If you ever decide to go on a trip to Pakistan, I promise you that you will have the adventure of your lifetime.
From hitchhiking on tractors and psychedelic trucks to driving over extremely narrow mountain roads built on a cliff 1,500 meters high, soldiers who voluntarily give you their AK-47 for taking a photo, the most striking landscape and the fact that you can camp in the middle of a paradise completely by yourself.
Pakistan is, definitely, the ultimate traveling experience.
For all the practical information, don’t forget to check my Useful tips for traveling to Pakistan.
need to know for traveling in Pakistan
Population: 201 million (6th)
Official language: Urdu
Area: 881,913km² (33rd largest country)
The Pakistani Government has finally introduced an e-visa system.
A visa costs from $35 to $60, depending on nationality, and takes an average of one week to process.
The official currency is the Pakistani Rupee.
1 USD = 300 PKR
You can find ATMs in Lahore and Islamabad, but do always bring cash for all your transactions and purchases
Budget: starting at $20 a day for budget backpackers.
For Pakistan, I recommend IATI Insurance, as it covers Pakistan and adventure activities like altitude trekking.
5% discount if booking here:
Best time to visit
May to October is the best season for visiting the northern mountains, with July and August being the best months for high-altitude trekking.
Winter is best for visiting South Pakistan, which is more cultural.
Tours for Pakistan
Against the Compass has several scheduled expeditions to Pakistan every year.
August 13th to 26th (2023)
Hospitality in Pakistan
The hospitality in this country is what I call incredibly overwhelming. The locals are so hospitable that, after a few weeks, I sometimes preferred to stay in a hotel because it was just too much.
You are likely to receive house and meal invitations every day. The downside is that, in their culture, some Pakistani people can’t understand the element of privacy, so this is something that you have to get used to.
Top experiences in Pakistan
Driving the Karakoram Highway.
Trekking and wandering around the valleys
From Shimshal to Astore, north Pakistan is wonderful.
Attending a Pagan Festival in the Kalash Valleys.
The Sufi culture of Multan.
Read my 1-month Pakistan itinerary
tips for Pakistan
Budget hotels tend to be very basic.
You can find good hotels in Lahore, Islamabad and Karimabad.
Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad have the main international airports, with most connections coming from Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, but also London.
You can travel overland from China, Iran, or India.
You can travel around South Pakistan by train, a heritage from the British colonizers.
Otherwise, you can travel by minibus and coach bus to most cities in the country.
Due to the road conditions, public transportation in north Pakistan is very slow.
Hitchhiking is easy.