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|Destination Airport||Allam Iqbal Intl.|
|Destination Airport IATA Code||LHE|
|Destination City Name||Lahore|
Lahore, the capital of the Punjab, is Pakistan’s second city. This cultural hub is one of the most important cities in Asia. Its history dates back 4,000 years but it is a thoroughly modern, liberal and chaotic metropolis. Lose yourself in the ancient walled city and visit the many museums, mosques and mansions.
Most visitors visit Lahore between December and March when the weather is dry and the temperatures pleasant – usually around the mid-20s.
The city can feel oppressive outside these times. Things warm up in April and in May and June the mercury can hit 40°C. Rains in July and August can send the humidity levels soaring and the temperature stays well above 30°C.
In November the city hosts the national horse and cattle show and a performing arts festival.
Finding a cheap flight to Lahore is not difficult if you plan ahead and have some leeway in your schedule.
There are some direct flights from the UK, but you may need to take a connecting flight. Using the ‘Nearby airport’ option shows routes to Lahore from different UK departure points.
The ‘Show flexible dates’ option will unlock different fares and connections on different days of the week, which can make a big difference in price.
The ‘Show options’ drop down and the buttons on the left of the search results allow you to list flights according to price, duration, airline, ticket type and other criteria.
Optimal flight times from UK cities to Lahore include:
Allama Iqbal International Airport, named after the poet and ‘spiritual father of Pakistan’, lies 10 miles from the city centre. It is the third biggest airport in Pakistan, with more than four million passengers a year.
It has three terminals (one used only during the Hajj) and expansion work is ongoing. It is an efficient and modern facility with plenty of shops and places to eat. There are banking, tourist and car hire kiosks.
The only airline flying direct from the UK to Lahore is Pakistan International Airlines.
Carriers with connecting flights include:
From the airport you can get a bus, minivan or taxi into town, but it’s worth checking if your hotel offers a free shuttle. If you take a taxi prepare for a crash course in haggling. There are also trains to and from other Pakistani cities and India.
In the city centre, rickshaws, known as ‘qingqi’ are the best option for getting around, but you’ll be in for a hair-raising ride. There is also a sightseeing bus that takes in the city’s main attractions. Walking is possible, but the heat and crowds can make it a challenge.
The Metro Bus route is an efficient and relatively comfortable way to get from north to south of the city, other public transport options, buses and minivans, are more basic. Taxis are always available. Driving is possible, but you will need nerves of steel.
Lahore Fort in the Walled City is magnificent. The current buildings date back to the days of the Mughal Empire and the reign of Akbar the Great. Attractions within the huge fortress include palaces, gardens, pavilions, mosques and museums.
Badshahi Mosque is another architectural triumph that dates to Mughal times. It sits opposite the fort and 100,000 worshippers are said to be able to fit in the courtyard.
The city is blessed with many museums and Lahore Museum is one of the most impressive in Pakistan. Its exhibits date back to the days of the Indus Valley civilisations and continue right up to the present day. The private Faqir Khana museum is also wonderful, but a visit must be booked in advance.
It is wise to dress modestly, particularly if you intend to visit a mosque. Travelling on public transport can be an uncomfortable experience for female travellers, and all Westerners can expect to attract interest.