Agra is home to the iconic Taj Mahal, which makes it a popular tourist destination. Each year millions of people visit and experience the typical everyday life of a local—shopping in flea markets, street-smart haggling, devouring street food, getting lost in the crowd, and dodging uncontrollable traffic are all exciting elements for someone new to the city. Below, we have listed some of our favorites.
Agra is known for its leather goods, as it is home to Asia’s largest shoe manufacturing industry, which makes Sadar Bazaar the best place to buy leather items such as belts, gloves, footwear, bags, and jackets.
Tourists will come across several branches of the sweetmeat shop Pancchi Petha, but the original one is in Sadar Bazaar and their Pethas are worth a try. The bazaar is extremely popular for its street food—locals recommend trying their soya chaap (soya baked on skewers) and momos. Many tourists also prefer to eat at Mama Franky, which offers similar kind of street food but in a restaurant setting.
Considered the financial hub of Agra, Sanjay Place is popular for shops of small computer and laptop dealers. If any of your electronic items stop working on a trip to Agra, the best place to go is Shah Market, which is located next to Sanjay Place and is the biggest electronic market in the city. In terms of shopping for clothes, slightly higher-end shops can be found here, such as Bombay Dyeing and Bachoomal Gallery.
The market also has a mix of eateries. For those with a sweet-tooth, it has one of the most popular bakeries in Agra called My Kind of Place. Here is where you can find all types of confectionaries ranging from breads and biscuits to cakes. Another place is Goli Vada Pav, which serves the famous Indian-style burger. Two flavors are always a huge success here—original vada pav and Szechuan-flavored vada pav.
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The narrow streets right behind Jama Masjid are what make up this tiny, but fully crowded marketplace. It is the perfect place to shop, especially if planning a wedding. The market offers a wide variety of Indian jewelry and wedding wear, such as sherwanis (groom wear), veils, turbans, and lehengas (bridal dress). Close to the market is one of the most popular street food vendors, Chimmanlal Puri Wale, which is popular among the locals of Agra.
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J.K. Cottage Industries
There is no doubt that Agra, city of the Taj Mahal, is famous for its marble, and J.K. Cottage Industries is the perfect place where you will find all kinds of marble, inlay work, sandstone, and soapstone items. Tourists usually end up going there after their visit to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. A tip that all locals would offer is to never settle for the first price, but to bargain as much as possible.
Raja Ki Mandi is the place where everything possibly imagined can be found and is a very old and renowned market of Agra that has been present since the Mughal era. Again, this is a market where tourists are encouraged to bargain hard, as it is the place where all kinds of fancy clothing can be sold at higher prices. You can also find small shops for items including household products, books, shoes, eatables, and salons.
This is where the younger crowd can be spotted every evening. At one end, it has grocery stores like Anand offering all kinds of food and household items. For tourists who are visiting Agra for a longer period, this place can save them from having to purchase expensive items from hotels. It also has one of the most popular wine shops, where hundreds of locals stop by to grab cold bottles of beer. A popular place called Movie Nest can also be found here, which sells many first copies of electronic items and watches. It is also the place where you can buy and rent movies and video games.
Khandari is also where you can find one of the best momos at Rola Wala and the yummiest pastries and cakes at Big Bun.
Whenever tourists visit India what intrigues them the most is the level of spicy food the locals eat. One of the oldest areas of Agra, Rawatpara is situated close to Agra Fort and Yamuna river. It is usually a part of the many tours that Agra’s guides plan for the tourists, walking them through the market where they can witness heaps of red chilies and various Indian spices. Over the years the market has gained recognition as a wholesale market for pulses, grains, and spices.