“Jinnay Lahore nai whekhya, o jammia nai!”
(If you haven’t seen Lahore, you have not been born)
And I second this saying!
No doubt, Lahore is not only a city, but it is also an unforgettable experience and a long-lasting feeling. To see the true and beautiful colors of Pakistan, one has to visit Lahore.
Art, culture, desi food and lively people define Lahore. Lahore is known for its Mughal architecture, beautiful gardens, and historic buildings. The vibrant culture and warm people make Lahore worth visiting. Also, Lahore has a very old and interesting history.
According to legends, Lahore was previously known as Lavapuri (City of Lava in Sanskrit). It was believed to be founded by Prince Lava, the son of Sita and Rama. Lahore is also known as “the city of gardens” because of its beautiful and lush green gardens. The city is loaded with sites worth seeing ranging from gardens to tombs to markets to food streets and more.
شہر لاہور تیری رونقیں دائم آباد
تیری گلیوں کی ہوا کھینچ کے لائ مجھ کو
~ Nasir Kazmi
Visiting places in Lahore is quite easy, all due to the metro bus stations. You can pay Rs. 30 and go to any of these places very easily.
Lahore is famous for its food like other cities of Pakistan. Cafés in Karachi are perfect for hangouts, desi restaurants in Islamabad and restaurants in Rawalpindi are amazing. You should visit these places as well.
Today, we have gathered a list of best places to visit in Lahore. All these places carry significant value and are worth your time. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Lahore. You won’t regret it for sure.
Places to Visit in Lahore
|Place to visit||Location|
|1. Badshahi Mosque||Walled City of Lahore, Lahore.|
|2. Lahore Fort||Fort Road, Walled City of Lahore, Lahore.|
|3. The Emporium Mall||Abdul Haque Rd, adjacent to Lahore International Expo Centre, Trade Centre Commercial Area, Phase 2, Johar Town, Lahore.|
|4. Lahore Museum||The Mall, Mall Rd, Anarkali Bazaar, Lahore.|
|5. Minar e Pakistan||–|
|6. Food Street Lahore||–|
|7. Shalimar Bagh||Shalamar Chowk, GT Road, Shalimar Town, Lahore.|
|8. Lahore Zoo||Mall Rd, Jubilee Town, Lahore.|
|9. Anarkali Bazaar||Near Data Gunj Buksh Tehsil of Lahore.|
|10. Wagah Border||Near Grand Trunk Road, Lahore.|
|11. Masjid Wazir Khan||Shahi Guzargah، Dabbi Bazar, Chota Mufti Baqar Walled City of Lahore.|
|12. Jahangir’s Tomb||Circular Walk، Shahdara Town, Shahdara, Lahore.|
|13. Jinnah Park||Lawrence Road, Lahore.|
1. Badshahi Mosque
Badshahi Mosque, also known as Badshahi Masjid, is the second-largest mosque in Pakistan and the 8th largest mosque in the world in terms of its capacity. The mosque can accommodate roughly around 100,000 worshippers.
Aurangzeb Alamgir, the sixth Mughal emperor, constructed Badshahi Mosque in 1673 AD. The red bricks were brought from Jaipur, India. The red structure and extraordinary architecture make it majestic and an excellent visiting spot for tourists.
2. Lahore Fort
Lahore Fort is also known as Shahi Qila, Lahore. It is an ancient fortress situated on the north side of the Walled City of Lahore. No one really knows who laid the foundation of Lahore Fort. Some people say it was founded in the time of Shahab ud Din Ghauri, and some say it is older than that.
The existing structure was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar. The fort has thirteen gates, which shows the complexity and grandness of the fort. The site is also listed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The fort also has some of the most famous historical sites of Lahore including:
- Sheesh Mahal
- Alamgiri Gate
- Naulakha pavilion
- Moti Masjid
3. Emporium Mall
If you are a shopaholic and love shopping from multiple shops then Emporium is your best friend. The eleven-storey mall is home to almost 200 local and international brands. It also has a huge food court to satisfy your hunger pangs.
Apart from that, there is a cinema as well. In short, you can shop, eat and watch a movie from the same place. The design, location, and management of the place are also excellent.
4. Lahore Museum
Did you know that the author of the book “ The Jungle Book” Rudyard Kipling was the son of the earliest curator of the Lahore Museum? John Lockwood Kipling became the curator of the Lahore Museum in 1875. He was also responsible for the expansion of the Lahore Museum.
Lahore Museum is the oldest and largest museum in Pakistan. It was established in 1965 under the British Raj. The museum is the house of many renowned artifacts including collections from Gandhara, Buddhism, and Indo Greek civilizations. Apart from these collections, the Lahore museum also has an extensive collection from the Mughal era.
If you have a knack for artifacts and antique stuff then you should definitely visit the Lahore Museum.
5. Minar e Pakistan
Minar e Pakistan, the national monument of Pakistan, is located in the heart of Lahore. The construction period of the monument was from 1960 to 1968. The monument stands on the ground where all India Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution on 23rd March 1940.
The estimated cost of Minar e Pakistan was around Rs 7,058,000. The money for the construction was generated from taxes on cinema houses and horse racing tickets.
Did you know that the base of Minar e Pakistan resembles the petals of a flower? Each petal has a different inscription on it, such as texts of Lahore Resolution in Urdu, English, and Bengali.
6. Food Streets
Lahore is famous for its yummy and mouthwatering desi dishes. Paaye, nihari, falooda, halwa puri, and BBQ are amazing in Lahore. Lahore is also loaded with top-notch food streets and eateries.
If you want to experience the taste of Lahore then do visit Lakshmi Chowk, Gawalmandi and Fort Food Street. You can find innumerable desi street food in these places. These are among the best places to visit in Lahore at night.
7. Shalimar Bagh
The Shalimar Gardens are a gorgeous Mughal garden situated in Lahore. The architecture of the garden is inspired by Persian and Arabic culture. Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor laid the foundation of the garden for his beloved wife Noor Jahan in 1641.
Not to mention that Shalimar Gardens were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Interestingly, there are 410 water fountains in the garden, made up of high-quality marble. The whole water system and architectural structure are so complex that even today architects are unable to fully understand the blueprint of the structure. Apart from fountains, there are five water cascades in the garden as well which give extra beauty to the place.
The fountains are still functional and give a cool and soothing effect on its visitors. If you are a fan of Mughal architecture then you should pay a visit to Shalimar Bagh.
8. Lahore Zoo
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~Unknown.
This quote is so true. If you want to look closely at different wild animals and exotic birds then you must visit the Lahore Zoo. It was established in 1872 and hence it is one of the oldest zoos in the world. The Lahore zoo is currently housing 1,378 animals.
Apart from that, Lahore zoo has many attractions such as fancy bird aviary, a lion house, an elephant house. You can also adopt an animal from the zoo. In this program, the interested people pay for the food of the animal.
The timings for Lahore Zoo are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
9. Anarkali Bazaar
Anarkali Bazaar is among the Lahore’s best places to visit. If you love shopping and that too on a budget then Anarkali Bazaar will save your day. It is one of the oldest and largest markets in South Asia. Some people believe that it is approximately 200 years old.
The name “Anarkali” is derived from the legend of a courtesan girl named Anarkali who had an affair with the son of Mughal emperor Akbar. The emperor banished her as a punishment.
Anarkali bazar has a variety of products such as textiles, garments, decoration items, and jewelry. If you are looking for cheap and affordable goods then head towards Anarkali bazaar. Also, there is a huge selection of street food in Anarkali.
Over time, the market has also expanded. Now, it has two main sections: Old Anarkali and New Anarkali. You can find a huge array of desi food in old Bazaar, and in the newer section, you can easily find hidden gems such as paintings, handicrafts, and embroidered goods. It is also famous for its Indian jewelry and clothes.
10. Wagah Border
Wagah is the border between India and Pakistan which is situated near the Grand Trunk Road. It is immensely popular because of the daily border ceremony. The closing ceremony, also known as The Beating Retreat Ceremony, has been taking place since 1959. The guards from both sides come to the border, take off their respective country flags and formally close the border.
Every Pakistani should definitely see this ceremony at least once. It is absolutely free and you do not have to pay any kind of entrance fee. Every day hundreds of patriotic Pakistani come and see the ceremony.
11. Masjid Wazir Khan
If you are interested in Islamic architecture and heritage, you should definitely visit Masjid Wazir Khan. This magnificent and grand structure was built by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, the Viceroy of Punjab in 1634.
Ansari was the personal physician of Prince Khurram, the future Mughal emperor. The prince was so enamored by the competencies of Ansari that he gave him the title of ‘Wazir Khan’. Later on, Wazir Khan founded this mosque.
Apart from the mosque, there are Shahi Hammam and a commercial area in the vicinity as well.
What makes the mosque stand out from the rest is its unique architectural design. The first time ever in Lahore, four minarets on each corner of the mosque were built in this mosque. The whole mosque was constructed using cut and dressed bricks along with tiles and precious stones.
Interestingly, there are 22 shops on the ground floor of the mosque. These shops form a commercial hub where people still come to shop.
If you want to explore the true colors of Islamic heritage in Lahore, Masjid Wazir Khan should be on your list.
12. Jahangir’s Tomb
Another epitome of Mughal architecture lies on the outskirts of Lahore. Here rests the great Mughal emperor, Jahangir. The place was very close to Jahangir and his wife, Noor Jahan. Initially, Jehangir was buried in Dil-sakoon Garden but later on his son, Shah Jahan built a tomb for his father at this place.
Noor Jahan took charge of the design and architecture of the Tomb. It took around a decade to finish this masterpiece and its surrounding gardens.
The entrance of the tomb is through two gigantic gates made of precious stones and tiles. The tomb is a one-floor building in a square shape. Previously, there were fountains at the tomb as well which were ruined a couple of years ago.
The structure also has a tall tower with a projecting entrance from all four corners. The towers give a spectacular view of the city as well. The Tomb of Jahangir is adjacent to the Akbari Sarai and Asif Khan’s Tomb which is on the provisional list as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
13. Jinnah Park
Jinnah park, also known as Bagh-e-Jinnah is a historical park located at the heart of Lahore. It was formerly known as Lawrence Gardens. The spectral park consists of a lush green space containing a botanical garden, Masjid Dar ul Salam and Quaid e Azam Library.
If you want to spend a peaceful evening in Lahore, do visit this historic park.
The park also has entertainment facilities, sports complex, jogging tracks, open-air theatre, eateries, tennis courts and a cricket ground.
In short, it is a perfect space for families who want to spend some quality time.
So, this was a very concise yet interesting list of places to see in Lahore. All these famous places in Lahore are worth your precious time. They remind you of local culture, traditions, and heritage. Parks in Lahore, unlike cliche parks, are a true depiction of the Mughal era. This makes them an excellent source of relaxation. Also, the historical places in Lahore are a treat for history enthusiasts.
If you enjoy scenic views, beautiful weather and a peaceful environment visit top hill stations in Pakistan. If you are a cinema lover then Rawalpindi and Islamabad have one of the best cinemas in the country. These cinemas not only screen the latest movies but they also regularly host movie premiers. Apart from solo travel, there are amazing places in Pakistan where you visit with your family and friends.
If there are more places you love in Lahore that you want to add, please do leave a comment below.
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