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Travel itinerary: two days in Lahore, Pakistan


Badshahi Mosque at sunset: Duarte Carreiro

Lahore, former seat of Mughal splendor, still beats as the cultural center of Pakistan. In this teeming city of over 7 million souls, there are not only great opportunities for sightseeing but for looking back in time. The most fascinating thing about the city is its juxtaposed existence. Skyscrapers are being built while old, toothless men ply their wares by simple wooden donkey carts

 Lahore Travel Itinerary: Day 1

 Not many things open before 10:00am in Lahore, so enjoy sleeping in and start your day off at Anarkali Bazaar in the Old City. This is a great place to try your hand at bartering, get some ready-made Pakistani clothes, and pick up some souvenirs. You can get to Anarkali by riding Daewoo local bus #5. It’s impossible to know where you are if you don’t know the city, so just ask the driver or a friendly passenger to let you know when your stop has arrived. You can also take a rickshaw. Keep in mind that only CNG rickshaws can drive on Mall Road, the main road that leads to Anarkali. The CNG rickshaws are usually green.

 After spending some rupees in Anarkali, head over to Badshahi Mosque. Entrance to the mosque is free, but if you’re not a Muslim man it wouldn’t be appropriate to go during Friday afternoon prayers. Spend the afternoon admiring the architecture and serenity of the mosque. You can also check out the adjacent Lahore Fort if you’re willing to fork over 200 rupees ($2.25) for the “Foreigner Ticket.”

 In the evening, enjoy gazing out at Badshahi Mosque while sampling local cuisine on the rooftop terrace of Cooco's Café.

 Lahore Travel Itinerary: Day 2

 Take a guided tour through the twisting and turning alleys of the walled city, and then spend an afternoon at Shalimar Gardens. Give yourself a heavy dose of Pakistani patriotism at the daily Wagha border closing ceremony, just thirty minutes outside Lahore on the border of the Indian Punjab. Top your visit off with some culture shock; leave the horse carts and donkeys of the Old City behind to hang out in a chic upscale coffee shop on M.M. Alam road.

For more info: Lonely Planet: Lahore