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If the splendor and mystery of Pakistan sits high on your travel bucket list, these beautiful places to visit in Pakistan simply must find a spot on your travel itinerary when planning your visit.
Little is known about tourism in Pakistan compared to many other countries, which makes its utterly dazzling beauty all the more jaw-dropping when you first lay eyes on some of the country’s natural wonders and historic cities.
From palaces of ancient kingdoms gone by to the crystal waters of lakes in vast, sweeping valleys, Pakistan truly does have it all. It is as unique and fascinating as it is breathtaking.
Guided by a local writer, let us together witness just a smidge of the awe, magic, and wonder of this country and see Pakistan through 20 of its most beautiful places.
Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan
1 – Hunza Valley
Hunza Valley is a hidden gem of Pakistan, located in the Gilgit Baltistan province. It is a secluded valley, sitting between the Himalayas and the Karakoram mountain ranges. This fertile valley has agricultural land that has always been a great tourist attraction. It has breathtaking views and is home to warm, hospitable people.
In the mountains of Hunza, there is a sense of tranquility and seclusion. The raw and rugged mountains make you feel like you’re in paradise. This is a must-visit for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
2 – Swat Valley
During her visit to Pakistan, Queen Elizabeth II labeled Swat as the Switzerland of Pakistan. Swat is located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Due to its scenic beauty, pleasant weather, and hospitable people, it is very much a piece of heaven on earth, just like Hunza.
Swat Valley is famous not only for its breathtaking landscape but also for its natural wildlife. It has luscious forests, high peak mountains, and beautiful lakes.
Tourists can go hiking, trekking, camping, zip-lining, or just spend time relaxing in nature. In the winters, tourists can enjoy skiing, ice skating, sledding, ice hockey, snowboarding, and speed skating.
3 – Naran Kaghan
Naran and Kaghan are incredible tourist locations located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. These valleys are the perfect spot for nature lovers. They offer flowing rivers, miles of meadows, snowy mountains, and breathtaking lakes.
The valleys are some of the most visited tourist spots in the country. This region is abundant in natural beauty. It is defined by the crystal waters of the rivers, the green grass of the meadows, and the snow-capped peaks of the mountains.
Tourists can enjoy beautiful lakes such as Lake Saiful Malook, Lulusar Lake, Aansoo Lake (Tear Lake), and Dutipatsar Lake. This valley attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. It is a prime destination to visit during the summer, preferably from May till September.
4 – Shogran Valley
Shogran is a small hill station in the Kaghan region. It is filled with luxury hotels and motels, and it is the ideal spot for family vacations. Similarly to the Naran Kaghan region, Shogran is filled with tourists in the summer.
One of the main attractions of Shogran is the Siri Paye meadow. Tourists can enjoy hiking, trekking, and mountain climbing in the region. The area is also commonly home to music festivals and concerts. It is a wholesome area that can provide joy and everlasting memories for families, adventure seekers, and music enthusiasts alike.
5 – Skardu Valley
Skardu is a scenic valley, and the capital of the Baltistan region. It is filled with rugged natural beauty, fresh spring water, blue lakes, and rocky mountains.
The valley also plays host to a main urban center that holds significant strategic importance, as Skardu connects Pakistan with China, Afghanistan, and India.
It is the main attraction for thousands of trekkers each year. The region reaches an elevation of 2,286 meters, lying behind the peaks of the great Karakoram mountain range. Tourists can enjoy the hospitality of the Balti people, eat amazing authentic food, and enjoy the scenic views courtesy of affordable hotels and inns.
6 – Chitral Kalash
Chitral is a small cozy town nesting beneath the mighty Hindu Kush mountains. It is inhabited by a tough, warm, and hospitable community. Within a two-hour drive from Chitral, you will reach Kalash, a UNESCO heritage site with a thousand-year-old culture. The Kalasha are approximately five thousand people, who, to this day, still live as they did many centuries ago.
Every year tourists visit to witness and be enlightened by their traditions and culture. The women dress in traditional garb with a small cap, and the garb is black with colorful embroidery, made by the uniquely talented women of Kalash. Men and women come together and dance at every festival.
These people tend to their goats, worship their gods as a community, and work on their crops throughout the year. This is one of the most unique places in Pakistan that gives a glimpse into the lifestyle of an ancient culture.
7 – Fairy Meadows
Fairy Meadows is a beautiful little base site for the Nanga Parbat mountain range. It is located in the Diamer district of Gilgit Baltistan. Blessed with matchless beauty, Fairy Meadows is easily one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan. With a hike of almost three hours, you will reach this heavenly place with lush green lakes, and a spectacular view of the snow-covered Nanga Parbat Mountain.
The views can be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee from your log cabin: a view that is second to none. Fairy Meadows, without question, is a truly wonderful experience of the raw north of Pakistan.
8 – Neelum Valley
Neelum valley is located in Azad Kashmir near the capital Muzaffarabad. Neelum Valley literally translates to Blue Gem valley.
It is one of the most beautiful places in Azad Kashmir. It is home to freshwater streams, crystal-clear rivers, and beautiful forests. Like the rest of Pakistan, the people of Kashmir are very hospitable and warm to their guests.
You can find lodgings at very cheap rates in Neelum. Usually crowded in the summers, one should visit the area between September and October for a quiet, tranquil experience.
9 – Badshahi Mosque
Badshahi Mosque is a relic of the great Mughal dynasty, which ruled over the Indian subcontinent for nearly three centuries. It is a historic monument that can house over 100,000 worshippers
It was made by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The mosque represents the grand Mughal architecture and stands in an enclosure with four minarets and three domes. It is also home to the relics of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
It is decorated with elaborate floral motifs and beautiful calligraphy. The mosque is a UNESCO heritage site and remains well-kept by the authorities.
10 – Arang Kel
Arang Kel is a small village inside Neelam. It is also called the Pearl of Neelam. This beautiful village is nested at approximately 8000 feet on a hilltop. Arang Kel is a 5-hour ride from Muzaffarabad, and the scenic route is a true wonder to witness.
Kel is secluded from the rest of Kashmir and is filled with green pastures and foliage. Kel is home to wild animals, horses, and birds of the rarest kinds.
You can find a cozy hotel or a cabin for your stay, and enjoy some quiet time with your family, trek along many of its beautiful trails, or hike in the mountains.
11 – Attabad Lake
In 2010, the village of Attabad was buried under a massive landslide. The disaster killed 20 people and destroyed 26 homes. The landslide caused the Hunza river to be dammed in the area. The waters of this natural dam quickly grew to a depth of more than 300 feet and reached over 21 kilometers.
In time, from disaster, an area of spectacular beauty took from. Attabad Lake is defined by its blue turquoise waters, shimmering between a myriad of small mountains.
The lake is now a livelihood for the people of Attabad, with their small guesthouses and hotels nearby. Tourists can enjoy jet skiing, fishing, boating, and plenty of other recreational activities.
12 – Shandur-Hundrup National Park
Situated between Chitral and Gilgit, the Shandur Pass is a plateau that is elevated to a height of almost 4100 meters. The area of Shandur can be accessed between late April and early November. Traveling there is only possible via jeep, and it’s a 168-kilometer drive from Chitral.
The area is also known as the ‘Roof of the World.’ It is home to the world’s most resilient yet generous people.
During the annual Shandur Polo Festival, teams from Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan compete. There are seven matches played, and the festival lasts for three days, from July 7 until July 9 every year.
It is the highest polo ground in the world. Tourists can visit to have amazing food, witness amazing polo matches, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the Pakistani people.
13 – Deosai National Park
Deosai National Park is a fertile plain that is blanketed by millions of flowers. The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and beautiful birds all year round.
This is the highest plateau on the planet, spread over an area of 3000 km². It is near the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges. Due to its remarkable beauty and biodiversity, it was given the status of a national park.
The national park is home to the Himalayan brown bear, golden marmots, the snow leopard, and lammergeiers (a rare vulture breed).
14 – Khunjerab Pass
The Khunjerab Pass is the highest point on the Karakoram Highway and the highest border crossing in the world. It connects the Xinjiang province of China with Pakistan. It is home to a spectacular landscape, with snowcapped mountains on both sides; a fertile high-altitude plateau.
Tourists can witness the wild grazing herds of yaks and mountain goats in the region. Both armies of Pakistan and China enjoy a friendly relationship on the border and often exchange gifts and pleasantries on special occasions. It is a symbol of the everlasting alliance between China and Pakistan.
15 – Khaplu
Khaplu is a small remote village near Skardu. It has picturesque terraced fields that grow all sorts of crops. It was once a famous and wealthy kingdom for the rulers of Khaplu.
Over time the place eroded, and this beautiful village was unknown to the outer world. Recently the Agha Khan took interest in renovating Khaplu and reviving the famous Khaplu Palace to its former glory for tourists and visitors.
Guests can stay in the exquisite hotel and enjoy the small village and its warm, hospitable community.
16 – Naltar Valley
Naltar valley is a popular tourist attraction, around 54 km from Gilgit City. It has thick forests, crystal-clear lakes, and skiing facilities in the winter.
Naltar Valley can only be enjoyed in the summer months when the lakes are not frozen and the weather is pleasant. To reach this valley, tourists will have to hire a jeep because there is no form of public transport to reach the area. There are numerous hotel cabins and guesthouses to accommodate tourists in the valley.
To avoid peak tourist season, try to visit the valley after the month of May, and you’ll be able to witness plenty of epic wild beauty through to the end of fall.
17 – Pir Sohawa
Pir Sohawa is a picturesque spot in the capital city, Islamabad. It is a famous spot and has a strong reputation amongst foreigners, diplomats, tourists, and guests who visit the capital. This green spot is full of scenic restaurants, with a magnificent view of the whole city, especially at night.
It is always filled with tourists, guests, and families due to its amazing view, delicious food, and serene ambiance. It is a must-visit when in Islamabad.
18 – Bahawalpur
Bahawalpur is an old city located in Punjab. It lies between the arid landscapes of the Cholistan desert, close to the border, neighboring India. It was once a princely state, part of the Rajputana States that stretched across Rajasthan in India, and was ruled by Nawabs and Nizams.
The city is filled with historic monuments and old architecture, like the Noor Mehal. The city is a snapshot in time, taking you back to the era of the ancient kings who used to rule over this region.
Bahawalpur has other impressive historic attractions, such as the famous Derawar fort, dating back to the 9th century. It has impressive 30-meter-high bastions that surround the fort and walls that span over 1.5 kilometers. It is an awe-inspiring monument, representing centuries of grandeur.
In Bahawalpur, the Farid Gate and the royal tombs inside Derawar Fort, are also must-see pieces of Pakistani history.
19 – Ranikot Fort
Ranikot Fort is the largest fort in the world, also called the ‘Great Wall of Sindh.’ It is a magnificent piece of architecture located near Jamshoro, Sindh.
Though difficult to access due to poor development in the region, Ranikot Fort is still a must-see piece of Pakistani beauty if you are visiting Sindh. Search for local guides to aid you.
The fort stands in the middle of nowhere, defending nothing. Though the purpose of the fort has never been clear to the archaeologists, it is a symbol of pride for the people of Sindh. It stood the test of time and has been standing for almost two centuries.
20 – Baltit Fort
Baltit Fort is a 700-year-old historical building located in Hunza. The fort used to be the seat of governance for the rulers of the region. The governors were known as Mirs, who ruled for hundreds of years.
In 1954, the Mirs abandoned the fort to move to another palace constructed in the vicinity. The fort lost its glory over the next half a century.
Today, the fort has been restored to its previous glory by the Agha Khan Trust. This was done to preserve the beautiful culture of Hunza. It took several years to renovate the fort, but it stands as a symbol of pride for the region.
A major tourist attraction, Baltit Fort is a prime example of Pakistan’s efforts to preserve its natural and cultural heritage.
Beautiful Places to Visit in Pakistan Summary
Pakistan is piquing the interest of more and more travelers every year, and these beautiful places visit show us just why.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the mesmerizing ancient history, spend time in nature, or experience a truly unique culture, you can find it all, and more, in Pakistan.
Looking to book a trip to Pakistan?
Here are some resources to help you book your next trip to Pakistan:
Travel Tools and Resources
Need a little help and guidance planning your trip? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!
- Travel Binder: Our 30+ page travel binder has everything you need to plan your trip from start to finish. You can download it, print as many pages as you need, and get everything booked, organized, and accounted for using our colorful guides, documents, and printables.
- Packing Lists: If you’re overwhelmed thinking about what you need to pack, use our free packing lists to help you out. We have a vacation packing list, a weekend packing list for shorter city break getaways, and a beach packing list for beach day trips, among many others.
- Booking Flights: We have used Skyscanner to book flights for many years and like their easy-to-use interface and the number of flight routes they are able to aggregate.
- Priority Pass is also a real game changer, as being able to relax and have food in any airport lounge before a flight makes flying a far more enjoyable experience.
- Booking Accommodations: We generally use Booking.com because of how many options they can find you and their generally flexible cancellation policies. We also use Hotels.com because you can build up reward points to use toward free stays. We also recommend Trusted Housesitters if you’re flexible with your dates, looking to budget, and traveling at a slower pace. In exchange for housekeeping and looking after someone’s pet, you can arrange house sits with homeowners on the platform. We were able to stay in London in a beautiful borough one summer this way, during peak tourist season when prices are at their highest.
- Travel Insurance: As we work remotely when traveling, we use SafetyWing when booking travel medical insurance. They offer policies suited to both short-term and long-term travel as well as policies for companies with remote workers.
- Tours: We love to look through options on Viator and GetYourGuide to see what fun activities we can book in the place we’re visiting. Not only does their list of tours and experiences give us inspiration, but it’s also very straightforward to book through their websites.
- VPN: We never connect to a public wife like a hotel, cafe, or airport wifi without a VPN. We’ve been using Express VPN since 2016.
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Author: Momin Asif is a content writer and publisher from Lahore Cantt, Pakistan. With extensive experience living across Pakistan, he is eager to share more about the country’s beautiful culture and tourism opportunities through his writing.