The largest province of Pakistan, Punjab, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, culture, and history. Majestic Himalayan mountains, spotless beaches, and energetic cities may all be found in this region.
It is not surprising that Punjab has grown to be a well-liked tourist destination for people looking for adventure and cultural experiences given its rich past and varied landscapes. We’ll look at the best sights and activities you shouldn’t miss while in Punjab, Pakistan, in our ultimate travel guide to Punjab, Pakistan.
Heart of Punjab: Lahore
Punjab’s main city, Lahore, is frequently referred to as the region’s beating center. The city is rich in history and is home to some of the nation’s most stunning buildings and cultural icons.
For those with an interest in history and architecture, the Walled City of Lahore, commonly referred to as the Old City, is a must-visit UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The beautiful Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, and Jahangir’s Tomb are all located here. The Lahore Fort, sometimes called the Shahi Fort, is a huge collection of Mughal-era mansions and courtyards.
In addition, visitors may wander through Shalimar’s Mughal-era gardens and dine at one of the city’s numerous street cafés on traditional Punjabi fare.
Lahore is renowned for its diverse cuisine scene in addition to its extensive history. There are several food vendors and establishments selling delectable Punjabi cuisine, including juicy kebabs, buttery naan, spicy biryani, and creamy lassi. Chole Bhatore, a classic delicacy made with chickpeas and fried bread, is a must-try before leaving Lahore.
Faisalabad, a City of Textiles and Agriculture
One of Punjab’s largest towns and frequently referred to as the Manchester of Pakistan, Faisalabad is well renowned for its strong textile industry.
There are various textile factories in the city that produce cotton, silk, and other materials. Shop for traditional textiles like the famed Faisalabad chaddar at the city’s busy bazaars, which are open to tourists.
Along with its rich textile history, Faisalabad is recognized for its agricultural output, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. Visitors are welcome at the city’s bustling markets, including the Grain Market, where you may sample some of the most delicious and recently produced goods in the nation.
Many parks and gardens, like the Jinnah Garden, can be found in the city where tourists may unwind and take in the natural beauty of the area.
Multan: The City of Saints and Sufis
Multan sometimes referred to as the City of Saints and Sufis, is a historical city. Numerous ancient graves and shrines may be found in the city, notably the shrine of the renowned Sufi saint Bahauddin Zakariya.
The great mosques of the city, such as the Qasim Bagh Mosque and the Multan Fort, are also open to visitors.
Multan is well known for its ceramics and traditional crafts in addition to its extensive cultural legacy. At the bustling bazaars of the city, shoppers may purchase traditional ceramics and pottery,
including the renowned Multani blue pottery. Multan is also renowned for its delectable food, which includes items like Multani Chicken Korma and Multani Sohan Halwa.
The Salt Range: A Tour of Scenic Beauty
Trekkers and those who enjoy the outdoors frequently travel to this region because of its breathtaking natural splendor. Due to this area’s outstanding natural beauty, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts regularly visit.
Among the numerous historic temples that can be discovered in the range are the Hindu Temple of Katas and the Buddhist Stupa of Takht-i-Bahi. Visitors also can visit the magnificent salt mines of Khewra, where salt has been mined for more than 2,000 years.
Some of the best hiking trails in the province may be determined in the Salt Range, including the ascent to the Tilla Jogian peak, which provides stunning views of the neighboring peaks and valleys.
Species like the Golden Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, and Himalayan Vulture are among the local wildlife and bird species that visitors may enjoy observing.
Punjab, Pakistan: Places to Stay
Punjab, Pakistan, offers a variety of lodging choices to accommodate various spending limits and tastes. You can locate accommodations to meet your preferences, whether you’re seeking five-star resorts, affordable inns, or classic homestays.
- Luxurious Hotels: If you’re seeking an opulent place to stay in Punjab, Lahore, and Faisalabad each provide a selection of first-rate inns. The Lahore Marriott Hotel, for instance, has roomy accommodations as well as a variety of amenities, such as a spa, a fitness center, and many eating choices. Another fantastic choice is the Faisalabad Pearl Continental Hotel, which offers upscale accommodations, a fitness facility, and a variety of eating options.
- Budget-Friendly Accommodation: Lahore, Multan, and Faisalabad each have a number of guesthouses and lodges that are suitable for travelers on a tight budget. Many of them are excellent choices for tourists on a tight budget since they provide tidy, cozy rooms at reasonable rates.
- Homestays: If you want to experience a culture in its truest form, think about booking a traditional homestay. These provide you with the opportunity to experience local culture firsthand by living with a local family. In Punjab, there are a lot of homestays that are situated in rural locations, allowing guests the option to get away from the city and enjoy country life.
Whether you’re looking for luxury or budget-friendly accommodation, there’s no shortage of options in Punjab, Pakistan. So, choose what suits you the best and make your stay in the province an unforgettable experience!
Top 5 Luxurious and Top 5 Budget-Friendly hotels in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Top 5 Luxurious Hotels in Punjab, Pakistan:
- Lahore Marriott Hotel
- Pearl Continental Hotel Lahore
- Faletti’s Hotel Lahore
- Royal Palm Lahore
- Avari Lahore Hotel
Top 5 Budget-Friendly Hotels in Punjab, Pakistan:
- Travelodge Lahore
- Hotel One Lahore
- OYO Rooms Lahore
- Guest House Lahore
- Alhamra Hotel Lahore
What to eat in Punjab, Pakistan – Popular Punjabi Cuisine
Punjab is one of Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan and culturally rich provinces, and it is well known for its delectable and varied food. You should sample some of the popular meals in Punjab, Pakistan, including:
- Makki ki roti and Sarson ka saag – This is a staple dish made from corn flour bread and a thick, flavorful mustard greens sauce.
- Chana Masala – Chickpeas cooked in a rich, flavorful sauce made with spices, tomato, and onion.
- Butter chicken – A popular North Indian dish made with tender, juicy chicken cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce.
- Tandoori Chicken – Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, then grilled in a traditional clay oven called a tandoor.
- Amritsari kulcha – A type of Indian bread that is stuffed with vegetables or paneer (cottage cheese) and cooked in a tandoor.
- Biryani – A fragrant and flavorful rice dish cooked with spices, meat, and vegetables.
- Aloo Gobi – A dish made from potatoes and cauliflower cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce.
- Lahori fried fish – Fried fish seasoned with spices and served with tangy chutney, a staple food in Lahore.
These are only a handful of the mouthwatering foods you may sample in Punjab, Pakistan. Enjoy your gastronomic exploration!
Some of Punjab, Pakistan’s Best Restaurants
Pakistan’s Punjab province is renowned for its delectable cuisine and has a long culinary history. The following list includes some of Punjab, Pakistan’s top eateries that you might want to check out:
- Lahore Darbar: This restaurant is renowned by both residents and visitors for its traditional Punjabi meals.
- Al-Habib Restaurant: This popular Lahore restaurant provides traditional Punjabi food as well as a range of other cuisines.
- Al-Baik: A prominent Punjabi fast food restaurant franchise that provides great fried chicken and other fast food products.
- BBQ Tonight: This is a highly-rated grilled restaurant known for its tender and succulent kebabs.
- Gun Smoke: This restaurant specializes in Punjabi-style barbecue dishes and is known for its high-quality food and friendly service.
- EatOye!: This is an online food delivery service that allows you to order food from the best restaurants in Lahore and other cities in Punjab.
- Biryani Centre: This is a popular restaurant in Lahore that specializes in Biryani, a traditional South Asian dish made with rice, meat, and spices.
These are some of the best restaurants in Punjab, Pakistan, that are known for their delicious food and high-quality service.
What to do in Punjab, Pakistan
Punjab is one of Pakistan’s most culturally diverse provinces, with a wide selection of activities and attractions for visitors. Some of the best things to do in Punjab, Pakistan, include:
- Visit Lahore: Lahore is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical landmarks, including the Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque, and the Wazir Khan Mosque.
- Explore the Mughal Architecture: The Mughal era left a lasting impact on Punjab, with several stunning monuments and buildings that still stand today. Some of the most notable Mughal structures include the Jahangir’s Tomb and the Shalimar Gardens.
- Visit the Punjabi Folk Heritage Museum: This museum in Lahore offers a fascinating insight into Punjabi culture, showcasing the traditional costumes, musical instruments, and other artifacts of the region.
- Go on a Food Tour: Punjab is famous for its delicious cuisine, with dishes like Tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and Mughlai biryanis being among the most popular. Take a food tour to taste the best of Punjabi food.
- Visit the Katas Raj Temple Complex: This ancient Hindu temple complex is located in the hills near Chakwal and is considered to be one of the most sacred places in Pakistan.
- Take a stroll through Jallo Park: Jallo Park is a large, lush park located in Lahore and is a great place to relax, go for a walk, or have a picnic.
- Visit the Hasan Abdal Hot Springs: The hot springs of Hasan Abdal are a popular tourist attraction and are believed to have healing properties.
- Go on a Wildlife Safari: The Changa Manga forest, located in the Kasur district of Punjab, is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and monkeys.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Punjab, Pakistan. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or nature, there is something for everyone in this vibrant and diverse province.
What to do in Pakistan’s Punjab as a Tourist/Local
- Visitors may enjoy a diverse cultural and historical experience in Punjab, Pakistan. Visit the Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque, which are two of the most well-liked things to do in Punjab.
- Discover the bazaars and the Walled City of Lahore.
- Visit Lahore’s famed Shalimar Gardens.
- Visit the Sahiwal Harappa archaeological site.
- Visit Data Darbar in Lahore to learn about Sufi culture.
- Murree is a hill station where you may go trekking and enjoy beautiful views.
- Try some typical Punjabi dishes like biryani and tandoori chicken.
- Attend a cultural event, like the Urs of Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore or the Basant Kite Festival.
When traveling to Punjab, it’s crucial to follow local traditions and wear modest clothing, especially at places of worship.
Travelers’ top activities in Punjab, Pakistan
- Visit the Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque as a tourist in Punjab, Pakistan, is among the top things to do.
- Discover Lahore’s vibrant walled city.
- Observe the ceremony marking the Pakistani-Indian border at Wagah.
- View the remains of the historic Indus Valley Civilization by visiting the Harappa archaeological site.
- Visit the historic Multan, which is renowned for its sufi temples and handicrafts.
- The second-largest salt mine in the world is the Khewra Salt Mines.
- Discover one of South Asia’s oldest bazaars, the Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore.
- Try some mouthwatering Punjabi food, which includes lassi, tandoori chicken, and biryani.
- Attend a qawwali or Sufi music performance.
- Visit the iconic Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The best tourist attractions in Punjab, Pakistan include mountains, rivers, deserts, museums, hiking trails, and sightseeing areas.
- Cholistan Desert
- Thal Desert
- Thar Desert (partially in Punjab)
- Fort Munro
- Lahore Museum
- Faisalabad Clock Tower Museum
- Bahawalpur Museum
- Taxila Museum (partially in Punjab)
- Multan Museum
- Makra Peak
- Musa Ka Musalla
- Toli Pir
- Karambar Lake Trek
- Rakaposhi Base Camp Trek (partially in Punjab)
- Himalayas (partially in Punjab)
- Salt Range
- Karakoram Range (partially in Punjab)
- Margalla Hills (partially in Punjab)
Rivers and Sights:
- Neelum River
- Chenab River
- Ravi River
- Katasraj Temple
Note: Some of the places mentioned above might require permissions or special permits, and trekking should only be done with experienced guides. Also, due to the geopolitical situation, it is recommended to check the latest travel advisories before planning a trip to Pakistan.
For those looking for a distinctive and immersive experience, Punjab, Pakistan, is a fascinating and culturally rich location. The region is home to a wide variety of attractions, including lively bazaars, historical monuments, and ancient ruins.
Punjab has something for everyone, whether you want to learn about the nation’s religious history, indulge in regional cuisine, or just take in the energetic environment. A visit to Punjab is likely to make an impact because of its friendly people, rich traditions, and breathtaking natural beauty. So prepare for the trip of a lifetime by packing your luggage!