Let’s be completely honest, if you heard someone mention that they are going on a vacation to Pakistan you would be really surprised.
After all, the country has unfortunately been associated with terrorism, war, and trouble in general as far as the American popular consciousness goes since its independence from India and founding shortly after the Second World War. Yet the surprising reality for many is that Pakistan is one of the more beautiful countries on earth.
The varied nation offers so many beautiful natural places that it would be hard to find many other countries with so much refreshing scenery to offer to you as a visitor. These range from vibrant green forests to stark and stunning mountain scenery, to cascading waterfalls and hypnotic lakes. We look at 15 compelling reasons to go on a trip to this hidden gem with stunning mountains and valleys called Pakistan in this article on the most beautiful spots in this major neighbor to the northwest of India.
Pakistan is hugely blessed with far more than just some of the top natural vistas to be found anywhere in the world. The country’s long, compelling history dates all the way back to the ancient world. There are many historical, architectural, and cultural wonders to visit here besides the great and overwhelming natural beauty spots.
At the moment Pakistan is a safe place to visit! Most of the conflicts from the past were resolved and terrorism is at its lowest but some remote areas might be still dangerous. Do a proper research and beforehand and ask in the local hotel or hostel.
Which areas should travelers avoid in Pakistan?
Major areas that should be avoided for traveling in Pakistan are Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, Swat, Tank and Northern, and Southern Waziristan areas. For the full list check here.
Which city is the most beautiful in Pakistan?
Islamabad is considered as the most beautiful city in Pakistan. In 2015, Islamabad was ranked as one of the most beautiful capitals in the world.
20 Most Beautiful Places in Pakistan To Visit
1. Kalash Valleys
Pakistan’s Kalash Valleys, comprised of Bumburet, Birir, and Rumbur are hidden gems surrounded by the dramatic Hindu Kush mountain range, a part of the Himalayas. The rugged peaks are covered with scrubs of juniper and birch for stunning, natural views.
The valleys are known for the beauty of the people as well as the natural splendor. Thought to be the descendants of Alexander the Great’s armies, the Kalash are animists, an ethnic minority, rather than Muslims, and live in wooden homes that dot the high hills. The women are known for their gayly-colored traditional dresses and headpieces you will only see in this part of Pakistan.
Jeeps and car hires transport visitors easily to the remote Kalash Valleys from Chitral, 2.5 hours away. Bumburet is the most populated valley and popular with Pakistan tourists. Rumbur and Birir are less developed and popular with foreign travelers. Visit the locally-owned Kalasha Dur museum in Bumburet, an attractive cultural museum that gives you all the information needed to tour the stunning valleys.
The best time to visit the Kalash Valleys is during one of their traditional festivals. Chilan Joshi is held in May, Uchau is celebrated in autumn, and Choimus occurs for two weeks around the winter solstice. Tourists are always amazed at the colorful costumes, rituals, drink, and dance.
Concordia is a paradise for mountain lovers and climbers alike. It lies in the far north of the country on the national border with China.
Most people are not aware of Pakistan’s claim to fame for containing five of the highest 14 peaks on the planet.
From the vantage point provided by this beautiful place Concordia, tourists can take in four of these five highest in the world peaks. This makes it both a stunning view vantage point and incomparable photo opportunity not to be missed while on a trip through Pakistan.
3. Lake Saif-ul-Malook
Lying at the northern extreme of the Kaghan Valley is the stunning natural Lake Saif-ul-Malook. It is found in the Khyber-Paktunkhwa province within the Mansehra District.
This natural lake is beautiful not only for the surrounding mountain scenery but also because of the unique reflection of the mountains on the lake water that is absolutely breathtaking for visitors to behold.
The best and most convenient time to visit this one of a kind wonder of nature is in the summer. During the winter months when snows are often heavy along the roads, it can require many nerve-racking hours to arrive safely. The roads are slippery with ice then, making the all-terrain vehicles an unsure way to come here safely through the high, often narrow, and winding mountain roads in the winter months.
Within the Astore District of Gilgit-Balistan province lies the so-called “land of the giants” better known today as Deosai.
This region is actually a boundary to the western Himalayas Mountains and Karakorum. Here visitors will enjoy magnificent varieties of flowers and many different and often one of a kind animal species such as the snow leopard and the brown bear who call this region home. This plateau turns out to be the highest one on earth, providing more bragging rights in front of friends stuck back home.
This is not to be missed spot to take in the more unique animal life of Pakistan. Nature-lovers should never miss the well worth the time and effort trip if the seasonal weather conditions permit the journey.
5. Shandur Top
Shandur Top is found in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa District in the Chitral area, making it a good trip to potentially combine with that of nearby Deosai. This Shandur Top has been called the highest elevation polo ground anywhere on earth.
During the winter months, the area is blanketed in snow, yet in summer months, Shandur Top becomes a lush and green spot.
During July, the Shandur Polo Festival occurs here each year, bringing in hordes of locals and tourists alike. Coming in the winter months is dangerous due to the slippery roads encumbered from heavy snowfalls and icy conditions. During the summer months, Shandur Top becomes easily accessible via all-terrain vehicles.
6. Neelum Valley
One of the most popular Pakistan beautiful places is Neelum Valley. This densely forested area is found in the Azad Kashmir region. Mughal Emperor Humayin once said about this Kashmir area that “if there is a paradise on earth, then this is it.” Visitors usually agree with his well-spoken assessment of the Kashmir Valley today.
The stunning valley sits at a high elevation of more than 4,850 feet (or 1,650 meters high) above sea level. Incredible milky white-colored waterfalls cascade from the mountains and provide the natural scene with a mesmerizing quality and otherworldly backdrop.
Tourists and locals alike come from all across Pakistan to see this glorious wonder of nature that is impossible to discount as a serious contender for the most beautiful spot on earth.
7. Guraiz Valley
Tourists should not pass up on the chance to visit the lovely Guraiz Valley while in Pakistan. It is glorious in either summer or winter months. The verdant green valley is thickly carpeted by dense forest.
Found high up in the Himalayas Mountains, Guraiz Valley is a veritable oasis among the icy towering white peaks. Visitors will find it on the border between Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
Unfortunately, the area is a site of periodic territorial conflict between India and Pakistan, meaning that the Pakistani army controls access to the valley. Fortunately, they allow tourists to visit the stunning valley upon request.
8. Naltar Valley
Graced by charming and beautiful lakes, Naltar Valley has the much-deserved reputation of being a one of a kind gorgeous place that is not to be missed while touring Pakistan.
The valley is dotted by many beautiful pine trees. It is rightly famed for its locally cultivated potatoes, said by many to be the most delicious anywhere on planet earth. Naltar Valley looks like the lost paradise because of its unforgettable stunning views.
9. Siri Paye
A great wonder of nature that unfortunately is often overlooked by foreign tourists, Siri Paye is the most beautiful place to visit lies in the corner of Kaghan province. It is a mere from three to four miles (or six kilometers) away from the Shogran Valley. This green plateau lies atop the Hindu Kash Mountains.
Visitors will be refreshed by the many ponds that dot the landscape and are complimented by stunning fields of bright yellow flowers. This spot is sure to refresh the soul of visitors from whatever place in the world they hail.
10. Kund Malir
Located in Balochistan, Kund Malir is one of about two dozen beaches in Pakistan. The large sandy beach is an arid landscape located in the Hingol National Park.
The Makran Coastal Highway is a scenic highway that leads to the beach and has coastal views on one side and mountains on the other. Pack well for your trip as no emergency supplies are available in the area. Kund Malir is a 175-kilometer drive from Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.
Kund Malir is a great place to escape the crowds and become immersed in nature. The stunningly beautiful beach has a 20-room resort and dhaba-style restaurant and truck stop. The beach stays pristine since it’s almost never crowded. While here, you can also visit the Princess of Hope statue, a rock statue created by strong winds and rain, and the ancient Hinglaj Temple.
11. The Mosque of Badshahi Masjid
In the ancient city of Lahore you will find a wide variety of stunning architectural and historical treasures to contemplate. This 17th-century mosque is a top attraction. It hails from the Imperial Mughal dynasty era and was constructed during the reign of last great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb from the years of 1672 to 1674. It remains among the largest of mosques anywhere on planet earth to this day.
Constructed completely from red sandstone and marble, the mosque is strikingly beautiful and truly magnificent in both its grand scale and enormous scope.
Unique and beautiful Islamic calligraphy decorates both the roofs and walls of the prayer halls on the imposing structure that really will make you feel tiny and insignificant by sheer comparison of size. This is probably the most impressive manmade site to visit while in Pakistan and so it should not be missed.
12. Fort Rohtas (Qila Rohtas)
The great Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri constructed this magnificent historical fort between the years of 1539 and 1545. It is found close to Jehlum in the Punjab province today. The massive fortified military base served as a center of army command operations in its hey-day five hundred years ago.
Rohtas Fort contains 12 individual gates, each of which was constructed from ashlars stone. It is built in the masculine architectural style.
In 1997, the fort earned the distinction of World Heritage Site from the United Nations. Naturally, history enthusiasts will rightfully be in seventh heaven when they come here, but the truth is that everyone will really appreciate this glorious and powerful achievement built by pre-modern man without the help of modern-day machines.
Located in Sindh, a province in Southeastern Pakistan, Mohenjo-daro is home to the Sindh people and an archeological site that dates back to 2500 BCE.
A lengthy study and excavation has shown that the ruins and mounds were a part of the Indus Valley civilization during the same era of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. History buffs will be fascinated by the engineering and urban planning so far ahead of its time. The settlement was built with a grid plan, featured public baths, and had a highly-efficient water management system.
For unknown reasons, the settlement disappeared around 1900 BCE and was unearthed eons later during the 1920s. Excavations continued until 1966 when weather damage halted the in-depth archeological efforts. Mohenjo-daro has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. The area can be reached by public bus or private transport. The nearest large city is Multan to the north.
In the category of powerful, one of a kind, and stunning Buddhist architecture, Pakistan presents the award-winning and the well-preserved ancient city of Taxila. The Pakistani Tourism Development Corporation states that this city is the home to many fantastic Buddhist structures built over the past millennia. The city itself boasts a continuous history of more than 3,000 years.
It functioned as the primary administrative center of Gandhara. Lying a mere about 20 miles (or 35 kilometers) from Islamabad Pakistan’s capital today, this attractive city is easy for tourists to reach and should not at all be missed for its unique charms and unforgettable, stunning architectural wonders.
The entire city attained the coveted status of UNESCO World Heritage Site from the United Nations back in 1980.
The founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam is laid to rest in this beautiful mausoleum found in the major city of Karachi in the Sindh province of the country today. It was constructed (using expensive and rare white marble) by the modern, renowned architect Yahya Merchant.
It only makes sense to pay tribute to the founder of Pakistan by visiting his hallowed grave while you are visiting the beautiful country. B
esides being peaceful and contemplative in nature, it is an excellent location to recall the man who saw to the independence of the country of modern Pakistan today.
16. Pir Sohawa
Overlooking the capital of Islamabad from the Margalla Hills is the Pir Sohawa. The tourist place has long been admired for more than just its incomparable views. It is graced by peaceful walks through the beautiful nature.
Tourists and locals alike enjoy picnics here among the refreshing breezes and the simply breathtaking views provided by the site’s elevation of approximately 5,000 feet (or over 1,500 meters) above sea level. The deep valleys here are dotted by mud houses with thatched roofs. Several nice and inviting restaurants line the road to this locale as well for those who have not planned ahead to bring along their own picnic.
Following the annual monsoon seasonal rains, the jungles surrounding the Pir Sohawa hills become verdant green and lush, alive and exploding with color to appreciate.
17. Ranikot Fort
Ranikot Fort has been called the second greatest wall in the world (after the far better known and much more heavily touristy neighboring Great Wall of China). Sometimes referred to as the “Great Wall of Pakistan,” this massively commanding military structure spans from the fort itself all the way up to the mountains.
This is one of the best-kept secrets of Pakistan and is well worth the time to go see. The historically important fort is found close to Sann in the Jamshoro District, and it will provide tourists with incomparable photos and great bragging rights for having visited a lesser-known but still a most powerful and evocative attraction that will make all of the friends back home so envious.
One of the most ideal Pakistan beautiful places to visit proves to be Bahawalpur. This beautiful city is graced by its many interesting and worthwhile historical sites.
History tours will focus especially on Noor Mahal, Darbar Mahal, Sadiq Ghar Palace, Abbasi Mosque, Gulzar Mahal, Lal Sohanra, and the impressive Central Library of Bahawalpur. These well-preserved historical attractions and architectural gems will make an indelible impression on all visitors’ memories that do not quickly fade after the vacation to Pakistan is long over.
Visitors and locals alike consistently rave about the incomparable stunning natural scenery of Pakistan with very good reason. Aside from leading famous natural contenders like Hawaii, Switzerland, New Zealand, or the Azores Islands, it would be difficult to find a single country with so many beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, and waterfalls in one spot as in this South Asian country. We look at eight of the best ones next.
19. Hunza Valley
Hunza is one of the most beautiful valleys of Pakistan offering wonderful culture and traditions, wonderful hospitality and breathtaking views of mountains like Karakoram, Nanga Parbat, Rakaposhi, Lady Finger and others.
Hunza is a vast area consisting of various valleys and villages. Here are some of the most beautiful sights in Hunza, which is part of the ancient Silk Road:
The Passu Cathedral is one of Pakistan’s most well-known sights. The Cathedral is best seen from the Karakoram Highway, which is roughly an hour’s drive from Gilgit City.
This lake is so beautiful that it just does not look real! Its stunning blue turquoise waters make it one of Pakistan’s most picturesque destinations.
Want to witness one of Hunza Valley’s most spectacular sunsets? Come to Eagle’s Nest! Although the name refers to a nearby fancy hotel/restaurant, you can drive up to the viewpoint without stopping there.
Karachi is Pakistan’s largest and most populous city, recognized for its cosmopolitan nature, cultural diversity, pleasant weather, and endless shopping and dining opportunities.
Despite the prejudices about the city, it attracts visitors from all over the world.
Food is one of the most popular attractions in Karachi. People in this city have a natural affinity for various cuisines. Drive towards the old city and you’ll come across the well-known Burns Road.
When in the city, pay a visit to the Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleum (Mazar-e-Quaid). It was built between 1959 and 1969 as a memorial to Pakistan’s founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and is today one of the country’s most renowned tourist attractions.