visit Islamabad
Guide to visit in islamabad and things to do
Oneiro Admin

Oneiro Admin

November 11, 2023

When you travel to Pakistan, it’s almost necessary to visit Islamabad, especially if you’re flying into the country. Some might want to skip the city and head straight to explore the northern part or other areas, but I recommend against that.

I’ve already covered what you should know before visiting Pakistan and addressed the common question: “Is it safe to visit Pakistan?” In this article, I’ll mainly concentrate on Islamabad.

Islamabad isn’t your typical capital city. It’s unique and stands out from other cities in Pakistan.

There are many fun things to do and lovely places to see in and around Islamabad. Spending at least 2 or 3 days here to check out the city and nearby areas. Here’s our guide to Islamabad and important things to know.

Read: Top Romantic Resorts in Pakistan for an Ideal Getaway for Couples

What is the best time to travel to Islamabad?

Islamabad can get hot in the summer, especially around mid-July when temperatures can reach about 40°C. It’s not the best time to visit, especially if you’re going to the center or south of the country because it can be even hotter with high humidity.

Many tourists like to visit Islamabad between September and October or between March and April when the weather is cooler and more comfortable. These months are also great for exploring the mountains in the country’s northern parts.

Winters in Islamabad can be cold, but it’s not too extreme. If you plan to visit during winter, you can start in Islamabad and then head south to places like Karachi and Balochistan for milder weather.

Where to stay in Islamabad

Islamabad is a green city with about 1.9 million people. Unlike some cities, it doesn’t have just one main center. There are shops and restaurants all over, but the Blue Area is one of the main spots.

It’s a good idea to stay close to the Blue Area. If you book a place in sectors G6-G8 or F6-F8, you might need to walk for 20 to 30 minutes or take a taxi to reach the main shopping areas and restaurants in the Blue Area.

How to get around Islamabad

Islamabad is generally safe for walking, but not all streets have sidewalks, and crossing some roads can be risky. It’s best to use a taxi or Uber to get around.

Taxis in Islamabad don’t have fixed prices or meters. When you reach your destination, the driver might ask you to pay whatever you think is fair. This can be confusing for tourists. For a ride of 10 to 20 minutes, a reasonable fare is around 150 to 200 Rs.

If you want to avoid problems and confusion, just use Uber in Islamabad. It’s popular and not expensive. Let me tell you about our experience. On our first night, we took a 10-minute taxi ride and didn’t know the usual prices. When the driver said we could pay whatever, we were honest and said we were new to the city and didn’t know what was fair. He charged us 1000 Rs, but later we learned that 150 to 200 Rs was a fair price. When we returned to Islamabad, we only used Uber to get around.

Also Read: Explore the Beauty of Swat Valley

How To Buy SIM Cards in Islamabad

Most hotels in Islamabad have free WiFi, but it’s not always reliable in the city. I suggest getting a SIM card with data. Remember, as a foreigner, you can’t buy a SIM card at the airport. Buying one in Pakistan is a bit different. You can only get a prepaid SIM card at specific places called franchises. Make sure to bring your passport. You can choose between a data-only SIM or one that lets you make calls. If you want to stay in touch with your local guide or book hotel rooms by phone while traveling around the country, go for a SIM card that allows calls.

Places To Visit in Islamabad

Here a some best places to visit in Islamabad:

Shah Faisal Mosque

The Shah Faisal Mosque is the biggest mosque in Pakistan, located at the base of the Margalla Hills. It’s important to the Muslim community in the country. The mosque is named after Saudi King Faisal, who gave $120 million to Pakistan to build it. The main hall and courtyard can hold over 100,000 worshippers. If you visit during sunset, you’ll be amazed by its stunning beauty.

The Pakistan Monument

The Pakistan Monument is on the Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad. It’s like a museum for the whole country. It shows our history and is a symbol of everyone coming together. To enjoy it without many people around, go early in the morning. The best times are during sunrise or sunset for beautiful pictures.

Centaurus Mall:

I usually don’t make visiting malls a top priority, but in Islamabad, you should check out the Centaurus Mall, the biggest one in Pakistan. It’s not super huge, but it gives you a taste of modern Pakistan. Plus, if you need to do some shopping, it’s the place to go.

The mall is also good for eating out, with international restaurants and a big food court. Normally, I’d say go for local food when you travel, but here it’s a bit different. We had a great time at La Terrazza, an Italian restaurant on the 3rd floor. We enjoyed a fantastic view of Islamabad and tried some Italian dishes with a Pakistani twist.

Hiking in Margalla Hills

The Margalla Hills are green hills in the north of Islamabad, near the Himalayan mountains. You can walk or hike on different trails. There’s a chance to see animals like wild boars, Asian paradise flycatchers, and monkeys. You can get a trail map at big bookstores in Islamabad. Some trails are short, and good for a quick walk, while others can take up to three days.

Daman-E-Koh Viewpoint

Daman-E-Koh means foothill, a park in Margalla Hills. You can easily reach it by taxi or Uber. The park offers a great view of Islamabad. The Daman-E-Koh Viewpoint provides a closer look at Islamabad’s green beauty.

Local families like this place, and it gets busy in the evening. Be careful with your belongings, especially your phone and food, as there are many wild monkeys in the park. They can be a bit aggressive and tend to grab anything they find. I once tried to take a photo, and a monkey jumped at me, trying to take my phone. Luckily, I was quick and kept it safe.

Oneiro Admin

Oneiro Admin

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