Top 20 Best Places to Visit in Lahore

 Best Places to Visit in Lahore
Best Places to Visit in Lahore

Lahore, Lahore, Lahore… a place I thought would just be another South Asian city, yet ended up completely stealing my heart. A city that holds centuries of history, the friendliest of folks, and some of the best food in Pakistan.

Though the city isn’t as big as others, there’s a seemingly infinite number of places to visit in Lahore- and even when you think you’ve seen them all, you’ll be reminded that nope- there’s still so much more.
Corn stands and frothy cups of chai sizzle at seemingly every corner. Half-forgotten tombs and shimmering shrines stand out amongst otherwise average streets.

Centuries-old havelis in various states of upkeep lay hidden in plain sight.

Goats of all sizes meander about the walls of their owners’ homes- where they’re joined by cows and camels come Eid al Azha.
Though many travelers only come to Lahore for a weekend, even a week wouldn’t be sufficient to truly savor all that it has to offer.

Every nook and cranny has something new to discover, and no matter how many historical places in Lahore that you’ve seen, the city always seems to have just one more.
A popular saying amongst Lahoris is “If you haven’t seen Lahore, you haven’t even lived”- so I guess I’m lucky to have lived a bit after unintentionally spending over a month there whilst backpacking Pakistan.

Yes, y’all this city is that magnetic even though I consider myself a city hater!

If you’re planning to head to Pakistan’s cultural capital, read on for a listing of the best places to visit in Lahore- including some of the city’s most famous spots AND some intentional offbeat detours!
Lahore’s Top Tourist Attractions
And now for what you’ve been waiting for: the best of what Lahore has to offer!

1: Wazir Khan Mosque

Wazir Khan Mosque
Wazir Khan Mosque


Completed in 1642, this 17th-century mosque- which can be found in Lahore’s Walled City- is magnificent. It’s decked out in bright colors and boasts magnificent frescoes that have somehow been kept in pristine condition thanks to restoration efforts.
Wazir Khan Masjid was commissioned by Shah Jahan- yup, that’s the exact same Mughal Emperor who had the Taj Mahal built. I guess that speaks to its magnificence!
Despite being one of the most beautiful mosques I’ve seen in Pakistan so far, Wazir Khan was relatively empty each of the three times I stopped by. Though it might not be the largest mosque in the city, it’s nevertheless one of the best places to visit in Lahore— don’t miss it!
Visiting hours: 5AM-8PM Daily
Entrance fee: Free

2: Walled City of Lahore

Walled City of Lahore
Walled City of Lahore


The Walled City of Lahore is not a single monument, but a living, breathing relic of times past and present. The Walled City has been around since 1000 BCE and has lived through dozens of rulers and eras. In its heyday, 13 gates allowed entry, but today only 6 remain.
Though the Delhi Gate, which is closest to the Wazir Khan Mosque, is one of the most well-known out of those that remain, each of the 6 is worth a visit… though don’t feel pressed to see them all in one day!

Though you can make a point to hunt down the famous places to visit in the Walled City of Lahore, to truly experience the magic of the Walls is to get lost in them without a destination.
Take a morning (or afternoon), enter through any gate and see where the hours take you. Unmarked eateries, illustrious havelis, and all kinds of narrow walk-ways and unknown shrines will be sure to greet you.

And for all the photographers out there, few places in Lahore are as photogenic as this!

Visiting hours: Literally whenever, though it’s best to wander before dark

Entrance fee: Free

3:Lahore Fort

Lahore Fort
Lahore Fort


The Lahore Fort is perhaps the most popular out of all of Lahore’s attractions, but despite not being “off-beat”- it’s definitely worth a visit. The fortress and its grounds have been kept in remarkably good shape despite its old age- visiting will be sure to take you a bit back in time.
The fort was originally built in 1566 under Emperor Akbar and was later modified by rulers that came after. Complete with steps built for the hooves of elephants, immaculate gardens, ancient paintings, and views of the Badshahi Mosque and Minar e Pakistan, it’s hard to find a place in Lahore that exudes more raw history than this!
If you want to avoid crowds (duh) avoid visiting on weekends and during known school holidays. The month of August is also a particularly painful time to enjoy the grounds due to sizzling 40 C temperatures.

Visiting Hours: 8:30 AM- 5:00PM daily

Entrance Fee: 30 rupees for locals, 500 rupees for foreigners

4: Badshahi Mosque

Badshahi Mosque
Badshahi Mosque

Considering the Badshahi Mosque is literally right next to the Lahore Fort, it makes sense to see them together. The Badshahi Mosque is wonderous, and HUGE.

This Mughal Era masjid- completed in 1673- can hold up to 100,000 people and has minarets that are over 176 feet (53 meters) high! Seriously- the size of this beauty is no joke, it can even be seen from miles away given you’re in the right spot.
The interior of the mosque is decorated with elaborately carved marble and the structure itself is crafted from red sandstone, giving it its unique and notable color.

I visited at night, which bode well for peace and quiet- though a day visit is best for admiring all of Badshahi’s intricacies.

Fridays (Jummah Prayer), Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days to visit and most people tend to come in the mornings- making afternoons and evenings the best time to come.

Visiting Hours: 8AM-8PM daily

Entrance Fee: Free

5: Kamran’s Baradari

Kamran’s Baradari
Kamran’s Baradari

Looking to get a bit off Lahore’s tourist track? Take the trek out to Kamran’s Baradari! The baradari (summer palace) was built in 1540 and is believed to be the oldest Mughal structure that remains in the city.

The palace is accessible via a short boat ride across the Ravi River on the outskirts of Lahore. Even on a pleasant Sunday afternoon the amount of tourists was few compared to other possible attractions!
The palace sits on a small island across from the riverbank, and is comprised of two stories and twelve doors that were constructed to let in air.

Unlike other historical places in Lahore, this one isn’t guarded- the stairwells that lead to the roof are free to climb! A manicured garden surrounds the structure and bodes well for a picnic or even a game of cricket.
If you make your way out here (about 1 hour from Lahore’s “center”), I highly recommend timing your visit with sunset- the cotton candy reflection on the Ravi River is truly a sight to behold.

Visiting Hours: Boats make the trip from the riverbank to the island dawn until dusk

Entrance Fee: Free

6:Anarkali Bazaar

Anarkali Bazaar
Anarkali Bazaar

The Anarkali Bazaar is a one of the best places to visit in Lahore… whether it be for shopping, eating, or just people watching, something new always remains to be discovered in this busy marketplace.

The bazaar lies in the historic neighborhood of Anarkali, and though it may not be quite as maze-like as the Walled City- it’s very easy to get lost amongst its lively streets.
The bazaar also happens to be one of the oldest in South Asia- cool right? ALONG with being home to a tomb with quite the back story.

The name Anarkali belongs to a girl who worked as an escort… and is said to have had an affair with Crown Prince Jahangir, AKA the son of then Mughal Emperor Akbar.

Anarkali was buried in the neighborhood, so along with browsing the bazaar’s streets, a visit to her elaborate tomb is a must when you come to visit.

Foodie alert: I highly recommend you stop for some chole bhature at the spot shown before- they truly make some of the best puri in Lahore!
Though visiting on a weekend or holiday will surely be full of life, motorcycles that insist on plowing through pedestrian crowds can get frustrating in Anarkali (in my opinion that is.)

Avoid rush hour (4:00-7:00PM) and come on a weekday if you want to walk around more peacefully.

Visiting Hours: Most shops open around 6AM and close by midnight

Entrance Fee: Free

7:Eat your way through the real Food Street

Eat your way through the real Food Street
Eat your way through the real Food Street


When someone says Food Street in Lahore, they could mean many things considering Lahore is one of the most foodie friendly places in Pakistan.

On our first night in the city, we ended up being directed to what turned out to be an extremely bougie one that stands adjacent to the Badshahi Mosque.

Though other lists of things to do in Lahore might rave about this place, I’ll keep it real- it’s no longer authentic, wildly overpriced and is more akin to a theme park than a historically delicious food street.
Anyhow, the real food street (or one of them) lies just a block or so away from the disneyfied one. Here you can find decades’ old restaurants and shops serving up everything from delicious tawa chicken to paaye and mutton brains!

Gawalmandi is another famous food street located near to Mall Road- and while it’s certainly better than the bougie one mentioned above, it’s become a bit overpriced and lackluster, especially when compared to other options around Lahore.

Check out both (or all three if you must) and decide for yourself!

Visiting Hours: Both food streets open around midday and stay open until 2:00AM on a regular day

8:Data Darbar

Data Darbar
Data Darbar

How can you pass up visiting the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia? Data Darbar is said to be the holiest place in Lahore and holds the remains of Data Ganj Baksh, who is believed to have lived here back in the 11th century.
As far as Sufi shrines go, Data Darbar is one of the busiest due to its fame and size- the annual three-day Urs (death anniversary) Festival can see well over 1 million devotees! And on a regular day- especially if it’s a weekend- the shrine is bustling with life.
Keep in mind that Data Darbar has separate entrances for both men and women and cameras are NOT allowed due to past security concerns… but phone cameras will do!

Visiting Hours: 24/7/365

Entrance Fee: None

9: Madho lal Hussain Shrine

Madho lal Hussain Shrine
Madho lal Hussain Shrine

Ah, my favorite shrine in the city and definitely one of the most lively places in Lahore come Thursday nights. Madho lal Hussain is named after Shah Hussain- a 16th century Sufi poet- and Madho, his Hindu lover.

The shrine represents unity and love despite against all odds, and is a popular spot for people of all kinds to come and pay their respects or simply hang out.

Though one can visit anytime, the real highlight of Madho lal Hussain is its Thursday night dhamal.

For those not in the know, dhamal is a form of meditative dance performed amongst Sufis- participants jingle and jangle into a trance-like dance state to the tune of massive, thumping drum beats. And in my opinion- experiencing dhamal is one of the best things to do in Lahore.
Dhamal typically fills up quick, so to get a good seat I’d recommend arriving around 7:00PM. Though it is a predominantly male event, every so often female devotees and onlookers will pop in.

Also- if you’re down to get a taste of the smokier (hashish) side of Pakistan, this is the ideal place to meet like-minded friends.
Each year- usually in March- the annual Mela Chiraghan is held at the shrine. A wild, fiery event come sundown- it used to be one of the most popular festivals in Lahore and is slowly but surely regaining its former status.

Be sure to check it out if your travel dates happen to line up!

Visiting Hours: 24/7/365

Entrance Fee: Free

10: Begum Shahi Mosque

Begum Shahi Mosque
Begum Shahi Mosque

Hidden in an overwhelmingly busy section of Lahore’s Walled City is a mosque that’s often left off of lists of the best places to visit in Lahore… but shouldn’t be!

Though many think of the Wazir Khan or Badshahi as the oldest Mughal era mosques in Lahore, it’s actually Begum Shahi that wins that title.
Completed in 1614, this mosque is actually what influenced the design of Wazir Khan! Though smaller than its predecessor, its frescoes and detailed embellishments make up for what it lacks in size.

Despite holding so much historical significance, few visitors to Lahore make it to Begum Shahi.
If you come (which you should, it’s beautiful!), see if one of the caretakers will bring you up the stairs to the domes.

The Lahore Fort is visible from the top, despite being partly encroached upon by some illegal shops.

Visiting Hours: Dawn- Dusk

Entrance Fee: Free

11: Mian Mir Shrine

Mian Mir Shrine


Lahore seems to be a city of shrines… and though you might be thinking.. another one? Trust me- they’re all worth your time.

The Mian Mir shrine is a peaceful oasis- outfitted in beautiful pastel colors and complete with a large marble “square” – it’s quite a place to relax and pay respects to the famous saint Mian Mir.

He was known for being a spiritual instructor to Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the early 1600s.
Unlike other shrines, Mian Mir isn’t segregated and sees a large amount of female devotees, especially on weekends where many come to relax in the “garden” setting.

The shrine is also known for its Thursday night Qawwali (traditional music)- where crowds gather for the 7PM performance. (Yup, Thursday nights are lit in Lahore).

Keep in mind that cameras are technically not allowed, but with a bit of wheedling (though luckily no baksheesh) I was allowed to bring mine in.

Visiting Hours: Technically 24/7/365

Entrance Fee: Free

Unlike other shrines, Mian Mir isn’t segregated and sees a large amount of female devotees, especially on weekends where many come to relax in the “garden” setting.

The shrine is also known for its Thursday night Qawwali (traditional music)- where crowds gather for the 7PM performance. (Yup, Thursday nights are lit in Lahore).

Keep in mind that cameras are technically not allowed, but with a bit of wheedling (though luckily no baksheesh) I was allowed to bring mine in.

Visiting Hours: Technically 24/7/365

Entrance Fee: Free

12: Bagh e Jinnah AKA Lawrence Gardens

Bagh e Jinnah AKA Lawrence Gardens
Bagh e Jinnah AKA Lawrence Gardens

A massive and historical park on Lahore’s mall road, the Bagh e Jinnah is more than just a chill place to hang. It’s also home to a botanical garden, a mosque and the Quaid-e-Azam Library- which sits in a 19th century Victorian-style building.A massive and historical park on Lahore’s mall road, the Bagh e Jinnah is more than just a chill place to hang. It’s also home to a botanical garden, a mosque and the Quaid-e-Azam Library- which sits in a 19th century Victorian-style building.
Bagh e Jinnah is one of the best parks in Lahore for some relaxin’ and many Lahoris think so too- come Sunday afternoon the park is packed! A walking trail, food sellers (including bhang papad) and numerous benches can be found throughout the gardens.

But if you’re visiting Lahore in May-August it might not be particularly enjoyable to hang here… speaking from some very sweaty experience.

Weather-wise the park is best visited from October- April- though it’s certainly open year-round.

Visiting Hours: 5AM- 10PM daily

Entrance Fee: Free

13: Tomb of Nadira Begum

Tomb of Nadira Begum
Tomb of Nadira Begum

Another off-beat addition to the best places to visit in Lahore, the tomb of Nadira Begum is infrequently visited- you’re more apt to see young cricketers on its grounds than other tourists!

Unfortunately, the tomb isn’t in perfect condition- graffiti is a bit rampant. Nevertheless, it’s still another Mughal relic worth a peek.
A little bit of history: Nadira Begum was a princess and wife of Dara Shikoh- the son of Emperor Shah Jahan. Nadira died en route to Iran, where both her and Dara were escaping to all the way back in 1659.

The tomb is in walking distance from the Mian Mir shrine- which is no accident! Dara Shikoh insisted that she be buried near to the tomb of his spiritual guide.
The second story of the tomb is locked, but the first is free to admire and pay respects to Nadira Begum. The surrounding area is most likely to be busiest on weekends, so come by on a weekday if you’d like to explore in relative peace.

Visiting Hours: Technically 24/7, but you won’t see anything at night!

Entrance Fee: Free

14: Ashraf Fresh Tikka

Ashraf Fresh Tikka
Ashraf Fresh Tikka

Lahore is a foodie city, so of course there’s hundreds of tikka shops. But even after visiting many, nothing compared to the chicken tikka served up Ashraf’s- seriously it’s one of the best places to visit in Lahore for tikka!

Juicy and perfectly spiced, we ended up coming back here, again and again, to take advantage of their incredibly affordable (and delicious) chicken piece & naan collaboration.

The meat, some naan, raita and a cold drink goes for about 170-180 Pakistani rupees (~$1.50). The breast piece gives you more meat than the leg, but I personally love the leg.

If chicken isn’t your thing- don’t fret. There’s a full menu here with something for everyone!

Hours: 12PM- 4AM Daily (Gotta love nocturnal Lahore!)

15:Wagah Border

Wagah Border
Wagah Border

The Wagah Border is usually at the top of most people’s Lahore to do lists… and it sure is unique. This border that connects India with Pakistan is not just for crossing.

Every day around sundown, a wildly strange “border closing ceremony” takes place. Mostly a show of aggression accompanied by a bit of acting, the ceremony attracts hundreds of visitors from both sides of the Subcontinent.

The Wagah Border is about 30 minutes to an hour from Lahore depending on where you start. To get to there without your own vehicle you can use Careem- but you won’t be able to put the destination into the app.

Let the driver know where you’re trying to go, and they should charge between 500-700 rupees, or around 1200 for a return trip back to Lahore (best option imo).

Some people have said that a bus might exist, but if it does it isn’t that frequent. (Let me know if you know more about this!)

In the summer, the ceremony should start around 4:45PM and in the winter, around 4:00PM. Arrive at least an hour in advance if you want a good seat!

Entrance Fee: None

16: Minar e Pakistan

Minar e Pakistan
Minar e Pakistan


The Minar e Pakistan is more than just a monument… it marks the site where the Lahore Resolution was passed in 1940… and that resolution is what eventually led to the partition of India and Pakistan later in 1947.

The Minar symbolizes freedom and Pakistani pride, and is immensely popular amongst Lahoris and tourists alike!

The 70 m tall statue stands in Iqbal Park, near to the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort… two of the other best places to visit in Lahore.

It used to be possible to head on inside and take an elevator ride to the top, but the elevator doesn’t appear to be open any longer. Admiring from the large park below will have to do!

The grounds that hold the Minar e Pakistan are also home to fountains and the tomb of Ranjit Singh- which unfortunately isn’t accessible to foreigners at the moment.

The area is particularly busy on weekends (like most of the things to do in Lahore) but can be empty during the weekdays.

Visiting Hours: The park is open from dawn until late into the night

Entrance Fee: Free

17: Lahore Zoo

Lahore Zoo
Lahore Zoo


Personally, I love hippos. So when I found out the Lahore Zoo was home to some, it was a must-visit. The zoo is right next to the Bagh e Jinnah on Mall Road and worth a visit considering its 148 years old and home to around 1400 animals!

Known for being the oldest zoo in Pakistan, it’s one of the most fun places to visit in Lahore with kids- or if you have a particularly favorite animal in mind like I do.

Visiting Hours: 8:30AM-5PM

Entrance Fee: 30 rupees for everyone

18: Tomb of Jahangir

Tomb of Jahangir
Tomb of Jahangir


The tomb of Jahangir is a ways away from the hustle and bustle of Lahore… but well worth the drive. Built for Mughal Emperor Jahangir, the site is extensively decorated in frescoes, marble and other decorative art.

If you’re into architecture, this is definitely one of (if not the) best places to visit in Lahore!

The tomb is about an hour’s drive from the city, and can easily be reached with Careem or Uber- though it might be a bit pricey (500 rupees or so.) The tomb is surrounded by sprawling, Persian-inspired gardens perfect for relaxing in after admiring the tomb itself.

Visiting Hours: 9AM-7PM Daily

Entrance Fee: Free

19: Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal
Sheesh Mahal


The Sheesh Mahal- AKA the “Palace of Mirrors” is inside of the Lahore Fort, but worth it’s own mention! The intricate mirror work is second to none-and arguably one of the most beautiful places to visit in all of Lahore!

The Sheesh Mahal was constructed in 1631, and the mirror work on marble walls elicits a glistening effect. (If only it were open for visitors at night!)

It’s located within the Shah Burji (King’s Pavilion) section of the fort and was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan- the same Shah Jahan that had the Taj Mahal built.

Conservation efforts have kept this timeless wonder in excellent shape- hopefully it stays that way.

Visiting Hours: 8:30AM- 5PM

Entrance Fee: The fort costs 30 rupees for locals and 500 for foreigners. Officially the Sheesh Mahal is now an extra 100 rupees to visit, but this might not always be imposed depending.

20: Shalimar Gardens

Shalimar Gardens
Shalimar Gardens


Lahore is the city of Mughals, and the Shalimar Gardens is yet another relic of times past. Widely considered one of the best places to visit in Lahore- and a UNESCO World Heritage Site- it’s certainly worth a mention.

The gardens were created in the mid 1600’s, with the intent of being a place where all elements of nature could coexist peacefully. 410 fountains, marble pools, a dozen varieties of trees, and numerous pavilions can be enjoyed upon its grounds.

Lahoris come from far and wide to enjoy its ambiance in good weather.

Visiting Hours: 8AM-6PM Daily

Entrance Fee: 20 rupees locals, 400 rupees foreigners

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