10 Best Famous Buildings In Pakistan

famous buildings in pakistan
| 6 min read

Certain monuments and buildings are more than architectural exteriors. They come to be an integral part of a nation’s identity, essentially embedded in its history. These monuments enable the natives of the land to reminisce and remember the values, doctrines and dictums they convey and hence allow them to revisit their pertinence in the age of today. Pakistan, the Land of the Pure, takes pride in housing a plethora of historical architectural gems, each of which exceeds in its beauty and grandeur from the other. Presented in this article are nine famous buildings in Pakistan, that you must visit if you happen to be around.

1. St. Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi

St. Patrick's Cathedral by M.Osama Anwer @shutterupphotography
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mohammad Osama Anwer used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in Empress Market, Saddar Karachi, and standing at a height of 52 meters (170.6 ft), St.Patricks Cathedral is one of the oldest architectural buildings in Pakistan. It houses a splendid white marbled monument, having the ability to accommodate 150 people. Brown bricked itself, the Cathedral came to be constructed in 1881, reminiscent of the Gothic style of architecture with its vertical designs and cross finials. It has painted high ceilings with beautiful stained glass lancet windows. If you happen to be strolling across Empress Road in Karachi, do not forget to catch a glimpse of the magnificence of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi

Address: Shahrah-e-Iraq, Saddar Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan

Website: St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 2pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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2. Minar-e-Pakistan

Source: Photo by Flickr user Saad Mahmood used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Situated in the provincial capital of Punjab, in the ever-vibrant city of Lahore, Minar-i-Pakistan narrates the story of the country’s independence and freedom. Back then, it was known as Minto Park, where the country’s forefathers gathered in 1940, pronouncing their declaration of the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent. As an acknowledgement of the decision of “All India Muslim League” to struggle for the creation of Pakistan, a memorial came to be built right at this spot, which we reckon today as Minar-i-Pakistan. Its construction commenced in the year 1960, about thirteen years after Pakistan’s independence. The grand tower, is a combination of Mughal and modern architectural style, with a height of about 70 meters (229.7 feet). Constituting four platforms, the tower’s base is made up of multiple stones such as the Taxila stone, chiselled stone, white marbles and hammer-dressed stones. The interesting aspect of the design of the tower is the fact that Quranic verses, and the speeches of the nation’s ideologue Iqbal and founder, Jinnah are inscribed on the tower’s white marble base.


Address: Lahore, Pakistan

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Minar-e-Pakistan, located in Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, is a towering symbol of the nation's struggle for independence. This monumental structure marks the historic site where the Lahore Resolution was passed on March 23, 1940, laying the foundation for the creation of Pakistan.

The minaret stands at a height of 70 meters and is a blend of modern and Mughal architectural styles. Its base is shaped like a five-pointed star, representing the unity of the five main regions of British India. The ascent to the top provides panoramic views of Lahore.

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Photo of Minar-e-Pakistan shared by Pakistan tour guide, Kamal.
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3. Rohtas Fort

Qila Rohtas (Rohtas Fort)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Guilhem Vellut used under CC BY 2.0

A pertinent example of military architecture from Pakistan has to be Rohtas Fort. It was started by Sher Shah Suri in an endeavor to safeguard Peshawar-Calcutta Road from attackers and aggressive episodes by the Mughals as well as their allies. Shah died before he could witness the completion of the road-building project. Later on, the fort moved to the background when Mughal emperor Akbar shifted his frontier to the city of Attock and contracted a fort there. It is now one of the historical places often visited by tourists.

Rohtas Fort

Address: Jhelum, Pakistan

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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Rohtas Fort
Photo of Rohtas Fort shared by Pakistan tour guide, Maqsood.
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4. Frere Hall

Frere Hall Karachi. Pakistan
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Asim Iftikhar Nagi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Built in the British Colonial times, Frere Hall is another of Pakistan’s famous buildings. It was constructed to honour the services of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere. He is the person acknowledged for the economic development in the province of Sindh during that time. He is also credited for making the Sindhi language compulsory instead of Persian, thereby giving Sindhi the due importance. After the end of the British rule, this hall was converted into a library and is currently the largest library in Karachi, containing about 70,000 books, as well as rare handwritten manuscripts. The library has books, that are unavailable in other areas of Pakistan and permits a simple bowling procedure as well.

Frere Hall

Address: Fatima Jinnah Rd, Saddar Civil Lines, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan

Website: Frere Hall

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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Pakistan Tour Guide

kamal ud Din

Kamal Ud Din

Hello, I'm Kamal ud Din, your dedicated mountain tourist guide. With a wealth of experience and professionalism, I take pride in navigating the diverse terrains of our majestic landscapes. Fluent in multiple languages, I ensure seamless communication, making your journey an enriching and personalized experience. Beyond my role as a guide, I bring more to the table – a charismatic presence an... Read more

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5. Faisal Mosque

Source: Photo by Flickr user Saad Mahmood used under CC BY-ND 2.0

One of the best places to visit apart from national parks is the Faisal Mosque. Located in the country’s capital Islamabad, at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Faisal Mosque, hailed as the national mosque of Pakistan, is another architectural wonder, that you surely must check out. With the capacity of accommodating 84,000 worshippers at a time, the mosque is one of the largest ones in Pakistan. It is dedicated to the memory of the late Saudi King Faisal, who defrayed the cost of the project. Uniquely designed by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, who was selected by the Pakistani government through an international competition, the mosque is unlike typical Islamic mosques with domes you usually get to see. It is an 8-faceted concrete shell of about 40 meters (131.2 feet) in height, supported by 8 magnanimous girders. The exterior of the mosque is composed of white marble while the interior is amply designed with mosaics and consists of a huge Turkish chandelier fixed right at its ceiling. Also situated in the mosque courtyard is the mausoleum of the late General Zia-ul_Haq, Pakistan’s president from 1978 to 1988.

Faisal Mosque

Address: Shah Faisal Ave, E-8, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory 44000, Pakistan

Website: Faisal Mosque

Tip from tour guide

Faisal Mosque
Did you know that Faisal Mosque is the fifth-largest mosque in the world without any pillars? This was a gift from King Faisal of Saudia Arabia in 1986.

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Faisal Mosque
Photo of Faisal Mosque on Pakistan's 75th Independence Day celebration shared by Pakistan tour guide, Ghulam.
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6. Habib Bank Plaza

Habib Bank Plaza1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alvia Shafique used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Situated on I.I Chundrigar Road, Habib Bank Plaza is the head office of Habib Bank Limited. It was hailed as the tallest building in Asia until the culmination of its construction in 1972. Today, the 116-meters (380.6 feet) tall MCB tower is the tallest building in Pakistan. The Habib Bank Plaza building has been regularly used by Ruet-e-Hilal committee in Pakistan for moon sighting preceding the declaration of Eid.

Habib Bank Plaza

Address: I.I Chundrigar Road, Karachi

Website: Habib Bank Plaza

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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7. Darbar Mahal

Darbar Mahal (Palace), Bahawalpur
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mariaahmed used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Situated in the city of Bahawalpur, Darbar Mahal is another glorious attraction in Pakistan. Resembling the architectural finesse of the Mughalai forts, Darbar Mahal presents a fusion of East Indian and Arabesque designs. The red bricks of the Darbar exude a certain aura of antiquity and richness, giving the fort an overall semblance of elegance. The interior of the fort comprises good-quality furniture, complemented by red velvet curtains on the doors. The palace grounds are about 75 acres (30.4 hectares) and contain fountains as well.

Darbar Mahal

Address: Darbar Mahal Road, Bahawalpur

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

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8. Noor Mahal

Morning at noor mehal
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eema batool used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are a history lover and have a liking for grand architectural spaces that manifest the elegance of age, Bhawalpur’s Noor Mahal is just the right place for you to tour around. It stands as remarkable evidence of the opulence and lifestyle of the royal family of Bahawalpur. It also houses a museum and a public park. Currently, it is managed by the Pakistan Army which has undoubtedly played a tremendously positive role in its preservation and restoration.

Noor Mahal

Address: Bahawalpur Cantt, Bahawalpur

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)

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9. Altit Fort

Altit Fort Hunza
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built by the Mirs of Hunza Valley, as a manifestation of their power and agency to the Mirs of Nagar Valley (twin state), the Altit Fort is another architectural spectacle in Pakistan. Its strength can be determined from the fact that it withstood attacks from aggressive forces and sustained even through natural calamities as earthquakes since its construction. One cant help but appreciate the architectural genius of the construction of the fort, since it is built right at the very top of a cliff, at a time when modern construction techniques were nowhere in sight and understanding. The fort is strategically built about 1000 ft (304.8 m) above the River Hunza and its only tower, hailed as the Shikari (hunter) tower allowed the Mirs to survey the land during times of war since Hunza was at a constant threat of aggression from the Chinese troops and Kaiven Rus (Russians) back in the day.

Altit Fort

Address: Altit Fort, Hunza, Altit, Gilgit-Baltistan 15710

Website: Altit Fort

Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:30pm (daily)

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10. Mohatta Palace Museum

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SameelNoman used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re looking for interesting things to do, visit Mohatta Palace Museum. It is yet another stunning architectural gem in Pakistan that is located in Clifton, Karachi. Its artistic grandeur mesmerizes the visitors, giving off super royal feels. Mohatta Palace has nine domes, with each dome intricately decorated with peacock motifs. Built in 1927 by Shivratan Mohatta, an eminent Marwari entrepreneur, the Mohatta palace metaphorizes the tale of undying love and compassion of a husband for his wife. Mohatta is said to have built this palace for his wife who was critically ill and required a dwelling in airy, open spaces for recovery. Hence, he built the palace on the seaside Clifton area to accelerate the recovery process of his wife. Today, this palace is a museum, used to provide entertainment facilities to visitors. It is also used to conduct important conferences.

Mohatta Palace Museum

Address: 7 Hatim Alvi Rd, Block 5 Old Clifton, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh 75600, Pakistan

Website: Mohatta Palace Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

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Encounter timeless architecture in Pakistan

The architecture of the famous buildings of Pakistan is an explicit representation of its identity, its history, and its timeless values. Be it the Minar-e-Pakistan’s invaluable posturing, or the historicity of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Frere Hall, each architectural space conveys meaning and definition of its own. A visit to these historical places will stay with you for times to come. If you ever feel the need to recharge your batteries, there are tasty street foods to try as well as ultimate places for the best biryani in Pakistan.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Marria is an accomplished columnist, blogger, and independent researcher. Her extensive areas of interest encompass local and global politics, English literature, psychology, as well as tourism and...Read more

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