Travel to Pakistan has always been controversial. I mean, is Pakistan safe to travel? Well, Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
My best advice is don’t listen to what they say. See! Travelling to Pakistan is a challenge to common perception as it has a reputation for being unsafe. However, Pakistan must surely be one of the world’s most enticing and fascinating countries.
Why Travel to Pakistan?
It could be the breathtaking nature, diverse cultures, vibrant clothing, alluring tradition or even the delicious food that gives you a reason.
If that does not do it for you, the Pakistani people are some of the most hospitable you could hope to find.
Today, the security situation for the vast portion of the country is perfectly stable and the risk of you encountering problems is becoming ever smaller. Travel to Pakistan has never been more tempting.
A vacation to Pakistan is an opportunity to plunge into a highly misrepresented country and culture, with some of the world’s highest mountains, gorgeous Mughal architecture, and a robust culinary legacy.
If that wasn’t enough, Pakistan has a diverse range of spectacular scenery, from the peaks of the Karakoram Highway in northern Pakistan to the mosques of Lahore (don’t miss the Wazir Khan and Badshahi Mosques.)
Visit Pakistan – 33 Great Reasons
Here are the 33 Incredible Reasons why Pakistan should be on your bucket list. Keep reading to unlearn the flawed constructed realities about Pakistan.
1. The Natural Beauty
Pakistan is known for its geographical grandeur since it encompasses a wide range of beautiful landscapes, from undulating hills in the south to towering peaks in the north.
You will find extensive plains and rivers as you approach the Sindh province. The vast beautiful deserts you will find in the south make it a veritable treasure trove of nature’s offerings.
One of the reasons the environment remains so fascinating is that most of it have been left in its most natural state. Let us not forget that Pakistan is home to five of the world’s tallest and most magnificent mountains.
2. Swat Valley
The breathtaking swat valley in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province seems like a fairy tale. Envision lush green fields and woods, lovely villages, and rivers with vibrant and dazzling blues you’d swear weren’t real!
The actual splendour of Swat can be seen in and around Kalam, which provides a base for exploring the valley’s natural grandeur. Here are three attractions in Swat Valley that you must visit:
Boyun is a short drive from Kalam town or a moderate uphill hike. When you reach the top, you’ll be welcomed with spectacular views of the valley below and a panorama of one of the largest and most gorgeous villages I’ve ever seen.
Kandol & Spindhor Lakes
These mountain lakes are around a 2-hour drive from Kalam. Kandol Lake is now accessible via jeep track and is highly commercialized, whereas Spindhor is only accessible by a 2-hour hike. Whichever you choose to visit, both are unquestionably among Pakistan’s most gorgeous destinations.
This well-kept woodland is densely forested with deodar trees and is a beautiful spot to get lost. The road into the forest continues along the Kalam River to picturesque villages.
3. Hunza Valley
It is quite probable that you’ve heard about the fabled Hunza Valley if you reside in Pakistan or not. However, don’t be fooled by the phrase “valley” Because Hunza is a sprawling district made up of multiple valleys and settlements. Here are some of the most magnificent views in Hunza, which is a section of the old Silk Road:
The Passu Cathedral is a natural work of beauty and one of Pakistan’s most well-known sights. Though staying overnight in Passu village is no longer permitted The cones of the cathedral may be seen from afar, beginning at Gulmit village. The Cathedral is best seen from the Karakoram Highway, roughly an hour’s drive from Gilgit City.
Attabad Lake doesn’t appear to be realistic… Even if you’re right there in front of it. Visiting Attabad Lake is a reason to travel to Pakistan all by it’s self.
In 2010, Attabad was formed out of tragedy when a significant landslide happened. The Hunza River was dammed, resulting in the formation of the now-famous lake. It is one of Pakistan’s most attractive destinations due to its vivid blue-turquoise seas.
Want to witness one of the Hunza Valley’s most spectacular sunsets? Visit Eagle’s Nest during golden hour! Although the name refers to a neighbouring fancy hotel/restaurant. You may drive up to the overlook without stopping there if you wish.
4. Yarkhun Valley
Yarkhun Valley was the most gorgeous place in Pakistan, despite being largely unknown and overlooked compared to Pakistan’s most well-known tourist destinations. Yarkhun, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Upper Chitral district, is known for its mountain ranges and pristine villages.
If you don’t have your own car, getting to the valley, which spans many kilometres past the administrative town of Mastuj, takes some effort. However, the ride isn’t that hard if you have one — just be prepared for mainly dirt roads!
5. Phandar Valley – Phander Lake
The idyllic setting of Phander Lake in Phander Village is almost too lovely to be true. The teal-coloured lake is surrounded by light-green trees as if it were a landscape painting.
Phander Lake does not attract nearly the same number of visitors as the more well-known Attabad Lake despite its stunning beauty.
If you go, I strongly advise you to stay at the Lake Inn, which is only a short walk away and only 1,000 rupees a night.
There’s also the PTDC, which overlooks the lake for 5,000 rupees, but Lake Inn’s hospitality is valued as exceptional.
6. Broghil Valley
Broghil Valley, located far north in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, was once only accessible by foot or horseback. Even though the once-secret location is now accessible through a hazardous jeep road, it still attracts just a few tourists during the few months when it is not buried in a blanket of snow.
It is currently unclear if foreigners are permitted to visit Broghil. (If you’re really set on going, check with the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Chitral first.) Please note that travel to this part of Pakistan will incur some significant risks to your safety.
However, Pakistanis, please go and witness this wonder! Several high-altitude lakes, yaks, and vast green meadows dot the valley, framed by a spectacular mountainous background that rises above 13,000 feet.
What do you mean, a city? Yes, Lahore is a metropolis, but its wealth of historical sites undoubtedly makes it one of Pakistan’s most picturesque destinations. Lahore was the Mughal capital, and much of its legacy can still be seen. A trip to Lahore might just be the highlight of your travel to Pakistan.
If you’re curious about what the most incredible spots to see in Lahore are since there are a lot of them! To find out 70 unique things to do in Lahore simply click this link. 😁
The Badshahi Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque, and the Lahore Fort are among the city’s most well-known landmarks. With dozens of wonderfully maintained tombs, bustling shrines, and Havelis atop Havelis, you’ve got Pakistan’s cultural capital.
8. Hingol National Park
Although Hingol National Park is geographically located in Pakistan, it resembles a Martian planet! The park spans over 6,000 square kilometres and is home to a mud volcano, highly distinctive rock formations, enormous canyons and a diverse range of animal species.
Furthermore, a segment of the National Park runs along the shore, adding the ocean to the park’s other features. Hingol, despite its out-of-this-world appearance, is only 3.5 hours from Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous metropolis.
9. Kalash Valleys
The Kalash people live in the Kalash Valleys, including Bumboret, Rumbur, and Birir. They are a religious and ethnic minority in Pakistan with their own beliefs, culture, and language.
The valleys in which they dwell are unquestionably among Pakistan’s most picturesque — not only for their natural beauty but also for the beauty of the Kalash themselves.
The Rumbur Valley is exceptionally beautiful. Along the Kalash River, stretches of sandy road and mountains rattle. The Kalash people live in wooden houses that cling to the steep hills, and the ladies are known for their brilliantly coloured traditional garb and headdress, unlike anything else in Pakistan.
It’s relatively simple to get out to one of the valleys these days, as Chitral City is only 2.5 hours away. Take a day to hike all the way into the valley if you decide to visit Rumbur. Sheikhandeh, Rumbur’s last town, is a former Nuristani village whose residents went to Pakistan a few hundred years ago.
10. Deosai National Park
The world’s roof is commonly referred to as Deosai. Well, it is in certain ways. The colossal plateau, which stands at 4,117 metres (13,497 ft), is only approachable during the summer and is the world’s second-highest.
Tourists who travel to deosai national park, lovely location will be greeted with sprawling emerald-green meadows, snow-capped peaks, and dazzling blue lakes. Deosai is home to the Himalayan Brown Bear, which numerous visitors have seen — keep an eye out if you’re camping!
11. Gorakh Hill Station
The desert has hills… Gorakh Hill Station is in Sindh; however, it is raised as part of the Kirthar Mountains. At 1,734 meters (5,689 feet), the tops of the hills offer some of the most spectacular vistas in Southern Pakistan. This is a fantastic location for a weekend camping vacation.
The Gorakh Hills are around 8 hours from Karachi, but just 2 to 3 hours from Dadu, making the latter a preferable site to begin your adventure. There is no public transportation. However, there are a few rest houses for those who don’t want to camp.
12. The Shah Jahan Mosque
So it wasn’t true that all the Mughal artefacts could be found in Punjab? Change your views! The Shah Jahan Mosque, commonly known as the Jamia Masjid, is a mosque in Thatta, Sindh province, Pakistan.
It is well-known across South Asia for having the most magnificent exhibition of tile craftsmanship. The inside of the mosque is decorated in blue and sandstone colours that are likely to wow anybody who visits.
When Shah Jahan found sanctuary in Thatta in 1647, he commissioned the mosque, which has miraculously survived to this day. Sindh may appear to be a long way from the mountains, yet its flawless workmanship makes it one of Pakistan’s most stunning tourist destinations.
13. Fairy Meadows Pakistan
Fairy Meadows is undeniably beautiful and an undisputed highlight of travel to Pakistan. even if it has gotten a bit touristic (and expensive). The meadows provide a spectacular perspective of Nanga Prabhat, the world’s ninth-tallest summit.
It’s a little challenging to get to Fairy Meadows. The excursion begins with a jeep ride along one of the world’s most perilous roads and ends with a 5-kilometre hike. You may hire a tent or bring your own gear to spend a night or two admiring one of Pakistan’s most spectacular vistas.
A jeep ride into the meadows costs roughly 8,000 rupees ($51), and strolling the road is not permitted.
14. Margala Hills
Islamabad may be a glamorous “new” metropolis, but did you know it also contains many ideal hills for climbing? The Margala Hills cover more than 12,000 hectares and include several hiking trails.
Ascending to the range’s numerous summits provides views of Islamabad that you may not have realized were attainable. Few sites in Pakistan are so near to the city while still closely linked to nature.
15. The Diversity of Culture
Pakistan is divided into four provinces, each with its own culture, customs, dialect, and culinary and artistic palette.
This cultural variety derives from ethnic diversity, which has far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on the overall culture. If you go throughout the nation, moving into each province is nearly like visiting a new country, with distinct differences in the way people appear, dress, speak, and interact.
This diversity gives us a wide range of foods to eat, music and instruments to perform with. Pakistan is also famous for its songs and literature.
16. Traditional Food
Pakistani cuisine is known for its masterful use of herbs and spices. Every traditional cuisine is a unique creation whose recipe has been passed down through the years to ensure it has the ideal flavour.
Whether lentils, chicken roast, or even lamb, each food must be seasoned and cooked to perfection so that when the final dish is prepared, every mouthful is a delight to eat.
The nation is also recognized for its distinctive sweets known as ‘Mithai,’ which are sweets produced using traditional recipes and topped with various nuts. Because Pakistan is recognized for its agriculture, you should expect to sample organic fruits and veggies that you can scarcely get in the West.
17. The Local Bazaars
Pakistan has a dynamic market culture that is still alive and well. The local bazaars are unique in that each store will have an owner who has been there for decades and can answer any question about his profession.
Clothing store proprietors will tell you about every sort of fabric available anywhere in the country, or a silver jeweller who is so talented he can carve the most intricate of designs into the smallest of spaces.
In today’s current age of impersonal shopping, this relationship between sellers and customers is so valuable that each transaction may be converted into a terrific bonding opportunity and a better education about the product.
18. Beautifully Ornamented Handicrafts
Many craftsmen learnt a specific talent from their dads, who learned it from their fathers. Pakistan has a plethora of artisans who are extraordinarily competent at creating painstaking masterpieces.
Due to the complexity of the patterns imprinted on them, some magnificently woven carpets take more than six months to manufacture. Beautiful embroidery can be seen on various garments, and exquisite jewellery can be cut to perfection by hand rather than by machine.
Copper and silver utensils follow the same pattern of one-of-a-kind craftsmanship, making the country a home for one-of-a-kind handicrafts not found anywhere else in the world. You can bet your travel plans will include lots of shopping.
19. Entrancing Local Music
Most artists on the outskirts of towns and rural areas and some in metropolitan regions choose to play traditional Eastern instruments like the flute, rubab, harmonium, and tabla (local drum).
Along with the beauty of the sound generated by these native instruments, some songs can trace their roots back over 1,000 years!
No matter how many rock and metal concerts you’ve seen, listening to a Qawwali (Devotional music) is a musical experience that will stay with you.
20. The Unique Hospitality
Anyone visiting from another country will be pleasantly surprised by how kind the people are to their visitors. Anyone that crosses your path, whether you are in one of the big cities or hiking in the Northern regions, will tell you all you need to know about the place, and the conversation will always conclude with them asking you to their home for tea or supper.
There is almost no one who does not give foreign visitors a sightseeing tour of the region where they are staying so that they may view all of the unique sites that are unknown to visitors.
21. Bravura Clothes
Cotton, silk, wool, lawn, and linen are all available in Pakistan. Because most women still choose to buy their own material and have it embroidered, it has a broader selection of cloth than just about anywhere else.
Furthermore, a diverse range of expert artisans can create the most intricate designs on any textile using various beads and stones, allowing you to have the custom-made clothing you’ve always desired.
22. Passion for Sports
Cricket and polo are the national sports of this country and unsurprisingly the most popular. Shandur, the world’s highest-altitude polo field, hosts some of the most famous polo matches in the world.
If you happen to travel to Pakistan during a big game you will certainly notice. A type of frenzy breaks out whenever a cricket match takes place, putting the country in a festive mood. Every time the Pakistani team scores, you’ll witness people dancing, listening to music, and jeering excessively.
23. Glorious Mosques
During the Mughals’ centuries of rule over the subcontinent, they commissioned the most prominent painters and architects of the era to design magnificent mosques. Their work, such as the Wazir Khan Mosque and the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, is as marvellous today as they were in their heyday.
In Karachi, a giant mosque called Gol Masjid comprises only one dome. These mosques are architectural marvels with their minarets and gorgeous artwork complimented by immaculate calligraphy that should be witnessed first-hand.
24. Ancient Temples
In Pakistan, there are several old Hindu temples, some of which date back to the period of the Mahabharata, an ancient Hindu text claimed to have been penned about the 8th century BC. It does not matter why you have chosen to travel to Pakisthan the ancient temples are sure to be a highlight.
The Katas Raj Temples are one of Pakistan’s most well-known Hindu temples, with its perfectly-shaped domes and lyrical sculptures evoking the grandeur of the ancient architecture.
There is a slew of other centuries-old temples, including Sialkot’s Jagannath Mandir, Balochistan’s Hinglaj Mata Mandir, Karachi’s Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir, Naval Mandir, and Kyber Pakhtun’s Goraknath temple.
These temples were built to pay honour to some of the holiest deities of the Hindu faith throughout the years. These temples exhibit flawless construction and contain the splendour of heritage in all its majesty.
25. Treasure Chest of World History
Pakistan’s whole territory is a significant historical treasure trove. Human history dates back to the time of Buddha. You will find impressive sculptures and extensive ruins in places such as Taxila.
From the period of Alexander the Great, who conquered this region around 327 BC, there remain considerable vestiges of the Greek civilization in the form of art, utensils, weapons, and statues.
Due to the high predominance of Hinduism, there are awe-inspiring temples devoted to numerous Hindu Gods and magnificent mosques that recall the art of the great Mughals, the Central Asian invaders.
Additionally, significant structures were built in the twentieth century, such as the massive clock towers and extensive railroads that still exist as testaments to the British reign. No travel to Pakistan would be complete without checking at least some of them out.
26. Beautifully Decorated Trucks
Anyone who decides to travel to Pakistan is astounded by the stunning art that adorns every vehicle. These ornately decorated vehicles have become a ubiquitous symbol of Pakistani culture.
There is a whole subculture dedicated to their adornment, and there are certain artists trained in the craft who are tasked with this work.
All of the big trucks that traverse the country’s roadways day and night, bringing commodities from one point to another, are etched with various vivid colours and designs, symbols and emblems, famous lines of poetry, and infinite birds and flowers.
You will never see a truck that isn’t a work of art and each one is a vibrant expression of Pakistan’s dynamic culture.
27. Traveling as a Solo Female
Cassie De Pecol isn’t the only woman who has travelled through Pakistan independently. Rosie Gabrielle, a Canadian biker who resigned from her job a few years ago to start on a dream solo trip around the world, has been chronicling her adventures in Pakistan and sharing her insights as a solo female traveller in the country on Instagram.
She says she’s been greeted with “countless smiles and chants of excitement as I pass folks and they realize it’s a girl riding” and that she’s gotten multiple invitations from families to stay with them.
Marsha Jean is a 21-year-old hitchhiker and cyclist who has traversed across Pakistan. As a solo female tourist, Gabrielle has discovered that folks are delighted to provide her with a place to stay and assist her.
She intends to remain longer than she planned because she has fallen in love with the country. Eva Zu Beck’s solo voyage through Pakistan piqued the interest of international and local media. She even launched a travel show promoting the country’s crafts, including Sindhi ajrak, glass bangles, and Kashi pottery. All of them had a wonderful experience as women.
28. Pakistan’s Raw Beauty
Hunza may be Pakistan’s golden ticket for attracting tourists abroad, yet any way up north would reveal uncompromising magnificence. Astonishingly, the country has some of the world’s most iconic mountain ranges and ominously mesmerizing peaks with beautiful places like the Fairy Meadows in their foothills.
The high-altitude plains of Deosai National Park, Kaghan Valley (an area of myth and mystery), Attabad Lake, and Neelum Valley were named by one National Geographic Traveler as some of the most incredible places to “go further afield and experience a lesser-known, wilder Pakistan”.
29. Mohenjo Daro and Harappa
These two renowned towns have been mentioned in history classes, but seeing them is an experience that will transport you back to 2600 BCE.
While Harappa is near Lahore in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Mohenjo Daro is in Sindh. A simple walk of the remnants will provide you with an insight into the local culture and architecture of the past.
30. Splendor of Baltistan
Just as many times as you’ve inquired about the reasons to visit Pakistan, you’ve undoubtedly heard of this. With sky-soaring snow-capped peaks and babbling rivers, the Gilgit-Baltistan region appears to be nirvana.
The tranquilly of this location attracts those seeking to venture off the main path in search of grandeur.
31. World’s Tastiest Biryani
Gather all you Biryani aficionados! It’s impossible to imagine a more magnificent combination of spices and herbs.
While touring across Pakistan, you may sample some of the most delectable biryanis. Not just Biryanis, but chicken karahi, Pilaf, tikka, keema, and Chapli kebab, to mention a few, have sparked interest among foodies all over the world.
32. Ride On The Highest Road In The World
The Karakoram Highway connects Islamabad’s suburbs with Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, and is one of South and Central Asia’s most picturesque routes. As you’ll be visiting where the Himalayas, Karakoram, and the Hindu Kush ranges converge, the mountains are just breathtaking.
Most of these peaks, such as Rakaposhi and Nanga Parbat, are among the world’s highest, reaching above 7000 metres.
Riding a motorcycle through the famed Hunza Valley, known for its apricot and walnut trees that blossom in the spring, is one of the most remarkable ways to witness these giants.
33. Pakistan Will Change Your Perceptions
The worldwide media does an excellent job of portraying Islamic countries negatively, and if you travel to Pakistan it may teach you a thing or two about this.
Pakistan will astonish you with its people’s willingness to talk openly about their beliefs. When discussing Islam with a Muslim in Malaysia, where we live, a nation that is supposed to be far more open and evolved than Pakistan, you would not have the same freedom of expression.
Considerations when planning to Visit Pakistan
Before I go, I want to discuss some considerations when planning to visit Pakistan. It is important to be aware of any travel restrictions that may affect you.
First, you want to check out your country’s current government travel advice. Visiting an area such as the federally administered tribal areas that are very high risk means your travel insurance will not be valid. It is best to keep up with current events for your safety and security.
Here is the link for the UK government travel advice for Pakistan. Please find your own government travel advisory if you are not from the UK.
Pakistan and Covid 19 rules
While the world is recovering from a global pandemic and having to shut down due to COVID-19. However, travel to Pakistan is now possible again! Although the government still has measures in place.
I will not list them as they are likely to change faster than I can change my pants. Instead, check out the NHS Fit for Travel website for the latest travel advice.
For more information on what you need to know when you travel to Pakistan simply click the link provided. It is full of important facts you need to know before your trip.
If you would like info on how to make the best of your travel experience feel free to click the link for bags of the best tricks and tips I have accumulated over the years. Best of all check out my link on why travel is important for your personal growth if the oodles of reasons why to come here was not enough.