1. BADSHAHI MASJID
Built in 1671, Badshahi Masjid is the crown jewel of Lahore, a symbol of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857), and one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan. Its architecture is characterized by carved red sandstones, which was typical of the Mughal era.
The vast courtyard of the masjid can hold up to 100,000 worshippers, making it the second largest masjid in Pakistan! I recommend spending at least a couple of hours here to admire all the marvelous details of the architecture.
For much of its history, Badshahi Masjid was used as a military base by the Sikhs, who ruled Lahore from 1799 to 1849. The courtyard of the masjid used to be a stable for army horses during that period.
When the British took over after the fall of the Sikh Empire, they continued to use the masjid as a military post. It was only in 1947, when Pakistan gained its independence, that Badshahi Masjid was restored back to its original purpose — worship and prayer.
2. FORT ROAD FOOD STREET:
Less than a 5-minute walk from Badshahi Masjid is Fort Road – a really popular food street in Lahore lined up with vibrant and colorful buildings. Some buildings here have so much detail; you’ll notice something new each time you look at them again!
What makes it even better is that there are numerous restaurants here that offer a spectacular view of Badshahi Masjid, such as Haveli Restaurant, Andaaz Restaurant, and Cooco’s Den.
🌇 Top Tip: I recommend coming here just before sunset and having dinner at one of the restaurants listed above — you’d be treating yourself to a magnificent view of the sun setting over Badshahi Masjid while enjoying some delicious local cuisine!
3. LAHORE FORT — ONE OF THE BEST LAHORE TOURIST PLACES
Directly facing Badshahi Masjid is the historical Lahore Fort — a monument you have to visit especially if you’re a history buff. This fortress started off as merely a mud-brick fort back in the 11th century, and for the following 500 years, it was destroyed and rebuilt again and again as Mongols, Timur, and Pashtuns invaded the region.
The fort was completely rebuilt in the 17th century during the Mughal Empire, damaged again afterwards by the Sikhs and the British, and today, it is partially restored.
The fort’s complex is huge, so make sure to allocate an ample amount of time for wandering around its many palaces, gardens and museums. You can easily spend half a day here!
One of the highlights to see is the gorgeous Sheesh Mahal, ‘The Palace of Mirrors’. Built in 1631 by Shah Jahan, its interiors are decorated with countless reflective glass tiles. To make things even better, you also get a stunning view of the rest of Lahore Fort and Badshahi Masjid from there.
4. TOMB OF JAHANGIR
The Tomb of Jahangir is another one of the most remarkable historical places in Lahore. Completed in 1637, it’s a mausoleum built for Jahangir, one of the most accomplished emperors of the Mughal Empire who ruled between 1605 and 1627.
The architecture of this place showcases some beautifully intricate pietra dura, which are pictorial mosaics made with semi-precious stones. This tomb took 10 years to build and is the only remaining Mughal tomb in Pakistan!
I recommend spending a couple of hours here wandering inside the complex, which also features a large garden where locals have picnics and gather with their families.
5. SHALIMAR GARDENS
If you’re looking for relaxing things to do in Lahore, then walking around the Shalimar Gardens — locally known as Shalimar Bagh — is a great option.
This garden complex dates back to the Mughal era and was completed in 1642 under the rule of Emperor Shah Jahan, the same emperor who commissioned the Taj Mahal (he’s also one of Emperor Jahangir’s sons).
There’s also a big pool with fountains in the garden complex, and the vibe there is very chill, making it the perfect place to take a stroll.
6. DELHI GATE MARKET
The Walled City of Lahore (also known as the Old City) used to have 13 gates leading up to it. When the British conquered the region, almost all of them were destroyed. Six gates were rebuilt since then, and Delhi Gate is one of them.
Today, there’s a bustling market leading up to this gate, and the atmosphere there is superb and filled with life — I highly recommend taking a walk around! It’s also a great place to meet locals and get a glimpse of local life in Lahore.
7. MASJID WAZIR KHAN
From the market at Delhi Gate, you can see a yellow minaret standing in the distance. If you walk towards it, you’ll reach Masjid Wazir Khan — one of the most peaceful and serene places in Lahore.
This masjid was built in 1641 by Emperor Shah Jahan, and its stunningly ornate tilework will captivate you as soon as you approach the entrance gate. It only gets more breathtaking from there, as every interior surface of the masjid including its ceilings and archways are covered in gorgeous, intricate patterns and Mughal frescoes.
If you visit in the evening, you’ll most likely hear an evening prayer call. You won’t be allowed to stay in the masjid’s courtyard during the prayers and will have to wait in the designated prayer rooms (there are separate ones for men and women).
At the end of the prayers, the etiquette is to wait a couple of minutes before going back outside because it is believed that during sunset, spirits return home through the masjid’s courtyard.
🔥 Top Tip: You can pay 500 rupees to the men who collect shoes at the entrance of the masjid, and they can let you climb up one of the masjid’s minarets! The view from up there is quite fantastic as you not only get to see the entire masjid from a bird’s-eye perspective, but you can also spot the busy streets of Old Lahore!
8. GURDWARA NANKANA SAHIB
About 1.5 hours west of Lahore is Nankana Sahib, the most important religious site for Sikhs. This city was named after Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and is home to 9 major Sikh gurdwaras. The main one — Gurdwara Nankana Sahib — is believed to be situated right at the birth site of Guru Nanak.
This sacred site is visited by millions of pilgrims every year, and is definitely worth seeing if you’re interested in wandering a bit outside of Lahore.
9. LAHORE MUSEUM — ONE OF THE TOP LAHORE FAMOUS PLACES
If you want to get the ultimate lesson on Pakistan history and culture, then visiting Lahore Museum is a must. Inside this museum, you’ll find Pakistan’s largest and oldest collection of historical and cultural artifacts. Ranging from rare manuscripts, old coins and carved woodwork to ancient jewellery, musical instruments and Buddhist art.
The famous “Fasting Buddha” statue from the ancient Gandhara Kingdom can also be found here. As well as collections from the Sikh, Mughal, and British empires.
10. GRAND JAMIA MASJID
If you’re curious to see more masjids, then head over to Grand Jamia Masjid. The third-largest masjid in Pakistan and definitely one of the best places to visit in Lahore. The architecture of this masjid was largely influenced by that of Badshahi Masjid and Masjid Wazir Khan; you’ll see lots of ornate tilework, marble floors, and chandeliers.
This masjid can accommodate up to 70,000 worshippers and also houses an Islamic academy in its basement. As well as a museum that contains a rare collection of Qurans.
Want to read more about Pakistani Beauty:
- Top 5 Countries to visit in 2021
- Top 10 most beautiful places in Pakistan
- 60PC of Pakistan’s energy will be ‘spotless’ by 2030: PM Imran
- Where to invest in Lahore 2022
- The CEOs of the 5 biggest companies in the world are Indians. But why no one is Pakistani?
- Earn from Facebook videos in Pakistan
- Airlines declare 5G technology a threat to aircraft
- How to Recover Deleted Messages from WhatsApp?
- Twitter cracks down on users’ privacy
- How to keep important WhatsApp chats secret?