What You Could Get in Lahore for $10 – How to Explore Pakistan’s Cultural Capital on the Budget

Happy New Year!

This is the first $10 series in 2021, and I’m so excited that I can actually share a place that I could connect with personally.

If in 2020 we covered Dubrovnik in Croatia that I could relate because it has been on my bucket list since I was 10, this time we’re going to cover a city that I’ve been to multiple times during my flying days, but I unfortunately never got a chance to see the place outside the airport. It’s Lahore in Pakistan.

I can’t remember how many flights I had turnaround flight to Lahore from Saudi Arabia a few years back when I worked as a flight attendant, but I’m glad that in this new year, Samantha of Intentional Detours will be sharing how you could explore the cultural capital of Pakistan on the budget!

So, what could you get in Lahore for $10?

5 Things to Do in Lahore Under $10

Lahore is the cultural capital of Pakistan. It’s teeming with centuries’ of historical places, dishes up some of the best food in the country, and always has something going on. Lahore was the city of the Mughals, and their extraordinary works of art and architecture can be found all about this bustling metropolis.

If you’re planning to visit Pakistan (which you should!) you MUST make it to Lahore. Aside from being extremely affordable for foreigners, to begin with, some of the best places to see in Lahore also happen to be free!

So without further ado, if you had only $10 to spend in Lahore, here’s what you can get- as shown in both Pakistani Rupees and USD.

Lahore fort.

Did you know?

The international airport in Lahore, Allama Iqbal Airport handles more than 20,700 international flights each year. The number exceeds the domestic flights from Lahore within Pakistan itself!

Chole bathure or halwa puri – 60 PKR ($0.38)

Lahore’s most iconic breakfast also happens to be delicious- think the equivalent of fried dough dipped in a curry-style sauce of chickpeas and spices OR for the latter, that same delicious bread paired with a sugary confectionary known as halwa.

You can easily find road-side restaurants and street stalls serving these dishes up. My favorite thus far is the Riaz Halwa Puri shop in the Anarkali Bazaar.

Chole bathure.
Chole bathure.

Wander around the Walled City – FREE

One of the most interesting historical places in Pakistan is also free to enjoy. Lahore’s Walled City has been standing for thousands of years, and its absolutely bursting with beautiful, historic places.

While there are a few must-sees within the ancient Old City–such as the Wazir Khan Mosque and the Begum Shahi Mosque– the best way to explore this living relic is to simply allow yourself to get lost within it.

Visit the Lahore Fort – 500 PKR ($3.14)

The Lahore Fort is the most popular landmark in Lahore, and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

From the beautiful Picture Wall, to the Sheesh Mahal that’s made up of complex mirror work, to the immaculate gardens, strolling through the masterpiece that the Mughal rulers used to call home is a must-do.

Wazir Khan Mosque.
Wazir Khan Mosque.

Get around by rickshaw for a day – ~500 PKR ($3.14)

The easiest way to see Lahore is by rickshaw, which you can cheaply and safely access using both the Uber and Careem Apps.

A full day of heading around the city shouldn’t cost more than $3.14 if you use rickshaws, which happen to be significantly faster than cars whilst navigating through Lahori traffic

Sip on some chai – 50 PKR ($0.31)

Chai is life in Pakistan, and drinking some will quickly become a habit!

You can find chai virtually anywhere in Lahore, and trust me when I say the low-key street stalls are in fact the best!

Have a Delicious Dinner – 200-500 PKR ($1.26 to $3.14)

While it might put you a few cents over $10, eating at one of Lahore’s best restaurants is well worth the extra change!

Lahoris are known to be foodies, and you can find some of their best culinary work at these restaurants:

  • Butt Karahi
  • Asil Phajja Siri Paye
  • Kozi Haleem
  • Shah Chicken Tawa Roast
  • Ashraf Chicken Tikka

Experience dhamal at Madho lal Hussain – FREE

Dhamal is a form of Sufi meditation and is an absolute sight to behold.

Every Thursday night around 7 PM, you can see it in action (for free) at the shrine of Sufi saint Madho lal Hussain in the Baghbanpura section of Lahore.

No matter where you go in Lahore, you’re sure to have an incredible time– and so is your wallet!

Despite not being a city person, Lahore quickly became my favorite in the world. So who knows- maybe you’ll fall in love with it too!

Contributor: Samantha from Intentional Detours

Samantha is a full-time backpacker who spends most of her time exploring South Asia. She runs the travel blog Intentional Detours where she shares tips, guides, and tales to help others make it to these off-beat places too.

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3 thoughts on “What You Could Get in Lahore for $10 – How to Explore Pakistan’s Cultural Capital on the Budget”

  1. Hiran Minar also known as “The Deer Tower” is a complex located in Sheikhupura, Punjab province of Pakistan that was built in the 17th-century during the presence of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The Tower lies 40 kilometers from the city of foodies, “Lahore”

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