Backpacking Pakistan

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!

How about exploring colorful mosques, fascinating markets and above all, sample an incredible amount of delicious food? Don’t hesitate any longer! Through our itinerary, you’ll be able to axplore the originality and diversity of Pakistan.


Important Basics

Official Language ( Urdu and English )
EnglishUrdu
HelloHello
GoodbyeKhuda hafiz
Thank youShukriya
YesJi Haan
NoNahin
Capital City

Islamabad

Form of Government

Parliamentary and semi-presidential republic

Best Time to Visit

March to October

Fun Facts
  • The national sport of Pakistan is field hockey.
  • Cotton fibers are the main export of Pakistan.
  • The youngest person to get the Nobel Prize, Malala Yousafzai, comes from Pakistan.
  • ”Pakistan” means “Holy Place”, as “Pak” is persian for “Holy”, and “Istan” is Hindi for “Place”.

Cities

Islamabad

The capital of Pakistan is an absolute must-see on your trip through the country and a perfect starting point for your backpacking adventure in Pakistan!

Islamabad is located in the northern part of Pakistan and is known as a place of peace and solitude. Islamabad is very multifaceted, as you will soon discover that on your trip: with a variety of food, lots of shopping centers, gardens, parks, and many museums to discover, there is a lot to explore in your first destination. And don’t forget to visit the great mosque, known as the Shah Faisal Mosque, which will definitely blow you away. If you want to get out of the city a bit, there is a hiking trail that takes you to the amazing viewpoints of Pir Sowaha and Daman e Koh.

As for accommodation, you can stay in one of the local hostels and get a double room for €19.

Karimabad

You can get to Gilgit by night bus from Islamabad for about €16 overnight, so you don’t need accommodation in Gilgit. The city is the perfect stopover on the way to Karimabad. Once in town, you will certainly want to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the region. Gilgit is surrounded by the mountains of Karakorum, green valleys, and beautiful lakes. The Gilgit-Baltistan region is home to a very diverse culture. More than six languages are spoken here, including Balti, Shina, Burushaski, Khwar, Whaki, and Domaki. It is a beautiful ride to get there and the perfect stopover on your itinerary, so you can enjoy the picturesque landscape for a while.

The trip from Gilgit to Karimabad costs €5 by minibus. In Karimabad, there are several important sights that you should not miss. One of them is the Baltit Fort, which dates back to the 13th century. It is one of the most famous buildings in the Hunza Valley. There is also a local village around the fort which is nice to explore.

You can also visit the Altit Fort & Village and the Monminabad Village, where you can experience the local culture firsthand. The Ganish Village is also a must-visit as it is the first settlement in the Hunza Valley and houses a mosque that is over 400 years old.

While you stay for a few days and explore the area, sleep at one of the local hotels. You can get a double room for €10 a night.

Lahore

You will take a night bus for about €21 from Karimabad, which will take you from Lahore to Gilgit and from Gilgit to Islamabad. You'll stay again in Islamabad in a local hotel for €19 a night for a bed in a double room. The trip to Lahore will then be followed by another bus ride, which will cost you about €9.

You should stay at least two full days in Lahore to explore it all. It is the second-largest city and the richest city in Pakistan. Some of the important places you can visit in Lahore are the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, the market at Delhi Gate, where you can learn about local crafts and food, and the border ceremony at Wahga Gate, which is held between India

and the Pakistani military on the border. You can get a single room in a hotel in Lahore for €19 a night.

Bahawalpur

To get to Bahawalpur, you’ll take the train from Lahore to Bahawalpur for €6. Bahawalpur is located near the Cholistan Desert and is a very interesting place to visit with the most detailed and artistic architectural buildings in Pakistan. These include the Darawar Fort, the Darbar Mahal, the Noor Mahal Abbasi Mosque, and the Sadiq Garh Palace. Apart from the beautiful buildings that are sure to fascinate you, there is also the Lal Sohanra National Park.

You can sleep in one of Bahawalpur’s hotels and get a double room for €30 a night.

Sukkur

From Bahawalpur, you can take the train to Sukkur for €3. It is best to take a whole day to explore the area. Sukkur is a city in the Pakistani province of Sindh and if you visit this city in Pakistan, you shouldn’t miss some important sights like the Tomb of the Seven Sisters, Sadh Belo, Lansdowne Bridge, and Masoom Shah Jo Minaro.

Sukkur is famous for its archaeological sites and the ruins of Sindh. Shahi Bazaar is in the center of the town, and you can find local food, handicrafts, and clothing there, making it a great way to discover the culture of the city.

You can get a double room in one of the local hotels for €25 a night.

Karachi

The last stop on your backpacking trip through Pakistan is Karachi. You’ll get there by bus for €7. It is the perfect place to end your trip, and it is best to have at least three full days to explore everything the city has to offer. In Karachi, a single room in the Bath Iceland of Houses Hotel costs €18 per night.

Karachi is a big city and the most populous city in Pakistan. As it’s the most diverse city in Pakistan in terms of ethnicity and language, there is an abundance of cultural sights in Karachi. On the one hand, there are places like the French Beach, the Marina Club, and Clifton Beach, where you can enjoy your time outdoors and on the water. On the other

hand, there are several museums like the PAF Museum, the National Museum of Pakistan, and the Mohatta Palance Museum that you can visit to learn more about Pakistani history. There are plenty of activities that you will certainly not be short of.

It is the perfect final destination as the city has a large airport with great fares to fly home with no worries in mind.


Islamabad

Islamabad

The capital of Pakistan is an absolute must-see on your trip through the country and a perfect starting point for your backpacking adventure in Pakistan!

Islamabad is located in the northern part of Pakistan and is known as a place of peace and solitude. Islamabad is very multifaceted, as you will soon discover that on your trip: with a variety of food, lots of shopping centers, gardens, parks, and many museums to discover, there is a lot to explore in your first destination. And don’t forget to visit the great mosque, known as the Shah Faisal Mosque, which will definitely blow you away. If you want to get out of the city a bit, there is a hiking trail that takes you to the amazing viewpoints of Pir Sowaha and Daman e Koh.

As for accommodation, you can stay in one of the local hostels and get a double room for €19.

Karimabad

Karimabad

You can get to Gilgit by night bus from Islamabad for about €16 overnight, so you don’t need accommodation in Gilgit. The city is the perfect stopover on the way to Karimabad. Once in town, you will certainly want to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the region. Gilgit is surrounded by the mountains of Karakorum, green valleys, and beautiful lakes. The Gilgit-Baltistan region is home to a very diverse culture. More than six languages are spoken here, including Balti, Shina, Burushaski, Khwar, Whaki, and Domaki. It is a beautiful ride to get there and the perfect stopover on your itinerary, so you can enjoy the picturesque landscape for a while.

The trip from Gilgit to Karimabad costs €5 by minibus. In Karimabad, there are several important sights that you should not miss. One of them is the Baltit Fort, which dates back to the 13th century. It is one of the most famous buildings in the Hunza Valley. There is also a local village around the fort which is nice to explore.

You can also visit the Altit Fort & Village and the Monminabad Village, where you can experience the local culture firsthand. The Ganish Village is also a must-visit as it is the first settlement in the Hunza Valley and houses a mosque that is over 400 years old.

While you stay for a few days and explore the area, sleep at one of the local hotels. You can get a double room for €10 a night.

Lahore

Lahore

You will take a night bus for about €21 from Karimabad, which will take you from Lahore to Gilgit and from Gilgit to Islamabad. You'll stay again in Islamabad in a local hotel for €19 a night for a bed in a double room. The trip to Lahore will then be followed by another bus ride, which will cost you about €9.

You should stay at least two full days in Lahore to explore it all. It is the second-largest city and the richest city in Pakistan. Some of the important places you can visit in Lahore are the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, the market at Delhi Gate, where you can learn about local crafts and food, and the border ceremony at Wahga Gate, which is held between India

and the Pakistani military on the border. You can get a single room in a hotel in Lahore for €19 a night.

Bahawalpur

Bahawalpur

To get to Bahawalpur, you’ll take the train from Lahore to Bahawalpur for €6. Bahawalpur is located near the Cholistan Desert and is a very interesting place to visit with the most detailed and artistic architectural buildings in Pakistan. These include the Darawar Fort, the Darbar Mahal, the Noor Mahal Abbasi Mosque, and the Sadiq Garh Palace. Apart from the beautiful buildings that are sure to fascinate you, there is also the Lal Sohanra National Park.

You can sleep in one of Bahawalpur’s hotels and get a double room for €30 a night.

Sukkur

Sukkur

From Bahawalpur, you can take the train to Sukkur for €3. It is best to take a whole day to explore the area. Sukkur is a city in the Pakistani province of Sindh and if you visit this city in Pakistan, you shouldn’t miss some important sights like the Tomb of the Seven Sisters, Sadh Belo, Lansdowne Bridge, and Masoom Shah Jo Minaro.

Sukkur is famous for its archaeological sites and the ruins of Sindh. Shahi Bazaar is in the center of the town, and you can find local food, handicrafts, and clothing there, making it a great way to discover the culture of the city.

You can get a double room in one of the local hotels for €25 a night.

Karachi

Karachi

The last stop on your backpacking trip through Pakistan is Karachi. You’ll get there by bus for €7. It is the perfect place to end your trip, and it is best to have at least three full days to explore everything the city has to offer. In Karachi, a single room in the Bath Iceland of Houses Hotel costs €18 per night.

Karachi is a big city and the most populous city in Pakistan. As it’s the most diverse city in Pakistan in terms of ethnicity and language, there is an abundance of cultural sights in Karachi. On the one hand, there are places like the French Beach, the Marina Club, and Clifton Beach, where you can enjoy your time outdoors and on the water. On the other

hand, there are several museums like the PAF Museum, the National Museum of Pakistan, and the Mohatta Palance Museum that you can visit to learn more about Pakistani history. There are plenty of activities that you will certainly not be short of.

It is the perfect final destination as the city has a large airport with great fares to fly home with no worries in mind.

Pakistan Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home – Islamabad
Home – Islamabad
Flight
250
Double room
19
2. Islamabad
Islamabad
-
Double room
19
3. Islamabad – Gilgit
Islamabad – Gilgit
Night bus
16
Night bus
4. Gilgit – Karimabad
Gilgit – Karimabad
Mini van
5
Double room
10
5. Karimabad
Karimabad
-
Double room
10
6. Karimabad
Karimabad
-
Double room
10
7. Karimabad
Karimabad
-
Double room
10
8. Karimabad – Gilgit – Islamabad
Karimabad – Gilgit – Islamabad
Night bus
21
Night bus
9. Islamabad
Islamabad
-
Double room
19
10. Islamabad – Lahore
Islamabad – Lahore
Bus
9
Single room
19
11. Lahore
Lahore
-
Single room
19
12. Lahore
Lahore
-
Single room
19
13. Lahore – Bahawalpur
Lahore – Bahawalpur
Train
6
Double room
30
14. Bahawalpur
Bahawalpur
-
Double room
30
15. Bahawalpur – Sukkur
Bahawalpur – Sukkur
Train
3
Double room
25
16. Sukkur
Sukkur
-
Double room
25
17. Sukkur – Karachi
Sukkur – Karachi
Bus
7
Single room
18
18. Karachi
Karachi
-
Single room
18
19. Karachi
Karachi
-
Single room
18
20. Karachi
Karachi
-
Single room
18
21. Karachi – Home
Karachi – Home
Flight
250

Total price.

Flights 500,00
Transportation 67,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 336,00
Total903,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Tandoori Chapatti: these flat breads are perfect for a breakfast in Pakistan. They are properly seasoned and come with a matching dip.

Soups

Dal: the Pakistani Dal is especially very spicy and is mixed with meat. The broth is then refined with cilantro giving the dal a Pakistani taste.

Main courses

Kebab: the kebab in Pakistan is mainly made from mutton. It is accompanied by a traditional pita and cooked vegetables.

Tikka: this chicken skewer can be found at every street corner and makes for a great snack.

Goulash with curry: the Pakistanis swear by their goulash and it tastes best in combination with a spicy curry.

Chicken Curry: curry in Pakistan is also served together with chicken. It is accompanied by a spicy chilli sauce and cooked vegetables. An absolute favourite dish of the locals.

Drinks & Snacks

Gulab Jamun: this sweet dessert is beloved in Pakistan. Dough balls are fried then coated with syrup.

Black tea: black tea is the most popular drink in Pakistan and you will quickly fall in love with its taste as well.

Pakistan

The exchange rate for 100 Pakistani rupee (PKR) is around €0,47 (as of May 2022). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of Living

Food

Free Time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Have long and detailed conversations with the locals. They will be happy to tell you about their families and work and it’ll be a great way to make new friends. Don’t be scared to be open and tell them about yourself.

Take a look at the Himalayas. A short trek should be a must-do, but keep in mind that you need some experience if you want to go to higher altitudes.

Speak implicitly and politely. The Pakistanis also talk among themselves very carefully and implicitly. This includes criticism as well as compliments.

Don'ts

Unmarried couples should not live together in one room in Pakistan. This is considered illegal in general. Some hotels make an exception, but it is better to check this rule before you start your trip. The same applies to homosexuality.

Travelling alone as a woman is rather problematic in Pakistan. The Muslim country has a rule that women should travel accompanied by a man. Every backpacker has to decide that for themselves, of course, but it is still a helpful tip.

Political topics should rather not be brought up in a conversation. Politics in Pakistan is often a point of conflict and there are big differences of opinion. Therefore, you better pick other topics for conversation.

Never rush a local. Peace and quiet are very important to Pakistanis and no tourist should disturb this state of mind. So always talk calmly and quietly and do not give orders.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

Yes

Vaccine

Robert-Koch-Instituts

Additional Remarks.

There are no recent known difficulties related to having an Israeli entry stamp in your passport. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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