|Pakistan doesn’t immediately spring to mind as a top tourist destination, though in fact the country does have much to offer and tourism is now being heavily promoted. Pakistan actually offers a good variety of attractions and activities.
One of Pakistan’s biggest attractions (literally!) is K2. In the north of the country, K2 and several other mountain peaks form this part of the Himalayas. K2 is the second highest mountain in the world is a popular challenge for trekkers and mountain-climbers, though if you’re not up to that challenge you can view K2 and the other mountains from a distance!
The Hunza Valley region of Northern Pakistan is also popular and is extremely beautiful. If you are visiting this part of the country you can travel the Karakoram Highway which is the highest major road in the world, passing across the Himalayas between Pakistan and China. This is one part of the ancient Silk Road and considered to be one of the must-do journeys of the world for keen travellers. During the summer the desert areas of the highway can get extremely hot, whilst during the winter, sections are closed off.
If you are interested in ruins of ancient civilisations, Pakistan has several of these. The most spectacular are Mohenjo-daro and Taxila, both of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mohenjo-daro, which translates in English to ‘Mound of the Dead’ was a city of the Indus Valley Civilization and was built around 2600 BC. It is situated in the southern Sindh Province. This was one of the world’s first cities and was abandoned by the Indus in around 1700 BC, not to be discovered again until the 1920’s.
Taxila is in the Punjab, in the north of the country, about 35km west of Islamabad Capital Territory, so is easy to visit if you’re in Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad.
As mentioned, Islamabad is the capital city and is a relatively new, planned city. It is renowned for being a quiet and peaceful place, yet is steadily growing in terms of its nightlife, entertainment and shopping facilities. There is Islamabad International Airport which you can get a flight to.
Karachi, on the other hand, is a far bigger and busier city; the largest in Pakistan. This is a coastal city and has the largest port in the country and is also the centre of Pakistan’s finance and commerce. There are many things to keep a tourist busy in Karachi, including museums, interesting colonial architecture, amusement parks and beaches and waterfronts. A flight to Karachi lands at Jinnah International Airport.
Another city worth visiting is Lahore: the City of the Mughals. This is Pakistan’s second largest city and is very historical with impressive architecture, including the Lahore Fort, The Badshahi Mosque and Pakistan’s answer to the Eiffel Tower, Minar-e-Pakistan. Flights to Lahore land at Allama Iqbal International Airport.