Bahawalpur Travel Guide

Looking for a fascinating destination in South Asia? Bahawalpur is a city of historic significance, natural beauty, and cultural richness in Pakistan. Plan your trip with our comprehensive guide!

Introduction to Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur is a city in Southern Punjab, in Punjab province, Pakistan, in South Asia. It is a city of historic significance, natural beauty, and cultural richness. Bahawalpur got its name from Nawab Bahawal Khan Abbasi, who founded the city in 1748. In the 19th century, Bahawalpur was a princely state, and it played a significant role in the freedom movement of the Indian subcontinent. Today, Bahawalpur is a bustling city with a population of approximately 800,000 people.

List of Places to Visit in Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur is a city that has an abundance of attractions, from cultural and historical sites to stunning natural views and outdoor adventures. Here is our list of the best places to visit in Bahawalpur.

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

If you are a history and culture enthusiast, Bahawalpur has plenty of attractions for you to explore. Here are some places that you should add to your itinerary:

  • Derawar Fort: A magnificent fort located in the heart of the Cholistan desert. Derawar Fort was built in the 9th century AD and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bahawalpur.
  • Noor Mahal: A beautiful palace built-in 1872 by the Nawab of Bahawalpur. This palace has a blend of neoclassical and Islamic architecture and has played host to many important events over the years.
  • Sadiq Garh Palace: A palace constructed in the 19th century, which was once the residence of the Nawab of Bahawalpur. The palace has a mix of Italian and Islamic design and houses a museum displaying many historical artifacts.
  • Bahawalpur Museum: A museum exhibiting a wide range of archaeological and historical items related to Bahawalpur’s rich heritage.

Natural Attractions of Bahawalpur: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Bahawalpur is famous for its natural beauty and scenic views. Here are some of the most stunning natural attractions that you shouldn’t miss:

  • Cholistan Desert: One of the largest deserts in Pakistan, covering an area of 16,000 square kilometers, is a perfect place for desert safari and sightseeing.
  • Bahawalpur Zoo: A great place for families to visit, this zoo is home to a wide range of animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, and monkeys.
  • ** Lal Sohanra National Park:** A beautiful park with a variety of wildlife, including jackals, Indian wolves, chinkara gazelles, and jungle cats.
  • Panjnad Headworks: A beautiful spot located at the confluence of five rivers, namely Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas. A perfect spot for viewing the sunset.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur has some beautiful hiking trails and biking routes to explore. Here are some excellent options for outdoor enthusiasts:

  • Cholistan Jeep Rally: An annual event held in Cholistan desert, where participants get to race across the beautiful sand dunes of the desert.
  • Biking in Lal Sohanra: Cycling through the beautiful trails of Lal Sohanra National Park is a perfect way to explore the park’s wildlife and natural beauty.

Best Things to Do in Bahawalpur: Activities and Tours

In Bahawalpur, there are various fun activities and tours to enjoy. Here are our top picks:

  • Bahawalpur City Tour: Take a tour of the city and visit the historical sites, museums, and markets.
  • Safari in Cholistan Desert: Experience the thrill of the desert by taking a jeep or camel safari.
  • Shopping in Derawar Fort: There are plenty of shops in Derawar Fort that sell handicrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs.

Week-Long Itinerary for Bahawalpur

Follow this week-long itinerary for a fantastic trip to Bahawalpur:

Day Activity
1 Arrival in Bahawalpur and check-in at a hotel
2 Visit to Derawar Fort and Cholistan Desert safari
3 Tour of Bahawalpur city and visit to Bahawalpur Museum
4 Visit to Noor Mahal and Sadiq Garh Palace
5 Biking in Lal Sohanra National Park and visit to Bahawalpur Zoo
6 Sunset viewing at Panjnad Headworks and shopping in Derawar Fort
7 Departure from Bahawalpur

Food and Drink Scene of Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur has a delicious local cuisine that is a blend of Punjabi and Sindhi flavors. Here are some dishes and beverages that you must try:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Sajji: A popular Balochi cuisine made from a whole lamb marinated in spices and roasted over charcoal.
  • Gola Kabab: A minced meat kebab seasoned with spices and served with mint chutney.
  • Haleem: A slow-cooked stew made from beef, lentils, and wheat.

Local Beverages

  • Lassi: A traditional yogurt-based drink that comes in sweet or salted versions.
  • Sattu: A popular Punjabi drink made from roasted gram flour, water, and sugar.

Where to Stay in Bahawalpur: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Bahawalpur has various accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are some of the best places to stay in Bahawalpur:

  • Pearl Continental Hotel: One of the best hotels in Bahawalpur, situated in the heart of the city and equipped with all modern facilities.
  • Sadiqia Guest House: A budget-friendly guest house located near the city center.
  • Sheesh Mahal Guest House: A guest house with a beautiful garden and a rooftop terrace that provides a stunning view of the city.

What to Buy in Bahawalpur: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Bahawalpur is famous for its handicrafts, jewelry, and souvenirs. Here are some items that you should consider bringing home:

  • Cholistan Camel Skin Art: Camels are a significant part of life in Cholistan, and local artisans make beautiful handcrafted items from their skin.
  • Multani Clay Pottery: Multan is a city close to Bahawalpur, and their pottery is famous for its intricate designs and shapes.
  • Handmade Silk Scarves: Silk products are a specialty of Bahawalpur, and you can find beautiful, handcrafted silk scarves in local markets.

Local Culture and Customs of Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur has a rich cultural heritage, and its people are welcoming and hospitable. Here are some local customs and cultural norms to keep in mind while visiting:

  • Dress Conservatively: Pakistan is an Islamic country, and it is respectful to dress conservatively while visiting religious sites or interacting with the locals.
  • Greeting: The most common greeting in Pakistan is Salaam, which means peace and is accompanied by a smile.

Best Time to Visit Bahawalpur

The best time to visit Bahawalpur is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and conducive for outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bahawalpur

Here are some essential things to keep in mind while traveling to Bahawalpur:


  • Respect local culture and customs
  • Familiarize yourself with the local language
  • Stay hydrated while exploring outdoors


  • Drink tap water
  • Get involved in political discussions
  • Disrespect local religious and cultural traditions

Safety and Health

Bahawalpur is generally a safe city, and incidents of violent crime are rare. However, it is always a good idea to exercise caution and keep your valuables safe.

Safety in Bahawalpur

  • Avoid traveling alone at night and in secluded areas.
  • Always keep a copy of your passport and visa with you.
  • Be aware of pickpockets and scammers in crowded areas.

Health in Bahawalpur

  • Drink bottled water and avoid street food to avoid stomach illnesses.
  • Get vaccinated before traveling to Pakistan.
  • Carry mosquito repellent to avoid contracting illnesses like dengue fever.

Getting to Bahawalpur: Transportation Options and Logistics

Bahawalpur is well-connected by road, rail, and air. Here are the transportation options available to reach Bahawalpur:

Airports Near Bahawalpur

  • Bahawalpur Airport: Located in the city and connected to major Pakistani cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad.

Bus Stations Near Bahawalpur

  • Daewoo Express: A popular long-distance bus company connecting Bahawalpur to many cities in Pakistan.
  • ** Niazi Express:** Another popular bus service connecting Bahawalpur to nearby cities like Multan, Lahore, and Islamabad.

Other Options

  • Private Car: You can hire a private car to travel to Bahawalpur from nearby cities like Lahore or Multan.

How to Get Around in Bahawalpur

The best way to get around in Bahawalpur is by hiring a private car or using ride-hailing services like Careem and Uber. Public transportation options include buses and rickshaws.

Where to Go Next from Bahawalpur: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Bahawalpur is a great starting point for further exploration of the region. Here are some nearby destinations and excursions that you can consider:

  • Multan: A city famous for its Sufi shrines, bazaars, and handicrafts.
  • Uch Sharif: A small town located near Bahawalpur, famous for its historical monuments and Sufi shrines.
  • Islamabad: The capital city of Pakistan is a short plane ride away and is famous for its natural beauty and stunning architecture.


Bahawalpur is a charming city that offers a blend of culture, history, natural beauty, and outdoor adventures. With our comprehensive travel guide, you can plan your trip to this fascinating destination with ease, and make the most of your time. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or seeking new experiences, Bahawalpur has something unique to offer. So pack your bags, and head out to explore Bahawalpur, Pakistan!