We can place Rawalpindi in "Things to Do" for Islamabad & vice versa. Rawalpindi is 3rd Largest city of Pakistan after Karachi & Lahore. It is densely populated city contains very contrast features as compared to Islamabad.
So when you get bored of Islamabad's calm & peaceful environment, go to Rawalpindi. It is more alive than Islamabad. Also you can shop on cheaper prices here as compared to Islamabad. Islamabad is relatively more expensive.
You can go shopping in Rawalpindi to following Markets:
Imperial Market : Famous for Electronics items, located near Raja Bazar.
Raja Bazaar : Clothing, makeup items , gift items can be bought from here.
China Market : China market is also famous for gift items, decoration, household and clothes.
Saddar - Bank road : It is modern shopping area. All sort of stuff including clothes, books, shoes, sports items, and entertainment is available here. It is located in Cantt. area, Off the Mall road.
Dubai Plaza : Electronic stuff mostly camera, computers, and music players can be bought here. Located at the Junction of Murree Road and 6th Road.
Rabi Center, Ashiana Center & Gulf Center : All of these are located side by side, at the junction of Murree road and 5th Road. They offer all kind of clothes and fashion accessories.
Rawalpindi is a city of 2.1 million people, just next door to the capital city of Islamabad. While Islamabad is home to the civilian government of Pakistan, the military headquarters are located in 'Pindi.
Rawalpindi's roots date back thousands of years, but its modern history really began when the British established a military garrison in the town, which eventually became the largest garrison in all of British India.
After Pakistan's independence, Rawalpindi was the site of the assassination of Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in 1951. In 2007 former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was also assassinated here.
Shopping in Rawalpindi, or'pindi' as it's known.
We really didn't see any women in the street, and even in the ladies dress shop, men were doing the selling. It's a bit daunting to walk into one of those shops, and be face to face with four or five men.
The Raja Bazaar in Rawalpindi is worth a visit. For more bazaar pictures check my Peshawar page. The local merchants love it when you take their picture.