Take Me To 04.05.2024

Northern India Itinerary

Intro Stay Highlights itinerary

To set foot on India’s sacred grounds is to be dazzled by an overload of sensory delights. Join us as we bring you through a Northern India itinerary covering Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Udaipur.

While you’d need literal months to dig into the highlights India has to offer, we know that time is our greatest luxury, so we’ve scouted on your behalf to ensure your bucket list visit delivers as much impact as possible. In this completely customizable itinerary, we’ve outlined how we recommend spending a Northern India itinerary in less than two weeks. Over the course of twelve days, we’ll explore the buzzy capital city of Delhi, delve into an emotionally impactful visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise and sunset, wander The Pink City of Jaipur, and sail through the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur.

From multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites to walking through history dating back to Mughal times to the famous walled capital city of Rajasthan, this Northern India itinerary is jam-packed with moments that will captivate your heart and leave an indelible mark on your memory. This trip is designed to be fully independent, with a private guide and driver throughout to accompany you and maximize your time on the ground. Be sure to contact your SmartFlyer travel advisor to ensure your customized Northern India itinerary suits your needs—from flights to hotel pairings, excursions, restaurant reservations, and beyond.

Contributed By


Photography by

Teal Thomsen


Twelve days, eleven nights with the possibility to extend by adding extensions to Varanasi (Nadesar Palace), Ranthambore (Aman-i-khas), Barwara (Six Senses Fort Barwara), Jodhpur (RAAS), or Dehradun (Six Senses Vana).

Trip Style

This trip is go, go, go! This itinerary requires a lot of energy as you bounce from place to place in the hands of our stellar on-the-ground partners who will ensure you have the bucket list India experience you’ve always dreamt of.

We Love It For

A Northern India itinerary is ideal for active travelers seeking cultural immersion, history lovers, families with curious kids, and adventurous foodies who want to experience a wide variety of flavors.

Scouting Notes

India is a place to succumb to the present moment and just be. This trip will be a busy one but in all the best ways. Prepare to see some world-famous sites, but be equally in awe of the simplest moments of daily life that will be unfolding all around you across northern India.


SmartFlyer Northern India Hotel Picks

The Leela Palace New Delhi

Located at the heart of the capital’s Diplomatic Enclave, The Leela Palace New Delhi exemplifies the elegance of Delhi. Ranked as Asia’s second-best city hotel and The Best Hotels and Resorts in Asia: Condé Nast Traveler, Gold List 2022, it’s sure to impress. Leela Palace’s guest rooms are the largest in the city, starting at 550 square feet with each room offering top-end comfort, service, and technology. We love accommodations in the Royal Club category for additional amenities. For dining, explore the award-winning Japanese specialty restaurant MEGU from New York or savor Franco-Italian delicacies from Le Cirque.


The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

Located just a short distance from the Taj Mahal with prime views of the world’s most exquisite testimony to undying love, The Oberoi Amarvilas beckons the most discerning travelers. Widely considered one of the best hotels in Agra, its fountains, terraced lawns, reflection pools, and pavilion are complemented by warm, personalized hospitality. Here, you can enjoy tastefully appointed accommodations, exquisite restaurants serving authentic Mughal and international cuisines, private dining beside the silhouette of the Taj Mahal, and couples spa therapies with Taj Mahal views.


The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

Experience a sincerely warm welcome when you stay at The Oberoi Rajvilas, a five-star resort in Jaipur. Spread over thirty acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, with traditional architecture, flaming mashaal torches, and reflection pools, this paradise is your respite after long days spent exploring. Relish in exquisite accommodation, including luxury tents inspired by the era of Maharajas, fine restaurants serving authentic Rajasthani and international cuisines, and sincere hospitality.


The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Spread over thirty acres on the banks of Lake Pichola, The Oberoi Udaivilas sits on the 200-year-old grounds of the Maharana of Mewar. The resort offers unique experiences that include private lakeside dining, traditional boat rides, private cooking sessions, and fun activities for children. The indoor and alfresco restaurants have lake and garden views, and serve fine international and Indian cuisine, while the spa offers signature Oberoi treatments. Opt for a suite with a private pool, or choose a premier room with access to a unique, 240-foot-long semiprivate pool and bathe with uninterrupted lake views.


Taj Palace, New Delhi

Nestled amidst the Diplomatic Enclave with pristine views of the city’s lush protected greens, Taj Palace, New Delhi, has held a distinguished position amongst the finest hotels of the world for close to four decades. Spread over six acres of lush gardens, the landmark hotel offers panoramic views of the city's verdant protected greens, an inimitable confluence of elements of Indian art, warm, personalized service, and unmatched luxury. Four award-winning restaurants featuring an array of cuisines from across the world, a stylish bar, nine-hole putting greens, a temperature-controlled swimming pool, and an expansive Jiva Spa make Taj Palace, New Delhi, a true urban oasis. In line with its sustainability efforts, a highly specialized electronic air filtration system helps maintain the air quality in the hotel, as per international AQI standards, so that you only breathe the purest air.



  • See the highlights of the Old City, including spending time with local artisans Day 2
  • Experience the wonder of the Taj Mahal at sunset Day 4
  • See the Taj Mahal at sunrise, followed by Day 5
  • Wander through the blue rooms of The City Palace with special access granted by your guide Day 7
  • Relish the wonders of The Pink City including the flower market and a stop at Gem Palace Day 8
  • Take a sunset sail on Lake Pichola to see the City Palace from the water Day 9


1 Delhi, India
Land in Delhi

Sixteen million people call India’s capital home, and we couldn’t think of a better place to serve as the ultimate welcome to what is sure to be a beautiful barrage of your senses over your next twelve days of travel. After being escorted through immigration and the arrival experience at Delhi International Airport, your drive to the hotel will reveal architectural reminders of the Mughal and British empires dating back to as early as the 12th century. Highlights during this portion of your trip will include exploring the vehicle-free Old City, riding a tuk-tuk through the harried streets, walking through Chandni Chowk with your guide, and taking in the beauty of Humayun’s Tomb. But first: sleep. Luckily, your home at The Leela Palace New Delhi is sure to make for the ultimate place to kick jetlag.

2 Delhi, India
Touring Delhi

Begin your first full day in India with your private guide who will escort you through the highlights of the Old City, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. You’ll stop at Jama Masjid which is believed to be the largest mosque in the country. A rickshaw will take you through a rainbow of colors and textures; you’ll be able to pick up bangles, textiles, silver, spices, and wedding accessories that spill out of the shops here.

If you’re looking for further insights into daily life in Delhi, time spent with a guide from the Hope Project will provide a peek into moments like vendors selling sewiyan, calligraphers mastering their craft, and children playing in the streets. You’ll also have the opportunity to see a medieval settlement or “basti” where several key disciples are buried. For dinner, a table will be booked on your behalf at a Delhi favorite, Indian Accent.

3 Delhi, India
Final Full Day in Delhi

After luxuriating in the ultimate breakfast spread at The Leela Palace New Delhi, sync up with your private guide who will usher you to Humayun’s Tomb. As one of the earliest examples of a Mughal Garden Tomb, this mausoleum was designed by a Persian architect and served as the prototype for future tombs, including the Taj Mahal. The gardens have been restored to their former glory ensuring that you can take pleasure in a nature-filled walk amidst this buzzing city. Another point of interest while with your guide is a temple of the Sikhs called the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Here, you’ll have the chance to dive into the ethos of Sikhism which was developed as the antithesis to the caste system, instead being founded on a person’s social responsibility and philanthropic efforts. This afternoon, opt to relax at the hotel, or continue touring if you’re up for it!

4 Agra, India
Drive from Delhi to Agra

This morning, enjoy one final breakfast before your three-and-a-half-hour drive from Delhi to Agra. Dating back to 1526 with the arrival of the Mughals led by Babur, Agra entered a new era as one of the grandest cities in South Asia attracting poets, musicians, and artisans. Today, its strategic location on the river Jamuna and reputation as a cultural and architectural mecca draws in upwards of eight million visitors each year. But as you’ll see during your time in Agra, there is much more to this special place than the Taj Mahal.

Upon arrival to The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, soak up the opulence of this paradise which was inspired by the old Mughal palaces with terraced lawns, reflection pools, and rooms offering uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a lingering lunch at The Oberoi while you prepare for your evening visit to one of the wonders of the world. Later this afternoon, join your guide to see the Taj Mahal — known as the ivory gate through which all dreams pass — at sunset. As the sun begins to set, the monument appears to change its hue, tinted by the glow of the setting sun.

5 Agra, India
Sunrise Visit the Taj Mahal

Awake early to return to the Taj Mahal when it’s least crowded. While many come all the way to Agra and only set foot on these sacred grounds once, we recommend experiencing the difference between its evening and early morning light as you take in the sheer magnificence of the monument’s story. The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal over the course of twenty-two years as the garden tomb was crafted in the image of an Islamic garden of paradise. Note, the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays and your SmartFlyer travel advisor will be sure to arrange your trip accordingly.

After heading back to the Oberoi for a late breakfast and perhaps a nap or time by the pool, history junkies will likely opt to visit the Agra Fort and the tomb of Itmad ud Daulah. The Agra Fort is an imposing red sandstone citadel that predates the Taj Mahal and was built as a defensive fort before being completed as an elegant fort palace from which you can now see the Taj Mahal. Conversely, the white marble of the tomb of Itmad ud Daulah offers a serene and intimate third monument to see while in Agra. Cap off your special time here with a candlelit outdoor dinner back at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra before getting ready to depart tomorrow morning.

6 Jaipur, India
See Chand Boari en route to Jaipur

This morning, you’re headed to the capital of Rajasthan: Jaipur. While the drive will take a little over four hours, your driver and guide will be sure to incorporate some stops along the way to keep the route interesting. En route to Jaipur, look forward to a stop at Abhaneri, an ancient village in Rajasthan renowned for its post-Gupta monuments including the Chand Baori, a local Goddess’ temple built between 800 and 900 AD. This deep four-sided structure features 3,500 terraced steps and is dedicated to Harshat Mata, the goddess of joy and happiness. After lunch at the nearby Umaid Lake Palace, you’ll be back on the road to head to your home away from home for the next few nights: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur. Upon arrival, enjoy all the property has to offer as you recuperate from the drive.

7 Jaipur, India
Explore Jaipur

Dive into your day of guided touring with a visit to Fort Palace at Amber where you’ll meander through narrow alleys of the settlements that surround the fort. On the ascent up to the Fort, a stop at the Panna Meena Stepwell is a must. This 16th-century site is an architectural mystery — the locals believe that nobody can use the same stairs to go down and back upstairs. Stop for lunch at the charming Samode Haveli.

After lunch, drive into old Jaipur and stop by Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, another stunning example of Rajput artistry made of red and pink sandstone. This site is beautifully outlined with white borders and motifs. Other points of interest include the open-air royal observatory, the “Jantar Mantar” and the City Palace and Museum opposite the observatory. The City Palace occupies the center of Jaipur, covering one-seventh of its area, and is home to the Royal family who resides in a portion of this Palace. Here, we recommend adding on the inclusion to enter the blue rooms in the palace where you can experience a private tour of the ceremonial rooms including the stunning mirror room and the rich gold and red room. For dinner, consider The Johri Restaurant which offers an evolving menu of vegetarian India far focused on local produce and inventive flavors.

8 Jaipur, India
Final Day in Jaipur

Today marks your final full day in The Pink City. And while your included breakfast at Oberoi Rajvilas isn’t to be missed, many enjoy 51 Shades of Pink, a restaurant dedicated to the color of Jaipur for breakfast as the morning light perfectly floods its mirrored spaces. Your guide will meet you for an electric tuk-tuk ride from the Maharaja Jai Singh Circle before you drive to Central Park where locals gather for “laughing yoga.” While not for everyone, it marks a fun way to connect with this mindfulness practice so deeply rooted in Indian culture.

From here, continue to the old city through narrow lanes to the flower market which will lead you to the 300-year-old Krishna temple for the morning singing and “aarti” ceremony. During the walk, you’ll see roadside tea shops where you can stop for a snack. Take in the sights of locals at shrines greeting the morning sun as they prepare to start their day. Your guide will bring you for an off-the-beaten-path stop at the milk market at Subash Chowk where farmers come with canisters of fresh milk to witness an authentic Indian experience as buyers check how much water has been mixed into the milk! We love this opportunity to see how locals live.

For those who are in search of handcrafted treasures to bring back home, your SmartFlyer travel advisor can make an appointment for you and your travel companions at Gem Palace. Purveyors of exquisite jewelry, Gem Palace has a history that dates back 160 years, including creating heirlooms for many European royal houses, presidents, and film stars. For stylish clothes and accessories, Parampara and Hot Pink house collections of top Indian designers while Andraab is your spot for handcrafted Pashmina and cashmere made in Kashmir. For dinner, we recommend a table at Taj Rambagh Palace, originally built in 1835.

9 Udaipur, India
Head to Udaipur

This morning, you have an early start to fly from Jaipur to Udaipur. Known as the city of sunrise, Udaipur is rich in history; considered a fairytale-like place, its overflowing marble palaces perched upon lakes date back to the 16th century. Today, Udapur is dominated by City Palace which overlooks Lake Pichola dotted by romantic island palaces like the one you’re staying at, Oberoi Udaivilas which has been voted one of Asia’s top properties.

After a whirlwind trip through Northern India on sensory overload, your time in Udipur acts as the antecode, inciting rest and relaxation. This afternoon, lap up the beauty of having no scheduled activities. Instead, enjoy a spa treatment at The Oberoi Spa, which is available exclusively to guests. Once you’ve refreshed as early evening sets in, depart for a boat ride on the glistening Lake Pichola. Pass by the Jag Mandir and the high towers and turrets of the fortified City Palace as you take in this special moment.

10 Udaipur, India
Explore Udaipur

Take your time having breakfast this morning before you begin your final day of touring on this trip! While you’ve seen plenty of palaces on this incredible Northern India itinerary, we assure you that City Palace is sure to be one of your favorites. Here, you’ll tour a special museum dedicated to Rajput miniature paintings and detailed art that acts as a tribute to local artisans and craftspeople. In keeping with the claim of the Royal family that they are descendants of the Sun or “Surya vansh,” the entire structure faces east.

One of our absolute highlights in Udaipur is a visit to Ganesh Emporium, home to a timeless collection of textiles. Widely featured by global publications and noted by designers as a gem, here, you’ll find hand-embroidered pichvais and bags, hand-woven rugs, tapestries, and carefully sculpted wooden artifacts. For dinner this evening, your SmartFlyer advisor has made you a reservation at Chandi Restaurant back at Oberoi Udaivilas where you can soak up an al fresco dining experience with a view of the City Palace and Lake Pichola.

11 Delhi, India
Back to Delhi

Depending on what time you opt to go back to Delhi for your final night in India, you may have time for a visit this morning to Nagda, a temple located about forty-five minutes from Udaipur. If so, look forward to the elaborately carved “Sas and “Bahu” temples dating back to the 10th century in dedication to Lord Vishnu. Soak up this final cultural moment before returning to Udaipur to fly back to Delhi in anticipation of your overnight flight. If you want to switch things up from the beginning of your trip, your SmartFlyer travel advisor can book you at Taj Palace, New Delhi where you can enjoy butler service and access to the Taj Club Lounge before heading to sleep for your final evening in India.

12 Delhi, India
Depart to Return Home

After an incredible trip weaving through some of Northern India’s highlights, it’s finally time to return home. Depart this stunning country with unforgettable memories, and the undeniable desire to return.

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