Population: 207 million
You likely are not booking a vacation to Pakistan right now — and the crowds don't have anything to do with that. Unfortunately, the State Department issued a travel advisory in August urging U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to the destination due to terrorism.
Despite the current state of affairs, the country of Pakistan is a beautiful and fascinating one, packed with a vibrant history, distinctive architecture, festivals, culture and cuisine. Travelers would be wise to keep an eye on advisories, preparing to visit when conditions improve.
How to Beat Pakistan’s Crowds
Relatively unexplored by travelers, and just the 55th most densely populated country in the world, Pakistan is mostly free from the crowds that plague some of the other spots on this list. (One exception: the city of Karachi, with 63,000 people per square mile.) As such, many of its attractions are easy to explore without dealing with throngs of people.
The Shalimar Gardens, completed in 1641, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Pakistan. Once the possession of a noble family, the gardens today sit on three descending terraces, each with large pools placed in the middle. Inside the gardens are pavilions, audience halls and marble basins.
Wazir Khan Mosque inside Old Lahore is a visually striking mosque with four minarets and five domes, covered from head to toe in beautiful mosaics. Also in Old Lahore is the Lahore Fort, whose date of construction is still unknown. Inside the fort are a range of different buildings, each rooted in a distinct phase of Pakistani history.
Badshahi Mosque is one of the most gorgeous holy sites for Muslims. Built in the 17th century, it was the world's largest for more than three centuries, until the Faisal Mosque (also in Pakistan) was built in the late 20th century. The courtyard stretches an area of nearly 280,000 square feet and can host up to 95,000 worshippers.