Pakistan: A detailed Travel Guide in 2024

Derawar Fort at Sunset

Pakistan, located in South Asia, boasts rich history and diverse culture. With ancient civilizations and modern wonders, it offers a lot to explore for tourists. From majestic landscapes to unique cuisine, Pakistan has something for everyone. In this article, we will delve into the country’s fascinating history and vibrant culture, highlight its major tourism attractions, discuss transportation options for visitors, provide tips for solo and female travelers, explore adventure sports opportunities and trekking routes, savor the local flavors of Pakistani cuisine, assess safety concerns, and recommend top hotels for accommodations in Pakistan.

History & Culture of Pakistan

Pakistan has a history that spans over thousands of years, with many ancient civilizations leaving their mark on the land. One of the most notable civilizations is the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished around 2500 BCE. The ruins of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, two major cities of this civilization, are must-visit sites for history enthusiasts. These cities showcase the advanced urban planning and engineering skills of the Indus Valley people.After the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization, the region saw the rise and fall of various dynasties and empires, including the Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, and the Mughal Empire. The Mughals, in particular, left an indelible mark on Pakistan’s culture and architecture. The stunning Mughal-era monuments, such as the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort in Lahore, and the Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are a testament to the grandeur of Mughal architecture.

Pakistan is also home to a wide range of cultural diversity, with each region having its own distinct traditions, languages, and customs. The country is a melting pot of different cultures, including Punjabi, Pashtun, Sindhi, Baloch, and many others. Festivals like Eid, Navroz, and Basant are celebrated throughout the country, adding color and vibrancy to the cultural tapestry of Pakistan.

Major Tourism Attractions in Pakistan

Pakistan is a treasure trove of natural and man-made wonders that will leave any traveler in awe. From majestic mountain ranges to historical sites, there is something for everyone.

The Northern Areas

The northern region of Pakistan is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The Karakoram Range, home to K2 (the second highest peak in the world), offers breathtaking views and trekking opportunities. The Hunza Valley, with its scenic beauty and hospitable locals, is a must-visit destination. The Fairy Meadows, Naltar Valley, and Skardu are other popular spots in the Northern Areas.


Skardu is a beautiful city located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, at an altitude of 2,438 meters above sea level. Known as the “Land of Giants”, it is surrounded by some of the world’s highest peaks, including K2, the second highest mountain in the world.

Skardu is a popular destination for adventure seekers, mountaineers, and nature lovers. We will now explore the top attractions in Skardu that you should not miss during your traveling in the area.

Shigar Valley

Located just outside of Skardu, the Shigar Valley is a beautiful place to explore. The valley houses the Shigar Fort, which dates back to the 17th century and has been converted into a heritage hotel. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour and learn about the rich history and culture of the region. The valley is also known for its fruit orchards, including apple, apricot, and cherry.

Satpara Lake

Satpara Lake is located 9 kilometers from Skardu and is a popular destination for tourists. The lake is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and offers boating and fishing opportunities. A visit to Satpara Lake is perfect for a relaxing day out in nature.

Kachura Lakes

Lower Kachura Lake, also known as Shangrila Lake, is another stunning lake located near Skardu. The lake is surrounded by lush green trees and offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Boating and residential opportunities are available at the lake, making it a perfect spot for a picnic or day trip.

While Upper Kachura Lake is further up in the kachura valley and offers boating & camping facilities

Manthal Buddha Rock

Located near Skardu, Manthal Buddha Rock is another ancient rock carving that dates back to the 8th century. The carving is believed to be a representation of Buddha and offers a unique insight into the rich history and culture of the region.

Deosai National Park

Deosai National Park is located about 30 kilometers from Skardu and is known for its beautiful landscapes and wildlife. The park is home to the Himalayan brown bear, ibex, and red fox. The park offers opportunities for camping, hiking, and wildlife watching.In conclusion, Skardu is a city that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and adventure. From mountaineering to exploring ancient rock carvings and serene lakes, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Skardu. A visit to Skardu is a must-do for all nature lovers and adventure seekers who are looking for an unforgettable experience in Pakistan.


Hunza Valley is a picturesque region located in the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, towering mountains, vibrant cultures, and warm hospitality, Hunza Valley offers a plethora of attractions and activities for visitors. Here are some of the must-see and explore destinations in Hunza Valley:


The main town of Hunza Valley, Karimabad, offers stunning panoramic views of the valley and surrounding peaks. Explore the traditional bazaars, visit historical landmarks like Baltit Fort and Altit Fort, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the region.

Baltit Fort

Situated in Karimabad, Baltit Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back over 700 years. It offers a look into the architectural wonders of the past and provides magnificent views of the valley and surrounding mountains.

Altit Fort

Another ancient fort located near Karimabad, Altit Fort boasts a rich history and overlooks the Hunza River. Explore the well-preserved structure, admire the intricate woodwork, and enjoy the captivating view from the rooftop.

Attabad Lake

This stunning turquoise lake was formed as a result of a massive landslide. Surrounded by rugged mountains, Attabad Lake offers boating and fishing opportunities, along with a magnificent backdrop for photography enthusiasts.

Khunjerab Pass

A popular excursion from Hunza Valley, Khunjerab Pass is one of the highest international border crossings in the world. Located at an altitude of around 4,693 meters, it offers breathtaking views of the majestic Karakoram Range and serves as the gateway to China’s Xinjiang province.

Passu Cones

These striking cone-shaped peaks are a famous landmark in Passu village. The Passu Cones, also known as Cathedral Ridge, offer a dramatic backdrop for photography and are a popular spot for hikers and climbers.

Duikar Village / Eagle’s Nest View Point

For breathtaking sunrise and sunset views over the Hunza Valley, head to Duikar Village. Located on a hilltop above Karimabad, it provides a sweeping panorama of the valley, with the majestic mountains serving as a backdrop.

Nagar Valley

Located in close proximity to Hunza Valley, Nagar Valley is known for its stunning landscapes, lush green meadows, and serene lakes. Enjoy a scenic drive or take a hike through this beautiful valley, with popular spots like Hopar Valley and Hoper Glacier.

Rakaposhi Viewpoint

Prepare to be amazed by the panoramic view of Rakaposhi, one of the most beautiful and iconic peaks in the region. The viewpoint offers an excellent vantage point to capture stunning photographs of this snow-capped beauty.

Local Culture and Cuisine

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and traditions of Hunza Valley by interacting with the friendly locals, visiting small villages, enjoying traditional music and dance performances, and indulging in delicious local cuisine, which includes apricots, buckwheat, and trout. Hunza Valley truly offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers seeking natural beauty, cultural immersion, and adventure. With its stunning landscapes and warm hospitality, it’s no wonder that this region has become a popular destination for explorers and nature enthusiasts from around the world.


Taxila, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, holds immense historical and religious significance. This ancient city served as a prominent center of Buddhist learning and culture, attracting scholars and pilgrims from far and wide.Home to iconic sites such as Jaulian, Sirkap, and Dharmarajika Stupa, Taxila stands as a testament to the rich legacy of Buddhism in the region. The ruins of Takht Bhai monastery showcase the architectural brilliance of that era.The presence of Khanpur Dam adds to the charm of Taxila’s surroundings, offering a tranquil retreat for visitors seeking solace amidst nature’s beauty. The Taxila Museum further enriches the experience by preserving invaluable artifacts that narrate the city’s past in intricate detail.Exploring Taxila is like stepping back in time, where every stone has a story to tell about its glorious past. It remains an essential pilgrimage site for Buddhists worldwide and a treasure trove for history enthusiasts eager to unravel its mysteries.

For more about Taxila, checkout our detailed guide of Taxila here.


The cultural capital of Pakistan, Lahore is a city steeped in history and architectural marvels. The Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, and the Walled City are must-visit attractions. The vibrant food streets of Lahore, such as Gawalmandi, offer a gastronomic delight for visitors.

To know more about Lahore, read this article


The modern capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, is known for its beautifully planned layout and lush greenery. The Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in South Asia, is an iconic landmark of the city. The Margalla Hills, situated on the outskirts of Islamabad, offer hiking and trekking opportunities.


The bustling metropolis of Karachi is the economic and cultural hub of Pakistan. The city offers a mix of modern attractions like shopping malls and vibrant beaches like Clifton and French Beach. The historic district of Saddar is home to colonial-era architecture and bustling markets.

Historical Sites to Explore in Pakistan


Located in the Sindh province, Mohenjo-Daro is one of the most well-preserved sites of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The city’s ruins offer a glimpse into the urban planning and daily life of the civilization.


Situated near Islamabad, Taxila is an archaeological site that dates back to the Gandhara civilization. The site houses Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and universities, making it a significant historical and religious site. Read this article for more details about Taxila.

Rohtas Fort

Located near Jhelum, Rohtas Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built during the reign of Sher Shah Suri. The fort’s strategic location and robust architecture make it a fascinating place to explore.

Religious Sites to Explore in Pakistan

Badshahi Mosque

Situated in Lahore, the Badshahi Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. Its stunning architecture and serene ambiance make it a must-visit site for religious and architectural enthusiasts.

Faisal Mosque

Located in Islamabad, the Faisal Mosque showcases modern Islamic architecture and is a symbol of Pakistan’s progress. Its unique design and beautiful surroundings make it a popular tourist attraction.

Kartarpur Corridor

The Kartarpur Corridor, opened in 2019, allows Sikh pilgrims from India and around the world to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism. This corridor is a testament to the commitment of Pakistan towards religious harmony.

Mode of Transportation for Tourists in Pakistan

Pakistan offers a variety of transportation options for tourists, including:

Air Travel

The country has several international airports located in major cities like Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, with direct flights to various destinations around the world.


Pakistan Railways operates a network of trains connecting major cities. The trains offer a comfortable and scenic way to travel across the country.


Pakistan has an extensive network of intercity buses, making it easy to travel between different regions. Several private bus companies provide comfortable and affordable long-distance travel options.

Private Transportation

Renting a car or hiring a driver is a popular option for tourists who prefer more flexibility and independence. However, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and driving conditions.

Best Road Trips for Foreigners in Pakistan

Karakoram Highway

Known as the eighth wonder of the world, the Karakoram Highway offers a breathtaking road trip experience. The highway connects Pakistan with China and passes through some of the most scenic landscapes on earth.

Coastal Highway

Starting from Karachi and stretching along the Arabian Sea, the Coastal Highway offers stunning beach views and access to coastal towns and fishing villages.

Kaghan Valley

The road trip to Kaghan Valley, located in the Northern Areas, offers picturesque views of the Himalayas, lush green meadows, and crystal-clear lakes.

Guide for Solo Travelers & Female Solo Travelers in Pakistan

Traveling solo in Pakistan can be an incredible experience, but it is important to take certain precautions to ensure safety:


Prior to traveling, thoroughly research the destinations you plan to visit, including local customs, transportation options, and safety guidelines.

Dress Modestly

As a solo traveler and especially as a female traveler, it is advisable to dress modestly and respect local cultural norms. This will help avoid unwanted attention.

Stay Connected

Inform someone you trust about your travel plans and regularly check-in with them. Ensure you have a reliable means of communication, such as a local SIM card.

Choose Accommodations Wisely

Opt for reputable and well-reviewed hotels or guesthouses that prioritize the safety and comfort of their guests. Consider booking accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Bike Trips in Pakistan

For adventure enthusiasts, Pakistan offers thrilling bike trips that allow you to explore the country at your own pace:K

Karakoram Highway

Embark on a biking adventure along the Karakoram Highway, traversing the challenging terrain and enjoying breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

Hunza Valley

Bike through the picturesque Hunza Valley, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and lush greenery. The journey offers a blend of nature, culture, and adventure.

Hitchhiking in Pakistan

Hitchhiking, though less common, is possible in Pakistan. However, it is important to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines:

Plan Ahead

Research the areas you intend to hitchhike in, consider the distance between towns and availability of transportation. It is advisable to avoid hitchhiking in remote or less-populated areas.

Communicate Effectively

A basic understanding of the local language can be helpful when communicating with locals. Alternatively, carry a card or piece of paper with your intended destination written in the local language.

Adventure Sports in Pakistan

Pakistan offers a wide range of adventure sports for adrenaline junkies:

River Rafting

Experience the thrill of conquering white-water rapids in the rivers of Pakistan, such as the Indus River in the Skardu region.


Soar through the skies and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscapes in places like Islamabad, Hunza, and Kaghan Valley.

Mountaineering & Trekking in Pakistan

Pakistan’s mountainous terrain provides ample opportunities for mountaineering and trekking:

K2 Base Camp Trek

Embark on a challenging trek to the base camp of K2, the second highest peak in the world, and immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of the Karakoram Range.

The K2 Base Camp trek is one of the most challenging yet rewarding treks in the world, and starts from Skardu. The trek takes around 16-17 days, and travelers can experience the stunning views of the Gondogoro La Pass, Concordia, and the Baltoro Glacier. The trek is suitable for experienced trekkers and offers a unique opportunity to experience the magnificence of the Karakoram Range.

Nanga Parbat Base Camp

Trek to the base camp of Nanga Parbat, one of the world’s deadliest peaks, and experience the thrill of being in the heart of the Himalayas.

Best Treks to Do in Pakistan

Snow Lake Trek

Explore the mesmerizing beauty of the Snow Lake, located in the heart of the Karakoram Range, with its vast expanse of ice and snow.

Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat BC Trek

Trek to the Fairy Meadows and witness the majestic Nanga Parbat up close, while enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding meadows.

Local Cuisine of Pakistan

Pakistan’s culinary scene is as diverse as its culture, with a wide variety of flavorful dishes that will tantalize your taste buds:


A fragrant rice dish, cooked with a blend of aromatic spices and meat, Biryani is a popular staple in Pakistan.


Made with a mix of spices, tomatoes, and meat (usually chicken or mutton), Karahi is a spicy and flavorful dish that is a must-try.


A slow-cooked stew made with meat and lentils, Haleem is a popular dish, especially during the month of Ramadan.


You can find hundreds of variants of kebab across Pakistan and they all are delicious. Chappal Kebabs of Nowshehra, Mansehra, Mardan and Peshawer are the best. While Reshmi Kebabs & Dhaga kebabs of Karachi will be a delight.

Safety Situation in Northern Areas of Pakistan

The safety situation in the Northern Areas of Pakistan is generally stable for tourists. However, it is always advisable to stay informed about the current situation and follow any travel advisories issued by your country’s embassy or consulate.

Hospitality & Best Hotels to Stay in Pakistan

Pakistan is known for its warm hospitality, and the country offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference.

Serena Hotels

Serena hotels are known for their luxury and impeccable services. With branches in major cities like Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, Serena hotels provide a luxurious and comfortable stay.

Roomy Hotels

Roomy Hotels are a comparatively newer name in hospitality industry of Pakistan. With presence in almost all of the major tourist attractions in the north. They offer reliable facilities with nice views and comfortable rooms


Pakistan has a vast network of guesthouses that offer affordable and comfortable accommodations, especially in popular tourist areas. These guesthouses provide a more intimate experience, allowing you to interact with locals and explore the local culture.


Pakistan is a country of immense beauty, history, and adventure. From its ancient civilizations to its modern-day wonders, the country offers a unique experience for travelers. Whether you’re exploring the historical sites, indulging in local cuisine, embarking on thrilling adventures, or experiencing the warm hospitality of its people, Pakistan will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, embark on this journey, and get ready to explore the hidden gems of Pakistan.

The Tourist is a registered Tour company from Pakistan. We organize small group tailor-made tours for travelers across Pakistan.

Feel free to reach out to us with your preferences and we’ll curate the best tour of your lives for you. Click the whatsapp icon on the bottom right corner or click here to whatsapp us directly or you can write to us at

Derawar Fort at Sunset

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