How to reach?
Agra has four railway stations, an airport and bus stands which are very well connected with every part of India. If you are in Delhi, it will be best to board a train or take a bus. Either way the journey will take minimum of 4-5 hrs and maximum of 8-10 hours on the condition which train you choose. You can board from New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi and deport at Agra Cant Railway Station, Agra City Railway Station and Agra Fort Railway Station. Train fares can vary from as low as Rs 150 to as high as Rs 1500 depending upon your convenience. I would suggest for Agra Cant Station because it is closest to Taj Mahal East Gate, around 8 kms and takes roughly 20 min to reach there. City transport is very affordable but I would suggest for fare negotiation as the rickshaw drivers can be overpriced sometimes. You do have the facility of Ola and Uber in the city.
Where to stay?
Stay will never be a problem for any tourist as there are plethora of affordable options. You can reach there and book or book in advance online as per your choice. I would suggest for a hotel closer to Taj Mahal. Because in the morning it will be really easy for anyone to cut the Que of visitors and see the monument in vacant. I booked a hotel near EAST gate by the name of Hotel Taj Residency which was at a walking distance of 1.5 km from the Eastern entrance. You can also choose any other location as there are 3 entry gates to visit Taj Mahal.
In the morning, you can wake up early at 5 and reach by walking or take an electric rickshaw which will charge you Rs 10 each and will drop you 500 mt before the entry gate and you will have to walk till there. Entry starts at 6 am in the morning and you will have to buy a ticket from the counter which is just before the entry lane in the right-hand side for East gate entry. I would suggest for online booking from https://asi.payumoney.com , which is the official ASI website and save some bucks.
There is a Normal Ticket of Rs 50 for Indians and a Second ticket of Rs 200 to go up to the mausoleum and enter the dome to see the cemetery inside. If you want the normal ticket and later inside change your mind then you don’t need to worry as there is counter inside as well from where you can buy the ticket. It is because once you exit the site then you have to buy another ticket to enter. The ticket will be in the form of a token coin just like metro. Very important thing to remember is that every token has a time limit of 3 hours after which u will be charged at exit if you have exceeded the time.
If you want to hire a tour guide then you find one at every corner before and after entry but remember to make a tough bargain as they quote very steep charge for their service and can easily brought down. Just hold your ground.