After decades of political instability and security problems that removed Pakistan from the list of all but the most fearless travellers, the country is now on the verge of something special. Pakistan has opened its doors to travellers from across the world, thanks to improved security and political stability.
Pakistan is a beautiful country. Home to 108 peaks above 7,000 meters, including K2, the south Asian country’s mountain scenery is stunning. From the lively cities like Islamabad and Lahore to the beautiful valleys in the north, Pakistan is a perfect place for a unique getaway.
It can be difficult to choose from the long list of places to visit in this lovely country, so have a look at our suggestions. Here are 10 of the best and most beautiful places to see in Pakistan.
Turquoise waters, towering mountains, beautiful lakes, and generous people, Skardu has it all. Spend a day or two exploring the beautiful Kachhura Village, Shangri-la Resort, and the sand dunes in Katpana village.
Enjoy an incredible experience watching the sunrise and sunset over the Indus River. To know the area’s history, visit the 600 years old Kharpocho Fort.
Shopping and dining in Skardu Bazaar is a must. Here you’ll find some fantastic local gifts for your friends and family back home.
If you are fond of trekking, you can’t help trekking through the glaciers to the basecamps of some of the world’s highest mountains, including K2.
Your vacation wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the surreal Deosai National Park and Satpara Lake.
The romantic city of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is an excellent place for relaxation and sightseeing. The city is green all over, with beautiful roads and highways and a clean, calm, and serene environment.
You will enjoy exploring the moderately populated city. Cultural heritage sites like Pakistan Monument, Lok Virsa Museum, and Faisal Mosque are famous spots. Or you can simply hit the hiking trails in the picturesque and densely forested Margalla Hills and then drive to Monal at the top. You will get magnificent views of Islamabad and the surrounding areas from up here. It is a perfect spot to capture Instagram pictures.
Islamabad has endless options for the foodie. Whether you want to munch some continental or Chinese cuisine, or try Pakistani, American, English, or Italian cookery, Islamabad’s restaurants have them all.
Most visitors can’t help falling in love with the beautiful Lake View Park and Shakarparian, and the small but exquisite Saidpur Village.
The best shopping places in Islamabad include Centaurus Mall and Safa Gold Mall.
3. Kalasha Valleys
Nestled between the Hindu Kush mountain range in Chitral. These beautiful valleys are home to the indigenous and unique Kalash tribe.
The mesmerising beauty of the area, the meadows, and the unique architecture of the houses make this place worth exploring.
Bamburet is the most famous among the Kalasha Valleys. But if you want to witness and experience the unique Kalasha culture, head over to Rumboor and Birir.
The liberal Kalash people are said to be the descendants of the armies of Alexander the Great. Don’t miss the annual feast called Chilam Joshi if you are visiting in May.
It’s no secret that Hunza is home to liberal, helpful, and hospitable people. Nestled in the Karakoram Mountain Range, Hunza comprises several colourful and stunning villages.
There’s so much like orchards, glaciers, a river, wooden bridges, and meadows skirted by rugged and snow-capped mountains.
Witness a hypnotic sunset at Duikar, a small village perching over the valley. Get majestic views from the top of Altit and Baltit forts. Or simply stroll in the beautiful streets of Hunza and socialise with the locals.
Karimabad, the main commercial center of the valley, has many hotels, restaurants, and shops. Before you leave, try some scrumptious local cuisines at the restaurants and buy some beautiful handicrafts at the shops.
Situated to the northwest of Islamabad, Peshawar is a beautiful city with a history dating back to the 17th century Mughal Empire. This city is famous among tourists for its historical places, shopping bazaars, and food.
Simply stroll the streets and markets of Peshawar and try the famous Charsi Tikka for lunch in Namak Mandi. If you’re fond of lamb meat then don’t miss the traditional Dum pukht dish.
Peshawar has preserved its medieval charm. The Bala Hisar Fort and its fortifications still seem to be watching the movements along the famous GT Road. It was built in 1562 and this fort was a regal abode of the Afghan Durrani dynasty.
Other historical places in Peshawar include Peshawar Museum, Buddhist Stupas, Khyber Pass, and Jamrud Fort.
When it comes to shopping, you can buy many luxurious items at a bargain price in Peshawar. Be it the famous Afghan carpets in Shuba Chowk, gemstones in Namak Mandi, and Peshawari Chappals in Jehangir Pura Market (Jahangirpura Bazaar), this city has it all. A visit to the historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar is also a must for shopping enthusiasts.
6. Gojal Valley
Head 20 kilometres to the north of Hunza on the Karakoram Highway, and you’ll find yourself in the beautiful Gojal Valley. Bordering China’s Xinjiang province, Gojal is home to beautiful lakes, rugged mountains, glaciers, and scenic villages.
After driving north through some mountain tunnels, you’ll arrive at the famous Attabad Lake in Shishkat village. Among the rocky mountains, there is this lake that formed after a portion of the nearby mountain fell off, blocking the river flow. Known for its blue waters, this lake is an excellent place for taking Instagram pictures, jet skiing, and boating.
Next comes the scenic Gulmit village along the Karakoram Highway. Walk on the highway to forget all your worries or go around exploring the lush green village. An hour’s trek will take you to the old Ondra settlement from where you can get bird’s eye views of the surrounding villages and the famous Passu Cones.
Other tourist spots include Hussaini Suspension Bridge, Borith Lake, Ghulkin Glacier, Batura Glacier, and Khunjerab National Park.
7. Naltar Valley, Gilgit
Around 1 hour and 40 minutes drive on the Karakoram Highway from Gilgit city will take you to Naltar. This remote valley is known for its sheer beauty and serene atmosphere. The snow-capped peaks, landscapes, lakes, and expansive forests make Naltar worth a retreat.
During the winter, Naltar Valley turns into a skiing mecca. The Pakistan Air Force manages the ski resort that attracts thousands of skiers from across the world each year.
The magnificent Bashri Lakes offer enthralling lakeside sceneries, natural dirt trails, and glacial streams. It is a lovely spot for picnicking. A jeep ride will take you to Pari Lake, an alpine lake where you can enjoy boating and stroll around to explore the area.
The old city of Lahore is known for an array of tourist spots and activities, such as historical sites, shopping places, and foods. For foodies, Lahore has endless options, but at the famous Food Street on MM Alam Road, you’ll get to taste all the famous cuisines in one place.
For people interested in history, art, and architecture, Lahore Fort is a must-visit. The legendary Mahmud of Ghazni built the fort in the 11th century. A visit to Badshahi Mosque is yet another similar treat for tourists. If you are a shopaholic, head over to the famous Anarkali Bazaar and Liberty Market.
Other places to visit in Lahore include Shalimar Gardens, Lahore Museum, Minar e Pakistan, and Wagah Border.
9. Phandar Valley, Ghizer
The scenic Phandar Valley is known for its colourful waters and dotted forests. The views are dramatic, and so is the ambience. The very first glimpse of the valley will remove all your travel fatigue and re-energize you.
Phandar Valley is the top destination for fishing, camping, swimming, hiking, and nature walks. With poplar trees on its bank, Phandar Lake offers mesmerising views. You can have amazing boating experiences in the deep blue, still water of this lake.
The weather is mostly pleasant in summer, which is the best time to visit the valley. People of Phandar are friendly and helpful. The valley also has plenty of hotels and inns.
Think of deep blue waters, white mountains, beautiful sceneries, and sand dunes. That’s what you’ll get to see in Gwadar, the beautiful port city in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Get fascinating views of the clear waters of the Arabian Sea while watching over the Gwadar Port. If that doesn’t enthral you, head over to the famous Hammerhead – the mass of rock created as a result of a mud volcano eruption.
The turquoise waters of Astola Island can easily be reached on motorboats. If you are not into scuba diving, you can simply go around fishing or exploring the waters to watch dolphins and turtles.
Other mesmerizing tourist spots like Omara Beach, The Sphinx of Balochistan, The Princess of Hope statue, and Hingol National Park are sure to delight you.
Stunning landscapes, rugged and snow-capped mountains, beautiful beaches and valleys, rich cultural heritages, buzzing cities… you name it, Pakistan has them. Just decide what places you want to visit in Pakistan and get ready to explore the beautiful South Asian country.
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