in Delhi, we received all the documents from an employee of the partner agency. This is of course practical, because we didn’t have to worry about anything on site.

Moving around within the cities For transports within the cities we usually stopped a motorized rickshaw. Depending on the length of the route, we paid approx. 50 Indian Rupees. Sometimes we also used cycle rickshaws.

In Delhi we took the Metro. In principle, this is very simple and cheap: the tickets are bought at the counter before you start, the price per trip is approx. 10 rupees. However, you usually still have to walk quite a long distance to reach the final destination. For longer distances, the Taxi is a suitable solution.

4. Route through the Golden Triangle in India A journey through the Golden Triangle takes you to the three Highlights in northern India. The route is basically always the same – you just have to think about which direction you want to travel in.

Delhi Most people start their journey in Delhi, because India’s largest airport is located here. Although Delhi can be quite overwhelming, we were able to acclimatize well there. We recommend planning around three nights for Delhi.

Further blog article: Tips for Delhi

Taj Mahal From Delhi we continued by train to Agra. As unspectacular as Agra is, there is no way around this city, because India’s sanctuary, the Taj Mahal, is located here. With two nights you get along well, three is even better.

Further blog article: Sunrise at the Taj Mahal

Jaipur The third and final stop of the trip is Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. Jaipur is a five-hour drive from Agra. On the way, be sure to stop at Fatehpur Sikri. Plan about two to three hours for this. In Jaipur itself we stayed two nights. That was enough for us, but if you like it cozy, you should stay three nights.

Further blog article: Tips for Jaipur


5. Overnight: Accommodation in India It’s a bit of a thing with the hotels in India: many are very cheap, but then definitely not European standard. Unfortunately, many hotels in India leave a lot to be desired, especially in terms of cleanliness.

In terms of style, many hotels in India are very grand and kitschy. Many hotels also bear the addition Heritage Hotel, which indicates that you can expect an authentic, often magnificent hotel here can. These hotels are usually located in a historic family home.

If you want a certain standard in a hotel in North India, then you have to pay about 50 until 70 Euro per night (for a double room). Breakfast is usually included in the price.

Our hotel tips Delhi: Bungalow 70

A great modern boutique hotel! Nice design, very comfortable rooms – highly recommended!

Agra: The Coral Court Homestay
Family-run, very clean homestay with a great roof terrace and good breakfast.

Jaipur: Pearl Palace Heritage – The Boutique Guesthouse Really cheesy, but something special. The rooms look like in a fairy tale – a typical heritage hotel.

6. Travel Expenses India Money: Currency and Payment in India The currency in India is Indian Rupees. There are many ATMs, but we have found that they often do not work. We also had some cash (euros) with us, which we definitely did not regret. Changing from euros to Indian rupees is no problem in many hotels. However, the course is often not the best. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in larger restaurants and hotels.

Travel Expenses Golden Triangle How much does it cost in India…?

Double room in a nice hotel: 50 until 250 Euro per night Dinner for two including drinks in a nice restaurant: 500-700 Indian Rupees Beer in a restaurant: 250 Indian Rupees (Alcohol is quite expensive) Entrance to Taj Mahal: 1.100 Indian Rupees Train journey from Delhi to Agra (1st class): approx. 1.500 Ind Indian rupees You see: India is a very cheap travel destination . For nice hotels and sights you have to budget a little more money. Eating out and transportation is very affordable though.

7. Eating and Drinking in India The food in North India and Rajasthan is phenomenally good. Believe us: you will love it! If you don’t like spicy food, you should let us know when ordering, because India is known for its spicy dishes.

For vegetarians and vegans India is a paradise: There are vegetarian dishes everywhere and mostly vegan dishes. Many restaurants in India are also entirely vegetarian.

Our favorite dish is Shahi Paneer. Paneer is a type of fresh cheese that is served in different variations comes. With the Shahi Paneer, it is prepared in an incredibly delicious and creamy tomato sauce. Another highlight are of course the countless dishes with dal, i.e. lentils. Dal Makhani is typical of the north and damn delicious.

The best way to go with the various curries is to order a classic or garlic naan bread and some rice. A so-called Thali is also highly recommended: In many small bowls you get a wide variety of dishes and some rice and bread.

Another tip on the Hygiene in India: One often reads that a gastrointestinal illness is part of every trip to India. We can’t confirm that because we didn’t have any problems in this regard. However, we have been very careful about what and where we eat. We avoided street food completely. The fact is: Even if you follow all the rules, you can unfortunately easily catch a gastrointestinal infection in India.

Our favorite restaurants Peacock Rooftop Restaurant: A great restaurant in Jaipur, where we went three times! The food is fantastic (try the Thali!), the atmosphere is great and they even have good coffee. If you come in the evening, you should make a reservation.

Karim’s: Very good and authentic restaurant in the center of Delhi, where many locals also eat. The Shahi Paneer is extremely delicious.

Shankara Vegis Restaurant: Very nice vegetarian restaurant in the center of Agra with roof terrace.

8th. Safety in India: how safe is a journey through the Golden Triangle? Before our trip we were very skeptical. The many negative headlines about India gave us a bit of a headache. We can reassure you: We ourselves have never felt unsafe in India and have not had any negative experiences.

Nevertheless, of course, we do not want to allay the danger, especially for women traveling alone. We were very happy that we were traveling as a couple , because we felt much safer that way. In any case, India needs the right amount of caution and common sense – that much is certain.

Our specific safety tips In the evening we tried, if possible not anymore to walk the streets alone. Most crimes are committed in the dark. So we really tried not to go out in the evening as much as possible. Of course you also want to go out to eat. We always took a taxi for the journey. It is best to order the taxi through your accommodation. We recommend that all women dress appropriately . to wear. Kathi has always dressed covered. We can recommend long trousers, wide dresses and tops without a neckline. It is best to always have a large cloth with you that you can put over your shoulders if necessary. India has unfortunately deeply patriarchal structures. That’s why you see on the street too significantly more men than women. Men sometimes come uncomfortably close. There is a different relationship to distance in India, ie there is often little physical distance between the other conversation partner. As a woman, you should be particularly careful that other men do not get too close to you. You can and should definitely communicate this clearly and confidently. Despite your clothes you have to rely on the Set looks from other men. Some will also try to secretly photograph you. Some won’t even bother to hide it. If you feel very insecure, then we can help you highly recommend a trip with a private driver.

9. Photographing in India The Golden Triangle in India is a paradise for photography fans. Apart from the many great buildings and palaces, the people are of course also an incredibly fascinating photo motif. When entering various attractions, you sometimes have to pay an additional fee for the camera.

When photographing people, we always have the person in question around beforehand permission asked. It is best to choose people with whom you have some kind of relationship: your rickshaw driver or a salesman, for example. If you ask politely, very few people will refuse.

Transparency: Invitation & Affiliate Links erlebe-fernreisen paid most of the costs on site (accommodation, transport). We paid for the flights and some activities ourselves. This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you already been to India and do you have any other tips for a trip to the Golden Triangle? Tell us in the comments – we look forward to it!