Top 10 Places to Visit in Pakistan

Written by Sundus Muhammad

Nature has granted Pakistan with landscapes of all sorts. Ranging from some of the highest mountain ranges of the world, to plainsplateaus, deserts , sea coasts, and forests, the land is a miscellany of an array of landforms. Back in 2010, Lonely Planet asserted Pakistan as the “…tourism’s ‘next big thing’Pakistan was ranked as ‘The best holiday destination for 2020’, by a renowned travel magazine. As the country improves in providing a safe environment for the tourists while proving itself against the wrongly hyped unstable situations, the tourism establishes at a steady pace. Find out some of the top places and favorite spots of tourists, of the loaded natural beauty of Pakistan. 

Swat Valley – The Swat valley, nicknamed as the ‘Switzerland of the East’ is a district located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. There should be a good reason it’s called the ‘Switzerland of the East’, right? Well, the valley is quite reputable for its mesmerizing sceneries and the breath-taking landscape. Apart from the natural beauty, the valley has a rich history and some major attractions related to it  these include the Malam Jabba hill station, the shrine of the Akhund of Swat, the residence of the Wali of Swat, the Swat museum, and the Archaeological remains of Butkara. There are many sub-valleys lying within the Swat district, comprising enchanting lakes rippling in the foot of the colossal lofty mountains. Lying out in the foot of Hindukush mountains is the famous sub-valley of Kalam. It has glacial lakes which are most visited due to the easy accessibility. It also holds in it the Swat river. A few other renowned sub-valley’s include UtrolGhabral, Bhan, and Mahodand. 

Skardu – The soaring mountains are the main attraction of the Skardu district which is situated in Gilgit-baltistan. The mountainous terrain of Skardu possesses some of the world’s largest mountains, making it a huge attraction of the mountaineers, trekkers, and tourists. Kachura lake and Satpara lake are are also located here that gives it an edge for a summer vacation venue. The lakes have temperatures of 15°C even on the hottest days, while they freeze during winters. Shangri-La lake, a part of the Kachura lake is a spot which is home to the Shangri-La Resort complex, that has been welcoming tourists from around the world since decades. The Deosai National Park is also one of the tourist spots in Skardu which accommodates hundreds and thousands of species of flora and fauna.  

Hunza Valley – The Hunza Valley is another spot to fall in love with, in Gilgit-baltistan, enveloped between the Himalayas and the Karakoram mountain ranges. The beauty of the valley flaunts every season, sparkling off the natural landscape which even the words can’t describe. The flowers and the greenery that pop up in Spring seem like a never ending path of colors. The mountains and the meadows covered with snow during the winters look like something from a fairy tale. With the peaks of the silhouetted mountains turning red during sunsets, one of the most spectacular sunsets of the world can be observed. The castle of BaltitBorith lake, Karakoram highway, and the Batura glacier are some of the landmarks of the valley, which also exhibit diversity of its topography.  

Kalash Valleys – In the remote areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rest the valleys of Kalash. While adding to the charm of the country, they represent a distinctive ethnic group living in a peaceful and tranquil surroundings away from the hustles of the city. The valleys include BumburetRumbur, and Birir, and are located around the Hindu Kush mountain range. The indigenous people, Kalasha, are known for their blue eyes and light-colored skin. The long-preserved culture and religion, with no influences whatsoever, is still followed. The valley is visited the most during the festival seasons to witness the colors, rituals, and dances. If one is to explore Pakistan, this valley is among the best places that represents the large array of ethnicity.  

Lahore – Lahore is the second-largest city of Pakistan. Tourists visit the city to enjoy the remnants of its rich history and to witness the developed infrastructure and the modern cityscape. From the ‘Walled City of Lahore’ to the contemporary complexes, the places have their own charisma. The Walled City, estimated to have been established around thousand years ago, narrates the tales from the past, from the opulent eraa of the Ghaznavids, Ghorids, the Drlhi Sultanate and the Mughals. The architectural sites built in the times of the empires are well preserved making them favorite spots of the tourists. The modern-day Lahore structures are the Mall of Lahore, Emporium Mall, hotels such as Pearl Continental , M.M.Alam Road, Liberty Market, Food Street of Gawalmandi, and many more. 

Lake Saif ul Muluk – The Lake Saif Ul Muluk sits near the end of the Kaghan Valley. This lake is ranked the fifth best tourist destination in Pakistan  by the Guardian. The view of the crystal clear greenish-blue water gathered between perfectly fashioned mountains by its side leaves one astonished. It’s beauty links it to many fairy tales or tell tales, the place itself is named after a legendary prince from a fairy tale. The summers paint an eye catching scenery of the overall view, while the winters cover the lake and mountains with snow. It’s a good spot for summers but traveling to the place in winters is no less than a venture, however, reaching the lake makes it all worthy. 

Fairy Meadows – What might be the favorite place for tourists who are in interested in adventurous outdoor activities rather than sitting in five star restaurants and driving through cityscapes? Fairy Meadows! Located in Diamer district in Gilgit-baltistan are the beautiful plains of Fairy Meadows. The name was coined by German climbers and is self-explanatory. The meadows spread far and wide with epic sceneries, attracting tourists and trekkers. The tourist visit the place through hiking or trekking, both foot and jeep, starting from nearby spots. The view of the Nanga Parbat mountain range is another feature the tourists make sure to have it on the list. This place itself serves as a launching point for climbers of Nanga Parbat. It is also a spot for camping. 

Churna Island – Churna island is a small, isolated island located approximately 7kms away from Mubarak Village, Karachi. It wasn’t much recognized until recently and has now become a well-known site solely for recreational purposes. The island itself presents a dramatic view. The recreational activities include snorkeling, diving, fishing, cliff jumping, jet skiing, and banana boating. The water is crystal clear and has many species of fishes and corals. It’s a perfect place for a day out in the scorching summer of Karachi.  

Nathia Gali – Nathia Gali is another favorite hill station, famous among the tourists and local visitors. The place has meadows and deep forests. The forests are known for oak, maple, cedar, and pine trees. It is also known for trekking as it has a beautiful lead to Thandiani, a hill station nearby. It has a pleasant weather in the summers therefore it is looked forward to during the usual hot climate of most of the country. Adding to it’s appeal is the peace and calmness that is still perceivable during the season of peak tourist activities, the reason being the limited number of places available for a stay. 

Bhurban– Bhurban is a small town and a hill station in Punjab. It is near the very famous hill station, Murree. The place is full of green sceneries with a backdrop of divine, enormous mountains. Kashmir Point is perfect spot for sightseeing the mountains, valleys, villages, and waterfalls. The Dunga Gali Pipeline walk is quite a famous activity among the visitors of Bhurban. Trekking, walking, or strolling whatever you may call it, refreshes one’s soul and mind as the serenity and mildness of the nature is experienced throughout the way, filled with canopies of pine trees.