Islamabad Travel Guide

  • Islamabad Rug Shop
    Islamabad Rug Shop
    by Ewingjr98
  • Islamabad
    by zulkader
  • Shah Faisal Mosque
    Shah Faisal Mosque
    by ShoebKadri

Islamabad Highlights

  • Pro
    Laurina profile photo

    Laurina says…

     Peaceful, beautiful relaxing city... 

  • Con
    fashionapple profile photo

    fashionapple says…

     Traffic jams and expensive life 

  • In a nutshell
    lachydragon profile photo

    lachydragon says…

     Good place to get to know Pakistan for a first-time traveller! 

Islamabad Things to Do

  • Shah Faisal Masjid

    I really inspired with Faisal Mosque located in Islamabad, Pakistan. Many professional photographers love to capture the beautiful masque in their camera. I just have seen some inspiration by different Photographers at http://photographyinspired.com/shah-faisal-mosque-islamabad-inspirational-photography.php

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  • Daman-e-Koh

    Its a spot in the hills around Islamabad. The whole city can be viewed from here. Even Rawal Dam Lake can be viewed from here. It is a good, health air picnic spot. Government has developed the garden here. Now this location is well mentained. From the parking lot small golf course cars take you to the gallery where you can take a view of the...

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  • Margalla Hills

    Residents of twin cities visit Margalla hills frequently in summer in order to get rid of hot weather. One can go there to relax, walk, hike, drive or for camping, picnic or cycling. Views of twin cities, murree and rawal lake are refreshing from the hills. Spots like Daman-e-Koh and Peer Sohawa have been developed to provide better facilities to...

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Islamabad Hotels

Islamabad Restaurants

  • China Town

    The restaurant is now in a commercial building located in Najam Market, Street 55, F 8/4, Islamabad. New Management but same chefs. Website is www.chinatown.pk and contact is 0512855650. The menu includes the old dishes as well as new ones. What makes CT special is delicious food served in a beautiful ambiance and priced for value. Featured as...

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  • Pizza Hut

    I was thinking that I should not write about Pizza Hut, because it is a global chain & everyone knows about it. But then I realized that specially developed recipes, which they offer in Pakistan, will not be available in other countries. So Travelers interested in Pakistani food should also try Pakistani Pizza. Their Chicken & Beef Pizza's with...

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  • Arizona Grill

    Cuisine: Grill/Tex-Mex ::: Location: Laila Market F-7 ::: Price range: Rs.250+ per head ::: Serves continental fare as well as grills. Reasonably popular restaurant with good service and pleasing décor. (Fairly Expensive) My Favourite is grilled chiken with lemon juice dipper..very tasty......

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Islamabad Nightlife

  • The Basement - Disco

    Pakistan is officialy dry but still few clubs are there, most of them private but few operated by leading hotels. Most of their clients are foreginers and elite class. In big cities like Karachi and Lahore there are many clubs. But few also exist in Islamabad. One of them is "The Bassment" at Marriott Islamabad. Elites and girls n guys of higher...

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  • Bars in Top Hotels

    The Islamabad Marriott has live music pretty much every night of the week in the Nadia Restaurant, which can also be seen and heard from throughout the hotel lobby. During my visit there were two guys playing local Pakistani music on a keyboard and a drum. Here is a link to my video of the music during my visit:...

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  • Hot Spot

    One evening we were taken to a HardRock Cafe styled ice-cream place near the Jinnah or Super Markets (I think it was called hot-spot) for safe ice-cream. I talk about 'safe' ice cream in the sense that we were advised by our trekking company not to buy packaged ice creams since they used local unfiltered water and were a recipie for stomach upsets....

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Islamabad Transportation

  • By Bus

    SAMMI DAEWOO is operating world class air conditioned bus service between the major cities of Pakistan. They started operating between Lahore - Islamabad via Motorway. People have praised their service. Their Specialty is PUNCTUALITY. They have Bus terminals in almost all major cities and several stopovers in other cities. Each Bus Terminal has...

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  • Taxis

    Bonjour from Chitral, Metro cab, Yellow cab have their counters at Islamabad airport, you could take a taxi from there to Daewoo bus terminal on G.T road, Rawalpindi. It's absolutely safe, some 25 to 30 minutes drive from the airport to terminal. 400 to 600 Pkrs, the price for the taxi. Ciao,

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  • By Air

    I have a pleasant experience of flying with Air Blue. Plains are new & clean. Flights departed and arrived on time. The food was superb. All crew was cooperative. After making a very good reputition in domestic, now they are conqureing the international routes. For easier online booking facility Click http://www.airblue.com/index.asp....

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Islamabad Shopping

  • Jinnah Supermarket

    This area is a somewhat upmarket shopping district in Islamabad. The Saeed Book Bank is excellent, you can get some real bargains and the books are the real deal, not the cheap copies available at most booksellers in Pakistan- they have a great range of art books, a large textbook section, fiction and a reasonably big Urdu language section, plus...

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  • Super Market

    Super Market, also called Super Markaz due the Urdu word for market, is one of Islamabad's largest and most popular market areas. It offers a variety of shops including clothing, jewelry, rugs, books, and much more spread among several two and three story buildings with parking between. The shops face out into the parking lots, often with people...

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  • Pakistani Dress

    Any of the fabric stores - you can tell them by the rolls and rolls of material standing outside and lining every wall of the shops! I wanted to pick up some Paikstani fabrics for Mum as a gift. Ray and I checked out the fabric shops which seemed to be pretty prolific in the Abpaara district near our hotel (Ambassador Hotel- See Accommodation tip)....

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Islamabad Local Customs

  • Don't Star at Women

    dont stare women They will kill u.just kidding Most of them dont know the english language but some do In these places u cant find nice and fancy restaurants cuz the local people over there have opened those restaurants and they are interested in the quality of food not on the outside look of the hotel. but the food is very delicious

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  • Give Flowers as a Gift

    Flowers are expression of love. They show your care and respect for others. In last couple of years a new trend of giving bouquets to your friends and relatives on special events has started. You can say that in other words bouquets are expected on such events. There are two beautiful flower markets in Islamabad. These are located in Super Market...

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  • Previously Quite, Now becoming Lively...

    Being a capital, mainly Islamabad is famous for Govt. Offices, Parliament House, Diplomatic Enclaves & Foreign Embassies. Majority of the people living in Islamabad are Government employees. They do have social life in Islamabad but not as much like other cities. On public holidays & weekends people go to their hometowns to see their...

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Islamabad Warnings and Dangers

  • Earth Quakes

    Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi comes under active seismic zone after October 8, 2005 earthquake measuring 7.6. After shocks are quite normal and they range between 5 -6 magnitude mostly. Strong shocks also occur few times ranging 6 to 6.5. But there is nothing to worry about. Life is very normal and no such specific risk involved. Just keep...

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  • Traffic

    Driving in Islamabad would be a scary experience. In my time in Islamabad I just caught taxis and public transport but on the roads it seems to be a free-for-all! Our trekking company's owner remarked that once and trekker had asked "which side of the road they drive on in Pakistan?" to which he replied "they drive on the left................and on...

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  • Thieves @ home

    Most of people living in Islamabad actually belong to different parts of the country. They shifted here because of job when city was built in 1964. On special events like Eid or long holidays, residents leave for their native towns thus city gets a deserted look. And you know what, that is a real treat for thieves. It often happens that when...

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Islamabad Tourist Traps

  • Local taxi driver waiting for passengers

    by najamrulz Updated May 23, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Foreign tourists would be asked to pay lots of money as cab fare every where in Islamabad and especially near your hotel.

    To avoid all this, ask your hotel reception to arrange a taxi for you. Also get an idea of how much to pay from reception staff.

    Taxi drivers in Islamabad are so clever that they some time even rip off the locals too. So be smart and follow my tip.

    Unique Suggestions: You may also ask locals about rough estimate of fare for the place you are hiring a cab for. The bottom line is that do not loose your money. Resources are limited so use them wisely.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Study Abroad
    • Women's Travel

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Islamabad What to Pack

  • Must

    normal Winter from 25 Nov to 5 Feb. require warm clothing, temp is between -1 to 5 cSummer from 15 may to 30 aug , require light clothing, temp is between 30 to 44 C Normal Digital cameras umbrella.cap and sunglasses You must bring a small torch

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  • Packing list for Islamabad

    Bring any kind of bags you like. There should not be any problem as far as bags are concerned. For winters bring warm woolen clothes. Keep in mind that temperature falls below freezing point in winters. Jackets, Mufflers, Coats and Woolen caps are a must. Sandals are totally out in winter so bring covered warm shoes and ankle high shoes are nice...

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  • WHAT YOU NEED!!!!!

    It can get very hot in pakistan! You need certainly need to take body spray with you because you will start to sweat and smell because of the high temperature. But don't worry, you purchase body spray from Islamabad. You also need to bring special cream because so many people have mosqueto bites and can get a rash easily. The clothes that you...

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Islamabad Off The Beaten Path

  • Picnic at Rawal Lake

    Picnic at Rawal lake is what locals often do when there is some event, public holiday or whenever weather is nice. Maximum crowd could could be expected when weather is cloudy. Folks in Isloo know it well how to enjoy and it proves that Islamabad is no more a dead city!!!

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  • Margalla Hills

    When hiking in the hills I usually come across villagers carrying wood on their backs, goats and so forth. But rarely do I come across water buffalos all the way up here! This guy is checking out the view of Islamabad :)

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  • A day trip to Murree Hill Station

    Murree is a famous Hill Station of Pakistan. It is just 54 km Northeast of Islamabad. It take almost 2 hours one way. If you depart early you can come back the same day. Climate / atmosphere of Murree is totally different from Islamabad. In winter you can enjoy snow fall there & in summer it is is still cool. Main points to visit within Murree are:...

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Islamabad Sports & Outdoors

  • Boating

    In evening times Pakistan Navy offers Sailing classes at Rawal Lake. You can take membership and with the help of their experienced coach you can learn this amaizing water sport. They also arrange sailing competitions within country and if you are really good in this game then you can get a chance to participate in International competition. So...

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  • Hiking

    There are several hiking trails and countless natural pathways in Margalla hills national park. The atmosphere is truly inspiring to the outdoor lover. The Margallas are excellent for hiking purposes and cater to both the serious hiker and the less serious enthusiast. Hiking in the Margallas affords the opportunity to walk through the numerous...

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  • Riding

    Horse riding is getting really popular in Islamabad because of its ideal environment for this sport. Now there are 3-4 private riding clubs operating within the capital where you may go for riding. Most popular of these is Riding Club operated by Islamabad Club. Few international schools have their own Riding clubs for their students but they...

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Islamabad Favorites

  • Bottled Water

    Simly and Rawal dams are the main drinking water source in twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Water is often polluted thus not safe to drink. You should either boil this water before use or otherwise use bottled mineral water. Nestle is the best brand for mineral water. Check for expiry date and plastic seal on cover before buying. There are...

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  • Get a Map

    OK there are a few drones according to all of the news sources. Eurasia Review reports the first drone strike took place in June 2004 in South Waziristan. Under American President Bush, there were about 21 total drone attacks, killing perhaps 177 people. Under President Obama, attacks have increased tremendously with 87 drone attacks, leaving 700...

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  • Hills

    I spent a bit of time feeling disorientated in Islamabad - maybe its just me having an inherently bad sense of diretion! I found that the best way to get your bearings is to work out where the Margalla Hills are (these are the range of hills that run along the Northern outskirts of Islamabad.) Since the area is pretty flat, they work well. I then...

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