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15 Best Places to Visit in Iraq

When you think of Iraq you may well think of smoky battlefields, cruise missiles, and charging tanks. Years of conflict have besieged this country, and while Iraq continues to struggle with political strife, there is much to see here other than just the scars of war. This country is one that is covered in natural beauty, such as the winding waterways of the mighty Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It is often known as the Cradle of Civilization and this is a reference to its ancient Mesopotamian cities that are famed for their innovations in science, writing, literature, medicine, theology and law.

This is also the old home of Babylonia which used to be the stomping ground of Alexander the Great. Mysterious towns like Ur mix with Ottoman relics and famous mosques along the borders and you will also find stunning canyons that carve out large crescents in the fertile plains of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Iraq:

  1. Erbil

The 7,000 year old citadel of Erbil has an illustrious history and can be compared to other greats like Cadiz and Byblos.

The massive castle in the center of the city is the great highlight here, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other places not to miss include the Erbil Civilization Museum and the Kurdish Textile Center which are a great way to find out all about the history and culture of this amazing part of the world.

  1. Ur

Ur is known for its Biblical tales of epic floods and fearsome Babylonian kings, and is also known for one of the most beautiful ancient ruins in the region.

Located in the southern Iraqi deserts, Ur is the home of the Ziggurat, a tall structure with high walls and steep staircases that would have been used in the days of old to worship the Akkadian moon gods.

Certainly this is one of the oddest and most mysterious sights in Iraq.

  1. Baghdad

It goes without saying that the city of Baghdad has suffered in recent times due to incessant bombing and attacks by insurgent groups.

To enter the Green Zone of the city you will need to get a special permit, but there is hope that one day soon people will be able to visit this city once more.

When they do, they will find copper bazaars, Assyrian treasures in the National Museum, and monuments such as the Unknown Soldier.

  1. Basra

Many people know the name Basra as it was the location for one of the most pivotal battles that happened during the Iraq War.

If you scratch below the surface of this city, however, and you will find one of the most fascinating destinations in the entire country.

The area is covered in palm forests and the city sits on the Shatt al-Arab River which is lined by the sunny Corniche al-Basra where you can walk along and enjoy the cool evening breeze.

This is also the spot where you will find some of the most famous shrines of Islam’s first imams.

  1. Karbala

This town may not sound like much but it is actually the place where 30 million pilgrims make their way every year.

The area is sacred to Shiite Muslims because of the Imam Husayn Shrine which is the final resting place of the martyr Husayn ibn Ali who died in 680 AD during the Battle of Karbala.

It is also said to be the spot that the archangel Gabriel prescribed as one of the most sacred places on earth.

As such, every year this town sees thousands of devotees arrive for the Ashura Day of Atonement.

  1. Hatra

Sitting in the dusty deserts of western Iraq are the towering columns and ornate temples of Hatra.

As a result, this place is known as one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the entire country.

Here you will get to glimpse wonders of the Parthian age at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, although in recent years some of this area has been destroyed and it remains to be seen how much of Hatra is still intact.

  1. Dur-Kurigalzu

The ancient abandoned ruins of Dur-Kurigalzu date back 3,500 years and this part of Iraq used to be the heart of the Cradle of Civilization of southern Mesopotamia.

Close to the mighty Euphrates and Tigris rivers, this was the home of the Kassite kings of old who built the Ziggurat in the 14th century.

This can still be found here in the form of striking stonework and mud-brick walls that rise into high towers above the desert and this would also have been used as a marker for camel caravans en route to Baghdad.

  1. Sulaymaniyah

This is one of the most welcoming and relaxed cities in Iraq and is deemed safe to visit by some foreign governments.

Sulaymaniyah is located on the rugged mountains in northern Iraq and has a cool climate compared with many other cities in the country.

It also has a thriving arts scene and is famous for its wealth of delicious eateries where you can enjoy toothsome spiced kofta as well as biryani and an array of other delicacies.

If you want to take in the oases towns and valleys of the Goyija and Azmer ranges then this is also a great place to base yourself before venturing further afield.

  1. Babylon

The name Babylon conjured up images of ancient empires, hanging gardens, and epic battles between Alexander the Great and Persian kings.

It is fair to say that restoration and preservation have rather taken a back seat here in recent times, but you can still take in some of the majestic castles here as well as the vast remains of Homera.

As you explore Babylon, know that you are walking in the footsteps of great emperors of this part of the world, and you can marvel at artifacts such as gracefully crumbling lion statues and imagine how the Hanging Gardens of Babylon would once have looked.

  1. Ctesiphon

In the middle of the 4th century BC, Ctesiphon was a small Persian settlement on the banks of the limpid Tigris River.

In the 1st century AD however it became the Parthian capital and grew to include the city of Seleucia.

This meant that Ctesiphon became one of the biggest cities in the region by the 7th century and this is where the Arch of Ctesiphon was built.

Also known as the Taq Kasra, this is a Sassanid dome that is one of the largest of its kind in the world and one of the most important archeological sites in the region.

  1. Mosul

Unfortunately the name Mosul has become synonymous with some of the worst destruction in Iraq to date.

For several years the town had been under the control of insurgents and it is now a battleground for the Iraqi military forces.

The hope is that Mosul will soon be liberated and that this city that has over 2,000 years of rich history will once again be a place that people can visit.

There are some truly amazing sights to be seen here including the crumbling ruins of the Umayyad Mosque that dates from 640 AD as well as the cobalt-blue marble work of the Yahya Abdul Kassem Mashad.

  1. Dahuk

The Kurdish town of Dahuk sits in a small dusty valley in northern Iraq and is just a short bus journey from the Turkish border.

This means that this is one of the easiest places to visit in Iraq and perhaps for this reason it also has a reputation for being one of the friendliest and most welcoming.

The town has a wealth of cafes and teahouses and as this is the home of the University of Dahuk there is a strong university town atmosphere here.

There are babbling waterfalls located nearby as well as colorful Kurdish marketplaces where you can buy local products like spices and carpets.

  1. Kirkuk

Kirkuk straddles Iraqi Kurdistan and the rest of the country proper and is also famous for its rich oil supply.

This means that this part of Iraq has seen a lot of violence and turmoil, and some of its main sights are all things that allude to its tragic past.

These include its vast, smoldering oil fields located at Baba Gurgur, as well as ancient citadels which are now crumbling from neglect and the scars of prolonged battles.

  1. Nineveh

This used to be the Biblical epicenter of the Assyrian Empire and was made famous by the prophet Jonah, making this an important spot in theological history.

Unfortunately much of this city has been ransacked over the years, but you will still find beautiful ruins such as Kuyunjik as well as some ancient gates of the city.

  1. Zakho

Zakho is a border town nestled close to Turkey and for this reason it has a clutch of good restaurants and hotels and is one of the most accessible places in Iraq.

It is also said to be the original spot where Christian missionaries first settled in the country and some of its highlights include the pretty Delal Bridge that stretches over the Little Khabur as well as the haunting ruins of Zakho Castle.


15 Beautiful Places to Visit in Madina (The Prophet’s City)

Madinah is the second most religious place that is regarded very highly in Islam. Millions of people pave their way to this beautiful holy city for religious purposes and/or to visit the most astounding tourist attractions in Madinah that add to its flamboyance. Though most of the people flood this pious place during their Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage, many also contribute to enhance its tourism by viewing some of the most exotic tourist spots and famous mosques in the district. Al-Masjid An Nabawi is the foremost place that most people visit on their trip to Madinah. There are many more amazing places that must be added to your list:

  1. Masjid-e-Nabawi

It is the first mosque established by the Prophet (PBUH) after his arrival in Madinah. It is the second most sacred place for Muslims after Masjid-ul-Haram. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is also buried at this spot under the green dome that has become the landmark of Masjid-e-Nabawi.

Hazrat Anas (RA) reports that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever performs forty salah in my masjid, not missing one salah in the masjid, for him is granted exemption from the fire of Hell, and exemption from punishment and he shall remain free of hypocrisy.”
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “One salah offered in my masjid is superior to one thousand salahs offered in other masjids except Masjid al-Haram (Makkah al-Mukarramah).” [Bukhari]
Read Also: Top 20 Amazing Places To Visit In Makkah

  1. Quba Mosque

Quba Mosque is one of the few must-visit places in Madinah in religious reference. It is the second largest and prestigious mosque in Madinah after the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque. One of the oldest mosques in Madinah, the sanctity of Masjid Quba lies in the fact that it was founded by the Prophet (PBUH) himself after migrating from Makkah. It is the first mosque built in Islam.

About this mosque, Ibn ‘Umar (RA) narrated: The Prophet (PBUH) used to go to the Mosque of Quba (sometimes) walking and sometimes riding. Added Nafi (in another narration), “He then would offer two Rakat (in the Mosque of Quba).”
—Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 2, Book 21, Number 285
Besides this mosque, there are numerous other historical and religious places to explore in this venerated city.

[Read Also: 10 Must-Visit Ancient Mosques In The World]

  1. Mount Uhud

About this mountain, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) once said,

“Uhud is a mountain that loves us and we love it”
It is located five kilometres north of Madinah and it is the same place where the Battle of Uhud took place between Muslims and Quraysh of Makkhan in 3rd Hijri. After the humiliating defeat in the Battle of Badr to a much smaller Muslim army, Quraysh assembled a huge army to take revenge. This place is also the burial ground of Hamza (RA), Prophet’s (PBUH) uncle and other travel companions of the Prophet (PBUH). Presently, you will find a tiny market on this mountain.

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  1. Masjid Al-Ahzaab (Masjid Al-Fath)

Masjid Al-Ahzaab, situated at the western corner of Jabal Sala. The place where this mosque is located is same where the enemies attacked Madinah. Prophet (PBUH) made Du’a here during the battle of Ahzaab and Allah sent him glad tidings of victory. During the battle, a tunnel or a trench was formed to save the Muslims. There are six mosques at the same location at present but this is the largest and indeed one of the best places to visit in Madinah. The mosque has been built and rebuilt several times in the past.

[Read Also: Pilgrimage Places to Visit in Makkah]

  1. Al-Madina Museum

Located on King Abdul Aziz Road in Madinah Knowledge Economic City, this is the first and the oldest museum in Madinah dedicated to the history of Islam. The outstanding museum depicts the rich Islamic heritage as well as the varied culture that will take you back in the historic era with its striking images and paintings. The museum also recounts the details about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) publishing periodicals and holding seminars on the history and culture of the city. Al-Madina museum is open from Saturday to Thursday. The entry fee is SR25 ($6.70).

[Read Also: Essential And Useful Tips To Perform Hajj]

  1. Old Market Madinah

On your visit to Madinah, a place that holds high religious significance, you must be wishing to take back souvenirs for family and friends as this place holds. You can visit the Old Market in Madinah to purchase gifts for family and friends to take back home. Visiting Old Bazaar is an out-of-the-world experience as you look for the souvenirs, Islamic designs and unique Arabian products. Located on one of the major streets of Madinah, it is crowded at all times. It is a great place to explore during the weekends. Check out various interesting themes, vibrant designs, and Arabian merchandise here.

[Read Also: How Makkah Became The Holiest City]

  1. Wadi e Jinn – Al Baida

Wadi Al-Baida is located about 41 kilometres from northwest of Madinah. The valley is believed to have a mysterious effect as the cars move here without drivers driving them. Because of this bewitching phenomenon, this valley draws a million people every year from all parts of the world. Locals believe that this is because of the power of the Jinn present in the valley and even claim that they have heard voices saying, “You don’t belong here. This is our place”. However, geologists have called this phenomenon the effect of reverse gravity, also evident in other regions of the Kingdom including Asir and Najran.

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  1. Yanbu

Yanbu is a mesmerizing beach near Madinah which is very beautiful as the city itself. Located around 120 miles away from Madinah, you will come across the port city of Yanbu-al-Bahr. Renowned for its pretty beaches, water sports and aquatic landscape, it is a popular tourist spot and the perfect beach escape from the city. The city was once an important port and visitors can still see traces of its past in its traditional fisherman houses. Enjoy a thrilling day at the Yanbu beach while indulging in water sports like scuba diving, sailing, fishing and jet-skiing.

[Read: Health & Safety Tips For Hajj & Umrah Travel]

9.The Desert at Mada’ in Saleh

If you have never gone to a desert then exploring this exotic and beautiful desert at Madinah Saleh would be a great idea. One of the most exotic sightseeing of the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could be done only if you leave early in the morning. Once a thriving city along ancient spice route, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, consisting of about hundred monumental tombs and thousands of graves with inscriptions and cave drawings. These monumental tombs are some of the best-preserved remains of the lost Nabataean Kingdom.

  1. Masjid Al-Qiblatain

The structural design and art of this lovely mosque has a conventional pattern and is also famous for its twin Mihrabs and a huge prayer hall. A visit to this holy mosque will indeed give you a rich memorable experience. In this mosque, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the command from Allah (SWT) to change the Qibla from Masjid e Aqsa (Jerusalem) to Kaaba (Makkah), after which Muslims began to pray in the direction of the Kaaba. These verses of Surah al-Baqarah were revealed when the Prophet (PBUH) was leading his companions during prayers:

Top 20 Amazing Places To Visit In Makkah

The sacred city of Makkah is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the city is only open to Muslims who usually go to perform Hajj or Umrah. Nevertheless, there are several places you can visit in the greater district of Makkah. We have highlighted a few places of interest you can explore during your Umrah or Hajj in 2019. These places have added to the cultural, historical, and religious significance of the city and to Islam as well.

  1. The Grand Mosque

Illustrious as Masjid Al Haram, this is the largest mosque in the world that can accommodate 1.2 million pilgrims. This sacred mosque houses the holy well of Zamzam, and the black cubic structure the Kaaba.

Read Also: Top 15 Amazing Places to Visit in Madina

  1. Mina (The City of Tents)

Most people think that the Mina is referred to the tents, whereas, the Mina is a valley 3 miles east of the city. The valley is dotted with more than a 100,000 air-conditioned tents for the pilgrims flocking into the city on the 8th of Dhul Hajj and again on the 10th to the 13th of Dhul Hajj. In addition, in the valley of the Mina, the Jamarat Bridge is located where pilgrims perform the ‘stoning of the devil‘.

Read Also: Saa’ee between Safa & Marwa Hills

  1. Mount of Rahmah

The Mount of Rahman (Jabal e Rahmah) situated in the Valley of Arafat is 12 miles at the outskirts of the city. It is necessary for all the pilgrims to stay in the valley and spend time praying for the forgiveness of sins. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) stayed on this mountain. The valley also has a stunning mosque called Masjid e Nimra.

  1. Muzdalifah

Muzdalifah lies in the Makkah province. This is usually a plain flat land located between Arafat and the Mina. The pilgrims travel from the Mina to Muzdalifah and spend the entire day until sunset. At Muzdalifah, pilgrims sleep in the open air and get up quite early for prayers. There is also a mosque atop a hill in Muzdalifah. Before the evening prayers in Muzdalifah, the pilgrims collect stones/pebbles for stoning at Jamarat.

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  1. Jamarat

The Jamarat, also known as the place for ‘Stoning of the Devil‘ is a vital part of Hajj pilgrimage. During 2004, there were three pillars in Mina, but recently they have been replaced by high walls to avoid any possibility of mishaps on account of a large number of pilgrims assembling together for the ritual. Furthermore, pilgrims flocking into the city can access a bridge to hurl pebbles at the Jamarat.

The three walls or Jamarat are named as; Jamarah-al-Oola or Jamarah-e-Sughra (meaning the first or the small Jamarah), Jamarah-al-Wusta (meaning the middle Jamarah) and Jamarah-al-Uqbah or Jamarah-al Kubra (meaning the last or the largest Jamarah). You will be informed and guided about these key places in Makkah during your Hajj and Umrah seminars/meetings before reaching the city.

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  1. Ghari Hira (Al Nour Mountain)

Located at the top of Jabal Al Noor, you can explore the sacred Cave of Hira (Ghari Hira). It was in this place that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) got the initial revelations of the Holy Quran in 610 BC. The mountain is also known as Jabal-al Noor because of the mysterious light on the mountain at night. The Prophet had felt an increasing need to be isolated and he had started to take the solitude more and more before he began to receive revelations from the Angel Jibreel (AS). He would visit the cave of Hira and meditate day and night with provisions for himself.

  1. Bir Tuwa (Well of Tuwa)

It is one of the valleys in Makkah, which was once isolated and rugged. Nowadays, it is crammed with buildings. Today, this name Bir Tuwa has been restricted to a well in Jarwal, called Tuwa. At this well, the Prophet had spent the night in. Then in the morning, he cleaned himself from its water and entered Makkah. It is located at the bottom of Makkah at the north direction in Jarwal. The word ’Tuwa’ means the pleated well.

  1. The Factory of Kiswah at Umm Al-Jud

Kiswah is the cloth that covers the Kaabah in Makkah. It is the most revered covering, which is highly respected in Masjid Al Haram that can be explored while touring the city. Since the Kaaba was built by Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), the Kiswa passed through several changes. Throughout its historical period, the Kiswa underwent changes due to economic and social factors.

Read Also: Do’s and Don’ts for Umrah

  1. Makkah Mall

Considered as a unique and important shopping centre by Saudi officials and Muslim visitors, the Makkah Mall is dedicated to creating a dynamic shopping and dining atmosphere in Makkah. It offers a wide diversity of international & local brands with restaurants as well.

  1. Masjid-e-Taneem (Masjid-e-Aisha)

The Masjid lies 4.6 miles south of Makkah, on the road to Medina. It is the closest of all the boundary points, even is considered as a Miqat as well.

Masjid Aisha, also known as Masjid at-Tan’eem, is the place where Ummul-Mu’mineen Aisha (RA) announced Ihram to perform Umrah when the Prophet (PBUH) asked her to do so during his farewell Hajj.

  1. Al Wahba Crater

Located towards the northeast of Makkah, this 1-mile long crater is surrounded by 900-foot rugged cliffs. The crater bottom fills with water during the wet season and transforms into a salt-pan in the summer as the sun evaporates the moisture. What was once a place for volcanic activities has turned into a trekking zone with plenty of palm trees along the cliff. Read More

  1. Jannatul Mu’alla

Jannatul Maula is a cemetery on the way to the Mina. Here lies the grave of Um-Al-Momeneen Bibi Khadija (RA)- the first wife of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and that of Prophets’ son Qasim, Asma Bint AbuBaker, Abu-Talib, Abdullah Bin Zubair, and other members of the Holy Prophet’s family.

This cemetery is located at 10 minutes walking distance from Masjid Al Haram and anyone can visit the grave and pay their respects to the people buried there.

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  1. Makkah Clock Tower

The Makkah Clock Tower is the third tallest tower in the world with a height of 601 meters and 76 stories. There are tickets to visit the tower. Most visitors come only to stay at the tower roof and enjoy the stunning view. Read More

  1. Auction House Makkah

Makkah auction is an auction house located in the Hilton Tower. On your tour to the city, you can find ancient gems, artefacts and other interesting things. It almost looks like a shopping centre. Watch how people bid on the alluring things here.

  1. The Mount of Abu Qubays

This gigantic structure is located near Mount Safa. It is believed that from this place the Holy Prophet (PBUH) pointed towards the moon and split it into half. You will experience these illustrious places of Makkah, that have a deep religious significance, on your trip to the blessed city.

  1. Site of The Battle of Badr

The Battle of Badr was a historic moment in Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life while fighting against Mecca’s pagan communities. Fought in the Hejaz region of Western Arabia in 624 CE, it is one of the few battles mentioned in the Quran. The place is at a distance of 334 km from the city of Mecca.

  1. The Birthplace of The Prophet (PBUH)

Also known as Maktaba Makkah al-Mukarramah, the birthplace of the Prophet (PBUH) has been converted into a National Library of Makkah.

Read Also: Important Mosques to Visit in Makkah

  1. Thawr Mountain

Located at the southern end of Makkah, Thour Mountain (Jabal Al Thawr) bears an important part of Islamic history. According to Islamic history, this is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spent 3 days in a cave known as Gaari Thour, along with his friend, Al Sideeq e Akbar (RA) after the persecution in Makkah.

  1. Al Jaaranah Mosque

Towards northern Makkah is a sacred site where the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) clothed himself prior to travelling towards Makkah to perform Hajj. The site is surrounded by numerous date trees and drinking water wells that overlook Al Jaaranah Mosque. You might need permission from the government authorities to visit the mosque.

  1. The House of Abbas & The House of Abu Bakr (RA)

The House of Abbas is right outside the place of Sa’ee. It was from the house of Abu Bakr that the Hijra to Madinah began. It is on the 4th floor of the Makkah Towers Hotel block where the Masjid Abu Bakr has been established.

Top 10 best tourist attractions in Ankara, Turkey

Ankara is a province of Turkey, which is situated partly in the region of Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Central Anatolia. Ankara Province is the home to the capital city of the Turkey, which is also named as Ankara City. The province is full of historical landmarks, Ottoman architecture, Turkish traditions and culture. Province of Ankara has a continental weather, dry and hot in summers and snowy, cold in winters, while rainy in autumn and spring. Ankara is one of the best regions for vacations and trips.

10) Lake Eymir

Ankara is full of many beautiful spots of nature and wilderness. Lake Eymir is one of the landmarks and beauty of nature, situated at a distance of 20 kilometres from the Center of the Ankara City. Local people and tourists come here to relax far away from the noise, pollution and daily busy routine of their life. This beautiful small lake is the segment of a natural park with 10 kilometres long perimeter, which is used by the people for jogging, cycling and walking. Surroundings of the lake have various picnic spots and natural wilderness. The lake is the home of more than 150 species of birds, which include shearwaters and ducklings. There is a historical building near the lake, which is used as a restaurant that has a beautiful outdoor seating to enjoy the fabulous beauty of nature.

9) Ataturk Forest Farm & Zoo

The Ataturk Forest Farm & Zoo is an extensive recreational site located in the municipality of Ankara. This farming area includes a small zoo, an aquarium, various agricultural farms, some greenhouses and restaurants. There is also a brewery and a dairy farm, which are administered by the Ministry of the Agriculture and Village Affairs of Turkey. The zoo at the farm has covered an area of 79 acres, which is home to the various birds, big cats, apes, monkeys and snakes. Visitors can taste the fresh products of dairy and brewery like a cup of beer and ice-cream. Restaurants serve meat rolls, charcoal kebabs and other traditional foods to the visitors. People of all ages enjoy this forest farm equally.

8) Genclik Park

Genclik Park is an attractive place of entertainment for the local families of Turkey and tourists from various region of the world, which is situated in the centre of the Ankara city. The park has covered an area of 38 hectares and was initially opened in 1943. This park provides equal entertainment to the people of all age groups. Various beautiful tea gardens, colourful water fountain shows and the Luna Park Funfair Amusement Park are main attractions of this spot. There is a huge swimming pool for swimming and rowing and different carrousels and the Ferris wheel to entertain adults and children in the same way. It is one of the must visit places in Turkey.

7) Atakule

The Atakule is an observation and communication tower with a height of 125 meters, which is situated in a hilly district of Cankaya in Central Ankara. It is the most famous landmark of the city and a most visited tourist spot in Turkey. There is an outdoor terrace and a revolving restaurant named Sevilla, which provides a complete panoramic view of the city by completing its round in an hour. One more static restaurant is available above the Sevilla and also a UFO café is serving under the terrace. The base portion of the tower is a shopping mall, which houses different brand shops and other small and famous restaurants.

6) Aqua Vega Aquarium

The Aqua Vega Aquarium is the largest aquarium tunnel of the Turkey and most probably of Europe too. Situated in the most famous shopping mall (Nata Vega Outlet 2) in Dogukent Bulvari, Ankara. This 98-meter long tunnel is formed by 24 aquariums, which are containing 4.5 million litres of fresh and salt water along with various marine environmental characteristics. The aquarium is home to 12,000 marine creatures which include various uncommon species of fish ranges from sharks and Napoleon fish to Koi fish and Clownfish. It is one of the best places in Turkey to visit with family and children.

5) Ankamall Alisveris Merkezi

ANKAmall was initially opened in 1999, with the name of the Ankara Migros Shopping Center in Ankara. In 2006, the mall changed its name to the ANKAmall shopping center. It is the second largest shopping mall in Turkey, which has covered an area of 176,000 square meters. The mall houses more than 320 world famous brand stores like Kactos, Electro World, Marks & Spencer and much more in its 108,000 square meters rentable area. Along with a pleasant, comfortable and qualitative shopping, ANKAmall provides its visitors various opportunities of entertainment by its 10 HD Cinemas, playland for children and various famous restaurants and cafes with an organized parking space of more than 6000 cars.

4) Ankara Citadel

Citadel of Ankara is also known as Ankara Castle, which is situated on a 978-meter high hill in the town of Ulus Bentderesi in Old Ankara. The castle is a symbolic landmark of the town and an ancient tourist spot. No one knows the exact date of the construction of the Citadel. Initially, it was administered by the Romans and Byzantines and later it was captured by the Seljuqs in 1073 and crusaders afterwards in 1101. Crusaders returned the citadel to the Byzantines, which was again conquered by the Seljuqs in 1227. The citadel has faced many restorations since Ottoman era. The Ankara Citadel has divided into inner and outer Castle, which has 43 pentagonal watch towers along with its 14 to 16 meters high defensive walls. The castle is a great ancient architecture which attracts lots of visitors towards its prehistoric value every year.

3) Hamamonu Restored Area

Hamamonu is one of the earliest settled areas of the Altindag in the capital city of Turkey. The area has the residency of bureaucrats, political persons and strong businessmen of the earlier Republic of Turkey but, lost its importance after some years. In 2006, the area was maintained as a prehistoric tourist place after the restoration project initiated by the Municipality of Altindag. It is a beautiful place to visit and walk, which represents the Turkish culture and beauty of ancient houses on the streets. The place is serving as a hub of hang out and tourism in the town. There are many shops, cafes and restaurants in the area to facilitate the visitors in accordance with the Turkish traditions and culture.

2) Ethnography Museum of Ankara

Ethnography Museum of Ankara is dedicated to the cultures and traditions of the ancient Turkish civilizations. The museum was built on a Namazgah Hill in Ankara between the years of 1925 to 1928. The museum exhibits artifacts belonging to the ancient civilizations and some belongings to the Ataturk Mustafa Kamal. These artifacts include handwoven clothes, Turkish cultural glass and tiles, prehistoric manuscripts, ancient stone and wooden art pieces and weapons used by the ancient Turkish civilizations. A method is also displayed about how Turkish civilisation used to make coffee in earlier times. The place is a complete informative and entertaining site for the people of all age groups.

1) Kocatepe Mosque

Kocatepe Mosque is a spectacular sight and a marvellous cultural wonder located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. The construction of the mosque was started in 1967 and was completed in 1987. The mosque is the largest mosque in Ankara and is famous for its beautiful 88 meters high minarets around its main dome. In clear weather, people can see the minarets of the mosque almost from any corner of Ankara. The Kocatepe mosque is a masterpiece of the Turkish architecture whereas the walls and the roofs of the mosque are decorated with various cultural ornaments. About 24,000 people can offer their prayers at the same time in this mosque. The mosque is always open for the visitors to experience this awe-inspiring architecture of religious wonder.

20 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Jerusalem

The most contested city on earth is also one of the most beautiful. The scope of its history is staggering, and its vital place in the traditions of all three monotheistic faiths has led to it being fought over continually through the centuries. This is the heart of the Holy Land, where the Jews raised the First Temple to keep the Ark of the Covenant safe, where Jesus was crucified and rose again, and where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven to receive God’s word. For believers, a visit to Jerusalem is a pilgrimage to one of the most sacred sites in the world. The number of religious tourist attractions here can be baffling for first-time visitors, but luckily most of the top sightseeing landmarks and things to do are secreted within the lanes of the compact Old City district. With so much to see, the best way to tackle a trip here is to decide on a few key points of interest that are must-dos and break your sightseeing down into sections of the city. Don’t try to do too much and wear yourself out. It would take a lifetime to see everything that Jerusalem offers.

1 Haram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount)

Follow in the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims, and enter one of the holiest sanctuaries on earth. Lauded by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, this is the site where Abraham (father of all three monotheistic faiths) is said to have offered his son up as a sacrifice to God, where Solomon built the First Temple for the Ark of the Covenant, and where the Prophet Muhammad is said to have ascended to heaven during his early years of preaching Islam. It’s a place of deep significance (and contention over ownership) for those of faith. The wide plaza, above the Old City, is centered around the glittering Dome of the Rock, which is Jerusalem’s most iconic landmark. Beneath the golden dome is the sacred stone both Jews and Muslims believe to be where Abraham offered his son to God and where Muslims also believe the Prophet Muhammad began his journey to heaven. The southern side of the mount is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said to be one of the oldest mosques in the world.

Location: Entry from Western Wall Plaza, Old City
Read More:
Exploring Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount): A Visitor’s Guide
2 Wailing Wall and Jewish Quarter

The Wailing Wall (or Western Wall) is the surviving retaining wall of Jerusalem’s First Temple. Commonly called the Wailing Wall due to the people’s laments for the loss of the temple in AD 70, it is now the holiest site in Judaism and has been a place of pilgrimage for the Jewish people since the Ottoman era. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City runs roughly from the Zion Gate east to the Western Wall Plaza. This part of the Old City was destroyed during the Israeli-Arab fighting in 1948 and has been extensively rebuilt since 1967. A major highlight here for history fans is the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, at the southern end of the Western Wall Plaza, where archaeologists have unearthed fascinating remnants of old Jerusalem. The Western Wall Tunnels, which take you under the city, back to the level of the original city, are also not to be missed. Jewish Quarter Street (Rehov HaYehudim) is the main lane of the district, and veering off this road onto the surrounding side streets are a cluster of interesting synagogues to visit.

Location: Western Wall Plaza, Old City
3 Church of the Holy Sepulchre

For Christian pilgrims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is Jerusalem’s holiest site and is said to have been built on the site where Jesus was crucified. The site for the church was picked by Empress Helena – mother to Constantine the Great during her tour of the Holy Land. She was the one to announce to the Byzantine world that this spot was the Calvary (or Golgotha) of the gospels. The original church (built in AD 335) was destroyed by 1009, and the grand church you see now dates from the 11th century. Although often heaving with pilgrims from across the world, the church interior is an opulently beautiful piece of religious architecture. This is the ending point for the Via Dolorosa pilgrimage, and the last five Stations of the Cross are within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre itself. The interior contains various holy relics, and the quarters inside the church are owned by different Christian denominations.

Location: Christian Quarter, Old City
Read More:
Exploring the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: A Visitor’s Guide
4 Armenian Quarter

Running south from the Citadel, Armenian Patriarchate Road is the main street of the Old City’s tiny Armenian Quarter. Within the narrow lanes here are the St. James Cathedral and St. Mark’s Chapel, which receive much fewer visitors than others in the Old City. Armenians have been part of Jerusalem’s community for centuries, first arriving in the city during the 5th century. Many more arrived during the Ottoman era and after the Armenian massacres in Turkey during the early 20th century. This is the Old City’s most tranquil corner to explore and a good place to wander if the press of pilgrims gets too much.

Location: Old City
Read More:
Exploring Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter: A Visitor’s Guide
5 Via Dolorosa

For many Christian visitors, the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow) is the highlight of a visit to Jerusalem. This walk follows the route of Jesus Christ after his condemnation as he bears his cross towards execution at Calvary. The walk is easily followed independently, but if you’re here on a Friday, you can join the procession along this route led by the Italian Franciscan monks. The course of the Via Dolorosa is marked by the fourteen Stations of the Cross, some of which are based on the Gospels’ accounts and some on tradition. The walk begins in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City on Via Dolorosa Street (1st station, near the intersection with HaPrakhim Street) from where you follow the street west through eight stations until you reach the 9th station at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the last five stations are. Of particular interest along the way is the Chapel of the Flagellation (2nd station), built on the site where Jesus is believed to have been flogged.

Location: Via Dolorosa Street, Old City

Jerusalem Via Dolorosa Map
6 Citadel (Tower of David) and Surrounds

The Citadel, popularly known as the Tower of David, actually has no connection with David, having been erected by King Herod to protect the palace he built in approximately 24 BC. His original citadel had three towers named after his brother Phasael, his wife Mariamne, and his friend Hippicus. After Titus’ conquest of the city in AD 70, the Romans stationed a garrison here, but later the citadel fell into disrepair. It was successively rebuilt by the Crusaders, Egypt’s Mamelukes and Turks, during their years of reign over Jerusalem. The building you now see was built in the 14th century on the foundations of the original Phasael Tower. Inside is the Tower of David Museum, which relays the story of Jerusalem. While here, make sure you climb up to the rooftop for one of Old City’s best views. There is also a Sound and Light show here in the evenings.

Location: Jaffa Gate, Old City
7 Christian Quarter

The Christian Quarter of the Old City runs north from the Jaffa Gate and is centered around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Within this tangle of alleyways are some of the Old City’s most popular tourist souvenir souks and a whole caboodle of churches that are well worth exploring. Protestant Christ Church (Omar ibn al-Khattab Square) has a quirky museum with interesting document exhibits and a decent café to rest your weary Old City-plodding feet. The Ethiopian Monastery, squeezed into the corner of The Church of the Holy Sepulchre’s courtyard, contains interesting frescoes portraying the Queen of Sheba’s Jerusalem visit. The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (Muristan Road) is where you come to climb the bell tower for incredible Old City views. And the Church of St. John the Baptist (off Christian Quarter Street) is worthy of a visit as it’s Jerusalem’s oldest church.

Location: Old City
8 Muslim Quarter

The most bustling and alive district is the Muslim Quarter, which is home to the best souk shopping in the Old City. This district roughly runs from Damascus Gate through the northeast chunk of the Old City. Plenty of fine surviving remnants of Mamluk architecture line the streets here, including the 14th-century Khan al-Sultan (Bab al-Silsila Street), where you can climb up to the roof for excellent views across the higgledy-piggledy lanes. If you wander down Antonia Street, you’ll come to the beautiful Crusader-built St. Anne’s Church (believed to be built on top of the site of the house of the Virgin Mary’s parents) and the Pool of Bethesda next door.

Location: Old City
9 Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives
Overloaded with churches and home to the oldest continually used cemetery in the world, the Mount of Olives holds particular interest to religious pilgrim travelers to Jerusalem, but even the non-devout can appreciate the spectacular Old City panoramas from the peak. This sacred hill is believed to be the place where God will begin rising the dead on Judgement Day. For Christian believers, this is also where Jesus ascended to heaven after his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. The Church of the Ascension on the top of the mount dates from 1910 and has the best views across Jerusalem. Walking down the slope, you come to the Church of the Pater Noster built next to the site where, according to tradition, Jesus instructed his disciples. Further down, the Church of Dominus Flevit is claimed to be built over the site where Jesus wept for Jerusalem, and further along is the onion-domed Russian Church of Mary Magdalene. The Gardens of Gethsemane (where Jesus was arrested) and the Church of All Nations are next, while the Tomb of the Virgin Mary is the last big attraction on the Mount of Olives.

Location: East from the Old City
10 Mount Zion

Mount Zion
Mount Zion (the small hill immediately south of the Old City’s Zion Gate) is home to Jewish and Muslim shrines as well as a number of churches. Since the Byzantine Age, Mount Zion has been revered as the place where Christ celebrated the Last Supper and where the Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life, according to some Christian traditions (another tradition says her last days were spent in Ephesus in Turkey). For Jews, Mount Zion’s importance stems from this being the place of King David’s Tomb. If you climb up the stairs from the tomb’s courtyard, you’ll come to the Last Supper Room, which has served as both church and mosque throughout its long history. The Church of the Dormition nearby is where the Virgin is supposed to have died, while just to the east is the Church of St. Peter of Gallicantu, where Peter is said to have denied Jesus.

Location: Exit the Old City from Zion Gate
11 Old City Walls

The Old City fortifications date from the Ottoman period, and nine magnificent gates at junctions within the wall’s length lead into the Old City. The Damascus Gate is one of the most famous. Lions’ Gate (sometimes called St. Stephen’s Gate) leads onto the Mount of Olives outside the city walls. Zion Gate is the main entry into the Jewish Quarter, while Jaffa Gate is the main passageway for the Christian Quarter. Walking the wall ramparts is a wonderful way to experience the Old City. There are two sections that can be walked on: Jaffa Gate heading north to Lion’s Gate or Jaffa Gate heading south to Dung Gate.

Location: Exit Old City from Damascus Gate
12 East Jerusalem

Outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate is Jerusalem’s mostly Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Just to the east of the gate, within the gardens at the foot of the wall, is Solomon’s Quarries, a cave system that extends under the Old City. According to ancient tradition, the stone for Jerusalem’s First Temple was quarried from here. The cave is also known as Zedekiah’s Grotto as in Jewish tradition, Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, hid here from the Babylonian forces in 587 BC. Slightly east from here (along Sultan Suleiman Street) is the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum. Inside are exhibits from the Stone Age right up to the 18th century. If you’re short on time, some of the highlights of the collection are the skeleton unearthed on Mount Carmel, known as the Carmel Man, in the South Gallery, the 6th-century BC Lachish letters in the North Gallery, and the ornately carved beams from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the South Room.

If you walk down Nablus Road, you’ll come to the Garden Tomb, which dates from the Roman or Byzantine period. It was found and identified as Christ’s tomb by General Gordon in 1882, and some Protestant Christians still believe that this is the true site that Christ was buried and rose again. Heading north along Nablus Road is the French Dominican Monastery of St. Stephen, where its namesake, the first Christian martyr, is believed to have been stoned to death. Veer off onto St. George Street from here, and you’ll come to the site of the Mandelbaum Gate. Between 1948 and 1967, it was the only crossing-point between the Israeli and Jordanian sectors of Jerusalem. The site is marked with a plaque. Also on St. George Street, is the Museum on the Seam, a one-of-a-kind (in Israel) contemporary art museum that exhibits works dealing with social commentary on human rights and conflict.

Location: Exit Old City from Damascus Gate
13 Central City Sites

From the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, you enter Jerusalem’s modern central city district with Jaffa Road running northwest to Bar Kochba Square and Zion Square. Northeast from Bar Kochba Square, you reach the Russian Compound, dominated by the green-domed Russian Orthodox Cathedral. This area grew up in the late 19th century as a large walled complex for Russian pilgrims. On the northeast side of the complex were the Russian consulate and a hospice for women, to the southwest were a hospital, the mission house, and a large hospice for men that lies beyond the cathedral. The buildings are now occupied by various government institutions. North from here is Ethiopia Street, where you’ll find the Ethiopian Church. The reliefs of lions above the doorway recall the style of Lion of Judah borne by the Abyssinian dynasty, which traced its origins back to the Queen of Sheba.

Further north from Ethiopia Street is the Mea Shearim district, home to a community of ultra-orthodox Jews. If you’d like to explore this area, be aware that modest dress (covering arms and legs) is mandatory, and taking photographs of inhabitants is not allowed. The people of Mea Shearim still wear their old East European dress and speak mostly Yiddish. Some extreme groups refuse to recognize the state of Israel because it was not established by the Messiah and regard themselves as a ghetto of true orthodoxy within the Jewish state.

South from Jaffa Road is the Time Elevator (Hillel Street), a child-friendly introduction to Jerusalem’s history, and the Museum of Italian Jewish Art & Synagogue, with an extensive collection of Judaica. Running west from Zion Square on Jaffa Road is the pedestrianized Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem’s main vortex for dining and shopping.

22 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Istanbul

Coveted by empires across the centuries, straddling both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is one of the world’s great metropolises. Founded around 1000 BC, the colony of Byzantium grew into the Byzantine Empire’s great capital of Constantinople and after the Ottoman conquest of the city, retained its glorious place as the heart of their empire. The city (officially renamed Istanbul after the founding of the Turkish Republic) is liberally scattered with glorious remnants of its long and illustrious history, and the sightseeing here will impress even the most monument-weary visitor.

As well as the big four (Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar), leave enough time to explore the other sights. Although many tourist attractions are located in, or near, the old city district of Sultanahmet, there is a dazzling array of other things to do throughout the farther reaches of the city. Plan your trip with our list of the top tourist attractions in Istanbul.

See also: Where to Stay in Istanbul

  1. Aya Sofya

It’s said that when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian entered his finished church for the first time in AD 536, he cried out “Glory to God that I have been judged worthy of such a work. Oh Solomon, I have outdone you!” The Aya Sofya (formerly the Hagia Sophia) was the emperor’s swaggering statement to the world of the wealth and technical ability of his empire. Tradition maintained that the area surrounding the emperor’s throne within the church was the official center of the world.

Through its conversion to a mosque, after the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople, to its further conversion into a museum in the 20th century, the Aya Sofya has remained one of Istanbul’s most cherished landmarks.



Hill Stations
Kaghan Valley, a scenic wonderland, is at height of beauty among many beautiful valleys Hazara in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan. One hundred and sixty km long valley, rising from an elevation of 2,134 feet to 13,690 feet at Babusar Pass.

The road to Kaghan is little bit dangereous due to the deep slopes to the river on side and the lofty mountains on the other side. The valley is fully covered by pine and fir trees densely overgrown with a variety of other plants, except at the Babusar Top area.

The road from Balakot ascends along the Kunhar River, flowing in deep ridges and through lovely forests. The spectacular view and scenery is near Shogran, surrounded by peaks and pine forest, covering with a layer of silver shined clouds on the top. From Shogran, you can visit the famous peaks of Siri and Payee, with breathtaking views at its top.

Naran is one of the most attractive hill station in Kaghan valley, with its pleasant and cool atmosphere. Saif-ul-Maluk lake can be accessed from Naran by a jeep within 30-45 minutes. There are number of glaciers in the passage of Kaghan to Narran and from Narran to Saif-ul-Maluk, and those are real enjoyment in Naran. From Saif-ul-Maluk lake, a splendid view of Malka Parbat, the highest mountain in this valley, can be seen in a clear weather.

Babusar Pass, a jeep track leads to Chilas on Karakoram Highway. Travelling from Lulusar lake to Babusar pass is just like flowing on the top of mountains with a broader view of mountain ranges

The river Kunhar, originating from Lulusar lake, runs through the valley and merges with the Jhelum River just outside Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir. The shining green water of the Kunhar River with the flowing ranges of mountains, is the real beauty of this valley.

Fishing is the one of the best sport activity in Kaghan. In the upper parts of valley, Brown Trout and Mahasher are stocked in pure silvery waters. The Kunhar river trout is considered to be the best throughout the South Asia.


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Saif-ul-Muluk is located in Naran, Kaghan Valley at the distance of 8 km from Naran at an atitude of 10,578 feet. It is one of the main source of the Kunhar River and also one of the highest lakes in Pakistan.

Lalazar is a beautiful lush green meadow with colorful wild flowers within pine forest, it is situated at the distance of 21 km from Naran at the elevation of 10,499 feet. It is accessile through jeep and trek has wounderful scenes as the River Kunhas is flowing on side of trek. It is also lovly spot for camping in the Kaghan Valley and good place to observe wildlife there too.

Naran is a very attractive and pleasant hill station, located in Kaghan at the distance of 119 km from Mansehra at the altitude of 8,202 feet. It is most beautiful and scenic location in Pakistan and loving place for trekkers, hikkers, and tourists from all over the Pakistan, even from foreign countries.

Shogran is a lush green hill station situated in the Kaghan Valley at an altitude of 7,749 feet. It is green plateau in the Kaghan Valley, so its beauty is never avoided to praise. It is at the distance of 212 km from Islamabad. It is base station for other trekking spots such as Siri, Paye and Makra Hill. It has a pleasant atmosphere all over the year but due to heavy rain in moonsoon, it becomes little difficult to travel or move.



There are lot of beautiful views while traveling in Kaghan Valley.

There are number of streams in Kaghan Valley, and finally those become part of the Kunhar River.

Top 10 Places You Must Visit in Murree

Pakistan Tour Travel presents a list of Top 10 places in Murree you must visit in Our Tour Package. Murree is the famous place in Northern Areas of Pakistan. Most selling Pakistan Tour Package destination is Murree. Murree is famous for Honeymoon Packages from Pakistan for couples and families from all over Pakistan.

Below is the list of Top 10 places in Murree
The Mall Road
Pindi Point
Kashmir Point
Patriata (New Murree)
Upper Topa and Lower Topa
Ghora Gali
The Mall Road
First and the foremost is the Mall Road that is the most famous marketplace in Murree. Here you will find all the unique items of Murree. The road open till 3 am usually, people love to walk over there to enjoy the pleasant weather with yummy food items as well. Indeed, a road full of life, hotels, restaurants, and handicraft items and happy faces.

Pindi Point
Second on the list is the Pindi Point almost 15 minutes walk from the Mall Road. Tourist love to take a Chairlift ride that take them down to 1.5 km from Pindi Point to Bansara Gali. Moreover, the scenery from chairlift is a marvelous experience. The richly green mountains with the zigzag road is amazing to watch from top.

Kashmir Point
Next on the list is the Kashmir Point that is full of serenity. Nearer to GPO and a fifteen minutes’ walk that will lead to Kashmir Point. A magnificent point in Murree offers tranquillity away from the hustle bustle of main Murree. The view of Kashmir Mountains with pleasant climate is always captivating for the tourist.

Patriata (New Murree)
Yes! Becoming very famous with every single day, the new Murree as in Patriata approximately 15 kilometers away from the main Murree hills on the Lower Topa side. The hill station is newly constructed to cater more of the visitor to the Murree. A ride of world-class chairlift & cable car system that is 7 km long and it takes you from New Murree to Patriata. Furthermore, great high risen trees, beautiful hills is a treat for couples and family to enjoy their vacation in this region.

Bhurban became the most favorite tourist spot in Murree because of its lush green landscapes along with pleasant environment that is full of calmness. And if you choose to stay in PC Bhurban then the treat is double. The lavish amenities with enchanting landscapes is always preferable for the visitor. Additionally, Bhurban is situated at a distance of 13 kilometers from Murree, one of the main roads leading to Azad Kashmir.

Upper Topa and Lower Topa
Another amazing worth witnessing in Murree is Upper and Lower Topa, which is located at an altitude of 7000 ft. Moreover the Upper and Lower Topa provides a pleasant getaway for tourists in the scorching heat of summers. Additionally, in winter the place wore a white blanket after heavy snowfall.

Rawat is another picturesque location in Murree district, some of the famous villages lie in the district of Rawat. Most notably, Mohra darogha, moori khambaal, sood gangal, dhok amban and others. Additionally, Rawat district is a very well known for having the facility of basic medical treatment in case of emergency as it has many medical clinics here which are attended by many professional doctors.

The Galliyat plays an important role in all Murree District and Nathiagali is the most visited Gali in Murree. For instance, Nathiagali is situated at 35 kilometers from Murree and from Abbottabad it is elevated at an altitude of 8400 ft. Further, the Nathiagali offers astonishing views with a backdrop of snow-capped peaks of Kashmir and Kohistan. In clear climate, the immense mountains of Nanga Parbat can be clearly seen.

Next on the list is the Ayubia, it is the most visited spot after Nathiagali. It is best picnic spot in Murree as it also possesses an Ayubia National Park which is elevated at 1,050 meters. Additionally, it is spread over 3,027 meters at the mountain tops within the valleys. In richly green mountains of Murree with pleasant climate thousands of tourists.

Ghora Gali
Last but not the least is the Ghora Gali on the list of visited places of Murree. Many hotels and resorts are there to serve many of the tourist visiting Ghora Gali. The yummy mouthwatering food with the amazing scenic views is a must have experience once in a lifetime.

Hope that you like our list of Top 10 places to visit in Murree.

11 Most Beautiful Islands in Pakistan

When we talk about the beautiful places to visit in Pakistan, we mostly refer to the amazingly beautiful northern areas in the country. However, there are some other very beautiful places in Pakistan as well. On the southern end of the country, there is the amazingly beautiful Arabian Sea with many beautiful beaches along the Pakistani coastline. Pakistan also has a number of beautiful islands. Many of these islands are located in the Arabian Sea. Some of these islands have become major tourist destinations and every year thousands of tourists visit these islands. Here are the 11 most beautiful islands in Pakistan.

11 – Buddo Island

10 – Churna Island

9 – Bundal Island

8 – Malan Island

7 – Bukkar Island

6 – Zalzala Koh

5 – Shams Pir

4 – Manora Island

3 – Clifton Oyester Rocks

2 – Baba and Bhit Islands

1 – Astola Island

Liked these Islands in Pakistan? Now, share this article with your friends and family so that they can know about these marvels of nature in Pakistan.

Top 10 Tourist Attractions of Azad Kashmir – Pakistan

Brace yourselves! What you are about to read will spellbind you to the point that you start to wobble, shake and agitate in your very own seat out of excitement and zest to travel to Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

Pakistan is home to places that forces you to marvel in the glory of fascinating natural beauty. One such place is Azad Kashmir, swamping of mesmeric areas that its existence makes one hard to believe.

Of all the mesmerizing tourist attractions in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir is one that defies all other claims of supremacy. Nothing matches its vitality and it is nothing like anywhere else. No wonder, we still are quarreling with our noisy neighbors over hold of this Paradise.

Azad Kashmir is a globally recognized heaven. It is all due to the vibrant green valleys that compel you to never bat your eyes once you catch sight of it. It is a place of waterways, abundant lakes and a wildlife adventure to experience. This piece of the nation is renowned all around the globe as high as mountains can be; lavish green valleys, powerful waterways, delightful lakes, and astonishing untamed life. Thinking of where to plan your next vacation? Europe can wait; you rather need to count on the top attractions in Pakistan.

Why? Here is why…

Following are the top attractions in Azad Kashmir you need to see:

  1. Neelum Valley

Tourist attractions are required to be captivating. This one is for sure. You will find blue waters and greenery, as stunning as anything. This is God’s magnificent gift to mankind, fortunately, located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Anyone suggesting you top attractions in Pakistan would not forget Neelum Valley. It has many suburbs and small town villages, lakes, trekking drags, mountain passes and other sorts of grand highlights which find it among remarkable tourist attractions.

  1. Rawalakot

A famous town in Azad Kashmir which is also known to be a district headquarter of Poonch. An alluring valley amid high hills, located about 80 kilometers away from Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Since it is only 80 km, it surely means you can easily reach the area and make the most of it if you are the national capital or Rawalpindi. Being a northern area, it is bound to be a savage in winter, so it is always advised that you visit in summer. Summer season favors unfolding the ravishing beauty of Rawalakot. Getting around in this area, you must visit the famous tourist attractions of Tatta Pani, Sudhngalli and Toli Pir located here.

  1. Banjosa Lake

You will definitely find your way here if you get around Rawalkot. This is ideally the area boasting a considerable amount of greenery. Green is the color you will find here mostly, followed by a little contouring by red. Above a clear lake are tall trees covering a large area beyond. You usually require heading out there in summer due to a hospitable weather, since temperature hardly exceeds 25°C. As warm as summer gets, winter is forbiddingly cooler, while snowfall sheaths it all around. Imagine having those photos in your camera – lovely! When the autumn season is on the brink, Banjosa is saturated in shades of gold and reddish brown.

But what good is the lake? You can always propel a boat with sculls. Young people and ladies are always encouraged sculling during summer under the shade of those heavenly pine trees.

  1. Jhelum Valley

This particular valley of Azad Kashmir is a host of domestic and international tourists, crowding all around in summer. A natural wonder that people seem to find is the curling river passing from East to West amid the gigantic mountains. A region called, “Leepa Valley” in Jhelum is one of the popular tourist attractions people long to visit.

In summer, ripened rice fields emerge in full swing and contemporary wooden houses of inhabitants showcase a picturesque view. Cherries like you have never tasted before, the size of people you have never seen before and Walnut, oh that cracking walnut is a treat you can only get, nowhere other than Jhelum Valley in Azad Kashmir.

  1. Ramkot Fort

This astonishing land comes on an ascending, bordered by River Jehlum, this tourist attraction in Azad Kashmir is asking for your cameras. Not really a stronghold anymore, Ramkot Fort bespeaks of a contemporary Muslim military design of buildings. The background of this fort belongs to 5th and 9th centuries which left behind its relics, discovered and removed by Muslim leaders during the 17th century. This area lays the foundation of excitement for people struck with wanderlust.

Read Also: Top 5 Muslim Countries To Visit In Your Lifetime

  1. Toli Pir

Just look at it! Just look at how far it goes. It seems to have everything in terms of greenery you could ask for in a location. A famous peak that you will find your way about if you head to Rawalkot, or if you are not aware of it, you will learn about it while your stay in Rawalkot. Located 8800′ above sea level, this peak makes you feel like you are on top of everything.

Head to Toli Pir in the final months of Spring; the climate is favorable. The rest of the months it is just chilling due to its high altitude. Also, in order to explore the area to its maximum potential, it is always advisable to visit from April to early October.

  1. Pir Chinasi

Situated in the capital of Azad Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, this area is one of the top tourist attractions in Pakistan. Pir Chinsai is an astounding spot to explore. You are on the run for your patience as well as your safety. Despite its alluring location, you always require being very cautious of moving around.

Its history would introduce you to Hazrat Shah Hussain – a Saint of Greater Kashmir, whose Shrine is basically located in this area. A state-of-the-art nature of excellence exuded in every corner of this area. The lavishing greenery is what attracts tourists from all across Pakistan. Surrounding the area are pine and oak trees which bloom during summer, while remain blanketed in snow during winters.

  1. Leepa Valley

Don’t mean to steal your words, but yes, this is a STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN!

Could you believe this is Pakistan? Certainly, this the kind of location that would force you to rub your eyes twice to acknowledge reality. The Leepa Valley definitely uplifts the value of Azad Kashmir as one of the top tourist attractions in Pakistan. Opened in May to November for voyagers in a most welcoming climate you can find in Azad Kashmir. Approaching in the area are high mountains and tall pine trees, this area is easily accessible from Muzaffarabad. There is also many facilities of commuting in local jeeps that operate from after you cross Reshian.

  1. Red Fort

It is known to be one of the forts in Pakistan you must visit. This fort is a top zone for archaeologists and travel fanatics who like to glimpse in the history of this region.

You might think of it as a ruin now, but it has withstood many disasters and is in need of improvement. Yet, this area is a marvelous work of art. It is also known as Muzaffarabad Fort, so do not be confused. This location is a popular heritage site of Azad Kashmir which has seen many foreign tourists showing up as well.

  1. Shounter Lake

Simply offering everything that speaks of wonderful mother nature. Show up in this area during May to August; the climate is your friend and the facilities provided to reach here are top-notch. You can easily board a Jeep from Kel, Neelum Valley.

If you are fond of camping, do not hesitate because many tourists also seem to find it as a perfect camping spot. Due to it being favorable for camping more than hoteling, you find other accommodation facilities here. The Shounter lake may be small but it is surely worth a sight should you board a Jeep from Kel. All in all, the magnificent geography of this area short lists it in one of the top tourist attractions in Azad Kashmir.

Now that you are overwhelmed by the fanatic beauty of Azad Kashmir, plan your next vacation here. Imagine all these sights if you get to experience it all for real. Take your sense of adventure and love of your country in exploring Azad Kashmir.