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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.)
Things to Do
1. Visit the Badshahi Mosque
Explore the impressive architecture and rich history of the Badshahi Mosque, one of Pakistan's most iconic landmarks. This magnificent mosque features stunning marble work and intricate carvings, creating a sense of awe and tranquility.
2. Hike in the Karakoram Mountains
Embark on an exhilarating hiking adventure in the breathtaking Karakoram Mountains. Admire the majestic peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and vibrant flora and fauna as you explore this mountain paradise. Don't miss the opportunity to witness the world's second-highest peak, K2.
3. Explore the ancient ruins of Taxila
Step back in time as you wander through the ancient ruins of Taxila. This archaeological site is a treasure trove of Buddhist artifacts, including stupas, monasteries, and sculptures. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of Pakistan.
4. Experience the vibrant culture of Lahore
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan. Explore the bustling bazaars, indulge in delicious street food, and witness traditional dance and music performances. Don't miss the stunning architecture of Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens.
5. Visit the Hunza Valley
Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Hunza Valley, often referred to as Heaven on Earth. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush greenery, this valley offers stunning vistas, serene lakes, and charming villages. Experience the warm hospitality of the local people.
6. Explore the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro
Step into the ancient world as you explore the ruins of Mohenjo-daro, one of the oldest cities in the world. Marvel at the well-preserved structures, intricate drainage systems, and artifacts that provide insights into the Indus Valley Civilization.
7. Marvel at the Shandur Polo Festival
Witness the thrilling sport of polo at the Shandur Polo Festival, held annually at the highest polo ground in the world. Cheer for the teams, soak in the festive atmosphere, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains in the background.
8. Cruise along the Indus River
Embark on a scenic boat cruise along the majestic Indus River. Admire the picturesque landscapes, spot diverse bird species, and witness the rural life along the riverbanks. This tranquil experience offers a unique perspective of Pakistan's natural beauty.
9. Visit the Swat Valley
Escape to the stunning Swat Valley, known as the Switzerland of Pakistan. Surrounded by snow-covered peaks, lush meadows, and glistening lakes, this valley offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers. Enjoy hiking, skiing, and exploring the enchanting Buddhist heritage.
10. Experience the colorful Kalash Festival
Immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions and ancient culture of the Kalash people at the Kalash Festival. Witness traditional dances, music performances, and rituals that have been passed down through generations. This unique cultural experience is a must-see in Pakistan.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The currency of Pakistan is the Pakistani Rupee (PKR).
Cash And Cards
- It is advisable to carry both cash and cards in Pakistan.
- Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and major stores.
- However, smaller establishments and street vendors may only accept cash.
- ATMs are available in major cities and towns in Pakistan.
- It is recommended to use ATMs located in well-lit and secure areas.
- Always keep an eye out for any suspicious activities around ATMs.
- Tipping is generally not expected in Pakistan.
- However, it is appreciated for exceptional service in upscale restaurants and hotels.
- A tip of 10-15% of the bill is considered appropriate in such cases.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Pakistan is relatively low compared to many other countries.
- Accommodation, transportation, and food are generally affordable.
- However, prices may vary depending on the city and region.
- Be cautious of scams targeting tourists, such as fake tour guides or individuals offering counterfeit currency.
- Only exchange money at authorized currency exchange offices or banks.
- Avoid sharing personal or financial information with strangers.