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Pakistan Travel Guide: Everything To Know Before You Go


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Starr Earls



Welcome to Pakistan – a country with a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality. Nestled in South Asia, Pakistan is a diverse and vibrant nation that offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for every traveler.


From the mighty mountains of the Karakoram range to the ancient ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan is a treasure trove of historical sites and natural wonders. Whether you are a history buff, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to immerse yourself in a new culture, Pakistan has something to offer.


One of the highlights of visiting Pakistan is the chance to explore its stunning landscapes. The northern region is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, with its soaring peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and lush valleys. The Karakoram Highway, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, offers a breathtaking journey through some of the highest mountain ranges in the world.


In addition to its natural beauty, Pakistan is home to a rich and vibrant culture. The country boasts a diverse population, with each region having its own distinct traditions, cuisine, and languages. From the colorful festivals of Lahore to the mystical shrines of Sufi saints, Pakistan’s cultural heritage is a delight to explore.


While Pakistan offers a multitude of experiences, it is important to be aware of certain considerations before you go. This travel guide will provide valuable information on visa requirements, safety and security, the best time to visit, currency and money matters, transportation options, accommodation choices, popular destinations, cultural etiquette, attractions and activities, food and dining, health and medical facilities, communication and internet access, shopping opportunities, and packing tips.


So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey. Whether you are looking to embark on a thrilling adventure, delve into the country’s rich history, or simply soak in the natural beauty and warmth of the people, Pakistan welcomes you with open arms.


Visa Requirements

Before planning your trip to Pakistan, it is essential to understand the visa requirements. Most visitors to Pakistan will require a visa to enter the country, except for citizens of a few exempted countries. It is important to check the official website of the Pakistan Embassy or Consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements and application procedures.


The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose of your visit. Common types of visas include tourist visas, business visas, and student visas. It is important to apply for the appropriate visa to avoid any complications during your stay in Pakistan.


Visas for Pakistan can be obtained from the nearest Pakistani embassy or consulate in your home country. The visa application process usually involves submitting a completed application form, a valid passport with at least six months of validity, passport-sized photographs, proof of accommodation and travel plans, and a visa fee.


It is recommended to apply for your visa well in advance of your planned travel dates, as processing times may vary. It is also advisable to have a clear understanding of the duration of your visa and any restrictions or regulations associated with it.


It is important to note that visitors to Pakistan may be required to register with the local police or immigration authorities upon arrival. This registration process is typically done through the hotel where you are staying or the local authorities in the area you are visiting. Failure to comply with registration requirements may result in fines or other legal issues.


It is always a good idea to carry a copy of your passport and visa with you at all times during your stay in Pakistan, as you may be required to present them to authorities upon request.


Lastly, it is also important to ensure that your passport has sufficient blank pages for visa stamps and that it is valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date from Pakistan.


By understanding and adhering to the visa requirements, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free entry into Pakistan, allowing you to fully enjoy your travel experience in this captivating country.


Safety and Security

Safety is a top priority for any traveler, and it is important to be aware of the safety and security situation in Pakistan before you embark on your journey. While Pakistan offers incredible experiences, it is essential to exercise caution and follow certain guidelines to ensure a safe trip.


Pakistan has made significant strides in improving its security situation in recent years. However, it is advisable to stay updated on the current travel advisories issued by your country’s foreign office or consulate before traveling to Pakistan. These advisories provide valuable information regarding any potential risks or safety concerns.


When it comes to personal safety, it is recommended to take common-sense precautions. Avoid displaying signs of wealth, keep your valuables secure, and be cautious of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. It is important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.


When it comes to transportation, it is advisable to use reputable and licensed taxi services, especially when traveling alone or at night. If possible, try to avoid traveling during peak hours or in isolated areas.


While the majority of Pakistan is considered safe for travelers, it is essential to exercise caution when visiting certain regions. Some areas near the border with Afghanistan and parts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been affected by unrest. It is recommended to avoid non-essential travel to these regions and check the latest travel advisories for specific guidance.


Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country, and it is important to have respect for the local customs, traditions, and religious sensitivities. Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites, and avoid engaging in any behavior that may be perceived as disrespectful.


It is also advisable to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellation, and personal belongings. In case of any emergencies, the contact details of your embassy or consulate should be readily available.


Overall, by staying informed, exercising common-sense precautions, and respecting the local customs, you can enjoy a safe and secure journey in Pakistan. The country’s rich culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality await you, providing an unforgettable travel experience.


Best Time to Visit

Pakistan experiences a diverse range of climates due to its varied topography, so the best time to visit depends on the region you plan to explore. Generally, the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons are considered the most pleasant and ideal for tourism in Pakistan.


In the northern regions, such as Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the summer months (June to August) offer mild temperatures and clear skies, making it the peak tourist season. The stunning valleys, high-altitude lakes, and majestic mountain peaks are easily accessible during this time, with pleasant weather for outdoor activities like trekking, hiking, and mountaineering.


However, it is important to keep in mind that the summer months can be crowded with tourists, so if you prefer a quieter and more serene experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn. The temperatures during these seasons are still comfortable, and the landscapes come alive with blooming flowers or vibrant autumn foliage.


In contrast, the winter season (December to February) is best suited for those who enjoy colder temperatures and want to witness the captivating beauty of snow-covered landscapes. The northern areas transform into a winter wonderland, offering opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.


If you plan to explore the southern parts of Pakistan, such as Sindh and Punjab, it is important to note that these areas have a hot and arid climate. The winter months (November to February) are more pleasant, with milder temperatures, while the summer months (April to June) can be extremely hot, with temperatures soaring above 40°C (104°F).


When planning your visit, it is also advisable to take into consideration any local festivals or events that you may want to experience. Festivals like Basant, celebrated in the spring to welcome the arrival of the new season, or the Shandur Polo Festival in July, can add a unique cultural dimension to your trip.


No matter what time of year you choose, it is crucial to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the specific weather conditions of the region you plan to visit. Layered clothing is recommended for varying temperatures in the mountains, while lightweight and breathable fabrics are more suitable for the hot and dry climates in the southern regions.


By considering the climatic variations and planning accordingly, you can make the most of your trip to Pakistan and enjoy the incredible landscapes and cultural experiences that the country has to offer.


Currency and Money

The official currency of Pakistan is the Pakistani Rupee (PKR). It is advisable to carry some cash in PKR for small transactions and in case of emergencies. While major credit and debit cards are accepted in larger establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls in urban areas, it is always a good idea to have some cash on hand as well.


Exchanging your currency to PKR can be done at authorized currency exchange offices, banks, or hotels. It is recommended to choose reputable and authorized sources for currency exchange to ensure fair rates and avoid counterfeit currency. It is advisable to carry sufficient cash in smaller denominations, as smaller establishments in rural areas may not accept larger bills.


ATMs are widely available in major cities and towns, allowing you to withdraw cash using your debit or credit card. However, it is important to inform your bank in advance about your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your card abroad. It is also recommended to have a backup card or alternative means of accessing money in case of any ATM issues.


It is worth noting that some remote areas may have limited access to ATMs, so it is advisable to carry enough cash when venturing into these regions. Traveler’s cheques are not widely accepted in Pakistan, so it is best to rely on cash or card payments.


When it comes to tipping, it is not mandatory but is appreciated for good service. It is customary to tip around 10% of the bill at restaurants and cafes. Tipping taxi drivers and hotel staff is also common practice. However, it is always a personal choice and should be based on the quality of service received.


It is essential to ensure the security of your money and valuables while traveling. It is recommended to use hotel safes or lockboxes to store your cash, passports, and other important documents. It is advisable to keep copies of your important documents in a separate place as a backup.


Lastly, it is important to familiarize yourself with the current exchange rates and keep track of your expenses to avoid any surprises. Online currency converters and mobile applications can be useful tools to stay updated on the exchange rates.


By being aware of the currency and money matters in Pakistan, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free financial experience during your visit and focus on enjoying the wonders and experiences that the country has to offer.



Pakistan is a linguistically diverse country, with multiple languages spoken throughout its regions. The national language of Pakistan is Urdu, which is widely understood and spoken by the majority of the population. Urdu serves as the medium of communication in official matters, education, and media.


However, it is important to note that Pakistan is a multicultural country with various regional languages. In different provinces and areas, you will come across languages such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, and Saraiki, which are spoken by the respective local communities.


English, as a legacy of the British colonial period, holds significant importance in Pakistan. It is widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas, and serves as a medium of communication in business, education, and official settings. English signage and menus are also commonly available in tourist areas.


When traveling to Pakistan, it is useful to have some knowledge of basic Urdu phrases and greetings, as it can help you navigate daily interactions and connect with locals. The Pakistani people are known for their warm hospitality and will appreciate any effort to communicate in their language.


Additionally, having a phrasebook or a translation app can also be helpful in overcoming language barriers. It is recommended to learn common phrases such as greetings, thank you, and basic directions.


Interactions with local people can provide a deeper appreciation of the country’s culture and traditions. Respectful gestures such as greeting with “Asalam-o-Alaikum” (peace be upon you) and showing gratitude with “Shukriya” (thank you) can go a long way in fostering positive connections.


While English is widely spoken, especially in urban areas, it is helpful to have a translator or a local guide if you plan to venture into more remote or rural areas where English proficiency may be limited.


By embracing the linguistic diversity of Pakistan and making an effort to learn some basic phrases, you can enhance your travel experience, connect with the local people, and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s rich cultural heritage.



Getting around Pakistan is an adventure in itself, with a variety of transportation options available for travelers.


Domestic Flights: Domestic flights are a convenient option for covering long distances quickly. Pakistan has several domestic airlines that operate flights between major cities, allowing you to save time and reach your destination efficiently. It is advisable to book your flights in advance to secure the best fares.


Trains: Pakistan has an extensive railway network that connects major cities and towns. Traveling by train offers a unique experience, allowing you to enjoy the scenic beauty of the countryside. Several classes are available, from economy to luxury, providing options to cater to different budgets and preferences. It is recommended to book train tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.


Buses: Buses are a common mode of transportation in Pakistan, offering a cost-effective way to travel both within and between cities. There are various types of buses, ranging from local minibuses to long-distance coaches. It is important to note that bus travel can be crowded and may not always adhere to strict schedules. However, it provides an opportunity to interact with locals and experience the local way of life.


Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services: Taxis are readily available in urban areas and can be hailed from the street or booked through ride-sharing apps. It is advisable to negotiate the fare or use the meter for local taxis, while ride-sharing services like Uber and Careem offer upfront pricing and convenient options for getting around major cities.


Auto-Rickshaws: Auto-rickshaws, locally known as “rickshaws” or “chand gari,” are a popular mode of transportation for short distances within cities. They are colorful three-wheeled vehicles that can weave through traffic and are an inexpensive way to explore the local surroundings.


Car Rental: If you prefer more independence and flexibility in your travels, renting a car is an option. International car rental companies operate in major cities, and there are also local car rental agencies available. It is important to have a valid international driving license and be familiar with local traffic regulations before driving in Pakistan.


When using any mode of transportation, it is advisable to plan your journeys in advance, especially for long-distance travel. Keep in mind that travel times can vary depending on road conditions and traffic congestion, so it is best to factor in some extra time for your trips.


Local knowledge and advice from your accommodation or locals can be invaluable for navigating the transportation options in each specific area. It is also recommended to have maps or navigation apps readily available, as they can be helpful for providing directions and ensuring you reach your destination efficiently.


By considering the available transportation options and planning your journeys accordingly, you can navigate Pakistan with ease and make the most of your travel experience, whether you are exploring the bustling cities or venturing into the breathtaking scenic landscapes.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation in Pakistan, there are a variety of options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, you can find a place that meets your needs and provides a comfortable stay during your travels.


Hotels: Major cities in Pakistan offer a range of hotels, from internationally recognized chains to locally-owned boutique hotels. These hotels provide comfortable rooms, amenities, and services such as restaurants, fitness centers, and swimming pools. They are particularly recommended for travelers seeking a higher level of comfort and convenience.


Guesthouses: Guesthouses are a popular choice, especially in urban areas and popular tourist destinations. These accommodations offer a more intimate and homely atmosphere, often run by local families. Guesthouses provide comfortable rooms with basic amenities and sometimes offer home-cooked meals. They can be a great option for experiencing local hospitality and connecting with locals.


Hostels: Hostels are an affordable option for budget-conscious travelers and backpackers. They offer shared dormitory-style accommodations and communal facilities such as kitchens and common areas. Hostels are a great way to meet fellow travelers from around the world and exchange travel experiences and tips.


Resorts and Retreats: Pakistan is blessed with stunning natural beauty, and there are several resorts and retreats located amidst picturesque landscapes. These accommodations offer a serene and peaceful environment, allowing you to relax and rejuvenate. They often provide facilities like spa services, outdoor activities, and breathtaking views of mountains or lakes.


Eco-lodges: For those seeking sustainable and environmentally-friendly accommodations, eco-lodges are available in certain areas of Pakistan. These lodges are designed to minimize their impact on the environment and provide an immersive experience in nature. They often incorporate eco-friendly practices and offer opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking or wildlife spotting.


Camping: Pakistan offers numerous camping sites in its stunning natural landscapes. Camping allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the outdoors and experience the tranquility of the surroundings. However, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary equipment and permits, especially in protected areas.


When choosing accommodation, it is advisable to read reviews, check for amenities that are important to you, and consider the location in relation to your planned activities. Additionally, it is recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred accommodation.


It is important to note that some rural or remote areas may have limited accommodation options. In such cases, guesthouses or homestays may be the most suitable choice for experiencing local culture and hospitality.


Whether you prefer luxurious comfort, budget-friendly options, or a more immersive experience, Pakistan offers a range of accommodation options to cater to every traveler’s needs. By choosing the right accommodation, you can enhance your travel experience and create memorable moments during your stay in Pakistan.


Popular Destinations

Pakistan is a country brimming with incredible destinations that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or a culture enthusiast, there are numerous places in Pakistan that will leave you awe-inspired. Here are some of the most popular destinations to include on your itinerary:

  1. Lahore: Known as the cultural capital, Lahore offers a vibrant mix of Mughal architecture, bustling bazaars, and mouth-watering cuisine. Explore the grandeur of the Lahore Fort, visit the famous Badshahi Mosque, and stroll through the narrow lanes of the Walled City.
  2. Karachi: The bustling metropolis of Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and a melting pot of diverse cultures. Enjoy the vibrant street life, visit historical sites such as the Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum, and indulge in delicious street food at the famous Burns Road.
  3. Islamabad: The capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad, is known for its scenic beauty and well-planned infrastructure. Explore the lush green hills and beautiful gardens, visit the iconic Faisal Mosque, and unwind at the serene Rawal Lake.
  4. Skardu Valley: Nestled in the Karakoram range, Skardu Valley is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the Deosai National Park, enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Satpara Lake, and embark on a trek to the famous K2 base camp.
  5. Hunza Valley: Known for its stunning landscapes and hospitable people, Hunza Valley offers panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, and ancient forts. Visit the picturesque Attabad Lake, explore the Baltit Fort, and witness the natural splendor of Altit Fort.
  6. Swat Valley: Located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Swat Valley is known as the “Switzerland of Asia.” Explore the enchanting Malam Jabba ski resort, hike through the stunning Fairy Meadows, and visit the intriguing Swat Museum to learn about the region’s rich history.
  7. Mohenjo-daro: Step back in time and explore the ancient ruins of Mohenjo-daro, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the earliest urban settlements in the world. Marvel at the well-preserved remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization and gain insights into the ancient past.
  8. Naran and Kaghan Valley: Offering breathtaking landscapes with lush green meadows, waterfalls, and serene lakes, Naran and Kaghan Valley are perfect for nature lovers. Explore the beautiful Saiful Muluk Lake, hike to the scenic Lalazar Plateau, and witness the majestic Babusar Pass.
  9. Peshawar: Immerse yourself in the rich history of Peshawar, one of the oldest cities in South Asia. Visit the iconic Peshawar Museum, wander through the bustling Qissa Khwani Bazaar, and explore the ancient ruins of the Shahji Ki Dheri Buddhist Stupa.
  10. Chitral: Located in the Hindu Kush range, Chitral offers a unique cultural experience and stunning natural beauty. Explore the Kalash Valley, a remote region known for its unique Kalash people and their vibrant festivals. Hike to the beautiful Tirich Mir Base Camp and visit the imposing Chitral Fort.

These are just a few examples of the many incredible destinations that Pakistan has to offer. Each region in Pakistan has its own distinct charm and attractions, waiting to be explored and experienced. From cultural landmarks to breathtaking natural landscapes, Pakistan truly has something for every type of traveler.


Cultural Etiquette

Cultural etiquette plays an important role in Pakistan, as the country has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Here are some key cultural etiquette tips to keep in mind during your visit to Pakistan:

  • Greetings: The traditional greeting in Pakistan is “Asalam-o-Alaikum” (peace be upon you). It is customary to return the greeting with “Wa Alaikum Asalam” (and peace be upon you). Handshakes are common for both men and women in formal settings, but it is best to wait for the other person to initiate the gesture.
  • Dress Modestly: Pakistan is a conservative country, particularly in rural and religiously significant areas. It is advisable to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and legs, especially when visiting religious sites. Women may want to consider wearing a headscarf in certain locations as a sign of respect.
  • Respect for Religious Sites: Pakistan is home to many mosques, shrines, and religious sites. When visiting these places, it is important to dress appropriately and remove your shoes before entering. It is advisable to maintain a respectful demeanor, avoid taking photos without permission, and follow any guidelines or instructions provided by the local authorities.
  • Respecting Elders and Authority: Pakistani culture places a strong emphasis on respecting elders and those in positions of authority. It is customary to address elders and authority figures with respect, using appropriate honorifics or titles if applicable.
  • Gender Separation: In more conservative areas, there may be gender separation in some public spaces. It is important to be aware of and respect these cultural norms.
  • Food Etiquette: When invited to someone’s home for a meal, it is customary to bring a small gift or sweets as a token of appreciation. Additionally, it is polite to try a little bit of everything that is offered to you during the meal as a sign of respect for the host’s hospitality.
  • Public Displays of Affection: Public displays of affection, such as hugging or kissing, are not common in Pakistani culture. It is best to avoid such displays of affection in public to respect the cultural norms.
  • Photography Etiquette: Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photograph, as cultural sensitivities may vary. In some areas and at certain events, photography may be restricted or prohibited, so it is important to be aware and respectful of local rules and customs.
  • Time Flexibility: Pakistani culture has a more relaxed approach to time, and it is not uncommon for meetings or events to start later than scheduled. It is advisable to be patient and flexible with regards to time expectations.
  • Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory in Pakistan, but it is appreciated for good service. It is customary to tip around 10% of the bill at restaurants and to tip taxi drivers and hotel staff. However, it is always a personal choice and should be based on the quality of service received.

By being aware of and respecting the cultural etiquette in Pakistan, you can enhance your interactions with locals, foster positive connections, and have a more immersive and fulfilling travel experience.


Attractions and Activities

Pakistan offers a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to different interests, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the country’s rich culture and stunning landscapes. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to consider during your visit to Pakistan:

  • Trekking and Mountaineering: Pakistan is a paradise for adventure seekers, offering some of the world’s highest peaks, including K2, Nanga Parbat, and Broad Peak. Trekking routes such as the Karakoram Highway and the Baltoro Glacier attract enthusiasts from around the globe. Experienced climbers can challenge themselves to conquer one of the majestic peaks.
  • Historical Sites: Explore Pakistan’s rich history by visiting its historical sites. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Taxila showcases ancient Buddhist ruins, while Mohenjo-daro takes you back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Don’t miss the stunning Mughal-era architectural marvels of Lahore, including the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque.
  • Cultural Festivals: Pakistan’s cultural festivals offer a vibrant display of traditions and celebrations. The Basant Festival in Lahore marks the arrival of spring, with kite flying and colorful festivities. The Shandur Polo Festival, held in the mountains of Chitral, showcases an exhilarating game of polo between local teams against a backdrop of captivating landscapes.
  • Nature and Wildlife: Pakistan is blessed with diverse natural beauty. Explore the surreal landscapes of the Deosai Plains, also known as the “Land of Giants,” or witness the stunning turquoise waters of the Attabad Lake. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot rare species in national parks like Hingol National Park and Khunjerab National Park.
  • Cuisine and Food Tours: Embark on a culinary adventure and savor the flavors of Pakistani cuisine. Indulge in mouth-watering dishes such as biryani, kebabs, and traditional street food delights. Take a food tour in cities like Lahore or Karachi to explore the vibrant culinary scene and experience the rich gastronomic traditions of Pakistan.
  • Shopping: Pakistan is known for its handicrafts and traditional goods. Visit bustling bazaars like Anarkali in Lahore or the Empress Market in Karachi, where you can find intricate embroidery, unique textiles, handmade jewelry, and exquisite carpentry. Don’t forget to bargain for the best prices and bring home a piece of Pakistani craftsmanship.
  • Desert Safaris: Experience the magic of Pakistan’s deserts by going on a desert safari. The Thar Desert in Sindh and the Cholistan Desert in Punjab offer thrilling experiences like camel rides, dune bashing, and cultural encounters with local nomadic communities.
  • Photography Expeditions: Pakistan’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture make it a paradise for photographers. Capture the majestic mountains of the Northern Areas, the grandeur of historical monuments, the bustling streets of cities, and the rich diversity of people and cultures.

These are just a few examples of the countless attractions and activities that await you in Pakistan. Whether you are seeking adventure, history, culture, or natural beauty, Pakistan promises a truly memorable and immersive travel experience.


Food and Dining

Pakistan is a gastronomic delight, offering a rich and diverse culinary heritage that reflects its vibrant culture and traditions. From flavorful street food to exquisite traditional dishes, exploring the local cuisine is a must during your visit. Here is a taste of the food and dining scene in Pakistan:


Traditional Dishes: Pakistani cuisine is known for its bold flavors, aromatic spices, and hearty dishes. Indulge in classics like biryani, a fragrant rice dish with meat or vegetables, and karahi, a spicy stir-fried dish cooked in a heavy-bottomed pot. Savor the flavors of kebabs, tikka, and seekh kababs, which are made with marinated meat and grilled to perfection.


Street Food: Pakistan is famous for its vibrant street food culture. Don’t miss out on trying local favorites such as samosas, pakoras (deep-fried savory fritters), and gol gappay (crisp dough balls filled with a tangy mixture). Seek out popular street food hubs like Food Street in Lahore or Burns Road in Karachi for an authentic culinary experience.


Tandoori Delights: Tandoori cuisine is a highlight of Pakistani food. Taste freshly baked naan (oven-baked flatbread) straight from the tandoor (clay oven) and pair it with succulent tandoori chicken or seekh kababs. The smoky and charred flavors of tandoori dishes are both comforting and delicious.


Regional Specialties: Each region in Pakistan has its own specialties. In Punjab, indulge in rich and creamy dishes like butter chicken and dal makhani. In Sindh, try traditional Sindhi biryani or Sindhi curry. Explore the culinary traditions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with dishes like chapli kabab and Peshawari karahi.


Sweets and Desserts: Pakistani desserts are a sweet lover’s paradise. Treat yourself to delectable delights like gulab jamun (deep-fried milk dumplings soaked in sugar syrup), sheer khurma (vermicelli pudding), and jalebi (deep-fried pretzel-shaped sweets soaked in syrup). End your meal with a cup of aromatic Pakistani tea, known as chai.


Traditional Dining Etiquette: When dining at local restaurants or in homes, it is customary to eat with your right hand, using pieces of naan or roti to scoop up curries and dishes. Sharing food from a common plate is a common practice and promotes a sense of communal dining. It is customary to offer food to others before helping yourself.


Hygiene and Safety: While exploring street food, it’s important to ensure food hygiene and safety. Look for busy stalls with fresh food being cooked in front of you, and avoid raw or undercooked food. It’s advisable to drink bottled or filtered water and enjoy freshly squeezed fruit juices.


Pakistan’s culinary scene is a reflection of its rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re enjoying the flavors of traditional dishes, indulging in street food, or savoring regional specialties, the food in Pakistan promises to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


Health and Medical Facilities

Pakistan has a range of health and medical facilities to ensure the well-being of travelers during their stay. Here is some essential information regarding health and medical services in the country:


Medical Facilities: Pakistan has a mix of public and private healthcare facilities. Major cities, such as Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, have well-equipped hospitals and clinics offering a wide range of medical services. Private hospitals are generally preferred for their quality of care and English-speaking staff.


Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, as well as emergency medical evacuation if required. Check your policy to ensure it provides appropriate coverage for your needs and activities during your stay in Pakistan.


Medication and Vaccinations: It is advisable to bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you take, as well as over-the-counter remedies for minor ailments. Consult your healthcare provider or a travel health specialist before your trip to Pakistan to ensure you are up to date on routine vaccinations and to discuss any additional vaccinations recommended for your itinerary.


Health Precautions: To stay healthy during your trip, it is essential to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers when necessary. Drink bottled or filtered water to avoid waterborne diseases, and ensure that fruits and vegetables are properly washed and cooked.


Food Safety: While Pakistani cuisine is renowned for its flavors, it is important to take certain precautions to prevent food-related illnesses. Opt for freshly prepared food from reputable establishments. Avoid street food that may have been exposed to unhygienic conditions, and ensure that meat and seafood are thoroughly cooked.


Altitude Sickness: If you plan to travel to high-altitude areas such as the northern mountainous regions, be aware of the possibility of altitude sickness. It is advisable to acclimatize gradually, stay hydrated, and consult with a healthcare professional before traveling to ensure you are physically prepared for the altitude.


Emergency Contacts: It is important to have emergency contacts readily accessible in case of any medical emergencies during your trip. Save the contact details of your embassy or consulate, as well as the local emergency services number (dial 1122) in Pakistan.


Overall, while Pakistan has healthcare facilities to cater to basic medical needs, having travel insurance, taking necessary health precautions, and carrying essential medications will help ensure a safe and healthy trip. By being proactive about your health and well-being, you can enjoy your time in Pakistan with peace of mind.


Communication and Internet Access

Staying connected and having access to communication services is important when traveling in Pakistan. Here is some information on communication options and internet access in the country:


Mobile Networks: Pakistan has a well-developed mobile network infrastructure, and several local mobile operators offer reliable voice and data services. You can purchase a local SIM card upon arrival after providing the necessary documentation, such as a copy of your passport and visa. This will allow you to have access to local call and data rates during your stay.


Internet Access: Internet access is readily available in major cities and tourist destinations in Pakistan. Many hotels, restaurants, and cafes offer free Wi-Fi for guests. Additionally, there are several internet cafes where you can access the internet for a nominal fee. However, in more remote or rural areas, internet connectivity may be limited or unavailable.


Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming increasingly common in urban areas. Shopping malls, airports, and some public spaces offer free Wi-Fi access. However, exercise caution when using public Wi-Fi networks, as they may not always be secure. It is advisable to avoid accessing sensitive information and use a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.


International Calls: If you need to make international calls, it is recommended to use internet-based calling platforms such as WhatsApp, Skype, or Viber, as they offer cost-effective options for making calls or sending messages to international numbers. Alternatively, you can inquire about international calling rates from your mobile network provider.


Postal Services: Pakistan has a postal service network that allows you to send mail and packages domestically and internationally. Post offices are located in major cities and towns, and you can purchase postage stamps and send packages from these locations.


Language Translation Apps: Language translation apps can be useful for overcoming language barriers and facilitating communication. Apps like Google Translate offer real-time translation services for several languages, including Urdu, the national language of Pakistan.


Emergency Services: In case of any emergency, dial 1122 for medical assistance, firefighting, or rescue services in Pakistan. It is important to have emergency contact numbers readily available for easy access when needed.


It is always a good idea to check with your mobile network provider before your trip to ensure your phone is unlocked and compatible with international SIM cards. Additionally, having a portable power bank or charger can be useful for keeping your devices charged while on the go.


By utilizing mobile networks, Wi-Fi hotspots, and communication apps, you can stay connected and have access to internet services throughout your travels in Pakistan. This will allow you to share your experiences, stay in touch with loved ones, and access important information while exploring the diverse and captivating country.



Shopping in Pakistan is a vibrant and diverse experience, offering a wide range of traditional handicrafts, textiles, and unique souvenirs. Here is a glimpse into the shopping scene in Pakistan:


Traditional Handicrafts: Pakistan is known for its exquisite handicrafts, each region offering its own unique specialties. From intricately designed pottery of Multan to vibrant embroidered fabrics of Sindh, you can find a treasure trove of traditional crafts. Look for beautifully crafted woodwork, hand-woven carpets, leather goods, and intricate metalwork.


Textiles and Fabrics: Pakistan is famous for its textiles. From the colorful Ajrak prints of Sindh to the intricately woven shawls of Kashmir, you can find a wide variety of fabrics and textiles. Lahore’s Anarkali Bazaar and Karachi’s Tariq Road are popular destinations for buying unstitched fabrics, ready-made garments, and traditional clothing like shalwar kameez.


Jewelry and Accessories: Pakistan showcases a range of exquisite jewelry and accessories. Look for beautifully crafted silver jewelry, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and traditional tribal jewelry. Gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are also found in local markets.


Souvenirs and Keepsakes: When it comes to souvenirs, Pakistan offers a wide range of options. Pick up items like miniature trucks, known as “Truck Art,” which are iconic symbols of Pakistani culture. Hand-painted pottery, decorative tiles, and colorful textiles also make for unique and meaningful souvenirs.


Famous Markets and Bazaars: Exploring the local markets and bazaars is a must for a true shopping experience in Pakistan. In Lahore, visit Anarkali Bazaar, Liberty Market, and Ichhra Bazaar for a variety of traditional goods. In Karachi, head to Zainab Market, Gulf Market, or Empress Market to indulge in shopping adventures.


Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Pakistani markets. While shopping at smaller or local shops, it is often expected to negotiate the price. Approach the process with a friendly and respectful attitude, and embrace the lively exchange of haggling for the best deal. Remember to strike a fair balance and be mindful of the value of the goods.


Shopping Malls: Modern shopping malls can be found in major cities, offering a mix of local and international brands, as well as dining and entertainment options. Popular malls include Dolmen Mall in Karachi, Emporium Mall in Lahore, and Centaurus Mall in Islamabad.


Export Regulations: Before purchasing any antiques or cultural artifacts, familiarize yourself with the export regulations to ensure compliance with local laws. Certain items may require special permits, and it’s important to obtain proper documentation to avoid any legal issues.


Shopping in Pakistan is a delightful experience, offering an opportunity to explore the country’s rich cultural heritage through its handicrafts, textiles, and unique treasures. From bustling bazaars to modern shopping centers, Pakistan caters to every shopaholic’s interest, allowing you to take home lasting memories and cherished mementos of your time in the country.


Packing Tips

When preparing for your trip to Pakistan, thoughtful packing can enhance your comfort and convenience during your stay. Here are some essential packing tips to consider:

  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Depending on the time of year and the regions you plan to visit in Pakistan, pack clothing suitable for the weather. Lightweight and breathable fabrics are ideal for hot and humid summers, while warmer clothing and layers are necessary for colder months, especially in the mountainous areas.
  • Comfortable Footwear: Pakistan offers diverse landscapes, from bustling cities to mountainous regions. Pack comfortable and sturdy footwear, including walking shoes or hiking boots, to enjoy the variety of activities that await you. Additionally, pack a pair of sandals or flip-flops for relaxation or to navigate warmer climates.
  • Modest Clothing: Respect for the local culture and traditions is important. Pack modest clothing, especially when visiting religious sites or more conservative areas. Women may want to have a scarf or shawl that can be used as a head-covering when required.
  • Prescription Medications: If you take prescription medications, ensure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. Carry them in your carry-on bag, along with the prescription or a note from your doctor, for easy access and to avoid any issues with customs or security checks.
  • Electrical Adapters and Chargers: Pakistan typically uses the Type C and Type D electrical outlets, so bring appropriate adapters for your chargers and electronic devices. It is also advisable to carry a portable power bank to keep your devices charged when on the go.
  • Travel Documents: Keep your travel documents, such as passports, visas, and flight tickets, in a safe and easily accessible place. Consider making copies or storing digital copies of these documents as an additional backup.
  • Daypack and Travel Essentials: A small daypack or backpack can be handy for day trips, carrying essentials such as water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a portable umbrella or raincoat. Always carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout your journey.
  • First Aid Kit: It’s advisable to carry a basic first aid kit with essential supplies, including band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, motion sickness medication, and any necessary personal medications. Consult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations based on your needs.
  • Travel Locks and Money Belts: Ensure the safety of your belongings by using travel locks for your luggage and keeping valuable items secure. Money belts or hidden pouches can be used to carry cash, cards, and important documents close to your body for added security.

Remember to check the baggage allowance and restrictions imposed by your airlines before packing to avoid any issues at the airport. It’s also a good idea to pack a lightweight foldable bag for extra storage or for carrying souvenirs on your return journey.


By packing appropriately and being prepared for the varying climates and cultural norms, you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free trip to Pakistan while making the most of your adventures and experiences in this captivating country.



Pakistan offers a wealth of cultural, natural, and historical wonders waiting to be explored. From the majestic mountains of the north to the bustling cities and vibrant markets, the country is a traveler’s paradise. By being well-prepared and following the tips and information provided in this guide, you can make the most of your trip to Pakistan.


Take the time to understand the visa requirements and ensure you have all the necessary documentation in place. Prioritize your safety and security by staying informed, following local customs and guidelines, and being aware of your surroundings. Plan your visit during the best time of year to ensure the most enjoyable weather and the opportunity to partake in exciting activities.


Immerse yourself in Pakistani culture and traditions, respecting local customs, and interacting with the warm and hospitable people. Explore popular destinations, from the historical sites of Lahore and Mohenjo-daro to the breathtaking beauty of Hunza Valley and Skardu. Indulge in the flavors of Pakistani cuisine, try street food delicacies, and savor the diverse regional specialties.


Stay connected with mobile networks, internet access, and communication apps, ensuring you can share your experiences and stay in touch with loved ones. Take advantage of the shopping opportunities, seeking out traditional handicrafts, textiles, and unique souvenirs to bring back cherished memories of your journey.


Lastly, pack smart by considering the weather, cultural norms, and essential travel items. Stay safe, take care of your health, and have a well-stocked first aid kit and any necessary medications.


With all these preparations and knowledge, you are ready to embark on a memorable adventure through the captivating landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Pakistan. Discover the beauty, experience the hospitality, and create lifelong memories as you explore the wonders this remarkable country has to offer. Enjoy your journey!