10 Best Things to do in Peshawar, Pakistan

A city of diverse cultures, Best Things to do in Peshawar, Peshawar stands as one of the most culturally vibrant and lively cities of Pakistan. It’s also the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the administrative center also an economic hub for the Federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan. It’s home to many historic places that are well worth visiting and here are some things to do in Peshawar, Pakistan you shouldn’t miss when you’re there.

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Peshawar, Pakistan’s second-largest city and capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been an important trade center since its early history as the ancient city of Purushapura.

What to do in Peshawar, Pakistan?

If you’re coming here as part of your vacation or looking to move here, the city has plenty of sightseeing opportunities and things to do. Start by exploring Qissa Khwani Bazaar, which was the heart of the city during the Mughal era and stands in its original form today. Here you can also see the famous Khyber Pass—the traditional border between India and Pakistan (now closed). Here are some more things to do in Peshawar on your next visit!

Places to visit in Peshawar

Among tourist places that make people fall for visiting Peshawar, again and again, are Qissa Khwani Bazaar, The place is the heart of Peshawar City where you will come across a large number of small shops where you can find shawls made by famous weavers. There is no specific time when the market remains open. It works on 24 hours basis. Famous Khyber Pass: Second most famous place in Peshawar after Qissa Khwani Bazaar is the famous khyber pass which takes its name from the khyber rangers regiment guard all entry and exit points here. This amazing place provides a panoramic view of snow-capped mountains as well as lush green forests surrounding it.

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Best Things to do in Peshawar

Paochinkhai is a hill station situated at a distance of 19 kilometers from Peshawar city. Many tribes and sub-tribes live here. It’s suitable for hiking as well as picnicking. Kissa Khwani bazaar: This old market is famous for its colorful shawls made by local artisans using handlooms. Very fine woolen shawls from Kashmir are also available here along with some other locally made stuff like carpets and pottery. One can find the same thing being sold for the same price across all shops here but still, people prefer to purchase these articles from the Khwani bazaar only.

Best Things to do in Peshawar

Chowk Yadgar Peshawar

Chowk Yadgar is a very famous square with a clock tower and remains one of its kind anywhere in South Asia. The bazaar located here is known as Qissa Khwani Bazaar. In the list of Best Things to do in Peshawar, some old and renowned buildings are found around the square. These buildings were built by the British and named after their first commissioners e.g. Commissioner’s Building etc. They give a very colonial look from outside but have been converted into modern style shops from inside i.e. onto the second floor for shopkeepers as shops on the ground floor are always congested as it doesn’t have an entry on street level.
Facing west across Qissa Khwani Bazaar is Eidgah Mosque and more than a hundred years old. It has a large open courtyard that remains very popular for holding public meetings and gatherings, especially during Ramazan. Also facing east is Red Mosque which was built by Seth Qudrat Ullah Shahabadi during 1844-1860 AD. There are various other mosques too located here and around but all are less famous than these two.

Things To Do In Qissa Khwani Bazaar Peshawar

Other than those above-mentioned hotels and resorts there are some hotels and places that are famous for their food. People enjoy going there just because of the food. These include Hotel Qayum Manzil, Hotel Taj Mahal, and Restaurant Halwa Puri all situated in Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Peshawar. One should visit these places while they are here so that they can have a taste of fine foods available here.

Things To Do In Qissa Khwani Bazaar Peshawar

Famous Hotels In Peshawar

There are a lot of hotels and resorts in Peshawar. This list will give you an idea about some famous hotels and places that you can visit there. One can stay at these hotels while they visit Peshawar. The area of these hotels and resorts is really huge so one won’t find it difficult to get accommodation here. Also, one can try out different food when they visit here as there are a lot of restaurants which serve different types of food from all around the world.

  1. Pearl Continental Hotel Peshawar 2. Serena Hotel Peshawar 3. Takhti Palace Hotel Peshawar 4. Nishat Regency Hotel 5. Hayat Towers 6. Marhaban 7. Berjaya Hotel
  2. Regency Tower Hotel 9. Mughal Sheraton 10. Lake City Suites 11. Pearl Continental 12. Marhaban Peshawar 13. Sikandar 14. The Oasis Resort Hotel 15. Serena Hotel 16. Serena Lodge 17. Sang-e-Meel 18. Hayat Towers

Explore Downtown

For many centuries now, Peshawar has been a cultural center for all of South Asia. It was once a part of ancient Gandhara and one can find evidence of Buddhism here. Tourists should head down to Purana Qila which is located on Old GT Road. This fort is believed to have been built during Puranic times.

Not only is it rich with history but you can also find several souvenir shops and even places where you can rent horses to ride around! In addition, Purana Qila has two Hindu temples which are connected by an underground tunnel and they serve as a perfect place for tourists looking for tranquility while exploring Peshawar’s history. There are a number of restaurants nearby that serve some wonderful meals at affordable prices.

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Eat Well In Peshawar

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is often called Pashtunistan because it was once part of historic Pakhtunistan (Land of Pashtuns). This region includes some of the most fertile lands where indigenous people have grown and cultivated food for centuries. As a result, you will find many delicious food options for your trip to Pakistan. From biryani dishes such as Karahi or Hyderabadi Biryani, through kebabs like Seekh Kebab, Tikka, or Shami Kabab to popular Pakistani desserts like Shahi Tukray or Baghare Baingan and Basundi… there are endless options available!

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We have added a few cuisines in our article Best Things to do in Peshawar. Pashtun cuisine is traditional and typically involves large helpings of meat and rice with a variety of bread. A popular dish eaten across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is Attan (Rice cooked with whole spices wrapped in cauliflower leaves). Attan is often accompanied by chapati or Naan and one or more types of dal (lentil stew). Rice dishes usually accompany non-vegetarian meals as well, such as Biryani (fried with mutton or chicken) or Keema Biryani (fried rice with lamb mince). Another popular way to eat meat and rice together is Kabab Chapati.

Shop Till You Drop

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to spend your trip shopping. The city offers a handful of marketplaces where visitors can find everything from local spices and traditional clothing. An especially unique experience is Kissa Khwani Bazaar, where street-sellers peddle books and traditional items just as they would have done 100 years ago.

To get a glimpse into our more recent past, head over to Sunehri Masjid (Golden Mosque), which was built in 1570 and is one of central Asia’s oldest mosques.
For a more upscale experience head to Saddar Bazaar, we have made some more interesting locations in our list of Best Things to do in Peshawar, choose from a selection of traditional Khatak shoes or pick up a scarf at Khattak cloth market.

Make sure you make time for Gandhara Art and Antiques; it’s worth spending an afternoon wandering through rows upon rows of paintings and sculptures at every price point. If you don’t feel like shopping but would still like some entertainment, catch a play or watch a local sports match.

Get Educated In Peshawar

Peshawar has many prestigious institutions for higher education. The city is also home to a diverse and dynamic population that makes it one of South Asia’s most culturally vibrant cities. To maintain loyalty to this historical area, we have mentioned some educational institutions in it. It’s also known as an arts center with museums and theatres boasting a rich cultural heritage and historical significance.

And beyond all these, there are still plenty of interesting places like

  • The famous Khyber Pass
  • University Town campus of University of Engineering & Technology (UET)
  • National College of Arts (NCA)
  • NCA Museum, Shart-e-Kohsar Park
  • Bala Hisar Fort Complex, Badshahi Mosque, etc

Here we have listed some tourist attractions you can visit while in Peshawar.

Live it up at PIA Club Peshawar

PIA Club is one of Asia’s finest aviation clubs with a membership base made up exclusively of airline pilots. From its imposing white-and-turquoise façade atop a small hill overlooking Karsaz Road, it’s quite hard to miss. In addition to its well-maintained swimming pool and fitness center, there are numerous recreation facilities within PIA Club:

  • An Olympic size swimming pool (27 feet deep)
  • Table tennis tables
  • Snooker tables
  • Squash courts
  • Bowling lanes for tenpin bowling

For something more sedate, you can try your hand at billiards or play video games at their dedicated arcade area.

In addition to its various indoor recreation facilities, PIA Club also hosts some unique outdoor activities that are great fun for both kids and adults. Each Friday afternoon from late February until early November (weather permitting), you can visit their alfresco dining area for a barbecue meal – complete with a live band and professionally-made ice cream sundae treats! If you feel like a bit of fresh air but don’t want to venture too far away from your abode, simply pop by their rose garden at any time. As if that weren’t enough reason for you to join them as soon as possible!

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Get Restful Sleep At Zalzala Mountain Resort

The Zalzala Mountain Resort is located in a beautiful location and offers breathtaking views. It has two high-level restaurants and cottages that are well equipped with modern amenities. There are separate dining areas for non-vegetarian and vegetarian food lovers. The resort also provides quality accommodation in deluxe rooms and suites depending upon guest preferences.

The most important part is that its rooms are completely furnished with all necessary amenities like television sets, wireless internet access, etc. The staffs at the resort are very friendly & hospitality-oriented people who make sure that their customers feel homely while staying here during their travel experience at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.

Sethi House Museum Peshawar

Sethi House Museum is an excellent example of a traditional mud house found throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The museum was originally built in 1880 by Sir Dewan Chand who brought it over from Punjab and added three rooms to it. Sethi House Museum has now been converted into a museum and is run by KP Tourism Department. The house is located right next to Badshahi Mosque, Tehkal Bagh, and very close to Peshawar Bus Terminal as well.

Sethi House Museum Peshawar

Famous Khyber Pass City

This famous Khyber Pass City is host to numerous historic sites and monuments. Sethi House Museum is located at the Cantonment bazaar and houses a number of items dating back over 120 years old. The museum’s artifacts are very well preserved and maintained by KP Tourism Department officials.

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A variety of other different cultural artifacts can be found inside its four rooms that also show off a traditional Victorian-style sitting room, bedroom, and dining room. The building itself can be dated back as far as the 1860s through the 1870s however it was later converted into a home for the Sethi family during the British rule over South Asia. Visitors are required to take off their shoes before entering but not their jackets or coats as there’s no heating system installed here.

Fort Bala Hisar Peshawar

The Last place we shared in this article “Best Things to do in Peshawar” is Fort Bala Hisar. It is located about 7 kilometers northwest of Peshawar city. It was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1560 and lies at a height of 531 meters (1,788 ft) above sea level. Its primary purpose was to be used as a refuge for women and children when the main walled city came under attack from invaders.

Fort Bala Hisar Peshawar

There are four gates leading into Fort Bala Hisar

  • Shahi Darwaza (Royal Gate)
  • Khyber Darwaza (Khyber Gate)
  • Kabuli Darwaza (Kabul Gate)
  • Fakir Khana Darwaza (Fakir’s House Gate)

Inside there are several monuments dating back as far as two thousand years.

The most popular monuments inside Fort Bala Hisar are Sayyid Salar Masud Shah’s Tomb and Khyber Darwaza. The former is believed to be built for a nephew of Emperor Akbar named Salar Masud who died when he was trying to collect some toll from his father (Shah Begum).

There are various stories about why Shah Begum ordered that her son be imprisoned but there is no mention of him being killed by her. Another monument called Fakir Khana Darwaza (Fakir’s House Gate) has nothing extraordinary except an ancient inscription on it. It is said that these two monuments are among Peshawar’s earliest remaining structures.

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