Safety in Lahore
Street crimes in Lahore are not common but special precautions must be taken by visitors.
- Demonstrations aren't uncommon and should be avoided at all cost. In early 2006, the Prophet Muhammad cartoon protests quickly got out of hand, and several businesses were torched along with scores of cars. If a large demonstration or protest is underway, foreigners should try to remain at their hotels until the dust settles.
- In general, visitors will find the locals very curious, very eager to help. Being friendly and smiling at people goes a long way. If you're a woman, though, it's best to be sparing with smiles lest people get too friendly; though this is mostly in areas like bazaars, not the actual city.
- If you enter a mosque, women should wear a dupatta, which is a scarf used by local females to cover their heads. Men & women should also remove their shoes while entering in a mosque.
- Avoid traveling to unlit areas at night, especially alone. Use common sense when hanging out with friends, and definitely avoid being intoxicated in public as it is an Islamic country.
- Beware of pickpockets when you are in crowded areas like Liberty market, the airport, bus stands, the railway station, Anarkali, Ichra shopping centre, or Mall road.
In an emergency you can call police help line 15 or call Rescue Services at 1122.
Lahore abounds with excellent street food, but unless you've been on the road for some time and developed an iron stomach, it's always wise to exercise some caution. Look for busier street stalls, especially those in Gowal Mandi (food street), and stick to food that's hot and has just been cooked. Salads can also cause problems - if you must, one of the fancier restaurants in Gulberg is probably a safer bet than eating a salad at a dhaba or street stall.
Bottled water is highly recommended. Some budget places offer free filtered water, but even that is suspect in Lahore.
Medical care is excellent for those who can afford it and, if you can, avoid public hospitals. The Fátima Memorial Hospital is usually a fair bet, with decent rates, good hygiene, and good care.
Doctors hospital on Canal and National Hospital in Defence Housing Authority offers excellent services but at a higher cost.
Farooq Hospital (West Wood Branch) near Thokar Niazbeg offer better Health services and is not very expensive.