Best Areas to Live in Lahore, Pakistan

After living in Lahore for over three years, I’ve seen many of the different areas. If I had to look for a new place to live, these are the areas I would focus on. I prefer quiet residential areas that are clean and generally not affected by political turmoil.

Defence Housing Authority (DHA)

Most foreigners choose to live in DHA, and for good reason. This newer suburb of Lahore has wider streets, cleaner air, and is a lot quieter and less chaotic than central areas. There are several different phases, with Phase I being the oldest and Phase VI and VII currently being developed. The newer the phase, the newer the house. Read more about living in Defence Housing Authority here. If you’re thinking about living in Defence, keep in mind that this area boasts some of the highest rental prices in Lahore.

Cantonment (Cantt.)

In Pakistani cities, the Cantonment is the army area. If you are a foreigner, you may notice on your Pakistani visa that you are not allowed access to Cantonment areas. This includes the actual army bases, but you can visit or live in the residential areas. Houses in Cantonment will be older than houses in Defence, but aside from commercial areas Cantonment is a quiet and peaceful area. It may be difficult to find houses to rent or buy in this area as most houses are occupied by locals affiliated with the army.

Model Town

Model Town is know for its lovely parks and wide avenues. There are great shopping areas here along Link Road and in C Block market, and rent prices are much lower than Defence. Houses are older, but the cost of living is lower here and Model Town is closer to central Lahore.

Canal Housing Societies

There have been many different housing societies popping up along the Canal going towards Thoker Niaz Baig (motorway). Eden Villas, Canal View and others have set up housing communities that many times include shopping areas, fitness centers and private security. Some of these societies are closer to central Lahore than others, but you must take into account the fact that traffic on canal road can be busy.

Airport Road

Similarly, housing societies have also sprung up along the road to the airport. Airport Road itself (coming from Ghazi Road through Bhatta Chowk) is a frenetic area, but a new overpass is being built to go straight from the airport into the newer areas of Defence. Since these housing areas are a bit farther from the main city, you can rent a larger house or portion for a lot less than you can in Defence.

Punjab Housing Society

For the more budget conscious, Punjab Housing Society is a good option. It is located on Ghazi Road, directly next to Defence. Houses are a bit closer together than in Defence, and roads are narrower. There isn’t much yard or garden space in houses, but you may pay half as much in rent. Other services are cheaper in Punjab Society than in neighboring Defence as well, and you’d still be close enough to Defence to enjoy its supermarkets and coffee shops.

Lahore is developing rapidly. Please leave comments on any other up and coming housing areas in Lahore. I’ve left out Bahria Town simply because it’s so far from central Lahore, but if you’re willing to commute at least one hour daily, Bahria Town is also a good option.

40 Comments on “Best Areas to Live in Lahore, Pakistan

      • I am living in cantt. sarwar colony is best and secure place especially for foreigners. Most foreigner prefer to live there its near vicinity of the fortress.

      • Haha that’s right. I was quite impressed to when I heard ” mineral water”

  1. Hey.. i am from lahore but living in New zealand most of my life.. and i am also thinkin of moving back to pakistan for a short stint.. abd to be honest… ur articles are really helpful… I have been looking for something like this for a long time… I know most of lahore.. but have never worked there.. so hopefully will find nice information and tips & tricks..

    Thank you

  2. I recently found your blog and thoroughly enjoying reading it. As a foreigner your analysis is unbiased about local conditions and you pick out small details about things which we Pakistani take for granted !
    Thanx and keep up the good work !

  3. Just randomly came across your website! I’m from Karachi, really interesting to see a foreigner’s take on Lahore. Seems much more peaceful and secure than Karachi. I’ve only been once.

  4. Hey,

    I am looking forward to moving to Lahore from USA. I am just concerned about turmoil.
    I think you have given good piece of information which would be helpful.

    Thanks for your work.

  5. Great insight Heather! especially for me as I am planning to move back by May2012. I am moving from 10/10 school system in North Dallas. Any school suggestions? Middle school.

    • Hi Faisal! It really depends on where you’ll be living (shorter commute is key) and what type of school system you’re looking for, particularly once they move onto 9th grade. If you want to do the British system Beacon House has a good reputation although I’ve heard from teachers that class sizes are big. Lahore American School would be a top choice although it’s pricey. Scarsdale International offers American and British systems for high school and is in Phase IV Defence. Ask around to people in your neighborhood to see what makes the most sense for your kids!

      • I am the new Principal at Beaconhouse-Newlands (Phase 6). Was a Principal in UK prior to that. You would be most welcome to visit our school. I’ll show you around.


        • Thanks Ruby! Great to hear about the developments in Phase 6. I am no longer in Lahore, but I am sure the readers will appreciate the info.

  6. Pingback: Renting or Buying Properties in Lahore, Pakistan

  7. Hello Heather,

    Thank you so much for your article about Lahore, so do you have any plans of visiting Karachi and Islamabad?

    Do you know that Islamabad has been ranked amongst the top 10 beautiful cities in the world.

    • Hello Fahad. Exciting news! No, I have no plans to visit Pakistan in the near future. My family and I are living in Vietnam.

  8. hi dear hop u will b fine. please guide me i did MSc Maths from pakistan 3.88/4 CGPA now how can i become an internationally certified teacher.

  9. hi heather
    i am planning to move back to pakistan lahore with my 4 teens before move there with my kids i decided to pay visit to lahore after 14 years where i was born and raised . It was a great trip of my life city is so big compare to 14 years ago . I am going back tomorrow on PIA (jan 27 2015) just after 3 weeks i came back.
    dont forget Bahria town lahore a world class housing society . I love mississauga , canada but i love lahore too .
    your informations are very helpful but old please update your information and pay visit to pakistan again .
    love to see you in pakistan .

  10. Hi everyone
    Im looking to move to lahore with my three daughters from london by the end of this year..Any suggestions in where to invest in a property or secure apartment which will have all the top facilities which one has in England. Please kindly email me at
    It would be nice to meet any British prople who have moved to lahore.
    Regards to all

  11. Heather, you’re the embodiment of the Lonely Planet :)

  12. Hi Heather

    My wife & I are considering move to lahore from England with our 4 kids oldest one been 15 years old. We are considering bahaira Town but need info and advice regarding the education standards.

    I would really appreciate your advice or any information you can provide.

    Many thanks

    Faisal Butt

    • Hi Faisal! I was in Lahore several years ago when Bahria town was quite new. The school had a nice purpose built facility and my friend who had her children there was happy with it, however that was back in 2008. Schools can change quite a bit in that amount of time. Would be good if you could talk to the current administration and take a tour. Bahria town is a bit oustide the city.


    • Bahria Town Lahore is a nice and clean and top choice for expats and the closest good school you will get is International Froebel’s School in Lake City.

  13. Hi
    Im looking at moving from South Africa to Bahria Town phase 8 in Rawalpindi Islamabad to work on the golf course. Is this a safe area and would an open minded South African family of four fit in?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Gaeren! I only visited back in 2007, so I can’t speak to the community at this point. However, I lived in Defence Phase 4 and felt comfortable there as a foreigner so long as I wore local clothing.

  14. Hi Gaeren
    Bahria town is a posh area and dont worry about security measures throughout pakistan, people are loving, can visit anywhere, you can enjoy best taste of pakistani foods at Habibi rest, especailly lamb roast, karrahi etc

  15. Hi
    How is the internet facilities in Pakistan, can you FaceTime, Skype everywhere in Pakistan.
    Do you know about the USA compounds also, are the facilities good too.
    my b- friend is going there for work so I want to know if the internet is good, so we can FaceTime or Skype.

  16. Good Day everybody

    I’m 35 years old after 21 years living in Mississauga, Canada I’m thinking to move back to Lahore, Pakistan the City where i was born and grow up. I left when i was 14 year old. I have 3 kids 8, 6, 4 i like to know what is the best school in Lahore. Somebody have told me about LGS Main Gulberg campus. aslo it will be close to Wapda Town where i will be living. Also like to know if someone have moved recently back to Lahore. what are the things you should be worry about before and after move?

    Thanks you for your feedback…

  17. Hi Gaeren,

    Rawalpindi is great place to live. U will enjoy. Just one suggestion be moderate as pk people prefer to have moderate values.

  18. Zaron,

    Would u mind sharing the place u moved in pk. I am in similar situation. Thnx

  19. Hi heather,
    I have a very good job offer to work and move to lahore.i dont know if i will accept main concern is my safety and security.can you give me some advise or idea about living in lahore?thanks

  20. am Emmanuel from ghana ..west Africa…just had a job in Lahore but due to some uncomfortable news am confused but my employer says all is cool and safe but am still not convinced….any idea on what to do….

    • Hi Junaid! Sorry this archived blog post doesn’t have its own photos. The photo is one of my whole-blog images. What I’m seeing now is Mai Chau village in northern Vietnam.

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