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Ultimate Guide to Lahore

Ultimate Guide to Lahore

Planning on visiting Lahore?

Here’s a complete guide to Lahore stating how and when to plan your trip. What to expect and how to prepare to make your trip as smooth and memorable as possible! Lahore and Lahori’s are known for their hospitality so be prepared to leave a piece of you behind when you leave. Happy travelling!

First things first,

What time of the year should you visit Lahore in?

Lahore experiences all four weathers at its best but the best time to visit and fully marvel its beauty is the Spring! Temperature ranges from (16oC - 27oC) in March, (20oC -32oC) in October and (14oC - 27oC) in November.

Outdoor tea stalls, bonfires and musical events provide entertainment with the best compliments from the weather.

If you’re more accustomed to colder weather, then December - February might be a good bracket for you with temperatures ranging from 8oC - 22oC.

Summers can be a bit tricky to handle in Lahore unless your belong from a warm region so outdoor activities are very limited and hence not the best time to explore the city with so much outdoor entertainment to provide.

What time of the year should you visit Lahore in?
What time of the year should you visit Lahore in?

That being said,

How to get a visa for Pakistan?

To get a visa for Pakistan is actually quite simple. You can check out https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/ for all the information and can even apply online. Over 175 countries are eligible for online visa but you must be residing in your country as you may be called in for an interview. The visa fee detail can be found, here. Some Countries are also eligible for visa on arrival but the turnaround time for both is 48-72 hours. You must also submit and online “Intent to Travel” form 48-72 hours before arrival in case of visa on arrival.

visa lahore pakistan

Let the fun Begin!

How long should you stay in Lahore?

Recommended: 3-4 days

Now that the paperwork is done, let’s plan the trip! But before you jump into it, let me tell you that Lahore demands commitment and you must give it the time to completely explore all that the city holds for you. On the day you arrive, you are not likely to cover much ground as settling in can take some time. We would urge you to dedicate a day to explore The Walled City of Lahore. It has so many cultural and historic sites that you just cannot leave without! Read here for all the must-visit places in Lahore.

A day to explore the modern Lahore, the city lights and the endless cuisines on MM Alam Road. And finally, a day to shop. Lahore has such a rich culture which you will notice the moment you step in. Women wearing khussa style shoes with anklets that sound to rich embroidered clothing and shawls, all of which are a must-have before leaving the city. For all the traditional shopping and souvenirs, Liberty Market is your place. If you’re looking for high-end brands and western clothing/shopping, Emporium & Packages Mall is your place to go. The fashionista in you is bound to be satisfied. For a complete shopaholic's guide, check here.

Attractions
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Now that we have the itinerary,

How to get to Lahore?

By Plane

If You’re coming from within Pakistan, You will land on Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE) which is about 20-30 mins from the city centre depending on the traffic.

If you’re coming from abroad, you can either land in Lahore directly or come through Islamabad, in which case you can get a bus ride from ISL to LHE.

By Bus

If you’re coming from within Pakistan and don’t have a car or if you’ve landed in Islamabad or any other city, you can get a bus to get to Lahore. Approximate time from Islamabad to Lahore is 4-5 hours by bus. The two good bus services are Faisal Movers and Daewoo and all their information can be found in their respective links. The ticket for Faisal Movers from Islamabad to Lahore is 1200Rs ($7.5) for a standard class seat and 1650RS ($10) for a business class seat and much more comfortable for a very little price difference.

Ultimate Guide to Lahore 6

Welcome to Lahore! Where to first?

How to get around in Lahore?

Transport medium in Lahore is majorly UBER and Careem as public transport isn’t very much established. The most convenient way though is to get a local guide or a private driver to take you around town without wasting time on booking rides and the hassle of finding routes. It can be challenging for someone who’s not familiar with the town.

You can easily flag a Rickshaw passing by and negotiate the rate depending on how far you have to go. It is, after all, a must-have ride in Lahore!

For a quick tour of all the main attractions of Lahore, TDCP Sightseeing tourist buses are a good option and will provide you with information on all the sites. All the ticket and route information can be found here.

Ultimate Guide to Lahore 2
How to get around in Lahore?

Now that that’s sorted, let’s get you some rest!

Where to sleep?

Accommodations in Lahore are available in all ranges. If you’re looking for local and homey accommodation, Airbnb has got you covered and if you’re looking for a more seamless experience, Pearl Continental Hotel and other luxury hotels should be your go-to. More information on all the places to sleep in can be found here.

where to sleep in Lahore?

Hungry? Time to give you a taste of Lahore!

What to eat?

Lahore is known for its food! Be prepared to be overwhelmed for choices and eat your heart out. Pakistani cuisine is so easy to fall in love with but we are going to help you choose what to eat so you don’t miss out on the must-haves! Halwa Puri is a local breakfast where bread is served with sweet halwa and chickpeas.

Sometimes you’ll also find sweet Lassi at breakfast places which is also a local summer drink. Nihari is Lahore’s speciality and a must-have curry, the best part is you can have it for breakfast or dinner!

Gol Gappay and Meetha Pan are some desi snacks that are you’ve probably never dreamed of before and you must give them a try before leaving. Lahore has amazing Mithai (sweets) including to-die-for Gulab Jaman, Barfi and Rass Malai. For more details on places to visit and cuisines to try, check here.

Where to eat in Lahore?
Ultimate Guide to Lahore

Currency Exchange and ATM’s

The currency of Pakistan is Pakistani Rupee (PKR). $1 dollar is about 160PKR. Currency can be exchanged from Western Union at the airport or at any of their multiple branches in the city, most of them being in the Gulberg area. ATM’s are easily found all over town, separate as well as outside most banks and they accept both Master and Visa cards. Many banks also accept union pay.

Currency Exchanges in Lahore

What budget should you keep in mind when visiting Lahore?

Lahore Travel Budget

Accomodations per night: 

  • On a budget: $10-20
  • Comfort: $40-60
  • Luxury: $100-200

Food: $5 per meal

Uber/Careems: $8-12 per day if you travel by car all day

Attraction Tickets: $3 USD per attraction (mostly being free)

SIM card: PKR 500 and additional credit for data and other services.

*For packages consult website of your service provider.

Ultimate Guide to Lahore 4
Image Source: Komal Ayaz
Ultimate Guide to Lahore 1
Image Source: Viola Negri

Internet and SIM cards

Do not buy SIM cards from the airport. Foreigners can only buy SIM cards at the main carrier franchise store in the city where they have to register with passports and visa documents. Our recommended network is Zong, you can find the store here.

Most restaurants and hotels have Wi-Fi but having a data card is much easier and helps with faster navigation through the city.

Ultimate Guide to Lahore 7

What budget should you keep in mind when visiting Lahore?

Language In Lahore

Pakistan’s national language is Urdu, however the official language is English so it’s not at all hard to understand or be understood as most of the signs are also bilingual. Most of the people especially youngsters speak fluent English and are very helpful so it’s a breeze to get around!

Ultimate Guide to Lahore
Ultimate Guide to Lahore 8

Conclusion

So to conclude, Lahore is a captivating place and if guided properly (which we have tried to do here), you can have so much fun and learn so much about the intriguing culture and history of Lahore. The people are so hospitable and the food, oh the food is to die for. So especially if you’re a foodie, this is the place to be! We hope you find this guide helpful and have an amazing trip 😊