Best places to visit in Pakistan, in 2020
There is so much to see in Pakistan, we have carefully selected the 12 best places to visit in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a country of contrasts: expansive dusty plains and high snowy peaks, the sombre browns and creams of the male Shalwar Kamez and the brilliant colours of the painted trucks, the aromatic scent of rose, apple and apricot and the pungent smells of diesel, donkey dung and decaying debris. The delights of Pakistan speak for themselves once you are there, and it seems surprising that the Mugal forts and mosques, colourful bazaars and high-altitude treks are not thronging with the adventurous travelers who frequent other parts of south Asia.
We rarely hear of the country’s fascinating diversity, its well-kept Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist shrines, the dazzlingly high mountains or the impressive sheer glaciers, from the wide boulevards of Islamabad to the isolated villages of the Hunza valley, the spectacular view of 8,000 metre-high Nanga Parbat from a tent pitched at the aptly named Fairy Meadows; you can see the massive, crevice-ridden Passu glacier; and take jeep rides that can make your heart stop.
Pakistan is brimming with places that are relieving to the spirit, with the rich backwoods to the thundering waterfalls and the glorious mountains. Ever had an exceptional feeling of excellence that can’t be depicted through any photo yet still prevail with regards to catching something beyond the enthusiasm of many.
Hunza is a precipitous valley in Gilgit district. Hunza Valley is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan, it is the most delightful place in the world. People living in this valley called the Hunza people and they speak Brushuski language. People of Hunza are famous for living long lives. Consistently voyagers visit this place and catch the wonderful picturesque perspectives of this valley. There are such a significant number of spots in Hunza Valley that are renowned for their awesome scene. Hunza valley in Gilgit Baltistan, is Tucked away Along The Karakoram Hghway among the precipitous Karakoram peaks of northern Pakistan, the Hunza Valley’s natural splendour and position on the Central Asian Silk Route has attracted travellers, merchants, and mountaineers for centuries. Beyond its iconic glaciers, fertile apricot farms, and turquoise lakes, the region is also rich in cultural heritage.
In central Hunza, the thousand-year-old Altit fort and 700-year-old Baltit fort are some of the region’s oldest standing monuments and evidence of the valley’s feudal regime. Traditionally home to the Mir, or king, of Hunza, Altit Fort was eventually vacated in favor of Baltit Fort. The rectangular stronghold sits at the foot of the Ulter Glacier and commands a view of the Hunza Valley and its tributaries—a strategic position for controlling the trans-Karakoram trade route between South and Central Asia. The fort served as home to the Mir until 1945. (See more wild and beautiful places of Pakistan.)
Both forts were entrusted to the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme in the 1990s to ensure their preservation and restoration. The project not only mended decaying roofs, stabilized foundations, and installed lighting, it provided ongoing economic opportunities for local women. Aga Khan’s Women Social Enterprise initiative launched in Hunza to increase employment prospects for low-income families—more than 110 women were trained in carpentry, painting, and woodwork.
In 2004, Baltit Fort was nominated for World Heritage status and recognized for excellence in conservation. “The fort’s restoration has fostered the local revival of traditional building trades while an associated handicrafts project provides improved livelihood opportunities in the area,” according to a UNESCO press release. “In its new use as a cultural centre and museum, the Baltit Fort attracts thousands of visitors to the province and has contributed to reinvigorating the local community’s pride in their heritage.”
Karimabad is the Capital of Hunza Valley. In the lush green Hunza valley, the sleepy village of Karimabad is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. The street that winds up to the old Baltit fort is crammed with shops selling local handicrafts such as shawls and carpets, along with local dried fruit, antiques and gemstones.
The Majority people of Hunza are Ismaili Muslims, which means they welcome music and dancing, and are partial to Hunza water – a spirit made from mulberries – or their homemade Hunza wine. There is also a cafe-cum-bookshop called Café de Hunza that serves real espresso: a treat for caffeine-starved visitors.
Come in spring for the blossom, or autumn to see the rooftops lined with huge rush trays of apricots, tomatoes, apples and spinach drying in the sunshine. A four-hour trek along the irrigation channel that winds up through the village and hugs the rock face up the mountains will take you up to Ultar meadow, where a small makeshift campsite offers views of Ultar peak and glacier.
Atta Abad lake is also not too far from karimabad. Nestled in the Hunza Valley, Attabad Lake’s vibrant turquoise waters cut through the rocky terrain. Though beautiful, the serene landscape has a violent origin story. The lake was formed in January 2010, when a massive landslide at Attabad Village flooded nearby towns, blocked the flow of the Hunza River, and displaced thousands of people. Today, it’s a popular stop for tourists who can take boats out on the water. Place to visit in Hunza are, Rakaposhi base camp, Altit Fort, Baltit Fort, Eagle Nest, Atta abad Lake, Hussaini Bridge and Khunjerab Pass, Hunza has good tourist standard hotels throughout the valley.
Deosai National Park is by far one of the best places in Pakistan you can camped out. Seemingly endless pastures covered in wildflowers make up the vast area of Deosai, the second largest alpine plateau in the world. With an average height of over 4,000 metres, it spans over 3,000 square kilometres. Here in Gilgit-Baltistan, northwest Pakistan, not far from India, the greenery just goes on and on… Deosai means ‘Land of the Giants’ and when you look out across the never-ending green expanse you can see why. There is so much to see and do in Deosai that’s why It has made a place in our list of Best places to visit in Pakistan list.
The National Park was created in 1993 to protect the Himalayan brown bear, and as the snow thaws in summer the meadows come alive with flowers and butterflies, you see it’s a haven for a lot of other wildlife too. Just be careful if you do camp out here.
From Skardu to the northeast of the national park, it is possible to trek through the Burji La Pass to Deosai, however, this is a very long route! Most people get a jeep from Skardu into the park and work out a guide from there, or from Skardu itself. A couple of days trekking, with at least one Wildlife Project encampment between, leads you to the majestic Sheosar Lake. You cannot trek independently in Deosai as it’s a national park so you will need a guide.
The Deosai Plains is 32 km south of Skardu. This plateau is the habitat of the greatly threatened Himalayan Brown Bear and many other wild animals. At an average elevation of 4 meters, Deosai is now a National Park and protected area for wildlife. The rolling grassland here supports no trees or shrubs and the area is snow-covered for seven months of the year. Spring comes to Deosai in Yu gust when millions of wild flowers begin to bloom all over the lush green grassland. This is a time when Deosai looks like a paradise with a landscape full of wild flowers on green rolling hills and crystal clear water streams with snow-covered peaks in the background.
Our Adventure will take you right across the beautiful mountain ranges of Himalaya and Karakoram. Traveling on Karakoram Highway, you will enjoy the most spectacular scenery on earth. Before reaching Deosai, you will also witness the magical views of Nanga Parbat (8125 m), the ninth highest peak of the world, from different angles. At Deosai, our first stop will be at Sheosar Lake. This place offers beautiful views of south face of Nanga Parbat and a panoramic view of Deosai Plains. At Bara Pani, you can spend one day and visit the core zone of National Park for Bear Watching or you may enjoy fishing in the cold waters of Barwai Stream. From Deosai we will drive back via Skardu and gilgit and have a chance to enjoy the most thrilling drive along the River Indus. Best time to visit is Mid July to Mid September.
Skardu is in the Gilgit – Baltistan Region. It is the capital of Baltistan Valley. Skardu was also the capital of ancient Himalayan kingdom of Baltistan. Skardu along the bank of Indus is known as the Little Tibet, Heaven on Earth and the Roof of the world. It is a town alongside Gilgit are the two noteworthy tourism trekking centres. Skardu is the excellent place in Pakistan that is visited by many vacationers each single year. There are such a significant number of going by focuses in Skardu that are exceptionally prevalent. Skardu is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan because it is the getaway to many lush green valleys and world-famous mountains. Skardu is the getaway to, k2 base camp trek, k2 expedition, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum i, Gasherbrum ii, Gasherbrum v, Masherbrum, Spantik, Baltoro Glacier, Gondogoro La Trek, Snow Lake Trek, Hispar Glacier, Trango Towers, Thalle La Trek and many more peaks. Skardu is mountain trekker heaven.
Here is a rundown of wonderful picturesque focuses in Skardu.
Skardu district is at the confluence of Indus and Shyok rivers and makes it the starting point for the touristic destinations in Gilgit-Baltistan, including K2. Skardu city, outside the southern boundaries of the Park, is built-in a very open valley on a sandy layer. The Indus river creates here enormous dunes and the valley is so open that airplane can land making round circles. Historically this place has been the starting point for all the Karakorum explorers, as famous pictures shows. Skardu inhabitants speak English and Urdu but their mother tongue is Balti. Of particular interest, Kharpocho Fort, Manthal Rock (Buddha Rock), Sadpara and Kachura lake, beautiful Shangila lake and the Deosai Plateau should be cited.
A few kilometres from Skardu there is Shigar village with its beautiful fort. Shigar fort, renovated following scientific guidelines while preserving the cultural and architectural values, on the one hand presents a through learning of the history and culture and on the other hand offers a comfortable stay in traditional room/suites with continental and local food varieties.
Where Braldu river flows into Shigar river, the Shigar valley splits into Basha and Braldu valleys. Following Braldu river you arrive to Askoli, the last village before entering in the heart of Karakorum and hike on the Baltoro glacier.
Skardu is the logistic point from which the most famous mountain trek of Karakoram mountain range could be reached. Usually, jeeps area leaving from Skardu to Askoli, from where trekking to K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrums base camps start.
The Karakoram region had long attracted outsiders. Alexander the Great passed through in the fourth century B.C. It was part of the Silk Road. The first modern adventurers arrived in the 19th century when the British mapped out the boundaries of their empire and named K2 — K for Karakoram and 2 because of its place in a series of mountains noted by an assiduous surveyor named Thomas Montgomerie. K2 is the 2nd Highest mountain after Everest.
Back then the explorers traveled overland from Kashmir, but that route became more complicated with the partition of India. Today, the chief approach by car or bus is up the winding Karakoram Highway to Skardu, one of the principal cities in Baltistan. Trekking to k2 Base camp to takes around 3 weeks but its worth it because it is once in a life time journeys. If you are short of time then you can also do Helicopter Safaris to the Karakoram Mountains. K2 base camp trek in Pakistan is an ultimate walking journey which is one of the best thing to do in Pakistan.
Discussing the way that the “excellence lies according to the viewer”, what captivates us the most are the mountains. Hushe Valley is the most excellent valley encompassed by amazingly lovely mountains, making the place known as “Paradise of Mountains”. It is renowned for trekking, and individuals from everywhere throughout the world, particularly from USA come to overcome the pinnacles of the Kingdom of Mountains
Fairy Meadow is a lush green plateau situated in the foot gin of Nanga Parbat at the Western edge of the Himalayan Range. The name Fairy Meadows is part of the legend that Fairies have their heaven on this lush green plateau. This legendary name Fairy Meadow is that everlasting gift of the western tourist to the local people. Ferry Meadows offers superb views of the Nanga Parbat (8125 m) the highest mountain in Pakistan’s Himalayas. (9th highest in the world) Nanga Parbat is also a killer mountain. Many climbers died on it before it was summate by the great Hermann Buhl without supplemental oxygen in 1953. His epic climb is still unsurpassed. We are honored to say that it was at our uncle’s clinic in Lahore where Hermann Buhl came to recuperate and was treated for his death-like state. Nanga Parbat is a Persian word, which means Naked Mountain, the local People call Diamer (Monarch of the God) Nanga Parbat is also located where the continents have collided. Here the Indian plate is going under the Asian plate at a rate of about few inches a year. Consequently, Nanga Parbat is still rising. In fact it is the fastest rising mountain in the world. Nanga Parbat is perfect Himalaya trekking.
Naran is a residential area in upper of Kaghan Valley. Naran is likewise a standout amongst the most picturesque town in Pakistan. It is very famous with the local tourists and it is also one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. The delightful perspectives, waterways and lakes have awesome perspectives in Naran Valley.
Northern Pakistan’s picturesque Kaghan Valley is a place of fairy tales. According to one version of a local legend, a prince of Persia fell in love with a fairy princess on the crystalline waters of Lake Saiful Muluk, pictured above. But a giant was also in love with the princess, and held her captive. One day, the prince escaped with her, and in his fury, the giant flooded the valley and created lakes with his tears. Today, visitors from around the world travel to Kaghan Valley for its alpine lakes, mountain scenery, and clear night skies.
Kalash Valley in Chitral, one of the real vacation spots and best places to visit in Pakistan. This valley has a notable foundation however its history has contentions. Kalash is really an extremely old Greek progress. Kalash people are believed to be the descendent of Alexander the great and his troops. The general population having a place with this progress are called ‘The Kelasha’. Has a place with old clans and have their own religion and culture. Kalash valley has a remarkable and astounding society. Individuals develop their homes with harsh formed logs. Individuals of Kalash are sprightly, they celebrates numerous celebrations like Uchal Festival, Phoo Festival and Chomos Festival. Kalash festivals are very famous, during the festival, Kakashi girls dress up in their traditional dress for dance and to chose their future husband. There are numerous alluring locales for going to.
Shandur is Situated in Khyber – Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral region, Shandur Pass is believed to be the most noteworthy polo ground on the planet. In spite of the fact that snow keeps the place shrouded in snow in winter, Shandur Top transforms into a lavish green landscape in summer. Each July, Shandur Polo Festival is held here and is an appreciation for sightseers and locals. It is hard to arrive in winters considering the substantial snowfall and tricky tracks, yet in summers guests utilise jeeps to achieve it. Shandur Polo Festival is no doubt one of the best festivals in the world that’s why we believe it should be one of the “best places to visit in Pakistan”.
Taxila is just a short drive from Islamabad, this is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. There are 18 locations in the area which are world heritage sites, but only 5% have been excavated.
This is the region from where Buddhism travelled to the far east – and Persians, Greeks and Hindus all subsequently left their mark. You can watch the sun set from the remains of a Buddhist monastery or wander through the streets of an excavated Persian city in the knowledge that there are two older ones buried below.