For now, there are no direct flights to Peshawar from any airport in the United Kingdom. Most people travelling to Peshawar choose to do so from London Heathrow where there are more options and routes to choose from to fly to the city. Qatar Airways offer the cheapest flights to Peshawar.
Qatar Airways competes with Emirates to provide the most affordable and quickest flights between London Heathrow Airport and Peshawar. There is a daily connecting flight offered by Qatar Airways that tie London Heathrow Airport with Peshawar. Similarly, there are seven flights each leaving from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports every week.
January is the cheapest time to be in Peshawar. In the summers there is a train of tourist buses moving to the city and then detouring to the north to see the scenic beauty of the mountains of Pakistan. During January when there is a slight chill is in the air, these lines of travellers dissipate, and so the airfares and accommodations cost come down a bit. Banking on coming to Peshawar in January alone cannot guarantee a cheaper trip. However, letting our agents know your plans three to four months before your January trip to Peshawar can give you leverage and squeeze your expenses.
Bacha Khan International Airport (PEW) serves the city of Peshawar. The town surrounds the airport and thus makes it quite accessible by road. From the old city centre, the airport is only six kilometres away, and a taxi can cover this distance in about 20 minutes. One and a half million passengers choose Peshawar Airport to start and finish their journeys each year.
Weather-wise the best time to come to Peshawar city is from October to December and then from February to April. The month of January between these two periods is a bit chilly, not ideal for the perfect explorative trip to Peshawar. During the October –December and the February-April time frame the temperatures remain in double digits, and during the day the mercury reads around 25°C. However, this does not mean that coming to Peshawar in the summer, in the month of June, would be unpleasant. Though Peshawar summers are intense and warm, most foreign residents visit the city in June and July, making it the second busiest time to visit Peshawar. In the busy June –August season, the thermometer reading stays in the 30°C to 35°C range.
Peshawar is one of the oldest cities in the world. The Buddhist Gandhara Empire first established the town; it exchanged hands with the Greeks, Kushans and then later the Ghaznavids Empire that made their mark on Peshawar. The Mughals in particular and later the Sikhs and the British took control of the city, dotting Peshawar with many historical landmarks.
- Dominating the Peshawar skyline, as it has for the last two hundred years; the Bala Hissar Fort stands tall upon a hilltop overlooking the city. These days the fort serves as the Headquarters for the Frontier Corps and entertains tourists on the weekends, but before that, the fort was the residence for kings. The Durrani Sultans made it their winter resort. The fort itself was strategically placed, at a distance away from the old city at an elevated location. The fort fell to the Sikhs and got renovated on Ranjit Singh's orders at the end of the nineteenth century.
- The Peshawar Museum is the place to be to understand the ancient Gandhara culture. The museum is full of ancient art sculptures, antique books, coins and weaponry that sum up to 14,000 items in its collection. Of particular attraction and importance are the terracotta figurines and the Kalash effigies. Many Mughal paintings are also present at the museum. Peshawar Museum also contains relic caskets that once held the symbols of Buddhism and the remains of Buddha himself.
- Mahabat Khan Mosque was a Mughal construction that was completed in 1630. The mosque still is functional and in immaculate condition. Mahabat Khan Mosque has historical importance and is a symbol of resistance against foreign aggression. Upon entering the mosque, one sees the pool at the centre, from where the worshippers perform ablution. The two wide minarets rise from the sides of the main mosque building with intricate frescos and Quranic motifs.
Peshawar has a majority Muslim population with a few Sikh communities still living in the city after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Apart from celebrating the Eid-ul-Fitr after the Ramadan fasting month and the Eid-ul-Adha festival when there is no home without smouldering BBQ stands, there is the Baisakhi festival of Sikh community where they celebrate the arrival of spring and the harvest season. Eid-Milad-un-Nabi is also celebrated with extreme religious devotion, and right along that time you can see children hanging coloured lights off of their balconies.
Peshawar is an old city. There are streets and roads in the city centre, especially leading to the Qissa Khani Bazaar are very narrow and require some expert driving skills. It is better to hire a driver along with renting a car when you are in Peshawar for a lengthy stay. You will find that the travelling costs are much less in Peshawar as compared to the rest of the country. For brief visits, taxis are also available but getting a ride by a rickshaw is not only a new experience but also a speedy one.
Right now there are few five-star hotels available in Peshawar. However, there are many four-star and three-star hotels in the city that can provide excellent services at cheaper rates.
- Pearl-Continental Hotel Peshawar
- Shelton Green
- Hotel Grand Peshawar
- Shelton's Rezidor Peshawar
- Shelton House Peshawar