A popular saying goes by ‘If you haven’t seen Lahore, you haven’t even lived!’ With a population of about 11.1 million, Lahore also goes by the title of ‘City of Gardens’. The culturally enriched city of Punjab is considered to be the cultural capital of Pakistan. Although not as big as other cities from across the country, it yet holds and hosts centuries of history buried deep within. While you might consider that you’ve seen most of Lahore, the city has the ability to prove you wrong. Why? well because the more you see in the city, the more it actually has left! If you’re planning to tour the city, here are the top 10 places to visit in Lahore.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Lahore
Landmarks in the major cities of Pakistan are always unique and intricate in detail. For instance, the landmarks in Karachi are totally different in style from the ones in Lahore. The Top 10 Places to Visit in Lahore are all culturally enriched just like the city in itself. Lahore is considered one of the Top 5 Tourist Destinations in Pakistan. Each landmark is uniquely established yet shares similarities in culture and heritage.
1. The Badshahi Mosque
A living symbol of the Mughal era, the Badshahi Mosque is the crown of Lahore. Completed in 1673, it has a total covered area of 176 feet and can hold up to 100,000 people at a time. Capable of being seen from miles away, the beauty of the structure will undoubtedly leave you in awe! Crafted with red sandstone on the outside and carved marble on the inside, it indeed is a masterpiece in itself!
Interestingly enough, the mosque was used as a military base by the Sikhs, whereas the courtyard acted as a stable for their horses. Upon the inception of Pakistan, it was restored to being the place of worship. Since then the landmark has remained a focal point for tourists forever. Nights in the courtyards are surely to hit you differently!
2. Lahore Fort
Facing Badshahi Mosque is the Lahore Fort that you really need to visit in case you’re looking for real history! Also known as the Shahi Qila, it is a one of a kind architectural masterpiece of the Mughals. Build back in the 11th century, it has a record of being destroyed and rebuilt time and again. Gardens, museums, palaces, halls, there is so much for you to look at!
An interesting highlight herein is the Sheesh Mahal, also known as The Palace of Mirrors. Embossed with uncountable reflective glass tiles, you get to have a look at all of the Lahore Fort. World’s Largest Picture Wall has been reconstructed and restored in the Lahore fort, under the WCL Authority. Hence, while you’re at it, don’t forget to give your eyes a treat by being here!
3. Masjid Wazir Khan
Built by Shah Jahan in 1641, the Wazir Khan Masjid is love at first sight! Known to be one of the peaceful places of Lahore, the tile work within is a vibrant contrast to that inside the Lahore Fort. Mughal art and culture are reflected off the surfaces, ceilings and archways, making it all the more breathtaking. The intricate patterns and glazed colorful tiles manage to work out their magic on the onlooker, all too easily!
Seeming to be a lifetime of work in having it constructed, it in fact was a 7-year project under the Mughals. The Masjud Wazir Khan stands proud today, even centuries after the downfall of Mughals. The conservation of the Wazir Khan Mosque will be completed till 2023 as per the WCLA. In the restoration process the team will be restoring the historical architecture of the building. You can simply not risk missing this calligraphy and beauty on show when you visit Lahore!
4. Shalimar Gardens
This is one place you can visit to have a soothing stroll and relax your mind after being through the hustle and bustle of the city. Yet another masterpiece of Shah Jahan Shalimar garden complex was completed in 1642. Moreover, it contains a big pool as well as a number of fountains all throughout. Moreover, having qualified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Shalimar Gardens have a total covered area of 80 acres. As a result, the landmark is automatically considered huge!
Boasting off the architectural skills of the Mughals, the three terraces therein go known as Farah Baksh, Faiz Baksh and Hayat Baksh. You’d absolutely love being here!
5. Minar e Pakistan
Standing 70m tall right amidst the Iqbal Park, this is not merely a landmark but the site where the Lahore Resolution was passed. Symbolizing Pakistani pride, Minar-e-Pakistans is a must-visit in order to revive your spirit of patriotism. The landmark is also home to both Mughal and Islamic architecture. Built-in the 1960s, visitors yet flock to visit it and have their moment in history. The compounds of the monument also host the tomb of Raja Ranjit Singh. The Ranjit Singh tomb yet again is another must-visit point while you’re in Lahore.
6. Tomb of Jahangir
This undoubtedly is one of the remarkable most Mughal architectural sites in Lahore. Built as the final resting place of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, it was completed in 1637. However, the tomb took 10 long years to build and the architecture is worth the wait. Boasting intricate patterns and holding on to itself precious stones, this surprisingly enough is the only tomb of the Mughal emperors themselves in Pakistan, which makes it a must-visit point!
7. Lahore Food Street
A mere walk from the Badshahi Mosque Complex is Food Street, heaven for both Lahoris as well as tourists! Having many colourful and detailed buildings on the row, you’ll feel something new about them each time you visit. Restaurants like Cooco’s Den and Haveli make it an unforgettable experience and you’re bound to return on your visit next!
Home to all the taste that Lahore has to offer, the night view that the street offers is a whole different mood. The vibe, the food, the hospitality, a must-visit!
8. The Walled City of Lahore
Not one single site, but an entirety in itself, the walled city is a living memoir of both the present and the past. Having been around since 1000BCE, it once had 13 gates of which only 6 remain to date. The remaining 6 gates also include the famous Delhi and Lohari Gate. The former is the closest to the Wazir Khan Masjid. Whereas the latter is the focal point of entrance on festivities like the 12th of Rabi ul Awwal.
Once inside the walls, the city provides a whole new look and you’re sure to be dazed by the magic they have to offer. Old Havelis are spread throughout, each with a history of its own. Not only that, shrines, gateways, and whatnot. Be sure to be there!
9. Wagah Border
This is the border of Lahore connecting Pakistan with India and is also not merely that! The ‘border closing ceremony that is held therein makes it a must-visit point, where hundreds of visitors are attracted daily. A half an hour drive from the city, you’ll surely be dazed upon the excitement that you see therein! Happening around 4:00 PM, make sure you do not miss this one on your visit!
10. Gurdwara Nankana Sahib
Located in the west of Lahore, this is a focal point for Sikhs and is named after Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak is the founder of the Sikh religion. Home to 9 Sikh gurdwaras, this one is said to be situated at exactly the birth point of Guru Nanak. Considered to be a sacred site for Sikhs, it attracts millions of pilgrims on a yearly basis. The landmark is curtually and religiously enriched with sikh culture and is definitely worth a watch!
Since, Lahore has been one of the main tourist attractions in the country, it is well maintained. We can see the infrastructure being regularly maintained and modernized to cater tourists. Lahori Landmarks have been recognised across the World, as the most culturally enriched locations. While you might think that Lahore is too crowded to visit, it indeed is home to Mughal architecture. The city is living proof of its existence, making it one of the best cities on the subcontinent. The Top 10 Places to Visit in Lahore are all just a peek towards the culture, architecture and heritage of the city. At the end of the day, this all the more adds to the fact that ‘If you haven’t seen Lahore, you haven’t lived!’