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Pakistan travel guide: everything to know before you go

Updated in 2024: After years of both independently traveling in Pakistan and later running tours there, it’s safe to say I know a lot about travel in Pakistan. Here’s my complete Pakistan travel guide with information on visas, transportation, costs, and everything else you need to know about travel in Pakistan.

Curious about traveling to Pakistan but nervous about going alone? Check out my tours: I run both women’s tours and biker tours in Pakistan.

Jaw-dropping nature, diverse cultures, and delicious food—these are but a few of the things you’ll experience when you visit Pakistan. Most importantly, it’s home to the most hospitable people I’ve met in my travels. It’s no wonder more and more people want to travel to Pakistan!

However, Pakistan ain’t as easy to travel in as some will have you believe . But no worries, I got you. This guide was created after more than six visits and almost a year of travel in Pakistan. I have visited Pakistan more than any other travel blogger and traveled to Pakistan both with friends and by myself. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about travel in Pakistan.

Pakistan travel guide: index

  • Pakistan basics
  • Languages of Pakistan
  • Regions of Pakistan
  • Culture in Pakistan
  • Gender in Pakistan
  • Drinking and drugs
  • Religion and Pakistan
  • Pakistani food
  • Money in Pakistan
  • Visas for Pakistan
  • Entering and exiting Pakistan
  • Accommodation in Pakistan
  • Transportation in Pakistan
  • Safety in Pakistan
  • SIM cards and WiFi
  • Responsible tourism in Pakistan
  • Resources for Pakistan travel

Planning travel to Pakistan? This practical Pakistan travel guide has all the travel tips you need for the perfect trip to Pakistan. The guide includes cultural tips, visa information, budget and costs of traveling in Pakistan, transportation advice, SIM card information, and more. Click through for the ultimate guide to travel and backpacking in Pakistan.

Pakistan travel guide: the basics

Pakistan is officially called “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” A populous country in South Asia—no, it’s not in the Middle East—with more than 200 million people, it’s the 6th most populous country in the world. TL;DR: Lots and lots of people. Everywhere.

Pakistan was founded on the 14th of August 1947 after an event known as Partition : when British India created the modern states of India and Pakistan. The event was bloody, its ramifications still visible today. The country became an Islamic Republic in 1956. During partition, Pakistan was divided into West and East Pakistan. In 1971 East Pakistan became Bangladesh after another bloody war for independence .

Although Pakistan is a young country, its history is ancient. Ruins of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Indus Valley Civilization , lie in southern Pakistan. Multiple conquerors and civilizations took hold in parts of modern-day Pakistan, including Alexander the Great, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and the British Raj.

Ruins of Moenjo Daro

The ruins of Moenjo Daro in Sindh province are from the Indus Valley civilization, the oldest known civilization

Pakistan’s recent history is marred with conflict, both internal and external, most notably with India. It’s struggled with military coups, terrorist attacks, war, and secessionist tensions. Its army has strengthened throughout the years as a result; it’s now a nuclear power and has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world.

I could go into it more, but you can only cover so much in one Pakistan travel guide! If you want to get more in-depth with Pakistan’s history, I highly recommend getting a copy of Pakistan Traveller – it’s the best Pakistan travel guide book on the market.

Pakistan travel guide: Language in Pakistan

Myriad languages are spoken in Pakistan. Most people speak two or three languages. At least!

Urdu is Pakistan’s national language, as well as the language of officialdom together with English. Most middle and upper-class Pakistanis will speak (some) English. It’s rare to find a place where absolutely no one speaks English. However, it’s always good to pick up a phrase or two in Urdu before you visit Pakistan. I highly recommend Pimsleur for learning language basics .

Besides the two official languages, there are many local languages: Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, Punjabi, Potohari, Shina, Wakhi, Burushaski… the list goes on! Every province has its own regional language, such as the aforementioned Punjabi and Sindhi. In major cities people mostly speak Urdu, but in towns and villages local languages reign supreme.

Urdu basics

  • Salaamu aleikum: Hello
  • Walaykum asalaam:  Hello (in response)
  • Shukriya:  Thank you
  • Kya haal hai?:  How are you?
  • Mai thik hoon:  I am fine.
  • Aap ka naam kya hai?:  What is your name?
  • Mera naam Alex hai: My name is Alex.
  • … kaha hai?: Where is… ?
  • Kitnay paisa?:  How much?
  • Ji / haan:  Yes/yeah
  • Jao:  Go away
  • Nehi chahiye:  I don’t need it
  • Angrezi ata/ati?: Do you know English?
Interested in learning more conversational Urdu? I’ve been taking virtual lessons with a teacher, Naveed Rehman, for several years now (on and off). He’s very patient, excellent at explaining grammar, and focuses on practical conversational Urdu rather than rote memorization. I highly recommend his online Urdu classes —they’re quite affordable by Western standards, so they’re well worth a try!

Pakistan travel guide: Regions of Pakistan

The country of Pakistan is divided into four provinces and three territories, each with its own distinct culture and flavor:

Sunset at Gorakh Hill, Sindh, Pakistan

Sunset at Gorakh Hill in Sindh

Sindh (province)

Major cities/destinations: Karachi, Hyderabad, Sehwan Sharif

The southernmost province of Pakistan is home to its biggest city, Karachi. But venture out into the rural areas, known as “interior Sindh”, and you’ll find a mystic realm of moody deserts, Sufi shrines, and abandoned forts.  Don’t miss my guide to traveling in Sindh.

Shalimar bagh in Lahore, Pakistan

Shalimar Bagh (Shalimar Gardens) in Lahore, Punjab

Punjab (province)

Major cities/destinations: Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan

Pakistan’s wealthiest province sits in the middle of the country. Though vast fields of wheat and other crops make stereotypical Punjabi landscapes, there are also plenty of massive Mughal relics and nature tinged with green to keep travelers busy. It’s also home to my absolute favorite city in Pakistan, Lahore .

Trees and mountains in autumn in Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (province)

Major cities/destinations: Peshawar, Chitral, Kalash Valleys

Far to the west of the country, and now including what was once known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), this province borders Afghanistan. Home primarily to the Pakhtun (Pashtun) people , many parts of this province are evocative of traveling Afghanistan . Some parts are off-limits—especially the south and regions along the Afghan border—but natural areas such as Swat Valley and the Kalash Valleys are popular… for good reason!

Deserts in Balochistan, Pakistan

Lonely road in Balochistan province

Balochistan (province)

Major cities/destinations: Quetta, Gwadar, Hingol National Park, Makran Coastal Highway

Bordering Iran and Afghanistan, the country’s largest province is also one of the least traveled. Home to deserts, dusty mountains, and azure coastlines, this province is unfortunately off-limits to foreign travelers aside from those doing the Iran-Pakistan overland border crossing .

Islamabad, Pakistan from above at night

Islamabad, Pakistan from above

Islamabad capital territory

The country’s capital is also its own territory. Many tourists start their Pakistan travels in Islamabad, but I’ll be honest with you: I’m not the biggest fan. Though there are many things to do in Islamabad , the capital is far from representative of the rest of the country, and is on the verge of boring much of the time. Still, it’s a comfortable and relatively developed place to rest, relax, and pick up some necessities while traveling in Pakistan.

Autumn in Khyber, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Autumn in Khyber village, Gilgit Baltistan

Gilgit Baltistan (territory)

Major cities/destinations: Gilgit, Central Hunza (Karimabad), Passu

When people come to Pakistan looking for mountains, this is where they end up. Also known as “Northern Pakistan”, the vast territory of Gilgit Baltistan is home to three major mountain ranges—Himalayas, Karakoram, and the Hindu Kush—as well as several of the world’s tallest mountains (K2, Nanga Parbat, and Rakaposhi). It’s by far the calmest and easiest to travel of all the country’s provinces, especially for female travelers . If you’re in search of nature, you’re probably heading north to Gilgit Baltistan.

Ramkot fort in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

Ramkot Fort in Azad Kashmir

Azad Kashmir (territory)

Major cities/destinations: Muzaffarabad, Neelum Valley

This narrow territory to the east of Pakistan on the border with India has been disputed ever since Partition, the dividing of India and Pakistan in 1947. Tensions occasionally flare up between the Pakistani military and the Indian military, and so the territory was off-limits to foreign travelers for a long time. As of 2019, the territory has opened up slightly, though foreigners are still not allowed to go within 10 km of the border, known as the Line of Control (LOC). However, you can at least visit Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, and their surrounding areas… though security forces might hassle you a bit.

People sitting at Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan at night

People enjoying the night air at Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Pakistan travel guide: Culture in Pakistan

Pakistan’s culture is varied and vibrant, albeit very conservative. Religion dictates and influences culture at almost every level. Keep that in mind and tread carefully when traveling to Pakistan. Keep this Pakistan travel guide handy to help you avoid any cultural faux pas situations.

Due to its diversity, it’s difficult to make generalizations about Pakistani culture… but try, I shall! This is a Pakistan travel guide, after all. Here are some cultural nuances travelers should be aware of:

Hospitality

Pakistan’s hospitality is renowned. In Pakistan, guests are a gift from God, and many people are honored to treat them as such. During my travels through Pakistan, people have…

  • Invited me to stay in their homes despite not knowing me at all.
  • Slept on the floor so I could sleep in their bed.
  • Fed me a million and one times, even when they were fasting during Ramadan.
  • Taken the time to show me around their cities, villages, regions.
  • Gifted me everything from clothing to food to souvenirs.
  • … and then some.

The hospitality is incredible and continues to amaze me even after repeat visits to the country.

However, in recent times—and due to some careless influencers —I feel some travelers are interpreting this hospitality the wrong way.

Pakistan is NOT a place to go because ~*everything is freeeee!!!*~. By all means, enjoy their hospitality—I sure do—but don’t take advantage of it. Give back where you can.

You can give people small tips (maybe 20 to 50 rupees) if they do something to help you out, or if they’re visibly poor but still feed you or give you things. More if they help you a lot over a period of time. Help out around the house, or buy gifts of fruits, sweets, or nuts (called “dried fruits” in Pakistan). Meat is also a good gift for poorer people in villages. Bring small gifts from your own country or home for people who host you (think postcards, sweets, trinkets, etc.).

Sometimes people will not accept, but it doesn’t hurt to offer. If it’s a matter of pride over money, you can always give a little financial gift to the kids, or leave money somewhere in their house where they’ll find it.

TL;DR: don’t be a mooch. Pakistani hospitality is something to appreciate and learn from, not take advantage of. Enjoy, then pay it forward!

The Pakistani mindset

Let me preface this by saying Pakistanis are the most hospitable people I’ve met in my travels (shout out to Iranians and Bangladeshis as runners ups).

Pakistanis make you feel wholly welcome and are the country’s greatest asset. Some of the best friends from my travels are Pakistani. I’m not sure there’s a country where it’s easier to meet and interact with locals than Pakistan.

The flip side: Pakistanis can be difficult people to deal with.

Because the country is conservative and religiously homogenous ( about 97% of the population is Muslim ), I’ve found people can be very intolerant. There is a way to do and think about things in Pakistan, and those who do or believe otherwise are often met with opposition. Though many people harbor “alternative” opinions, they are often hesitant to speak them unless in close company. People are not used to differing opinions.

Pakistanis also do not handle criticism well. I knew this, but had a nice reminder (translation: aggressive awakening) of this inability when I posted a critical video about Pakistan’s tourism scene this year. I had to field hate for weeks on end despite constructive intentions.

Don’t let me put you off Pakistan and its people; my point is that you should be very cautious when speaking about sensitive subjects and be careful to respect Pakistan’s culture. By all means discuss, but choose your battles wisely.

The rest of this guide is meant to help you get a grasp on what is and is not okay in Pakistan, and how to act once there. Read through, and you won’t need to worry about clashing with locals. As I said, Pakistan is a brilliant country for adventurous travelers… so long as you respect local culture.

Female traveler overlooking streets of Karachi

Overlooking the streets of Karachi in standard wear – kurta, jeans, and a dupatta (scarf)

People who want to travel to Pakistan often ask me about the types of clothes they have to wear. Although dress codes are less strict than they used to be, it’s best to come prepared when you visit Pakistan.

There’s no official rule about what to wear ( unlike Iran ), so long as you’re somewhat modest.

If you want to wear “western” clothes such as t-shirts and jeans, go ahead; many people wear western clothes in cities, especially in wealthy areas such as malls and Defence neighborhoods. Gilgit Baltistan sees plenty of trekkers wandering about in western outdoor attire.

Women: Pakistan is a very conservative country; unless you’re in a liberal/wealthy part of a major city, I recommend dressing modestly. That means long pants and a loose shirt or dress that ideally covers your bum. Although headscarves aren’t mandatory, it pays to have one on you for entering mosques.

The local pant/shirt combination, salwar kameez , is immensely comfortable and colorful. You can pick them up in bazaars and malls throughout Pakistan—locals will appreciate it!

Men: Shorts are okay, but you won’t see many locals wearing them, and they’re not allowed in mosques. In general, it pays to dress modestly—no tank tops or shorts. Again, salwar kameez is recommended.

Ladies shopping for clothes in a bazaar in Peshawar, Pakistan

Buy some local clothes at one of the many bazaars, like this one in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

Women in Pakistan

Unfortunately, Pakistan is lagging when it comes to women’s rights. There are many places where you won’t see women on the street. Especially in rural areas, women are treated as second class citizens, domestic workers, and baby-making machines.

Foreign women are mostly be treated with respect. As an outside traveler, you straddle the line between men and women; you’re unusual enough to sit with men, but feminine enough to access women’s spaces, too.

Alas, harassment is still common, though it’s mostly restricted to unwanted touching and commentary. If a man does something to you, slap them or make a scene. Pakistanis are very protective of women and someone will likely come to your aid.

For more info, check out my guide to female travel in Pakistan .

Tipping in Pakistan

Tipping is not mandatory. Instances where you might tip someone include:

  • Hiring a driver who did a good job – Several hundred PKR
  • Take a private tour with a good tour guide – Several hundred PKR per day
  • Dining at a fancier restaurant – Round the bill up to a more even number
  • If someone goes well out of their way to help you or give you access to something – 50 to 100 PKR

If you do tip, don’t tip too much, else you’ll raise expectations for future travelers. Don’t feel pressured to tip someone if they ask you for a tip—they’re being cheeky because you’re foreign.

Pakistan travel guide: Gender divides, relationships, and sexuality in Pakistan

Pakistan’s gender divide is massive. Fly in, and you’ll see what I mean 30 seconds after stepping outside the airport.

Because of both Islam and regional culture, men and women are separated in society. Streets are a world of men, women rule in the home. Society tries to separate boys and girls until marriage… after which couples are expected to produce babies ASAP. Go figure.

That’s not to say there’s no intermingling, but it might not be what you’re used to at home. Public displays of affection—kissing, holding hands, touching in public—are taboo. Unmarried couples are subtle when they meet; you might notice them hiding in parks or behind tinted car windows. Openness about boyfriends or girlfriends is unusual. Elite Pakistanis are sometimes an exception… until their parents are involved.

Couple traveling in Deosai, Pakistan

My “husband” and I back in the days when I traveled as a couple/before my solo travel began

Couples travel in Pakistan

Unmarried foreign couples should just pretend to be married. Otherwise, hotels might cause problems, and people might be uncomfortable hosting you.

Tip: Make sure you have some kind of story worked out—people are probably going to ask you about your wedding!

If you’re married, no problem! You just have to deal with constant questions about children. If you already have children, you’re on a perfect life path in most Pakistani’s eyes. Well done, you.

Women to men  

Women should be on guard when interacting with men. That’s not to say all men are evil, nor should you fear speaking with men. Just know many men interpret friendliness as flirtation.

In my experience, even men I thought friends ended up hitting on me hours, days, or weeks later. To establish boundaries with men, you can call young men bhai or brother, and older men chacha or uncle.

To keep men at bay, you can say you’re married. Weirdly enough, people are more likely to believe you’re married but traveling alone than accept that you’re unmarried.

Do not say that you have a boyfriend. If you do, men will interpret that as you being sexually loose and thus willing to sleep with them. Respectable ladies do not admit they have boyfriends to men. Or so Pakistanis think.

Men to women

Boys, be cautious when interacting with women… if you can find them.

Many male travelers struggle to meet women in Pakistan. Unless hanging out with liberal/wealthy folks in cities, most women will keep their distance from you. Or stay out of sight completely.

If you do encounter women be respectful and distant with unmarried girls. Be careful if flirting. Pakistanis upset quickly; many male family members will not react well to foreign men flirting with their sister/daughter/cousin.

On the bright side, it’s more socially acceptable for men to have a girlfriend(s) than vice versa. Saying you have a girlfriend implies you’re a bit of a player, but the average man will probably respect you for it, not shame you. Mmmm toxic masculinity.

LGBTQ+ in Pakistan

As you might have guessed, Pakistan isn’t a good place to be queer.

Interestingly enough, gay couples can fly under the radar long as you don’t kiss in public or admit you’re gay. Men hold hands and put arms around men. Women hold hands and touch other women. People of the same gender share hotel rooms without issue. Basically, so long as men and women aren’t touching in public, all is well. Don’t tell anyone you’re gay and you’ll be okay.

Gay communities do exist. I’ve only met one lesbian couple in Pakistan, but I know several gay men who traveled the country and said there’s a thriving underground gay scene to be found in cities (try Grindr, Tinder, or Couchsurfing). Women, you unfortunately might have to look a bit harder.

The idea of transgenders is established in Pakistan, but not in a positive way.

Hijras are men dressed as women who traditionally beg on the streets and at weddings. Some also work as prostitutes or dancers. Aside from hijras , people aren’t familiar with transgenders or genderqueers. Brace yourself for a lot of questions and looks. If male passing, know identifying as male will save you a lot of hassle.

Hookups and relationships in Pakistan

Relationships/hooking up with Pakistanis is possible, mostly in the liberal cities of Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. Tinder is very active in Pakistan, and a good place to start fishing.

Dating is manageable… but if you want to actually sleep with someone you might encounter problems. Unless someone has their own place—meaning they don’t live with their family—you’ll have to find either an Airbnb or an expensive hotel room.

Men, please be careful if trying to hook up with women: their reputation can really be damaged if word gets out that they sleep with [foreign] men. In Pakistan, reputation is everything. You can leave Pakistan—and a bad reputation—more easily than they.

For love? Or for visa?

Beware declarations of love, marriage proposals, etc in Pakistan. Pakistani men commonly try to seduce foreign women in the hopes of marrying and getting a visa to another country. It’s not impossible to have a legitimate relationship… just more likely that ulterior motives are involved.

Beer cans in Pakistan

Ex-cans of Murree, the only local beer in Pakistan

Pakistan travel guide: Drinks and drugs in Pakistan

The Quran forbids substances… but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist in the Islamic Republic!

Be sensible with substances in Pakistan; Pakistanis tend to go overboard and authorities will not play nicely if they find drugs on you.

Alcohol in Pakistan

Believe it or not, there’s one legal brewery in Pakistan: Murree Brewery. They have a monopoly on all alcohol in the country, and produce everything from beer (passable, try the light blue wheat beer) to all kinds of liquor (beware).

Foreigners/non-Muslims can legally purchase alcohol from shops and high-end hotels. Wine shops are relatively common in multicultural Sindh province , but further north, you’ll need to look to five-star hotels and “permit shops” attached to them where drinks are sold at market cost. The shopkeepers can often arrange imported drinks for you under the table for an extra fee.

“Bootleggers” are the go-to choice for Muslims. Pakistanis who drink likely have phone numbers of several bootleggers who can deliver alcohol discreetly. Bootleggers are easy in this regard, though their drinks are usually more expensive than the shops’.

Hash (cannabis) in Pakistan

Hashish is everywhere in Pakistan.

It comes from the region around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Most Pakistani boys have tried hash at least once, and it’s easy for men to find someone to smoke with. Girls get raised eyebrows if they partake, though elite young women in cities do smoke. Ask around and you’re sure to find “stuff” everywhere in the country.

Read: Rolling with the stoners in Hunza

The best stuff is in/from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Look for hash that’s relatively dry and a dark greenish brown. Despite boastful city kids’ claims, the sticky tar-like substance they smoke there is adulterated.

Other drugs in Pakistan

Yes, you can find other drugs in Pakistan.

Some pharmacies are… flexible. Heroin is widespread in the country as it comes from Pakistan’s next-door neighbor, Afghanistan. Party drugs circulate in elite society; if you’re attending a big party in Karachi, Lahore, or Islamabad, there’s a decent chance someone is on drugs. LSD, MDMA, cocaine, speed, meth, they’re all there.

Whether or not you partake is on you. I won’t judge drug usage *cough* but do be careful taking substances, especially from people you don’t know well. Just because someone says white powder is cocaine doesn’t mean it’s actually cocaine (remember, cocaine comes from South America, thousands and thousands of kilometers away ).

The drug scene in Pakistan is not so developed that you can expect the average drug user to know quality from fake. Besides, in a country where even simple things like milk are faked or cut with toxic ingredients , how can you expect illicit substances to be pure?

Be careful. And drink lots of water!

Pakistan travel guide: Religion in Pakistan

The vast majority of Pakistanis are Muslim, with scattered Christian and Hindu communities. Islam is the official state religion, the head of state has to be a Muslim, and people’s religion is stated on their identity cards.

Because Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, its laws are based on Sharia law. It has some of the most draconian blasphemy laws in the world. Foreigners won’t be held to the same standards as locals, but you should always be respectful of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, and religious culture.

Atheism, though not officially illegal, can be punishable by death under the blasphemy law . Even if you’re not religious, it’s best to say you have a religion when asked (And you will be asked about this. A lot ) .

Pakistan is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the treatment of religious minorities. There are specific laws persecuting the Ahmadi sect of Islam, although few Pakistanis will want to talk about this.

It’s best to steer clear of religious discussions unless you’re well acquainted with the person you’re talking to.

A man praying at a Sufi shrine in Lahore

Sufism is a kind of Islam widely practiced in Pakistan, yet it can be a sensitive topic for very strict Muslims

Pakistan travel guide: Food in Pakistan

Pakistani food is delicious and diverse, but not particularly healthy. It involves lots of oil, meat, and bread—prepare to pack on the pounds. Outside of (village) homes, don’t expect any fresh salads when traveling in Pakistan aside from sliced onions, cucumbers, and maybe carrots or cabbage.

Food in Pakistan is full of flavors and spices, but rarely too spicy except for those with zero spice tolerance. However, hygiene standards are lacking. Most visitors to Pakistan will have some stomach trouble at one point or another.

Many cities have their own food culture and specialties. Lahore and Karachi compete for the title of the best foodie city in Pakistan. In major cities, more and more cafes and restaurants are attempting international flavors. Quality still varies widely; in general, it’s best to stick to local food. Don’t expect well-executed Western food unless you’re paying a premium.

Some famous Pakistani dishes include:

  • Karahi : Meat stir-fried in a large pan
  • Biryani : Spiced rice with meat
  • Pulao : Rice cooked with animal fat or oil, usually containing carrots, raisins, and meat
  • Dal : Lentils
  • Channa : Chickpeas
  • Roti : Thin round bread
  • Naan : Thicker round bread
  • Chapli kebab : The best kebab (in my humble opinion), somewhat like a burger patty… but 10x better. The best chapli kebab is found in K hyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.

A street food stall selling chicken in Karachi

Karachi’s street food scene is on

Vegetarians and vegans in Pakistan

Traveling as a vegetarian in Pakistan can be difficult… but it is possible. Affluent Pakistanis understand (and sometimes scoff at) the concept. Except for the poorest of people, meat is a daily staple. Chicken and fish aren’t even considered “meat”—meat means mutton or beef.

If you’re a strict vegetarian, tell your host beforehand. Otherwise, it will lead to awkward situations when someone cooks up a meaty feast in your honor and you have to reject it.

Vegans will have a much harder time traveling in Pakistan. Many dishes include butter or yogurt, and explaining you can’t eat eggs will be interesting. Dal and channa are sometimes cooked in the same pot as meat, or with meat stock. Veganism hardly exists in Pakistan. Be firm, but know you’ll be restricted to dal , channa , and “mix  sabzi “(mixed vegetables). You’ll need to be very clear about no butter or  ghee  (clarified butter).

Pakistan travel guide: Money and the cost of travel in Pakistan

Pakistan uses the Pakistani Rupee (PKR). Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 Rs. There are also coins, but these are virtually useless. Some shops will give change in small candy, rather than coins!

Getting money from ATMs can be a struggle, especially in the north. Not all banks accept foreign cards. Several banks (hi Standard Chartered) charge a 500 Rs fee per withdrawal. Islamic banks do not work with foreign cards . ATMs in the mountains often run out of cash.

In my experience, Bank Alfalah , Habib Bank , and MCB Bank ( not M I B Bank) are your best bet for withdrawing cash from ATMs in Pakistan.

Snowcapped mountains of Gilgit Baltistan

Northern Pakistan is beautiful… but can be a nightmare when it comes to finding cash. Stock up before you head up!

Cost of travel in Pakistan

Pakistan is a relatively cheap country to travel, although it can be tricky to find budget accommodation outside of the popular tourist destinations or in high season (June – August). Below is a breakdown of the average cost of traveling in Pakistan on a backpacker budget.

At the time of writing, US$1 = 155 Rs.

Food & drinks

  • Water or soda : 30 – 100 Rs
  • Tea:  10 – 50 Rs
  • Breakfast and lunch:  50 – 100 Rs each
  • Dinner:  50 – 250 Rs (street food ahoy!)

Accommodation

  • Budget hotels:  800 – 1,500 Rs
  • Mid-range:  1,500  – 4,000 Rs

Cultural outings

  • Museums:  200 – 500 Rs
  • Historical sights:  500 – 1,000Rs
  • National Parks:  800 Rs
  • Mosques: Free

For more info, check out this backpacking in Pakistan budget report.

If you do travel to Pakistan during high season, try to book accommodation ahead of time. Popular places along the Karakoram Highway, such as Hunza, are really popular with Pakistani tourists, and places can be full. Pakistan Traveller is a fantastic Pakistan travel guide that has a multitude of hotel recommendations for everywhere and anywhere you might want to travel in Pakistan.

View of Hunza from Baltit Fort

Famous sights like Baltit Fort in Hunza will cost around 1,000 Rs for a foreigner ticket

Pakistan travel guide: Visas for Pakistan

Almost everyone needs a visa for Pakistan. It used to be a real pain in the butt to get a visa for Pakistan, but the recent e-visa introduction made things much easier. The e-visa form is still way too long and full of irrelevant questions, but at least it’s a start in the right direction.

To find out if you’re eligible for a Pakistani e-visa, go to the e-visa portal of Pakistan . It also mentions a visa on arrival scheme, but many have reported problems with it. It’s better to apply for an e-visa .

How to apply for a Pakistan e-visa

Ensure you have JPEG files of:

  • Passport information page
  • Passport photo with a white background
  • Letter of invitation by a tour company or hotel booking confirmation. I work with a local company to offer cheap letters of invitation for Pakistan evisas . Don’t miss out!

Go to the Pakistan e-visa portal and register yourself. To do this, click the “Tourist Visa” button under “Visa Categories”. It will lead you to the info page about tourist visas. If you click “Apply now”, you’ll be prompted to create a new account or log in to an existing account.

Once registered you can start your application. Allow you have plenty of time, as it can easily take an hour or more to fill out all the questions. Many of them seem unnecessary (and probably are) but alas, you have to fill in the entire form.

Once you’ve finished your application, it’s time to pay. The visa costs US$35 for most nationalities. You can pay with Visa or MasterCard. I’ve heard reports of the payment not working all the time, so check you actually paid.

After you’ve paid, click “Submit your Application”. If you don’t do this, the application will remain pending.

The e-visa portal states it takes 5-7 working days for a visa to be approved, but turnaround can be much faster. If you haven’t heard anything after 7 working days, contact them directly via the e-visa portal. It’s possible they need additional documentation from you.

Pakistan travel guide: Entering and exiting Pakistan

Pakistan shares a border with Afghanistan, China, India, and Iran. It also has multiple international airports. There are no international ferry services to or from Pakistan.

To enter Pakistan you need a valid visa, and you need to fill out an arrival form at customs. The arrival card asks the usual questions such as your name, address, name of the hotel you’ll be staying in, etc.

Exiting Pakistan is straightforward, and no forms have to be filled out.

Land borders

  • Afghanistan : This border is at the famous Khyber Pass. Technically, this border is closed to foreigners, but there have been reports of people successfully crossing this border. However, we don’t recommend using this border, as traveling overland in Afghanistan comes with considerable risk.
  • China : The land border with China at the Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved border crossing in the world. This border should be open year-round, but heavy snowfall in the area sometimes leads to closures. Check ahead if crossing this border during winter months. For more info, check out my guide on crossing the border between Pakistan and China at the Khunjerab Pass .
  • India : Many people believe that the Wagah border isn’t open to foreigners. This is not true. Provided you have a visa, this is actually a pretty easy border to cross. For more info, check out my detailed guide on crossing the famous Wagah border between India and Pakistan . The Wagah border is the only border between India and Pakistan that is open to tourists.
  • Iran : There is only one border crossing open to tourists, and it’s not the most relaxing experience. The crossing is located in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, an area that the government deems too unsafe for independent travel. You’ll get a security escort on the Pakistan side. For detailed info about this border crossing, check out my guide to crossing the border between Iran and Pakistan .

International airports

The main airports in Pakistan are in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. Several major airlines fly into Pakistan, and more routes are being added regularly. These include routes to London, Dubai, Istanbul, and Kuala Lumpur.

Pakistan travel guide: Accommodation in Pakistan

Booking a place to sleep in Pakistan ahead of time can be challenging. Although websites and online booking are becomig more common in Pakistan, it’s still not as widespread as in surrounding countries. Pakistanis usually call ahead to reserve rooms.

Finding hotels to stay at in less-visited places—especially ones that accept foreign guests—can be quite the challenge. That’s where having a Pakistan travel guide in print can make a huge difference; all the information is already there. If you’re open to carrying a Pakistan travel guide book with you, I can’t recommend Pakistan Traveller by Urbanduniya enough.

Online booking in Pakistan

Booking.com and Airbnb are growing in Pakistan. The former is still mostly for mid-range to luxury hotels, and the latter works… sometimes. There are an unfortunate amount of creepy men on Airbnb offering rooms in their homes to female travelers only; beware and steer clear.

Facebook pages are increasingly common for mid-range accommodation options, and can be useful for contacting a property to ask questions or reserve a room.

How to find cheap guesthouses in Pakistan

Want to find a cheap place to rest your head? You’ll need to rely on the traveler grapevine. Guidebooks are not very reliable for prices— Pakistan Traveller by Tim Blight being the only exception—and not all cheap hotels and guesthouses accept foreign travelers.

Facebook groups like Backpacking Pakistan and Female Pakistan travelers are your best bet for information on cheap places to stay. Use the search function to find accommodation discussions.

It’s a bit of a hassle, but there’s a plus side: you can haggle over accommodation price upon arrival . Don’t feel bad about it, especially in touristic areas with inflated seasonal prices; Pakistanis expect it, and will take advantage of foreigners who do not haggle. If you can get 15-25% off of the quoted price—up to 50% if it’s particularly inflated—you’re doing well.

Some popular accommodation for backpackers in Pakistan you might want to be aware of include:

  • Lahore Backpackers (US$6 for dorm bed)
  • Five Giants (US$15-20 for a shared room in homestay)
  • Adam’s House (US$10 for a private room)
  • Islamabad: Backpackers’ Hostel & Guesthouse Islamabad (US$8 for dorm bed)
  • Madina Hotel and Madina Hotel 2 (around US$10-20 for a double)
  • Karimabad: Old Hunza Inn
  • Peshawar: Hidayat Hotel

Lunch with a homestay host in Altit, Pakistan

Lunch with my host at a homestay I found through Let’s Home

Homestays in Pakistan

Until recently, there weren’t many homestay options in Pakistan, but that is changing. Check out my article on homestays in Pakistan to get all the latest info.

A special shoutout goes to Seema, a motivated Hunzai woman, who recently started a booking platform called Let’s Home . She offers a variety of accommodation including homestays around Gilgit Baltistan. I used it to find a family in old Altit, and had a great experience.

Couchsurfing in Pakistan

The Couchsurfing community is highly active in Pakistan’s cities, and local CSers are eager to host foreigners. Most of the CS community is male, but there are few female members in major cities and many men are trustworthy. Always read the host’s references before agreeing to stay.

Since CS has become a paid service now, check out the Facebook group for CSers in Pakistan.

Being hosted in Pakistan

It’s remarkably easy to be hosted once on the road.

Unbelievable until you’re in Pakistan, but many people will simply offer you a place in their homes if you chat with them long enough. Their overwhelming hospitality is a privilege; make sure not to abuse their kindness. Don’t overstay your welcome, help around the house (they won’t accept at first), and bring small gifts from your country or tokens of appreciation like fruits or sweets.

Another bonus to being hosted: in Pakistan, family and friends are everywhere and it’s normal to stay with them when visiting places. Your host will probably offer to find a friend for you to stay with in your next destination. Make one friend, and their whole social network opens up!

Pakistan travel guide: Transportation in Pakistan

Pakistan has a myriad of transport options. Train, bus, and minibus are most common for long-distance travel. For shorter distances use either rickshaws (south of Islamabad), taxis (Islamabad) or Jeeps (north of Islamabad).

Pakistan has an extensive rail network. Trains are relatively comfortable, albeit a bit slow. Prices are reasonable unless you want AC class. It is advisable to book your ticket ahead of time, and with the help of a local.

Check the Pakistan Railway website for schedules and fares. The website is not the easiest to use, but it’ll do. If you have a local friend with a credit card and phone number, they can book you a ticket online. Don’t roget to read my guide on train travel in Pakistan before you do!

A girl hanging out of an open train door in Pakistan

Buses and minibuses

Pakistan’s multitude of bus options are sometimes overwhelming. But that’s where this Pakistan travel guide can help you out!

From crappy minibus, to bedazzled local buses, to well-run Daewoo and Faisal Movers services, there are a lot of ways to get from A to B.

High-end bus services

When I’m in a rush and want to make sure I reach my destination on time, I prefer Faisal Movers, Daewoo, or for Gilgit-Baltistan, NATCO. These services are professional, leave on time and are very comfortable. Definitely worth the extra rupees.

  • Schedules for Daewoo
  • Schedules for NATCO

Ticket prices depend on the type of bus. I’ve had luxurious buses with reclining seats and AC… and passable contraptions with no AC. Different buses go at different times. To get an idea of prices, a Daewoo from Lahore to Islamabad (Rawalpindi) goes for 1,000 to 1,500 Rs for the four-hour journey .

You can usually book tickets on the same day at the bus station or through your hotel. Note that Daewoo has its own stations, so make sure you go here and not to the local bus station.

Local buses and minibuses

Prices for local buses are much cheaper, but you’ll be packed in like sardines in a can.

Minibuses are usually available for shorter hops between towns. Sometimes there’s a minibus yard, sometimes they leave from a specific point on the road, and sometimes… nobody knows where they leave from! Ask locals to figure out where you can find a bus to your next destination, or wait on a roadside and try flagging down passing minibuses—they can stop anywhere.

Minibus prices should be set, but ticket hawkers are likely to try making some extra money off of you. A minibus shouldn’t be much more than 200 Rs for a five-hour journey . Ask a fellow passenger what the price is, or watch to see what other people around you are paying.

A rickshaw and a local bus transporting people in Pakistan

Local bus and a Qingqi in Sehwan Sharif

To save yourself some hassle, download the taxi app Careem , which most Pakistanis use to get taxis. Uber (now the owner of Careem) also operates in major Pakistani cities.

Both offer a variety of vehicles ranging from motorbikes to rickshaws to air-conditioned cars, and they’re by far the easiest and most hassle-free way to get around cities.

Rickshaws and Qingqis

Rickshaws (with doors) and Qingqis (pronounced “ching-chee”, totally open) have a somewhat bad reputation, but in my experience, they’re the fastest way to get around in cities. There are no set prices, though, and sometimes you have to drive a hard bargain.

As a basic rule of thumb, for foreigners, the actual price is probably around 50-75% of what the rickshaw driver initially quotes you. Offer half of what he’s saying, then bargain up from there. Alternatively, check the price of a rickshaw to your destination using the rideshare apps Uber and Careem—yes, they offer rickshaw rides, too—and use that as a bargaining point.

Don’t be afraid to walk away if the price seems too high. There are thousands of rickshaws around; another rickshaw driver is sure to appear if you’re not satisfied with the price.

Pricing is a bit tricky, but a 10-minute drive should cost about 150 Rs.

Many places in the mountains, such as Fairy Meadows and Deosai, are only accessible by jeep. There are public transport jeeps for remote valleys like Chapursan and Shimshal , but in other areas you’ll have to hire a private jeep.

Prices to popular places such as Fairy Meadows are fixed and non-negotiable, while others are more… flexible. It pays to wait around and see if you can share a jeep with other people going your way. Alternatively, you can post in the Backpacking Pakistan Facebook group to find someone to share a ride with.

A jeep to Fairy Meadows is 7,500 Rs, and a jeep to Deosai is 8-10,000 Rs for a day trip. Overnight trips are more expensive. Hotels can arrange jeeps for you, at a higher cost. Your best bet is to ask friendly locals what a decent rate should be.

Girls riding in a private jeep in Astore, Pakistan

A private jeep hired during one of my unique women-only tours of Pakistan

Pakistan travel guide: Safety in Pakistan

One of the things people want to know before going: is Pakistan safe? A fair question!

For years, Pakistan was associated with violence. Terrorist groups were in power in many rural areas and terror attacks were common in cities.  Heck, even now many governments advise against travel to (parts of) Pakistan. There’s no denying the country is still perceived as dangerous.

Although terrorist attacks still happen—and not all places in Pakistan are safe for travel—the security situation has largely improved. The Pakistani military has stabilized the security situation. Places that foreigners are likely to visit, such as the cities of Lahore and Islamabad or the mountains of Gilgit Baltistan are generally safe to travel, given you take standard precautions. The fact that you’re reading through this Pakistan travel guide means you’re already more prepared than others.

Legitimately dangerous areas are off-limits to foreign visitors, so the chance of something serious happening to you is slim. The biggest dangers of traveling in Pakistan are traffic-related, pollution, and getting sick from poor hygiene standards. Oh, and hospitality 😉

To be fair, there’s a good chance you’ll still feel uncomfortable at times with the current security situation. Pakistan is still a police state. There’s a lot of heavily armed personnel on the streets, and many security checkpoints throughout the country. Sensitive sites such as shrines and religious minority gatherings will be filled with army/police/security. Don’t let it intimidate you—these people are there for safety purposes.

To learn more about safe travel in Pakistan, check out my article on whether it’s safe to travel in Pakistan .

Female traveler with a security escort in Sehwan Sharif, Pakistan

That time I had a security escort with me during the urs of Lal Shahbaz in Sehwan Sharif

Dealing with security in Pakistan  

When people ask me about the security situation in Pakistan, I usually respond with “Pakistan doesn’t have a security problem, in Pakistan security is the problem.”

Security agencies are a sore spot for many foreign travelers in Pakistan, though don’t say so to any Pakistani.

To be fair, it’s in the agencies’ interests to keep foreign travelers out of trouble. If anything happens to a foreigner it will be all over the news and Pakistan’s international image will sink further.

Agencies are overbearing with foreigners because of this. In my years of travel in Pakistan, I’ve had intelligence agency stalkers, confrontational encounters with police, mandatory armed guards. Police and army stopped me from going places saying I needed permission or an NOC (non objection certificate) but didn’t say how to get one.

On the bright side, things have vastly improved in the last year. Gilgit Baltistan and the Chitral region almost entirely removed the need for NOCs and armed escorts in 2019 .

However, you’ll likely encounter issues if traveling to less-visited destinations, especially in southern Punjab and Sindh province . Common problematic places for travelers include:

  • Multan – Foreigners are often required to leave immediately if discovered by police. Can only stay if unnoticed residing at luxury hotels.
  • Bahawalpur – Foreigners are not allowed into army-occupied palaces, and can again only stay at expensive hotels.
  • Sukkur – Multiple travelers reported questioning and harassment by security agencies when visiting Sukkur.

Hopefully security won’t be an issue for you, but if you must deal with security, be polite but firm. Ask them to show their identification first. Save phone numbers of Pakistanis you meet in the government or army; power and connections go a long way with security agencies. If what they’re asking of you doesn’t make sense, stand your ground.

Protip: Never insult the army. Most Pakistanis love the army. Despite their rather ominous not-so-secret control of the country, they did help stabilize it and don’t ask for bribes like police do. Pakistanis will not take kindly to army insults.

Pakistan travel guide: Connectivity in Pakistan

Connectivity in Pakistan is hit-and-miss. Wifi is often bad—if present at all—and mobile signals can go down at any time for no reason. Signals are often blocked during large events that may pose a security threat. Cities have decent 4G coverage, but especially in the rural north, there are many places with no coverage at all. If you want to have the widest range of coverage, you’ll need two or three different sim cards from several mobile operators.

Mobile SIM cards for calling and data in Pakistan

Overall, Zong and Telenor are your best bet in cities and rural areas. In northern Gilgit Baltistan, Zong and Telenor work in  some  areas, but it’s a better idea to buy a SCOM SIM card instead. You can buy them at customer service centers in hubs such as Gilgit, Aliabad, and Karimabad.

Getting a SIM card can be an annoying process. Foreigners cannot buy SIM cards at any outlet—you have to go to an official “customer service center” of the mobile provider to get one. You must fill out a registration form to buy a SIM, so bring copies of your passport.

It usually takes 4-12 hours for your card to activate (24 for SCOM). Your SIM card will expire when your visa expires.

WiFi in Pakistan

WiFi in Pakistan is spotty at best. Upscale cafes will have Wifi that may or may not work, as will high-end hotels. Besides that, you’re pretty much lost.

Rather than relying on WiFi networks, I usually buy a large mobile data pack (10GB, mmm blogger life) and use my mobile phone as a WiFi hotspot. If you’re going to do that, buy a power bank so you don’t have to worry about your phone running out of battery while you do so.

Pakistan travel guide: Being a responsible tourist in Pakistan

Pakistan encourages many bad habits; it’s easy to forget to be a responsible tourist in the face of it all.

Nevertheless, we visitors have a responsibility to Pakistan and its people to leave a positive impact on the country, especially as tourism develops. Here are some suggestions for visiting Pakistan responsibly:

  • Always ask before taking someone’s picture, especially women . Many women (and their male family) are sensitive about having their photo taken.
  • Don’t take photos of children unless you have permission from their parents . Share sparingly. Pakistani photographers abuse this all the time; that doesn’t make it right.
  • Keep places clean . If you find a plastic bag or have one to spare, use it to collect trash while walking in nature. Dispose of trash somewhere where it might be disposed of properly.
  • Hire local guides and drivers. Punjabis tend to dominate the tourism scene, but they are not locals outside of Punjab.
  • Support female-run businesses . Pakistan is far from gender equality, but many women in the country are trying to change that. Some totally female-run examples are Let’s Home for accommodation, The Mad Hatters for organized tours, and A Piece Of Cake café in Lahore.

Planning travel to Pakistan? This practical Pakistan travel guide has all the travel tips you need for the perfect trip to Pakistan. The guide includes cultural tips, visa information, budget and costs of traveling in Pakistan, transportation advice, SIM card information, and more. Click through for the ultimate guide to travel and backpacking in Pakistan.

Useful? Pin it!

Other useful resources for planning Pakistan travel

Want more sweet Pakistan travel deliciousness? Below are several of my favorite posts to help you plan your trip to Pakistan. They’re full of all kinds of things to know before going to Pakistan.

Pakistan tours I run

  • 3 weeks: Pakistan for women, by women
  • 2 weeks: Pakistan adventure motorcycle tour

Best Pakistan travel guide book

Pakistan Traveller by Urbanduniya is hands down the best printed Pakistan travel guide on the market. I know; I helped him with the latest edition!

Pakistan travel guides on Lost With Purpose

  • Is Pakistan safe to travel?
  • Guide to traveling in Sindh province
  • Is it safe for women to travel in Pakistan?
  • Female traveler’s guide to Pakistan
  • First timer’s guide to train travel in Pakistan
  • Experiences to add to your Pakistan bucket list
  • Traveling Pakistan during Ramadan

Region-specific Pakistan travel guides

  • Things to do in Lahore
  • Chapursan Valley travel guide
  • Phander Valley travel guide
  • Kalash Valley travel guide
  • Guide to trekking in Swat Valley

Epic Pakistan experiences

  • The longest border crossing in the world
  • Desert trippin’ at the urs of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif
  • Sufi nights in Lahore
  • Learning to motorbike in Pakistan
  • Rolling with the stoners in Hunza
  • Bloodbaths in the Walled City: Eid al Adha in Lahore

Need even more tips about travel in Pakistan? Ask them in the comments or get in touch .

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Alex Reynolds

33 thoughts on “ pakistan travel guide: everything to know before you go ”.

Very good and creative method for building backlinks to your site and also traffic. It’s very good! Thanks a lot for this post!

Outstanding read!

Very Informative and funny.

Thanks for sharing.

great article thanks for sharing. i always struggeld with finding an ATM, so then i foudn this travel app ” ATM Fee Saver” it shows ATMs close by and gives information about their fees and limit. super useful 🙂 maybe you wanna check it out.

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tourism of pakistan

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Pakistan Factsheet

Discover the total economic contribution that the Travel & Tourism sector brings to Pakistan and the world in this data-rich, two-page factsheet.

Discover the direct and total economic contribution that the Travel & Tourism sector brings to the Pakistan’s economies in this comprehensive report.

Discover the direct and total economic contribution that the Travel & Tourism sector brings to Pakistan in this comprehensive report.

Create an account for free or login to download

Over the next few weeks we will be releasing the newest Economic Impact Research factsheets for a wide range of economies and regions. If the factsheet you're interested in is not yet available,  sign up to be notified via the form on this page .

Factsheet details

This factsheet highlights the importance of Travel & Tourism to Pakistan across many metrics, and features details such as:

  • Contribution of the sector to overall GDP and employment
  • Comparisons between 2019 and 2023
  • Forecasts for 2024 and 2034
  • International and domestic visitor spending
  • Proportion of leisure vs business spending
  • Top 5 inbound and outbound markets

This latest report reveals the importance of Travel & Tourism to the Pakistan in granular detail across many metrics. The report’s features include:

  • Absolute and relative contributions of Travel & Tourism to GDP and employment, international and domestic spending
  • Data on leisure and business spending, capital investment, government spending and outbound spending
  • Charts comparing data across every year from 2014 to 2024
  • Detailed data tables for the years 2018-2023 plus forecasts for 2024 and the decade to 2034

Purchase of this report also provides access to two supporting papers: Methodology and Data Sources and Estimation Techniques.

This latest report reveals the importance of Travel & Tourism to Pakistan in granular detail across many metrics. The report’s features include:

This factsheet highlights the importance of T&T to this city across many metrics, and features details such as:

  • Contribution of the sector to overall GDP and employment in the city
  • Comparisons between 2019, 2020 and 2021, plus 2022 forecast
  • Proportion of the T&T at city level towards overall T&T contribution at a country level
  • Top 5 inbound source markets

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  • 10 Best And Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Pakistan

23 Mar 2023

Stretching from the large mountains in the north to the vast Indus alluvial delta in the south, Pakistan is full of natural beauty and stunning mountains. In addition to bright deserts and some of the world’s highest peaks, the country offers numerous attractions for sightseeing, hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage and ancient monuments continue to enchant visitors from all over the world. There are a lot of places to visit in Pakistan where you can have memorable experiences, have a look at these most beautiful places for your holiday in Pakistan.

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan

Pakistan is gifted with a plethora of historical and natural treasures. A land full of breathtaking vistas and extraordinary places is a must-visit once in a lifetime. To guide you on your trip here is a list of the places to visit in Pakistan . Make sure you add some of these to your itinerary before heading to this destination.

1. Hunza Valley 2. Attabad Lake 3. Swat Valley 4. Naran Kaghan 5. Badshahi Mosque 6. Concordia 7. Neelum Valley 8. Deosai National Park 9. Mohenjo-daro 10. Piri Sohawa

1. Hunza Valley

tourist places in Pakistan

Located in Gilgit Baltistan, the Hunza Valley is one of Pakistan’s hidden gems. This isolated valley is nestled between the Himalayas and the Karakoram mountain peaks. This is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan because of its lush farmlands. Here you can find markhors, ounces, ibexes, and red foxes. In this valley, a glorious view awaits you, and the locals are warm and friendly.

Best time to visit: April to September

10 Compelling Reasons To Visit Pakistan At Least Once In Life

2. Attabad Lake

Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan

This beautiful lake which provides tranquil waters was originated as a result of a landslide in January 2010 in Attabad Village. The lake has vivid blue waters that pierce through the hilly land of Hunza Valley The lake is one of the most popular tourist places in Pakistan , offering exciting experiences like skiing, boating, catching fishes and others.

Best time to Visit: March to June

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3. Swat Valley

places to see in Pakistan

Despite its tragic history, Swat Valley’s present situation is very promising. There’s something fairytale-like about this spectacular valley in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Being one the most beautiful places to visit in Pakistan among all other attractions, this valley has great weather and friendly locals. Visitors can enjoy trekking, hiking, backpacking, or simply enjoy in the natural environment.

Best time to visit: April to May

30 Best Places To Visit In August In India To Welcome Monsoons

4. Naran Kaghan

tourist places in Pakistan

Naran and Kaghan are two amazing places to visit in Pakistan which are located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They are amazing places to explore for those who love nature. You will find beautiful rivers, stretches of fields, snowcapped peaks, and picturesque lakes in these areas. Each year, thousands of tourists come to this valley from all over the world.

16 Photogenic Valleys In India That Every Traveler Must Visit

5. Badshahi Mosque

places to see in Pakistan

Originally built during the 1670s, Badshahi Mosque is a monument of the Mughal Empire, which ruled over the Indian subcontinent for nearly three centuries. Located in Lahore, this mosque is a great representation of Mughal architecture, with four minarets and three domes forming the courtyard. The mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monument truly justifies being one of the beautiful tourist places in Pakistan .

Best time to visit: The monument can be visited the whole year round except for the hottest months here, which are June and July.

43 Famous Historical Places In India To Visit

6. Concordia

Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan

Concordia is one of the paradisiacal Pakistan tourist places for hikers and climbers. It is situated in the north of the country, around the Chinese border. Pakistan is home to five of the fourteen highest mountain peaks in the world. You can get an excellent view of four of these five highest mountains from Concordia. This makes Concordia an unmissable place for sightseeing in Pakistan .

Best time to visit: June to August

23 Best Trekking Places In India: Your Month-Wise Trekking Guide Is Here

7. Neelum Valley

Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan

The Neelum Valley in northern Azad Kashmir is a bow-shaped valley situated between peaks that soar 13,000 feet into the sky, surrounded by verdant forests and flowing streams. Neelum Valley is one of the most beautiful places to see in Pakistan. This valley has pristine rivers, mirror-like lakes, and lush landscapes.

Best time to visit: March to October

10 Flower Valleys In India & Around The World That’ll Make You Believe In Heaven

8. Deosai National Park

tourist places in Pakistan

Deosai National Park, known as the Land of Giants, has a landscape of snow-capped mountains rising from the highland. This area has an astounding amount of biodiversity, including Himalayan wolves, Siberian ibex, red foxes, and yellow-bellied marmots. For someone who loves biodiversity and is seeking the best tourist places in Pakistan , Deosai National Park is an ideal place.

Best time to visit: July to September

Top 51 National Parks In India: A List You Just Can’t Ignore!

9. Mohenjo-daro

tourist places in Pakistan

Mohenjo-daro, located in Sindh, a province in southeastern part of the country, that is among the famous places to visit in Pakistan . It is home to the Sindh people and a historical site dating back to 2500 BCE. The ruins and mounds were discovered to be part of an ancient civilization called the Indus Valley civilization. Those who love history will be fascinated by the engineering and urban planning that was far ahead of their time.

Best time to visit: The monument can be visited whole year round.

15 Best Places Of Indian Cultural Heritage You Must-Visit

10. Pir Sohawa

places to see in Pakistan

Pir Sohawa is located in the Margalla Hills, near Islamabad. Being among the best tourist places in Pakistan , there is more to admire about this tourist spot than just the breathtaking views. Located approximately 5,000 feet above sea level, this place is famous among tourists and locals for outings in the fresh breezes and admiring the stunning scenery.

Best time to visit: March to December

30 Unexplored Places In India That Will Totally Stump You

Now when you got this list of some of the most beautiful places to visit in Pakistan , make sure you add these to your bucket list on your trip to this beautiful country. Take a break from the busy pace of life and do unwind by spending some serene time in these beautiful locations. And for when you come back, do not forget to share your beautiful memories with us so that your trip could inspire others to witness the beauty on the other side.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here .

Frequently Asked Questions About Beautiful Places to visit in Pakistan

Is it safe to visit Pakistan during Covid-19 times?

Make sure you are fully vaccinated before travelling to Pakistan. It is advisable to get your PT-PCR negative test report. We recommend staying updated with the most current information and travel guidelines of the country before travelling.

Which is the most beautiful city to visit in Pakistan?

Islamabad, which is the capital city of Pakistan is also a really beautiful city to visit. It is home to several historical monuments and other tourist attractions.

Which are the most visited places in Pakistan?

Some of the most visited places of Pakistan include Badshahi Mosque, Neelum Valley, Attabd Lake and Khagan Valley.

What is the best time to visit Pakistan?

The best time to visit Pakistan is from May to October. This is the best time to explore the beautiful valleys and magnificent mountain ranges that lie in the northern part of the country.

What are the best things to do in Pakistan?

As a tourist, you can visit the amazing valleys and admire the breathtaking landscapes they offer, experience the rich culture and history by visiting the ancient monuments, try various mouthwatering dishes of Pakistan and go for a trek in the stunning peaks.

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PAKISTAN’S TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

tourism of pakistan

With some of the most diverse natural beauty on the planet, Pakistan’s High Commissioner says it’s no wonder that Forbes  ranked his country one of the ‘10 Coolest Places to go’

Pakistan is a kaleidoscope of some of the most diverse natural beauty in the world; it’s a cradle of ancient civilizations and a ‘melting pot’ of religions and cultures. The World Economic Forum placed Pakistan among the top 25 per cent of global destinations for its UNESCO ‘World Heritage Sites.’

From the stretches of great mountain ranges in the north, to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the south, Pakistan remains a land blessed with nature’s beauty and majestic mountains. With shining deserts and some of the world’s highest peaks, the country has myriad attractions for sightseers, skiers, trekkers and mountaineers. For those interested in white water rafting, trout fishing, jeep, camel and yak safaris and out of this world flora and fauna, Pakistan is the place to be.

 It’s a land that holds a reservoir of knowledge for archaeologists, historians, artists, teachers and anthropologists, and it contains contains deep religious heritage for pilgrims of various faiths and beliefs.

These attributes mean that the tourism sector in Pakistan has started to register exponential and speedy growth. From less than half a million foreign tourist arrivals in 2015, the world tourism monitoring agencies recorded over two million tourist arrivals during 2019. Domestic tourism crossed the 40 million mark last year. last year.

World view of tourism potential in Pakistan

Pakistan is ranked No. 1 on Condé Nast Traveller’s  list of 20 best holiday destinations for 2020.

Lonely Planet  called Pakistan ‘tourism’s next big thing.’

Forbes  ranked Pakistan as one of the ‘10 Coolest Places to go in 2019.’

The British Backpacker Society (BBS) declared Pakistan as the world’s third best potential adventure destination for 2020. The year before, the BBS declared that ‘Pakistan tops the list of world’s best travel destinations’, describing it as ‘one of the friendliest countries on earth.’ A land of splendour, the landscape stretches remarkably from the high mountain ranges in the north to the plains and deserts of central Pakistan, and the Arabian Sea in the south. In addition to the natural beauty in the four provinces of Pakistan, the people are very hospitable and generous toward foreign tourists.

Five of the world’s highest mountain peaks

Pakistan’s mountain ranges include the famous Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush. There are several high peaks in Pakistan, with the tallest being K 2 (at 8,611 metres), the second highest in the world. The country is blessed with five out of the 14 highest mountain peaks of the world. From April to September, domestic and international mountaineers throng the area.

Highest Trade Route in the World

The 806km Karakorum Highway constructed along the ancient Silk Road linking Pakistan to China is the highest trade route in the world. Additionally, the nearby Mintaka Pass lies along the fabulous ancient Silk Road that linked Europe to Asia and over which history’s most famous tourists once travelled. These include the Venetian trader Marco Polo in the thirteenth century (the wild Marco Polo sheep was named after him), the Chinese Monk Fe Hien in the fourth century, and Arab historian Al-Beruni in the eleventh century.

Punjab (Mughal era monuments and Gandhara Buddhist civilisation)

The Punjab province comprises rich agricultural lands, an extensive network of rivers and channels, shrines, ancient forts and gardens from the Mughal era. Over 2,000 years ago, the world famous Gandhara Buddhist civilisation flourished in northern Pakistan, with Taxila as the principal seat of Buddhist learning.

Balochistan (Mountain Ranges and Caves)

The Balochistan province is the largest in the country in terms of area. Besides being blessed with nature’s bounty of mineral resources, it also has immense natural beauty comprising mountain ranges, mines and a very long coastal belt, including the newly developed Gwadar Port. In Balochistan there are many caves for tourists to visit, including the Juniper Shaft Cave, Shahre-e-Roghan, the Murghagull Gharra cave, Mughall saa cave, and Pakistan’s naturally decorated cave, the Mangocher Cave.

Sindh (Moenjodaro, Karachi, Arabian Sea)

In the south, the province of Sindh also abounds in natural beauty. It is most famous as home to the ancient city Moenjo-daro (Indus Valley Civilisation), the commercial hub city of Karachi, plus its seaports and beautiful beaches, spread over hundreds of miles of coastline.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Kaghan and Swat Valleys)

Again, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is well known for its varying natural beauty, comprising some awe-inspiring valleys and mountains in the north, including the Kaghan and Swat valleys, and the famous Khyber Pass.

Northern areas (Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu)

Spread over 72,496 square km, the northern areas of Pakistan are as captivating and mesmerising in beauty as the other regions. Amid towering snow-clad peaks, several over 8,000 metres, the beautiful serene valleys of Gilgit, Hunza and Skardu are magnificent. 

Forty skiers from 13 countries including Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Hong Kong, the UK and Belgium participated in the International Skiing Cup in Pakistan in February 2019 at Naltar, Gilgit Baltistan. The cultural patterns in this region are as varied and interesting as its topography.

Vegetation and Fauna

Pakistan is also rich in vegetation and fauna. With their alpine meadows and permanent snow line, coniferous forests down the sub-mountain scrub, the vast Indus plain merging into the great desert, the coastline and wetlands, the Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges all offer a remarkably rich variety of vegetation and wildlife including avifauna, both endemic and migratory. 10 of 18 mammalian orders are represented in Pakistan with species ranging from the world’s smallest surviving mammal, the Mediterranean Pygmy Shrew, to the largest mammal ever known, the blue whale.

Indus Valley Civilisation

Through the centuries, waves of invaders and migrants settled down in the land that is now Pakistan, influencing the locals and slowly being absorbed among them. Modern Pakistanis are a blend of Harappan, Indo-Aryan, Indo-Iranian, Saka, Parthian, Kushan, White Hun, Afghan, Arab, Turkic and Mughal heritages. Thus, the region encompassing modern-day Pakistan is home to the oldest Asian civilisation (and one of the oldest in the world after Mesopotamia and Egypt ), the Indus Valley Civilisation (2,500-1,500 BC).

Religious Tourism

Pakistan is a land of love and hospitality. A land of spiritual endowment, it is also the resting place of many spiritual saints from all religions, be it the sufi mystics of Islam; the Hindu Tiraths dating back to 3,000BC; the disciples of Buddha attaining ‘nirvana’ buried under the remains of Gandhara civilisation; or Baba Guru Nanak Ji, the founder of the Sikh religion who was born in 1,469AD at Nankana Sahib, about 72km north of Lahore. Pakistan has always whole-heartedly worked to preserve its historical sites — whether it’s a church, Gurdwara, temple, mosque, museum, tomb, fort or shrine.

Pakistan’s Buddhist Heritage

Born in the foothills of the Himalayas, Buddhism found avid followers, supporters and patrons in Gandhara, the Land of Fragrance. Pakistan became the custodian of rich collections of sacred relics and superb specimens of art and architecture from Buddhist civilisation. For example, the Buddhist ruins of Taxila are priceless treasures of immense interest to Buddhists and researchers around the world. Taxila became a centre of excellence when the first ever university was founded there in the 10th century BC.

Pakistan’s Christian Heritage

Thomas the Apostle came to present day Taxila in the first century AD. Pakistan has historical churches in various locations, and these religious buildings symbolise the spirit of a community and the cultural context of centuries. Our Lady of Fatima Church, Islamabad, Christ Church, Kotri, St Paul’s Church, Rawalpindi, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Lahore, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Karachi, Holy Rosary Church, Quetta, St Mary’s Cathedral Church, Multan, and St Luke’s Church, Abbottabad are just a of the few churches in Pakistan well worth visiting.

Pakistan’s Sikh Heritage

Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak, who was born in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan. Since Punjab was the centre of activities for Sikh Gurus, and later the political power base of the Sikhs, there are numerous sites in Pakistan that are sacred to the Sikh community. Thousands of pilgrims visit these places from all over the globe.

Among the sacred shrines is Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, near Lahore. Pakistan’s government opened the Kartarpur Corridor to allow visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims from India . In 2019, the government renovated and expanded Kartarpur Corridor to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, and it has thus emerged as a centre of interfaith harmony and a symbol of goodwill of the people of Pakistan for the Sikh community.

Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal, Gurdwara Choa Sahib, Rohtas, Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh, Peshawar, Gurdwara Sadhu Bela, Sukkur, and Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore are just a few of the many Gurdwaras that are visited by thousands of Sikhs from around the world each year.

The Gurdwara has become the centre of the annual pilgrimage by Sikh communities the world over. All Gurdwaras and Sikh shrines in Pakistan have been declared sacred places and are meticulously maintained by our government. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) offers special pilgrimage tours, and Pakistani embassies and consulates abroad issue expeditious pilgrimage visas for that purpose.

Saints, Sufis, and Shrines

Pakistan is a land of saints and sufis who preached amity, peace and universal love. Their teachings promoted religious co-existence, communal harmony and tolerance in society, which is why there has always been communal harmony in Pakistan. This provides further opportunities for religious tourism in the country.

History reveals that various Sufi saints have bestowed Pakistan with messages of adoration and peace to promote Islamic virtues. Pakistanis consider the country to be blessed as the resting place of Saints in the Shrines of Data Ganj Bakhsh Hajveri, Lahore, Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi, Karachi, Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sehwan Sharif, Sachal Sarmast, Khairpur, and Hazrat Bahauddin Zakaria, Multan.

Royal Couple’s visit to Pakistan

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Pakistan was an important milestone in bilateral relations. After all, HRH Prince William had accompanied HRH Princess Diana to Pakistan at a very young age. Attracting international attention with huge media coverage, the visit was a boost of confidence for Pakistan’s tourism and cherished by Pakistan and its people.

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Pakistan: A land of tourism, archaeological wonders

PESHAWAR   -   Internationally recognised as home to six United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) heritage sites, second highest mountain peak, long coastline and vast cultural and religious heritage, Pakistan offers plenty of tourism activities for local and foreign tourists.

It is also a unique country with enchanting deserts, mesmerizing plains and snow covered peaks, adventurous sea shores and plenty of cultural and archaeological sites, ancient Muslim architecture and religious sites of Buddhism and Sikhism.

Archaeological wonders of Mohenjo-Daro in Sindh, Harappa in Punjab, Buddhist ruins in Takht Bhai and Sahri Bahlol in Mardan and Taxila, ancient Indus and Gandhara civilisations, Thal and Thar deserts and architecture of ancient rulers especially Mughal era can be future hot spots for tourism.

Five highest mountains peaks of above 8,000 meters, including the second highest peak - the K-2 (8611m), 108 highest peaks of above 7000 meters, Deosai plain, cultural diversity of Sindh, Punjab, KPK, Balochistan and Azad Kashmir, historical monuments and much more across Pakistan are other hallmarks of our tourism treasure.

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Although local tourism flourished visibly in recent years yet unfortunately these bounties remained untapped to the maximum due to multiple reasons like insufficient projection, facilities for tourism and law and order situation due to turmoil in the region.

Since Pakistan has a meagre share in global revenue earning from tourism, the experts believe that if the government fully employs the latest digital techniques and social media to highlight these hidden destinations, it can earn billions of dollars annually.   

“Today is an era of digital tourism. Technological advancement has fast started transforming the travel and hospitality industry even in developing countries,” said Abu Zafar, President Alpine Tourism Club of Pakistan. “We have the most beautiful skiing spots, picturesque valleys, rivers and brooks, hiking tracks, polo grounds, ice hockey fields, deserts for car rallies, sea surfing and mighty peaks for scaling.”

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But, he said, most of our areas remained insufficiently highlighted across the globe. “Therefore, we need to fully employ the power of social and digital media as well as ensuring amicable environment for tourists.”

Despite its diverse potential, Pakistan’s share in global tourism economy is too low. Therefore, at a time when international media predicts full recovery of tourism industry during 2024, Pakistan needs to tighten belts for securing its due share from trillions of dollars tourism economy.

UNWTO has recorded an estimated 1286 million international tourists (overnight visitors) around the world in 2023, an increase of 34% over 2022 as international tourism recovered 88% of pre-pandemic levels.

The Middle East led the recovery being the only region to overcome pre-pandemic levels with arrivals 22% above 2019, Europe reached 94%, Africa recovered 96% and the Americas 90% and Asia and Pacific recovered 65% with the start of 2023.

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Following a strong rebound in 2023, the sector’s outlook reflected in the latest UNWTO Tourism Confidence Index survey, reveals 67% of tourism professionals indicating better or much better prospects for 2024 compared to 2023.

“Our share is too meagre as compared to international tourism earning. We secure just a billion or so dollars out of this trillions dollar economy,” remarked Ex-Chairman Economics Department, Peshawar University, Professor Dr Muhammad Naeem. “This is pathetic and urges us to transform our efforts keeping in view the modern trends, exploiting all latest tools for projecting our potential.”

“I expect from the new government to appoint digital professionals and experts to promote tourism to harness our due share in tourism economy,” he stated.

Besides nature’s bounties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, there are ancient and religious sites in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab to attract millions of foreign tourists.

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“Scientific advancements and modern technological inventions have virtually turned the world into a global village. Therefore, we should vigorously project our amazing sites and archaeological wonders,” remarked Manzoorul Haq, former ambassador.

“As developed nations have replaced conventional publicity methods with digital tourism, so we also need to exploit global positioning system (GPS) and artificial intelligence for quick dissemination of information and projection of our sites,” he stated and proposed to patronage v-loggers, bloggers and social media groups for the purpose.

Although Pakistan’s foreign tourism has witnessed 115% increase during 2023 as mentioned by the then Caretaker Minister of State for Tourism Wasi Shah, yet it earned just $1.3 billion.

‘World Tourism Barometer’ published by World Tourism Organisation of the United Nations, had also mentioned that Pakistan had made a remarkable recovery in tourism to pre-pandemic levels.

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Showing 115% increase, is just start of a journey towards an overall revolution in this sector that may reach 500% or even thousands percent provided that it is transformed on modern lines projecting Pakistan’s potential.

It is unfortunate that a country having much more potential than other nations, earn much lower than them that direly needs right person for the right job, political will and modern approach to excel in this arena.

This approach should be multi-dimensional, promoting natural, religious, cultural and adventure tourism on war footing to bring in precious tourism associated foreign exchange to support our economy and move forward for economic sustainability.

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Promoting Responsible Tourism in Pakistan’s North

TREK-November-2023-4-sm.jpg

Pakistan’s tourist attractions are diverse

World Bank Pakistan

Growing up, Muhammad Numan saw a cleaner, more natural environment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tourist destinations. But as time passed and tourism surged, the local landscape he once knew began to change. The influx of tourists resulted in a growing pile of litter across the otherwise scenic sites in the north.

The travel and tourism sector’s total contribution to Pakistan’s GDP was 5.9 percent in 2022 and 4.2 million jobs.  This is sub-optimal considering the diverse tourist sites located across the country. Pakistan attracted ~US$ 16 billion in visitor spending in 2022 which is projected to touch ~US$ 30 billion in 2033.

Pakistan experienced an unprecedented surge in domestic tourism immediately after the Covid induced travel restrictions were lifted: For instance, in 2021 and 2022, over 1.2 million domestic and international tourists visited the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone .

To manage this increasing all-season footfall of visitors while harnessing its understated economic potential, the local authorities, communities, and private sector require resources, equipment and training without losing focus on green and inclusive tourism.

Determined to make a change, Numan, who now works as a manager at a local hotel in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, sought ways to mitigate the negative impact of the tourism industry on the ecosystem. That is when he came across the “Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Eco-tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” (TREK) initiative – a partnership between the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, World Bank (WB) and Nestlé Pakistan to promote and support responsible tourism initiatives.

TREK complements the ongoing activities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITE) project for heritage preservation and tourism infrastructure development. Since 2020, it has completed awareness campaigns for tourists, and training of local communities and hospitality businesses on waste management. TREK has trained over 650 participants from more than 150 hotels and restaurants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tourist areas. The beneficiaries also included local communities, local authorities and academia of Peshawar, Nathiagali, Abbottabad, Swat , Naran and Chitral districts.

These trainings concentrated on solid waste minimization, segregation, management, and recycling techniques. Public service messages on responsible tourism were also launched through social media and radio campaigns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and cities of Islamabad and Lahore. Most country’s domestic tourists are concentrated in these geographies and were thus able to receive communication on tourist helplines on the importance of keeping the sites litter-free.

10,000 reusable bags were distributed to tourists and the hotel association in tourist hotspots aiming to encourage their use and minimize littering. In parallel, the IDA-financed KITE project provided waste bins, garbage collection and compacting machinery to the local authorities in Nathiagali, Naran, Chitral and Kumrat districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and a few locations in Punjab province, and installed 50 tourist information signboards to complement the awareness campaigns.

TREK-November-2023-3.jpg

Tourist information sign boards in Galiyat, Pakistan

TREK-November-2023-2-Training-in-Abbottabad.jpg

TREK Awareness Workshop for Community and Local Government Participants

Incorporating the knowledge from these sessions, like several other participants, Numan introduced eco-friendly practices at his hotel. He also spearheads a community-funded clean-up initiative in his hometown of Mardan district. This initiative has transformed into a community-driven effort, with residents actively participating in regular clean-up drives. Such sustainable transformations encapsulate the very essence of what TREK envisions for communities throughout the province and beyond.

TREK has propelled its partners towards impactful activities by encouraging collaboration with the private sector. Its partner in the initiative, Nestlé Pakistan, is taking concrete actions to create circular systems that make it easier to collect, recycle and reuse products that use plastic. It is committed to designing 100 percent of its plastic packaging for recycling and expects to achieve a 95 percent target by 2025.

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allocated resources and supports its teams to ensure green and inclusive destination management in partnership with the private sector.

The project has also provided machinery for snow removal and solid waste management to local authorities to improve accessibility, traffic flow and promote sustainable tourism in the province.

TREK's inclusivity stands out, inviting participants from diverse backgrounds, including women, youth, and the transgender community.  Zareen Akhtar, a social worker, and human rights activist who underwent TREK training, testified to the program's transformative impact. She acknowledged the newfound knowledge she gained, eager to share it with others. She emphasized that she’s one of the many women in this region who have had the opportunity to attend these trainings. “Inclusion of women not only has a wider social impact but also a major mindset shift in the region, allowing for a cohesive awareness within the social fabric of the community.”

Initiatives like TREK have the power to transform the tourism landscape in some of Pakistan's most pristine destinations and ensure that future generations continue to enjoy these in years to come. In its next phase, TREK will integrate additional players from the private and financial sectors of the country to launch activities that support community empowerment and investment mobilization for job creation.

By Kiran Afzal , Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank Pakistan,  Touseef Khalid , Project Director, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) Project, and  Sheikh Waqar Ahmad , Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Pakistan.

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14 things you need to know before traveling to Pakistan

Bradley Mayhew

Sep 2, 2023 • 9 min read

Shepherds with their flocks in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan

Pakistan offers amazing adventures but it pays to read up on the challenges © Dave Primov / Shutterstock

Pakistan is one of the world’s great surprises, with an incredible diversity of scenery – from the world’s biggest mountain glaciers to the sparkling waters of the Indus River – alongside some of the most beautiful forts, mosques and archaeological sites in the Subcontinent. It is the cultural bridge between India and Central Asia and home to some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.

It would, however, be fair to say that Pakistan has a mixed reputation beyond its borders. The country is beset with economic, political and security problems, but much has changed security-wise in recent years. An incredible welcome is guaranteed here, but this is also a destination that requires a bit of research in order to travel with confidence. Start your planning with the following essential travel tips.

1. Choose the right season for the areas you are visiting

Travel in Pakistan is strongly affected by the seasons . The summer months of July and August are the best time to visit the high mountains of the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges in the north, but this is also the busiest time for domestic tourism and it’s incredibly hot elsewhere in the country. If you want to explore the center, south and west of the country, consider a visit in spring (April and May) or autumn (October and November), especially if you don’t plan on going trekking. October brings fabulous fall colors to places like the Hunza Valley, whereas winter (November to February) is the best time to explore central and southern Pakistan.

Festivals worth planning your trip around include the Shandur Polo Festival in the second weekend of July, held atop the mountain pass between Hunza and Chitral, and the Chilam Joshi spring festival in the Kalash Valley in mid-May.

2. You’ll probably need a visa and letter of invitation to visit Pakistan

Most foreigners need a visa to enter Pakistan but you can apply online through the immigration department’s slightly glitchy e-visa system . You will also need a letter of invitation from a local hotel, your Pakistani host or a Pakistani travel agent to secure a visa, so give yourself enough time to get this document in place. Even if you don't plan on taking a tour, travel agencies can provide a letter of invitation for a fee. Contact your local Pakistani embassy or high commission for the latest information. 

3. Be prepared for some challenges if you travel during Ramadan

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan brings a specific set of challenges for travelers. Most Pakistani Muslims avoid eating or drinking between dawn and dusk during this holy month, and most restaurants close during the day, with offices often working reduced hours. You’ll need to be fairly self-sufficient when it comes to food during daylight hours and you should avoid eating in public during the fasting period. This said, evenings are especially lively during Ramadan, as the devout break their daily fast with blowouts in local restaurants.

The dates for Ramadan shift annually according to the Islamic lunar calendar and sightings of the moon, and the festival moves forward by 11 days each year, relative to the Gregorian calendar; in 2024, the festival should start around 10 March.

A view from the Hiran Minar in Pakistan's Punjab Province

4. Get a Pakistani SIM card to use the local taxi apps

Public Wi-Fi is not all that common outside of larger cities in Pakistan, so it’s useful to bring an unlocked smartphone for mobile browsing. Buy a local SIM card from the main customer service center for your chosen operator, in whichever town you happen to be in. Travelers recommend Zong , Telenor or Jazz for central Pakistan, or the government-owned SCOM for the mountainous northern area of Gilgit-Baltistan .

With a local SIM and phone number, you should be able to use local taxi apps such as Uber and its local equivalent Careem , which will save you both time and money, compared to flagging down local taxis in big cities such as Islamabad and Lahore .

5. Bring plenty of photocopies of your passport

There are lots of checkpoints in Pakistan where you'll need to show your identity documents, so bring lots of photocopies of your passport’s information pages and Pakistan visa, and always travel with the original passport on your person. You’ll find yourself handing over these copies regularly on long-distance road trips, including when traveling on the Karakoram Highway . 

6. Enjoy the local hospitality (but don’t abuse it)

Culture and customs can vary widely as you move from region to region in Pakistan but in general, you’ll find most Pakistanis to be extremely friendly and hospitable. Conversations, cups of chai and even dinner invitations flow easily, and you can expect to participate in hundreds of selfies.

Hospitality is so integral to Pakistani culture that many locals feel obliged to offer to pay for a foreigner’s meal or bus tickets, even if money is short. You may have to turn down these invitations multiple times to avoid burdening anyone unnecessarily. If you do share a meal in Pakistan be sure to pass and accept food with your right hand only; the left hand should not be used for eating or shaking hands. 

A woman looks over the Hunza Valley, Pakistan

7. Women travelers might face some challenges in Pakistan

For the most part, Pakistan is a conservative, male-dominated society, and this can pose some challenges for female travelers. Women and men don’t mix much in public, and women generally sit in segregated areas on public buses and trains and, often, in restaurants. Attitudes towards foreign women can be protective and curious but women traveling alone may face some suspicion, and sexual harassment can sometimes be a risk in crowds. Special rules for women also apply at some religious sites.

For solo women travelers traveling through Pakistan, it helps to already have some experience of travel in other Islamic countries. Women traveling with a male companion generally face fewer obstacles. On the plus side, women travelers can gain insights into family dynamics and the lives of Pakistani women, which are completely off-limits to male travelers. And in some situations, foreign women may have unique access to both the male and female worlds.

8. Invest in a shalwar kameez to travel like a local

Pakistan’s national dress is the shalwar kameez , a garnet resembling a long shirt worn over wide, baggy trousers, popular with both men and women. It's worth investing in a set if you are going to be traveling for any length of time in Pakistan. The shalwar kameez is supremely practical and comfortable in this climate – you’ll also blend in nicely with the crowd, and locals will respect you for sharing in their culture. Women should also add a dupatta scarf to cover their hair when visiting mosques and other religious sites.

9. Dial down public displays of affection

Many Pakistanis are socially conservative, and public displays of affection between men and women – including kissing, touching and even holding hands in public – are frowned on. Attitudes towards LGBTIQ+ people can also be quite negative, and same-sex relationships are illegal, so Pakistan is not a good place for openly  LGBTIQ+ people to travel . It is not unusual for Pakistani men to hold hands or drape arms around each other, but this is generally platonic. 

10. Treat bargaining as a lighthearted sport

Haggling is acceptable, commonplace and often necessary in Pakistan, but it is best approached as a lighthearted social exchange rather than a life-or-death struggle, as some travelers treat it when traveling in Asia. The goal is for both purchaser and seller to walk away happy. 

When bargaining, respond to the first price quoted with a lower offer, then work back and forth until you reach a price you can both agree on. If you can afford it, avoid haggling over small sums – local people are often poorly paid and financially insecure, and overpaying by a few rupees won’t make a big dent in your wallet.  

Riders on camels pass a fort in rural Pakistan

11. Be aware of the no-go areas

The security situation can vary widely as you travel around Pakistan. Potentially dicey areas include parts of rural Sindh, some neighborhoods in Karachi , the area of Indus Kohistan close to Abbottabad (where Osama Bin Laden lived in hiding until 2011), parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan , and all of Baluchistan and Azad Kashmir provinces.

In general, you are unlikely to stumble into a danger zone because foreigners require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to visit such places, and you won’t be given one of these without excellent local contacts. The safest parts of the country are central Punjab Province and the area north of Gilgit, extending as far as the Chinese border along the Karakoram Highway . Check out the latest travel advisory information from your home government before you travel. 

While the risk is small, terrorist attacks and kidnappings do take place in Pakistan, and street crime can be an issue in parts of Karachi. Stay alert, exercise caution, and heed local advice on problem areas. Be aware that Sufi and Shia shrines are sometimes targeted by extremists, so visiting these locations can bring a slightly elevated risk.

12. Don’t panic if you get an armed escort

The Pakistani government is keen to protect the nation’s tourism industry, and officials sometimes insist that tourists take an armed guard to visit certain locations. You don’t have to pay for these guards, but the use of their services is mandatory. 

Some travelers find the guards somewhat constraining but their presence is usually just a precaution. You may be given a police escort in places such as Swat, the Kalash Valley and the scenic Fairy Meadows hiking area (on the northern flanks of Nanga Parbat peak).

13. Get travel insurance (and read the small print)

Good travel insurance is important for travel to Pakistan, but be aware that most policies won’t cover you for areas where your home government advises "against all travel." For example, in 2023, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office was advising against all travel to Swat and Peshawar, amongst other destinations. Check the latest government travel advisories for up-to-date information and plan your itinerary accordingly.  

14. Give some thought to potential problems before you come

Beyond security issues, natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes are unfortunately common at times in Pakistan, while power cuts are a smaller but more frequent occurrence. Monitor the local and international media for news on problem areas, and if you get caught in a natural disaster, follow the guidance of the authorities.

In terms of personal health, intestinal problems are the most common complaints among foreign tourists; the two golden rules are don’t drink the tap water and be wary of pre-cooked food. Eating from busy stalls and restaurants where food is freshly cooked is the way to go. 

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PESHAWAR: Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur Wednesday presided over the first meeting of the Department of Tourism and set new targets to develop the tourism sector in the province on modern lines.

The chief minister was briefed about the working administrative affairs of the tourism department and development projects and future action plans so far initiated for the promotion of the tourism sector in the province.

He was also briefed about the Integrated Tourism Zones to be established in Malakand and Hazara Divisions.

CM Ali Ali Amin Gandapur has set new targets to develop the tourism sector in the province on modern lines so as to attract both local and international tourists to visit scenic places.

He asked for a plan to promote the tourism sector as an industry and directed the concerned quarters to take up measures to attract domestic and foreign investment in the tourism sector.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has sufficient potential for tourism, it should be utilized to the maximum extent, the chief minister said while instructing the officials of the Tourism department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He directed the officials in the meeting that they should prepare a plan for the promotion of eco-tourism in the province.

Alternative markets should be established at crowded tourist spots and car parking areas should be included as a mandatory component in the planning of newly established tourist spots, Ali Amin Gandapur said.

Steps should be taken to provide all the facilities needed by the tourists at the tourist spots, the chief minister. He said a sustainable system should be developed for drinking water supply and sewage in tourist places.

CM Ali Amin Gandapur said that steps should be taken to establish rest areas and mosques on roads leading to tourist spots.

He also asked for a plan for the effective use of properties owned by the Tourism Department.

With the effective use of these properties, along with providing facilities to the tourists, the province can also get sufficient income, said the Chief Minister.

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Vietnam hails Gandhara Corridor project for cultural tourism promotion

Vietnam hails Gandhara Corridor project for cultural tourism promotion

ISLAMABAD, Apr 24 (APP): Ambassador of Vietnam in Pakistan, Nguyen Tien Phong on Wednesday hailed the proposed Gandhara Corridor Project as a major vehicle of regional connectivity, interfaith harmony and cultural tourism.

While delivering the keynote address on ‘Envisioning Comprehensive Pakistan-Vietnam Cooperation: Prospects and Opportunities’ organized by the NUST Institute of Policy Studies (NIPS), a leading g think-tank of NUST, said a press release.

The ambassador said that Gandhara tourism is a symbol of the shared Buddhist heritage, and could attract Vietnam tourists.

He said that several historical archaeological Gandhara sites located in different parts of Pakistan’s cities including Taxila, Peshawar, Mardan, and Swat are sacred holy places in the eyes of Buddhists and have potential to attract international tourists from Vietnam and other countries. He emphasized that devising a joint strategy in this regard could generate multiple opportunities for mutual cooperation.

On cultural connectivity, he said that there is an urgent need to encourage increased cultural contacts and trade exchanges between young Pakistanis and Vietnamese for a sustainable, long-term bilateral partnership.

It is worth mentioning that Member National Assembly (MNA) Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani recently introduced a bill in the National Assembly to establish the Gandhara Corridor to connect Pakistan with the Buddhist majority countries, including Vietnam.

Recalling the bilateral diplomatic relations, the envoy said, “Vietnam and Pakistan have celebrated 50 years of relations,” and “Pakistan has always supported Vietnam in all the international forums.”

While elaborating on the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, he said that Vietnamese professionals can help Pakistani counterparts in value addition in many business areas, leading to exports reaching EU markets under the free trade agreements.

He also expressed his country’s commitment to promoting the Pak-Vietnam partnership in trade, education, IT, tourism, science and technology.

The ambassador, in his concluding remarks, expressed his deep appreciation for the NUST knowledge ecosystem and identified higher education cooperation, IT technology and S&T collaboration as a win-win priority area where rapid mutual gains could be made.

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Pak assures to promote religious tourism with additional facilities

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Washington, DC [US], April 24 (ANI): The US on Tuesday (local time) warned Pakistan of “potential risk of sanctions,” adding that they will continue to disrupt and take actions against proliferation networks considering business deals with Iran.

Emphasising the US imposing sanctions on suppliers to Pakistan’s Ballistic Missile Program, US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said “We’re going to continue to disrupt and take actions against proliferation networks and concerning weapons of mass destruction procurement activities wherever they may occur…Just let me say, broadly, we advise anyone considering business deals with Iran to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions. But ultimately, the government of Pakistan can speak to their own foreign policy pursuits.”

Responding to a question on the reason behind these sanctions, Patel while addressing the presser, said, “The sanctions were made because these were entities that were proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery.”

He said that these entities were based in China and Belarus.

“These were entities based in the PRC in Belarus and that we have witnessed to have supplied equipment and other items to Pakistan’s ballistic missile program…,” he added.

Further, highlighting the Iranian President’s visit to Pakistan and the MOUs signed between the two countries, Patel advised to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions whosoever considers signing business deals with Iran.

In the wake of President Raisi’s three-day visit to Pakistan, eight bilateral agreements inked by the two countries, the spokesperson alluded to the possibility that these relations could be jeopardized by sanctions because of Iran’s standing in the international community.

Led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif from the Pakistani side and President Raisi representing Iran, the discussions underscored the shared vision of advancing political, economic, trade, and cultural ties between the two nations, reported Samaa.

Earlier in the day, Iran and Pakistan inked eight memoranda of understanding for collaboration in a range of areas. PM Shehbaz and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi witnessed the MoU signing ceremony.

The accords included cooperation in veterinary and animal health, judicial support in civil cases, and security matters.

Last week, the US State designated four entities targeting proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. These entities have supplied missile-applicable items to Pakistan’s ballistic missile program, including its long-range missile program.

The entities included Belarus-based Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant which has worked to supply special vehicle chassis to Pakistan’s long-range ballistic missile program.

It further imposed sanctions on three Chinese entities, including, “Xi’an Longde Technology Development Company Limited”, “Tianjin Creative Source International Trade Co Ltd” and “Granpect Company Limited”. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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Why is Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi visiting Pakistan?

Raisi is set to hold talks with top Pakistani leaders as the two nations aim to boost trade and resolve border issues.

In this photo released by Prime Minister Office, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, left, walks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a welcome ceremony in the prime minister house in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is in Pakistan on a three-day trip to discuss regional and bilateral relations days after Iran and Israel carried out attacks against each other, risking the Gaza war to expand into a regional conflict.

Raisi is scheduled to hold talks with top Pakistani leadership, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif , as the two neighbours seek to mend ties after tit-for-tat missile attacks in January.

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Local media reported that Raisi will also meet General Asim Munir , the head of Pakistan’s military, which wields huge political and economic influence in the South Asian nation.

What’s the agenda of the trip?

Raisi arrived in the capital, Islamabad, on Monday as the two neighbours aim to boost economic, border and energy ties.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, in line with the neighbourhood policy … is interested in promoting relations with Pakistan and during this trip, various issues including economic and commercial issues, energy and border issues will be discussed with the government of Pakistan,” a statement by the Iranian presidential office said on Monday.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for improving bilateral ties.

“The two sides will have a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran ties and enhance cooperation in diverse fields including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” the statement said.

The Iranian president will visit major cities, including Lahore and Karachi, and focus on bilateral and trade ties, it said.

Mosharraf Zaidi, a partner at advisory services firm Tabadlab and former adviser to the Foreign Ministry, told Al Jazeera in a written statement that Raisi’s trip is “an effort to secure an expression of support from Islamabad and Rawalpindi [military leadership] for Iran – as it stumbles deeper into a dangerous conflict with Israel”.

Zaidi added that Iran’s strategic thinkers are aware that Pakistan has both a domestic political crisis and a growing range of economic compulsions that limit the range of movement on Pakistan’s engagement in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

What’s the status of Iran-Pakistan ties?

Iran and Pakistan have a history of a troubled relationship, with both accusing each other of failing to rein in armed groups.

The border tensions escalated in January when Iran carried out air attacks across the border in Pakistan killing two children. The Iranian state media said the attack was targeting two bases of the armed group Jaish al-Adl . Pakistan retaliated by firing a missile into Iranian territory and recalling its ambassador from Tehran.

But the two neighbours decided to de-escalate tensions, with Tehran rushing its top diplomat to Islamabad to mend ties. The two countries agreed to confront the “menace of terrorism” together, especially in the border region. Before Raisi’s visit, Tehran and Islamabad talked about combating “terrorism”.

“At that time, Pakistan had a caretaker government in place. So what Iranians had indicated was that after the new government comes in, there could be a visit to repair the relationship and rebuild confidence,” Muhammad Faisal, a PhD Scholar at the University of Technology Sydney who specialises in Pakistan’s foreign policy, said.

Why is the Pakistan-Iran relationship vital?

Foreign policy analysts in Pakistan have backed re-engagement with Iran despite the border tensions.

“Pakistan has troubled borders with India as well as with Afghanistan. And therefore, to have a normal, stable relationship with Iran has been of utmost importance for Pakistan, and it remains so,” veteran Pakistani diplomat Maleeha Lodhi told Al Jazeera in the wake of the January border tensions.

Islamabad and Tehran have been aiming to boost bilateral trade, which currently stands at more than $2bn.

Faisal told Al Jazeera that there is a sizable informal trade between the two countries, including liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and crude oil. He added that Iran also provides electricity to Balochistan province and other border areas in Pakistan.

In May 2023, Sharif and Raisi inaugurated the first border market at the Mand-Pishin border crossing.

Moreover, the two neighbours have close cultural and religious ties, with tens of thousands of Shia minority people from Pakistan going to Iran every year on pilgrimage.

However, Tabadlab’s Zaidi said common cultural bonds and a long border – 900km (559 miles) – have not translated into people-to-people exchanges and deep trade ties.

“Instead, trade is mostly outside the formal domain and travel is restricted to religious tourism,” he said.

On the eve of his trip, the Iranian president set a target of $10bn in bilateral trade, saying the level of economic relations between the two countries is not equal to the level of political relations. Last August, they had set the bilateral trade target at $5bn.

A plan to build a pipeline to export Iranian natural gas to Pakistan has been stalled amid opposition from the United States, which has slapped a wide range of sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme.

Faisal, from the University of Technology Sydney, said the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline might be discussed during the talks.

How has Pakistan responded to Iran-Israel tensions?

On April 14, a day after Iran’s strikes on Israel, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for de-escalation . The statement deemed the events “the consequences of the breakdown of diplomacy”.

“These also underline the ‘grave’ implications in cases where the UN Security Council is unable to fulfil its responsibilities of maintaining international peace and security,” the ministry statement said.

It further said Pakistan underlined the necessity of international efforts to prevent further hostilities in the region and for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“It’s now critically urgent to stabilise the situation and restore peace. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint,” the statement concluded.

Pakistan does not recognise Israel and does not have direct channels of communication with it.

“In recent years, there has been growing conjecture about pressure from GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries on Pakistan to make changes to its Palestine policy. There is no indication that such a change is on the cards,” Zaidi said.

Iran's president arrives in Pakistan for 3-day visit amid tight security

The leaders of Iran and Pakistan have agreed to strengthen economic and security cooperation in a meeting that sought to smooth over a diplomatic rift

ISLAMABAD -- The leaders of Iran and Pakistan agreed to strengthen economic and security cooperation in a meeting on Monday that sought to smooth over a diplomatic rift.

Ties were strained between the neighbors in January when each carried out strikes in the other’s territory, targeting militants accused of attacking security forces.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other officials on his three-day visit. Authorities deployed hundreds of additional police and paramilitary forces for security.

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant violence in recent months, mostly blamed on Pakistani Taliban and insurgents targeting security forces in Pakistan and neighboring Iran.

According to a statement, the two leaders discussed a range of bilateral issues and vowed to cooperate to fight terrorism. They reiterated their condemnations of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza.

Sharif praised Iran’s “strong stand on the issue of Palestine” and said “Pakistan is also with the Palestinians.”

Raisi said the killings by Israel in Gaza were being committed with the support of the United States and other Western countries. He criticized international organizations, including the United Nations, saying, “They say they support human rights, but they proved that they are inefficient.”

The visit comes after Iran’s unprecedented direct strikes on Israel and an apparent Israeli response. Pakistan is among the countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel because of the issue of Palestinian statehood.

Raisi also vowed to boost what he called “unacceptably” meager bilateral trade with Pakistan and called for setting up more border markets. Pakistan and Iran set up the first such border market in southwestern Pakistan's Baluchistan province last year, promising five more under a 2012 agreement.

The two leaders signed eight cooperation agreements, according to Sharif's office.

Authorities said the two sides also discussed a multi-billion gas pipeline project, on hold since 2014. The project — opposed by Washington as a violation of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program — launched in 2013 to supply Iranian natural gas to energy-starved Pakistan.

Iran says it had already completed the pipeline on its side of the border after investing $2 billion. Pakistan was supposed to finish construction on its territory by the end of 2014 but work stalled, leading to tensions between the nations.

The Iranian president later met with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, who helped launch the pipeline project after traveling to Iran in 2013.

On Monday night, Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen. Asim Munir met with the Iranian president, the military said in a statement. It said their discussion focused on "matters of mutual interest, notably regional peace, stability and border security.”

The statement said Munir described the Pakistan-Iran border as “the border of peace and friendship" but emphasized the need for improved coordination there “to prevent terrorists from jeopardizing the longstanding brotherly relations.”

It quoted Raisi as saying that by fostering cooperation between the militaries, Iran and Pakistan “can attain peace and stability for both nations and the region."

Raisi also met with Pakistan's Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar. The two discussed regional and global developments and “affirmed commitment to peace and constructive dialogue for resolving regional challenges."

Raisi is accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation. He plans to visit Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, and Lahore, where he will meet with the country's recently elected first female chief minister, Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

This version corrects the first name of the Pakistani president to Asif.

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    This beautiful lake which provides tranquil waters was originated as a result of a landslide in January 2010 in Attabad Village. The lake has vivid blue waters that pierce through the hilly land of Hunza Valley The lake is one of the most popular tourist places in Pakistan, offering exciting experiences like skiing, boating, catching fishes and others.

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  21. The future of tourism in Pakistan

    In 2020 the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported that the travel and tourism industry in 2019 continued at a growth rate of 3.5%, exceeding the global economy growth (2.5%) for nine ...

  22. Tourism in Pakistan: A long way off

    According to the World Bank, Pakistan brought in $16 billion in tourist spending in 2022, and that amount is expected to rise to $30 billion by 2033. The travel and tourism sector's total ...

  23. An overview of Pakistan Tourism Sector, potential hindrances, and

    SUMMARY Tourism has emerged as a leading industry in modern times with expected growth from 1.4 billion (2020) to 1.8 billion in 2030 and is equally affected by the COVID-19. Tourists hit diverse ...

  24. KP CM vows to promote tourism sector in province

    PESHAWAR: Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur Wednesday presided over the first meeting of the Department of Tourism and set new targets to develop the tourism sector in

  25. Vietnam hails Gandhara Corridor project for cultural tourism promotion

    The ambassador said that Gandhara tourism is a symbol of the shared Buddhist heritage, and could attract Vietnam tourists. He said that several historical archaeological Gandhara sites located in different parts of Pakistan's cities including Taxila, Peshawar, Mardan, and Swat are sacred holy places in the eyes of Buddhists and have potential ...

  26. Religious Tourism: Pak Assures To Promote Religious Tourism With

    Amritsar: Pakistan aims to promote religious tourism, particularly among Sikhs, by enhancing facilities and infrastructure at key religious sites, additional secretary of Evacuee Trust Property ...

  27. "We're going to continue to disrupt": US warns Pakistan of "potential

    Washington, DC [US], April 24 (ANI): The US on Tuesday (local time) warned Pakistan of "potential risk of sanctions," adding that they will continue to disrupt and take actions against proliferation networks considering business deals with Iran. Emphasising the US imposing sanctions on suppliers to Pakistan's Ballistic Missile Program, US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson […]

  28. Why is Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi visiting Pakistan?

    The Iranian president will visit major cities, including Lahore and Karachi, and focus on bilateral and trade ties, it said. Mosharraf Zaidi, a partner at advisory services firm Tabadlab and ...

  29. Iran's president arrives in Pakistan for 3-day visit amid tight

    ISLAMABAD -- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Islamabad for a three-day visit on Monday, during which he plans to discuss a range of issues with authorities in Pakistan's capital ...