Lahore City Guide

Lahore City Guide
Quick Facts
Known Names:
Language:Punjabi, Urdu
Population:Approx. 11 million
Religion:Islam (most common)
Area Code:+92 42
Currency:Pakistani Rupee (PKR)
Time Zone:: Pakistan Standard Time (PST) - UTC/GMT +5 hours

General Information / Guide

Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city and the capital of Punjab province, often referred to as the "Heart of Pakistan, is considered the country's cultural hub. The heart of the city, called Walled or Inner City, is densely populated and famous for its rich history dating back over a thousand years. Visitors can explore its Mughal and Sikh heritage through landmarks like the Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque, and Gurdwara. 


Climate / Weather / When to Go

Lahore experiences a five-season semi-arid climate. Summers are either hot with temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celsius or with rainstorms. Winters are milder, with temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius, but generally classified as foggy. The best time to visit Lahore is during the pleasant spring from 16th February to 15th April when the weather is mild and enjoyable. 


How to Get There

Allama Iqbal International Airport is located approximately 20-30 minutes away from the city center. The airport operates direct and connecting flights from various locations, as Pakistan International Airlines offers daily departures to various destinations within Pakistan, as well as connecting flights to nearby hub airports like Qatar, Dubai, and Bangkok. These connections enable travelers to access onward flights to the Middle East, Europe, North America, and South-East Asia. To reach the city center, travelers can opt for taxis or shuttles, which are available 24/7.


Food / Restaurants / What to Eat and Drink

Lahore offers different options for different tastes and budgets. If you craving Nihari head over to Haji Nihari or try Muhammadi Nihari in Mozang. For Chicken Paratha Rolls, make a stop at Karachi Silver Spoon in Liberty Market. Gowal Mandi's Food Street is a top dinner spot, serving various Lahori delicacies. Don't miss out on the delicious kebabs at Rasheeds Kebabs, Saiyns Kebabs (Mochi Gate), and Bhaiya Kabab (Model Town).
For ice cream, dessert, and baked goods, Chamman Ice Cream, Iceland, Gelato Affair, Cakes and Bakes, Kashmir Bakery, Bon Vivant Cafe, and Massoms Cafe are considered some of the best options. If you're in the mood for Mexican or Lebanese cuisine, check out Chalupa and Cock and Bull. For upscale dining, consider Cafe Aylanto, Zouk, Freddy's, Village, Salt n Pepper Grill, Ziafat, Dera, Fujiyama, Nandos, and Costa Nostra. Lastly, for a dining experience with a view, don't miss The Monal and The Skye (Skye - Dining in the Clouds) for panoramic views of Lahore. 


Important Places / Places to Visit

  • Badshahi Mosque: One of the world's largest mosques, this architectural masterpiece is a symbol of Mughal grandeur.
  • Lahore Fort: Explore the historic Lahore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its beautiful Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors).
  • Shalimar Gardens: These stunning Mughal gardens are a testament to Lahore's rich heritage and are perfect for a stroll.
  • Lahore Museum: Learn about the city's history and culture through a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits.
  • Food Street, Gawalmandi: Enjoy a gastronomic adventure at this bustling street, known for its diverse culinary offerings.
  • Tomb of Ranjit Singh: Learn more about the Sikh ruler of Lahore. Located next to the square between Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque.


What to Do

Lahore offers numerous activities for the different needs of the visitors. You can visit cultural and historical landmarks to learn more about the city’s heritage at places like Lahore Museum, Shakir Ali Museum, Data Durbar (Data Darbar, Trafalgar Square, Minar-e-Pakistan, and more. If you want to explore Mughal architecture, check out Shalimar Gardens, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chauburji Gate, Tomb of Nur Jahan, and Tomb of Jahangir. 
If you want to stroll along nature, Lahore has many gardens and parks, such as the Lawrence Gardens & Library, Jallo Park, Race Course Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, and Lovers Park. If you want to shop, you can visit malls like PACE, Xinhua Mall, Mall of Lahore, Panorama Mall, or traditional bazaars like Ichra Bazaar, Mozang Bazaar, and Anarkali Bazaar. 


Nightlife / Bars / Entertainment

In Pakistan, alcohol consumption is prohibited for Muslims, with high-end hotels like the Pearl Continental being the sole place that may serve alcoholic beverages to non-Muslim foreign visitors. Instead of bars and clubs, Lahore's nightlife predominantly revolves around dining, with its bustling food streets coming to life as the sun sets. Accessing clubs can be a challenge due to their private, invite-only nature. However, you can find a variety of cafes, restaurants, and some hotel bars that offer evening entertainment and live music.


Shopping / What to Buy

Lahore's traditional bazaars in the inner city are a captivating mix of history and commerce, where bargaining is a part of the experience. Anarkali Bazaar is a famous hub offering many goods, from handicrafts to modern appliances. Ichra Bazaar provides top-quality unstitched silk, cotton, and printed fabrics, while Mozang Bazaar showcases captivating hand-block printed textiles, tablecloths, and bedspreads. If you prefer modern local and international brands, Lahore offers shopping malls like Panorama Mall, PACE in Model Town, Mall of Lahore in Cantonment, and Xinhua Mall. 


Festivals/ Events

February: Lahore Literary Festival
February: Jashn-e-Baharaann (Basant)
February- March: National Horse & Cattle Show
March- April: Mela Chiraghan or Mela Shalimar (“Festival of Lights”) 
July: Shandur Polo Festival
July- August: Kalam Festival
September- October: Silk Route Festival
November: National Industrial Exhibition
November: World Performing Arts Festival


Holidays / Festivals / Important Days

23 March: Pakistan Day 
14 August: Independence Day 
6 September: Defense Day
Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Adha


Things to Pay Attention to / Important Information

Respect local customs and traditions by dressing modestly and behaving respectfully in public places. Alcohol is not readily available due to the city's conservative nature. It's important to show respect for Islamic practices and religious traditions when visiting mosques and religious sites.



Lahore offers various transportation options, including buses, ride-sharing services, taxis, metro, minibusses, metro buses, and auto-rickshaws (Qingqi). Usually, public transportation is the cheapest means of transportation but can be very crowded. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also common but note that traffic can cause delays, and while taking taxis, consider choosing the metered ones and negotiating fares with taxi drivers is a common practice.

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