- For other places with the same name, see Islamabad
Islamabad  has been the capital of Pakistan since 1963. A
relatively quiet city, it consists of mainly Federal Government
offices, Parliment House, the official residences of the President
and Prime Minister along with the Diplomatic Enclave, an area next
to the Parliament House dedicated to foreign embassies and missions
appointed in Pakistan.
Although the majority of the population in Islamabad
traditionally have been employees of the Federal Government, in
recent years Islamabad has become a very important financial and
business city. In the last decade there has been vast changes in
the city's traditional reputation. From it being a typical 9 to 5
city, Islamabad has become more lively with a lot of international
food chains opening businesses, and generally a great improvement
in night life with increasing shopping areas opening till late.
However during winter season streets are considerably quiet after
Even now, Islamabad remains a city where people come from all
over the country to enjoy its peaceful, noise-free atmosphere with
a lot of greenery and nice surrounding scenery. It also serves as a
base camp for people from the south and coastal areas like Karachi visiting valleys like
Swat and Kaghan and northern
areas like Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu & Chitral located in the Himalayas mountains.
- Benazir Bhutto International Airport (IATA: ISB) receives
flights from a variety of international destinations, including
London, Dubai, and other Asian cities.
- Niazi express,Skyways and
Daewoo Sammi 
(+92 51 111 007 008) are 2 of the nicer long-haul operators.
Skyways offer some direct services to/from Islamabad and Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi. Daewoo has it's own terminal on the
road from Islamabad just outside Rawalpindi. The majority of buses arrive and
depart from Rawalpindi, a few kilometers and a 45 minute
taxi ride from Islamabad. It's best to book Daewoo by phone in
advance if possible. At the moment they serve Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, Murree, Sialkot, Abottabad, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad and Multan.
Since First Class travel with Pakistan Railway is good, it's
worth knowing that Rawalpindi, the neighbourhood city, has railway
connections with various major cities including Karachi, Lahore & Peshawar
Taxis in Islamabad are abundant, popular and
generally safe. Cost is around Rs35 - Rs45 per sector traveled,
depending on your bargaining skills. Prices will be higher at
night, especially departing from places like Jinnah Super (F-7). It
is always advisable to agree the fare before traveling.
Car Hire is also a good way of getting around.
Although road signs and directions are only available on main
roads, the city's grid and numbering system make it relatively easy
to find your way around. There are various car hire companies in
Blue Area F-6 and also in G-8 Markaz where cars can be hired with
drivers. Most major hotels have their own car hire services and are
relatively cheap. A tip to the driver at the end of the booking
period is appreciated but not mandatory.
- Blue Area, is Islamabad's financial center and
is the main arterial road which leads up to the main government
buildings at the Constitution Avenue.
- Daman-e-Koh, a lookout point in the hills
above E-6 with great views of the city on a clear day/night. Its
beauty is enhanced by the greenery and flowers at different sites.
High quality restaurants, good food, live music, hiking trails and
lush green hillsides make it a favorite place for local and foreign
- Japanese Park, is a children's park located
near Islamabad Zoo. It is popular among children,
families and to those visiting Islamabad from other cities due to
its park facilities and children swing facilities.
- Islamabad Zoo is located at the foot of
Daman-e-Koh view point. It has more than 300 animals including 200
birds of different kinds were also there for visitors, besides
tigers, lions and other animals.
- Pir Sohawa. Birds eye view of Islamabad. There
are now two eateries at Pir Sohawa and both worth visiting. A walk
up from Trail 3, from F-6/3 will get you to the hill top in around
2 hours with the perfect appetite, but you can reach Pir Sohawa by
road in around 35-40 minutes.
- Faisal Masjid, Islamabad's most recognizable
landmark, a very large mosque gifted by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.
Beautiful in the day or night, definitely worth the short taxi
ride. Dress and act respectfully, this is much more a place of
serious worship than a tourist site.
- Shakarparian is another wonderful place.
Consist of beautiful hilly area for a nice evening walk in a green
- National Monument near Shakarparian,
represents Pakistan's four provinces and three territories. From
air the monument looks like a star (center) and a crescent moon
(formed by walls forming the petals), these represent the star and
crescent on Pakistan's flag.
- Lake View Park is a beautiful laid out park
with gardens, picnic spots, and secluded paths. The terraced garden
and the lake are used for fishing and boating purposes. The highest
point in the garden offers a panoramic view of Islamabad. Boating,
sailing, water skating and diving facilities are organized by
private clubs. To the west of the lake is the Islamabad Club, which
offers different sporting facilities.
- Fatima Jinnah Park; also known as the F-9 park
is considered one of the largest in South East Asia. The park also
has an indoor facility with a nice bowling alley.
- National Art gallery Almost 423 art pieces are
in permanent collection, purchased or gifted by the artists for
National Art Gallery.
- Lok Virsa Museum, recently renovated, a
delight. Definitely worth a visit. It is one of the largest museums
featuring more than 25 large galleries in four blocks linked
through passages depicting cultural linkages with Iran, Central
Asia and China. There are large halls dedicated to architecture,
musical heritage, textiles, romances, Sufi shrines and several
other cultural themes. It has a large collection of embroidered
costumes, jewellery, woodwork, metalwork, block printing, ivory and
bone work on display. The Heritage Reference Library of Museum has
a great collection of data on art, music, history and crafts of all
regions of Pakistan. Books on culture, heritage, audio and video
cassettes of folk and classical vocal and instrumental music are
sold at the Lok Virsa's Sales Centre. Lok Virsa celebrates the
national events in a befitting manner with musical concerts,
exhibitions and public film shows on cultural heritage.
- The Saidpur Village used to be a sleepy little
village lying in the foothills of the Margallas with a mystic past
and breathtaking natural beauty. It has now been remodeled. The
resort has now become popular with the citizens of Islamabad who
want an occasional break from the frenzy of urban life. Surrounded
with lush, tranquil wilderness, the centuries old village is
furnished with rustic fittings and offers amenities like a wide
range of local food outlets. Exhibitions are held regularly to show
case the traditional arts, crafts and the rich cultural heritage of
- Attend open-air theater or just sit by the
Lotus lake and relax. Check to see if there are is
anything happening. The schedules are entirely calendar and weather
- Caravan Park is at a little distance away from
the Shakarparian Hills. This park is open and accessible only for
foreigners, making it exclusive and safe. Adequate facilities are
provided to make visitors to the area comfortable and at home.
- Rose & Jasmine Garden is located near
Islamabad sports complex & Jinnah Stadium. South of
Shahrah-e-Kashmir road and east of Islamabad Highway. Not too far
from Rawal Lake.
- Margalla Hills. Take a nice nature walk in the
hills surrounding Islamabad.
- Pakistan Museum of Natural history 
- China town is one of the best restaurants in
Islamabad. It offers Sichuan Cuisine with Firepot as one of it's
specialities coupled with the modern blend where the waiters use
PDAs to take orders. China Town enjoys a very loyal patronage from
its customers. The restaurant is being re-located to a beautiful
8,000 sq ft building on Street 55, F-8/4. It features a
professional kitchen in the basement, a beautiful lounge on ground
floor, a fine dining hall on the first floor, and a roof top
sitting with a fantastic view of Margallas.
- Chattar bagh is a small park in the hills,
around 25 minutes away from Islamabad. A water park with a few
amusement rides, but will not offer much excitement for those who
have seen other amusement parks or water parks.
- Imam Barri Shrine Historical shrine of a Sufi
saint located in the beautiful valley of NurPur Shahan (Islamic
- Golra Sharif Shrine of Pir Mehr Ali Shah(RA),
a Sufi Saint located in a village of Golra (Islamic religious
- Taxila, World's oldest university. Taxilla is
also home to one of the oldest civilizations, and has a museum that
boasts plenty of interesting pieces. Worth a visit and a picnic.
Should you be interested further in the subject, guided tours can
be arranged for sites around the museum.
- Murree, One hour scenic journey through
beautiful mountains to the hill resort of Murree which is a nice
place to visit especially during summers. A small place has a
weather entirely different to that of Islamabad and much similar to
most cities of Northern Europe. High class educational institues
such as Lawrence College, Convent of Jesus and Mary,and the
Presentation Convent are the hallmark of Murree. Chairlifts of
Murree and Patriata, Kashmir point are attractions for tourists. A
two kilometer "Mall" is the center of gravity of Murree where all
the shops and hotels are located. A place worth visiting during
your stay in Islamabad.
- Trekking & Hiking – Margalla Hills.
- Para Gliding – at Margalla Hills. The Pakistan
Adventure Foundation is the place to call, reservations are
- Cycling – Mountain biking is fast becoming a
much-loved activity because of the weather and the terrain. If
you're in the mood for some adventurous cycling down one of
Islamabad's beautifully scenic bike trails, get your bike ready and
head down. Information can again be had from the ASG's hiking
- Night Life – it exists, but it's not easy to
find. Try befriending some hip locals, and see if you can tag
Islamabad is divided into sectors, each sector having its own
central shopping area (or markaz) where all local amenities are
located. Some of the more popular markazes are the F6 Markaz (aka
Supermarket) F7 Markaz (aka Jinnah Super Market), F8 Markaz (aka
Ayub Market), G6 Markaz (aka Melody Park), G9 Markaz (aka Karachi
Company) and so on. Each markaz has its own peculiarities and each
one is worth visiting individually. However most things are catered
for in each markaz i.e. clothing, shoes, fast food etc. There’s
always a real buzz in the evenings when all the shoppers come out,
particularly in the run up to Eid.
- 7th Avenue, located at Jinnah Super Market (F7
Markaz), has large selection of western food products.
- Best Price, located at Super Market (F6
Markaz), also sells western food products.
- Handicrafts, The Capital Development
Authority, has recently established a handicrafts village near
super market, where small stalls with handicrafts from around the
country are available. You should be able to walk from there to
Mahraja (next to united Bakery) and find plenty of other stores
much larger and with a much better collection of handicrafts and
traditional items. This is a MUST visit for all first time visitors
and a useful stop for quick gift items for people back home. A good
present for the ladies is Pashmina shawls or wraps, which can cost
anywhere between $15 to as much as $700. Remember to bargain, you
will be charged Gora price.
- Art For art lovers, I suggest that you get in
touch with some local to take you around. There are three or four
art gallaries that are worth visiting and each will offer a
completely different range of art work, style and pricing. All the
facilities should be visited if you are art lovers. Some of the
places to visit are, Khaas, The National Art Gallery and Nomad Art
Foreign Currency Exchange is easily available
from F-6 Blue Area where there are 100's of money changer privately
owned shops. It is advised to check the rate with a few of them
before going ahead with it.
- Jharoka, F-7 (Opposite to Telenor Head Office).
Only for dinner, exclusive taste of Namak
Mandi along with other Pakistani cuisines. A must must go place in
Islamabad If you really love to dine out in a traditional yet
modern way.Really good one. edit
- Iffi's (Restaurant/
Bakery), F-7/2 (Rana Market) (Near Jinnah Super (Opposite Alliance
Francaise)), ☎ +92 51
2655060-1, . 1100 -
0000. The architecture of an old
ship with Mexican, Thai, Chinese, French, and Italian food as well
as burgers, pizzas and steaks. Iffi's has its own bakery as
- Melody Food Street In Melody G-6 Markaz is a
newly opened food area with variety of food to choose from with
some nationally famous restaurant names having outlets there.
Plenty of BBQ and traditional Pakistani food with a variety of
fresh fruit juices to choose from. Unfortunately, due to Pakistan's
security problems, Melody Market was closed after the siege of the
Red Mosque, in the summer of 2007. Melody Market is located very
near to the Red Mosque.
- Red Onion Chain of Restaurants Blue Area,
opposite the Saudi Park Tower building stands one of the oldest
restaurants in Islamabad. Established in 1991, pioneer to 'Buy one
Pizza & Get the second one Absolutely FREE' this restaurant
offers a wide range of cuisines i.e Mexican, Italian, Chinese,
Pakistani & Continental. Prices are very moderate, ambiance is
modern & customer service is very friendly!
- Papa Sallis, F-7 Markaz (Jinnah Super)(Ph:
2650550-3), Very well known place (Please ask any local shop for
directions) for steaks and pizzas since 1999. Prices are quite high
for Pakistani standards, but from a Western perspective still very
- Kitchen Cuisine, F-7 markaz (Jinnah Super), At
the back of main shopping area, This is quite a popular bakery with
really fresh and tasty bakery products including chocolate fudge
cakes, cheese cakes and low cholesterol items. Made to Order
services are also available.
- Civil Junction, F-7/3 markaz (Gol Market)
offers good coffee and an interesting array of drinks and
'mocktails'. Light snacks are also offered along with coffee and
drinks. The place offers occasional live music from upcoming local
bands, making it a popular hangout with the youth of the city.
- Hot Spot, One of the few places that Islamabad
can claim as theirs first. F-7/3 (Gol Market) also offers a great
ice-cream place. Though the menu has now increased from just
ice-cream to milkshakes, pies, sandwiches and plenty more, the
place still has the feel of an ice-cream joint. With a unique,
rather artistic decor, Hot Spot is a must visit for any first time
traveler to Islamabad.
- Rakaposhi, pastry shop at the Serena, has some
of the best coffee and pastries in Pakistan. Worth a visit if you
just want to relax or get some work done. The Serena also offers
wireless internet, so, it is an ideal place to sit and get some
work done if you like.
- Lasania Restaurant, 66 West Junaid Plaza, Blue
Area (Ph: 227-3200, 287-2200). This place is very nicely decorated
and is also situated in a very nice location. They have a huge
selection of BBQ, Pakistani and Chinese food items on the menu.
Their food is not extremely spicy like most other places.
- Jahangir's, Masco Plaza, Blue Area is one of
the most popular local restaurant chains. Its delicious local or
'desi' items and barbecue are a treat, garnering it lots of
appreciation from food lovers. Known for their mastery of Pakistani
and Indian specialties, Jahangir is definitely a must-visit
- China Town Restaurant Most well known and
popular Chinese Restaurant in Islamabad and frequently
crowded.(Better to get reservations for dinner). Although most of
the food is the best Chinese cuisine you will find in Islamabad
what the restaurant is famous for is their Firehot/Hot Pot. A
considered must have for anyone visiting Islamabad. Lots of
Imitations of the restaurant has cropped up in Pakistan however
nothing beats the original. Definitely one of Islamabad's gems.
China Town enjoys a very loyal patronage from its customers. The
restaurant has been re-located to a beautiful 8,000 sq ft building
on Street 55, F-8/4. It features a professional kitchen in the
basement, a beautiful lounge on ground floor, a fine dining hall on
the first floor, and a roof top sitting with a fantastic view of
Margallas. Re-launched in early December 2008, the new location is
already the talk of the town.
- Cinnamon, Beverely center, Blue Area is one of
the hippest places to eat. They serve an adequate range of
carefully selected international delicacies, including authentic
gourmet meals, popular salads and refreshing mocktails. The décor
is absolutely superb, with clashing black and white motifs and
photographs, and the service and quality of food equally brilliant.
The perfect place to have a quiet albeit slightly expensive family
- Ye Olde Hangout, F-7 Markaz (Jinnah Super),
behind Shell petrol station. A wonderful little coffee
shop/sheesha bar. They serve a small selection of global and local
food, and play sexy Bollywood and Egyptian videos. Posters of Jimi
Hendrix, 50 Cent, Marilyn Manson and Angus Young are on the walls.
One room is all men. Another for mixed couples and ladies only. No
alcohol of course, but lots of cigarettes and a good tea
- Majlis, Street 3, F-6/3, a trendy, upperclass,
big pocket place for Lebanese food. A place where you will find the
the movers and shakers of the city and a large portion of the
Arabic diplomatic community. The food is to die for and the setting
just right for that. Though those visiting on a tight budget can
choose to avoid it, it sure is worth a stop.
- Cafe Khaas, Cafe Khaas, is an extension of
Khaas Art Gallery. A lunch only place that is normally packed,
though expensive has great food. They also boast some of the finest
art collection in Islamabad. Look for "Mouse" or the manager, and
you will be given personal attention. Make sure you get a
suggestion for what is best, and work your way through the limited,
but exquisite menu. At the lunch hour, this place is filled with
yet more, movers and shakers of Islamabad, from the business men,
to politicians, models and expats. The place is always kicking for
the sophisticated lunch.
- Upper Deck, F-7 Markaz (Jinnah Super),
above Gourmet Bakery, near north-west corner of Markaz. A
very nice, up-market restaurant specializing in seafood. Popular
with expats and well-off locals. Nice ambiance, a variety of
well-prepared fish, fish & chips and a fish burger. Decent
cheesecake and chocolate cake for dessert. Main courses Rs300 -
- Rahat Bakers, F-6 Blue Area, Driving along the
main road in blue area, this place can not be missed. Eatables like
Pizzas, Bakery products, Rich creamy milk ice creams etc are
available. A big range to choose from. Although it is a fairly big
store, due to the variety of food they do, there are no eat-in
arrangements. Right next to Rahat Bakers is a place called Safilo,
which offers a wide range of ice-creams, milkshakes and juices.
They pride themselves in their cleanliness, so, always a great
health drink next to Rahat.
- Usmania Restaurant In Blue Area is also a
famous place for traditional Pakistani cuisine.
- Kamran Restaurant In Aabpara, G-6/1 is also a
famous place for traditional Pakistani cuisine.
- Kabul Restaurant, F-7 Markaz (Jinnah Super),
☎ +91 51 265 0953. 11AM-10PM. This
large restaurant just off the markaz serves up tasty kebabs and
Afghani specialties, and is usually very crowded with locals and
expats at dinner time. Mains Rs
- Pizza Hut, F-7 Markaz (Jinnah Super), F-10
- KFC, F-6 Markaz (Super Market)
- Subway, F-7 Markaz (Blue Area)
- Yummy's, In Jinnah Super is one of the oldest
coffee and ice cream parlours in the city.
- Dunkin' Donuts, F-7 Markaz (Blue Area), F-10
Markaz, G-10 Markaz, etc.
- Kim Mun is a well known Chinese Restaurant
around Islamabad because the food there is exquisite and it mainly
the best place if you are looking to eat Chinese.
- Monal, Pir Sohawa (Road to Pir Sohawa starts from 7th Avenue
at junction of F6 and F7), ☎ +92-51-7165915, .
Set at an altitude of 3900 ft on Margalla
Hills, Monal offers a spectacular view of the Islamabad city, a
great weather and an outstanding food. It is the largest restaurant
in Pakistan in terms of seating capacity edit
@ Brabus, 70
Margalla road F 8-2, ☎ 0518314570. 12pm-2am. Drop by
the Cafe @ Brabus and enjoy hearty pub grub, tasty light bites and
some of the most refreshing beverages in town from our lavish
coffee and cocktail bar. Experience the freshest seafood in town
along with the privilege of choosing your own lobsters and crabs
"Live" from our salt water fish tank or treat your taste buds to
our heart warming Italian cuisine (pastas and risottos). A variety
of salads are tossed freshly for our calorie conscious guests. Kick
back, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the best sports events on
the big screen. Use our wireless internet service to share the
special moments with your friends. "Your lounge away from
home". 1000 per head. edit
- Luciano's pizza, ☎ 03459282985. 12pm to 2am. Changing the concepts of "Pizza" nationwide, we
bring you New york strip 20 inch pizza for the very first time.
Cooked to perfection using only the freshest ingredients. Give your
pockets a break and treat yourself to a slice of Italian heaven and
mouth watering knick knacks. . Hot dogs and subs in homemade bread
filled with delicious cheese and stuffing. . To treat the craving
of something fried indulge yourself in our chicken buffalo wings,
onion rings and potato wedges. . Pizza's by the slice to those on
the go or better yet get the whole pie for a yummy family
meal. 300 per head. edit
- Bar-B-Q Tonight (Bar-B-Q Tonight), Shorab Palaza,Block 32, FazlL-e-haq Road
Islamabad., ☎ 051-8317131,
051-8317132, . 12-24. Popular new
BBQ restaurant, same owners as the branch in Karachi. Big rush on
dinner timings. Price ranges from 300-700 per person. 300+. edit
Drinking Alcohol in public is nominally ban and most of the top
end hotels have their own bars. Try local brands like Murree
Brewery, in addition to that there are other brands such as
Budweiser and Bavaria with non-alchoholic beer. Non-Muslim visitors
can obtain from the local police a so called 'non-Muslim
declaration'. This permit gives you the right to legally buy a
limited amount of alcoholic drinks like bottles of wine or beer.
For instance, Pakistan's small Christian minority is by law allowed
to consume alcohol because the consumation of alcohol (wine)
appears in some biblical stories. Most Pakistani's though would
find it extremely rude and offensive if you show or drink alcohol
In soft drinks, try local limca cola which makes "pop" sound
when opened. you can also try Pakola; Pakistan’s premier soft drink
brand which is available in different flavors like Ice cream soda,
Lychee, Orange, Raspberry, Apple sidra, Vino, Double cola, Bubble
In other drinks try Strawberry milk shakes and dhamaka soda
(dhamaka means bang - the bang that happens when one opens the
bottle) from Jinnah super market.
If you happen to be there in winter then in Karachi company
G9,there is a place that serves excellent soup... Just ask someone
and they will happily show you. This particular place is on left
hand side of famous Prince Bakers.
- Gelato Affairs (Gelato
Affairs), F-7/3 (Gole Market), ☎ 0512610919. edit
Budget accommodation in Islamabad is fairly lackluster and
questionably clean. There are many guesthouses around the city that
make a nice alternative to a hotel.
- The Boys Hostel (TBH), G-8 (campus), F-10
(Campus) & G-10 (Campus). Phone: 2102352, 2256705, 2224012
- Hotel Blue Sky, Sitara Market, G-7 Markaz.
Double rooms from Rs300, with cable tv from Rs400.
- Hotel Friends Inn, Aabpara Market, G-6 Markaz.
Double rooms from Rs1000, single room from Rs600
- Hotel Meraj Next to National Bank of Pakistan,
G-9 Markaz, Karachi Company. Tel: +92 (0)51 2282587, 2255056-7
Double rooms from Rs600
- Tourist Camping Site Opposite Aabpara Market
in the Rose Graden G-6 Markaz. Rs50 per person, Rs100 per vehicle
(bicycles free). Popular with overlanders.
Soi, 6 Kohsar
Rd, F-7/3 (Nearby to
Jinnah Super Market), ☎ +92 (51)
Same owner as Upper Deck
restaurant. Starting around
Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area (near Citibank and Zero-poin), ☎ +92 (51) 227-7890 (email@example.com),
. 4-star range hotel, around Rs3500/night. edit
- New Cape Grace Guest House, H 8, Justice Abdul Rasheed
Road, F-6/1, ☎ +92 (300)
. 3-star range GuestHouse with 3MB
WiFi@FiberOptic, Airconditioning & Heating, Powerbackup &
more. Starting from 2200PKR per
International Guest House, House # 248, Street #
31,G-8/2, ☎ +92-300-8525521 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 3-star range guesthouse with WiFi,Aircondition
and heated rooms. Starting around Rs.
- Sabipak Travelers Home (Savanna Inn), House No. 14-A, Street No. 28, 7th Avenue,
Sector F-6/1, ☎ +92
(0)300-5192413 (email@example.com), . affordable rooms, for families, Single Female,
seniors, Tourist and business travelers. around PKR 2200/night. edit
- Serena Hotel, Khayaban-e-Suhrawardy, F-6. +92
(0) 51 111-133133, . This 5-star hotel is
the nicest in the city, with great restaurants and a gym. Rooms and
suites $300-700. Presidential suite $2000.
- Number Three, 3 College Road, F-7/3. +92 (0)
51 2822070 -71, . A luxury boutique
hotel in a posh residential area, with private terraces and
stunning views of the Margalla Hills.
- Number Three Lush, House 27-A, Street 18,
F-7/2. +92 (0) 51 2651070 – 72, . A luxury boutique
hotel in a posh residential area, with a restaurant and business
- Radisson Hotel Islamabad Capital Park, F-8
Markaz. Opening Fall 2008.
- Radisson Hotel Islamabad Civic Centre, G-6
Markaz. Slated to open February 2009.
- PC Bhurban, in Bhurban  is a holiday resort
located just 100kms from Islamabad in the surroundings of beautiful
hills. Very close to Murree, so a great place to stop and see as
- Marriott Hotel, Agha Khan Road, Shalimar 5.
+92 (0) 51 111-223344, . Once one
of the top hotels in the city, it was ravaged by a truck bomb in
September 2008. Rebuilt in just 3 months, it's once again open for
business. But now the security is improved.
some of the future hotels in Islamabad includes: Grand Hyatt,
Avari, Jumeirah, Inter Continental and Hilton cornad
The area code for Islamabad is 51. To dial from within pakistan,
The Police emergency number is 15. There are various Police
stations in the city with staff available 24/7.
Islamabad is generally a safe and calm city, but is no stranger
to the occasional bomb targeting major hotels and embassies. Most
recently, on September 2008 the Marriott was gutted by a truck
bomb, killing 53 people. It's unlikely that you would be at the
wrong place at the wrong time, and it's rare that they penetrate
deep into their targets, but you may want to avoid lingering near
the entrance of the major hotels.
Bottled water is a good idea. Although water in Islamabad is
generally clean, it is mainly gained from mountain water and tube
wells and may contain minerals your system is not used to, and may
not be stored and carried in the cleanest of ways.
Most locals do not drink tap water, but may get
water from Govt. istalled filteration plans. Tap water is normally
boiled and it is strongly suggested that you carry bottled water
and request it at all food places. If you are unsure about the
hygine of a particular place, try to avoid ice in all your
There are 3 major hospitals in Islamabad. Pakistan Institute of
medical sciences also known as PIMS next to G-8 Markaz, Shifa
International Hospital in H-8/4 and Poly Clinic in sector G-6.
Also, there are various private hospitals in every sector in
Islamabad providing extensive health care with different price
Blue Area and Super Market (F-6) both have the two most
trustable names in drug stores, Shaheen Chemists and D. Watson.
Both the stores are completely reliable and will be able to offer
sound advice for minor ailments. They also carry a wide variety of
European and American foods, albeit at a high price. They may even
have a doctor at the facility, should a quick suggestion be
Although Islamabad may look relatively modern, superficially
hinting at a Western lifestyle, there are some basic guidelines to
keep in mind given the cutural values of Pakistan's society.
- People are very friendly and indeed very good hosts. Many of
Islamabad's citizens are well-educated and speak English very well,
working for the government and in the private sector. Be gracious
in accepting invitations to people's houses for lunch, tea or
dinner: it will reflect well on you if you verbally ensure that you
are causing them no inconvenience.
- Generally, women do not shake hands with men, though this
varies greatly by social class, social setting, age and personal
upbringing. A good rule of thumb for both men and women: do not
shake hands with members of the opposite sex unless they extend
their hands first (in which case it would be rude of you not to
shake their hands!). The best way to greet someone is to nod and
say "Assalam-u-alaikum" - smiling always helps!
- Don't consume alcohol in public.
- It's a good idea to avoid taking photographs of military
establishments, police stations and anyone in uniform (army
officers wear khaki, naval officers wear white, and the Islamabad
police wear navy blue trousers with a light blue shirt). If in
doubt, permission can be requested from the officers
- Islamabad is relatively safe, compared to other Pakistani
cities, or indeed, most capital cities: violent crime is very rare,
but use precautions as you would in any other city.
English Local Newspaper The Dawn, The News, The
Nation & The Daily Times are national newspapers in English
supplemented with local news sections.
Business Recorder is the only newpaper providing
national and international business news. However,
newspapers are like New York Times, Los Angles Times, International
Herald Tribune, Financial Times, Khaleej Times, Gulf News, Sunday
Times and etc., are also available. These international newspapers
usually arrive in Islamabad a day after publishing.
All newspapers (international, national and local) are available
at book stores in leading hotels like Serena & Marriott. They
can also be purchased from leading book stores such as London Book
House (Kohsar Market in sector F-6/3), Saeed Book Bank (Jinnah
Super Market in sector F-7), and Mr. Books (Super Market in sector
- Taxila – fascinating
ancient ruins await you here
- Simly Dam It is situated at a distance of
about 30 km north east of Islamabad. The lake is spread over an
area of 28,750 acre. There is complete facilities for all kinds of
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