Cheap Holidays to Islamabad

Top 5 Cheapest Holiday Destinations in Pakistan by Lia Boangiu

It’s a bit of a downer when you want to travel but you can’t afford to go where you’d want, isn’t it? Well, from my point of view, that only means one thing: that I haven’t yet found out about the other places I’d like to visit.

The world is such a big and wondrous place, and you’d be mad not to want to visit it extensively.  But that’s not something most of us can afford, so we have to make priorities and balance them against our actual possibilities. I’ve always wanted to travel, but I still can’t afford to see all the places on my list. My common sense solution was to research for other beautiful places, search for anything I would consider exotic, stimulating and culturally rich, something that would be able to offer me a unique experience.

I would assume that for most of you, just as it is for me, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to travel. Not only because of the free days we get off work, but also because the holidays are supposed to be special. And traveling makes any day special. However, it’s even costlier to travel during the holidays, so sometimes you feel like you have to settle.

As I was saying earlier, it’s all about knowing what your options are. And in this post I want to introduce you to some of those options. Okay, maybe my title kinda gave it away. But have you ever stopped to really consider Pakistan as a holiday destination? Probably not, because you think it’s too far away, and flying there is expensive. And that’s where you’d be wrong, because there are many more airlines with flights to and from Pakistan, which naturally creates the opportunity for cheap flights to Pakistan from around the world.

Pakistan Cheap Holidays

So whether you live in Europe, America, Australia, or Asia, you can definitely find flights so cheap that you won’t be able to ignore them. And if you plan ahead, you can go visit during holidays too, at just about the same cost. There’s nothing easier than planning a vacation for the holidays, because you know exactly what’s your available time period, so you can buy tickets months, even a year ahead! 

Another great opportunity I see in visiting Pakistan is that there are several great cities you can choose from, and you can find connecting flights for all of them. These are some of the cities I want to tell you about below. And I’d like you to consider visiting more than one of them if you take the trip to Pakistan. In many cases, depending on where you’re traveling from, you will have access to direct flights to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. But I advise you to stop not only here, and explore other parts of the country as well.

You’ll see what I’m talking about and I would insist, but let’s start with your landing. You arrive in Islamabad. 

Islamabad, the capital city

The capital of Pakistan is a relatively young city, in fact it’s a very young city. It was projected and built starting in the 1960s, and although it is only the 10th largest city in the country, it is with certainty the most important, both politically, economically, and culturally. 

Islamabad does a very good job of combining the old with the new, the traditional with the modern, and this makes it the perfect destination for your first contact with the country. Though new, it still illustrates and represents the country’s history and culture. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to visit and learn more about different monuments and institutions and what they mean for Pakistan. For instance, you definitely don’t want to miss visiting the Faisal Mosque, which until a few years ago, stood as the largest mosque in the world. 

Cheap Holidays to Islamabad

To actually learn more about the country’s history, visit the Pakistan Museum and Monument, which are both architectural marvels and great symbols of what the country stands for. And if you’d rather immerse yourself in the culture and traditions, spend a few hours at the Lok Virsa museum. 

If these landmarks sound too stuffy for you, remember that Pakistan is a country worth visiting even more so for its great natural beauty. This is supposed to be your holiday vacation, so you’re looking for some fun and relaxation. Well no matter the time of year you go to Pakistan, you’ll be met by moderate temperatures. Now an interesting fact about Islamabad is that it’s night next to the Margalla Hills National Park, which is renowned around the world for tourists who want to go trailing, hiking, biking, or skiing. 

There are numerous opportunities for outdoor activities starting in Islamabad and continuing towards Margalla Hills, which are sub-Himalayan. You can take a trip to the Pir Sohawa Resort, which is the ideal place to relax and enjoy stunning views all around. The Rawal Lake and the Daman-e-Koh resort are two more destinations neighboring Islamabad that you can visit for a few days.

2.Karachi, the largest metropolitan area

If you’re interested in large cities, then right when you’re finished with Islamabad, find some cheap flights to Karachi and hop on the plane. Meet Pakistan’s largest city – 7th largest metropolitan area in the world.

Cheap Flights to Karachi

There’s a lot of action waiting for you in here, so let’s get to it. Unlike Islamabad, Karachi is one of the oldest inhabited areas, so it’s extremely rich culturally and traditionally. Karachi opens up to the Arabian Sea, so it’s not only got great weather and landscapes, it’s also an important port, and the country’s leading industrial and financial city. 

But Karachi is also cosmopolitan, and even though it’s had quite a rough ride even after Pakistan declared its independence from the British Empire and subsequently, while it searched for equilibrium in the 20th century, it has seen tremendous growth and improvements in recent years, which makes it one of the increasingly popular destinations for tourists around the world. 

What you’re dealing with here is a highly populous and active city, brimming with life and events. Some of the country’s most important museums and institutions are here, including, just to name a few, the stupendous Mohatta Palace (originally a palace for a Hindu businessman, now turned museum), the National Museum of Pakistan, or, if you’re interested in country infrastructure and administration, you can visit the extremely interesting and fun Pakistan Airforce Museum and Pakistan Maritime Museum. 

If you’re a cinema lover, you might like to align your holiday so that you’re in Karachi at the same time as the Kara Film Festival takes place, one of the country’s most important film festivals. 

As for the outdoors, I highly recommend the Karachi Zoo, the Hill Park with its breathtaking views, the Bagh Ibne Qasim which is a beachside park where you can admire the famous turtle pond, take pictures with the dinosaur murals, walk through the enormous rose garden, and perhaps attend one of the many events happening there. Finally, you have the Boat Basin Park, the Maritime Museum Park, or Mazar-e-Quaid, also known as the Jinnah Mausoleum, and which is, besides a wonderful monument, the resting place of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

3 Lahore, the heart of Punjab

Get deeper into the heart of wonderful Pakistan by visiting Lahore. This time you’re dealing with the capital of the region of Punjab, closer to the border with India, and considered one of the wealthiest cities in the country. 

This also makes it a popular tourist destination, which means, lucky for you, that there’s lots of cheap flights to Lahore. So what can you do here? Quite a lot.

Cheap Flights to Lahore

Lahore is Pakistan’s most open and liberal city, but it stands on very old history. Here you can visit some of the country’s most beautiful and important landmarks, such as the Lahore Fort, also known as Shahi qila, and which is a citadel built in the 1500s. It’s the perfect opportunity to get yourself acquainted with historical Pakistani architecture. You get to admire over 20 hectares of Mughal architecture, and inside it, landmarks such as the Alamgiri Gate, the Sheesh Mahal, Moti Masjid, or the Shalimar Gardens, all which together make this a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Notable mosques in the city include the Wazir Khan and Badshahi. Lahore is also considered Pakistan’s modern culture hub, where the literary, musical and cinema scenes meet. Don’t hesitate to attend a Qawalli music concert to listen Pakistan’s traditional music.

Last but not least, visit Lahore’s Walled City, home to numerous havelis that showcase Mughal and Sikh architecture, and some of the old city’s historic neighborhoods.

4. Multan, home of the Holi festival

While you’re in Punjab, take advantage and go see the city of Multan, situated on the Chenab River, and home of numerous Sufi temples and mosques. If you’re not passing through Lahore first, you can find cheap flights to Multan directly from Islamabad, or your own country. 

Cheap Flights to Multan

In Multan, you can immerse yourself in the country’s spiritual side as you visit the numerous mosques, temples, bazaars, shrines and tombs. The city, as the whole area of Punjab, is a much better representative of the Hindu-observing population. The most important Hindu temple is the Prahladpuri Temple, which, you’ll be interested to hear, is where the Holi festival originated. So it’s definitely worth aligning your trip at the same time that the Holi festival takes place, and celebrate the most colorful event with locals and people from around the world. 

The Prahladpuri Temple is located inside the Fort of Multan, and together they represent some of the oldest landmarks in Multan – which is considered one of the oldest settlements in the world, at least 6000 years old.

5.Faisalabad, the city of living culture

We’re staying in Punjab to visit Faisalabad, which is also a relatively young city in Pakistan, as one of the first cities planned under British Rule. Today, Faisalabad is a cosmopolitan city with high quality of living owed to its inclination for distribution and industry. A lot of its welfare is also due to the rich agriculture in the surrounding area, which turns into business inside the city.

Cheap Flights to Faisalabad

 But what you’ll want to visit Faisalabad for during your holiday is its lively character, its eclecticism, and its active, dynamic interest in culture and the arts. First of all, it’s the hub of Punjabi festivals, and numerous other celebrations of music, arts and crafts, and countless local events celebrating various aspects of Pakistani life and history. And if you’re visiting for Christmas, you can celebrate it with others at one of the Christian churches in the city. 

Because it has a large international airport, you can find cheap flights to Faisalabad from your home, or from other cities in Pakistan. Faisalabad is also probably the best of these three cities to experience local Punjabi cuisine, which still has influences dating back to the Mughal period, and which has been refined and enriched under Colonial rule.

10 rules to remember the next time you fly

Unless you’re fortunate enough to be flying in a business class or first class, air travel can often be a stressful and exhausting experience.

However, for those of us who can’t afford a luxurious upgrade, there are a few basic etiquette rules that can improve the comfort of your journey. Follow them, and your next flight might just be pleasant — as long as everyone else follows them, too.

comfort of your journey

Thanks to Insider

Discovery of thirty thousand years old archaeological sites in Jamrud.

Discovery of thirty thousand years old archaeological sites

Discovery of thirty thousand years old archaeological sites in Jamrud Tehsil, Khyber Agency. Pakistan

Jamrud Tehsil, Khyber Agency. PakistanNearly hundred and ten major archaeological sites found in Jamrud and some are thirty thousand years old, the area is full of archaeological sites and find important monuments from the regular archaeological excavation director Samad Khan said.

Initially they found signs of a hundred and ten places were found the mark on the rocks. The wall or buildings, tunnels have been discovered off the Buddhist stupa’s.

Buddhist stupas

Samad Khan added that there are signs that these sites are older than the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.

Free Wifi on Pakistan Flights

Shaheen Air is pleased to inform that “WIFI” has been switched on for the convenience of our valued customers, with immediate effect on our aircrafts.

Wifi on Pakistan Flights

All of our passengers would be able to enjoy free state of the art high speed WIFI, during their flights to Pakistan and on their way back, to the UK.

This coupled with a customer oriented in-flight services and the most competitive fares, shows the resolve of the management, to make journeys of our mutual valued customers smooth and enjoyable.

Shaheen Air offering 4 weekly direct flights from Manchester to Islamabad , 2nd National carrier of Pakistan. Book now your direct flight to Pakistan.

The Most Adventurous Ski Slopes and Routes in the World

For some folks, the cold season is all about the snow and the winter sports. Skiing remains one of the most popular snow sports in the world, enjoyed by people of all ages, and at all levels of proficiency. And therein lies its popularity – it can be enjoyed even without becoming very good at it, and without venturing onto steep, unmapped slopes.

But for some people, ski is no fun unless they test their limits, unless they conquer all slopes, marked and unmarked routes, jump over steep cliffs, and go at faster and faster speed all the time. For them, and since you’re reading this presumably for you, finding new ski resorts and mountain routes that constantly challenge you and your skills, is probably becoming increasingly difficult.

Or perhaps you have trouble choosing, what with all the awesome ski destinations and resorts from around the world, each with their unique characteristics and challenges, with different landscapes and temperatures, and other special attractions. But fear not, brave skiers, for the following list was comprised to give you the top of tops on the most adventurous ski slopes from all over the world.

I’m going to get you acquainted with some of the most amazing and spectacular ski destinations, the best of the best that you can choose for your next adventure. There’s something for everyone in there, but beware! These truly are some of the most dangerous ski slopes out there, so make sure you choose one you think you can conquer.

  1. Girdwood, Alaska

Cheap Worldwide flightsAlaska is an obvious choice on a list of top ski destinations. This snowy U.S. state is heaven for all nature and outdoors lovers, boasting one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world. Alaska is a popular tourist attraction throughout the year, and some of its peaks are always covered in snow.

However, to fully take advantage of the winter sports opportunities, it’s best you visit during winter, when snow levels are regular and perfect for skiing. One of the best ski resorts in Alaska is Girdwood, a former gold mining town, now considered the best ski town in the state.

Girdwood is the ideal destination for skiers who prefer to go a bit off the beaten path, so to speak, and it started rising in popularity as a hippie winter getaway in the 1970s. The resort is ideal both for adventurous types and for beginners, with the latter being able to opt for the beginner runs at the base of the mountains. Keep in mind that if you truly want to exploit Girdwood at its best, spring is the ideal period, with longer days. But otherwise, there’s basically year-round skiing and snowboarding going on, and a lot of other outdoor activities you can enjoy.

2. Malam Jabba, Pakistan

Cheap Flights to PakistanThere’s nothing quite like skiing in exotic locations, in countries that are usually renown for their warm climates and lush nature. But the Malam Jabba resort in Pakistan is nothing to be surprised about, since it is a part of the great, imposing Hindu Kush mountains, which neighbor the Himalayas, and which together boast some of the tallest peaks in the world.

Pakistan is still a developing country, so in Malam Jabba you find the only available ski commercial area where you can get lodgings and take on marked routes. The resort even has an interesting, challenged history, most recently having been destroyed by the Taliban in 2007, including residential areas and slopes. But its rebirth is just as impressive, the work of truly passionate people like former national ski champion Mateeullah Khan, who invested a lot of time and effort to bring it back to its feet again.

The slopes you get to ski on as you descend from Malam Jabba to Swat Valley are some of the funnest in the world, and they, together with the resort itself, where initially created with the help of Austrian expertise. Despite that, you may encounter children and youth with homemade skis learning how to conquer the mountain.

3. Chamonix, France

Chamonix, FranceWell, it’s the Alps. Probably, by popularity, the most beloved mountains in the world from a skier’s point of view. The Alps are not just beautiful and majestic, but they offer a few of the best opportunities for skiing, especially for adrenaline lovers who like them steep and dangerous.

What’s even more awesome about Chamonix and the surrounding resorts and ski slopes, is that everything is engineered to allow you to take the thrill ride of your life. You get to use some of the best lifts giving you access to those very tall and very steep natural slopes that allow for extreme skiing and snowboarding in the area.

You need to be extremely capable and proficient in order to take on some of the more abrupt and off-road routes of the Chamonix Alps. There are 11 different ski zones that you can explore all day long, then retreat into the lively and traditional-looking village of Chamonix where there’s no cars and admire the Alps from a different perspective. You can both pamper yourself, and go all out rough in Chamonix, but one thing is certain: you’ll want to come back again and again.

4. Oukaïmden, Morocco

Oukaïmden, MoroccoMorocco is another one of those countries that you wouldn’t naturally assume is a destination for adventurous skiing, but there you have it. Morocco is actually enriched by the Atlas mountains. Oukaïmden is located just 45 kilometers outside of Marrakech, so you definitely have to make time for both if you get to Morocco.

Reaching the Jebel Attar peak in Oukaïmden is truly a picturesque experience, because you start atop donkeys, until you reach the chairlift that takes you to the peak. Once there, you can choose from the 5 ranges and enjoy one of the most breathtaking views and one of the best skiing experiences in the world.

Just one word of caution, besides being careful on the slopes – it’s best that you bring your own gear, since the ones sold or rented at the base of the mountain can be lower quality, and you need to go very pro with your equipment and take all necessary precautions in order to protect yourself.

5. Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish, MontanaBack in the United States, in Montana, whose name already suggests its geographical character, stands the impressive resort of Whitefish, a beloved extreme ski destination. You can find great lodging at the Whitefish Mountain Resort. Established over a former railroad town, Whitefish is a great destination for the entire family, or for large groups of friends, because the surrounding ranges feature opportunities for all levels of skiing experience.

If you’re the type to prefer a rougher, more natural atmosphere, Whitefish has plenty of that. There are some luxury hotels in the area, but the resort is accessible to all budgets, and the slopes are the same for everyone. The landscape is spectacular and breathtaking, and you arrive in the city by train, which adds to the quaintness and reminds of simpler and cleaner times.

You can definitely have a lot of fun, extreme skiing on the ranges here, and enjoy a number of other fun activities in the nearby Glacier National Park, which holds its own treasures.

6. Deogyusan, South Korea

Deogyusan, South KoreaNow moving to Asia, in South Korea, to check out some of the longest and steepest slopes in the country. These are represented by the Silk Road Slope, which is the longest slope , at 6.1 kilometers, allowing you to enjoy a really long ride down, and perfect your skills and technique, all while admiring the spectacular South Korean mountains.

Next, there’s the dangerous, yet so alluring Raider’s Course, which is filled with extremely steep slopes that take a high level of control and technique to ski or snowboard through. There are six different ski slopes in Deogyusan, each with its own level of difficulty.

The Deogyusan ski resort is a Korean favorite, but it attracts tourists and extreme adventure lovers from around the world. What’s more, the resort covers some seven million square meters, and it’s within one of South Korea’s biggest and most beautiful national parks. You can visit it to discover the natural beauties as well, and go on hiking trips during the warmer seasons.

7. Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii

Mauna Kea, Big Island, HawaiiOur planet still holds so many surprises for us, but skiing aficionados are probably aware that you can practice the sport in some very exotic destinations, and have the most amazing experiences in extraordinary landscapes and unique ski ranges. One of those surprising locations is Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Mauna Kea is basically one of the volcanoes on Big Island, and it gets snow a few times a year. So much so, that locals and tourists from all over the world come forward to have fun on some of the funnest slopes out there. But the ski slopes are not exactly landscaped, everything is rather improvised, so it’s generally a destination for skiers who can maintain great control of themselves at high speeds.

Because of the tropical sun, snow on Mauna Kea has a unique texture which also requires some getting used to. And because the slopes aren’t maintained by man’s intervention, you might run into areas with exposed lava rock, which you need to be able to avoid quickly, or have good protective gear to avoid injuries. But then again, what can be cooler than skiing down a volcano in Hawaii?

8. Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, SwitzerlandDo what you do, and say what you say, but a true skier will always return to the Alps. Switzerland is generally regarded as one of the best countries to go skiing in, but Zermatt is considered a jewel, both as a city, and thanks to the slopes available from it.

Switzerland is full of what you might call classic ski resorts and towns, that have been developing this characteristic for tens, or hundreds of years, and which are just as much tourist towns. Many consider Zermatt to be the ultimate Swiss ski destination, and not just because of the challenging and thrilling slopes, but also due to its positioning next to the Matterhorn peak, one of the tallest, and most impressive mountains in the world.

You get to ski in one of the most exciting environments on the planet, with some slopes presenting long vertical drops, long cruisers and powder runs all over the three ski areas. There are numerous ski lifts taking you to the various slopes, and you can easily go over to the Italian side and try their two ski zones, which are just as impressive.

Zermatt can be quite an expensive destination. It is kept together by the latest technologies, it only allows electric cars in order to protect the environment, and it’s filled with many five-star restaurants and hotels. However, you can find more accessible solutions as well. Finally, you mustn’t miss a trip over to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, a cable car ride that takes you through one of the most spectacular landscapes you’ll ever see.

9. Brezovica, Kosovo

Brezovica, KosovoYou might not know all that much about Kosovo, this small country with  a rough history riddled by wars and conquerors. But that doesn’t make it any less beautiful and intriguing, especially if you’re a seeker of winter thrills. The Brezovica resort is located in the Sara National Park, where you get access to over 2,500 hectares of snowy slopes of all shapes and sizes, for the less experienced, but for the very adventurous as well.

Brezovica is an old ski resort that was shut down during the 1990s due to various conflicts within the autonomous province of Kosovo. But it was reopened, new and improved, in 2008, and has since become increasingly popular for skiers who are always looking for the next adventure.

Another great thing about skiing in Kosovo is not only that you get to ski through basically pristine land, but also that costs are more than acceptable, and you can still enjoy a lot of great services on a tight budget. Best known secret about it? It’s home to the infamous Orlovo Gnezdo run, one of the steepest slopes in the world.

10. Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand

Mount Ruapehu, New ZealandWe end this list with another destination that’s usually popular for its tropical climate and exotic landscape. But New Zealand features some really amazing mountains, including the very impressive and challenging Mount Ruapehu. The mountain is so famous, you’ve already seen it without even knowing – the landscape was used to create the Mount Doom backdrops in the Lord of the Rings trilogy movie.

The mountain offers some really amazing descent opportunities. Add to that the thrill of sliding down an active volcano, and there’s probably no better way to test your limits and work on your extreme ski skills at a maximum adrenaline rush.

Another great advantage of the area is that the snow season for skiing is quite long, extending from June to October. There are three ski areas you can access, and if you’re on a tighter budget, you can go to one of the many club fields and ski to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Tongariro National Park and admire the cluster of active volcanoes who are known to have made skiers’ lives a bit harder from time to time by spewing rock down below.

Takeaways

We’ve been around the world and looked at some of the most spectacular adventure skiing destinations you can visit on your next trip. Our planet is filled with opportunities that challenge and entertain, and one lifetime isn’t enough to experience them all.

What you can do is document your options as best as possible, and prioritize the destinations that are most appealing to you. You can make a goal out of skiing on mountains from every continent, or focus on a particular type of ski slopes and ranges, depending on what you like most.

I hope this short list will help inspire you to find the next big challenge for you this winter. Let me know in the comments if you plan on visiting any of these in the nearby future.

Have you ever been to any of these places? If so, what thoughts and impressions can you share?

15 Reasons Why Your Next Trip Will be in Islamabad

Choosing the best vacation destination has become increasingly accessible in recent years, since there are more and more airlines, and more flight offers. However, for some, having that many options makes it more difficult to priorities and decide where they’d like to travel next.

Well, if you’re a serious traveler, and do it for the experience of getting to know different cultures and expanding your view of the world, you should be open to completely new destinations. And my money for the next popular attraction is on Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

Why, you ask?

Don’t worry, I have the answers for it, and the reasons to back it up. And I’ll take another little bet, that most of them will not only surprise you, but delight you as well. I’m going to make like you don’t know all that much about Islamabad, and tell you all you need to know to make up your mind. To visit it, that is.

For instance, did you know that Islamabad is a relatively young city? It was projected and built during the 1960s, and it is the political hub of Pakistan. These traits give Islamabad an eclectic personality where the traditional meets the modern, where a Western approach to infrastructure meets the rich Oriental culture and its wonders.

What’s more, if you plan ahead, and plan carefully, you now have access to cheap flights to Pakistan that would fit into your budget even if you’re coming in from a different continent. But enough chit-chat, let’s move to the facts. Here’s what I think you’ll love about Islamabad:

Monuments, History and Culture

Asian culture is as ancient as it is rich. Countries from this continent, including Pakistan, hava a vast history that spans thousands of years, and whose cultures have been preserved through deep-set traditions and customs, but also through the arts: writings, paintings, sculptures, idols and religion. All that is still visible and very much alive today, which is why they can be so attractive for tourists who come from younger countries, such as North America or European countries.

So Pakistan is one of the best countries where you can make contact with an ancient culture that has evolved and is continually adapting to the times, while still maintaining its core tradition and identity. Now many of you may be thinking that Pakistan is too far away, and traveling to another continent is not only tiresome, but expensive as well.

And that’s basically a myth. First of all, taking a trip to another continent is something you have to plan well ahead, because there are many logistic aspects you need to deal with, and many things you need to learn about the country you’re visiting. So the sooner you make up your mind, the easier it will be to find a cheap ticket to Pakistan.

Here’s just a few samples of Pakistan’s great culture that might show you what this amazing country has to offer:

1.The Faisal Mosque

This religious monument is the largest mosque in not only Islamabad, but the entire Pakistan. It is a part of the initial developments of Islamabad, which makes it part of both its history and religious culture, which is predominantly Muslim.

Islamabad Attractions

Faisal Masjid

 

The Faisal Mosque was designed by a Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay, and made to resemble a Bedouin’s tent. It was completed in 1968, and has since stood as a landmark of Pakistan throughout the world. Until 1993, it held the record as the largest mosque in the world, when it was dethroned by the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. However, it still remains one of the most beautiful and impressive monuments in modern times, and a marvel of architecture.

2. Pakistan Monument & Museum

If you take a trip to the Shakarparian Hills, you can visit the Pakistan Monument, shaped like a blooming flower, and which was built as a symbol of unity. The monument is made from marble and is continued by a wide terrace which offers a view of Islamabad. It is a rather recent construction, having been completed in 2007, and it’s one of the most important attractions in Pakistan, receiving some 1,500 visitors every day.

Attractions in Islamabad

Pakistan Monument

Since you’ll most easily find flights to Islamabad, it’s worth it to explore everything that this capital has to offer. The Pakistan Monument is one of them, and you can pair it with a visit to the next-door Pakistan Museum, which holds a wax exhibition depicting landmark events in Pakistan’s recent history.

3. Lok Virsa Museum

If you get a cheap ticket to Pakistan and really want to learn as much as possible about this unique culture, you have to visit the Lok Virsa Museum in Islamabad. The museum makes a comprehensive display of Pakistan’s culture and traditions, and it contains art exhibitions of paintings, statues, textiles, pottery, and music. It’s considered the most complete and representative exhibition of Pakistani culture.

Lok Virsa Islamabad

Lok Virsa

The building itself represents Pakistani traditional architecture, featuring frescoes, marbling and mirror decorations. Inside it, you can admire traditional costumes and jewelry, ivory and bone sculptures, metal and woodwork, and others. Next to the Museum you find the Lok Virsa Heritage Reference Library, where researchers, or just the curious, can find resources on Pakistan’s art and crafts, literature, ethnography, folk music, and more.

4. Pakistan Railways Heritage Museum

Better known as the Golra Sharif Railway Museum, it is located in one of Islamabad’s sectors, near Margalla Hills. It contains railway elements dating back to the British Raj, and the first railway developments in Pakistan. It is an increasingly popular attraction for railway aficionados, but also attracts tourists from Pakistan and abroad.

Railways Heritage Museum Islamabad

Railways Heritage Museum

You can admire the wonderful Golra Sharif Junction railway station, established by the British in 1882, and upgraded to junction in 1912. Its architecture is inspired from Victorian architecture, with some Pakistani elements incorporated, and very unique yellow stone facade.

Next to it, you can visit the Railway Heritage Museum and it contains relics and artifacts spanning over 150 years of railway history including mechanical models, steam and electric locomotives, coaches, trolleys, communication tools, and various other interesting objects.

Arts and Entertainment

Pakistani culture and traditions can be very lively and colorful. Their traditional costumes, customs and dances are vibrant and transcendental. If you visit during one of their big holidays, or have the chance to attend a private party, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy all these.

Pakistan Art and Culture

Art and Culture

But Pakistan (with Islamabad at the top of its cities) combines all this perfectly with the 21st century. So if you’re a nightlife kind of person, you have plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, with all types of music, with dancing, DJs, and a party atmosphere. They have plenty of cinemas that roll both Pakistani and Western movies, and you definitely shouldn’t miss a theatre play while you’re there. Sometimes, there are open air performances near the Pakistan Monument on the Shakarparian Hills.

Entertainment can be both affordable and high-end in Islamabad, and it’s the same with hotels. You can make your trip there just as you like it to be, and within your own budget, as long as you plan every detail with care. And if you buy your flight tickets at least half a year in advance, you can really cheap flights to Pakistan.

That leaves you with plenty of time to plan all the other details and make this the most incredible vacation you’ve ever had. And even on a budget, you can still enjoy all that Islamabad has to offer, and maybe get a little shopping done too. Here’s a few of my recommendations:

5.Safa Gold Mall

You’ll definitely want to spend a few hours at the Safa Gold Mall, and eight-story building with over 150 shops and brand representatives. As any mall, it contains other attractions and entertainment venues like cinemas, and it’s the perfect spot for a shopping session, going to the movies, to a salon or spa.

Shopping in Islamabad

Safa Gold Mall

Otherwise, it’s an interesting mix of Western and Oriental brands, and you shouldn’t skip the opportunity for some unique gifts and souvenirs. It’s also a good place for people watching and getting a feel of what life is like in this city.

6.The Covered Market

The Covered Market, located in Islamabad’s G6 sector, is one of the largest indoor markets in the world. It is a great place to capture the life and soul of Islamabad, and of Pakistan itself, and mingle with the locals. It is highly frequented by both for its fruits and vegetables, but you’ll find merchants selling other kinds of foods and items around here, and you can serve some traditional foods too.

Shopping In Islamabad

Sunday Market

Markets are perhaps the liveliest places in every city or country you go to, and they allow you a real glimpse into people’s lives, into their culture and behavior.

7.Islamabad Zoo

Pakistan is also home to a diverse flora and fauna, and you get to admire a significant portion of it at the famous Islamabad Zoo, which also has quite an interesting story. It was first opened in 1978 as a refuge for wild animals like leopards, Indian gazelles, and spotted deer.

Islamabad Going Places

Islamabad Zoo

As it gained popularity, it expanded and became a zoo. Today, it spans over 82 acres, and houses hundreds of species, including swans, eagles, pelicans, brown bears, lions, wolves, zebras, monkeys, Sri Lankan elephants, turtles, and many more. The zoo is a great place to visit with the family and kids, and is very educative on Pakistan’s animal variety.

Landscapes and Vistas

You’re right next to the Himalaya and Hindu Kush ranges in Islamabad, which hold the records for the highest peaks in Pakistan. Other than that, Islamabad incorporates a part of what is known as the Margalla Hills National Park, a protected area spanning over 17,000 hectares.

This is an amazing natural area where you can go trekking, hiking, or just sight-seeing. And there are many specific things to do, and visit here and in the Shakarparian Hills, some of which I wanted to point down below, just so you can get an idea of what it’s like to take a trip out there.

If you’re the type to prefer outdoor-type holidays, Islamabad can be a great starting point on your way towards the Himalayas. You can find direct flights to Islamabad, and plan your trip with the city as your starting point for acculturation and acclimatization.

8.Margalla Hills

Just beyond the Faisal Mosque, you see Margalla Hills, a series of hills that are part of the Himalaya’s foothills, and which offer a spectacular view. Besides providing a stunning backdrop for the mosque, they also offer great opportunities for walks or hikes in nature.

Margalla Hills Islamabad

Margalla Hills

Part of the Margalla Hills National Park, the amazing view of endless green hills and mountains is relaxing and invigorating. The Hills are also tourist favorites for romantic walks, or a meal with a view at one of the many locales. But if you’d like to develop your explorer side, the Margalla Hills are also home to rich flora and fauna. Other activities include mineral study, bird watching, hiking, trekking and rock climbing, or the more exciting paragliding and hang gliding.

9.The Pir Sohawa Resort

If you make it to Islamabad, there’s no reason not to take a short drive to the Pir Sohawa resort. You get to go deeper within Margalla Hills and experience Pakistan’s natural landscape, and get a breathtaking view of Islamabad itself.

Pir Sohawa Islamabad

Pir Sohawa

Whether Islamabad is your destination or you plan on visiting several of Pakistan’s beauties, you should spend at least one night in Pir Sohawa, which has been rapidly developing as a top tourist destination, and has an increasingly varied offer of hotels and restaurants, as well as other local activities.

Pir Sohawa can be a luxury destination if you’re looking for a heavenly resort of relaxation. The surrounding views are exquisite and unique, overlooking part of the hills, the city Islamabad, as well as lush green hills and canyons that you can take trips to.

10.Daman-e-Koh

This resort is another viewpoint from within Margalla Hills that offers a stupendous scenery. Daman-e-Koh is a hilltop garden with lovely pathways for long walks among nature, with belvedere spots where you can take in the sights, including nearby Islamabad.

Cheap Flights to Islamabad

From daman-e-koh

You can enjoy a lovely traditional or gourmet meal at the lovely restaurant in the garden, which also offers a great view, and mingle with both residents and tourists from around the world. And if you visit during winter, you might get the chance to spot some monkeys and cheetahs – but don’t worry, they won’t come too close.

11.Rawal Lake

Islamabad is truly a city that fully takes advantage of the wonderful landscape it was built in, and so it features many attractions that lead you to the outdoors, and to enjoy its nature. Rawal Lake, which is actually an artificial lake with a dam projected in order to provide the neighboring cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi with the water they need, has also been designed to be enjoyed by visitors.

Rawal Lake Islamabad

Rawal Lake

If you visit Rawal Lake, you can not only admire grand human design and engineering, but also try some sport fishing, take walks, or go on a picnic. You can even rent a boat for a tour of the lake and its surroundings. This is also one of the country’s favorite spots for bird watching, but it’s also home to fauna like foxes, jungle cats, pangolins, porcupines, or wild boar.

Cuisine

Visit Pakistan for its landscape and people, but don’t miss out on the food. Try the specific flavors, and ask locals for recommendations on the best dishes. What I can do is recommend some of the best restaurants you’ll find in Islamabad, but remember that a culture’s best traditional dishes are sometimes found in smaller venues like markets or from street vendors.

It’s a good idea to hire a local guide for these things, as well as other hard-to-discover gems in Islamabad. It shouldn’t be very pricey, and a guide can help you really delve into an aspect of the city or country, that you’re really interested in, such as cuisine might be.

You might be thinking that these keep adding to your limited budget, but that’s not the case. We already established that you can find very cheap flights to Pakistan, and a guide to your holiday can actually help you discover more affordable, and definitely more authentic places, people, and things in the city.

However, you might still like to try one of these restaurants:

12.The Wild Rice Restaurant

The Wild Rice Restaurant Islamabad

The Wild Rice Restaurant

Located in the Serena Hotel, the Wild Rice is a luxury restaurant that prepares only gourmet dishes. You can spoil yourself and loved one here by trying traditional Pakistani dishes and desserts, but their menu caters to all tastes, so you’ll find Western, or Japanese dishes as well.

13.La Maison

Eating Places in Islamabad

La Maison

This is the type of restaurant that a lot of tourists or foreign Islamabad residents frequent due to its French menu personality. It’s also on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but it’s well worth a visit if you want something prepared by top chefs, an excellent ambiance, and a great lunch or dinner experience.

14.The Royal Elephant

Eating Places in Islamabad

The Royal Elephant

If you’re staying at the Mariott Hotel in Islamabad, then you’ll definitely have a meal or two at the Royal Elephant restaurant. It’s got an extremely diverse menu, to suit all types of visitors, and they excel in Thai cuisine. In fact, it is Thai-themed, so the decor and ambiance are inspired from this culture as well.

15.Savour Foods

Eating Places in Islamabad

Savour Foods

For another Pakistani cuisine treat, reserve at least one meal for the Savor Foods restaurant, where they specialize in the famous rice dish called Pulao. The rice dish comes in many variants, but they have other things on the menu as well. You’ll find it’s often crowded, and its popularity is given both by the delicious Pulao, and by the very affordable prices. You definitely don’t want to miss it if you’re in Islamabad!

Now your turn!

I hope my tips have allowed you to get a better glimpse of Islamabad and why I think it’s going to become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. This is a city that is constantly developing on all fronts, from economical to cultural and even political and social. It combines the modern with the traditional, which adds to its special and unique charm, and it’s the perfect location for urbanites to get in touch with nature again while still maintaining contact with technology.

Have you ever been to Islamabad? If not, what would you most like to see there? Let me know what you think about this destination!

Book your Islamabad Flight Now !

 

اسلامی ممالک میں سحر و افطار کی تیاریاں