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Book a flight to Peshawar with Qatar Airways and discover one of South Asia’s most culturally vibrant cities. Peshawar is an intriguing city at the foot of the Khyber Pass, a mountain trail that connects Pakistan and Afghanistan. Having played an important role in trading for centuries, this frontier town has a distinct Afghan flavour, despite its location in Pakistan. The atmospheric old city is filled with a labyrinth of bazaars, while the air remains fragrant with spices.
Traders jostle for space at stalls selling everything from green tea to mobile phones. In every corner of this bustling city you’ll see the frenetic pace of modern life collide with history and culture.
On your trip to Peshawar, it quickly becomes apparent that the auto-rickshaw is the easiest and most popular way to get around. However, walking is, without a doubt, the best way to see the old city centre. Here you'll find Peshawar Museum, home to the world's largest collection of Gandharan art, while the Mohabbat Khan Mosque, built in 1630 AD, is one of Pakistan’s most majestic.
Bala Hisar Fort was rebuilt in 1834 and today serves as headquarters for the Frontier Corps. You can enjoy great city views from the ramparts, or wander around the small, but intriguing, museum.
On sunny days, a hiking tour of the mountains surrounding the city is a great way to see the countryside. You can lose yourself for hours in the peaceful contemplative surroundings of Ziarat Rahman Baba's tomb on the city's outskirts. The shrine is dedicated to a 17th-century master of Pashto poetry.
Take time to explore the city's bazaars when you travel to Peshawar. Qissa Khawani is one of the city's most famous, where you can find almost anything you can imagine.
Peshawar's cuisine can be somewhat spicy for the uninitiated, so don't be afraid to express your preferences for spice-level when it comes to dining out. Local specialities include chapli kebab (a flat beef kebab), as well as tikka- and karahi-style dishes. Tikka involves barbecuing the meat or fish in a spicy marinade, while karahi brings together a collection of ingredients stir-fried with chilli and tomatoes. Fried fish, pakora and samosa are popular street-food snacks, available from vendors across the city.
Look out for a particularly tempting treat called faluda, a rose-syrup, basil and tapioca sweet drink. This refreshing beverage is often sold at bazaars in the summer months. Peshawar is also known for its kahwah, or green tea, which is usually served sweet.
There are plenty of European cafés and restaurants, as well as fast-food outlets in the city, with fine dining available at five-star hotels and English-speaking establishments.
Bargaining is a must in Peshawar, and you can haggle not only at the bazaars, but in the shops. A general rule is to offer half the asking price as a starting point. You'll find Afghan and Pakistani handicrafts, and clothing fabrics are also popular. Bazar Shah Qabool Olia and Khyber Bazar are the best places to find handicrafts. For clothing fabric, try the area surrounding Shafi Market.
Dean's Trade Centre near Sadar Road is home to a range of shops and can often be less crowded than the frenetic bazaars. For high-quality fabrics and ready-to-wear fashion, Saddar Road and Arbab Road are home to retail outlets and plazas.
Essential facts about Peshawar
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip