Crossing the Wagah border between India and Pakistan

Updated in 2022: a guide to crossing the Wagah border between India and Pakistan (Amritsar and Lahore). Includes everything you need to know about this well-known—but little-used—border crossing.


Famous for its daily Wagah border ceremony, known for its border tensions, the Wagah border between India and Pakistan sees little actual traffic. Probably because most people are still wondering if it’s possible to cross overland between India and Pakistan!

Good news: it totally is. If you’re armed with visas (and nothing else), the Wagah border crossing is the most convenient way of traveling overland between India and Pakistan. Read on for a guide to crossing the border between India and Pakistan, last updated in 2022.

Note that the name of this border on the Indian side is called Attari. However, most people know the Attari border crossing simply as Wagah. I will use the term Wagah to describe this border, as it’s the same as the Attari border crossing.

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Note: This post focuses on foreign travelers. Though the process seemed to be the same for a group of Indian women crossing at the same time, other Indians or Pakistanis might have a different—and more thorough—experience. If you’re Indian or Pakistani, you can only use this border if your visa specifies you’re crossing by foot.

Am I allowed to cross between India and Pakistan?

Many travelers fear that they won’t be able to get visas for India or Pakistan after crossing the border or visiting the neighboring country. Never fear, that’s not the case!

I’ve crossed the Wagah border on foot multiple times, going from both Lahore to Amritsar and from Amritsar to Lahore. Despite tensions between India and Pakistan, and the sometimes intense security you’ll encounter in Pakistan, the actual border crossing is very easy and straightforward.

At times, I’ve even done visa runs at this border, crossing from Pakistan into India for literally less than 10 minutes. Though I received many a strange look, no one stopped me, and I have successfully applied for and received multiple visas since then.

In short: yes, it’s perfectly possible to cross between India and Pakistan by land at the Wagah border, and many travelers and locals do so without issue every year.

Headed to Pakistan? Don’t miss this practical guide with things to know before you go to Pakistan.

Is the Wagah border open during the COVID pandemic?

At the height of the COVID pandemic, the Wagah/Attari border closed for a time. While Pakistan allowed foreign travelers to enter all throughout the pandemic, India closed its borders for months.

Closures began to ease at the end of 2021, though flights are still restricted and border crossing numbers are low.

Is it possible to cross the Wagah border during the pandemic? Officially, the crossing is restricted still, but I’ve heard several accounts of travelers both obtaining Indian visas and crossing on foot from both Pakistan and India in late 2021 and early 2022. However, travelers are occasionally asked for NOCs—non-objection certificates—when crossing the border by the Indian authorities. Pakistani authorities have been more open to crossings.

Overland travelers reported that you can email the Indian immigration officials at [email protected] to get approval before crossing. When contacting them, ask for the application form. Once submitted, permission can take up to 10 days to approve.

If you have your India or Pakistan visa ready, despite COVID restrictions it’s possible to do the Wagah border crossing between India and Pakistan during the pandemic. Worth a try, no?


Crossing overland at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan - Public bus to Atari - Lost With Purpose travel blog

How to get to the Wagah border from Amritsar, India

Taxi from Amritsar to the Wagah border

You can hire a taxi to bring you to the Wagah border crossing station for around 800 INR. They will not be able to bring you further than that point.

Bus from Amritsar to the Wagah border

Public buses run from Amritsar to a point close to the Wagah border. A rickshaw to the Amritsar bus stand should cost 70 – 100 INR from the Golden Temple area. Vicky, Jugaadus Hostel’s dedicated rickshaw driver, charges 100 INR for a ride from the hostel. It takes around 10 minutes to reach the bus stand from either of these places.

Once at the bus stand, there are half-hourly buses from Amritsar bus stand to Atari, the nearest town to the Wagah border. These buses leave from dock 23, and a hawker will direct you to the right bus. A ticket is 35 INR per person, and the journey takes roughly one hour.

The bus also stops at Amritsar Railway Station. It stops just outside the exit, near the stairs for the footbridge. The hawker will make it clear he’s going to Wagah Border; if you’re coming to Amritsar by train, keep your ears open.

I suggest leaving Amritsar by 14:00 at the latest. Officials stop letting people cross around 15:30, sometimes earlier in winter as the border closing ceremony times are dictated by sunset.

Crossing overland at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan - The bus stand to Attari and the Wagah border - Lost With Purpose travel blog

The bus will drop you off roughly 3 kilometers from the Wagah border. There will be plenty of cycle rickshaws around to pedal you to the actual Wagah Border crossing. They charge 20-30 INR per person.

If you’re heading from Lahore to Amritsar you can go from the Wagah border to Amritsar using the same bus. However, you might have to pay a bit more for the cycle rickshaw to bring you to the bus stop. Expect 40-50 INR instead.

Where to stay in Amritsar before crossing the Wagah border

  • Ultra budget – Golden Temple – Free dorms at the Golden Temple for foreigners. Basic, but perfect for budget travelers.
  • Budget – Jugaadus Hostel – A super laid back hostel with very friendly and helpful staff. One of the first hostels in India. Good value.
  • Mid-rangeGolden Tulip Amritsar – An orderly hotel with pool close to Amritsar railway station. Price includes breakfast.
  • LuxuryRanjitvilas – A beautiful building a bit outside of Amritsar, surrounded by quiet fields. A great way to experience Punjabi hospitality at its finest.


Crossing overland at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan - Cycle rickshaw to the border - Lost With Purpose travel blog

A cycle rickshaw from Attari to the Wagah border

How to get to the Wagah border from Lahore, Pakistan

Getting to the Wagah border to cross from Lahore to Amritsar is a bit less straightforward. There are buses, but I don’t know from where they go or how often they go. If anyone reading this has some information, please let me know.

The easiest way to get from Lahore to the Wagah border is by rickshaw. Uber and Careem used to drop people at the border, but they are now prohibited from doing so. However, their rickshaws seem to be able to avoid this issue—give it a go!

A rickshaw to the Wagah border from Lahore should cost around 500-700 PKR.

Best places to stay in Lahore before going to the Wagah border

  • Budget – Lahore Backpackers – The most popular backpacker hangout of Lahore (beware: Lahore Backpackers is not a tour operator, don’t get an LOI or a tour from Lahore Backpackers!).
  • Mid-range – Tourist Inn Hotel – Friendly staff and excellent food options in this mid-range hotel.
  • Luxury – Luxus Grand Hotel – One of the best value luxury hotels in Lahore, the hotel has a gym, pool, and friendly staff.

Is there a train between India and Pakistan?

The train between the two countries is but the stuff of legends. Many travelers have sought out a way to cross by train, but trains are not running at this time. The only time when trains run between the two countries is during major religious pilgrimages. Don’t expect to get on those—security will be tight, and they will not allow non-pilgrims to ride.

Crossing overland at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan

The below section is written as if coming from Amritsar to Lahore. If you’re crossing the border from Pakistan to India, the process is more or less the same, just in reverse.

Crossing the Wagah border on the Indian side (Attari)

Once you enter the border crossing compound, your passport will be checked and your details noted down. After this, you’ll be directed to the visitor center. Here you will be patted down (lazily) before heading to the immigration booth. At the immigration booth, your passport will be checked and stamped, and you’ll have to fill in an immigration card with basic questions.

After this your bags will be scanned, immigration cards checked, and you’ll be put on a two-minute (and delightfully air-conditioned) bus to the border. The whole process took roughly 20 minutes, but it can take longer if there are more people. There were only four others when we crossed. Note that you’re technically not allowed to take Indian rupees out of India, but they hardly ever ask about this.

When you get out of the bus, hand your immigration card to an officer, and then you can proceed to the actual border crossing. Here your passport will be checked two more times, once on the Indian side and once on the Pakistani side.

Once you leave the immigration office, there’s a little sitting area with shade and some porters. Here you can change some money, and wait for a toy train (yes, really) to bring you to the parking lot. From the parking lot, you can take a taxi or rickshaw to Lahore. In 2019, I was quoted 800 PKR (about $6) for a rickshaw ride, which means you can probably haggle the price down by a couple hundred.

It’s also possible to hitchhike back to Lahore or take a bus. If you want to do this, you’ll have to walk to the “town” about a kilometer beyond the border compound. However, it’s easiest to just take a rickshaw or taxi. If you stay to watch the Wagah border ceremony (more on that below) you can definitely hitch a ride back to Lahore from the Wagah border.

Crossing the Wagah border on the Pakistan side (Wagah)

Note: If crossing from Lahore to Amritsar,  you’ll have to go through several security checkpoints on the Pakistan side before reaching the border area.

After walking through the border gate to the Pakistan side, you’ll be directed to the immigration office where you have to fill in an arrival card. They will want to know the exact address and phone number of the place or person you’ll be staying with, but as long as you write down something that makes sense, they won’t actually check or bother you much about it.

They’ll also ask you where else in Pakistan you’ll be visiting. Only give generic answers such as Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi, and say you’ll either fly out or cross back over the Wagah border. Avoid mention of crossing overland into Iran or China if this is your plan.

The whole process took about 10 minutes in total. My bags weren’t searched, and I could proceed to walk into Pakistan.

Report of crossing overland from Amritsar to Lahore at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan - The gate to the Wagah border area - Lost With Purpose travel blog

Entrance to the Wagah border area from the Pakistan side

Watching the Wagah border ceremony

Instead of hopping on a taxi or rickshaw, I recommend you stay for a bit and watch the utterly bizarre border ceremony. The ceremony starts around 18:00 (earlier in winter), but people start pouring in around 16:00.

Crossing from Amritsar to Lahore at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan

The ceremony is free to watch, but you can’t take your luggage. You can ask the kiosk at the parking lot if they will look after your bags, or ask at the immigration office if you can store them there. Alternatively, a (literally) cooler option is to cross the border earlier in the day, drop your bags in Lahore somewhere, and return to the border in the evening.

The added benefit of watching the ceremony is that it will be easy to hitch a ride or take a bus to Lahore afterward, saving you a chunk of money.

Whether or not you choose to stay, safe travels and happy crossing at the Wagah border!

Planning your trip to Pakistan? Check out this massive guide with everything to do in Lahore!

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Alex Reynolds

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

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120 thoughts on “Crossing the Wagah border between India and Pakistan

    Iqra Nadeem says:

    Mujy Amritsar jana h just for few days kaisy ja sakty border crossing sy

    arjun ruzaik says:

    we wish to cross into india from pakistan using the wagah border post in our UK registered caravan/motorhome. We do have the necessary motor vehicle carnet for Pakistan & India, and we have our visa for both countries. Is this border crossing possible with our UK car ?

    Mariel & Mariano says:

    Hi Alex! Thanks for the updated info! We want to cross this border soon. We’ll be traveling from Iran, you have any updated info about the Iranian-Pakistani border?

    Thanks a lot!

    Wahab says:

    Kya jb hum india jarahe hain to apne saath apna camera lay jasaktay hain photography and video shoot kay lye basically mai vlogs bnata hun or ek photographer hun to kindly mujhe sirf itna bta den

    Samina Mumtaz says:

    Thanks for the detailed description, I want to know that whether one can pass the Waghah border from Amritsar to Lahore on Sunday or not?

    Rick and Nys says:

    We just crossed from Pakistan to India today with the help of your blog which has been a great resource and just wanted to let you know that we can confirm, Uber is allowed from Lahore to the boarder as at the time of posting. Note: just last week, uber shut down in all cities in Pakistan, except Lahore!
    Our Uber driver Adeel was awesome and took us as far as possible, which is right to the shops where the porters lie in wait for you! In fact we met other foreigners who also uber’d there.
    The fare was 927pkr (Uber mini from MM Alam Rd) and you have to go through 3 check points and they will even search the car, your driver and of course you and your bags. Because of the hassle, please tip your uber driver generously! Our driver was reluctant to accept a tip, and was more insistent on us sharing to him the gopro videos we had taken with him along the way – Such great people are Pakistanis.

    Bill Lawrence says:

    Great article, plus I have an update that makes it even easier for folks to get to the border from Amritsar. There is now a HOP ON HOP OFF bus that will take you directly to the border for the ceremony and returns to the exact same spot in Amritsar. It leaves at 230pm, and returns shortly after 700pm ( all dependent on sunset times) and costs 315 rupee roundtrip. The bus leaves from the traffic circle with the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh which is located about 500m northeast of the actual Golden Temple They have a small stand set up on the northwest corner of the circle. I found it very convient to use, as they offered service right to the border and back for an affordable price.

    Souhaib says:

    Can any one tells me that can i cross the border with indian e visa ??

    Yong says:

    Not possible with E-Visa as it’s not a entry point (some forum say it could be use for “re entry” but not proven). I have asked the India Embassy, they said only normal visa is allowed as the borders don’t have to system to scan evisa.

    Henry says:

    To Rick and Nys,

    Did you guys just have the Indian eVisa?


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