We always look out for a short escape when the weekend approaches, from the hustle bustle of our hectic metro city lives and office chaos. City of Agra is one such beautiful and hassle free weekend getaway from Delhi or Gurgaon or Noida and other NCRs and adjoining areas. It is only apprx.3 hours travel from road, has the beautiful and world famous Taj Mahal for sight-seeing and also has some amazing hotels and resorts.

We wanted to plan a family weekend stay and as we have kids and old parents, we wanted a comfortable stay and not much of the adventure. We wanted to relax and have a break from routine life. Choosing Agra for tis break turned out to be really nice option.

How we travelled and where we ate – We booked an SUV from MyChoize. Its and app for self-drive car rentals. It was a 3 hour road journey from Delhi + 1 hour break for our breakfast. We started on Saturday morning, took breakfast break at the food joints available on the expressway. The expressway has made the drive very comfortable and quick.

Where we stayed – We booked Courtyard By Marriott, Agra (https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/agrcy-courtyard-agra/overview/) . It’s a very comfortable property and a decent one. We did our booking from Easemytrip after checking the best deals available on all sites; and got discounts on use of specific debit / credit card. The Hotel had very nice spacious rooms, great breakfast buffet, decent swimming pool, a playing space with table tennis, video games, snooker table etc., and events in evening like magic show, live music. After we checked in, we unpacked, relaxed and came for the pool, had snacks and evening tea at the pool side and spent quality time with family with just chilling for hours.

The Salt Café, the popular restaurant – The Salt Café is an extremely popular restaurant in Agra. We got back to our rooms to get ready and headed for an evening at this Café. This Café has live band and electrifying energy at its rooftop. But since we had a little kid, we took our table on the other floor with lesser loud music and cozy closed sittings. The ambience was beautiful. They also had a screen which was running live cricket match, which my dad really enjoyed. The food was just amazing. We ordered Daal Makhani, Butter Chicken, Breads, Pasta, Margarita Pizza, Virgin Mojito, Daiquiri, Coke and Lemon Ice Tea. And every dish and drink was either good or great.

Visit to the Taj Mahal and marketing – Next day, on Sunday morning, we left for the Taj Mahal visit early by 6:00 am with an aim to finish our sight-seeing before it’s too sunny to handle. The tickets are required to be booked in advance as only online tickets work now and there is no option for offline purchase of tickets. The tickets are of Rs.45 (adults) for outside Taj Mahal visit and Rs.200 for inside tour also. For inside tour, you are also required to purchase shoe covers in advance, which is mandatory to wear for shrine visit there. We were not allowed to carry any gadgets (not even selfie stick) so since we were aware, we kept all such belongings in the car for hassle free check at the time of visit. Many of us were visiting the Taj Mahal for the first time so we hired a guide to explain us the history and interesting stories of the Taj Mahal. We are a family of photo freaks so we somehow agreed to hire the photographer available there who charged Rs.70 per picture and a little extra for service charge. But the pictures he took were really good as he knew the exact places for a good click. After the visit, we came out in the market adjoining the Taj which has some basic but interesting things to shop for, like jewelry, hats, shades, souvenirs, sweets, decorative items, fridge magnets etc. We had lemonade to beat the heat which had started to rise now. This visit dint took much of our time. We decided to rush back to the hotel.

Breakfast buffet at Courtyard By Marriott – After reaching back we had our breakfast. The buffet spread at the Courtyard was praiseworthy and really impressive. It had a very wide range of items. My child wanted to hit to the pool once again before we checked out so she changed and ran for a splash again, meanwhile we were packing up. My parents also stayed with her at the pool side to relax and keep an eye on her.

Journey back home and where we ate this time – After check out, we stopped at the market on the way to buy the most popular Agre ka Petha and some other popular snacks and sweets. We also bought some clothes and jewelry. While heading back, we dint stop at the expressway this time since we all were full due to munching all the time and sleeping like horses. This time we decided to take a break at Noida Sec 18 market at The Reader’s Café. It was kind of an early dinner for all of us, but it was totally worth. We had Margarita Pizza (that’s my child’s favorite, therefore you had seen it on our list all the time), Vegetable Lasagna (twice, it was so delicious), tea and lemonade. We reached home on time, which was our target since it school and office next Monday. Unpacked and relaxed fully and had a great nice sleep and rest; and we were all set for our hectic weekday the next morning!

Please do check out pictures of all the locations, hotels, menu etc. we took during our trip at our Instagram account by the name Thesumptuouslifeblog

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