Pakistan Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Pakistan is an off the beaten track destination which is becoming more and more popular especially with travellers seeking adventure and trekking. Pakistan is a lot less touristy than other destinations in Asia, you could visit large cities or explore more remote regions of the country.
Activities & Things to Do in Pakistan
Travel to Pakistan
View our Pakistan guide with travel tips, ideas for the best things to see and do when backpacking or on a gap year and advice about itineraries, costs, how to save money, and more!
- Capital: Islamabad
- Currency: Pakistani rupee (PKR)
- Country Size: 803,940 km²
- Population: 162,419,000 (approx)
- Language: Urdu + English + local languages
Top Reasons to Visit Pakistan
If you would enjoy visiting a country with historical sites, spectacular scenery and are up for a challenge away from the tourist crowds then Pakistan is a must visit destination. Thousands of people choose to visit Pakistan every year for religious, cultural and historical reasons whilst there are so many incredible travel opportunities available. There are travel companies inside Pakistan and also based internationally which offer travel packages to Pakistan all year round.
Pakistan is somewhat a mystery since very few tourists come to visit eveyr year. But for all you might have heard about safety, this country is home to some of the most famous places on the planet. Not only is the most dangerous peak of the world lying on the northern icy borders of the country, but the world’s most demanded and most delicious mangos are grown in the country’s inner cities (a random but suprising fact). Pakistan is also a very inexpensive country to travel compared to the cost of other places in Asia. Sure, it has its reputation for being a dangerous country but if you are careful and book a structured tour, you shouldn't have any problems.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Pakistan is geographically ideal as it provides almost every type of weather. In the inner mid-country region, the climate is warm and hot due to being close to the sea level, but as you journey towards the North, you start to feel the terrain getting much colder and higher. The northern side of Pakistan, supposedly the side that’s most dangerous to traverse but it is most definitely its most visited location due to the amazing mountains. There really is no best time of the year to visit Pakistan.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Pakistan
Pakistan is a huge country and these are some places you need to add to your itinerary:
- Hunza Valley
- Swat Valley
- Kalash Valley
- Neelum Valley
- Kaghan Valley
- Murree Hills
- Shandur Pas
- Jehlum Valley
Travelling & Itinerary
Whether you begin your journey from the southern seaboard of Karachi or the mainland Lahore or the capital in the highlands, Islamabad, you will have a lot of choice for places to go. The most sought-after destination in summer as well as winter is the hill station.
The higher states of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are for the adventure traveller. You can choose the routes towards Neelam Valley following the roads of Muzaffarabad. Although tourist buses are available too but if you wish to save the cost, try the locals. They’re faster. If you’re going towards the Himalayas, you should take the route towards Sri Nagar. The long journey will be tiring but the view will nevertheless be refreshing at every corner. You can take a detour towards Deosai National Park. After Deosai, you are closer to your destination than ever, so don’t stop. Head to Skardu. You can now be sure of the fact that you’ve been to the Himalayas because now you’ll be in sight of the famous mountain range that houses the most dangerous and the second highest peak in the world, the K-2. This is the border state between the countries of India, Pakistan, and China.
Alternative routes exist that go towards the border to Afghanistan, and all those who have been towards that destination have expressed a compulsive desire to go back again at least once more. The famous locations that are found along the way are Mansehra city and Sawat. These two are famous for their apple farms, dry fruits and gorgeous landscapes along with very affordable resorts and inns with rooms that can house a single tourist as well as several families. After crossing Sawat, you can visit the majestic sights available in Shandur National Park. Choose to stay at Kalaam or not, do not underestimate the significance of the city in the eyes of every Pakistani. A top spot for every traveller on their way towards the borders.
Pakistan Travel Tips
The currency of the Pakistan is even cheaper than the Indian rupee and money goes a long way in the country.
Hotels are very cheap! If you are looking to travel independently you can take local buses to get around most parts of the country on a very low budget.
Pakistan is home to some of the most delicious foods that are both, cultural and traditional and at the same time, historically not only recognized but demanded. The major foods available in that area of the country include fresh fish, fruits and dry fruits. Meat is preferred all around the country but especially in the northern areas, since cultivation is hard.
Health & Safety:
Please check latest safety advice about travelling in this region, our website features organisations who can arrange experiences but trips have been limited in recent years.
Gap Year in Pakistan
Interested in spending your gap year in Pakistan? Search ideas and programs on our website today.