Faisal Mosque Islamabad, Pakistan
Faisal Mosque Islamabad, Pakistan

Islamabad

The Faisal Mosque is a mosque located in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is the sixth-largest mosque in the world and the largest within South Asia, located on the foothills of Margalla Hills in Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad
Photo by Syed Bilal Javaid

PAKISTAN

Asia

Pakistan Travel Information

Temp icon
Overview icon

Key facts

Capital:

Islamabad

Location:

Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north

Currency:

Pakistani rupees (PKR)

Area:

796,095 sq km

Population:

238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%

Religion:

Muslim (official) 96.5% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.5% (2020 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+5

Tel Code:

+92

Weather

Climate

Pakistan has a diverse climate, with the western mountains having a colder, alpine climate and the southern plains having a hot, arid climate. The northern areas have a temperate climate with cool summers and cold winters. The monsoon season occurs from June to September, with heavy rainfall in the southern regions.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Pakistan depends on the region and the type of activity you are planning. For trekking in the northern mountains, the best time to visit is from May to September. For visiting the southern plains, the best time to visit is from October to March, when the weather is cooler and drier. For visiting the ancient cities and historical sites, the best time to visit is from September to March, when the weather is milder and more pleasant.

Transportation

Air Travel

Pakistan has several international airports, with the most major one being the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, and Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad. These airports offer regular flights to major cities in Pakistan and around the world.

Train Travel

Pakistan has a well-developed railway system that connects major cities and towns. The Pakistan Railways offers several train services, including express trains, luxury trains, and freight trains. Train travel is a comfortable and affordable option for travelers, and is a great way to see the country's beautiful landscapes.

Bus and Coach Travel

Bus and coach travel are also popular options for getting around Pakistan. There are several private bus companies that operate long-distance services between major cities, as well as local bus services that connect smaller towns and villages.

Car Rental and Taxi Services

Car rental and taxi services are also available in Pakistan for those who want more flexibility and independence. Taxis can be found at airports, train stations, and major hotels, and car rental companies are also present in most major cities.

Rickshaws and Motorbike-taxis

Rickshaws and motorbike-taxis are also a common sight in Pakistan, particularly in cities and towns. They are a cheap and convenient option for short journeys and are a good way to experience the local culture and way of life.

Accommodation

Luxury Hotels

Pakistan offers a wide range of luxury hotels, including five-star hotels in major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. These hotels offer top-notch amenities, comfortable rooms and high-end restaurants, and are ideal for business travelers and tourists looking for a comfortable and upscale experience.

Mid-Range Hotels

Pakistan also offers a variety of mid-range hotels that are perfect for budget-conscious travelers. Many of these hotels are located in major cities and tourist areas, and offer comfortable rooms, basic amenities, and on-site restaurants.

Guesthouses and Homestays

For a more authentic and local experience, travelers can also choose to stay in guesthouses and homestays. These accommodations are often run by local families and provide a unique insight into Pakistani culture and hospitality. Guesthouses and homestays can be found in most cities and towns, and are an excellent option for budget travelers and those looking for a more immersive experience.

Camping and Trekking

For adventure seekers and trekkers, camping and trekking are also popular options for accommodation in Pakistan. There are several trekking and tour companies that offer camping equipment, guides and support staff for those who want to explore the country's rugged mountains and wilderness areas.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Pakistan Closed
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Pakistan is a country full of contrasts, with rugged mountains, ancient historical sites, and vibrant cities. From trekking in the Himalayas to exploring the ancient ruins of Moenjodaro and Taxila, there is something for everyone to discover in Pakistan. The country is also known for its rich cultural heritage, including the Mughal-era architecture, traditional crafts, and delicious cuisine. Whether you're an adventure seeker or a culture enthusiast, these top 10 things to do in Pakistan will give you an unforgettable experience.

      1. Visit the Karakoram Highway

      The Karakoram Highway is a spectacular engineering feat and one of the highest paved roads in the world. The road connects Pakistan to China, and the journey offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountain ranges.

      2. Explore the ancient city of Taxila

      Taxila is an ancient city dating back to the 5th century BC and is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city offers a glimpse into Pakistan's rich history, with a number of well-preserved ruins, including the Dharmarajika Stupa and the Jaulian Monastery.

      3. Take a trek in the Himalayas

      Pakistan is home to some of the world's highest peaks, including K2, the second highest mountain in the world. Trekkers can explore the beautiful mountain ranges, glaciers and alpine meadows while experiencing the local culture and hospitality.

      4. Go on a Safari in Chitral

      Chitral is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard. Visitors can go on safari in the area, and have a chance to spot these and other rare animals in their natural habitat.

      5. Visit Lahore's Mughal-era architecture

      Lahore is Pakistan's cultural capital and is home to some of the country's most beautiful Mughal-era architecture. Visitors can explore the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque and the Wazir Khan Mosque.

      6. Visit the ancient city of Moenjodaro

      Moenjodaro is one of the oldest and best-preserved cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 2600 BC. The ruins of the city offer a glimpse into the advanced civilization that existed in the region thousands of years ago.

      7. Visit the Hunza Valley

      Hunza Valley is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning scenery, including the Rakaposhi mountain, and the Hunza River. Visitors can also see the famous terraced fields and apricot orchards.

      8. Visit the Khewra Salt Mines

      The Khewra Salt Mines are the second largest salt mines in the world and are a unique natural wonder. Visitors can explore the mines and see the various rock formations, including the famous Salt Cathedral.

      9. Visit the Shandur Pass

      The Shandur Pass is the highest polo ground in the world and is the site of an annual polo tournament held in July. The tournament is an important cultural event, and visitors can also enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.

      10. Visit the Shalimar Gardens

      Shalimar Gardens is a Mughal-era garden complex located in Lahore. The gardens were built in the 17th century and feature a number of fountains, water channels and a large central pool. Visitors can also see the famous Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) within the garden complex. This is a perfect place to enjoy the greenery and serenity of nature, and learn about the rich Mughal heritage of Pakistan.

      Join logo

      Join our newsletter to stay up to date. No spam, ever!