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After spending a month traveling through the country, I am blown away by all of the beautiful places in Pakistan.
Forget everything you’ve heard about Pakistan in the news because I’m about to show you a side of the country that will change your view.
Most Beautiful Places in Pakistan
I traveled through Pakistan as part of the International Entrepreneurship Summer School Program with the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.
This post will highlight ten of the most stunningly beautiful places of Pakistan to inspire and hopefully give you a new perspective on this country.
This list is in no particular order, because how can you choose between so many beautiful places?!
1. Hunza Valley
Of all the beautiful valleys in Pakistan, Hunza completely stole my heart. This mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan is often called heaven on earth, and it’s not hard to see why.
Surrounding Hunza are some of Pakistan’s most impressive mountain ranges. Combined with the beautiful lush green valley beneath them, the landscapes make for breathtaking views at every turn.
For the best views in Hunza, check out these spots:
Baltit Fort is not only good for views but has a fascinating history. This fairytale-like fort was built in the 8th Century BC on top of a hill overlooking Karimabad (the capital of Hunza district).
Guided tours can be arranged inside the fort, where you can get a glimpse of what life was like back then. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges and Hunza valley below.
To get to Baltit Fort, you will have to climb a steep hill for about 10-15 minutes through the village, but it is well worth the views.
After visiting the fort, check out the local shops in the village where you can get some great Pakistani souvenirs. They sell authentic gemstones for reasonable prices and scarves made out of Ibex (pictured below). They are SO soft!
As far as sunsets go, there are not many places more epic than Eagle’s Nest in Hunza. The name comes from the hotel nearby, Eagles Nest Hotel, which is accessible by car.
From the parking lot, it’s just a short walk up to the viewpoint, where there are many rocks to sit on and enjoy the sunset.
Be sure to stick around for a bit once the sun sets behind the mountains, as the sky lights up with colors, adding even more natural beauty to this already dramatic landscape.
Wondering how to visit Hunza Valley? Check out this 15-day tour with Epic Backpacker Tours that takes you deep into the northern reaches of Pakistan for the trip of a lifetime.
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2. Passu Cones
The Karakoram Highway is full of epic mountain ranges, but one of the most striking landmarks I came across was the Cathedral Range, also known as the Passu Cones.
The views of Passu Cones start to appear near the town of Gulmit. From our hotel, The Gulmit Tourist Inn, we were rewarded with spectacular views from just outside the hotel door.
You can get even better views if you drive a bit further down the Karakoram highway from Gulmit. There is a safe place to pull off the highway and take some photos, marked by the words ‘Passu’ written on the road.
When the light hits the mountain range at sunset, the cones are particularly stunning. It’s one of the most unique mountain ranges I’ve seen and a highlight of the northern areas in Pakistan.
3. Khunjerab Pass (Pak-China Border)
I’ve always been fascinated by borders, and the Pakistan-China border was no disappointment. To get to the border, you must drive through the Khunjerab Pass, which goes up to a total elevation of 4,673m (over 15,000 feet).
To go from lush valleys below to snow-capped mountains at the top was surreal. It’s the perfect stop to add to a Pakistan road trip.
I was not expecting snow on my visit to Pakistan, especially during the summertime, but it was almost a white-out at the border!
Snow is no big deal for a Canadian like myself, but it was so much fun to see how excited the Pakistanis who hadn’t seen snow before were. And as always, the locals showed their country pride with flags and songs at the border. It’s not just beautiful but a fun environment to be in!
4. Kunhar River, Naran
Naran was the first town we visited North of Islamabad, and like all of Northern Pakistan, the surrounding nature is stunning.
I loved seeing all the homes built on the side of the hills, but the main jewel of the valley is the Kunhar River. And we got to do one of my favorite activities on it: white-water rafting!
The rapids at the beginning are only class 1 and 2, so it’s perfect for first-time rafters to try this sport. But warning: you will get wet! After rafting, refuel your body with local trout, which is fished from the river. It’s delicious!
Naran is an excellent place to stock up on supplies before heading North and connect online. Internet was virtually non-existent after.
5. Shan Jahan Mosque
The province of Sindh in Pakistan has a rich history with some well-preserved Mughal architecture, including several world heritage sites, but the Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta is undoubtedly the most beautiful structure.
The Mughal King built the mosque as a gift to the people of Thatta for their hospitality, taking three years to complete after construction started in 1644.
The elegant design, vibrant brick colors, and geometrical details are stunning. Walking through each room, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the intricate designs.
To respect the local culture while visiting the mosque, you should cover your knees and shoulders, take off your shoes, and women should wear a headscarf.
6. Landsdown Bridge, Sukkur
The Lansdowne Bridge is a bridge over the Indus River between Sukkur city and Rohri town in Sindh province. It was built in the 19th century and was considered a marvel of engineering at the time.
The bridge is still used today and makes for a great photo. For the best views, head to the Tomb of Seven Sisters.
We visited the bridge at sunset, but I’d imagine at sunrise it is even more marvelous as the sunrise would appear over the bridge.
During our sunset visit, there was a rainbow over the bridge and a sunset on the other side hitting the ancient tombs. I didn’t know where to keep my eyes as there was so much beauty around!
Oh, and did you know there are river dolphins you can spot in the water too? The Indus River Dolphin, one of the rarest mammals in the world, can be found in the surrounding river. How cool is that?
7. Mazar-e-Quaid (Jinnah Mausoleum)
In Karachi, you can visit the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of Pakistan. The tomb is made of white marble and intricately designed both on the outside and inside, making it one of Pakistan’s most beautiful places to visit.
During our visit, we even got to participate in a guard ceremony inside the tomb to honor the founder.
The Mausoleum is not only beautiful but also a place to remember the person who was behind Pakistan’s independence.
Pakistan has only been a country since August 14th, 1947, after it gained independence from British rule. Next to the tomb is a small museum where you can learn more about Pakistan’s fascinating history.
I was lucky enough to be in Pakistan to celebrate independence day this year, which was a great experience. The locals have so much pride in their country, which is something I love.
8. Lake Attabad
When I first Googled Pakistan, it was a picture of Lake Attabad that made me want to go. And when we drove by it for the first time, it was just as beautiful as I had imagined.
But Lake Atabad wasn’t always around. In January 2010, a massive landslide started nearby, taking off half a mountain with it, ultimately blocking river access and creating a natural dam that filled up the valley that was once there with glacial water.
It actually buried part of the Karokam highway! Of course, this caused a lot of destruction to the area but what the landslide left behind is truly beautiful.
Nowadays, Lake Attabad is a popular attraction for both locals and foreigners. For the best experience, take a boat ride through the lake, which can be arranged from the dock.
The contrast of the glacial blue lake against the jagged mountain ranges is truly breathtaking. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent jet skis and explore Lake Attabad that way – it looked like a lot of fun!
The water levels have been receding so much in Attabad Lake that it’s possible it won’t even exist in the future. Lake Attabad is one of the most scenic places in Pakistan you want to visit soon!
9. Babusar Pass
Another epic stop and one of the most pretty places in Pakistan is the Babusar Pass. At a total elevation of 4,131m, you’ll want scarves and gloves for this one! The pass is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley, Pakistan, and going so far up in elevation is a shock from the valley below.
The drive is an adventure, as you will go through multiple hairpin turns. But once at the top, you can truly appreciate how impressive the pass is.
Just be prepared for the elevation change when getting out of the car. Aside from feeling cold, you might notice that you feel short of breath. This is normal because of the altitude. Take your time walking around, and you’ll feel back to normal once you descend again.
The drive going up to Babusar pass and afterward is also stunning. Okay, pretty much driving anywhere in Northern Pakistan is beautiful. Just go!
10. Fairy meadows
I’m not going to sugarcoat it; there’s no easy way to get to Fairy Meadows. First, you will have to get to Gilgit, the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan province in the North of Pakistan.
If you come from Islamabad, this is around 18 hours of driving. From Gilgit, you then have to drive about an hour to Raikot Bridge, where the real fun begins.
You have to take a (pretty scary) 1 1/2 hour jeep ride up a mountain, and there’s no guard rail! This is honestly one of the most horrifying drives I’ve ever done in my life, and I was told it had been named one of the top 10 scariest drives in the world!
The views are beautiful, but I couldn’t look out of the car much without panicking.
After the jeep ride, you then have to do a 2 1/2 hour uphill hike. Or, you can pay a local to take you via horse. So you’re probably wondering why someone would travel such crazy distances to visit one place?
Well, there is a reason so many people make the journey there: the unobstructed view of the 8,125m beast that is Nanga Parbat mountain.
Nanga Parbat is the 9th highest mountain in the world and truly one of the most stunning places in Pakistan.
Nanga Parbat Base Camp, which starts from Fairy Meadows, is considered one of the most accessible hikes that will allow you to witness an 8,000 m high mountain without a multi-day trek. Compared to a two-week Everest Base Camp Trek, one day isn’t that bad.
And camping at Fairy Meadows is about as good as camping goals get. You wake up with the incredible mountain range right in your face. If you don’t want to camp, there are also lodges you can stay at in Fairy Meadows.
Fairy Meadows is also the gateway to the Nanga Parbat Base Camp trek, which I’ll be writing an entire post about – so stay tuned!
Not sure how to get to Fairy Meadows? Check out this 15-day tour with Epic Backpacker Tours that takes you on an epic tour through Northern Pakistan, including Fairy Meadows. Use code LoraIsEpic for 5% off!
11. Badshahi Mosque
Recommended by Robin from Road Affair
Badshahi Mosque perfectly combines beauty and history, but it doesn’t get enough credit. This Mughal-era mosque sits west of Lahore Fort, and it was commissioned by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671. Construction took two years, but the time was well worth it.
For over three centuries, it was the world’s largest mosque, with a capacity of 100,000. Today, Badshahi Mosque is the biggest of the Mughal era and the second-largest in all of Pakistan.
Mughal art of detailed white marble carvings with floral designs adorns the interior and exterior. The mosque boasts three domes and eight minarets. Twenty-two steps lead to the complex, which is entered via a red sandstone structure that’s intricately decorated with unique paneling.
Above the raised entrance reads “Masjid Abul Zafar Muhy-ud-Din Mohammad Alamgir Badshah Ghazi,” the complete name of the mosque. The enormous courtyard spans 276,000 square feet and is enclosed by single-aisled arcades.
The Sikh army took control of Lahore in 1799, and the mosque became a military garrison. In 1849 the British took control of Lahore, and in 1852 they agreed to restore the mosque and re-establish it as a place of worship.
The art and workmanship in Badshahi Mosque is truly unmatched. In 1993 it made the tentative list as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a must-see when you visit Pakistan.
Tell me, did you expect to see so many beautiful places in Pakistan? I know that my views of this beautiful country have changed over the last month, yet I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of Pakistan’s beauty.
Although Pakistan’s tourism industry is still developing, I feel that it will become much more popular over the coming years with so much beauty around.
Need more help planning your trip to Pakistan? Check out these posts!
- Applying for the Pakistan Visa
- The Best Places to Visit in Pakistan
- 10 Essential Things to Know About Visiting Pakistan
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