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Pretty places in Pakistan

Pakistan - there's no other country quite like it. It has some of the most populated and busy cities in the world, as well as some of the most serene scenery in the world. To make sure you don't miss either, check out this list of the most beautiful places in Pakistan:

Shalamar Gardens

This beautiful example of Mughal symmetrical architecture is located about 4km north east of Lahore. The 17th century garden is the only surviving Mughal garden in Lahore and is incredibly popular with locals and tourists. It was awarded the label of UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its waterfalls, terraces with lodges and the large ornamental ponds. If you’re visiting Lahore but want to escape its busy streets for a while, Shalamar Gardens is the place to go.

Address: Shalimar Gardens, Grand Trunk Road, Lahore, Pakistan

Opening hours: Daily, 7am – 30 mins before sunset

Read more: Top 8 Places to visit in Lahore

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Neelum Valley

Neelum Valley in the Azad Kashmir Region is another of the country’s natural beauties. It runs through the north-east of Muzaffarabad and can be reached on the Neelam Road up to Kel. There are public buses but we recommend you hire a private guide and take a jeep. If you do this, you’ll be rewarded with some of most incredible natural scenery anywhere in the world; it’s a world away from the likes of Lahore and Karachi. The main calling points in the Neelum Valley are Jura, Athmuqam and Sharda Fort.

Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleam (Mazar-e-Quaid)

In contrast to some of Pakistan’s other most scenic places to visit, the Tomb of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, is beautifully understated. It was built between 1959 and 1969 in white marble to allow people to pay their respects to the country’s founder. The tomb of Al Jinnah’s sister, Fatimah Jinnah) is also in the same mausoleum. The Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleam is especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset when the marble takes on an almost blue hue.

Address: Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleum, Shahrah-Qaideen, Karachi, Pakistan

Read more: Top 10 places to visit in Karachi

Minar-e-Pakistan

What the Minar-e-Pakistan lacks in beauty it makes up for in cultural and political significance. It was built in the 1960s on the same site where the Lahore Resolution was signed by the All-India Muslim League on March 23, 1940. It was the first time Pakistan became officially known as Pakistan, and called for full independence. It was installed in the Iqbal Park in Lahore and stands out on the city’s skyline at 70 meters tall. The four platforms at the base each symbolize the humble struggle for freedom. Look out for the plaques decorated with verses from the Quran, lines from the Lahore Resolution, and words from Mohammed Iqbal.

Address: Minar-e-Pakistan, Iqbal Park, Circular Rd, Lahore 54000, Pakistan

Hiran Minar

While Pakistan has no shortage of monuments dedicated to its people, the Hiran Minar is dedicated to a very different sort of creature. It was built on the site of a game reserve to honor the pet antelope of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The game reserve was a popular site for Lahore’s Mughal emperors to hunt and the minaret that was built to honor the antelope Mansiraj, who was trained to lure fellow animals to the area. The site is about 40km north west of Lahore, off the M2 Motorway.

Karakoam mountain range

This awe-inspiring mountain range is on Pakistan’s border with China and India, and is home to one of world’s most incredible roads. It’s along this route that you’ll find the Hunza Valley, by far one of the most naturally beautiful places in Pakistan. Security can be tight around this area so we recommend you seeking a local guide from a tour company if you’re planning to travel off the beaten track.

Badshahi Mosque

Badshahi Mosque is one of the biggest mosques in the world, holding up to 100,000 worshipers. It’s pièce de résistance is the room above the main entrance which reportedly holds strands of The Prophet Mohammed’s hair. There’s also the Tomb of Mohammed Iqbal, the poet and philosopher most famous for campaigning in British India for an independent Pakistan.

Address: Fort Rd, Lahore, Pakistan

Opening hours: Daily, sunrise – sunset

Most beautiful places in Pakistan: Badshahi Mosque

Murree Hills

This former summer capital for the British Raj in the Punjab is now a popular summer retreat for well-heeled Pakistanis. The Murree weather means temperatures usually hit the mid-20s in May, June and July. Head to Mall Road in Murree as a starting point, from where you can organize trips into the mountains. You should also check out the cable car.

*Published November 2017. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.

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