What are the best places in Pakistan to visit? Pakistan tourism has really started to boom and I’m so happy to see that the beautiful places in Pakistan are finally getting the recognition they deserve! With so many Pakistan trekking opportunities in North Pakistan, along with the stunning historical places in Pakistan to experience, you’ll be having the trip of a lifetime!
I recommend starting with the places to visit in Lahore or the places to visit in Islamabad, then working your way out from there! Beautiful Pakistan has the food, the mountains, the people, the architecture, the textiles; everything you could hope and wish for! Join travellers like me who are taking Pakistan travel seriously and read on to discover the best places to visit in Pakistan.
This list of tourist places in Pakistan is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a great place to start! Many of the places within this list are accessible and focused around the Karakoram Highway which is absolutely spectacular by itself. It’s the highest paved international road in the world!
The Karakoram Highway stretches across 1300km, starting in the Punjab province of Pakistan in Hasan Abdal and leading all the way to the Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan. We’ll be talking about the Khunjerab Pass later in this article.
But there are so many other places which tourists should visit too. This article will keep growing as I return to Pakistan and my blogging buddies put forth their recommendations too. Keep on reading to discover Pakistan famous places, along with some hidden gems that you may not have heard about before. Let’s begin!
What are the best places to visit in Lahore Pakistan? There are quite a few tourist places in Lahore, the capital of the north-eastern Punjab province, and they’re very much worth a visit. Lahore is lively, colourful, rich with culture and has some fascinating architecture to explore thanks to its Mughal roots.
Unmissable attractions that should be on your list here are Lahore Fort, Wazir Khan Mosque, Grand Jamia Mosque and Badshahi Mosque. The food here is out of this world too. Venture down Fort Food Street to tickle your tastebuds and enjoy night views of Lahore from above in Haveli Restaurant.
From Lahore, you cannot miss heading to the Wagah border in the afternoon to see the truly unique and elaborate spectacle on the Indian Pakistan Wagah Border. It is here everyday that the soldiers from each side of these neighbouring countries come together to put on a stunning military show. They kick their legs high in the air with gusto and patriotism, showing off their talents and ‘don’t mess with me’ faces, all whilst an incredibly large crowd cheers them on waving the flags of their country.
It’s a highly exhilarating and touching event. As the border closes for the day, the countries bid adieu to each other, separated but still working together…until it all begins again the next day.
I’ve been lucky enough to see the ceremony from both the Indian and Pakistan side. Both times were just as good!
Recommended by Rahma from The Sane Adventurer
Is Gilgit Baltistan the best place to visit in Pakistan? Quite possibly! The Hunza Valley in the region of Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan is undoubtedly a magical land of nature. Sitting in the laps of the Karakorum giants, the valley is an emerging hub for local and international tourists alike.
At any time of the year, Hunza never fails to disappoint visitors, but the cherry blossom season in Hunza is a special treat. Cherry blossoms are expected to start in Hunza each year towards the mid or end of March and last for a minimum of at least two weeks. In 2019 the season started during the last week of March.
During the cherry blossom season, the entire scenery changes as soon as you enter the valley.
Wherever your eyes fall, only white and pink cherry blossom trees are to be seen. There is no particular spot in the valley to witness the magical cherry blossom trees; every single alleyway of Hunza has some extraordinary views to be enjoyed during this season.
With a backdrop of the snowcapped Karakorum Mountains and the Gilgit River flowing through them, the cherry blossom trees in the Hunza add everything to make it a fairytale scene.
Located in Hunza, Attabad Lake has only existed since 2012. Before that, it was a village – but due to a landslide, the village became completely immersed in water and is now a place of recreation for the locals and visitors to enjoy boating and jet skiing.
When I was there it was so windy that I could hardly keep hold of my Kashmir scarf but I have been told that it is a wonderful place for catching some rays and enjoying the great outdoors (when you’re not struggling to stay vertical).
I reached Attabad Lake with Epic Backpacker Tours
By far not for the faint-hearted but oh so much fun: if you love truly thrilling experiences, visiting Hussaini Suspension Bridge is the perfect place to visit in Pakistan if you’re a true adventurer.
Whether it is actually going to be open when you get here remains debatable. When I visited it was fine to cross, but it’s not exactly the safest bridge, and this is exactly why tourists are so intrigued about crossing it (and why local authorities are putting a stop to it).
I’ve been told that you can cross with a local, so bend what rules you will and traverse this walkway at your discretion.
As you venture further north in Pakistan, you just don’t think that the mountains can be any more monumental, but they are. My word they so are. Just when I thought I had experienced the best I could have seen further down the Karakoram Highway, I was taken by locals to Passu Glacier. This is one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan.
What starts as a gentle ascent up some unassuming stone steps quickly turns into an Indiana-Jones style mountain path, with a very steep edge and views to die for! The elements quickly rushed in, and as I made my way closer to the Glacier, the wind howled and threw Pakistan’s earthy particles at me from all angles – and it was bliss.
Recommended by Marco Ferrarese from monkeyrockworld.com
The Kalash Valleys are just about an hour away from Chitral town, perched on the border with Afghanistan’s Nuristan, and are the abode of the Kalash people. They are the only remaining pagan tribe in Pakistan and are possibly even more welcoming and friendly than the rest of the country — which, if I can say, is extremely welcome. To me, this place is so chilled and beautiful that visiting the Kalash valley should be in itself the main reason to visit Pakistan.
To me, this place is so chilled and beautiful that visiting the Kalash valley should be in itself the main reason to visit Pakistan. The Kalash women, in particular, still don traditional clothes and somehow eschew Pakistan’s traditional Islamic-patriarchal societies as they have much more freedom and power on the household.
The peculiarity of their clothing is a beaded headdress with a long “tail” that goes down from the back of their head until their waists. Their clothes are matched with the colour of their different headdresses, and visiting the valleys is a photographer’s dream.
This, however, doesn’t mean that the Kalash love to have your cameras pointed at their faces: as a tip, be considerate and ask for permission, as they are quite camera-shy. You should plan to stay longer, at least 3 to 4 days, to really be able to create a bond and be allowed into their homes. Don’t rush and don’t force that, as the Kalash are extremely welcome, but also very endangered in the sense that tourism (especially local) has contributed greatly to their closure.
The majority of traveler accommodation, in the form of small hotels or homestays, is in the village of Bumburet. You can get here in a shared car from Chitral’s main bus stand paying only PKR 200 per person.
At last, remember that, given the vicinity of Afghanistan, like it or not, you will be given a police escort who will stay with you at all times. Try to ask for an English speaking person, who will inevitably act as your AK-47-toting tour guide and cultural translator.
In Pakistan there’s a place where I believe fairies do exist. You’re just going to have to take a very high-adrenaline jeep ride to get there. You’ll be driven up this rocky and rugged path on a very narrow and winding road, on a jeep which is growling and revving and thrusting itself forward! All whilst you’re clenching onto the sides of it considering the fine line between life and death.
Well worth it though!
As the jeep turns its engines off, you’ll emerge at the start of a path which is going to lead you to mountain bliss. Do your best to hike (rather than ride the overworked horses) up to Fairy Meadows and you’ll be rewarded with serene, chilled, other-worldly moments – with opportunities to go further afield. Even to the base camp of Nanga Parbat; the 9th tallest mountain in the world.
I reached Fairy Meadows with Epic Backpacker Tours. Find out more here.
Recommended by Alex from A Life Well Travelled
Katas Raj Temples in the Punjab district of Pakistan are very much historically and religiously significant. Founded 1500 years ago, they are a series of Hindu Temples joined by walkways and surrounded by a pool considered sacred by Hindus. The pool is believed to be one of two pools that Hindu God Shiva cried tears into after his wife died.
The site is also home to some other architecturally beautiful structures of historical importance including a small fort that was the home of Hari Singh Nalwa; the commander in chief of the Army of the Sikh Empire.
What’s particularly significant about these temples in recent years is that the Pakistani Government has started granting visas to some Indian Hindus to visit Katas Raj. The temple complex has been featured in the media a fair amount over the past few years, due to claims that nearby factories have been depleting groundwater. The current news is that investment in the preservation of the temples still standing has started, but be sure to visit sooner rather than later.
No public transport goes to the temples so it’s best to hire a car to reach them. Equally there are no guides as such, but many of the staff on site are knowledgeable and are happy to take tourists around for a small tip.
You can find Katas Raj Temples on Kalar Kahar Rd, Katas, Chakwal, Punjab, Pakistan.
Recommended by Michael Gerber
When people visit Pakistan, their first intention is usually to only go to the beautiful northern Pakistan regions full of mountains and incredible landscapes. Yet, there is so much more to Pakistan than this.
One of my favorite places during my trip was the city of Sukkur, which is located in the Sindh Province of the country. While Sukkur itself is super interesting – as it is home to some historical and cultural hotspots such as the Seven Sisters Temple and you can even see rare Indus River dolphins – the best about Sukkur for me was to visit some incredible places in nearby areas.
During our stay we visited Mohenjo-Daro, which is one of the oldest civilizations on earth, Kot Diji (an impressive fortress), Keenjhar Lake and Makli Hills. Overall, the region of Sindh is full of history and culture, and therefore should not be missed on a trip to Pakistan. Sukkur is the perfect place to be based for your explorations.
What are your favorite places to visit in Pakistan? We know that there is so much more than what this article contains! There are many more Pakistan places to visit including Skardu, Islamabad, Swat and more places to visit in Karachi just to name a few.
If you’re a local or have travelled to Pakistan, tell us where you want to go to visit places in Pakistan.