New York Times asked its readers to ‘tell us about spots that have delighted, inspired and comforted them in a dark year.’ They then enlisted 52 out of 2,000 entries as the ‘52 Places to Love in 2021’. And guess what?! One of them was our very own city Lahore, a beautiful mix of experiences, adventures, and spectacles. In case you are still not sure why Lahore is one of the places to love in 2021, here are 52 reasons why!
1. Every monument, every landmark is a page ripped from a history book.
2. Lahore is the perfect amalgamation of the contemporary and the classic.
3. Lahore’s historic core is enriched with Mughal Sikh and British influences.
4.The infamous Lahore Fort and the Shalimar Gardens are both knighted as UNESCO’S World Heritage Sites.
5. Literature is an important component of Lahore’s history, bagging the city the title of one of the Cities of Literature.
6. Lahore is home to some of the best museums in Pakistan.
7. The Minar-e-Pakistan stands tall, to delineate the triumph of the Pakistan Movement.
8. The infinite beauty of cultural sites will touch your spirit.
9. And so will the patriotic zeal of Lahoris at the Wagha Border.
10. You will be awe-struck by the magnificence of Mughal architecture.
11. And will be equally spellbound by the endless rows of trees shadowing the 100-year old Mall Road.
12. The paan-chewing uncles, the Shahi Hamam and the thirteen gates- Old Lahore cannot be missed.
13. The resounding echo of the Azaan across the Badshahi Mosque will call out to your soul.
14. The hospitality of Lahoris is like a warm hug on a cold winter day.
15. The infinite list of shopping options – from Packages Mall to Liberty Market.
16. A local shopping market in Lahore is a kaleidoscope of every color you can perceive.
17. Lahore is one of the cheapest travel destination, a 100 dollar bill can go a long way.
18. Lahore is the gateway to heaven and by heaven we mean great food!
19. Lahori food has sugar spice and everything nice!
20. The ultimate Lahori nashta – halwa puri and channay served with a glass of lassi.
21. And oh! There is Falooda too.
22. With the countless delivery options you can now eat anything, anywhere!
23. You will never get tired of the hustle bustle in Lahore.
24. You will be fascinated by the rickshaw ride.
25. The endless bargaining of women with street hawkers is a spectacle to behold.
26. The variety of vehicles- limousines for the rich and tongas (horse-ridden carriages) for the truly adventurous.
27. The rapidly increasing network of concrete – in flyovers, the metro train system, and other modern structures.
28. You are bound to be lost in the splendid beauty of Lahore, quite literally if you ask for directions from a local!
29. Lahore remains devout to Sufism, in the Data Darbar, the divine verses and the dholaks.
30. Lahore remains devout to religion, in the Wazir Khan Mosque, the soul-stirring Azaan, and the endless stream of prayers.
31. The lush green parks like Jilani Park and the Greater Iqbal Park will never disappoint you if you are up for a jog in an intimate walk amidst nature’s finest.
32. The endless festivities, whether it is the Lahore Music Meet, Coke Fest or the Lahore Literary Fest, Lahoris will call celebration at the slightest hint of a chance.
33. Lahore is the hometown of some of the best artists, writers, and poets are known to mankind including Bano Qudsia and Saadat Hassan Manto.
34. Lahore is also the hometown of the some of the biggest international designers known the fashion world including Maria B., Faraz Manan, and HSY.
35. Lahore is where the raw, untethered and unapologetic tunes of rock music were first strung.
36. Ali Azmat, Junaid Jamshed and Atif Aslam…PERIOD.
37. You can enjoy the sculpted magnificence of Guljee and the unapologetic brushstrokes of Sadequain at some of the best art exhibitions, only in Lahore.
38. Winters in Lahore are truly magical, the blazing Sun mellows into a balmy warmth.
39. You are a nature enthusiast, spring in Lahore is an absolute treat, with the vibrancy and fragrance of fresh flowers filling up the flower markets.
40. Sipping a hot brew of Kashmiri chai at a dimly-lit tea joint to the hypnotic rhythm of a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Qawwali is the real flex in Lahore.
41. If you are too bougie for chai dhabbas (tea-stalls), Lahore also has tons of cute, fancy coffee shops to satisfy your caffeine cravings.
42. And if you want to take bougie to another level then Lahore has tons of indulgent and extravagant golf and country clubs to kick back at.
43. Lahore has some of the juiciest, greesiest, food-coma inducing fast food you can find in Pakistan.
44. Desi delicacies like nihari and chicken karahi are equally to die for, but definitely not for the light-hearted (both metaphorically and literally).
45. Whether it’s an open mic session at the Strictly Social or a magical performance at the colony, Lahore’s nightlife is top notch!
46. There are also plenty of top restaurants to enjoy a quiet date night.
47. Truck art is everywhere and makes the city so vibrant and alive with color.
48. The Orange Line and metro trains, on the other hand, are a whole different vibe.
49. Only in Lahore, will you hear a street hawker speak English in a Punjabi accent (talk about diversity!)
50. From free food to free rides, Lahoris are a generous lot to tourists and visitors.
51. Lahoris are simple people leading simple lives, alive in the present while truly being connected to the past.
52. Lastly, because“jinnay Lahore nahi waikhya o jamiya hi nahi”! Translation: He who has never visited Lahore has not been born.