Lahore is the capital of the Pubjab region in Pakistan. It is slightly north of the country in the East, very close to the border of India.
Visiting Lahore soon or curious about solo travel in the Mughal capital city? This Lahore travel guide is all you need to know about a solo trip to Lahore when it comes to Pakistan tourism. You’ll discover the best places to visit in Lahore Pakistan along with the best restaurants in Lahore, where to stay and how to travel safely as a woman in this city.
Lahore is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan, a country filled with mountains, forests, mosques, and architecture from thousands of years ago. I started and finished my Pakistan 2 week trekking itinerary in Lahore and loved exploring this city.
The Girl’s Guide To The Best Places to Visit in Lahore
Lahore is an ancient city with plenty to explore and discover. It’s one of the most historical places in Pakistan. You’ll find friendly locals inviting you to dinner, antique buildings, and delicious food in a country somewhat new to tourists.
Get your Pakistan visa before you go to Lahore
Like any trip, it’s important to be prepared before you go. Make sure you apply to get your visa or e-visa before you visit Pakistan, depending on your nationality. I’ve made an article that compiles all the information you need for this process.
Must See Sights in Lahore City
There are so many amazing places to see in Lahore and beyond. If you’re searching for places to see in Lahore, you may even get overwhelmed with all of the options. But no sweat, I’ve got you covered.
Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Lahore, by far one of the best places to visit in Pakistan!
Walled City Architecture
The Walled City of the Lahore area is an area of Lahore often referred to as the Old City. The Old Lahore city’s beginnings started around 1000 CE, and it is filled with architecture that simply doesn’t exist elsewhere. It was one of my most favourite places to hang out in Lahore.
Old Lahore houses many beautiful historic buildings and sites, including the Wazir Khan Mosque, the Shahi Hammam, the Lahore Fort, and Badshahi Mosque.
Very close to the Red Fort is the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. It’s one of the most famous places in Pakistan. This Lahore beauty hosts a courtyard that can hold thousands of people worshipping at the same time. If you’re travelling to Lahore to see its history, don’t miss the Badshahi Mosque’s museum that has extraordinary holy relics too.
If you want to really take the time to savour this sight, why not enjoy it whilst eating dinner from above? Epic Backpacker Tours brought me here on the last night of my trekking tour for us all to contemplate on our amazing adventures in the Pakistani mountains.
You can get excellent views from Haveli Restaurant. Find out more about it in the restaurant section of this guide!
Don’t forget to visit Wazir Khan Mosque and Sohneri Mosque as well.
The Grand Jamia Mosque
If you’re searching for historical places in Lahore, the Grand Jamia Mosque is truly one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan. The Grand Jamia Mosque is lit up when the sun goes down and it is a sight worth seeing. It’s one of the best places in Lahore to see at night.
Sufi Dance Ceremony
There is a Sufi dance ceremony at the shrine of Baba Shah Jamal every Thursday, so check it out if you want to see how Lahore grooves!
If you’re going to Lahore, you have to see the Red Fort, one of the famous historical places in Lahore. The Red Fort, also known as the Lahore Fort, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You truly can’t visit Lahore without seeing this amazing piece of history.
In particular, make sure you do not miss the ornate white pavilion of the Sheesh Mahal, with its beautifully complex Palace of Mirrors. If you’ve been to the Taj Mahal in Agra, then you’ll recognise this handiwork! Lahore Fort was the first place the wealthy Moghul emperor Shahjahan built for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. She died giving birth to her sixteenth (yep 16th!) child and he went on to build the Taj Mahal in loving memory of her.
Grab a guide on the outside if you wish (hit or miss with how good they are!) but go with your gut and see what you get.
Come prepared with water, sunglasses and some snacks if you’re visiting in the heat. The sun will be reflecting off the architecture from all different angles!
The Akbari Mandi is the biggest spice market in Asia which also sells grains and herbs. The market got its name from the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Pop along for some thrilling local energy and hubbub, along with the obvious opportunity to purchase some top-notch spices.
Wagah Border Ceremony
On the edge of Lahore is the small town of Wagah, where there is a ceremony daily between India and Pakistan when the military close the border for the day. Thousands of people come to watch this tradition as if it were a sport, and it’s just as exciting as one!
People are waving flags, cheering on their country and celebrating how awesome they are. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the ceremony on the India and Pakistan side and they’re both just as good. Watch out for the one-legged soldier on the Pakistan side. He really does give it his all!
This event is a powerful one. You may just find yourself in moments of reflection during this spectacle, appreciating that also these two sides do have their differences, they are still coming together daily to put on a seriously almighty, precise and thrilling display of their patriotism. And for this ceremony to be pulled off everyday – it would not be possible without the other.
If you’ve got time (and you really should make the time if you’ve made the effort to get here) go and experience a truly unique hiking trip in the stunning mountains of Pakistan.
I ventured completely off the beaten track into a 2 week Pakistan trekking experience like no other with Epic Backpacker Tours. It remains the most breathtaking (physically and mentally) trek that I have done throughout my whole 10 years of travelling.
Experience trekking like nothing else that has gone before on your adventures.
Best hotels in Lahore
Here are the top 3 options for budget, midrange and luxury travellers.
The Hotel Days Inn is a great budget option. With free breakfast and WiFi, you can’t beat this for a budget stay in Lahore.
The Chancery Hotel is in the Lahore area of the Punjab region. It’s easily to walk to the Pace Shopping Mall from here. The Chancery Hotel has a restaurant, 24 hour room service for late night cravings and free WiFi. I stayed here with Epic Backpacker Tours and enjoyed it very much.
This Pearl Continental Hotel features a gym and spa as well as free breakfast and lush rooms. Treat yo’ self.
Where to eat
Lahori cuisine is beautifully rich and decadent, and some of the best places to visit in Lahore are – you guessed it – the restaurants that showcase it!
This tasty restaurant features authentic desi cuisine and overlooks Badshahi Mosque with a view that can’t be beat.
Fort Food Street
Fort Food street is a street devoted to glorious Lahori food. It has numerous rooftop restaurants and you’ll often hear live music.
Khalifa Bakers is the most famous bakery in Lahore. They make delicious nan khataai cookies as well as other yummy Lahori pastries that you definitely have to try!
Uber or Careem
Like in all big cities, Uber is a great option for getting around. A comparable app is Careem, which is very popular in Pakistan.
Tuk tuks are the fastest way to weave through traffic for a trip that’s just a bit too long to walk. Make sure you negotiate a price before you get in the tuktuk, but in general they are affordable and quick.
Buses are all over the place. They’re normally pretty small and very crowded and can be very slow. They take a long time to get around, so you’ll have to be patient. When it comes to rush hour, probably best to avoid the bus completely!
Currently there is a metro system being built in Lahore city, which is hopefully opening up this year (2019). However, there is currently no specific opening date for the one line out of three that is currently under construction.
What’s the Lahore weather like?
The best time to visit Lahore is from mid April to early May and from late September to late October. This is when things are the most bearable but still pleasant.
There are five seasons in Lahore. According to the Lahore forecast, the hottest time is from the end of April to the end of July with average temperatures around 35°C = 95°F.
The cool season from the first week of December to the end of February has an average daily temperature of 23°C = 73°F.
It’s the coldest in the first week of January with temperatures around 13°C = 55°F . Not bad for the city, but remember that it’s gonna be freezing if you decide to head up north for trekking!
Solo female travel safety tips for Lahore Pakistan
It’s good to be well prepared before going to a new destination. Is it safe to travel in Pakistan in Lahore?
Although Pakistan may not be advertised as well as other destinations, I do have faith in its locals. People were very kind to me throughout my trip – but in Lahore I did get cat-called a fair bit when walking around the more local neighbourhoods (with another lady friend when we were heading to the shops).
Ultimately, we are women, and travelling solo as a woman is different to travelling solo as a man.
When visiting places in Pakistan, follow my tips below to make your trip an enjoyable one. Here’s my Lahore Pakistan travel advice.
Pack a scarf
Scarves are a must have when travelling to Lahore. Not only because they are necessary in order to enter mosques, but they will help you fit in with the modest culture in Pakistan.
I am a feminist and always support dressing however you feel, but when you travel to a place where all women wear modest clothing, dressing anything but modest makes you stick out. Respect the culture you are entering into and wear what the local women wear. Lahore is more liberal as a city than in the mountains where I was heading, but still remember that this is Pakistan.
Long trousers, tunic or long sleeved shirts, and high cut necklines are the style of Lahore, although you will occasionally see women wearing “Western” dress mixed in with more traditional clothes.
Be aware of local laws
Sadly it is still illegal to be gay or for unmarried couples to live together before marriage. Knowing things like this can help keep you safe. Always comply with local law enforcement and remember that you cannot take pictures of military structures.
Stay connected with portable WiFi
If you don’t travel with portable WiFI hotspot or an international data plan, you’ll want to buy a Pakistani sim card. Know the numbers for a police emergency (15), or an ambulance (115) during your Pakistan travel, just in case.
I’m a big fan of portable WiFi as a solo female travel and encourage you to consider investing in it.
Take Uber or Careem
Taking Uber to avoid buses or walking late at night can be best, just like in any major city when you’re sightseeing Lahore.
Stand up for yourself
Beyond steering clear of people who alert your creepometer, sometimes speaking assertively is needed. Really needed. I feel as women we still struggle to say ‘no’ and saying no can be such a useful and empowering word for us all.
Learning to say “stop” or “no” in the local language of Urdu and saying it with confidence may just help you when a situation becomes too much.
Learn some Urdu
Saying hello, thank you, and how are you are great ways to make the local Lahorians happy in a simple way at Lahore places.
Here’s a quick crash course for you:
Hello – ہیلو (Hey-lo)
Thank you – آپ کا شکریہ (Ah-ka shoe-cree-a)
How are you? آپ کیسے ہو (Ah-kay se-voo)
Yes: جی ہاں (Gee-hun)
No: نہیں (Gee na-hiin)
Stop: رک جاؤ (Lak-joul)
Lovely Pakistani readers – if the above is incorrect, please let me know in the comments below!
Want to get serious about learning Urdu?
Get Travel Insurance
Although natural disasters aren’t what you want to think about when taking a holiday, the fact is that earthquakes, floods, and even political unrest can put a damper on a trip anywhere. Make sure your health and travel insurance plans are there for you when you might need them. Especially if you’re going to go trekking in Pakistan after you visit Lahore!
Stay up to date with the news
Read the local news and check the weather to avoid trouble or cloudy skies. As always, stay alert and aware and trust your gut.
Take a Group Tour
Why not make your trip a group affair, or even just take a guided day tour? There are even Lahore sightseeing buses! I explored Pakistan with Epic Backpacker Tours and loved it.
What’s your advice for visiting places in Lahore?
There are so many fun places in Lahore that you could visit more than once; I know I will. Got any tips on Lahore? Comment below and share with the Teacake community.