Lahore

Pakistan’s second city (and Punjabi capital)

Offers the visitor a stunning visual treat, with perfectly preserved Mughal and colonial architecture in abundance, jostling with the chaotic trappings of the modern South Asian city. Known as the City of Gardens, it owes much of its greenery and order to its former rulers; a legacy that offers some respite from the extremes of climate.

View Lahore reviews

Shopping

Lahore is a fantastic place to sample Pakistani bazaar (marketplace) shopping. This is where you can sniff out a great selection of traditional textiles, leather goods, brassware and mother-of-pearl inlay work. For a unique souvenir of your travels, head to Millat Music Palace (Langay Bazaar) in the Old Town where you'll find a beautiful selection of dhols and dholkis (Punjabi drums) as well as traditional sitars. Also in the Old Town, Moti Bazaar (off Data Darbar Road) is a bustling, vibrant place where you can pick up good quality chappals (traditional Pakistani sandals). Lahore is also a bargain-hunter paradise for electronic goods. Head to Hall Road for the best deals.

Food & Drink

To dive into the full bodied flavours of Pakistan, The Village (MM Alam Road) should be high on your list of restaurants to visit in Lahore. The traditional dishes here, on the buffet-style menu, are some of the best in town. For supreme city views and an eclectic ambience, you can't beat the famed Cuckoo's Den (off Maulana Abdul Qadir Azad Road), which is a destination in itself with its rickety staircase climb to the upper dining room. Nearby, Andaaz Restaurant (Maulana Abdul Qadir Azad Road) is another good choice to experience Pakistan's cuisine.

Events

Basant
February
This traditional Punjabi festival heralds in spring. In Lahore, Basant is enthusiastically celebrated with kite-flying competitions held across the city. Lahore's youth take to the rooftops and fight it out in dazzling aerial displays. The best place to head to view the sky action is the walled city area downtown.

Festival of Lights
March
Also known as the Mela Chiraghan, this three-day festival commemorates the death of the Sufi poet Shah Hussein. It takes place at his tomb, near the city's Shalimar Gardens.

Vaisakhi
April
This Sikh festival celebrates the annual harvest. Thousands of Sikhs visit Lahore and the surrounding region during this time to pay their respects at the temples.

World Performing Arts Festival
November
This 10-day event brings a wealth of theatre productions and concerts to the city, all staged at the Alhambra Cultural Complex. The programme varies from child-friendly puppet shows to musical shows, drama and dance, and attracts a whole host of big-name international theatre companies.

National Horse and Cattle Show
November
It might not sound promising but this agriculture show has plenty of cultural activities, with cattle races, traditional horse and cattle dances, polo games, vaudeville performances, folk games and live Punjabi music. It's held over five days at Fortress Stadium.

Hotels

The cultural capital of Pakistan has plenty of historic architectural riches to offer travellers. The downtown area is the best place to begin an accommodation hunt whatever your budget. Top-end Pearl Continental Hotel (Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam) provides five-star stays in a central city location. With pleasant, neutral-toned rooms, Hotel One Gulberg (40A Gulberg III, Hussain Chowk) is an excellent mid-range option. But if you want the Old Town’s sights on your doorstep, Hotel One Downtown (6 Chatterjee Road) is another solid choice.

Essentials

  • Language

    English, Punjabi, Urdu

  • Currency

    Rupee

  • Time zone

    GMT +5 hours

  • Flight time

    5h 30

  • Holiday type

    City break

Weather

  • 28/08/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    41C max 26C min
  • 29/08/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    40C max 28C min
  • 30/08/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    41C max 29C min
  • 31/08/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    43C max 29C min
  • 01/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    43C max 29C min
  • 02/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    45C max 28C min
  • 03/09/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    43C max 30C min
  • Jan
    19°C max 8°C min
  • Feb
    22°C max 11°C min
  • Mar
    22°C max 16°C min
  • Apr
    33°C max 20°C min
  • May
    39°C max 26°C min
  • Jun
    39°C max 28°C min
  • Jul
    27°C max 27°C min
  • Aug
    35°C max 27°C min
  • Sep
    34°C max 25°C min
  • Oct
    30°C max 20°C min
  • Nov
    27°C max 14°C min
  • Dec
    21°C max 9°C min