Peshawar, the city of flowers, is the administrative capital and the cultural representative of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is not only the 5th largest city of the country but also one of the biggest commercial centers and a source of processed meals, textile, footwear, silk and other products. It is also one of the oldest cities in the world. A Trip to Peshawar: Best Food and Visiting Places in Peshawar.
Peshawar has been termed as the ‘seventh most beautiful place on the earth’ in Zend Avasta and its history goes 2000 years back. It was commonly known as Purusapura, a Sanskrit word meaning the ‘city of men’, and it served as the eastern capital to the kingdom of Gandhara, a Buddhist civilization. Later, during the reign of Mughal emperor, Akbar, it was named as Peshawar meaning ‘frontier town’. Throughout the history, it has served as the center of trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia.
The rich history, presence of historical buildings and the cultural uniqueness make Peshawar a must visit place in the bucket list of travelers and tourists. But, the first step in the exploration of any new place is to do a pre-homework which is quite a tiring task.
A Trip to Peshawar: Best Food and Visiting Places in Peshawar
What if somebody makes it easier for you? Yes, you are right as I am going to list down all the places one must visit and all the things one must do while visiting Peshawar. In this blog, I will give some recommendations on which places to visit, which markets to shop in and which food items to eat when you are in Peshawar. So, lets start.
Places to Visit in Peshawar
Bala Hisar Fort
The first thing you see, when you enter Peshawar, is this beautiful Bala Hisar Fort. It was constructed by the Sikhs on the ruins of state residence of Durranis which was later destroyed by them after the battle of Nowshera. In olden times, this fort used to be far away from the main city of Peshawar but with the expansion of the city and the construction of so many buildings, fort has now become a part of the city.
Mahabbat Khan Mosque
Take some time out and visit this beautiful white mosque to have its relaxing effect on your soul. Mahabbat Khan mosque is one of the oldest mosques we have in Pakistan. It was constructed in 1630, during the reign or Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, and exhibits the beautiful Mughal architecture. It is named after the then-governor of NWFP, Mahabbat khan, who has the credit of constructing this mosque.
Cutting the north-eastern part of Spin Garh mountains, Khyber Pass connect Pakistan with Afghanistan. Being an integral part of the ancient silk road, this pass is considered as one of the oldest passes in the world. Throughout the history, it has served as a trade route between Central Asia and South Asia.
With its beautiful wooden doors, balconies, partitions, mirrored and painted rooms, Sethi houses stand as an epitome of Gandhara and Mughal architecture. They are situated in the Mohallah Sethiyan which was an integral part of the old Peshawar city. These houses were basically homes to the Sethi family which had a well-established business in India, Iran, Afghanistan, China and Central Asia. This family had great love for architecture which is quite visible in the houses.
Peshawar is not only the 5th largest city of the country but also one of the biggest commercial centers and a source of processed meals, textile, footwear, silk etc.
Cunningham Clock Tower
This clock tower is also called as the Ghanta ghar of Peshawar. It was constructed in 1900 during the diamond jubilee celebrations of queen Victoria of England. At that occasion, queen Victoria gifted two clocks; one in Peshawar and the other one in England. It was constructed by Lord Cunningham who, at that time, was a political agent in FATA and later became the governor of NWFP.
Khalid Bin Waleed Park
Khalid Bin Waleed Bagh, also known as the Company Bagh, is situated in one of the busiest places of Peshawar, Saddar. It has one of the ancient gardens made in the classic Mughal style. Its large old trees and pleasant rose bushes make it worth visiting park in Peshawar.
- Tatara park
Tatara park is situated in phase 1 of Hayatabad, Peshawar, and is one of the most favorite places of families to have fun in. It was first developed as a simple garden having a man-made lake but was, later, expanded to be a theme park with swings for children. It attracts family usually at evening time and during good rainy weather.
- Jinnah park
Jinnah park is one of the oldest parks in Pakistan and is situated on the grand trunk road. In olden times, it was called as the Cunningham park. It has a great historical value because it was this park in which the referendum for joining NWFP, either with India or Pakistan, was held, in July 1947, by the British government. This park also holds a digital fountain which was constructed in 2011 by the Pakistani government.
Best Places for Shopping in Peshawar
- Qissa Khwani Bazaar
The Qissa Khwaani bazaar is one of the oldest bazaars we have in the country as its history goes 1000 years back when it was habituated by the Kanishka merchandisers. It is also called as ‘the story teller market’ because, in olden times, storytellers from far off places used to come here and narrate to the soldiers the stories of love and war. Now, this place has been established as a proper market having various shops of carpets, cloths, brass items, clay pots and many other things. Besides, you can also enjoy the famous Peshawari qehwa and falooda here as this place is famous for its tasty qehwas and yummy faloodas.
- Karkhano Market
Situated near the industrial area on jamrod road, karkhano Market is well known for its inexpensive and smuggled contrabands. It was established in 1985 and most of its shops are owned by pukhtoon traders. People usually prefer this market due to its cheap prices. It has various sections comprising over 4500 shops. You can buy anything from here, from electronics to clothing, from toys to cosmetics, from jewelry to watches, from carpets to blankets and many others.
Shafi Market, Saddar
Shafi market is well known in Peshawar for its cheap and quality fabric. Here, you can find any kind of fabric from simple everyday fabric to the fabrics that are worn at special occasions including silk, jamawar, shafon and many others. People from other areas also visit this market during wedding season. Good thing about this market is that it works on bargaining system and, that is why, it is very crowded and packed with women.
Best Food Options in Peshawar
Charsi Tikka House, Namak mandi, for Dinner
If you want to have the real taste of desi pukhtoon food then visit this place, called as Namak mandi. Namak mandi provides you so many desi food options but its charsi tikka has no counterpart in the town. Its surrounding and environments is very ordinary and very unique at the same time. It has a very traditional floor seating of charpoys and a live kitchen where people can see lambs fried and cooked in the most fascinating way.
Chief Burger for Fast Food
Are you tired of eating charsi Tikka and want to try something different? No worries as the Chief Burger is a very good and tasty alternative to the typical desi food. Situated on one of the busiest road in Peshawar, jamrod road, Chief burger attracts people with its detailed menu and budget friendly prices. Their menu consists of appetizers, pizzas, burgers, chicken, steak, soup salad and beverages.
Café Crunch for Desserts
Café Crunch in Peshawar is famous for so many things including burgers, steak, sandwiches, pastas, Chinese, Mexican, Thai and Beirut cuisines. But many people don’t know that café crunch serves some of the best desserts in the town. Their tasty desserts include walnut fudge with ice cream, apple crumble pie with ice cream, walnut pie with ice cream, New York cheese cake, molten lava cake, bread pudding with ice cream, French tiramisu, Granola cup, Nutella French toast and many others.
Over a day trip to Peshawar must explore the mentioned Places in Peshawar
Yakatoot for Kulfi Falooda
How can one leave Peshawar without tasting its yummy Kulfi Falooda. When it comes to Falooda, there is no other place but Yakatoot. What makes its falooda different and tasty from all the others is the use of secret ingredient; sheep milk. People usually use buffalo milk because sheep milk is very expensive to procure. Kufi makers, at yakatoot, gets 412 litre of sheep milk on daily basis and use it in the making of their Falooda.
Peshawar has been termed as the ‘seventh most beautiful place on the earth’ in Zend Avasta and its history goes 2000 years back
Jani Cone for Cone Ice Cream
Although cone ice cream is very common and is served in almost every market and every other food chain but there is no other counterpart to the taste local pehsawari ice creams have. Within local Ice cream sellers, jani Cone serves the best Cone Ice cream in Peshawar. Their taste is worth trying and highly recommended.
Good Places for Breakfast
How can anyone start a day without having a delicious breakfast? I cannot and I am sure that u cannot too. Peshawar not only has good places for lunch and dinner but for breakfast too. We just need to explore and taste them. For traditional pukhtoon desi breakfast, I will highly recommend Peshori Khalis Food which is in the Hashtnagri. This place serves the best halwa puri, channay and other desi breakfast items. For a more formal yet tasty breakfast, I would recommend Gloria Jeans, Chaaye Khana, Wakhan Café and Bakers, the Mapple House and Jan’s Deli.