13 Famous Places of Peshawar, Pakistan

Looking for a guide to the famous places of Peshawar? Sweet- you’ve definitely come to the right place. Peshawar is not just the oldest city in Pakistan, but it also happens to be the oldest living city in all of South Asia!

Peshawar’s history dates all the way back to 539 BCE (at least) and in all the time since, the city has seen the rise and fall of many empires and kingdoms.

So you might not be surprised that most of the best places to visit in Peshawar have some sort of historical relevance.

This unique city- which is also the capital of KPK- is one of my favorite places in all of Pakistan.

You can feel the history as you move about the streets, and the culture of this provincial capital couldn’t be more different from that of neighboring Punjab.

So without further ado, here are 13 famous places in Peshawar that you just can’t miss!

1: Sethi House

Sethi House
Sethi House


The Sethi House is set in a neighborhood of twelve famous Havelis in Peshawar’s Old City, all of which were built in the 19th century. The frequently-visited Sethi Haveli was built in 1884, and was owned by the Sethi family–wealthy traders who had businesses throughout South and Central Asia.

The Haveli showcases a Central Asian design and was inspired by the architecture seen in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Stained glass windows, intricate wooden carvings, and an elaborate underground basement area can all be admired by visitors.

Remarkably, the Sethi House stands in impeccable condition. A visit will come complete with a guide, ensuring you’ll learn everything there is to know about this famous Peshawari tourist attraction.

Visiting Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 9 AM- 5 PM

2: Chowk Yadgar

 Chowk Yadgar
Chowk Yadgar


Known to be one of the most famous places in Peshawar, Chowk Yadgar is located in the heart of the Old City. The monument was originally erected in 1892 in memoriam of General Hastings, but was later dedicated to the victims of the 1930 Qissa Khwani Bazaar Massacre.

In the years since, this Peshawar landmark has become a popular spot for religious and political gatherings, but on most days, it’s simply a place to hang out. Chowk Yadgar is surrounded by various alleyways on all sides, making it an easy stop whilst exploring Peshawar’s Old City. Numerous old-school Havelis dot the area, including several that are mere steps away from Chowk Yadgar.

Due to the congested nature of the area, driving your own vehicle isn’t quite recommended- grabbing a cab or rickshaw into the area is the best way to see this famous place of Peshawar.

Visiting hours: Always open, though visiting during the daytime is recommended

3:Mahabat Khan Masjid

Mahabat Khan Masjid
Mahabat Khan Masjid


A trip to Peshawar simply isn’t complete without seeing the beautiful (and historical) Mahabat Khan Masjid. Located deep in the narrow twists and turns of the Old City, this 17th-century mosque reflects the architecture of the famed Mughal Era, and remains in relatively good condition despite its advanced age.

The famous masjid was built by the Mughal governor of Peshawar, and its exterior boasts a facade of white marble. The interior is just as impressive, as it consists of uncountable multi-colored frescoes and a wide variety of floral motifs.
The best view of Mahabat Khan is from above, a sight that can be seen upon running into the right caretaker. Even if you aren’t quite able to reach the bird’s eye view, it’s no secret that spending some time in this Mughal masterpiece is one of the best things to do in Peshawar.

Visiting hours: 4 AM- 10 PM daily

4: Peshawar Museum

Mahabat Khan Masjid
Mahabat Khan Masjid


If you tell someone you’re visiting the capital of KPK, they’ll undoubtedly tell you to visit the Peshawar Museum. Why? Because this famous place of Peshawar is epic- just wait and see!

The museum, which was built in 1907, is known for its notable collection of ancient Buddhist Gandhara artwork. Buddhist sculptures, figurines and other objects are on display and amazingly, the museum is considered to have one of the largest collections of Buddhist objects in the world. In ancient times, Buddhism thrived in KPK and this historical place showcases just that.

Aside from Buddhist artifacts, the Peshawar Museum is also home to a large variety of Pre-Islamic coins, Mughal art, and items from the Kalash people that live in the Chitral region of the province. Entry fees are 10 rupees for Pakistanis and 100 rupees for foreigners.

Visiting Hours: Monday- Saturday 9 AM- 4 PM

5:Bab-e-Khyber

Bab-e-Khyber
Bab-e-Khyber


The Khyber Pass Gate is a famous monument that stands at the entrance to the famous Khyber Pass. The Khyber Pass was an integral part of the Old Silk Road and connects Pakistan with Afghanistan.

The monument is located about 15 km from Peshawar but trust me- it’s well worth the trip. Personally, I found it to be one of the best things to do in Peshawar, even though it’s not technically in the ancient city.
Pro tip: The Kharkhano Bazaar- known for its wide variety of smuggled goods- is quite near to the Bab-e-Khyber, making it an interesting place to stop on your way to or from the monument.

Visiting Hours: Always open, but visiting during daytime is essential to actually see the gate

6:Qissa Khwani Bazaar

6:Qissa Khwani Bazaar
Qissa Khwani Bazaar


As far as famous places in Peshawar go, it’s hard to get more notable than this popular marketplace. This historical section of the Old City is home to the aforementioned Sethi House, and dozens of other architecturally delightful Havelis.
The bazaar is named after storytellers of the past and is the perfect place to get lost in. It ain’t just sights though! Qissa Khwani is a can’t miss spot for foodies- tons of street food stalls and hole in the wall shops cooking up everything from juicy paaye, chapli kebabs, and of course: boatloads of kahwa, Peshawar’s signature green tea that’s famous throughout Pakistan.

Visiting hours: Various shops are open from 5 AM – Midnight, though daytime is optimal

7: Jamrud Fort

jamrud Fort
Jamrud Fort


Though the Jamrud Fort can’t be visited without high permissions these days, it can easily be seen from the Bab-e-Khyber.

The historical landmark of Peshawar was completed in early 1837, by Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa. The fort is known for its 3 m thick walls and was attacked by Afghan forces on April 30, 1837.

Today, the Jamrud Fort remains under the control of security forces, making it only possible to see from the road. However, a visit to the Bab-e-Khyber will guarantee you a view of this historically significant spot.

Visiting hours: None. It is impossible to go inside without very high-up connections

8:Khyber Charsi Tikka

Khyber Charsi Tikka
Khyber Charsi Tikka


Love food? Here’s a famous place in Peshawar that’s not a sight but rather a taste- I can confidently say this was the most incredible meal I had in Pakistan despite there being many, many runner ups.

Keep in mind that there are two restaurants in Peshawar by the name of Charsi Tikka, but it’s the “Khyber Charsi Tikka” that you want to head to. The long-standing eatery specializes in mutton, with its most notable dish being the most delicious: dumba karahi.

Dumba karahi is made from the large buttock and tail area of a sheep, and its fat content will truly amaze. All dishes are cooked to order, so expect to wait a bit.

Nevertheless, the juicy flavor of this Peshawari dish is worth any and every inconvenience. Even all these months later, I can still taste this meal if I think about it hard enough!

Visiting Hours: 9:30 AM- 1 AM

9: Shahi Bagh

Shahi Bagh
Shahi Bagh


This Mughal-Era park– known as the “Royal Park– totals over 100 acres and remains an important place for political and social gatherings in the city. These gardens are the best place in Peshawar to go if you want to relax, take in a bit of history, or both.
The gardens contain a large fountain as well as the Quaid-e-Azam Memorial. The Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium partially encroaches on the historical gardens, which remain overwhelmingly popular with Peshawari students after classes.

As of 2020, the park is set to undergo a revival to hopefully bring it back to its Mughal beauty.

Visiting Hours: Dawn- Dusk

10:Bala Hisar Fort

Bala Hisar Fort
Bala Hisar Fort


This historic fortress has been in use for centuries– it’s seen many a’ empire rise and fall, and today falls under the jurisdiction of Pakistan’s Frontier Corps. The name Bala Hisar means “high fort” in the Afghan Dari language and is said to have been named by former Afghan emperor, Timur Shah Durrani.

The fort stands upon an elevated mound in the northwestern corner of Peshawar and is about 10 acres in total. From its top, you’ll be rewarded with an epic 360-degree view of the city below. What’s more, a museum showcasing both military and Pashtun history can be found within the fort’s boundaries,

Today, Bala Hisar remains open to Pakistanis on Saturdays and Sundays, with Saturdays being officially reserved for families.

Though any Pakistani citizen can gain entry with their CNIC card, due to the fort being under Corps control, foreigners may have difficulty entering without special permission.

Visiting Hours: Saturday-Sunday: 9 AM – 4 PM

11:Sir Cunningham Clock Tower

Sir Cunningham Clock Tower
Sir Cunningham Clock Tower


The Sir Cunningham Clock Tower was built in 1900, and was named after the former British governor of the province. The tower is also referred to as Ghanta Ghar and stands 26 meters tall.
The old clock sits in the thick of the chaos in Peshawar’s Old City- you can’t miss it as it lies only 200 m from the iconic Chowk Yadgar. Due to a complete lack of parking in or around Ghanta Ghar, hailing a rickshaw is the best way to see this famous landmark of Peshawar.

Visiting Hours: Dawn-Dusk

12: Gorkhatri

Gorkhatri
Gorkhatri


Just another park? Nope- far from it! Gorkhatri may seem like just another Peshawari garden upon first glance, but the site is actually home to several incredible historical landmarks.

Gorkhatri contains an ancient Buddhist archeology site, which was believed to be the place where Buddha’s giant bowl was kept.

The relatively small park sits on one of the highest points in all of Peshawar, and is also known to have been converted into a caravanserai by Jahanara Begum (Shah Jahan’s daughter) in the 16th century.
Perhaps one of the most surprising features of Gorkhatri is the Goraknath Temple, a Hindu place of worship that was constructed in 1851. The temple is one of only a few Hindu mandirs that have survived in the city of Peshawar, and was only reopened in 2011 after being closed for 60+ years. The temple has been attacked many times, yet somehow still stands today.

Visiting Hours: Dawn-Dusk

13:Islamia College

Islamia College
Islamia College


This architecturally beautiful university is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in all of Pakistan, and one of the most famous places in Peshawar. Islamia College was founded in 1913, and was named in the will of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The impressive buildings and perfectly manicured landscape of the college make it one of the most popular places to visit in the city, and a much sought after institution to enroll in.

Pakistanis should have no problem strolling through the grounds of the college, but I’ve heard that foreigners may have trouble entering. Considering everything in Peshawar is relatively close by, it’s certainly worth a try to be able to take in this majestic piece of history.

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