Update April 12, 2024

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Pakistan Travel Advisory

Travel advisory june 23, 2023, pakistan - level 3: reconsider travel.

Reissued with updates to health information.

Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to  terrorism . Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to: 

  • Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to  terrorism  and  kidnapping .
  • The immediate vicinity of the India-Pakistan border and the Line of Control due to  terrorism  and  the potential for armed conflict .

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue to plot attacks in Pakistan. Terrorism and ongoing violence by extremist elements have led to indiscriminate attacks on civilian, as well as local military and police, targets. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship, and government facilities. Terrorists have targeted U.S. diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past.

Terrorist attacks continue across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KP, including the former FATA. Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in numerous casualties.

Pakistan’s security environment remains fluid sometimes changing with little or no notice. There are greater security resources and infrastructure in the major cities, particularly Islamabad, and security forces in these areas may be more readily able to respond to an emergency compared to other areas of the country. While threats still exist, terrorist attacks occur less frequently in major urban areas than other parts of Pakistan.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Pakistan due to the security environment. Travel by U.S. government personnel within Pakistan is restricted, and additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel outside of U.S. diplomatic facilities may occur at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.

The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar is unable to provide any consular services to U.S. citizens.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Pakistan. 

If you decide to travel to Pakistan:      

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas . 
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and local events. 
  • Vary travel routes and timing, especially for routine trips. 
  • Be cognizant of your surroundings, particularly around public markets, restaurants, government and military institutions, and other locations. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive security alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter . 
  • Review the Country Security Report for Pakistan. 
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergencies. Review the Traveler’s Checklist . 

Balochistan Province – Level 4: Do Not Travel 

Do not travel to Balochistan province. Active terrorist groups, including an active separatist movement, have conducted deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, religious minorities, government offices, and security forces.

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .  

KP Province, including the former FATA – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to KP province, which includes the former FATA. Active terrorist and insurgent groups routinely conduct attacks against civilians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government offices, and security forces. These groups historically have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common, including the targeting of polio eradication teams and Government of Pakistan security service (police and military) personnel.

Vicinity of Line of Control – Level 4: Do Not Travel 

Do not travel to the India-Pakistan border, including the Line of Control. Militant groups are known to operate in the area. India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah, Pakistan, and Atari, India. Travelers are advised to confirm the status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. An Indian visa is required to enter India, and no visa services are available at the border.

Travel Advisory Levels

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Pakistan travel advice

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Last updated: April 17, 2024 12:10 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, pakistan - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Pakistan due to the unpredictable security situation. There is a threat of terrorism, civil unrest, sectarian violence and kidnapping.

Regional advisory - Avoid all travel

  • the area within 50 km of the border with Afghanistan
  • the areas within 10 km of the borders with China, India and Iran
  • the areas within 10 km of the Line of Control, except the official border crossings at:
  • Wagah and the Grand Trunk Road leading there
  • Khunjerab Pass and the Karakorum Highway leading there
  • the section of the Karakoram Highway from Mansehra to Chilas
  • Pakistan-administered Kashmir
  • the province of Balochistan
  • the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the exception of the following districts where we advise against non-essential travel:

Karachi - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the city of Karachi, due to violence and the risk of terrorism.

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The Government of Canada may not be in a position to provide consular assistance to Canadians in areas where:

  • there are serious security concerns
  • the Government of Pakistan prohibits entry
  • advance permission is required for entry

Security situation and elections

There have been ongoing political demonstrations since November 2022. Federal elections took place on February 8, 2024.

Security forces continue to be on high alert in the following cities:

The security situation is evolving and remains unpredictable.

  • Communication networks may be disrupted
  • Roadblocks could lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation, including transit routes to airports

If you are in Pakistan:

  • avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
  • carry photo identification at all times
  • expect an increased presence of security forces
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice
  • monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including curfew orders

Border area with India

The level of tension between Pakistan and India is susceptible to sudden changes. You could experience difficulties when travelling between the two countries and may be subject to scrutiny if officials from either country become aware that you have recently travelled to the other.

The security situation in the Kashmir region, especially along the Line of Control (LoC), which separates India-administered Kashmir in the south from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in the north, and along the working boundary that continues south toward Sialkot, remains volatile. Since September 2016, cross-border gunfire and shelling have been occurring sporadically along the LoC.

Although the Wagah border crossing linking Lahore, Pakistan, to Amritsar, India, is regularly used by international travellers, it remains vulnerable to attack. Security measures are in place. Visitors may experience long delays.

Border areas with Afghanistan, China and Iran

Border areas with Afghanistan, China and Iran often experience terrorist activity, smuggling and violence. With the exception of official border crossings, foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 50 kilometres of the border with Afghanistan.

Bandits in border areas with Afghanistan and Iran are usually involved in drug trafficking.

Sistan-Baluchistan in Iran, which borders Pakistan, is regularly affected by ethnic conflicts and is also a known route for smugglers. Foreign nationals have been the target of kidnappings.

Terrorist attacks may also occur in this province.

If you decide to travel overland to Iran and Afghanistan despite this warning:

  • travel only on main roads
  • travel in organized groups
  • avoid travel after dark


The security situation in the province of Balochistan remains unstable, due to a long-standing nationalist insurgency and government counter-insurgency operations. Insurgents and militants may target commercial spaces and foreigners, in particular those associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Attacks on police and security forces occur frequently. Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is also a known route for smugglers.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

The security situation in Central and Western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, including its capital Peshawar is unstable due to terrorism, sectarian and political violence and high levels of crime. North Waziristan, South Waziristan, and the Khyber District are particularly volatile and continue to be impacted by the security situation in Afghanistan. Attacks on security and military forces occur frequently. Civil unrest also takes place regularly.

Certain sectors of Karachi experience high levels of violence. These include:

  • Orangi Town

Extremist groups are present in some parts of the city and there have been terrorist attacks in recent years on high-profile targets, including the Stock Exchange and Chinese Consulate. Carefully plan any travel to, or in the city. Strikes and protest marches tend to take place in central areas of Karachi. These events may cause travel disruptions throughout the city and lead to violent civil unrest. Other criminal activities and violence that can occur in Karachi include carjacking, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder.


Clashes between protesters and security forces have occurred. Past demonstrations have led to traffic and public transport disruptions. Do not travel by road to Gilgit-Baltistan province.

Many parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province are unstable due to terrorism, violence, and crime rates, including Upper and Lower Chitral districts. Do not travel by road to this area.

There is a high threat of terrorism in Pakistan. The security situation is fragile and unpredictable. Several terrorist groups are present and operate across the country. Incidents are typically attributed to extremism, ethnic divisions, sectarian strife, regional political disputes and the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan. Bombings, shootings and other terrorist attacks have been directed at a wide range of targets and have caused many deaths and injuries.

In the formerly Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and in the province of Balochistan, attacks are frequent and are often directed at security and military forces.

Further attacks are likely. Attacks can take many forms, including:

  • targeted killings and kidnappings
  • armed assaults
  • suicide bombings
  • improvised explosive devices

Some attacks involve detailed planning to maximize casualties through multiple and consecutive explosions. Targets could include:

  • sects or minority groups
  • government and military assets and personnel
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
  • elections-related events and polling stations
  • civil aviation facilities, including aircrafts

There is an increased risk of attack during religious holidays and days of national significance, such as:

  • National Day (March 23)
  • Independence Day (August 14)
  • the Islamic month of Muharram (particularly on the day of Ashura)
  • the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha

Expect heightened security measures and associated disruptions during these periods.

In Islamabad, you should:

  • keep a low profile, particularly in areas regularly frequented by foreigners
  • avoid the Lal Masjid Mosque (also known as the Red Mosque)
  • be particularly cautious in or around western-style restaurants and shopping centres
  • only stay in hotels that have stringent security measures in place, including metal detectors and closed security perimeters

Military activity

Stay away from areas where military or militant activity is taking place.

The risk of kidnapping for ransom is high, especially in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh. Pakistani citizens are particularly at risk. Express kidnapping also takes place.

  • Use varied and unpredictable routes and schedules when moving from one place to another
  • Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Cell phones, credit cards and passports are favourite targets. Credit card fraud is common.

  • Ensure that your personal belongings, passports other travel documents are secure at all times
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence
  • If travelling by car, keep valuable belongings out of sight, windows closed and doors locked
  • Avoid travelling after dusk, particularly in rural areas where road conditions are unsafe
  • Make arrangements to be met at the airport, especially if arriving after dark
  • Verify flight and airport operation details before travelling
  • Remain aware of the security situation on routes to and from airports

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Demonstrations take place regularly. Demonstrations can take place without warning, and some may take on an anti-western tone. They have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Deaths, injuries and widespread violence have occurred at such events. Demonstrations can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Women's safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Gender-based violence is common in Pakistan. Honour killings and forced marriages are frequently reported.

If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should report it immediately to the nearest Government of Canada office.

  • Avoid travelling alone, especially at night
  • Remain particularly vigilant in less-frequented areas
  • Be careful when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances

Advice for women travellers

2SLGBTQI+ persons

2SLGBTQI+ persons could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Human rights organizations have reported discrimination and violence being committed against 2SLGBTQI+ persons in Pakistan, including the denial of basic rights and services, sexual violence and murder. Many hotels and similar establishments may only allow “married couples” to stay together, and same-sex couples should be prepared to stay separately while travelling.

Forced marriages

Forced marriage affecting foreigners occurs. It sometimes occurs without the affected person's prior knowledge or consent.

Some Canadians have been forced into marital arrangements and have been detained against their will. They have been subjected to threats, intimidation and violence by family members.

If you're in Canada

If you're in Canada and you believe that you're being forced to travel overseas or to marry, you should call your local police for assistance.

If you're in Pakistan

If you're in Pakistan and you believe that you're being forced to marry, contact the High Commission of Canada to Pakistan in Islamabad. You may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre .

Family members may retain passports to prevent victims from returning to Canada.

  • Keep digital or physical copies of your travel documents in a safe place
  • General information and advice about forced marriage

Business deals can involve extortion and corruption. All business disputes, including those involving criminality, are subject to Pakistani legal proceedings. The High Commission of Canada cannot intervene on a Canadian's behalf in a private legal matter.

Overseas fraud

Trekking and climbing

No trekking is allowed in the closed zones located near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and near the Line of Control between Pakistan- and India-administered Kashmir. Trekking permits are required by the Government of Pakistan for peaks over 6000m, and in most national parks. Access to roads are limited, and often in very poor condition.

Only experienced climbers should go to the northern mountains of the Himalayas, Hindukush or Karakoram. Because of their great height, the Karakoram Mountains experience heavy glaciation, particularly on the southern, more humid slopes.

If you intend on engaging in trekking activities:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation from remote areas
  • confirm that the air ambulance firm contracted has a local agent in Pakistan who can ensure that local rescue teams provide the required emergency services
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you're properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and don't venture off marked trails or slopes

In case of air evacuation, advance payment of the total evacuation cost is required from the insurance company before rescue teams will perform rescue operations. The Government of Canada is unable to intervene, provide, or pay for rescue services.

Road travel

Road conditions.

In many urban areas, roads may be narrow, crowded and poorly lit, with limited signage and poor maintenance. Outside major highways and main cities, roads are mostly unpaved and four-wheel drive vehicles may be necessary.

Mountain roads may have steep drops and lack safety barriers.

Weather conditions can change quickly, particularly during winter. Snow, ice, fog, rain can lead to dangerous driving conditions and disrupt travel. Landslides caused by heavy rain can block or wash away roads.

  • Check local news and weather reports along your route before you travel

Driving habits

Drivers can be aggressive and reckless, and they do not respect traffic laws. Accidents are common. If an accident occurs and you feel that your safety is threatened, leave the area and report the accident to the nearest police station.

Checkpoints may be set up without warning.

Karakoram highway/Northern region

Sections can be very narrow with precipitous drops and are sometimes partially obstructed by rock and earth slides.

  • Travel on mountain roads only during daylight hours
  • Consult local authorities regarding road openings, particularly during the monsoon rains and winter seasons
  • Avoid the section of the Karakoram Highway from Mansehra to Chilas

If you chose to drive in Pakistan:

  • avoid driving after dark
  • keep doors locked and windows up at all times
  • leave a travel itinerary with a third party
  • carry photo identification to present at police checkpoints
  • be well prepared and equipped with gasoline, water, food and a cell phone
  • call the police if involved in an accident

Public transportation

There are frequent rail accidents due to low safety and maintenance standards. Railways have been targets for riots and terrorist attacks.

Avoid using public transportation including taxis and trains. If you must use public transportation:

  • use bus lines that provide two drivers if you're travelling long distances
  • use radio-controlled taxis from reputable companies
  • consider using taxi hailing apps in major cities

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Pakistani authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Pakistan.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Pakistan.

Work visa: required Tourism visa: required Business visa: required Student visa: required

Holders of a valid National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) card are entitled visa free entry into Pakistan.

Do not overstay the duration of your visa. You could face legal action or be banned from further entry into Pakistan. The status or nature of your visa cannot be changed while in Pakistan. If your visa has expired, you may be able to apply for an exit permit online.

Exit permit – Pakistan Ministry of Interior

Online visa

Holders of a valid Canadian passport are eligible to apply online for a Pakistani online visa. Some restrictions apply.

Apply for an online visa – Pakistan Ministry of Interior


Journalists may have to provide an itinerary to get a visa; the itinerary should be strictly followed during the stay.

Restricted zones

Additional documentation may be required to visit some regions in Pakistan. Check with the High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Canada for entry requirements for the regions you intend to visit.

If you remain in Pakistan for more than four weeks, you must show proof of polio vaccination when leaving the country. The proof of vaccination must have been obtained within the 12 months prior to your departure.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Extensively drug-resistant typhoid in Pakistan - 21 March, 2024
  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024
  • Polio: Advice for travellers - 17 April, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain.  It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.

Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:

  • travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
  • making multiple trips to endemic areas
  • staying for extended periods in rural areas
  • visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
  • engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers going to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care professional about getting vaccinated.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.   Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.  

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Wild poliovirus (WPV1) and/or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV1 or cVDPV3)) is/are present in this destination.

This destination is subject to Temporary Recommendations under the World Health Organization’s polio Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) .  

Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.


  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult .
  • Make sure that the polio vaccinations are documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination. It is provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres .
  • Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.

Proof of vaccination:

  • Travellers who are visiting for longer than 4 weeks may be required to receive a dose of polio vaccine 1 to 12 months before they leave this destination. This may be required even if you have previously received all the recommended polio vaccine doses as part of the routine vaccine schedule in Canada.
  • Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Cutaneous and mucosal   leishmaniasis   causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country. Good health care is available in a small number of hospitals and clinics in some major cities, including in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Basic non-emergency medical care is available in major cities but is limited in rural areas. Emergency services, including ambulances, are virtually non-existent in most of Pakistan. Most medical facilities require prepayment in cash.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Death Penalty

The death penalty may be imposed for more than two dozen criminal offences, including:

  • drug trafficking
  • illegal gathering

Executions in Pakistan occur by hanging.

Drugs and alcohol

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect the death penalty, jail sentences, heavy fines and/or deportation.

The possession and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Transgressors may be punished by detention or other penalties.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Religious proselytizing

Religious proselytizing is not permitted and may lead to accusations of blasphemy, which is considered a capital crime.

Others illegal activities

The following activities are illegal in Pakistan and punishable by heavy fines or jail time:

  • trafficking or eating pork
  • importing pornographic material
  • engaging in prostitution
  • heterosexual couples to live together without being married
  • photographing government buildings, military installations, infrastructure and airports (even from an aircraft)


Local authorities may ask you to show identification at any time.

  • Carry photo identification at all times
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport and visa or residence permit in a safe place, in case they are lost or confiscated


Ask permission before taking photographs of local residents.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

There are no laws in Pakistan to prohibit public or private sector discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Pakistani law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can be fined, face up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Pakistan.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Pakistan.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Pakistan, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

If you were born in Pakistan, and one of your parents is a Pakistani citizen, you should confirm your citizenship status with the High Commission of Pakistan in Ottawa as you could be considered a Pakistani citizen while in Pakistan.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Pakistan.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Pakistan by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Pakistan to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Pakistani family law is very different from Canadian law.

In case of dispute, consult a local lawyer to be fully aware of local laws regarding custody, guardianship and visitation rights.

Dress and behaviour

The country's customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs.

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions

Shorts are considered inappropriate attire for both men and women, particularly in remote locations. Women should consider carrying a headscarf with them at all times while travelling in Pakistan.

Couples should avoid physical contact, such as holding hands, in public.

In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:

Vehicles drive on the left.

You should carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

The currency is the Pakistani rupee (PKR).

The economy is primarily cash based. Credit cards are accepted by some larger establishments.

Currency can be exchanged at all international airports. ATMs are available in main cities but may not accept foreign debit cards.

  • Plan accordingly
  • Make sure you have access to sufficient local currency while in the country

These policies and restrictions may change. Consult with financial authorities such as the State Bank of Pakistan before you travel.

Pakistan is prone to extreme weather events such as:

  • dust storms
  • earthquakes

Extreme temperatures can occur in both summer and winter.

Seismic activity

Severe earthquakes can occur in the western and northern regions of the country. Landslides are possible in affected areas, and strong aftershocks may occur after the initial quake. Transportation, health and telecommunications services may be affected, and land travel could be disrupted.

  • Monitor local news reports
  • Consult advisories from the provincial disaster management authorities

Monsoon and cyclones

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to September. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. It can also lead to landslides. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

Flash flooding can occur, including in densely populated areas. There is a risk of flooding along rivers, including the Indus River.

Pakistan's coastline is subject to tropical cyclones, which are usually accompanied by high winds and heavy rain. During any storm, flash floods and mudslides as well as damage to transportation routes and infrastructure may occur.

  • Monitor regional weather forecasts, including those of the  Pakistan Meteorological Department
  • Follow the advice of local authorities

More about tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons

In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities.

  • Monitor local media and weather forecasts
  • Provincial Disaster Management Authority Balochistan – PDMA PDMA Balochistan
  • Provincial Disaster Management Authority Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – PDMA Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • medical assistance: 115 / 1122
  • firefighters: 16

Consular assistance

Emails related to consular assistance in Afghanistan may be sent to: [email protected]

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Pakistan and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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pakistan travel situation

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Reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan overall due to the volatile security situation and threat of terrorism, kidnapping, violent crime and the risk of civil unrest.

Higher levels apply in some areas.

Pakistan map October 2023

Pakistan (PDF 899.15 KB)

Asia (PDF 2.21 MB)

Local emergency contacts

All emergencies, fire and rescue services.

Call 1122 or 16.

Medical emergencies

Call 1122 or 115, or go to the nearest hospital.

Call 15 or visit the nearest police station.

Advice levels

Reconsider your need to travel  to Pakistan overall.

Reconsider your need to travel  to Pakistan overall due to the volatile security situation and threat of terrorism, kidnapping, violent crime and the risk of civil unrest.

See Safety .

Do not travel  to Balochistan or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (excluding Chitral, Abbottabad and Haripur districts). 

Do not travel to:

  • Balochistan
  • Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (excluding Chitral, Abbottabad and Haripur districts)

due to the poor security situation and high risk of kidnapping.

Do not travel to border areas with Afghanistan and India (excluding Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot).

Do not travel to border areas with Afghanistan and India (excluding Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal and Sialkot) due to the volatile security situation.

  • Frequent and large-scale demonstrations and protests can occur. Protests can turn violent quickly. Avoid large groups of people, demonstrations and protests. The security situation is evolving and remains unpredictable. Monitor media for information on the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Terrorist groups hostile to foreign interests operate in Pakistan. The threat of attack remains very high. Do not travel to Balochistan or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (except the Chitral, Abbottabad and Haripur districts). The risk of attack is highest in these locations. If you travel to other parts of Pakistan, be cautious, including in major cities. Avoid crowded places and possible targets. Always have an exit plan.
  • Reports continue to identify the potential for attacks in Islamabad. In response, heightened security arrangements are in place, including increased security forces, additional checkpoints and temporary road closures. Terrorists may also target places frequented by foreigners, transport infrastructure, including trains and airports, and places of worship. Australian officials in Islamabad have been advised to maintain vigilance. You should exercise heightened vigilance, review your personal security plans and monitor the media for the latest updates.
  • Violent crime, including armed robbery, assault, carjacking and kidnapping, occurs across Pakistan. The risk of kidnapping is very high in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. If you travel to these areas, get professional security advice. If you must go to the Chitral district or Gilgit Baltistan, travel by commercial aircraft and not by road.
  • Political protest action has increased in recent months. This can impact travel and can turn violent. Religious protests are common. Political, sectarian and gang violence often occurs in Karachi. Avoid large public gatherings. If you're caught in a rally, find a safe place and stay indoors.
  • The Afghanistan border area is volatile. The Government of Pakistan does not allow foreigners to travel within 50km of the Afghanistan border in Gilgit Baltistan or within 15km of the Kashmir Line of Control or the entire border with India except at official crossings. If you're in an area close to the border, consider leaving.
  • Firing guns into the air in celebration is illegal but common. People have died as a result. Be careful of celebratory gunfire, especially around major holidays, weddings, celebrations and after sporting victories.
  • Earthquakes are common. Flooding, landslides and tsunamis can occur. Some areas of Pakistan experience extreme heat, with temperatures recorded above 50 degrees Celsius. The risk of disease can increase during the monsoon season (July to September). Follow the advice of local authorities.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Insect-borne diseases, including malaria, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, occur. Drug-resistant strains of malaria have been reported. Consider taking anti-malarial medication. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent. Consider getting vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis.
  • HIV/AIDS is common. Take precautions if you engage in high-risk activities.
  • Polio is endemic. Ensure your vaccinations are up to date. If you're staying longer than 4 weeks, carry evidence of your polio vaccination.
  • Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic, and other infectious diseases are prevalent. They include typhoid, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and measles. Drink only boiled or bottled water listed as 'safe' by the  Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources . Avoid raw or undercooked food.
  • Facilities at some clinics and hospitals in major cities are reasonable but not to Australian standards. Medical facilities are extremely limited in most towns and rural and remote areas. If you're seriously ill or injured, you may need medical evacuation. Ensure your travel insurance covers this.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include the death penalty, large fines and lengthy prison sentences.
  • Domestic violence against women is common in Pakistan. Standards of domestic violence support are far lower than similar services available in Australia. You should consider these risks if you're planning to travel to Pakistan.
  • Corporal punishment applies for some offences, including robbery, public drunkenness, and drinking alcohol if you're Muslim. Be aware of religious sensitivities. It's illegal to import alcohol or pork products. It's illegal to try to convert a Muslim or encourage them to abandon their religion.
  • Same-sex relations are illegal. It's also illegal for unmarried heterosexual couples to live together.
  • Blasphemy can attract the death penalty. Those charged with blasphemy can spend years in prison, undergo lengthy trial processes and are in constant danger from members of the public or prisoners. If you have made public comments, including on social media, that may be construed as blasphemous, you should not travel to Pakistan.
  • Strong Islamic codes of dress and behaviour exist in Pakistan. Avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved clothes. Avoid physical contact between men and women in public. Women may be harassed, especially if they're alone.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • You'll need to get a visa in advance to enter Pakistan. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Pakistani embassy or consulate for the latest details.
  • Some land borders with neighbouring countries are open but could close with little or no notice. You'll need to check if land borders are open before travelling.
  • Contact the  Pakistan High Commission in Canberra  for details. 
  • Carry your yellow fever vaccination certificate if you're coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever. You may need it to enter Pakistan.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the High Commission's social media accounts.
  • For consular help, contact the  Australian High Commission in Islamabad . The High Commission will close to the public at short notice if there are security threats.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Former federally administered tribal areas (fata).

In 2018, all agencies and tribal regions consisting of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) became part of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province. All recommendations in this travel advice for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa include these former regions of FATA.

Terrorist groups hostile to foreign interests operate in Pakistan. Terrorist attacks could occur anywhere and at any time. Counter-terrorism operations occur across the country. 

The threat of attack remains very high, especially in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provinces, which suffer regular and sometimes large-scale terrorist attacks. If you travel to Pakistan, you should remain cautious and vigilant, including in major cities.

Reporting continues to identify the potential for attacks in Islamabad. In response, heightened security arrangements are in place, including an increased security force presence and additional checkpoints. Terrorists may also target places frequented by foreigners, transport infrastructure (including trains and airports) and places of worship. Some public events have been banned. Australian officials in Islamabad have been advised to maintain vigilance, review personal security plans, and monitor the media for the latest updates.

Previous attacks have included the use of grenades, firearms, and bombing, including suicide bombs. Some terrorist attacks in Pakistan have involved multiple explosions, one after the other, combined with small-arms fire.

Security officials may cut mobile phone services when the threat of an attack is imminent or directly after an incident.

If you go to Chitral district or Gilgit Baltistan, travel by commercial aircraft, not by road, as the safety and security risks are significant.

In the past, terror attacks have targeted Pakistan's government, military and police, including:

  • buildings and government symbols
  • military and security forces
  • judicial buildings such as courts
  • police stations and checkpoints

Terror attacks have also targeted:

  • international hotels
  • embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic interests
  • places of worship, such as mosques, shrines, and churches
  • shopping centres, banks, hospitals, cinemas, markets (markaz) and bazaars
  • humanitarian workers
  • foreign aid agencies
  • public transport and transport infrastructure, including trains and airports
  • religious sites and processions, especially during religious festivals
  • demonstrations and political events
  • rallies and polling stations during elections

Terrorists may target places associated with foreigners, including:

  • tourist areas
  • clubs, restaurants, cafes, fast food outlets and other places foreigners tend to visit
  • foreign businesses and other Western symbols
  • foreign non-government organisations (NGOs)
  • universities and international schools
  • convention centres, outdoor sporting and recreation events

Times when attacks may occur

Militants may mount attacks in the days leading up to and on days of national or commemorative significance. These include: 

  • Pakistan National Day (23 March)
  • the storming of the Red Mosque in Islamabad by government troops (10 July)
  • Independence Day (14 August)
  • the Islamic month of Muharram (particularly on the Day of Ashura)

Diplomatic security measures

Terrorist groups hostile to foreign interests operate in Pakistan. The threat of attack remains very high. Australian officials in Pakistan always use enhanced security measures and are urged to maintain vigilance. The Australian Government has a 'no children at post' policy for Islamabad.

The Australian Government has also advised staff to:

  • limit restaurant use
  • not linger in shopping areas
  • be cautious when walking in Islamabad

For the same reasons, the British High Commission and the US Embassy sometimes restrict the movement of their staff in Pakistan.

These restrictions may be applied at short notice. Areas put 'out of bounds' tend to include markets, shopping centres, restaurants, and hotels.

Staying safe

Ensure you have a security plan in place. Discuss security issues with tour providers before travelling.

Ask about safety from local business partners and universities before travelling to Islamabad, Lahore, or Karachi for business or academic reasons. Take security precautions.

If, despite the risks, you travel to Pakistan, be very cautious and avoid:

  • public gatherings
  • crowded places
  • places of worship
  • places that foreigners tend to go
  • other places terrorists tend to target

When you plan your activities, receive updates on the level of security at venues and your route to them.

  • Wherever you go, have a clear exit plan in case there's a security incident or attack.
  • leave the area straight away if it's safe to do so and avoid the affected area straight after the attack because of the risk of secondary attacks
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Subscribe to this travel advice to stay up to date on new terror threats, and monitor:

  • the media and other sources
  • the UK Foreign Travel Advice for Pakistan
  • British High Commission Islamabad 
  • US Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan Alerts and Messages

Those websites will also contain updates on restrictions on movement that apply to their diplomatic staff.

Check flight status and airport operations before each of your flights. 

More information:

Kidnapping occurs across the world with political, ideological, and criminal motives. Foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped overseas whilst travelling. Kidnaps can happen anywhere, anytime. 

The overall kidnapping risk in Pakistan is high. Criminal gangs, armed groups and terrorist groups are known to kidnap for financial gain. 

To reduce the risk of kidnapping:  

  • always be alert to your personal security and surroundings  
  • get professional security advice for travel in locations with a heightened kidnap risk  
  • check your accommodation has appropriate security measures  
  • avoid isolated locations, particularly when travelling alone  
  • notify family or friends of planned travel, and share your location  
  • avoid talking about your money or business affairs  
  • use ATMs in public places and during daylight hours  
  • avoid giving personal details to strangers online or over the phone  

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.  

Ransom payments to kidnappers have funded further terrorist attacks and criminal activity. Paying a ransom to terrorist groups will likely break Australian counter-terrorism financing laws. 

Civil unrest and political tension

The security situation in Pakistan is volatile. It could get worse at short notice.

General elections occurred on 8 February. Large-scale demonstrations and protests occurred, though not to the level expected. Further protests related to the elections are possible. 

Demonstrations and protests

Protests in Pakistan can turn violent quickly, particularly during election periods or in response to Quran burnings overseas. Avoid large groups of people, demonstrations and protests. The security situation is evolving and remains unpredictable. Monitor media for information on the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities.

In response, authorities may suspend internet and mobile phone networks and close roads and highways at short notice.

To stay safe during a period of unrest:

  • avoid demonstrations and large-scale public gatherings
  • avoid areas where people congregate after Friday prayers
  • monitor the media and other sources for possible unrest and avoid those areas
  • if you're near an affected area, find a safe place, stay indoors and seek local advice
  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Violence in Karachi

Political, sectarian and gang violence often occurs in Karachi. Many people have died as a result of this violence.

There's a higher level of public security across much of the city, with police and paramilitary rangers conducting counter-terrorism operations in the city from time to time.

Reprisal attacks by militants or criminals can occur anywhere.

Border with Afghanistan

Cross-border tensions increase security risks in the regions bordering Afghanistan.

The Pakistani military has ongoing operations in these border areas.

Foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 50km of the border with Afghanistan in Gilgit Baltistan. However, it is legal to cross the border at official crossings.

Attacks against government, security and military interests in Balochistan are very likely. Attacks are also likely against infrastructure for:

  • oil and natural gas
  • communications
  • transport, including the railway network

Border with India

There's continuing tension between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir. This follows air force incidents over border areas of Kashmir in February 2019 and the announcement by the Government of India on 5 August 2019 of constitutional changes that will affect the internal political status of Kashmir.

If tensions between Pakistan and India rise again, airspace restrictions may be imposed with little or no warning. This may impact an airline's ability to operate flights and your ability to leave the country quickly.

Higher security is in place where Pakistan borders India. This reflects the volatile security situation. 

Foreigners are prohibited from travelling within 15km of the Kashmir Line of Control and the entire border with India. However, it is legal to cross the border at official crossings. 

The situation is more stable in the border region cities of:

Violent crime

Violent crime occurs in many parts of Pakistan, particularly in major cities. This includes:

  • armed robbery

Incidents can increase around major religious holidays.

Incidents have occurred with people posing as police officers with fake police ID cards. This has occurred in cities across Pakistan, including Islamabad.

Petty crime

Petty crime is common. It can include pickpocketing and theft of mobile phones.

Sexual harassment of women occurs. Travelling alone can pose more of a risk.

Be aware of celebratory gun fire (firing guns into the air in celebration). Although illegal, it's common across Pakistan and tends to occur on major holidays, at weddings, other celebrations, and following sporting victories. Although the likelihood of being struck is remote, falling rounds can cause injury or death.

Be alert to your surroundings. Pay attention to your safety and security and:

  • keep car doors locked, windows up, and valuables out of sight, even when moving
  • lock your accommodation doors and windows against intruders

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

More information: 

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

Climate and natural disasters

Pakistan experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather , including:

  • landslides and avalanches
  • earthquakes

The  Pakistan Meteorological Department  offers weather warnings.

If a natural disaster occurs:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof place
  • monitor local media
  • register with the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  to receive alerts on major disasters
  • keep friends and family up to date about your welfare

Flooding and landslides

The monsoon season is from July to September. During this time, flooding and landslides can occur. They can happen with little warning.

During floods, fresh drinking water and food can be in short supply.

The risk of contracting a waterborne disease stays high after flood waters recede.

Floods often hinder services and transport.

Avalanches and glacial lake outbursts occur in mountainous regions of Pakistan. People have died in them in recent years. When you're travelling in these areas, monitor local weather and safety conditions, particularly during severe weather and follow the advice of local authorities.

Cyclones and storms can disrupt key services, including:

  • emergency and medical care
  • telecommunications
  • food and water supplies

If there's a cyclone or storm:

  • you may get stuck in the area
  • flights could be delayed or suspended
  • available flights may fill quickly
  • adequate shelter may not be available

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Pakistan is in an active seismic zone and experiences  earthquakes .

Coastal areas are also at risk of tsunamis. Be alert to warnings. A tsunami could quickly follow a tremor or earthquake.

If near the coast, move to high ground straight away if:

  • local authorities advise you to
  • you feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
  • you feel a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • you see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • you hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Don't wait for official warnings. Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up   
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Pakistan. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use

Health risks

Typhoid fever.

To reduce your risks of contracting  typhoid :

  • ask your doctor about getting vaccinated
  • take care to avoid anyone who's sick or has recently been sick

Insect-borne diseases

Malaria  is common in Pakistan, except in areas above 2,000m. Chloroquine- and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-resistant strains of malaria have been reported.

Other insect-borne diseases occur, including:

  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur. In late 2019, there was a severe outbreak of dengue.

To protect yourself from disease:

  • make sure your accommodation is mosquito-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
  • get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel
  • consider taking medicine to prevent malaria

Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

HIV/AIDS  is common. Take precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to the risk of infection.

Many Pakistanis, including children, have recently been reported as HIV+ in interior areas of Sindh Province.

Polio (poliomyelitis)  is endemic.

In March 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed that the risk of international spread of polio remains a 'public health emergency of international concern'. WHO extended its  temporary recommendations .

Before you travel, make sure your polio vaccinations are up to date. This includes getting a booster dose, as per the  Australian Immunisation Handbook .

Rabies  is endemic in Pakistan. Stray dog bites cause most infections. There are thousands of cases of dog bites and deaths by rabies each year. Avoid contact with stray dogs. If you're planning an extended stay or work assignments in remote or rural areas, we recommend you have pre-exposure rabies vaccinations before travelling to Pakistan.

Other health risks

Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other  infectious diseases  are common. They include:

  • tuberculosis

More severe outbreaks occur from time to time.

There have been periodic reports of  cholera  cases in Sindh.

Reports of skin infections, acute diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections usually increase after flooding.

Some bottled water may be contaminated.

The  Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources  produces reports that list safe and unsafe bottled water brand names. Reports are available under the publications and information tab.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids that are  listed as safe
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads

Seek medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.

  • Infectious diseases

Air pollution

Air pollution is an environmental health risk in Pakistan. The risk is higher during winter, particularly in much of Punjab.

Take precautions when increased levels are recorded.

  • Pakistan environmental health (WHO)
  • Pakistan air quality index (Airvisual)

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Medical facilities at a small number of clinics and hospitals in major cities are reasonable but not to Australian standards. However, facilities are extremely limited in most towns and rural and remote areas.

Before they'll admit you, hospitals in Pakistan usually require you to either:

  • pay up-front
  • confirm insurance cover
  • guarantee payment 

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to evacuate to somewhere with more suitable facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

If you have an accident while hiking or undertaking other adventure activities in the north of Pakistan, medical evacuation can take days and requires your insurance company to guarantee the payment of the flights.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty.

Penalties for small amounts of drugs include:

  • long jail sentences
  • large fines
  • deportation
  • Carrying or using drugs

Family laws

Domestic violence against women, from partners or male relatives, is common in Pakistan. Standards of support services, including legal and police protection for those affected by domestic violence, are far lower than similar services available in Australia. You should consider these risks if you're planning to travel to Pakistan.

Australian parents of Pakistani origin, especially women, sometimes have trouble leaving Pakistan with their children. This happens when one parent refuses to let the children return to Australia. If that parent withholds the children's passports, the other parent can't bring the children back to Australia. Plan carefully if you think this could happen to you. Before you leave Australia:

  • think about the risk of not being able to return to Australia with your children
  • speak to a lawyer to identify and resolve any child custody or other family law issues
  • make sure you know your legal rights and limits on those rights

Serious crime

The death penalty can apply to crimes including terrorism, murder, rape, blasphemy and unlawful assembly.

Those charged with blasphemy can spend years in prison, undergo lengthy trial processes and are in constant danger from members of the public or prisoners. Australians who have made public comments, including on social media that may be construed as blasphemous should not travel to Pakistan.

Corporal punishment is rare but can be a penalty for some offences. These include:

  • public drunkenness
  • drinking alcohol if you're Muslim

Other activities that are illegal in Pakistan include:

  • same-sex sexual acts
  • unmarried heterosexual couples living together
  • importing alcohol
  • importing pork products
  • taking photos of airports, military or government buildings or installations
  • flying unregistered drones 

Be careful about religious sensitivities. It's illegal to:

  • try to convert a Muslim
  • encourage a Muslim to abandon their religion
  • Advice for LGBTI travellers

Kite flying

Some provinces have banned kite flying. This ban is due to fortified kite strings that injure or kill people.

These types of strings are used for flying kites in kite-fighting competitions. Competitors coat their kite strings with metal, crushed glass or chemicals to help cut opponents' kite strings.  These strings can fall across roads, cutting motorcycle riders' throats or contact power lines, causing electrocution.

There's also a ban on the sale of kite equipment and the use of premises to fly kites.

Don't bring kites with you or fly kites in Pakistan.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs
  • Forced marriage

Dual citizenship

Pakistan recognises dual citizenship.

If you or your father were born in Pakistan, authorities may consider you to be a Pakistani national. This applies even if you don't hold a Pakistani passport.

If you're a dual citizen, this limits the  consular services  we can give if you're arrested or detained.

Always travel on your  Australian passport .

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

There are strong Islamic codes of dress and behaviour in Pakistan.

Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice. Also:

  • avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved clothes
  • avoid physical contact between men and women in public

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is observed in Pakistan. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.

During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.

Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Visa conditions

You'll need a visa to enter Pakistan.

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the  Pakistan High Commission  for details about visas, currency, customs and other travel requirements.

To exit Pakistan, you must have either:

  • a valid visa
  • a Pakistani national identity card
  • a valid Pakistani passport

Authorities may stop you from boarding your flight if your visa has expired. You could also face heavy penalties, including fines and detention.

Take care not to overstay your visa.

If your visa has expired, contact the Ministry of Interior for an exit visa.

Illegal entry into Pakistan is an offence and subject to deportation or imprisonment. There is currently no process for regularisation of status for illegal entrants, which is necessary for onward travel.

Border measures

Monitor your health closely and follow the advice of local authorities. The current policies for travellers entering Pakistan can be found on  Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority  website.

Other formalities

Yellow fever vaccination.

You may need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Pakistan from a country with yellow fever.

  • Countries with a risk of yellow fever (PDF 151KB)

Travel with children

If a child travels unaccompanied, or with only one parent or guardian, local immigration authorities may ask for either:

  • documents to prove that the children have consent to travel, or
  • proof of parental responsibility

This is particularly the case if the child is of Pakistani origin.

  • Advice for people travelling with children

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate

Dual passport holders

If you're a dual national and hold a Pakistani passport, seek advice about when to use it.

Use your Australian passport to leave from and return to Australia.

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the  nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

  • LGBTI travellers

The local currency is the Pakistan Rupee (PKR).

US dollars and euros are the most accessible currencies to change.

ATMs are widely available in urban areas, though fraud occurs.

International hotels and some shops in major centres accept credit cards.

Pakistan is primarily a cash-based society, but this is changing with the broader acceptance of credit and debit cards in major centres. Arrange to have enough local currency to meet your needs.

Local travel

Driving permit.

To drive in Pakistan, you need both:

  • an Australian driver's licence
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP)

You must get your IDP before you leave Australia.

You can apply for a local driver's licence if you're a long-term resident. To apply, you have to take a road sign test and provide:

  • a supporting letter from your employer
  • a copy of your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months
  • a copy of your Australian driver's licence
  • a medical fitness certificate from a government hospital in Pakistan
  • Pakistan visa valid for at least 6 months
  • proof of residency

Road travel

Road travel in Pakistan is hazardous.

You're more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Pakistan than in Australia. Road accidents are a common cause of death and injury.

Hazards include bad roads and poor driving standards.

Severe flooding of major waterways can occur. This causes widespread damage to transport infrastructure.

Dense fog in northern Pakistan during the winter months can disrupt road travel. Motorways may close until the fog lifts.

Heavy snowfalls in mountain regions cause road blockages each winter. Leading to lengthy and, at times, dangerous traffic jams. This is due to the combination of snow and:

  • many cars visiting mountain areas are ill-equipped for driving in snow
  • too many vehicles
  • lack of snow-clearing equipment
  • poor traffic management

In January 2022, 22 people died after being trapped in their vehicles in a snowstorm and traffic jam near Murree, north of Islamabad.

Check you have the right insurance cover before driving.

To reduce your risk on the road:

  • learn about local traffic laws and practices
  • avoid road travel after dark
  • seek local advice and monitor local media and weather reports for information on your planned route before you travel
  • Driving or riding
  • Natural disasters


Check your insurance policy covers using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.

Always wear a helmet.

Don't use taxis due to security concerns. Never hail a taxi on the street.

Use transport services from accredited tour operators and hotels.

Australian High Commission staff must not use taxis or other ride-sharing services.

Public transport

Avoid using public transport due to frequent accidents and security concerns. This includes buses and trains.

Only use transport services provided by accredited tour operators and hotels.

Terrorists have targeted Pakistan's civil aviation facilities.

There are strict security measures in place at airports, but attacks could occur in the future.

Flights can be cancelled with little warning due to weather and other operational reasons.

Dense fog, especially in northern Pakistan during the winter months, can also disrupt air travel. Airports may close until the fog lifts. 

If you plan to fly within Pakistan:

  • check flight status and airport operations before you travel
  • contact your travel agent and airline about any disruptions to transport services
  • be alert to security developments
  • allow extra time to pass through airport security 

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  Pakistan's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Call 1122 or 16

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

The Australian High Commission in Islamabad sometimes closes to the public at short notice if security concerns arise.

Always call before going to the High Commission.

Australian High Commission, Islamabad

Constitution Avenue and Ispahani Road Diplomatic Enclave No. 1 Sector G-5/4 Islamabad, Pakistan Phone: (+92) 51 835 5500 Fax: (+92) 51 282 0112 Email:  [email protected] Website:  pakistan.highcommission.gov.au Facebook:  Australia in Pakistan X:  @AusHCPak

Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

Visiting the High Commission

The Australian High Commission is in the diplomatic enclave.

The Pakistani Government restricts access to the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad for security reasons.

You can only access the enclave if you first schedule an appointment with the High Commission.

If you have an appointment, you can access the enclave by using the Diplomatic Shuttle Service (DSS). You can also visit using a private vehicle or on foot.

Visiting by shuttle bus

The DSS office and bus station is on the corner of Third Avenue (Quaid-e-Azam University Road) and Murree Road.

You can buy bus tickets at the DSS office.

Arrive at the shuttle bus station at least one hour before your appointment to allow time for security checks.

Find out more about the DSS by calling +92 (0) 333 520 5334 .

Visiting by car or on foot

To enter the enclave by car or on foot, the Diplomatic Protection Department needs to clear you in advance.

Arrange this clearance through the  Australian High Commission .

Once you get entry clearance, you can enter the enclave by vehicle or on foot from either:

  • the Foreign Office gate entrance on Constitution Avenue
  • the Shams gate entrance on Ispahani Road

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


Travelling to Pakistan?

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14 things you need to know before traveling to Pakistan

Bradley Mayhew

Sep 2, 2023 • 9 min read

Shepherds with their flocks in the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan

Pakistan offers amazing adventures but it pays to read up on the challenges © Dave Primov / Shutterstock

Pakistan is one of the world’s great surprises, with an incredible diversity of scenery – from the world’s biggest mountain glaciers to the sparkling waters of the Indus River – alongside some of the most beautiful forts, mosques and archaeological sites in the Subcontinent. It is the cultural bridge between India and Central Asia and home to some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet.

It would, however, be fair to say that Pakistan has a mixed reputation beyond its borders. The country is beset with economic, political and security problems, but much has changed security-wise in recent years. An incredible welcome is guaranteed here, but this is also a destination that requires a bit of research in order to travel with confidence. Start your planning with the following essential travel tips.

1. Choose the right season for the areas you are visiting

Travel in Pakistan is strongly affected by the seasons . The summer months of July and August are the best time to visit the high mountains of the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges in the north, but this is also the busiest time for domestic tourism and it’s incredibly hot elsewhere in the country. If you want to explore the center, south and west of the country, consider a visit in spring (April and May) or autumn (October and November), especially if you don’t plan on going trekking. October brings fabulous fall colors to places like the Hunza Valley, whereas winter (November to February) is the best time to explore central and southern Pakistan.

Festivals worth planning your trip around include the Shandur Polo Festival in the second weekend of July, held atop the mountain pass between Hunza and Chitral, and the Chilam Joshi spring festival in the Kalash Valley in mid-May.

2. You’ll probably need a visa and letter of invitation to visit Pakistan

Most foreigners need a visa to enter Pakistan but you can apply online through the immigration department’s slightly glitchy e-visa system . You will also need a letter of invitation from a local hotel, your Pakistani host or a Pakistani travel agent to secure a visa, so give yourself enough time to get this document in place. Even if you don't plan on taking a tour, travel agencies can provide a letter of invitation for a fee. Contact your local Pakistani embassy or high commission for the latest information. 

3. Be prepared for some challenges if you travel during Ramadan

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan brings a specific set of challenges for travelers. Most Pakistani Muslims avoid eating or drinking between dawn and dusk during this holy month, and most restaurants close during the day, with offices often working reduced hours. You’ll need to be fairly self-sufficient when it comes to food during daylight hours and you should avoid eating in public during the fasting period. This said, evenings are especially lively during Ramadan, as the devout break their daily fast with blowouts in local restaurants.

The dates for Ramadan shift annually according to the Islamic lunar calendar and sightings of the moon, and the festival moves forward by 11 days each year, relative to the Gregorian calendar; in 2024, the festival should start around 10 March.

A view from the Hiran Minar in Pakistan's Punjab Province

4. Get a Pakistani SIM card to use the local taxi apps

Public Wi-Fi is not all that common outside of larger cities in Pakistan, so it’s useful to bring an unlocked smartphone for mobile browsing. Buy a local SIM card from the main customer service center for your chosen operator, in whichever town you happen to be in. Travelers recommend Zong , Telenor or Jazz for central Pakistan, or the government-owned SCOM for the mountainous northern area of Gilgit-Baltistan .

With a local SIM and phone number, you should be able to use local taxi apps such as Uber and its local equivalent Careem , which will save you both time and money, compared to flagging down local taxis in big cities such as Islamabad and Lahore .

5. Bring plenty of photocopies of your passport

There are lots of checkpoints in Pakistan where you'll need to show your identity documents, so bring lots of photocopies of your passport’s information pages and Pakistan visa, and always travel with the original passport on your person. You’ll find yourself handing over these copies regularly on long-distance road trips, including when traveling on the Karakoram Highway . 

6. Enjoy the local hospitality (but don’t abuse it)

Culture and customs can vary widely as you move from region to region in Pakistan but in general, you’ll find most Pakistanis to be extremely friendly and hospitable. Conversations, cups of chai and even dinner invitations flow easily, and you can expect to participate in hundreds of selfies.

Hospitality is so integral to Pakistani culture that many locals feel obliged to offer to pay for a foreigner’s meal or bus tickets, even if money is short. You may have to turn down these invitations multiple times to avoid burdening anyone unnecessarily. If you do share a meal in Pakistan be sure to pass and accept food with your right hand only; the left hand should not be used for eating or shaking hands. 

A woman looks over the Hunza Valley, Pakistan

7. Women travelers might face some challenges in Pakistan

For the most part, Pakistan is a conservative, male-dominated society, and this can pose some challenges for female travelers. Women and men don’t mix much in public, and women generally sit in segregated areas on public buses and trains and, often, in restaurants. Attitudes towards foreign women can be protective and curious but women traveling alone may face some suspicion, and sexual harassment can sometimes be a risk in crowds. Special rules for women also apply at some religious sites.

For solo women travelers traveling through Pakistan, it helps to already have some experience of travel in other Islamic countries. Women traveling with a male companion generally face fewer obstacles. On the plus side, women travelers can gain insights into family dynamics and the lives of Pakistani women, which are completely off-limits to male travelers. And in some situations, foreign women may have unique access to both the male and female worlds.

8. Invest in a shalwar kameez to travel like a local

Pakistan’s national dress is the shalwar kameez , a garnet resembling a long shirt worn over wide, baggy trousers, popular with both men and women. It's worth investing in a set if you are going to be traveling for any length of time in Pakistan. The shalwar kameez is supremely practical and comfortable in this climate – you’ll also blend in nicely with the crowd, and locals will respect you for sharing in their culture. Women should also add a dupatta scarf to cover their hair when visiting mosques and other religious sites.

9. Dial down public displays of affection

Many Pakistanis are socially conservative, and public displays of affection between men and women – including kissing, touching and even holding hands in public – are frowned on. Attitudes towards LGBTIQ+ people can also be quite negative, and same-sex relationships are illegal, so Pakistan is not a good place for openly  LGBTIQ+ people to travel . It is not unusual for Pakistani men to hold hands or drape arms around each other, but this is generally platonic. 

10. Treat bargaining as a lighthearted sport

Haggling is acceptable, commonplace and often necessary in Pakistan, but it is best approached as a lighthearted social exchange rather than a life-or-death struggle, as some travelers treat it when traveling in Asia. The goal is for both purchaser and seller to walk away happy. 

When bargaining, respond to the first price quoted with a lower offer, then work back and forth until you reach a price you can both agree on. If you can afford it, avoid haggling over small sums – local people are often poorly paid and financially insecure, and overpaying by a few rupees won’t make a big dent in your wallet.  

Riders on camels pass a fort in rural Pakistan

11. Be aware of the no-go areas

The security situation can vary widely as you travel around Pakistan. Potentially dicey areas include parts of rural Sindh, some neighborhoods in Karachi , the area of Indus Kohistan close to Abbottabad (where Osama Bin Laden lived in hiding until 2011), parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan , and all of Baluchistan and Azad Kashmir provinces.

In general, you are unlikely to stumble into a danger zone because foreigners require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to visit such places, and you won’t be given one of these without excellent local contacts. The safest parts of the country are central Punjab Province and the area north of Gilgit, extending as far as the Chinese border along the Karakoram Highway . Check out the latest travel advisory information from your home government before you travel. 

While the risk is small, terrorist attacks and kidnappings do take place in Pakistan, and street crime can be an issue in parts of Karachi. Stay alert, exercise caution, and heed local advice on problem areas. Be aware that Sufi and Shia shrines are sometimes targeted by extremists, so visiting these locations can bring a slightly elevated risk.

12. Don’t panic if you get an armed escort

The Pakistani government is keen to protect the nation’s tourism industry, and officials sometimes insist that tourists take an armed guard to visit certain locations. You don’t have to pay for these guards, but the use of their services is mandatory. 

Some travelers find the guards somewhat constraining but their presence is usually just a precaution. You may be given a police escort in places such as Swat, the Kalash Valley and the scenic Fairy Meadows hiking area (on the northern flanks of Nanga Parbat peak).

13. Get travel insurance (and read the small print)

Good travel insurance is important for travel to Pakistan, but be aware that most policies won’t cover you for areas where your home government advises "against all travel." For example, in 2023, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office was advising against all travel to Swat and Peshawar, amongst other destinations. Check the latest government travel advisories for up-to-date information and plan your itinerary accordingly.  

14. Give some thought to potential problems before you come

Beyond security issues, natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes are unfortunately common at times in Pakistan, while power cuts are a smaller but more frequent occurrence. Monitor the local and international media for news on problem areas, and if you get caught in a natural disaster, follow the guidance of the authorities.

In terms of personal health, intestinal problems are the most common complaints among foreign tourists; the two golden rules are don’t drink the tap water and be wary of pre-cooked food. Eating from busy stalls and restaurants where food is freshly cooked is the way to go. 

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Pakistan Traveler View

Pakistani authorities have begun random COVID-19 testing of two percent of all travelers entering Pakistan through all points of entry. Those testing positive for COVID-19 will be given home isolation instructions. For more details, see Health Alert .

Travel Health Notices

Vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

  • Packing List

After Your Trip

Map - Pakistan

Be aware of current health issues in Pakistan. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 2 Practice Enhanced Precautions

  • Updated   Global Polio April 26, 2024 Some international destinations have circulating poliovirus. Before any international travel, make sure you are up to date on your polio vaccines. Destination List: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, including Zanzibar, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

  • Updated   Global Measles April 26, 2024 Many international destinations are reporting increased numbers of cases of measles. Destination List: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zambia
  • XDR Typhoid Fever in Pakistan June 16, 2023 An outbreak of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid fever in Pakistan is ongoing. Extensively drug-resistant infections do not respond to most antibiotics.

⇧ Top

Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Cholera is  presumed to be present  in Pakistan. Cholera is rare in travelers.  Certain factors  may increase the risk of getting cholera or having severe disease ( more information ). Avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands can also help prevent cholera. Avoiding unsafe food and water and washing your hands can also help prevent cholera.

Vaccination may be considered for children and adults who are traveling to areas of active cholera transmission.

Cholera - CDC Yellow Book

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Pakistan.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Pakistan. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Pakistan.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Japanese Encephalitis

Recommended for travelers who

  • Are moving to an area with Japanese encephalitis to live
  • Spend long periods of time, such as a month or more, in areas with Japanese encephalitis
  • Frequently travel to areas with Japanese encephalitis

Consider vaccination for travelers

  • Spending less than a month in areas with Japanese encephalitis but will be doing activities that increase risk of infection, such as visiting rural areas, hiking or camping, or staying in places without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets
  • Going to areas with Japanese encephalitis who are uncertain of their activities or how long they will be there

Not recommended for travelers planning short-term travel to urban areas or travel to areas with no clear Japanese encephalitis season. 

Japanese encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine for US Children

CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Pakistan take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Find  country-specific information  about malaria.

Malaria - CDC Yellow Book

Considerations when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis (CDC Yellow Book)

Malaria information for Pakistan.

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

In Pakistan poliovirus has been identified in the past year.

Travelers to Pakistan are at increased risk of exposure to poliovirus.

Vaccine recommendations : Adults traveling to Pakistan who received a complete polio vaccination series as children may receive a single lifetime booster dose of inactivated polio vaccine; travelers who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated should receive a complete polio vaccination series before travel. Children who are not fully vaccinated will be considered for an  accelerated vaccination schedule .

Polio - CDC Yellow Book

Polio: For Travelers

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Pakistan. If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Pakistan, there may be limited or no rabies treatment available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Pakistan. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those who are staying with friends or relatives; visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water; or prone to "adventurous eating." A significant proportion of Salmonella Typhi strains found in Pakistan a re extensively drug resistant but remain susceptible to azithromycin and carbapenems ( more information ).

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for travelers ≥1 year old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission; this includes >12-hour airport transits or layovers in countries with risk for YF virus transmission. 1

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites.


  • Mosquito bite
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever

  • Tick bite 
  • Touching the body fluids of a person or animal infected with CCHF
  • Mosquito bite


  • Sand fly bite

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Pakistan, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Pakistan. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Pakistan include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Pakistan’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in Pakistan. Fill your malaria prescription before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Pakistan may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Pakistan, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Pakistan.

  • Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
  • LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Pakistan for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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Useful tips for traveling to Pakistan in 2024

By Joan Torres 122 Comments Last updated on April 29, 2024

travel Pakistan

Wanna travel to Pakistan with Against the Compass?


Join a group of like-minded travelers in our next scheduled tour in Pakistan:

April 28th to May 11th, 2024

If you ever decide to travel 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. 

Traveling to Pakistan is, definitely, the ultimate experience and adventure.

However, this isn’t particularly an easy place to travel in.

Going on a trip to Pakistan requires a little bit of preparation, as well as quite a lot of things to know beforehand.

This Pakistan travel guide contains everything you need to know, including all travel information regarding visas, transportation, cultural etiquette, cultural behavior, costs and more!

Traveling to Pakistan

In this Pakistan travel guide you will find:

Table of Contents

  • Travel Insurance
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get in
  • Pakistan today
  • Cultural behavior and facts
  • Security & safety
  • Solo female travel
  • Bureaucracy and permits
  • Prices and money
  • Transportation
  • Food, alcohol & chai
  • Accommodation
  • More information

our recommended travel insurance for Pakistan

With its Backpacker plan, IATI Insurance is the best insurance for any kind of adventurous destination, like Pakistan.

🪪 How to get a visa for visiting Pakistan

Here you have the most updated information

Before May 2019 – Getting a visa on the road was not possible, but you could only get it from your home country or country of residence. 

After May 2019 – They have finally introduced an e-visa system and up to 176 nationalities can now apply for a Pakistani visa online.

How to apply for a Pakistani e-visa 

You can apply through this portal .

Things you need to know about the e-visa:

Visa length – Officially, you can get a visa for up to 3 months. The application says that you can get up to 12 months but so far, there aren’t any reports from tourists who have been able to get one. 

Multi-entry – You can also apply for a multi-entry visa valid for up to 1 year.

Price – I believe it depends on nationality and the length of your trip, but I hold a Spanish passport and a single entry 2-month visa cost me 35USD. Then, I tried to apply for a multi-entry visa and it cost 52USD. 

Timing – The application says the process may take up to 7 days but it also may depend on your embassy. One traveler claimed that he got it in one day, while others say it takes several days. It is recommended to apply in advance. 

Letter of Invitation – For most nationalities, an LOI is required for the visa application. Alternatively, the system also allows you to upload a hotel booking confirmation (instead of the LOI) but usually, they will reject it and tell you to upload an LOI, which you should get through a local tour operator.

Join our Pakistan expedition

By joining our group expedition into the Northern Areas, you’ll instantly get our LOI needed for the visa.

After submitting your application, your embassy has the right to call you for an interview, which means that you would need to be in your home country. However, this only happens in rare cases. 

For more information, Marco from Monkey Rock World has written a comprehensive guide/tutorial about how to get a Pakistani e-visa .

How to make a visa extension

Would you like to spend more time in Pakistan? No problem.

Extending your visa while traveling in Pakistan used to be a confusing process, as everybody has different experiences and rules were constantly changing but, finally, you can get your visa extension through the regular e-visa portal, as long as you are already in Pakistan and in possession of an e-visa. 

If you traveled to Pakistan with a regular visa, you can only extend it at the passport office of any major city, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Chitral, Gilgit, and Skardu but, apparently, the easiest place is Lahore.

Visa for Pakistan

🗺️ How to sign up for a tour in Pakistan

Traveling with a group and an expert local guide will make things much easier, and more fun!

Against the Compass has the following scheduled Pakistan expedition:

  • April 28th to May 11th, 2024. APPLY NOW
  • September 17th to 30th, 2024. APPLY NOW

14 days exploring the Northern Areas, including driving through the Karakoram Highway, as well as exploring the barely visited valleys of Shimshal and Astore.

🚑 Travel insurance for traveling in Pakistan

DO GET proper travel insurance.

For Pakistan, IATI is the best because:

  • All types of plans, for all budgets
  • One of the few that covers travel in Pakistan
  • It provides coverage for many adventure activities, including high-altitude trekking
  • Readers of this blog can get a 5% exclusive discount

Pakistan tourism

⛅ Best time to visit Pakistan

Pakistan has many different regions, ranging from sea-level, flat deserts to 8,000-meter peaks, so each season will present its own peculiarities.

Winter (mid-November to February)

The best time to visit the south part of the country, especially Sindh province. Those lands may not have the mountains Pakistan is famous for but this is the most religiously diverse region in Pakistan.

On the other hand, most mountains in northern Pakistan remain totally inaccessible in the wintertime. You can still get to the Northern Areas through the Karakoram Highway , but you won’t be able to visit any side valley.

Summer (June to September)

The best season for visiting the Northern Areas, especially if you like trekking in high altitude mountains.

Spring & Autumn

I personally traveled to Pakistan in April and May and the mountains were at their best, as the weather was gorgeous (most days), plus they weren’t busy with domestic tourism. However, if you travel to Pakistan in early spring, late autumn, the mountains may not be that accessible. 

Traveling in Pakistan during Ramadan

A topic by itself, with its pros & cons. Lost with Purpose traveled in Pakistan during Ramadan and wrote this insightful post .

travel in Pakistan

🛫 How to visit Pakistan

How to travel to pakistan by air.

Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad have international airports connecting with many Middle Eastern cities, especially Doha and Dubai . 

How to travel to Pakistan by land

Pakistan shares a border with Iran, Afghanistan , India, and China. You can’t use the Afghan border to cross but the rest are open:

  • China – The highest border crossing in the world. Read my report .
  • India – An easy one, despite the diplomatic relationship between both countries. Read this report
  • Iran – It goes through Baluchistan and it is quite an adventure. Read this report

visit Pakistan

📰 What’s it like to travel in Pakistan today

Before 9/11, Pakistan used to be a tourist country. 

Well, not that touristic, but its breathtaking mountains were a popular stopover for backpackers going along the famous Hippie Trail .

In fact, in the Northern Areas, you can find a few backpacker hostels which somehow, are the remains of what used to be a popular destination for intrepid backpackers. 

The 9/11 attacks, however, along with a big bunch of unfortunate events, usually involving Taliban activity and loads of violence, put an end to the emerging tourism industry.

Fortunately, things have changed. 

In the last couple of years, the security situation in Pakistan has dramatically improved and the Northern Areas of Pakistan are, once again, filled with intrepid backpackers who want to visit some of the most jaw-dropping mountain scenery you will ever see, and experience the hospitality Pakistan is famous for. 

Nevertheless, despite this massive tourism increase, Pakistan still remains raw, authentic, and genuine, and it will stay like that for a very long time, especially because it is not an easy country to travel to: tourist infrastructure is in an embryonic stage, it is difficult to move around and you won’t meet many foreigners, so that’s why I personally believe that only experienced travelers should go to Pakistan. 

However, traveling in Pakistan is one of the most rewarding traveling experiences one can ever have.

how to travel to pakistan

🕌 Cultural behavior and facts when traveling in Pakistan

Urdu, which is like hindi, is the official language.

However, each region has its own (or several) local languages, so different from each other. English is widely spoken among educated people, like in India.

Pakistan is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse countries

From the South Asian-looking people of Punjab and Sindh; to the people of the Pashtun areas, closer to Iran or Afghanistan; the pagan culture of Kalash; the Shias from Gilgit and Nagar; the Ismailis of lower Hunza and the Wakhis (and also Ismailis) of upper Hunza. Traveling in Pakistan is like traveling in several, different tiny countries. It’s fascinating.

Remember, you are the guest

People tend to say that, in Iran , Sudan and Iraqi Kurdistan , you find the most hospitable people in the world. Well, clearly, they haven’t visited Pakistan. Whereas it’s true that these countries are very hospitable, Pakistanis bring it to the next level. In this country, you are the guest, which means that the locals strive for you to have the best possible time in their country or region.

The hospitality can even be overwhelming

During your trip to Pakistan, you’ll be invited for lunch, dinner and even to stay at people’s houses so many times that, on many occasions, you will have to refuse.

After your refusal, they will insist once again, over and over. They will also insist on carrying your bag and offering you food one hundred times even if you say that you are full. These are their cultural rules and you are the guest.

So overwhelming but just don’t get angry

One day, some random men who I had never seen before came to my hotel at 7:30 am in the morning, knocking at the door of my room, waking me up from a very good sleep.

Apparently, they heard that there was a foreigner in the village, so they just wanted to hang out with me. I got a little bit angry, continued sleeping but then I kind of felt bad, as all they wanted was to show me around the village.

Paying for meals

For some reason, Pakistanis always want to pay for your meals to the extent that it gets awkward. I personally didn’t like it, especially when I could see that the local people didn’t have much money. If possible, try to back them up.

Wearing a Shalwar Kameez

The traditional Pakistani dress, which 80% or 90% of Pakistanis wear, is called shalwar kameez. Should you wear it? It’s not compulsory but, if you do, the locals will really appreciate it, especially in the Pashtun areas.

Pakistan is the most conservative country I’ve ever been to. You should be careful and always respect their rules. If you do, they will also respect you and you will have the best time in their country.

visit Pakistan

📚 Useful books for traveling to Pakistan

This is just a selection of the most useful travel books but, if you want to know all the options, remember to check this list : The best books on Pakistan (classified into history, politics, novels and travelogues)

The best travel guide to Pakistan: Pakistan Traveller

This is the most up-to-date and ultimate guidebook about Pakistan. 256 pages full of maps and endless travel tips. The author, Tim, is an Australian man who has visited Pakistan 10 times since 2006. A must-have for anyone who visits Pakistan. 

pakistan travel situation

To know about the culture: Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Culture Smart! is a well-known collection of books that provide deep introductions to the culture and customs of many countries. In this book, they give a great analysis of the complexity of the culture and sub-cultures in Pakistan, so you will have a great understanding of the cultural etiquette beforehand!

pakistan travel situation

For more political background: Pakistan, a hard country

Pakistan, a hard country – This award-winning book will give you a deep understanding of the situation in Pakistan nowadays.

pakistan travel situation

⚠️ Security and safety when you travel in Pakistan

Pakistan is not dangerous but you should be cautious..

You might have read from other blogs that Pakistan is one of the safest countries in the world . Personally, I wouldn’t say that. Whereas I think that Pakistan is not a dangerous country, in some areas, it’s better to be cautious, especially in the region bordering Afghanistan.

Read: Is Afghanistan safe?

However, the situation is only getting better and better

Seriously, safety in Pakistan has improved exponentially.

Police are there to help you

Throughout your Pakistan travels, you’ll be continuously interrogated by dozens of different policemen and people from the army. Who are you? Why are you here? Where are you going?  Unlike in other countries, in Pakistan, the police and military are pretty cool and, for your own security, they are commanded to ask you these questions.

You will have to register at more than 100 security check posts

I am not kidding. During my 56-day trip to Pakistan , I had to register more than 100 times at different army and police check posts. Sometimes, to get from one destination to another, I had to register more than 10 times! At each check post, you have to get off the car or bus and write down all your personal information in a notebook. This will slow down your journey considerably.

Bring one thousand passport & visa photocopies

It’s good to bring loads of photocopies because, at some check posts, if you have a passport copy, you don’t have to get out of the car. Otherwise, you are going to waste your time.

Occasionally, you get a personal guard, for free

Again, not kidding. For security purposes, in some areas, you will get a personal armed guard. Sometimes, you might have to pay for his meals but, according to the police, you are not forced to. It’s up to you. For more information, read my post: Is Pakistan safe?

Having a personal armed guard seems kind of cool but, to be honest, it’s not that much

The first time you get an armed guard you get kind of excited. However, after half an hour, you might start hating him because he will put you under a lot of restrictions.

Pakistani intelligence is one of the best secret services in the world

One of the reasons why Pakistan is not a dangerous country is thanks to the Pakistani intelligence, which is considered the best intelligence corps in the world, even better than the CIA.

Be aware that they are watching your steps and they will always know where you are. I remember that, while hiking around a remote area in the Astore Valley , a man wearing a salwar kameez (the traditional Pakistani clothes), came to me and said,  ”You are the Spanish, right? ” Yes, he was from Pakistani intelligence.

For further information on safety, including which areas are the safest, read my post: Is Pakistan safe?

You may also be interested in which countries in the Middle East are safe?

My trip to Pakistan

💃 Solo female travel in Pakistan

Women traveling solo is more common and safer than you think.

Women tell wonderful things about their experiences during their journeys through Pakistan, but they also say that this is a particularly challenging destination, home to a very conservative, patriarchal society who don’t really know how to deal with foreign women.

I’m not the most qualified person to talk about this topic, however, but Spanish traveler Leti Lagarda backpacked in Pakistan solo for 2 months, and has written a compelling guide about it, which will tell you everything you need to know about solo female travel in Pakistan, including:

  • Interaction with men
  • Safety tips
  • Cultural etiquette
  • What to wear
  • And much more

Read the ultimate guide to solo women travel in Pakistan

pakistan travel situation

🛂 Bureaucracy and permits for your trip in Pakistan

Don’t trust any source of bureaucracy information, not even against the compass.

In Pakistan, rules are not written and things are constantly changing. Places that no longer require a permit, might require it overnight, by the next day it was changing it back again.

A military guy told me once that, when this happens, it’s because they are suspicious of some Taliban or terrorist activity.

This information doesn’t flow throughout the country, so you will see that everyone (including national police, local police, the Army, the locals, travelers, and blogs) will always have a different opinion. Don’t trust anyone. Check it yourself, once you’re on the ground.

In Pakistan everything is possible

If there is something valuable I learnt during my trip to Pakistan, it is that, as in any corrupt country, everything is possible and it all depends on your contacts. If you know the right people, you can do absolutely everything you want, including visiting forbidden areas without a permit.

What you need to know about NOC

  • What is it? A No Objection Certificate, which is basically, a permit required for certain restricted areas.
  • How to get? – The best way to get it is through a local with contacts. If you don’t know any local, contact your embassy, but it can take up to 4 or 5 working days to proceed. 
  • When do you need it? – As I said before, don’t trust any source of bureaucracy information. During my trip to Pakistan, a friend of mine was required to get an NOC to use the road between Timargara and Chitral. One day later, I tried to use that road but the NOC was not required anymore. However, officially, you would need an NOC to visit Balochistan, the Khyber Pass, Tribal Areas and Kashmir (some areas of Kashmir).

trip to Pakistan

💻 Internet and connectivity in Pakistan

Except in Gilgit-Baltistan, the internet works reasonably well throughout the country.

In the Northern Areas, the connectivity is awful or non-existent depending on where you go. 

I got a SIM Card from a Chinese company called ZONG which is supposed to be the best for pretty much anywhere in the country. In the Northern Areas, however, it barely worked and, apparently, you need to get a company named SCOM, which you can find in Gilgit, 

Pro-tip: Tell a local to get a SIM Card for you – The downside of ZONG is that, as a foreigner, you need to go to the central office and pay quite a lot of money to sign up for it (20 or 30USD). Tell a local to sign up for you, so you’ll just pay the local price and get it very quickly.

eSIM for browsing, calling and traveling in Pakistan

Basically, an eSIM is a regular SIM card with a digital format that works like a normal physical SIM card, with the added benefit that you can buy it from home before the beginning of your trip, hence avoiding the hassle of buying it at your destination. 

With Holafly , you can get a SIM Card for a wide range of destinations, including Pakistan . 

Moreover, you can benefit from a 5% discount with the following code:  AGAINSTTHECOMPASS

Get a VPN for traveling in Pakistan

You should always use a VPN when you travel, especially when you connect to public Wi-Fi networks.

Your connection will be much safer. 

Moreover, you will be able to access content which is typically censored in Pakistan. 

I recommend ExpressVPN – Extremely easy to use, fast and cheap. 

If you want to learn more about VPN, check: Why you need a VPN for traveling .

Pakistan travel guide

💰 Money in Pakistan

In Pakistan, they use the Pakistani Rupee (PKR) and approximately:

1USD = 262 PKR

Cash & ATMs – Pakistan is a cash economy, so better bring cash, especially in the Northern Areas, where. Of course, you can find ATMs in all big cities but not all of them will accept foreign cards.

How much does it cost to travel to Pakistan

But before, a few things you need to know:

  • In Pakistan, everything is negotiable: Everything can be bargained for, especially the hotel rooms. Expect to pay different amounts from other guests.
  • Always come with a reference: When you travel in Pakistan, contacts are very important and that’s why in either hotels or trekking tour companies if you come referenced by a local, you will get a better price.

In any case, this is a pretty cheap country and I think you can easily travel to Pakistan for less than 20 a day, sleeping in private rooms and eating 3 meals outside. These are the (approximate) prices of the most typical things:

  • Local meal – 150PKR
  • Local meal in a mid-range restaurant – 250-500PKR
  • Meal in a fancy restaurant of Lahore – from 1500PKR
  • Private room in a budget hotel – Up to 1500PKR
  • Private room in a mid-range hotel – Around 3,000PKR
  • Long bus rides (Islamabad to Gilgit) – Around 2,500PKR for a VIP ticket (you want to get a VIP, trust me)

Pakistani rupees

🛺 Transportation for traveling around Pakistan

You’ll get used to the mountain roads –  Most mountain roads are very scary as they are extremely narrow and built on insanely high cliffs. Don’t panic. You’ll just get used to them!

You will learn to be patient – In absolutely almost every long bus journey I took, we had a breakdown. Sometimes, we were stopped for two hours! And one day, we stopped because the bus ran out of gas! Can you believe it?

Psychedelic trucks are a way of life – Everybody falls in love with the trucks in Pakistan, as they are so particularly decorated that they are a blessing to your lens.

Ways of moving around when you travel in Pakistan

Public buses & minivans go everywhere – Like in most developing countries where most people can’t afford to buy a car, buses and minivans travel to even the remotest areas in the country. In Sindh and Punjab provinces, Daewoo is the most luxury bus. For traveling to Gilgit from Islamabad, you should definitely take NATCO VIP Bus ( around 17USD). Don’t worry, is not that VIP.

Train – In Sindh, Punjab, and Peshawar, you can move around by train. There are different train companies but you should always take the private ones, as they are more punctual. Use AC standard, as it is the one used by the Pakistani middle class. It’s not expensive, not smelly and comfortable enough. For more information, check this train guide to Pakistan . 

Hitchhiking is too easy – It’s so easy, that sometimes, it’s faster and easier than taking public transport, especially on the Karakoram Highway (from Gilgit to Khunjerab Pass). Everybody will want to pick you up! As a general rule, on the KKH, I didn’t hitchhike on motorbikes (there are so many accidents) and cars with women inside.

Plane is pretty convenient – Traveling by bus from Islamabad to the northern areas, including Chitral, Gilgit and Skardu takes ages (from 15 to 20 hours). There are flights connecting Islamabad with all these cities. Book your flights here . Please note that, for flying to and from Gilgit, you must book several days (even weeks) in advance. Also, bear in mind that many flights get canceled due to the weather condition.

Read: 80 Tips for traveling to Iran

trip in Pakistan

🍲 Food, drinks, and alcohol

Food is extremely oily.

Pakistanis love oil too much. They put tons of it in absolutely every meal, including in the steamed rice, which they will always fry afterwards. When you are in a restaurant, always ask for half fried.

It’s almost dry

In the Sindh province and Islamabad, you can find liquor stores. In the rest of the country, alcohol is only available on the black market, but most locals (who drink) can get it for you easily.

Expect to have ten cups of chai a day

Chai, which is tea with milk, is a way of life in Pakistan and a sign of hospitality.

Tap water, watch out!

Don’t dare drink tap water. In the northern part of the country, the locals will tell you that the tap water is good, as it comes from the mountains and glaciers. This may be true, but I still got sick when I drank from a mountain fountain. Always use a water purifier.

You’ll get sick

I don’t know anyone who didn’t get sick in his stomach when traveling in Pakistan. Try to avoid salad, food stalls with flies (they are hard to find) and don’t drink tap water.

Pakistani food

🏨 Accommodation when you are traveling to Pakistan

There are all types of hotels across the country, from budget rooms to a few hostels and luxury hotels.

Booking sites such as Hostelworld and Booking.com are increasing in popularity but, depending on the destination you travel to, you may not find a lot of options or, at least, no budget hotels.

If you want to stay in a budget hotel or local guesthouse, you may have to read blogs or ask anyone online. In my Pakistan Itinerary , I give some options.

Anyway, there are a few things you need to know about accommodation in Pakistan:

Prices can be negotiated to the extreme

Whenever they tell you the price, ask if they have a cheaper room. Seriously, on many occasions, I managed to get half of the initial price.

If you are on a budget, always ask if they have a dorm

Surprisingly, many hotels have dorms and they don’t tell you until the end of the negotiation. The good thing is that, since there are not many backpackers, you are most likely to get the dorm just for yourself!

In most of Pakistan, you are covered

In Pakistan, there is a lot of domestic tourism, so most touristic areas are filled with hotels for absolutely every budget, from hostel to mid-range and luxury rooms.

But it may be harder to find decent accommodation in the rest of the country

In cities like Peshawar, Karachi, Multan, and basically anywhere outside of Swat Valley, Chitral, Northern areas, Islamabad and Lahore, finding decent (budget) accommodation may be challenging.

Couchsurfing is quite popular!

There are loads of profiles, especially in big cities.

If you want to know all my hotel recommendation per city, read my Pakistan Itinerary

travel guide Pakistan northern areas

❗ More information for traveling to Pakistan

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

All guides and articles for traveling in Pakistan destination

  • Travel Guide to Fairy Meadows
  • Karokam Highway Travel Guide
  • Astore Valley Travel Guide
  • Pakistan-China border crossing
  • Travel Guide to Rakaposhi Base Camp
  • Travel Guide to Afghan Village in Pakistan
  • Travel Insurance in Pakistan
  • Pakistan Itinerary
  • Photos of Pakistan
  • Travel Books about Pakistan
  • Solo Female Travel Guide in Pakistan
  • Is Pakistan Safe?

That’s everything you need to know! If you think I forgot something, please let me know! Ah, and remember that, in Pakistan, you shouldn’t plan too much! Welcome to the country of unexpected events. From endless bus breakdowns to time-consuming check posts, new local friends and paradises where you want to spend ages, during your Pakistan travels, you will realize that nothing will go according to your plan.

Travel guides to other countries in Central Asia

  • Tajikistan Travel Guide
  • Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide
  • Travel Guide to Uzbekistan
  • Travel Guide to Kazakhstan
  • Afghanistan Travel Guide

You might also like our Iran travel guide.

travel to Pakistan


Thank you so much for blogging about Pakistan! It’s the country that I most want to visit (to the dismay of my sheltered family). This kind of information will make things so much easier when I graduate and finally get my loans paid down enough to do extensive travel.

I only recently found your blog, and I have to say that I really love both your content and what you’re doing out there. It’s truly inspirational.

Hello, thanks for your comment! I am glad that you want to travel to Pakistan. Tourism is increasing day by day (that’s what the local say) and i am sure you will have an awesome time there. Hope you get your loan paid down and you can go there soon! cheers mate

You are most welcome to visit Pakistan.. Hope you find your trip the best ever and awesome.. Feel free to contact me if you need any help..

thank you, man! maybe next time! Next year inshallah!

You said INSHAA ALLAH. well nd good but can i ask ?are you muslim or you love to this word?

Hello. I am not Muslim but I have been traveling in Muslim countries for quite a while, so I use it when I write about Muslim countries.

After watching and read some articles of your country now am planning to visit your country but I don’t know anyone there. “In Shaa Allah”

Please give me some idea!

Have you visited Pakistan or still looking to visit our country. If you are looking to visit our country, warmly welcome to Pakistan. You can contact me you need any help. Shahzad from Lahore.

you can be guest without money,because i believe that every thing is possible by sharing, caring, and HUMANITY

Hey, I am an Indian , planning to travel Pakistan, especially rural and mountainous regions and looking for a Pakistani friend who has similar plans. Travel could be a month longer or more.

Well Dude you are welcome here. Will have great time

Wanna visit your country after ramadhan or maybe celebrate the Ed’l Fitr there. Any suggestions and advice you can give?

I agree. Wonderful and informative blog! Thanks

Hello and thanks for a great summary, Joan!

May I please know the basis of this statement? “Some embassies (like the one Beirut) may tell you to apply via the traditional way, which sucks a lot, especially because you can only apply at the embassy from your country of residence and they always require an LOI. ”

I’m based in Beirut and about to submit my e-visa application, but need to know if it’ll be a waste of my time and money. Thanks!

Hi there, I was told by a Lebanese person that the staff of the embassy in Beirut had no idea about the e-visa process yet, but that was a few months ago, so maybe things have changed. I suggest you contact them first

Congratulations and thank you for all the valuable information, Joan! In my opinion the way you write goes beyond than just being a guidebook, you really inspire us all!! I’ve been to several exotic destinations (for a Brazilian at least) such as Lebanon, Iran, India, Palestine, Jordan and now I’ve put Pakistan on my list as well. By the way, your tips about Lebanon helped me quite a lot, it made the trip easier and really enjoyable.

Hi Jefferson, glad that you found my posts about Lebanon useful! It really encourages me to keep writing! Yeah, if you liked Lebanon (and didn’t feel any danger there) you really should put Pakistan to the bucket list! Anyways, hope to meet you on the road one day 😀 Cheers mate!

Interesting use of the word “best” to describe the secret service – if backing the Taliban, supporting terrorist groups and sheltering Bin Laden makes them the best, I’d hate see what the worst were like

Hey man! hahaha, Let’s change ”best” by ”effective” if that makes things better 🙂 If it was not for the PK Intelligence, PK would have become a failed state, like Afghanistan. If, occasionally, they back up the Talibans, is always for their self-interest (for negotiations for example) not for supporting a terrorist group. All the country is pretty proud of this corp and I met a few agents who were always looking after me! But I am not an expert, so can’t say much more about it 😀 !

I wouldn’t doubt that they treated you well in Pakistan but you really need to do some homework on the subject: Pakistan, through the intelligence agency is one of, if not the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world; it’s actions in Afghanistan have been one of the leading causes of making it a failed state and also the source of the blow back, causing terrorism in Pakistan, so they have done the complete opposite of making the country safer. I am still looking forward to visiting in the near future, so thanks for all the useful information

Pretty sure the CIA is the biggest sponsor of terrorist groups around the world.

Good point. I’d add that its US and UK support for Pakistan that has allowed them to get away with supporting terrorists, the CIA and the Pakistani intelligence have certainly colluded in plenty of dodgy stuff

Only Indians call Pakistan the failed state, I have never met a single American or Western calling it a failed state. ISi is pain in the ass for Indians only and not many Americans even buy Osama drama so keep ranting like other cyber indian trolls that PK is a failed state, ISI sponsor terrorism and Osama story…I am sure people are quite smart spotting you guys out with same rants and fake western names.

Ok Graham, I can see you are not Indian but having totally Indian narrative in your comment made me to believe there is another indian with a fake ID. Nevertheless, Afhhanistan is not a failed state because of PK rather because of USA and NATO. PK interest in sponsoring so called Afghan Taliban whom you guys once called Mujahideen and now “Taliban the terrorists” is for its their interest. The only mistake ISI had done that brought today terrorist attacks in PK is that it bowed to USA and attacked tribal areas with USA drones and kill their kids and women. For this Pakistanis are paying the price. And yes Pakistanis know well that PK has a shit reputation but let me correct you here that we know well that it is due to both internal issues ie corrupt leaders and politicians and also we know well where and why other powers are playing to sponsor the terrorism. Anyway, people there are always hospitable even before sept 11 or even in golden era of PK in 60s they were as hospitable as today you witnessed. They are not nice to you as PK has bad reputation in the world due to MSM etc

A hearty LOL on soldiers giving you AK-47s for selfie shots hahaha. Sounds like somewhere that is not the USA, or any Western nation. Amazing. In some ways this is nuts but in other ways I admire the detachment, the trust and yes, some may say outright recklessness. Just another country with a different culture, laws, way of doing things. I’d love to see it someday.

Thanks for sharing 🙂

haha, yeah, you said it very well. This country is nuts, mad, wild and surreal. That’s what all backpackers are continuously saying when you are in Pakistan!

Pakistan can be rock concert loud. Highly amplified mosque speakers blare out the call to prayers five times a day from every which way-the first one being at crack of dawn. This can disturb your sleep pattern. Then there are cars and trucks one-upping each other with incessant honking. Some commercial vehicles have bone jarring air horns. Celebratory gun fire can erupt at any hour for as simple a reason as a kid passing his exams. Imagine that AK47 going off at 2:00 AM!

Super update on Pakistan ! I was there in 84/5 and many things have / have not changed. All power to you ! Eg http://www.amateuremigrant.com/2016/10/21/quetta-train-to-chaman-bob/

Wow – awesome tips and it’s obvious you spent a lot of time on this! Pakistan sounds like an amazing place!

Thank you! I hope it makes you wanna go 😉

I thing which I want to add is you traveled in the month of Ramdan (an Islamic month). In this month local tourist do not travel that is way you got cheap hotels. Otherwise expect 3 time more expensive hotels than you mentioned above.

Hi Numan. I traveled in Pakistan for 2 whole months and only 10 days of Ramadan

Incredible tips and really gives a good perspective into what it might be like to visit Pakistan! Pakistan never actually used to be on my list but after seeing pictures and reading about it it’s definitely appealing more and more! Thanks for sharing your tips! They will definitely come in useful if/when I make it there!

Pakistan is such a misunderstood country but then, people look at the pictures and gets truly amazed! Thanks for your comment. Hope you make it one day

That’s really impressive overview about the country. Pakistan is my homeland. I born in Lahore. Pakistan is improving for the tourist industry. Furthermore i would like to add the TDCP. Please tourist use this department to get more information about the country.

It must be exciting to visit Pakistan, but that said, if you live there I don’t think you will think it’s so safe and exciting, especially if your a Minority, and not Muslim, your chances of being killed increase a thousand fold, even the local Muslims are not spared, your chances of being killed are at an extreme level, people live in fear. Pakistan is notorious for Terrorist activity. But that said life goes on. Did you know about the Majority Punjabi’s are suppressing the Baluchistan’s, do you know what the Pakistan Army and Government are doing to the Baluchistan’s, find out seriously before you say Pakistan is a very safe nation? True everyone will give you their spin, but the Pakistan Military is notorious for carrying out all the terrorist funding and operations, they are the ones who set up the Taliban in Afghanistan to destabilize the nation, safe and peaceful, are they? Pakistani Military is known to fund terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) that carry out a proxy war with India, and the famous Mumbai Terror attacks. Not less than 45 terrorist groups operate freely in Pakistan with the blessing of the Military and Police, this is how safe Pakistan is. As a tourist, you see the superficial skin and not the real vermin that lays beneath. Link to Terrorist outfits that operate in Pakistan, see below, travel there I can’t stop you but be warned, you don’t want to be a victim of these Terrorist outfits who as I said earlier operate freely with the backing of the Police and Military.


Lool just another stinky cow dunk eater I can imagine ur frustration ☺

At least use correct spelling of a Muslima name if you indian use fake IDs. How easy it is to spot you guys. And again same rants PK army is sponsoring terrorists….blah blah blah. Why don’t you tell the author to simply not visit PK as you hate that land so much. Also advice her to hate PK and only love India…If it makes you happy then go for that please, and best of luck convincing her.

Sorry Joan, “her” for you was a mistyping. I know you are a male 😉

Pakistan is hard yet one of the most misunderstood country too! Pakistan has much to offer from astounding mountains to the shores of Gawadar , its a country u can easily fell in love with . Btw thanks for writing a wonderful blog! Hope u visit here soon

I also visited Pakistan in 2017 and stayed there for 3 months. It’s a wonderful place in the world to visit. In my opinion everything is OK with piece, security, culture, respect and hospitality etc. The biggest misunderstanding about PK is that some anti-PK wants spread the roomers about terrorism through media etc. I thoroughly studied most of the aspects about PK and then practically realized by staying there. Dear @joantow thanks for explaining the reality about PK your blog confirms mine observations about Pk to be true.

Ah ok, so you were also there recently! Thanks for your kind words man! It seems that thanks to all travelers and backpackers who are going there, people are, slowly, realizing that this country has such a big potential. I hope that more and more people will come in 2018!

luv it <3 great details and yet so simple .. i m planing to go in 2018 with 2 kids ..little confuse to go or not …i love traveling its like m soul food .feeling so motivated after reading ur blog .

I want to say thank you to you for writing on this topic. Pakistan is such a great and peaceful place for tourist. Bad things happened anywhere.

Most welcome, cheers!

thank you for blogging about Pakistan. Very informative post

my pleasure, cheers!

I was in Pakistan this past year (December/January). It was lovely. The most friendly, hospitable, and beautiful country I’ve ever been too. I will say I wish I knew where the liquor stores were in Islamabad…everyone I knew said the only way to get liquor was the embassy clubs and bootleggers. We ended up meeting a bootlegger which was not too much of a hassle. Islamabad might be the greenest city in the world. It was stunning. I also gained 8 lbs the first week I was there from eating and luckily never got sick from water or food the entire month I was there. Every other one of our friends got sick though at some point.

Hi Matt, I also heard that there are liquor stores in Islamabad. In fact, my Couchsurfing host (local Pakistani) had plenty of beers in his fridge and said he bought them in a beer shop in the city! I don’t know, that is what he said and I actually never saw it! Yes, Islamabad is the greenest city ever, slightly different from the way Homeland TV show portraits it, right? Lucky you, that you didn’t get sick. I got sick on 4 occasions, within a 2-month period. However, since then, after 1 year, I have never ever got sick anymore of my stomach. I think I went through a very hard training and now I am immune! Cheers mate!

Hi I went to Pakistan in April for 5 weeks it is a beautiful country I love the atmosphere there foods lovely it was an amazing experience. I will love to go again soon inshallah I didn’t want to come back

Thanks for your positive comment! Yes, Pakistan is absolutely amazing 🙂 !

Thank you sir , for this amazing writeup . Love from Pakistan 🙂

My pleasure, cheers!

Hey, just want to let you know that for #7 it is confirmed, at least for Lahore. I had overstayed for 6 days and they let me extend it when I came to the immigration counter, for free.

Amazing info man! I just updated it 🙂

I’m going as a lady traveler in December. Luckily for me I have some friends there and I am going with a guy friend of mine. 🙂

Hi, thank you for this very useful post!!!! I appied to travel next month (I will have a local with me over there). I wanted to ask a simple question. IF I state on my visa application that I will stay at a specific hotel (I attached my reservation) and then I cancel and decide to book or stay somewhere else, could they deny me entry at custom or create problems during my stay?

thank you so much for your help P.s. I’m Italian

Hi Claire, You will definitely be fine, don’t worry. They don’t check anything of that

Great points. Karachi is not a tourist destination hence tourism never was developed properly here. That’s is why hotels which are budget friendly are hard to find. However if you do travel there you must try crabbing on Karachi seaport with ‘Salem seafood crabbing’ he has the best boats and only $9 to $10 per person in a group of 10. And definitely check out Kolachi restaurant at do darya or go scuba diving at islands like churna etc. You can even go buggy wheeler riding or camel riding on sea view beach best time is at sunset coz rides have amazing fun lights on them. Or book a hut on beaches like French beach or sand spit beach. Go shopping in zainab market for jackets and jeans which are usually factory rejects from brands like Zara or HnM lol or Gulf for cloth like silks, jamawar and fake ethnic jewellery. And then a shopping trip to dolmen mall for trinkets and souveniers. Quaids mazar, mohatta palace,lyari, frere hall and Danzo zoo are some touristy places for checking historical/recreational places. Also when in Karachi do not forget to try the cupcakes from Delizia Bakery, fishNchips from OPTP and some Tea with Parathas from Chaiwala.

thanks for the tips!

Hi Joan, thanks for sharing and showing the good and beautiful side of Pakistan, instead of what the media would have us believe. 70 tips – indeed very comprehensive!

If we may add some points regarding safety, the country is indeed safe in some parts and unsafe in others (borders with Afghanistan, China, Iran; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province; as well as certain parts of Balochistan, Islamabad and Karachi), so fellow travellers please do be careful.

Also, a new scam that surfaced in 2018 was that of spray painted fruits in Afzalpur, do be wary! Also, take care of your passport and valuables, and avoid “faith healers”. Other than that, enjoy your time Pakistan! 🙂

didn’t hear about it, thanks for letting us know!

Dude KPK is not a dangerous province now….and specially Peshawar (capital city of KPK).

what a great and depth post for travelers i love to visit Pakistan and believe me it’s one of the most safest place in the world with too many beautiful sights. i will visit again and go to Kashmir this time <3

Difficult to get in Kashmir but if you go, do let us know 🙂

Hi Joan. you have experienced in traveling pakistan and you also give answers to those who have misunderstanding about Pakistan. thanks for your love.

HI Bella, No problem to visit Kashmir. you can easily go their.

Kashmir is currently closed to foreigners, so she cannot go there

Ok, so in a few years I will be planning a trip to Pakistan most likely on my own. I will be going to meet a local, but I am not sure I understand the process of getting a visa for Pakistan. Any tips? Obviously I’m not in any rush, so anything will be useful and anything might change. And is there anything else that might be vital to me? It will be my first trip to Pakistan and my first time leaving my home country on my own.

Come to visit Pakistan but be sure to have a proper guide as Pakistan is a big country with wonderful and amazing places to visit. Not to forget but many cultures and different races live within Pakistan. All the provinces in Pakistan have some kind of special places to visit like for example in Sindh you will find old traditional places and civilizations ruins, In Punjab side you will get to see rivers flowing and greenery, In northern side (KPK and Gilgit Baltistan) you’d find some great peeks like k2, Nanga parbat and other amazing places but make sure to have a proper guide of hire some company to do so. National level tourism is on peak now adays as now Pakistan is ranked among the top for adventure loving.

Hi there, Can you provide information on immunizations necessary for Lahore in March. I’m not intrested in taking malaria pills that make you sick your entire trip….. Thanks!

Hi, there is no malaria in Pakistan

Guys – let’s be grown ups. no more negativity! Being born in Lahore and brought up in London I love going back and seeing the changes in Pakistan. Also to clarify i have been to India (mostly Delhi and touristy surrounding cities) and loved it too. The last few years social media and the internet it has really moved Pakistan and surrounding countries on, mostly for the better. In Pakistan I notice for instance that many more younger people speak English – I think it has become a necessity if you want to conduct your life on social media! There is also a better understanding and people over the borders are making friends with each other using these mediums and realising that the politicians are the puppeteers. Being in a privileged position of living in a third country (although London is home) I am so lucky to have friends from around the world and it is obvious that it is not the people who have problems with each other but the governments and those who buy the weapons and keep the armed forces in a strong position where so much of the GDP is used. Just enjoy the country and hopefully all your encounters will be positive ones. you can be in danger anywhere – just keep your wits about you and if you have any doubts then stay out of that situation. I am off to Pakistan on my now annual visitation in a few days and really looking forward to it.

pakistni visa is now available on arrival. kindly please update. its available on arrival for 175 countries effective from february 2019.

Pakistani visa is not available on arrival. They said that visa was available on arrival for those who booked a full tour, but apparently, not many people succeeded with that because they never published the list of authorised tour operators. What they did is introducing an e-visa system but you still need a Letter of Invitation. Basically, the only difference versus before is that now you don’t need to apply in your home country but you can do it online, but requirements are pretty much the same. However, I don’t know anyone who has tried it yet and since in Pakistan they always talk about new visa policies which tend to be BS, I prefer update to update it until the info is verified

The evisa begins next month, in June. Till then no one really knows how it will work. But news reports so far say no LOI will be required

its such an amazing article about traveling in Pakistan. and its true Pakistan is a really beautiful country for visiting there are many natural places and many amusement parks.

I was actually reading instruction regarding my visit to China INSHALLAH which made me wonder what foreigners think of My country and I must say for an article listing “70 things” You did a great job making it sound interesting and easily understandable ! I am overwhelmed by everyone views on their visit to Pakistan. So, happy to hear You had a good time. Seriously the hospitality of Pakistan is on a different level for everyone who is “The Guest”. Even though Faisalabad is not re-known tourist destination in Pakistan but if I spotted a “Goora/foreigner” trying to pay for themselves Ill bring them home and ask mom to make all the dishes ! since I am good at only making Chai. 🙂 . But still You did a Noble Deed sharing Your honest thoughts against all those rumors.

cheers Aska!

Pakistan is the safe country. It has amazing things to visit. Also has thousands of eye caching seen. Thanks for sharing information with detail and also with books reference and pictures.

As you enumerate months (mid-April to mid-October) to travel in Pakistan. Here I want to meddle for those who have aversion for summer season as allergic issues perturb them. More common symptoms are rashes, hives and itching on skin. Choose right clothes while travelling in hot and sunny weather. I suggest to purchase from local market rather than pack so much costumes because local market knows better the weather and design fabric accordingly.

thanks for the tip

Why did you clip my comment. That sucks

well, do you really think you can come to my page and advertise your product for free?

Hey im just curious why did u not prefer to hitchhike with females in car? Like i would always prefer females in car so its safer. ?

It’s not that I didn’t want to, it is just that cars with women inside won’t stop if you are a man.

Truly the northern areas of Pakistan are extremely wonderful and breathtaking.. a must visit for anyone who would like to see heaven on earth

Thanks a lot for such an insightful article about traveling to Pakistan. I would request you to update the section regarding the NOC requirement. The new government of Imran Khan has done away with the requirement of NOC for traveling to restricted areas, except for only a handful of places. Another thing i would like to mention is that the online visa platform, still in its infancy, is being improved with each day by incorporating feedback/suggestions from Pakistan embassies around the world as well as the local agencies.

Hey! I’m planning to enter Pakistan in May 2020, entering from india and exiting to China. It looks like most of my time there will be during Ramadan. I was considering the idea of fasting with the locals. My only concern would be strenuous hiking without water. You were there during Ramadan, yeah? Any advice?

Hi Sean. Just curious but, why do you want to fast with the locals? I mean, you can do it if you want, but don’t think that the locals will expect you to do it. Also, Muslim people are allowed to stop fasting when they travel, for the simple reason that fasting & traveling is a real struggle. Yes, I was there during Ramadan but only during the first week which I spent in Hunza area, and in that area, since they are Ismailis, they are pretty relaxed and most restaurants were open.

Really useful tips to consider. After spending 2 whole minutes to reading your blog its amazing thanks for the information I come to know about new places in Pakistan

Is there a place that sells anime merchandise? I would like to buy a hug pillow from Pakistan

Without any doubt, everything mentioned about Pakistan is true. Pakistanis are really a hospitable nation. Pakistan is literally a land of peace now. Do visit Pakistan, we welcome our guests wholeheartedly.

Hello again Joan, You mentioned that you stayed 2 months in Pakistan. Is it possible to get a 2 or 3 months visa for Pakistan? Thank you

2 months for sure, but not sure about 3. In any case, you can make a visa extension very easily upon your arrival in Pakistan

Very informative and complete guide to visit Pakistan. But if you are coming to Pakistan and missed touring Karachi city it will be like you missed a roller coaster.

Wow I almost finished all of your topics. Thanks alot for exclusive informations. I’m going to visit Lahore, Islamabad and Gilgit in April 2020. As a solo female traveler, now I’m so excited to see Pakistan.

Great blog post! Pakistan is one of the best places for tourism. There are multiple foreigners and Youtubers who visited Pakistan in the past and shared positive feedback. I am going to recommend all travelers who want to visit Pakistan must visit in the spring season because you are going to feel the beauty of Pakistan’s forests and nature that provides a mesmerizing feeling and relaxation that makes the soul-refreshing and lively. From the China border to Gawader, you can go to enjoy every step. Each province offers unique food and places with famous sub-cultures and events to enjoy.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful post and keep sharing in the future!

Best Regards,

I have been planning on travelling to Pakistan again next year once this global epidemic comes under control. I went there last October 2019 and was truly amazed by the country’s beauty, its people and the incredible amount of love/hospitality I was shown. Definitely recommend Lahore, Islamabad, Swat and the Northern Areas (Baltistan, Gilgit and Deosai). I sure felt a lot safer than many of the other surrounding countries and I felt the country was a lot more cleaner with better infrastructure than many of its neighbours I had previously visited. Thanks for the article as it offered some helpful pointers but luckily I didn’t have any issues with my stomach and I was there for around 2 weeks. Looking forward to travelling to this hidden gem of a country Pakistan again!

Assalam o Alikum, I welcome you on the behalf of all Pakistanis. It will honor for us to welcome you again. I am from Lahore Pakistan. From which country you are?

“My office for a day”

Omg, tell me please where is this place exactly? I work in IT and want to work from there one day 🙂

hello, that is Fairy Meadows

Thanks, and one more question because I’ve found confusing info on the Internet: how long is the trip from Islamabad to Gilgit by bus? Or, is it more suitable to rent a car in PK as a solo Traveller?

The bus takes 15 to 20 hours Renting a car would be amazing, but it’s more expensive of course

Bus takes 16 to 18 hours and charges 15$ whereas renting a car costs you 40$ to 50$ per day (without fuel). And the fuel it takes for islamabad to gilgit is around 25 gallons costs 60$.

Regarding Kashmir – I’ve seen some youtube videos of a New Zealander (Karl Rocks) who’s blogged from the capital of Azad Kashmir, so the restrictions may have been removed. I’d definetly recommend adding AK (at least the northern parts) to your itentary – as it’s not too far from Islamabad.

Hi i am wajid from pakistan , if any body need any type of help. Any information , regarding distance from one place to another place , by car or by bus by air, where need to go by local , where to by bus and where to by air , or if some one need invitation letter just feel free to contact i will give you all information here is my whatsapp +923114428519 . .

Thanks for sharing the nice piece of content with us. I am also a big fond of traveling & now my aim is to travel dubai for different experiences i.e dirt biking offroadadventurefun.com/dirt-bike-tours/. Actually you can say its my passion to explore all the world & see the beauty of nature with my own eyes. The upcoming May holidays are a great occasion to take a good break from the working routine and allow yourself to plunge into a real adventure, with a lot of positive emotions and vivid impressions. An excellent option for a well-spent weekend will be a fascinating journey to the area rich in natural and historical sights. Once again thanks for sharing the nice piece of stuff with us.

Hello fellow travellers. I have just applied for an e-visa through the Nadra site. After a simple but painstaking series of questions you arrive at the penultimate stage of uploading your photo , passport details and …. a Letter of Invitation. I am a UK citizen . I have purchased an LOI with an extra attested certification from Karakoram Bikers who were very helpful and who’s info I used in the Sponsor’s section of the application. I thought LOI’s were a thing of the past but either the website hasn’t been updated or LOI’s are needed for some nations. I await the outcome of my application. I hope this personal experience helps someone . All the best out there . Allison

Gilgit is a city located in the northern region of Pakistan, and is considered one of the most famous cities in the country for several reasons.

Firstly, Gilgit is located at the crossroads of some of the world’s most spectacular mountain ranges, including the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush. This makes it a popular destination for trekkers, hikers, and mountaineers from all over the world.

It takes a lot to visit and write with this much precision. Thanks for such a captivating blog post with lots of insight.

HI! I have a question about pakistani visa. I didn’t do the LOI. I simply uploaded the screenshot with the hotel reservation for the first few nights in Lahore (+ photo and passport of course). and it was successful. does this mean that I don’t need the LOI and that the visa will be issued to me? I still haven’t made the payment because I want to be sure of the thing. Thanks a lot and I hope I explained myself well.

HI! I read your blog about Pakistan. i have a question about pakistani visa. I didn’t do the LOI. I simply uploaded the screenshot with the hotel reservation for the first few nights in Lahore (+ photo and passport of course). and it was successful. does this mean that I don’t need the LOI and that the visa will be issued to me? I still haven’t made the payment because I want to be sure of the thing. Thanks a lot and I hope I explained myself well.

I applied for my visa in July 2023 and it took 2 months to process, so be warned.

As of July 2023, non vaccinated travellers (COVID) no longer are required to have PCR tests to enter the country. My understanding is that The airlines may not be aware of this change of rule, so bring documentation to prove this.

Hi! I’m very glad to find your blog! Amazing content. I’m in the middle of a big decision. A friend of mine I met in Germany (he’s from Pakistan) is getting married in Karachi in December and he’s inviting me to his wedding. I read in your blogs that Karachi si not the part of the country where you have enjoyed more or where most people go. I also have the option to go later (months after the wedding) and probably explore starting from Lahore, what do you think? Worth to wait? Or Karachi also has a lot to see? Pd. I live in Mexico City, so it’s a very long and expensive trip.

Hi Cesar, why not visiting both in one single? Whie I don’t think it’s worth traveling to Pakistan all the way from CDMX just to visit Karachi, attending a wedding can be an amazing experience, which you could combine with other places like Bahawalpur Multan, and ending your trip in Lahore. Best

Hi there, I would like to go to PK in April this year and from Islamabad via the Karakoram Highway to Gilgit to go on a hike for three or four days. I would like to rent a car myself, me and my wife. We were among other places in India , Nepal, Iran, and would now like to go to PK. What do you think of the idea of ​​driving your own car?

Hi Andy, self-driving is difficult because most companies won’t rent you a car without a driver. Best is to hire a motorbike.

Hi Joan, gratulation for this helpful blog! I have an international flight to Islamabad and want to fly 2 hrs after arrival to Skardu – could be challenging, I know. Do I need a hardcopy boarding pass at Islamabad airport for my domestic flight to Skardu? A mobile boarding pass which I could already arrange at home would safe a lot time.

Hi Vauwe, an electronic boarding pass should be enough

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pakistan travel situation

Is Pakistan safe for travel in 2024?

Is it safe to travel to Pakistan? After years of firsthand experience—and running tours in Pakistan—here’s my answer, including advice on where it is and isn’t safe to travel, safety tips for travel in Pakistan, and more.

You’ve seen photos of epic mountains and jaw-dropping shrines . Heard tales of boundless hospitality . Read articles saying Pakistan is the next best travel destination. You want to travel to Pakistan, but you’re still wondering: is Pakistan safe?

Your family and friends might be dubious, telling you Pakistan isn’t safe, but listen to me, not them. I’ve independently traveled all across Pakistan for years. Clearly, I’m not dead; that, at the very least, proves you’re not guaranteed to be blasted to bits upon arrival.

… but I assume you’re interested in a more nuanced answer than “No blasting anticipated”.

I have traveled through Pakistan for years in total, visiting the country for the first time in 2016. I organize both Pakistan women’s tours and Pakistan motorcycle tours . I run a travelers’ hostel in Islamabad . I have ridden a motorcycle solo across the entirety of the country. I have been to all provinces, traveled both solo and with friends, moderate two Facebook groups related to travel in Pakistan, and have more experience with traveling in Pakistan than most other travel bloggers who’ve been there… combined. Read on for my firsthand thoughts on whether Pakistan is safe to travel.

Is Pakistan safe for travel? After almost one year of both couple and solo female travel in Pakistan, here's my firsthand opinion on whether or not it's safe to travel Pakistan. Includes tips for the safest places to visit in Pakistan, safety advice for Pakistan, caution for the most dangerous places in Pakistan, and more. Click through for all the information you need to stay safe in Pakistan. #Pakistan #travel #safety

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Is Pakistan safe to travel?: Table of Contents

Is pakistan safe to travel.

  • Pakistan’s security situation
  • Why you’ll be safe in Pakistan
  • What areas are unsafe for travel?
  • How about the other regions?
  • High-risk places and events
  • Safest places to travel in Pakistan

Is it safe to visit Peshawar?

  • Actual dangers of traveling in Pakistan

Is it safe to drink the water in Pakistan?

Is it safe to go trekking in pakistan, best travel insurance for pakistan, safety tips for travel in pakistan.

Female traveler in Pakistan traffic

Do I think it’s safe to travel Pakistan? Listen up.

If you want to travel to Pakistan, Pakistan is currently safe for travelers of all genders. There are still security issues in more remote areas of the country, but after years of struggle with violence and terrorism, many places in Pakistan are now safe for locals and foreigners alike. As with any travel, you should do your research before deciding to travel to the country.

Though I don’t think it’s the easiest country to travel for a variety of reasons , I firmly believe adventure travelers and other experienced travelers should consider visiting!

In short: yes, Pakistan is safe to travel.

Is Pakistan safe?: What’s actually going on with Pakistan’s security situation?

The country stabilized immensely since peak Taliban activity around 2009-2012. Pakistan’s military has a tight hold on the country to maintain peace. ISI, the country’s intelligence agency, is highly active behind the scenes ensuring potential threats are dealt with before harm comes to anyone. Streets might seem militant because of all the checkpoints and army personnel, but they are far safer than they were before.

The Pakistan you see on the news—guns, bombs, and terrorists galore—is far from the reality of Pakistan on the ground. Places that casual tourists are likely to visit are peaceful these days. There’s little need to fear acts of terrorism. Come and see for yourself that Pakistan is safe!

Female traveler standing on the Jamia Masjid in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Rooftop views from Rawalpindi’s Jamia Masjid

Why you’ll probs be safe traveling in Pakistan

Not convinced yet? Showing this to your mum and she’s still not convinced? Fair enough.

It’s important to note how unlikely it is that the average tourist will be harmed in Pakistan.

Normal tourists are unlikely to come to harm because…

It’s extremely difficult to enter dangerous areas. Pakistan’s security organizations require something called a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) for most high-risk areas. Aside from the NOC tourists receive if crossing the Iran-Pakistan border , it’s virtually impossible to get an NOC for other areas without a powerful local’s help/sponsorship. If you don’t have an NOC, you’ll be turned back at a checkpoint. In short: if you visit Pakistan, you’re unlikely to actually enter any dangerous areas.

Attacks or threats usually occur in places the average tourist wouldn’t be. Think police headquarters, cities in areas requiring NOCs, minority religious events that most tourists don’t know about, let alone be comfortable visiting (crowds of men 4 dayzzzz).

Security escorts are common in risky areas tourists can visit . In some places, foreign tourists are assigned armed security guards to escort them around. My thoughts on this matter are another story entirely, but I won’t deny it adds extra security to your existence. Fairy Meadows is the most common destination where this is the case.

Sunrise in Chilas, Diamer District, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

The area around Chilas has seen its share of violence in recent years, but travelers are allowed to pass through without restriction these days.

What areas are “unsafe” for travel in Pakistan?

There are several regions in Pakistan that, though not entirely dangerous or filled with evil folk, are riskier than others.

Rough map of dangerous areas for travel in Pakistan

A rough idea of the “unsafe” and no-go areas for travelers in Pakistan

Balochistan province

Why: Balochistan is risky for a variety of reasons. Bandits prey upon people in the center of the province. The road for the economic corridor China is building through the country (CPEC) is sensitive for those who don’t want it to be constructed. Balochistan harbors separatists who want to create their own Baloch state.

Allowed to visit? Pakistani tourists can travel freely in Balochistan. Foreigners are not allowed to visit any of Balochistan without an NOC, and will not receive one unless crossing into/out of Iran . However, some foreigners have snuck in to drive the Makran Coastal Highway and visit Hingol National Park with the help of locals.

Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)

Why: Some of the “agencies” along Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan still see violence and harbor terrorist groups, along with other people doing unscrupulous things along the border.

Allowed to visit? Though recently absorbed into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, all foreign tourists need an NOC to visit any of the tribal agencies. Local tourists can visit, though they need to provide their CNIC to enter FATA.

Line of Control in Kashmir (LOC)

Why: The border in Azad Kashmir between Pakistan and India has been disputed for years, and still sees occasional crossfire. It’s extra off-limits now given rising tensions between Pakistan and India. Foreigners who go too close are almost certain to be considered spies.

Allowed to visit? Foreign tourists can now visit parts of Kashmir that are more than 10 kilometers away from the India-Pakistan border, such as Muzaffarabad and Mirpur. Note that this rules out popular destinations for local tourists such as Neelum Valley, and you might still encounter difficulties when entering Kashmir.

Kohistan and Diamer (Dasu to Chilas)

Why: In the area of the Karakoram Highway between Dasu and Chilas there is serious poverty and a lack of education and gender equality, even by Pakistan standards. There were many attacks in this region in the past, and though the area is now relatively safe and the Karakoram Highway is frequented by tourists, it still sees some issues such as the burning of girls’ schools in 2018.

Allowed to visit: Tourists can drive along the Karakoram Highway. Foreign tourists can now move freely in Chilas. Public transport usually has an armed guard riding along within this region. Solo travelers may receive a security escort in the area around Dasu town. Note that you need an NOC for any of the side valleys off the KKH in this area, such as Darel.

How about the other regions in Pakistan?

But are the other regions in Pakistan safe, I hear you ask? Here I’ll go over them quickly.

The southern province of Sindh isn’t on many tourist radars (although I think it should be). Some people visit Karachi and maybe Sehwan Sharif, but that’s about it. Because of this, many foreigners still think Sindh is a scary, dangerous place. The fact that some Pakistani’s will tell you the same doesn’t help.

Although Karachi has a reputation for being dangerous, tourists are hardly ever the target of crime here. Other parts of Sindh are equally friendly to tourists, and although Sindh is underdeveloped, it’s relatively safe to travel here. The only area that’s really off-limits is the That Desert.

The biggest problem in Sindh is often finding (budget) accommodation, as many places can’t host foreigners, and overzealous security personnel who’d rather see you leave than do extra work. In some cases, local authorities insist you need a security escort, but there are no hard and fast rules about this in Sindh.

Read:  Digging deeper into South Pakistan with my Sindh travel guide

As I mention a bit further down, Lahore is a safe city for foreign travelers and almost all people who visit Pakistan visit Lahore. Other parts of Punjab are safe for travel too. However, rural Punjab doesn’t see many foreign tourists yet, so you might be bothered by an overprotective security guard, and it’s possible some hotels won’t allow you to stay.

There are several cities in Punjab where foreigners can’t move around freely. Bahawalpur and Multan are prime examples. If the police find you wandering around these cities, it’s likely they’ll put you on the next bus back to where you can from. This is not because these cities are dangerous (although the police will tell you this to get rid of you), but because of army and intelligence activity in these cities. They don’t want snooping foreigners. If you want to visit these cities, find a host through Couchsurfing who knows about the situation.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)

Many people think KPK is still a hotbed of terrorism, and that foreigners aren’t really allowed to travel here. Although this was true in the past, now foreigners can travel freely through most of KPK province.

I have a special section on Peshawar further down this article, but KPK offers much more than this amazing city. Although I think most places in KPK, such as Swat , Chitral, and the Kalash Valley are safe to travel to, visitors should know KPK is still very conservative. Foreigners should take care to not offend local customs when traveling here.

There are a few places in KPK that aren’t safe for foreigners, as I mentioned above. But fear not, you won’t be allowed to stay here anyway.

Gilgit Baltistan (GB)

Gilgit Baltistan is among the safest places in Pakistan. You can find more info on GB further down this guide.

A Shia man praying during Ashura in Lahore, Pakistan

A Shia man praying at a gathering for Ashura, a day of significance during Muharram, a month of mourning. Shia events such as these are sometimes targeted by those who disagree with their practices.

High-risk environments in Pakistan

Though most gatherings are fine, there is a larger risk of terrorist attacks at certain kinds of places and gatherings in Pakistan.

Minority religious groups and activities are a common target for terrorists in Pakistan. Minorities are basically any non-Sunni religious groups. Think Shia Muslims and their holidays such as Ashura/Muharram, or Sufis and festivals like the urs in Sehwan Sharif or the urs at Data Darbar in Lahore. Sufi shrines were targeted several times in recent years:

  • May 2019: Bombing of Data Darbar in Lahore
  • Oct 2017: Bombing of shrine in Quetta, Balochistan (not accessible for foreigners)
  • Feb 2017: Bombing of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in Sehwan Sharif, Sindh

Sufi man dancing dhamal at the Mela Chiraghan in Lahore, Pakistan

A man dancing at the Sufi Mela Chiraghan festival in Lahore. Does he look dangerous to you?

Does that mean you should stay away from minority groups or events in Pakistan?

If you’re traveling off the beaten track in Pakistan, you should be able to inform yourself of risks and make calculated judgments as to whether or not you find risks worthy.

Personally, I find it worth the risk to learn more about groups and events firsthand. I regularly attend Sufi gatherings in Lahore , have visited Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras around the country, and spent days in the thick of crowds during Muharram and Safar, months of mourning particularly significant for Shia Muslims. All of which go against my government’s recommendations.

It’s worth noting that security at large minority events is intense. Spotlights, truck barricades, barbed wire, police everywhere, blocked mobile signals. And then some. Yes they are risk areas, but security officials account for that and do everything they can to mitigate. At times they might not want to allow foreigners in because of the security risks—it’s useful to have locals with you to help.

Sunrise over Phander Lake

Sunrise over Phander Lake, a peaceful place in Gilgit Baltistan

Where are the safest places to visit in Pakistan?

No place is 100% safe, of course, but some places are calmer than others in Pakistan!

Pakistani female traveler in Hunza during autumn

My friend Hina in Karimabad, Hunza

Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan

Most people who visit Pakistan, want to travel to Hunza at one point or another. Gilgit Baltistan as a whole is quite peaceful, but if you’re looking for ease of travel, welcoming people, and a very safe track record, Hunza is the place to start.

The most touristed region in northern Pakistan has been peaceful for decades, and aside from a small number of harassment incidents, most travelers have an easy and safe experience in Hunza. Many travelers—foreign and domestic—visit each year for trekking, motorbiking , and more. I also recommend Hunza to all first time (solo) female travelers in Pakistan .

Motorbiking in Yasin Valley, Ghizer, Pakistan

Motorbiking in Yasin Valley, Ghizer

Ghizer, Gilgit Baltistan

Like Hunza, Ghizer district to the west of Gilgit city (along the road to Shandur Pass) is peaceful. Home to generally well-educated and open-minded Ismaili Muslims, it’s a very welcoming place for travelers. Ghizer is my favorite district in Gilgit Baltistan— Phander Valley is a good place to start.

Men sitting outside of Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan

Faisal mosque at night

Pakistan’s capital is, hands down, the safest city in Pakistan. Admittedly this leads to a very sterile experience (in my opinion, anyway) but it’s a safe and very forgiving starting point for any Pakistan trip. Check out some of my favorite things to do in Islamabad to get your trip started on the right foot.

Female travelers in a Rangeela Rickshaw in Lahore, Pakistan

Women from my women’s tour sightseeing in Lahore

My favorite city in Pakistan is also relatively safe for travelers. People are quite used to seeing foreign tourists in Lahore, especially in the historical areas, and the city is quite well managed security-wise. The normal risks associated with visiting big cities exist—think harassment, petty theft, etc.—but as a whole, Lahore is welcoming and a good addition to any trip.

Note: To be fair, all of Pakistan’s major cities—Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar—are safe enough to visit. Standard precautions should still be taken, especially in Karachi where snatching of phones and bags still sometimes occurs.

Girl on the roof of Mahabat Khan mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan

My friend Azeema showing me around Peshawar

Close to Afghanistan’s border with a reputation for being a terroristic Wild West where guns and hashish are sold openly and women flutter through the streets in burqas, it’s understandable why people are apprehensive about visiting Peshawar. Foreign tourists used to receive security escorts when visiting Peshawar, and many governments still advise not to visit.

But these days it’s safe to visit Peshawar, and I highly recommend it! The City of Flowers is working hard to rebuild and attract tourists after being ravaged by violence in recent decades. Though its visible conservatism might initially shock, it’s home to some of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen in Pakistan—don’t miss the Sethi Haveli and Mahabat Khan mosque—and Pashtuns are indisputably the most hospitable people in Pakistan .

Note: You might have trouble finding accommodation in Peshawar; most hotels don’t allow foreigners. If on a budget, Al-Ibadat Hotel in Peshawar has rooms for around 800 PKR/night. Couchsurfing is another option—it’ll provide an opportunity to learn about Pashtun culture from the source. Female travelers, be on guard; many solo female travelers have had bad experiences Couchsurfing with less reputable hosts in Peshawar.

Traffic in Hyderabad, Pakistan

Traffic is a far more legitimate danger to travelers in Pakistan than terrorism…

What are the actual dangers of traveling in Pakistan?

Oh, you mean besides the 5 most serious dangers of traveling in Pakistan ?

Jokes aside, here’s what I think travelers should actually be careful of while in Pakistan:

  • Harassment. Groping, stalking, and sometimes more is a common experience for both male and female travelers in Pakistan. Groping is particularly common in large crowds.
  • Road accidents. Pakistani drivers be cray. Roads in cities are busy. Many truck and bus drivers give no fucks and consume large amounts of hashish while driving their routes. Watch out, and never step in front of a moving bus.
  • Food poisoning. Hygiene standards in Pakistan are poor. Combined with the excessive use of oils and spices in the food, it’s common for visitors to have tummy issues at some point during their trip.
  • Violence or stampedes in large crowds. People can be hotheaded in Pakistan, and when people get worked up… they get really worked up. Be careful in large crowds that are getting unruly—it’s easy for violence to flare up or stampedes to start.
  • Altitude.  Many villages in northern Pakistan are at high enough altitudes to cause altitude sickness, and many common passes (Babusar Pass, Khunjerab Pass) are 4,000m+. Not to mention that many people come for high-altitude trekking, such as the K2 Base Camp trek . Take it easy when climbing higher, and if you feel ill please don’t hesitate to take a break or move to lower altitudes.

Glacier water in Sost, Pakistan

Glacier water in Sost, which people insisted was healthy and safe to drink. Um, I don’t think so.

Tap water is not safe to drink in most parts of Pakistan , especially in the major cities. Most urban Pakistanis drink filtered or bottled water. I personally use a Steripen to clean tap water, and LifeStraw bottles are another great no-waste alternative to bottled water.

In mountains, tap water is sometimes acceptable to drink. People will offer you cloudy glacier water, insisting it’s healthy and full of minerals. I do not recommend drinking glacier water without filtering; this glacier water has been linked to kidney problems in local populations.

However, some people get or pipe their water directly from mountain springs. Springwater is clean and safe to drink. The risky part is you don’t know how good their piping system is… or the last time it was cleaned. Whether or not you take the risk is up to you, but I usually accept spring water. Again, a Steripen is handy if you don’t want to take a chance.

Trekking in Pakistan in Kalam, Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Trekking in Swat Valley, Pakistan

Yes, it’s generally safe to trek in Pakistan! Pakistan is heaven for mountain lovers. Hardcore mountaineers and casual trekkers alike flock to its mountain ranges every year.

However, trekking in Pakistan isn’t like trekking in more developed countries. Trails are not well marked, maps are not readily available, and you won’t find the teahouse to teahouse kind of trekking you see in countries like Nepal. Proper healthcare is often a long journey away, which means you need to be well-prepared in the event of an accident.

It’s highly recommended to hire local guides if doing any overnight/long treks in Pakistan. They know the mountains better than anyone else, and will prevent you from getting lost or ending up somewhere dangerous.

If you don’t want to hire a local guide, I recommend basing yourself in a village and doing day treks from there. Some ideal bases for day treks are Kalam in Swat Valley , Gulmit or Karimabad in Hunza, and Skardu in the east.

Motorbiking in Yasin, Pakistan

Motorbiking in Pakistan is grand… but risky. That’s where insurance comes in!

In Pakistan, anything can happen.  Anything . From unexpected hospital visits due to food poisoning to needing to be airlifted out after a trekking or motorbiking accident, there are a lot of potential risks to traveling Pakistan. I highly recommend travelers going to Pakistan invest in travel insurance.

I use and recommend World Nomads travel insurance for traveling in Pakistan. They’re easy to use and communicate with, their standard plans cover most areas of the country tourists will visit, and you’re covered at high enough altitudes for all of the standard treks and areas the average tourist goes to. Get a quote from World Nomads here .

Local family in Misgar, Pakistan

This man invited me to stay in his home about 3 seconds after meeting me. Sometimes you have to go with your gut and trust people in Pakistan!

The most important thing you can do while traveling in Pakistan: trust your instincts. If something feels bad or suspicious, back off.

Vague, I know! Instincts come with time, and you’ll figure things out while there. In the meantime, I recommend a few other safety basics to people visiting Pakistan:

Get a travel guide.  Knowing where you’re going, where foreigners are allowed to stay, and cultural advisories is extra important in Pakistan. I personally use and highly recommend Pakistan Traveller by Tim Blight. I believe in it so much that I helped with the latest edition! Buy a PDF of Pakistan Traveller here .

Always have a local SIM card and a local’s phone number. It might sound strange now, but trust me—people will offer their phone number to you for assistance often. Save some! They’re useful for translating in tough spots, letting people know where you are, and staying in touch with hosts and other helpful folks. Telenor and Zong offer the best mobile coverage in Pakistan.

Don’t hesitate to take a tour if you’re not ready to go alone. There are many companies running all kinds of tours in Pakistan; I myself run several kinds! Check out my 3-week women-only Pakistan tour or my 2-week Pakistan adventure motorcycle tour if they sound like your cup of chai.

Reach out to locals and experienced foreigners for information. Facebook groups such as Backpacking Pakistan (mostly foreigners only), See You in Pakistan (local and foreign), and Female Pakistan Travelers (local and foreign women only) are treasure troves of information and contacts. Couchsurfing is another great resource for connecting with locals.

Watch yourself in big crowds. From bum grabs to brick throwing to bag snatching, crowds can be tricksy business. Watch your things—and your parts—in thick crowds, just in case.

Have faith in people. I know this guide can be intimidating, but in the end, having faith in people you meet is important to enjoying your time in Pakistan. Most Pakistanis are very welcoming of foreign guests, and will do their best to make sure your visit goes smoothly. Constant suspicion is tiring; trust people who seem good. I assure you, if someone’s inviting you to their house, it’s probably because they want to introduce you to their family and stuff you full of food, not blast you into bits. Just sayin’.

Want more on Pakistan? Don’t miss this guide with everything you need to know about travel to Pakistan !

Is Pakistan safe for travel? After almost one year of both couple and solo female travel in Pakistan, here's my firsthand opinion on whether or not it's safe to travel Pakistan. Includes tips for the safest places to visit in Pakistan, safety advice for Pakistan, caution for the most dangerous places in Pakistan, and more. Click through for all the information you need to stay safe in Pakistan. #Pakistan #travel #safety

Yay transparency! There are affiliate links in this post. If you buy something using my links, I’ll make a bit of change  at no extra cost to you. Don’t worry, I only recommend things I use or would use myself. I ain’t evil.

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Alex Reynolds

81 thoughts on “ is pakistan safe for travel in 2024 ”.

Thank you sharing amazing info for international community Al Ajr Travel

Hi, I’m curious what you think about current safety with the protests going on in the cities (mainly Ishlamabad)?

Hi Eline. Protests over Imran Khan have been happening for a while. Protests are usually worse in the news (especially abroad) than they are in real life. Islamabad is quite an organized city; protests are restricted to certain areas of the city (you’d have to go looking for them most of the time) and the main impact they have on travel is road closures and increased traffic in Islamabad. I’ll be heading to Pakistan in a couple of weeks and I’m not worried about them.

You are the ONLY one saying it is safe, all authorities and other travelers are advising to stay away unless completely necessary. Aren’t you worried your article will influence someone to travel to an unsafe region where increased attacks are occurring? I’m going to listen to the authorities for my safety. Beautiful photographs though.

Words cannot capture the sheer magnificence of my visit to Skardu! From the awe-inspiring peaks of the Karakoram range to the crystal-clear waters of Satpara Lake, every moment felt like stepping into a fairytale. Skardu’s untamed beauty left me speechless, and the warm hospitality of the locals made me feel right at home. My Trip was well Organized by skardutrekkers.com

I believe Pakistan is mostly safe to travel in. There are many documented testimonials on YouTube and elsewhere from various travelers, all raving about it’s natural beauty and hospitality. I know a person who has traveled to over a hundred countries and put Pakistan in their top five. You can see such travel as grassroots bonding and education between people of different cultures. I tend to think that is a good thing, and is frankly the best way to subvert negative stereotypes and propaganda. The only reason to truly avoid Pakistan would be philosophical, and I cannot criticize someone for not wanting to go there based on Pakistan’s history and tendencies as they relate to harboring terrorism and support for the Taliban, and murder of Benazir Bhutto. Imran Khan’s detainment is only the latest disappointment to consider.

Abby, PLease stay home and watch TV and let others have a real life….No one will miss you.

Hi Alex, I am planning to travel in Balochistan early March. I have visa and NOC sorted out. It appears I will have armed security guard and driver (in addition to my guide who I have traveled with in Pakistan before and trust).

Plan is: 4th Arrive Lahore, Sightseeing etc. 5th my meeting and leave Lahore on 40 Dn Jaffar Express. Arrive Quetta 6th afternoon. 7th Quetta sightseeing (Suggestions? Thinking Hanna Lake… not so much Ziarat). 8th Drive Quetta to Khuzdar, on the way visit Bibi Nani shrine, Pir Ghaib falls, and Kalat Kali Mata temple. 9th Drive Khuzdar (Pir Ibrahim? Moola Chotok? But they maybe too out of the way) to Hingol National Park (Stop in Uthala, maybe?) 10th Hingol National Park, Hinglaj Mata Mandir, Kund Malir Beach 11th Drive to Karachi see Sassi Punnu Shrine (maybe). 12th slack day in Karachi for unforeseen events. Sightseeing. 13th Fly out of Karachi.

Any comments/suggestions? Add/delete? Thanks in advance.

Thanks for sharing this! I just came back from Pakistan where I visited Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore. Islamabad is such a green and well organized city! Lahore was my favorite, so beautiful! As for Peshawar, we did get armed police officers assigned to us as it was the Eid vacation and on the way they did not allow us to visit a monastery as it was very crowded and they could not guarantee our safety. I found Peshawar a bit grey and it was my least favorite visit. We wore headscarves and long clothes to try to fit in better. The border ritual in Lahore was absolutely fantastic! The energy and everything. All in all it was a great experience, except that as a vegetarian it was not so easy to find a lot of veggies.

What a hoot this article is. “It’s so safe here!” Meanwhile, half the country is off limits, and many of the available areas have off limits zones. I don’t think a good case was made here for Pakistan being safe.

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Pakistani Flag

Last verified: Saturday, 4. May 2024 at 08:22 AM

Pakistan Travel Advisory

  • Southern Asia
  • Pakistan Travel Advice

Please reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan

Local situation: 3.8 / 5.

Please reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan. We detected travel advisories from 8 sources for this specific country.

Regional Situation: 4.0 / 5

Pakistan shares a land border with 4 neighbouring states. For this region of countries (including Pakistan), the Advisory Index is 4 (average value over all countries). All countries have some reported advisories: Afghanistan (5), Iran (4.5), China with 3.4 and India with 3.4 (of 5).

Current informationen on Covid-19 in Pakistan

There are currently no officially reported cases of infections with SARS-CoV-2 (or Coronavirus) in Pakistan. As reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control this morning (~8:30am CET).

There are currently no officially reported deaths related to this disease in Pakistan.

Source: www.ecdc.europa.eu

Advice scoring history for Pakistan

Chart of the risk level over that last 200 days. This is the daily calculated travel risk for Pakistan.

Chart of the number of sources over that last 200 days. This is the daily number of advisory sources (of any rating) that have been active on that day.

Note: Changes happening on the 28th/29th of July 2019 are related to a change in the software and number of sources processed.

Rating Details (single travel warnings)

These are the individual advisories published by other countries about the destination Pakistan from a travellers perspective. The scoring of all messages combined is the foundation for the current rating 3.8 out of 5.0 .

Warning Level Icon

This is the general advisory usually covering the country as a whole.

Advisory issued by: New Zealand

Flag of New Zealand

Avoid non-essential travel elsewhere in Pakistan due to the threat of terrorism, the risk of kidnapping, potential for civil unrest, sectarian violence and the unpredictable security situation (level 3 of 4). New Zealanders in Pakistan with concerns for their safety should consider leaving the country.

Source: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/pakistan

pakistan travel situation

This is a regional information covering specific areas of Pakistan.

Issued by: New Zealand government

Info: If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

pakistan travel situation

Info: Do not travel to Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (except for Chitral district), and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir due to the high risk of kidnapping, terrorism and the unpredictable security situation (level 4 of 4). Do not travel to the border areas with Afghanistan and India, including the line of control, due to the volatile security situation (level 4 of 4). This does not include Lahore, Wagah, Kasur, Narowal, Sialkot (except for areas within 15km of the border) and the Wagah official border crossing point.

Warning Level Icon

Advisory issued by: Canada

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The Canadian goverment suggests: Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories)

Source: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/pakistan

Warning Level Icon

Advisory issued by: Germany

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Pakistan: Reise- und Sicherheitshinweise (Teilreisewarnung). The German government advises againt travelling this country.

Source: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/pakistansicherheit/204974

Advisory issued by: Australia

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We've reviewed our advice for Pakistan and continue to advise reconsider your need to travel overall. Higher levels apply. The security situation remains unpredictable. Avoid large groups of people, demonstrations, and protests, as they can turn violent quickly. Authorities may suspend internet and mobile phone networks and close roads and highways at short notice. ...

Source: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/asia/pakistan

Advisory issued by: United States

Flag of United States

Reissued with updates to health information. Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Do not travel to:  Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism and kidnapping. The ...

Source: http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/pakistan-travel-advisory.html

Advisory issued by: Finland

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Undvik icke nödvändiga resor - Säkerhetsläget varierar mycket i olika delar av landet och kan förändras snabbt. Mellan Pakistans regering och Taliban i Pakistan pågår en långvarig väpnad konflikt (Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan, TTP) som påverkar särskilt provinserna Khyber Pakhtunkhwa och Baluchistan. Taliban har utfört terrordåd mot Pakistans polis ...

Source: https://um.fi/resemeddelande/-/c/PK

Issued by: Finnish government

Coverage: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Info: Undvik alla resor

Individual rating changes for Pakistan

This is the recent history of individual changes of travel advices that affected the total asessment of Pakistan. Most recent events first.

Changes from September 9th 2020

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 4.1 to 4.0 . Here are the influencing details:

Flag of United States

The United States government decreased their existing warning for Pakistan to 4.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 5.0 (by -1.0).

Changes from August 22nd 2020

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 4.0 to 4.1 . Here are the influencing details:

The United States government increased their existing warning for Pakistan to 5.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 4.0 (by +1.0).

Changes from April 5th 2020

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 3.8 to 4.0 . Here are the influencing details:

Flag of Austria

The Austrian government increased their existing warning for Pakistan to 5.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 3.0 (by +2.0).

Changes from March 18th 2020

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 3.7 to 3.8 . Here are the influencing details:

Flag of Australia

The Australian government increased their existing warning for Pakistan to 5.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 4.0 (by +1.0).

Changes from December 19th 2019

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 3.6 to 3.7 . Here are the influencing details:

The Australian government increased their existing warning for Pakistan to 4.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 3.0 (by +1.0).

Changes from December 3rd 2019

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 3.7 to 3.6 . Here are the influencing details:

The Australian government decreased their existing warning for Pakistan to 3.0 (of 5.0) from the previous rating of 4.0 (by -1.0).

Changes from September 25th 2019

The total rating for Pakistan changed from 0.0 to 0.0 . Here are the influencing details:

The Australian government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 4.0.

The United States government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 4.0.

Flag of Germany

The German government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 3.0.

The Austrian government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 3.0.

Flag of Canada

The Canadian government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 3.0.

Flag of New Zealand

The New Zealand government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 4.0.

Flag of Ireland

The Irish government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 4.0.

Flag of Finland

The Finnish government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 4.0.

Flag of Denmark

The Danish government issued a new warning for Pakistan with a rating of 4.0.

About Pakistan

Pakistan with its capital Islamabad is a country in Asia (Southern Asia), slightly less than twice the size of California (803,940 km²). The country is located Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north. The climate can be described as mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north. The landscape is flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west. With a population of about 167.76 million citizens.

Pakistani flag

Flag of Pakistan

Introduction Video

Basic Statistics and Facts

Environmental problems and natural hazzards.

These are problems Pakistan is facing. Environmental issues refer to damages of the nature due to industry and society. Natural hazzards refer to potential dangers originating in nature.

Environmental problems

  • and agricultural runoff
  • deforestation
  • desertification
  • industrial wastes
  • limited natural freshwater resources
  • most of the population does not have access to potable water
  • soil erosion
  • water pollution from raw sewage

Natural hazzards

  • flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
  • frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west

Top Industries and Agricultural Products

These are the main product industries and agricultural products of Pakistan. This list indicates what this country is good at producing.

  • construction materials
  • food processing
  • paper products
  • pharmaceuticals
  • surgical instruments

Agriculture products

Pakistani Imports and Exports

These are the main product categories of imports and exports to and from Pakistan.

Export products

  • cotton cloth
  • leather goods
  • manufactures
  • sporting goods

Import products

  • edible oils
  • petroleum products

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current travel advisory for pakistan.

Pakistan is currently rated at 3,8 out of a possible 5.0. Collected from 8 official sources. Please reconsider your need to travel to Pakistan.

Is it safe to travel Pakistan in 2024?

The score is rather high ( 3,8 ) and you should avoid all non-essential travel to Pakistan. Maybe pick another location.

How many travel advisories do you know for Pakistan?

We currently evaluate 11 official sources each morning. Today, we know of active advisories from 8 individual sources for Pakistan.

What is the current Corona virus situation in Pakistan?

There are currently no officially reported cases of infections with SARS-CoV-2 (or Coronavirus) in Pakistan. As reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control this morning (~8:30am CET). There are currently no officially reported deaths related to this disease in Pakistan.

What is the size of Pakistan?

Pakistan has a size of 803,940 km² or 310,403 mi² which is slightly less than twice the size of California.

Common Frequently Asked Questions

For non-country specific questions, please check our global F.A.Q.

Travel safety map for Pakistan and bordering countries.

Risk level icon

If you want to embed Pakistan travel warning information into your website or application, check out these tools.

  • Is Pakistan safe to travel?
  • What's the safety situation in Pakistan?
  • Are there security warnings for Pakistan?

Philippines Flag

2020-03-10: Integrated data from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-2/ Coronavirus).

2019-09-01: Added timeline charts for risk level and number of advisories.

2019-07-29: Added two more sources (Finland and Denmark). Affects country ratings.

2019-07-15: South-Sudan was missing and was added today.

2019-05-18: Performance improvements for API users.

2019-03-23: Introduced professional API with more data.

2019-02-13: Added three more sources (Cyprus, Ireland and Malta). Affects country ratings.

Off the Atlas

45 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Pakistan

pakistan travel situation

No doubt: Pakistan is one of the best travel destinations in the world right now. It is also one of the quirkier countries I have spent loads of time in. I have compiled this list in my mind for years and it is something I wish I had in my back pocket before I went backpacking in Pakistan for the first time. After 10 trips to this amazing country, I feel like it is time to unleash what I learned along the way.

Pakistan ain’t all huge mountains, samosas, and beautiful mosques (though it has all three in great abundance).

Let’s dive right into my ultimate list of my top 45 Pakistan travel tips and things to know.


Every year I lead unique trips to Pakistan including the K2 Base Camp Trek and to the Hunza Valley?

Getting a Visa is MUCH Easier Than it Used to Be

pakistan visa letter

As recently as mid-2019, in order to get your Pakistani tourist visa, one needed to apply through your country of residence. At that time I was an American living in France which meant I had to apply in France since I was a legal resident. The process took a month and cost me about €300 every time I applied as I used a visa service to help me, etc.

Enter the majesty that it is the e-visa system

Nowadays, getting a visa is super easy. I have a friend (American) who got issued an e-visa within 7 hours of applying! The fee depends on your nationality but on average a 30-day tourist visa will cost you about $60 USD.

You still need a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to apply for your visa, but there are many tour companies in Pakistan who will see you one.

Contact my friend Haris Ali Shah if you wish to buy an LOI ($75 USD) and tell him Off the Atlas sent you for a small discount.

Pakistan is An Islamic Republic

badsahai mosque lahore

Pakistan might be very conservative (and traditionally tribal in some places) in some places, but the country is technically not governed under Sharia law. Pakistan is a democracy and you 100% do not have to be Muslim to travel here (or even visit ancient mosques).

If you are a woman traveling in Pakistan be sure to travel with a simple headscarf which you will need to enter religious sites.

In general, most Pakistani’s are very welcoming to foreigners and tolerant of other cultures and religions.

Getting Around in Pakistan is… Interesting

motorcycle in Pakistan

Plane, trains, buses, and motorcycles – these are just a few of the many transport options in Pakistan. You also have psychedelic trucks decked out with decorations straight out of an acid-tripper’s dream, chicken wagons, and taxi cabs that look like the wheels might fall off at any moment.

Point being – you have options. If you are short on time and want to visit the northern areas, flying to Gilgit, Chitral, or Skardu is definitely the way to go. Public transport is available almost everywhere in some form, though they move at the speed of molasses sometimes – especially when the road is in poor condition.

If you are into driving your own motorcycle in Pakistan , there are some of the most epic roads in the world here.

Pakistan is Home to the Karakoram Highway

pakistan travel situation

One of the engineering wonders of the world, Pakistan’s legendary Karakoram Highway stretches 1,300 miles from the green foothills of KPK all the way to the high-altitude China border.

When you start getting into Gilgit Baltistan, simply look out the window of the vehicle you are traveling in to have your mind completely blown. I have driven the Karakoram highway from Punjab to Gilgit Baltistan at least 15 times at this point and I can truly say that the landscapes never get old.

English is Widely Spoken

Though the official language in Pakistan is Urdu – countless other languages are spoken by million of the population. As a foreigner speaking none or very little of these languages, never fear! It is not too difficult to get by with English.

Especially with the younger generation, many Pakistani people are quite fluent in English. In the mountains, people you are likely to encounter will probably at least semi-conversational.

That said, take the time to learn a few words of Urdu if you plan on spending some time in Pakistan!

ATM Machines Almost Never Work

Coming from the USA, the EU, UK, or Australia? Your magic plastic cards that put money in your pocket in every other country you visit probably won’t work in Pakistan. If you try 10 different ATM’s in Islamabad, maybe one will work.

Bring cash with you and use money changers to get rupees instead of embarking on a great struggle to find a functional ATM. In the northern areas, you can pretty much forget about using an ATM to get money. Euros, Dollars, and British Pounds are all easily changed to rupees.

The Roads in The Mountains Can Be Rough

karakoram highway nagar valley

Some parts of the KKH are in great shape. Other sections are plagued by constant landslides, rock falls, and general mayhem bestowed upon it upon them by mother nature. Be prepared for big delays if you are on taking public transit or a private vehicle. Always pack plenty of water, toilet paper, and SNACKS.

Whatever Google Maps tells you is the estimated time to your destination, double it at least.

Major highways connecting big cities are in great condition.

What’s Up With the Internet Situation?

A few years ago when I went to northern Pakistan, wifi and cell signal in most places was non-existent. Now that is slowly changing and there is much better internet access.

Getting a SIM card is a good option for people who want internet access on the road. I recommend Zong for Punjab/Sindh and SCOM for the north (the only one that works up there).

Pakistan Has a Plastic Problem

grayl geopress black

Everywhere you go you see plastic bags and plastic bottles being used with reckless abandon. Before you come to Pakistan get a water purifier bottle from Grayl. I have been using these for years in Pakistan and I’d say if there is one piece of gear you NEED for Pakistan – both for health reasons and to cut out single plastic bottle use – it is the Grayl Geopress.

Internal Flights Get Cancelled

There you are, at the airport, bags ready… and what happens? An announcement comes over the PA system that the “next flight to Skardu has been canceled”. Pakistan is still getting its internal airline program dialed in – and sometimes bad weather in the mountains is the true cause of flight cancellations.

When you book an internal flight, be prepared for flight cancellations and have a backup plan in case this happens to you.

Pakistan is a Tea-Addicted Nation

man pouring chai tea

Chai: the favorite beverage of every Pakistani I have ever met. On-street corners, barbershops, train stations, and shepherd huts – chai is a drink you will encounter literally everywhere in Pakistan.

If you are a coffee drinker like I am, I suggest bringing your own coffee to Pakistan from your home country. I bring roughly 2 kilos with me every time I come! If you like sweet, milky tea, you have found your people.

Pack a Good Sleeping Bag and Down Jacket

pakistan travel situation

If you plan on going to the mountains at all – do not underestimate how useful it is to have a good down jacket and sleeping bag. I have met COUNTLESS travelers – Pakistani and foreign who are grossly unequipped for the cold, unpredictable weather you might encounter whilst doing any form of outdoor activity in the north.

Having a sleeping bag and down jacket also opens up doors of adventure opportunities that would be off-limits completely if you did not have them.

The World’s Second Biggest Mountain is in Pakistan

k2 base camp trek

We have all heard of Everest. The world’s biggest mountain attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year. Pakistan is home to #2 – K2 aka The Savage Mountain.

A journey to K2 Base Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list journey if hiking and big adventures are your thing.

Treks in Restricted Areas Require Permits in Advance

Even though 5 of the world’s highest mountains are in Pakistan, 4 of them are located in a restricted area (in Central Karakoram National Park). Pretty much this is because technically these are border areas with India and China and there is a year-round army presence scattered around these areas.

This means to embark on any of the amazing multi-day treks in the area you either have to:

  • Apply for a NOC permit 4-6 weeks before your trip
  • Apply for the new Trekking and Mountaineering Visa – which takes a minimum 4 weeks to get.

pakistan travel situation

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The Trucks in Pakistan Are Psychedelic

Everywhere you go in Pakistan one sight is pretty much guaranteed: you will see awesome trucks, tractors, and buses decked out will all sorts of colorful ornaments and woodworking. It seems to be a contest: who can make their truck the most fabulous.

Where Are All the Women?

woman in pakistan

In cities like Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi you will see women out in the streets everywhere. It is not uncommon to see women without head coverings as well in those cities. Outside of the urban centers though, it is difficult to see women out and about in many places.

I refer to Pakistan as the “country of dudes” since in many parts of KPK, Punjab, Gilgit Baltistan, and elsewhere you simply do not see many women in public.

Traveling in Pakistan as a foreign woman is very safe generally speaking though as Pakistan has some pretty backward gender dynamics – traveling as a solo woman is definitely not the same as traveling as a man.

Police Check Points For Foreginers

Pretty much once you enter KPK or Gilgit Baltistan you will need to deal with police checkpoints every few hours. Now the rules seem to change often – but basically, you will need to check in with the police on the roadside checkpoints. This is a way for them to track where you are in the north. That might sound odd or invasive – but it is part of their commitment to keeping foreigners safe. Most of the time you are in and out of these checkpoints within a few minutes.

Drone Use and Pakistan

pakistan travel situation

Contrary to popular belief, drones are not forbidden to bring into Pakistan. That said, you need to be smart about how and where you fly. Avoid flying it in cities unless you are very sneaky. NEVER fly it over military or police checkpoints or near any border areas.

If you are out in the mountains or near a small village flying a drone is usually fine. I advise asking the local people you are with (whether you are Pakistani or a foreign tourist).

It is also possible to get a permit for flying a drone in Gilgit Baltistan, but in my opinion, it is better to use common sense, be selective about where you fly, and don’t take any dumb risks that might get you in trouble with the police or army.

Pakistan is a very photogenic country from the air and I 100% recommend flying your little helicopter when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Check out my favorite drone photos of Pakistan .

The Food is Amazing

food in pakistan

Generally speaking, Pakistan has amazing food. Bbq tikka, daal, sabzi, chapati, sweets of every shade, mutton karahi. .. all deliver a huge yum.

Because Pakistan is such a diverse country ethnically, the food varies a lot from region to region. That said, at times the food can feel repetitive. Be prepared to eat lots of fried bread, chicken, and rice.

Being a vegetarian or vegan traveler in Pakistan is not as easy as in India – but options are available pretty much everywhere. Food in Punjab and Karachi can be very spicy – so bland European pallets beware!

The main downside to Pakistani cuisine is the amount of cooking oil they put in everything. Be prepared for consuming a large amount of oil on a daily basis!

Pakistani Selfie Culture is a Thing

khunjerab border pakistan

If you are a foreigner, and especially if you are a woman, Pakistani (mostly men, but sometimes women) will randomly ask you for a selfie. Where do all of these selfies end up?! I have pondered this for years.

Everyone has a different level of personal boundaries, so whatever feels right to you when it comes to posing for a selfie is how you should handle that situation. If you do not feel comfortable taking a photo with a random stranger, you must absolutely say so.

There are Dudes with Guns Everywhere

pakistan travel situation

If you are coming from the west, you will not be accustomed to the sight of seeing guns all the time. Security guards, police, army, special forces teams – they are abundant everywhere as are their guns.

Personally, I have never felt threatened or intimidated by anyone ever in Pakistan. Just to say, guns will be around and it is kind of something you just need to get used to. On a few occasions, police officers have handed me their AK-47 machine guns to pose for a photo with. I don’t condone the use of these death machines, but I admit I have taken a photo with a gun or two in my time.

Carry Copies of Your Passport + Visa!

Related to the point above, you will often need to hand over copies of your passport and visa to the police at checkpoints. Before you leave the cities for the north, head to a print shop and get at least a dozen (more like 15-20) copies made of each. You can put your visa and passport image on the same paper to avoid carrying a mountain of paper with you.

Alcohol is Illegal… But…

For Muslims, it is illegal to consume alcohol in Pakistan. That said, MANY Pakistanis like to enjoy a discreet drink or two and it is not hard to find alcohol in a few Pakistani cities if you know where to look. There is a brewery in Rawalpindi called Muree Brewery – they make beer, vodka, whiskey, gin, etc. It is not the best booze and is sure to give you a raging hangover if you overindulge.

Hunza Water: Traditional Booze of the North

Ask any Pakistani who has traveled to Hunza and a wry smile will come over their face the moment Hunza Water is mentioned. Hunza Water is a distilled local spirit usually made from fruits like mulberries or apricots. I must say though that despite the hype, Hunza Water is pretty underwhelming and will also produce a bad hangover if you drink too much. My advice? Try it once and move on with your life.

Can Non-Married Couples Get Hotel Rooms Together?

pakistan travel situation

Short answer: yes! Unlike in Iran, you do not have to be married to your partner to stay in the same hotel room as them. On one occasion I have been asked this by a hotel receptionist and I just said “yes”. No proof was required. When in doubt, you can just tell the white lie that you are married if asked – but 99% of the time, foreign or Pakistani couples should not have a hard time getting a room together.

Can I Visit the Place Where Osama Bin Laden Was Killed?

No you can not. The Pakistani government destroyed the entire compound months after Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals back in 2011 to avoid it turning into a dark tourism site or shrine. In any case, if you are coming to Pakistan to see something like that, you should probably reevaluate your sightseeing priorities.

Traveling During Ramadan is Hard

mutton karhai

I have now spent 3 full Ramadan ( Ramzan ) cycles in Pakistan and I must say: travel in Pakistan is challenging in the best of times – during Ramadan it is that much harder.

Finding food can be tricky as very few places are open during the day. People understandably move slower and are working reduced hours. The entire pace of life slows down during the day. At night though the entire country seems to come to life and there are people out and about at all hours of the night.

Especially if you are en route from a city to the north, nothing will be open during the day for a proper meal. Pack accordingly and be respectful when eating in public (don’t do it) if you are not observing the Ramadan fast.

Uber and Food Deliver Apps Work in Pakistan

In big cities, the easiest way to get around is either by moto rickshaw or by using a ride app like Uber. While Uber does work, the ride app Carem is the local version of Uber and it works better and is cheaper.

For food delivery, use Food Panda! Food Panda also offers a grocery delivery service. Note that Food Panda only works in big cities. You can not use either Uber or Food Panda in the North. Out there you are on your own when it comes to finding rides and getting meals.

Pakistanis are Crazy for Cricket

Professional cricket players in Pakistan are like rock stars. From huge stadiums to vacant city lots to dirt fields in small villages – you can see Pakistani people playing cricket anywhere they can find the ground.

If Covid ever finishes, try to catch a professional game at one of the stadiums if you have an interest in sports.

Some Places Are Straight Up Off Limits

noc permits pakistan

Despite my best efforts, I am yet to make it into a few places that are off-limits to foreign tourists almost without exception. There are a few places in Pakistan (and the whole province of Kashmir) that are off-limits due to security concerns. Even if you get your hands on a NOC (No Objection Certificate) permit – the army has the final say on whether you get in or not – and that final say is usually “no”.

If you are considering going somewhere like Kashmir – be sure to ask a local tour operator or traveler what the current situation is before attempting to go anywhere that might have the reputation for being out of bounds for foreigners. You lucky Pakistani travelers, enjoy Kashmir for me!

Sufi Shrines and Dance Parties

Sufis are traditionally wandering mystics. They often have dreadlocks, huge beards, and a fondness for smoking large quantities of hash, and a penchant for rhythmic music. There are a number of famous Sufi shrines scattered across Pakistan. On some nights of the week, people gather at the shrines for Kavali music and dancing. One of my favorite cultural experiences in Pakistan has been attending a Sufi dance party. Highly recommend it!

Prices are Different For Foreigners (Sometimes)

At restaurants and hotels – usually, the prices are the same across the board (though hotels can usually be negotiated depending on the situation).

Other things like national park entrance fees, fees to enter historical sites, and trekking permits are much more expensive for foreigners vs locals. This can be quite annoying. I just tell myself that the money is going into the national park or the preservation of a historic mosque (but I seriously doubt that as well).

Officially – Dating is Not Really a Thing

Being a conservative Islamic society, there are two life status options: single or married. Casual dating is widespread among the middle-upper class of the modern generation, but not openly. Romantic relationships are kept closed behind doors unless the couple is officially married.

If you are a foreign woman traveling alone, the first two questions you might get asked are “how many kids do you have?” and “where is your husband?”.

It is Difficult to Find Good Gear in Pakistan

pakistan travel situation

There are a handful of outdoor equipment shops scattered across Pakistan. The ones I have visited are in Karimabad, Skardu, Lahore, and Islamabad. What you find in those places is pretty hit or miss. While you might be able to find what you need in a pinch. Pakistan is not Nepal in terms of easily being able to rock up to the country and find western-quality trekking and camping gear.

Buy what you need BEFORE coming to Pakistan and don’t count on local shops having that Patagonia Down Hoodie you have been swooning over.

It is also worth noting that if you have big feet, it is almost guaranteed that the trekking shops won’t have your size boot.

Changing Money

changing money in pakistan

Most major currencies are accepted at money changers but here is a fat tip: don’t change your money at the airport and don’t change your money at banks. To be honest, the best way to get a favorable exchange rate is to find a small money changer to does not your ID and blah blah blah to change the money. The best exchange rates I have gotten have been through money exchange places where you just walk in, give them the cash you want to change, and you are on your way in 5 minutes. No paperwork. No BS.

Note that the bills you bring into Pakistan from abroad should be in excellent condition.

Trash and Tourism

Let’s be real here: Pakistan does not have the same funding as western countries to be able to deal with the trash produced in the country. That is a fact. That said, as tourism grows in the northern areas, so do the piles of trash tourists leave behind. There is kind of a culture of just chucking garbage out the window anywhere in the country and not thinking twice (not everyone of course, but generally speaking).

Do your part to always pack out your trash and if you see someone littering or blatantly abusing the environment (foreigner or local) call them out on that shit. If Pakistan wants to be a serious contender in the tourism sector – the government needs to invest in a big way in sanitation management and education – like in a big way.

Youtubers and Famous Instagram Stars Only Show the Bright Side of Pakistan (most of the time)

Pakistan has a lot of bright spots. This country is home to truly jaw-dropping landscapes and some of the friendliest, most hospitable people I have ever met in a decade of traveling. That said, Pakistan is human too. What does this mean? It ain’t perfect.

Often I see videos or photos from famous western influencer types who only show the beauty and don’t really talk about the inherent dark sides any country has.

Take it from me: Pakistan is amazing and my favorite country on earth. That said, there are a ton of issues that need to be addressed: the millions in severe poverty, gross government mismanagement in some sectors, poor education, unequal rights for women and the LGTB community, freedom of expression is not really a thing, etc, etc. Expect to come to Pakistan to experience its beauty, kind people, and its flaws all at once.

The Wagah Border Ceremony

wagah border ceremony

Before Covid times, every day around the same time, the two nuclear-armed rivals of India and Pakistan never missed a date: both sides performed their duty at the very strange, but very entertaining Wagah Border ceremony. If you are in Lahore (or coming from India) this exhibition of the ultra-nationalist, absurd, and macho is one that can’t be missed (watching it once is more than enough).

Pakistan and India (Governments) Hate Each Other

If you are not familiar with the India – Pakistan dynamic – I’ll break it down real quick: these two countries share an equal amount of disdain and mistrust for each other at the best of times.

That said, the average Pakistani you might talk to doesn’t really wish ill will against the average Indian citizen. Pakistanis and Indians actually have a ton in common – if only the governments could learn to work better together.

The Taliban Is No Longer Powerful in Pakistan

Despite what your mother may hear on the western news, Pakistan is not rife with terrorists and Taliban fighters. For sure Pakistan is home to small pockets of ultra-extremist violent elements in remote corners of the country – but the Taliban does not weld much power or influence these days.

The Pakistani government and army have severely weakened or eliminated altogether the former strongholds of Taliban or like-minded groups throughout the country. Pakistan is a safe place where you don’t need to fear that terrorists are lurking around every corner.

In fact, I have felt a lot less safe in places in South America than I ever have in Pakistan.

Hotel Rooms Are Always Negotiable

guesthouse in charpursan valley

Accommodation prices vary wildly in Pakistan. It is possible to find a cheap, mildly clean room for nearly nothing, while it is also possible to find luxury accommodation for a few hundred bucks a night.

Prices for hotels are generally higher in the high season – this is especially true in the mountain areas. Strike a balance between not getting ripped off and not paying so little that it is clearly not fair. Ask a local person what the price should be and base your haggling strategy on that.

People On The Street Don’t Hassle You to Buy Stuff

man in lahore

If you have ever been to a touristy part of India, you might agree that the hassle one receives on the street as a foreigner (or even a local person) is utterly exhausting.

Pakistan is not like that. You will almost never get people trying aggressively to usher you into their restaurant or buy some tourist souvenir.

Especially if you are out of a city in Pakistan, everyone kind of just minds their own business and they don’t see you as a walking cash box that needs to be taped.

I fully understand the people working in economies that depend on tourism need to hustle. That hustle does not take the same form in Pakistan as it does elsewhere, and I am very thankful for that fact.

That said, taxi drivers at the airport will all hassle you.

Balochistan Has Awesome Beaches

The least visited part of Pakistan is Balochistan. This immense southern province has nearly 770 of coastline! Pakistan ain’t all mountains and crazy cities – there are some truly hidden desert/coastal gems to be explored in Balochistan.

Time to Get Packing

pakistan travel situation

Good on ya, you made it through my entire list. You are now way more equipped for the ins and outs of traveling in Pakistan than I ever was when I first stepped foot in the country.

Check out my full Pakistan packing list to get in the know about what sort of gear you need before traveling here.

Have a bit of Pakistan travel knowledge to share with the Off The Atlas community? Post a comment below and maybe I will add it to the list!

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The Magnificent Himalayas & Karakoram Ranges


The Fascinating Cultures and Colors of the Land


The Surreal and Enchanting Glory of Nature


The Contrast of Spellbinding Grandeur and Sheer Simplicity


The Most Spritutal and Ancient Places

Salam Pakistan

Pakistan's National Tourism Brand Salam Pakistan by PTDC , launched by Prime Minister of Pakistan.


Tourism in Pakistan

The Land Of Adventure And Nature

First slide

Mr. Wasi Shah Minister Of State - PTDC

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Strategy to Help Mitigate the Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19 on Pakistan's Tourism Industry

Standard Operating Procedues (SOPs) and Guidelines for tourism industry in Pakisan

News and Happenings

The Ministry of Tourism has begun work on launching a "Tourism App" aimed at providing convenience and information to the public. Through this app, tourists will be able to access all the information they desire about various destinations. Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Wasi Shah, announced this initiative, showing the government's commitment to enhancing the tourism experience for visitors. As the Minister for Tourism in Pakistan, I am taking practical steps to promote tourism and turn Pakistan into a paradise for tourists. The fruits of these efforts will soon reach the tourists, and we are committed to making Pakistan a top tourist destination. Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Wasi Shah. (October 04, 2023)

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) along with with its collaborators organized a one day Culture Caravan to Taxila in connection with World Tourism Day, 2023. The participants of Culture Caravan was also given a tour of the archaeological sites there, the 2200- year old University Taxila, UNESCO World Heritage site Jaulian and Gandhara Art and Craft Village Taxila. The Culture Caravan to Taxila was led by State Minister for Tourism Mr. Wasi Shah while Minister for Education and Tourism Baluchistan Dr. Qadar Bakhsh Baloch, Managing Director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Ambassadors and Diplomats from different countries, media persons, stakeholders of tourism industry, students and various scholars. The event was organized to explore the rich history of the region and engage with experts to provide insight into the significance of Gandhara Heritage. (September 27, 2023)

Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Wasi Shah, commended the noble efforts of the Austrian mountaineer Wilhem Stendl, who raised $170,000 for the children of Pakistani porter Muhammad Hasan, who tragically lost his life during the K2 expedition. Minister Wasi Shah expressed his admiration for Wilhelm Stendl's unwavering commitment and stated, "What truly astonished and touched me was that Mr. Wilhelm Stendl, despite not being Pakistani, felt a selfless connection to Muhammad Hasan and his family. He took concrete steps to help them during a time when many others act solely in their own interests. People like Mr. Wilhelm reaffirm my faith in humanity." (September 20, 2023)

Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Wasi Shah, has stated that the government is taking all possible measures to promote tourism, create employment opportunities for the youth, and achieve significant economic gains through increased tourism activities. The government is also focusing on providing quality education in the field of hospitality and tourism management to students, with the College of Tourism and Hotel Management (COTHM) playing a significant role in this endeavor. Minister Wasi Shah expressed these views during his media interaction at the Kothm Head Office in New Garden Town, Lahore, on Monday. He emphasized the government's commitment to boosting tourism and highlighted the positive role that COTHM is playing in providing education and training in the hospitality sector. (September 18, 2023)

Dubai: The Minister of State for Tourism and Chairman of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Wasi Shah, visited the exhibition titled 'The North' held in Dubai by ICD Brook Field Palace. The curator of 'The North,' Imad Mian, briefed the Minister Wasi Shah about the event. Minister Wasi Shah appreciated this unique initiative and highly praised the work of artists. He emphasized that this project holds cultural, economic, and global significance for Pakistan. Showcasing Pakistan through photography is a beautiful endeavor. Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE, Faisal Tirmizi, was also present alongside Minister Wasi Shah during the occasion. (September 14, 2023)

Minister of State for Tourism/Chairman Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Mr. Wasi Shah Tuesday said that Pakistan and China Year of Tourism celebrations 2023 would pave the way to further enhance the journey to promote the country’s tourism industry. Addressing a ceremony of Pakistan and China Year of Tourism-2023 organized by Pakistan-China Friendship Association - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chapter in collaboration with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), the minister said that the friendship of Pakistan with the brotherly nation of China was stronger than mountains, deeper than oceans and sweeter than honey, whereas Pakistan welcomed its Chinese friends to invest with open arms in the country. (September 06, 2023)

Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Wasi Shah met with the family of the deceased porter in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, who had tragically lost his life while working. During the meeting, in addition to Hasan's family, officials from the Skardu administration and Assistant Commissioner Shigar, Hamza, were also present. The Minister expressed deep sorrow over Hasan's death and assured that his sacrifice would not be in vain. He pledged the government's full support to Hasan's family, including providing a job for his widow, covering all educational expenses for their three children, and covering all medical expenses for their elderly mother. (September 05, 2023)

Minister for Tourism and PTDC Chairman, Wasi Shah, met with the delegation from the Woking Borough Council, who came from the United Kingdom under the leadership of Mayor Muhammad Elias. Minister for Tourism, Wasi Shah, stated that there are ample opportunities for foreign investment in the tourism industry in the northern regions of Pakistan. By providing modern facilities in these areas, foreign tourists can be attracted. He also mentioned that a theme park for children will soon be established in Skardu. (September 02, 2023)

Minister of State for Tourism/Chairman PTDC, Wasi Shah, presided over a meeting held at the PTDC Head Office today, addressing proposals for the training and welfare of porters in the mountaineering community. The meeting was attended by Managing Director of PTDC, Aftab ur Rahman Rana, Manager (P&P)-PTDC, Sadia Nauman, President of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, Abu Zafar, Deputy Director of the Gilgit Baltistan Tourism Department, Sajid Husssain, accomplished Mountaineer and Alpine Club Member of the Investigation Committee, Rehmatullah, and distinguished Adventure/Tour Operator Qarar Haidri. (August 30, 2023)

Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan, Mohiuddin Ahmad Wani called on the Minister of State for Tourism, Wasi Shah, to engage in an extensive discourse on the captivating allure of Gilgit-Baltistan and the strategic measures essential for the augmentation of tourism within the region. The Chief Secretary Gilgit Baltistan presented a comprehensive overview of Gilgit-Baltistan's tourism landscape to Minister of State for Tourism Wasi Shah. Managing Director PTDC, Aftab ur Rahman Rana was also present on the occasion. (August 23, 2023)

Renowned poet, media person, columnist and recently appointed Minister for State on Tourism and Chairman of PTDC Board of Directors, Mr. Wasi Shah, paid a visit to the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Head Office where he assumed the charge of Chairman PTDC. On his arrival he was welcomed by the Managing Director of PTDC, Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Rana. Later MD PTDC gave him a comprehensive briefing on the functions, operations, and role of PTDC as a national tourism organisation. (August 22, 2023)

For booking of Government Rest Houses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while travelling to KP, please visit https://booking.kptourism.com/

Pakistan Showcasing its Rich Tourism Potential in World Leading Travel Show - Arabian Travel Mart 2023 Islamabad (1 May 2023): A 25-members’ delegation of Pakistan under the leadership of Mr. Awan Chaudhry, Advisor To Prime Minister on Tourism and Sports is participating in ATM Dubai 2023 from 1st to 4th May to showcase the rich tourism potential of the country. Mr. Awn Chaudhry, Advisor to Prime Minister on Tourism and Sports and Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Ambassador of Pakistan in UAE jointly inaugurated Pakistan’s Pavilion at ATM 2023, Dubai. (May 01, 2023)

PTDC is excited to share with you the news that Pakistan has won the award of Best New Exhibitor at the Travel and Adventure Show 2023. This leading trave and tourism expo was recently held at New York,USA from 28 to 29 January. Mr. John, the CEO of Travel and Adventure Show presented the award to Mr. Aftab Rehman Rana, MD of PTDC. In his comments on this occasion, Mr. Rana mentioned that Pakistan's participation in Travel and Trade Show at New York has been highly impactful in terms of response from the public and engagement of all the team members throughout two days of the show. The management of the show highly appreciated it a lot and has awarded Pakistan as the Best New Exhibitor of this year. Mr. Awn Chadhury, Chairman of PTDC and Advisor to PM in Tourism congratulated all the members of Pakistan's delegation including the provincial tourism departments and private sector tour operators for their dedication and commitment. He also highly appreciated the support of team of PTDC, TDAP and Pakistan Consulate General at New York to make all this happen. (January 29, 2023)

Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Managing Director PTDC held a meeting with Mr. Zhang Heqing, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Islamabad to discuss the promotion of bilateral tourism between Pakistan and China. Discussion was held on improving facilitation for the tourists on both sides to enhance people to people contact. Mr. Heqing informed that year 2023 will be celebrated as the year of China-Pakistan Year of Tourism Exchange. In this regard a Gandhara Art Exhibition is already planned at Palace Museum in Beijing to showcase Pakistan’s rich potential of diverse culture and long history. Mr. Rana said, that two brotherly counties need to further enhance cooperation in tourism sector to increase the flow of tourists from both sides which will be greatly helpful in improving the people to people contact between to two counters. He especially emphasized on the need to promote group tours through the registered and licensed tourism operators of both the countries to provide convenient way to enjoy touristic sites through guided tours. He also highlighted the need of Chinese language tour guides in Pakistan for which help is required from Chinese side to arrange special training courses. He also recommended about the opening of Khunjrab Pass for tourist traffic as it provide easy access to the visitors of both the sides. He also shared various other recommendations with the Cultural Counsellor of China in this regard. It was also agreed that a working committee having representatives of both the sides will be formed to make the collaboration in tourism promotion more meaningful and fruitful. (November 24, 2022)

PAKISTAN READY TO SHOCASE ITS RICH TOURISM POTENTIAL AT WORKDL TRAVEL MARK LONDON FROM 7 TO 9 NOVEMBER 2022 03-11-2002 Islamabad: Pakistan is in the final stages of preparation to showcase its rich tourism potential at World Travel Market (WTM) which is scheduled to be held from 7th – 9th November 2022 at Excel London. Managing Director PTDC, Aftab ur Rehman Rana informed that PTDC after the interval of almost 14 years is going to setup an impressive Pakistan Pavilion in WTM London in collaboration with provincial tourism departments and private sector companies. He said, Promotion of Pakistan as a top tourist destination is the prime focus of government of Pakistan. Pakistan is blessed with breath-taking natural beauty, rich culture and heritage and great diversity of landscape offering an un-matched tourism potential. Government of Pakistan aims to enhance the influx of foreign tourists to explore the rich touristic potential of this country and contribute in in the socio-economic development of its people through tourism. He said, World Travel Market (WTM) London is one of the largest international tourism exhibitions which will provides a unique platform to Pakistan to interact with global tourism organizations, top tourism experts and professionals, exhibitors and visitors from a variety of sectors including tourism, hospitality, aviation, transport, travel technology, resort management companies and various other sub-sectors of tourism industry. It is an event of global significance where more than 180 countries come together and showcase their tourism potential under one roof. Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has put together a high level delegation of 39 members led by Mr. Awn Chaudhry, Advisor to Prime Minister on Tourism & Sports and Chairman PTDC. Delegation also includes Mr. Abdul Khaliq, Tourism Minister - Balochistan, Raja Nasir Ali, Tourism Minister – Gilgit Baltistan, Mr. Faheem Akhtar, Minister for Tourism, Law & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), CEOs and MDs of eight private tour operation and hotel management companies and senior officials from PTDC, AJK, GB, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab tourism departments. It is hoped that participation in World Travel Mark London will provide a great opportunity to Pakistan to showcase its rich tourism potential at this global platform and help in develop G2G, B2B and G2B linkages with the leading players of tourism industry. (November 03, 2022)

Rohtas Paintings and Heritage Crafts Exhibition Marks Intl Tourism Day on Sept 27 Celebrating World Tourism Day 2022, an exhibition of paintings and Heritage Crafts from Rohtas Fort – a UNESCO World Heritage Site at PNCA Islamabad was inaugurated today at PNCA. Ms. Fareena Mazhar, Federal Secretary National Heritage and Culture Division, Mr. Youssef Filali Meknassi, Director of UNESCO Pakistan and Ms. Emanuela Benini, Director of Italian Agency for Development Cooperation jointly inaugurated the exhibition. Art works showcasing collection by as many as 13 talented artists from across the country are on exhibit experimented with oil, acrylic and watercolor mediums to promote sustainable and responsible tourism at the World Heritage Site of Rohtas Fort. The event is was organized by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan (STFP) in collaboration UNESCO Islamabad and Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), PNCA and Serena Hotels.

Experts discuss challenges, opportunities in Tourism Sector Experts including policy makers, federal and provincial government representatives and heads of various tourism related companies here Monday discussed the challenges as well as opportunities in the tourism sector during the five sessions of National Tourism Conference here Monday. The conference was organized by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) on the theme “Rethinking Tourism” to celebrate World Tourism Day at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA). (26th September 2022)

PTDC organized Three-day photography, art exhibition on International Tourism Day. As many as 322 photographs and around 100 paintings were submitted by established and amateur photographers and painters from across the country in the Photography and Painting competition that was displayed at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on September 26, 2022. The competition was organized by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) to celebrate International Tourism Day 2022. The themes for the competitions included Tourist Attractions of Pakistan, Landscapes, Culture and Life, Adventure Sports and Flora & Fauna. While the painting competition was in two age categories including youth and kid competitions.

Pakistan’s Tourism Potential Highlighted in Myanmar . Pakistan Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar in collaboration with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) organized a one-day seminar on Tourism Potential of Pakistan at Wyndham Grand Yangon Hotel. (27th July 2022)

The 97th meeting of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Board of Directors was held in the head office of PTDC on May 30th. Mr. Awn Chaudhry, Special Advisor to Prime Minister/Minister of Tourism and Sports attended this meeting as special invitee. Managing Director, Aftab Rana, welcomed Mr. Awn Chaudhry and the member of board of directors of PTDC. MD PTDC informed the board members that Pakistan has made a significant improvement on the International Travel and Tourism Development Index by moving up six places as per the latest report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). (May 31, 2022)

PTDC and World Bank jointly organized workshop on National Tourism Competitive Index for Pakistan Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) and The World Bank (WB) jointly organized a workshop in Islamabad on National Tourism Competitiveness Index (NTCI) for Pakistan. The workshop was attended by relevant federal and provincial stakeholders, private sector, industry experts and the academia. Tourism remains a priority sector for the government and is identified as one of the key drivers of economic growth. (May 23, 2022)

Advisor to PM Aoun Chaudhry visits PTDC after taking charge as Minister of Tourism and Sports. Mr. Aoun Chaudhry has been appointed as advisor to the Prime Minister on Sports & Tourism. On the advice of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, President Dr. Arif Alvi approved the appointment of Awn Chaudhry as his advisor. Aoun Chaudhry’s post will be equal to that of Federal Minister.

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) joins hands with Silk Road Center to organize International Conference and Art festival on Buddhism in Pakistan. This event is going to be held at PNCA Islamabad on 14 and 15 March 2022. Interested people can get themselves registered at this link: https://buddhisminpakistan.org/

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Tourism (SAPM) / Chairman PTDC held meeting with the Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE H.E. Afzaal Mahmood and Head of the Pakistan Pavilion at the Dubai Expo Rizwan Tariq during his visit to Dubai. (March 04, 2022)

Online Consultative B2B Webinar between Tour Operators of Pakistan and China was organized by PTDC to enhance bilateral linkages between two countries. (March 03, 2022)

A Seminar was held at Xenia School of Hospitality on "How to Promote Tourism in Pakistan at International level and introduce the concept of Halal Tourism". Mr Tariq Mehmood, founder Director of Halal Gateways UK gave an informative presentation on Halal Tourism which is now gaining popularity at global level. Mr. Aftab Rana, MD of PTDC was invited as Chief Guest to attend this event. (February 27, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Tourism (SAPM) / Chairman PTDC chaired PTDC's 96th Board of Directors meeting at PTDC Head Office, Islamabad. (February 23, 2022)

Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Managing Director PTDC, held a meeting with Dr. Kasir, CEO of Discover Pakistan TV to develop a collaborative partnership between the two organisations for the promotion of Tourism in Pakistan. (February 19, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Tourism (SAPM) / Chairman PTDC visited Lahore Fort and appreciated the restoration and conservation efforts of Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA). (February 14, 2022)

Winter Sports Festival was successfully held at Ganga Choti, Bagh AJK in collaboration with AJK Winter Sports Association. The festival included activities like Ice and Snow Competitions, Cross Country Ski Marathon, colorful cultural show, Alpine Skiing and Ice Skating performances while the closing ceremony will by followed by prize and medals distribution. (February 12, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Tourism (SAPM) / Chairman Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) visited Peshawar Museum, Gor Gathri and Sethi House Peshawar. Director Archeology, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw gave a detailed briefing to SAPM about Historical Places of Peshawar. (February 09, 2022)

Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Managing Director PTDC, delivered a presentation on tourism sector performance at President House, Islamabad. He highlighted the significance of tourism and hospitality sector and tourism potential of Pakistan. (February 09, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Tourism & Chairman Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Called on Chairperson TEVTA Mr. Ali Salman to discuss Skill Set Required in Tourism Industry, Progress on TEVTA Based Centre of Excellence for Tourism & Hospitality at GSTC Murree. The Meeting also Discussed Skill Based Programs, Job Opportunities & Scope for Tourism Sector in Pakistan in Future. Chairperson TEVTA Congratulated Azam Jamil, for joining as SAPM & Assured his full support for Promoting Tourism in Pakistan. (February 02, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Tourism Coordination / Chairman PTDC called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. Matters related to the promotion of tourism sector in the country were discussed in the meeting. (January 27, 2022)

Managing Director PTDC, Mr. Aftab Ur Rehman Rana attends finals of National Ice Hockey Championship at Ghulkin, Upper Hinza to promote winter tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan. 16 boys and 5 girls teams participated in this event, sponsored by PTDC. (January 24, 2022)

Webinar - Roundtable on Heritage Legislation of Pakistan: Issues, Constraints and Challenges was held at PTDC Head Office, Islamabad. A roundtable discussion was held to review the heritage legislation in Pakistan, explore the potential of heritage tourism and look for the source of funding for heritage. (January 20, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Tourism Coordination / Chairman PTDC inagurated "Akhuwat School of Hospitality and Tourism". He appreciated the efforts of TDCP and highlighted the significance of tourism and hospitality sector. (January 16, 2022)

Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Managing Director PTDC, was invited as Guest of Honor in COTHM Islamabad Annual Convocation 2022 at Marriott Islamabad. He appreciated the efforts of COTHM institution and highlighted the significance of tourism and hospitality sector. (January 12, 2022)

Mr. Azam Jamil has been appointed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Tourism Coordination. With an illustrious career in the Hospitality and Tourism industry starting with Intercontinental Hotels in the mid-seventies and spanning well over 4 decades, Mr. Azam has been responsible for spearheading some of the key projects and institutions that shape Pakistan’s tourism industry today. (December 31, 2021)

Latest Updates

pakistan travel situation

Honorary Tourism Ambassador for Germany

pakistan travel situation

Promotion of Bilateral Tourism Between China and Pakistan

pakistan travel situation

Pakistan’s Tourism Potential Highlighted in Myanmar

pakistan travel situation

Pakistan’s Participation in New York Travel & Adventure Show 2023

pakistan travel situation

World Travel Martket (WTM) - London (06-08 November 2023)

pakistan travel situation

Validation Workshop on Development of National Tourism Competitiveness Index - NTCI - May 23, 2022



Kaghan Valley


Neelam Valley


Hunza Valley


Tourism is a focused area of the present government. Several initiatives are being undertaken to garner the potential offered by the tourism industry. To develop and enhance coordination with provinces, federal ministries, and private actors, facilitate in the development of policies, strategies, framework, etc, to market and promote tourism potentials nationally and internationally; and capacity building for the provision of quality human resource, the Government has constituted the National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB). NTCB is mandated to:


Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) was incorporated on March 30, 1970, under the repealed Companies Act 1913 (now the Companies Ordinance, 1984) as a Public Corporation Limited by shares.

PTDC is owned by the Government of Pakistan (99.75% share). The Principal objective of the corporation is to promote and develop tourism in Pakistan.




Khyber Pakhtunkhwa




Azad Kashmir


Gilgit Baltistan

World travel martket (wtm) - london (07-09 november 2022).


Welcome to Pakistan

From the mighty stretches of the Karakorams in the North to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the South, Pakistan remains a land of high adventure and nature. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing and bird watching, are a few activities, which entice the adventure and nature lovers to Pakistan.

Pakistan is endowed with a rich and varied flora and fauna. High Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges with their alpine meadows and permanent snow line, coniferous forests down the sub-mountain scrub, the vast Indus plain merging into the great desert, the coast line and wetlands, all offer a remarkably rich variety of vegetation and associated wildlife including avifauna, both endemic and migratory. Ten of 18 mammalian orders are represented in Pakistan with species ranging from the world's smallest surviving mammals, the Mediterranean Pigmy Shrew, to the largest mammal ever known; the blue whale.

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  • Coordinate with provincial, national and international organizations dealing with the tourism sector.
  • Market and Promote tourism potential of Pakistan.
  • Facilitate the provinces in developing a regulatory framework for quality standards in the Hospitality sector.
  • Coordinate national participation in tourism related international expos and events.
  • Develop synergies amongst provinces and regions.
  • Provide Technical assistance to provinces to develop institutions in tourism sectors.

As a part of the strategy, the NTCB formulated following thematic working groups to develop strategies and action plans in their assigned specific areas:

  • Cultural, Heritage & Archaeology Tourism Working Group
  • ECO Tourism Working Group
  • Tourism Branding & Marketing Working Group
  • Regulatory & Policy Reforms Working Group
  • Religious Tourism Working Group
  • Investment Promotion Working Group
  • Infrastructure & Facilitation Working Group
  • Adventure Tourism Working Group
  • Trans Himalayan Jeep Rally Working Group

Coming Soon

pakistan travel situation

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pakistan travel situation

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

Regional risks

This section has safety advice for regions of Pakistan. It only covers regions where The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) has specific advice.

You should also read FCDO ’s overall travel advice and safety and security advice .

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

FCDO advises against all travel to these districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province:

  • Dera Ismail Khan
  • Lakki Marwat
  • Peshawar, including the city of Peshawar
  • North Waziristan
  • Upper South Waziristan
  • Lower South Waziristan

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • Arandu town
  • the road between Mirkhani and Arandu

FCDO  advises against all travel to much of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province because of military or militant activity in many of the districts. There is frequent militant violence in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Local curfews could be imposed at short notice. There can be cross-border attacks in the surrounding areas of Arandu to the south and west of Chitral.

N45 Highway between Mardan and Chitral

FCDO advises against all travel on the N45 Highway, from the north of the Mardan ring road, to the edge of the city of Chitral because of terrorism incidents.

Balochistan Province

FCDO advises against all travel to Balochistan Province, except the southern coast of Balochistan.

The situation at the Pakistan-Iran border can be extremely tense. In January both Iran and Pakistan conducted missile and drone strikes targeting militant groups on either side of the border.

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the southern coast of Balochistan. That is:

  • the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway
  • the section of the N25 from the N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan-Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar

There is a high risk from kidnapping and militant activity in much of Balochistan. If you plan to visit the southern coast of Balochistan, get permission from the authorities and have security arrangements in place.

Pakistan-administered Kashmir

FCDO advises against all travel to within 10 miles of the India-Pakistan border area within Pakistan-administered Kashmir, known as the Line of Control.

There is regular military activity on the Line of Control. Although there is a ceasefire in place, there are significant tensions between India and Pakistan. There is a serious risk of small arms fire and occasional mortar fire.

Make sure you have the necessary permissions to travel. Check the latest requirements before you travel as they can change.

Sindh province

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to all areas of Sindh province north of and including the city of Nawabshah.

There are high levels of lawlessness in the north of Sindh province. There is a very high risk of crime and kidnapping. Criminal gangs and bandits with access to heavy weaponry are active in the area. In 2022, a large criminal gang attacked police in Ghotki, northern Sindh, killing several officers and taking other officers hostage.

Gilgit-Baltistan region

Flight schedules schedules to Gilgit and Skardu Airports in the North of Pakistan may be unreliable and may change at short notice. You should consult your airline or travel agent.

Road routes are also likely to be restricted by seasonal weather, with the Babusar Pass liable to close due to snowfall.

The terrain in Gilgit-Baltistan is mountainous, with remote and isolated locations that are difficult to police. You are strongly advised to get local security advice and make appropriate personal security arrangements before you visit.

All foreign nationals must register with the local authorities when visiting Gilgit-Baltistan. You might need a permit for mountaineering or trekking, in particular for mountains over 6,000 metres. The permission process can take up to 2 months and is best organised through a travel company. The validity of your travel insurance policy may be affected if you do not have the correct permits.

Use reputable trekking agencies, stay on established routes, and always walk in groups. Do not trek alone.

Karakoram Highway (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan)

The Karakoram Highway runs from Hasan Abdal in north Punjab towards Gilgit and the Chinese border. FCDO advises against all travel on the Highway between Mansehra and Chilas via Battagram, Besham City, Dasu and Sazin up to the junction with the N15.

Avoid travelling on the Highway at night, as the road can be narrow with steep drops. All sections of the Highway north of Battagram up to the Chinese border have experienced landslides.

Police and security agencies have a significant presence in Islamabad. Exercise caution in the outlying districts, such as I-8, I-9, I-10 and areas further west, where security forces have led operations against suspected criminals and terrorists.

Avoid all protests. Crowded areas such as the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) and Aabpara Market in G-6 have been a focal point for protests.

Levels of violence can vary. The safety of daily activity can be unpredictable. Criminal and political violence is common, including armed carjacking, robbery, kidnap and murder. Strikes called by religious and political parties can cause significant disruption and sometimes lead to violent civil unrest. Smaller-scale labour strikes are also common and cause regular disruptions locally.

There is a risk of violence in parts of the city which include government offices. Major hotels and the financial district are generally seen as more stable, though there remains a risk of violence, particularly after Friday prayers.

You should:

  • plan any travel in the city carefully
  • take advice from hosts or trusted contacts, follow instructions from law enforcement officers and be prepared to cancel or cut back your plans
  • be especially vigilant in Lyari, Malir, Quaidabad and Orangi Town – they have a greater risk of violence based on past activity

There’s a high threat of terrorism throughout Pakistan, including Karachi. Attacks in Karachi have included:

  • February 2023 – militants attacked a police station in the city killing police officers
  • 2022 – a suicide bomb at the University of Karachi targeted Chinese nationals and killed 4 people
  • public service and health officials have been attacked while working on health programmes

Lahore is the capital of Punjab and attracts large numbers of tourists and business travellers. While the city has a widespread police presence, there have been recent terrorist attacks. These have targeted public places and government or security forces. Avoid religious events or gatherings, public events and large crowds of people.

If you travel to southern Punjab take advice about the local security situation in advance. There is a high level of crime and public order incidents.

Border areas

Except for official border crossing points, foreigners are not allowed to travel within certain distances of Pakistan’s international borders. This includes:

  • travel to within 5 miles of Pakistan’s border with India and within 10 miles of the Line of Control
  • 10 miles of the border with China
  • 10 miles of the border with Afghanistan

If you travel to these areas you may be arrested and detained.

The situation for border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan may change rapidly due to the security situation in Afghanistan. The FCDO advises against all travel to Afghanistan or within 10 miles of the Afghan border as well as Pakistan’s Balochistan Province and a number of districts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.

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Pakistan and Iran vow to enhance efforts at a 'united front' against Afghanistan-based militants

ISLAMABAD — Neighbors Pakistan and Iran on Wednesday pledged to enhance efforts at a “united front” against Afghanistan-based militants, saying their presence poses a serious threat to regional and global security.

The countries, which share a long and porous border, made the commitment in a joint statement issued after a three-day visit by Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi to Islamabad.

The visit was aimed at mending ties that were strained in January when each carried out strikes in the other’s territory , targeting militants accused of attacking security forces.

The Iranian president met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other officials, including powerful army chief Gen. Asim Munir.

The joint statement said the two sides “reaffirmed their willingness to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism and security and to develop a united front against terrorism.”

Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant violence in recent months, mostly blamed on Afghanistan-based Pakistani Taliban and insurgents who also target security forces in Iran.

Pakistan often says Pakistani Taliban have stepped up attacks since 2021 when the Afghan Taliban came to power. The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, is a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban.

However, Afghanistan’s Taliban government insists it does not allow the Pakistani Taliban — or any other militant group — to use Afghanistan’s soil to launch attacks against any other country. In March, the Pakistan Air Force targeted multiple suspected hideouts of the Pakistani Taliban inside Afghanistan. The Afghan Taliban said the attacks killed eight people and prompted return fire from their forces.

Tehran has also blamed an Afghanistan-based Islamic State affiliate for recent attacks in Iran. The affiliate is also active in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan bordering Iran.

In recent years, Pakistan has urged Tehran to take stern action against Pakistani insurgents living inside Iran near the border. They often target security forces in Baluchistan, the scene of low-level insurgency by separatists for more than two decades.

Pakistan and Iran also agreed that their common border should be the “border of peace and friendship,” and reiterated the importance of regular cooperation between political, military and security officials to combat other threats such as narcotics smuggling, human trafficking, hostage-taking and money-laundering.

The countries also agreed to expand trade and economic cooperation, pledging to set up new border markets, new border crossings and economic free trade zones.

The two sides also condemned the suspected Israeli strike on April 1 targeting a consular building next to the Iranian Embassy in Syria which killed two Guard generals and others . Iran responded with unprecedented direct strikes on Israel.

Authorities also said Pakistan and Iran also discussed how to go ahead with their gas pipeline project, which has been on hold mainly because of fears of U.S. sanctions. The project — opposed by Washington as a violation of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program — launched in 2013 to supply Iranian natural gas to energy-starved Pakistan.

pakistan travel situation

IMF promises Pakistan ‘immediate’ release of $1.1bn loan after key meet

Pakistan seeks another long-term IMF programme to support its ailing economy but experts say the focus must be on reforms.

Pakistani prime minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva in Riyadh on Sunday. [Handout/Prime Minister's Office]

Islamabad, Pakistan – Cash-strapped Pakistan is poised to receive a $1.1bn loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a key meeting of the international lender’s executive board on Monday, even as economists have warned that the country needs deep reforms to reduce its dependence on overseas financial assistance.

Late on Monday night, Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance and the IMF confirmed that the lender had approved the “immediate disbursement” of a $1.1bn tranche that completes a total loan of $3bn agreed to under a deal inked last year.

Keep reading

Pakistan, imf reach staff-level deal to release $1.1bn from bailout package, pakistan’s election chaos casts shadow on next imf deal, imf forecasts pakistan’s economy to slump, inflation to rise, will pakistan’s imf agreement save its economy.

But the approval came with firm words from the IMF. “To move Pakistan from stabilization to a strong and sustainable recovery the authorities need to continue their policy and reform efforts, including strict adherence to fiscal targets while protecting the vulnerable; a market-determined exchange rate to absorb external shocks; and broadening of structural reforms to support stronger and more inclusive growth,” the organisation said in a statement.

The bailout followed a meeting between Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting in Riyadh on Sunday.

Sharif’s government had sought a new IMF deal after the current $3bn standby arrangement (SBA) with the global lender expired on April 11.

Hours after the IMF approved the funding, Sharif on Tuesday said disbursement will bring increased economic stability to Pakistan. The bailout from the IMF proved important to save the country from default, the country’s state broadcaster quoted the prime minister as saying.

Pakistan has been reeling from a severe economic crisis for more than two years, with its inflation at one point shooting up to nearly 38 percent and its foreign currency reserves depleted to $3bn in February 2023, enough to cover less than five weeks of imports.

In June last year, Sharif was able to avoid a sovereign default when he secured the IMF bailout , pushing the current forex reserves to almost $8bn, according to the latest central bank data.

Khaqan Najeeb, a former adviser to the Finance Ministry, told Al Jazeera the performance of Pakistan’s $350bn economy in the past nine months has shown that the country’s meagre foreign reserves have increased and that inflation , which was at 20 percent in March, has reduced, though slowly.

“Broadly, we can define Pakistan’s economic situation as macro-stabilisation, which is a consequent effect of adjustment policies, but it also means that growth is expected to remain slow and hover around 2 percent,” he said.

Leading Pakistani economist Kaiser Bengali, however, had reservations about the economic outlook as he questioned the sustainability of the current policies, wanting to see more structural reforms.

Bengali called the current economic indicators a “mirage”, adding that the perceived stability was due to the prospect of more loans coming in.

“If the so-called stability was due to a rise in exports or better inflow of dollars, that would have been meaningful but that is not happening. What we are seeing right now is a temporary situation, where the market is responding to day-to-day information,” he told Al Jazeera.

“The economy cannot run on merely an inflow of loans. How will we repay all our [existing] loans?”

Pakistan’s external debt obligations currently stand at more than $130bn, with Lahore-based economist Hina Shaikh fearing the current policy of using more debt to address fiscal deficit will create more inflation.

“Without a commitment to initiate reforms that rationalise expenditures and expand the tax net to increase tax revenues, the macroeconomic situation will not change much. Unless more goods are produced and there is real growth – that is exports see a boost, manufacturing takes place, there are productive employment opportunities – inflation will remain on the rise,” she told Al Jazeera.

Bengali said recent Pakistani governments had a single-point agenda of figuring out “where to get new loans to pay the past loans”.

“Public sector development has been left behind. In the last four decades, there has barely been any major project for health, education or housing,” he said.

Najeeb, the former government adviser, said the main challenge for the country in the coming days was to put together a framework that could result in growth “based on productivity and investment”.

“We must remember that Pakistan already owes them [IMF] $7bn,” he added.

Bengali signed off with a warning: Even the IMF could be reluctant to put in large sums of money to help Pakistan come out of its financial crisis.

“No bank will give you loans indefinitely, especially when they see a deteriorating balance sheet,” he said.

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Pakistan meteorological department: weekly drought information (3 may 2024 ) [en/ur].

  • Govt. Pakistan


Preview of 1714737648.pdf

During the week (22nd to 30th April , 2024), light to moderate rainfall is recorded across the country. The spatial distribution of rainfall is shown in Figure 5. The Figure 6 shows the departure of the rainfall from the normal, the southern parts of Balochistan and Sindh province are showing below normal rainfall. Existing mild drought-like conditions in the southern parts of Balochistan province are expected to continue. Details are available in the monthly drought bulletin of April 2024.

During the week (21st to 31st March, 2024), the spatial distribution of Mean temperature is shown in figure 7. Mean temperatures remain normal in most part of the country. Most parts of the country received below normal mean temperature as shown in figure 8.

During the week (22nd to 30th April, 2024) the spatial distribution of Normal rainfall is shown in Figure 9. Normal rainfall is 0 to 35 millimeter in most parts of the country while in Potohar region, Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rainfall is 28 to 35 milli meter. While normal temperature during the period is shown in the Figure 10, the temperature ranges from 12 to 36 degree Celsius temperature.

Duration of Forecast:3rd May-8th May, 2024

On 3 May, Rain-windstorm/thunderstorm is likely in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, north/northwestern Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and Pothohar region. However, gusty winds/windstorm are likely in south Punjab and upper Sindh during evening/night.

4 May, 2024, Mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while hot in southern/central parts. However, rain-wind/thunderstorm is expected in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Kashmir.

5 May, 2024, Mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while hot in southern/central parts. However, rain-wind/thunderstorm is expected in upper Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

6 May, 2024, mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while hot in southern/central parts. However, rain-wind/thunderstorm is expected at isolated places in Kohistan, Swat, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

7 May, 2024, Mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while hot in southern/central parts. However, rain-wind/thunderstorm is expected at isolated places in Kashmir and adjoining hilly areas.

8 May, 2024, Mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while hot in southern/central parts. However, rain-wind/thunderstorm is expected at isolated places in Kohistan, Swat, Chitral.

Note: According to this forecast some relief may be expected in the previous mild drought affected areas of South Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.

Note: For more detail forecast PMD website:


https://ndmc.pmd.gov.pk/new/ For Drought update NDMC website:

Note: This weekly update is published according to Julian days.

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Drought bulletin of pakistan (april 2024), poliovirus found in sewage samples of mirpur khas and karachi west, provincial disaster management authority (pdma): khyber pakhtunkhwa daily situation report (1 may 2024, morning), provincial disaster management authority (pdma): khyber pakhtunkhwa daily situation report (1 may 2024, evening).

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pakistan travel situation

Watch pilgrims scale volcano during Pakistan's biggest Hindu yatra

India Today Video Desk

The steep mud volcanoes mark the start of Pakistan's largest Hindu pilgrimage festival.

Climbing to the volcano's peak, worshippers toss offerings into the crater, seeking permission to visit Hinglaj Mata cave temple. Hundreds climb stairs to the volcano's peak, tossing coconuts and rose petals into the shallow crater.

Hindus believe it's where Sati's, the goddess of marital happiness and longevity, remains fell. 

The Hinglaj Yatra, spanning three days at Hingol National Park, anticipates over 100,000 participants. Though Hindus make up 2.14% of Pakistan's population that is 4.4 million. 


Latest videos.

pakistan travel situation

'Anupamaa' actor Rupali Ganguly joins BJP, netizens welcome 'new Smriti Irani'

‘Every Indian wants to join Modi sena', says Rupali Ganguly who has joined the BJP, citing a commitment to development, seeking blessings and support for her new political journey.

pakistan travel situation

BJP fields Brij Bhushan's son from Kaiserganj; Lookout notice against Prajwal Ravanna | Top stories on 5ive Live

The BJP has fielded controversial MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's son Karan Bhushan from Uttar Pradesh's Kaiserganj and Dinesh Pratap Singh, a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government, from the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat.

pakistan travel situation

Prajwal Revanna didn't seek political clearance to travel to Germany: Centre

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that no political clearance was either sought from or issued by it in respect of travel of suspended JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna to Germany.

pakistan travel situation

BJP drops Brij Bhushan Singh from UP's Kaiserganj, gives ticket to his son

The BJP has dropped Kaiserganj sitting MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by women wrestlers, and has fielded his son Karan Bhushan Singh from the seat. 


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Campus Protests Give Russia, China and Iran Fuel to Exploit U.S. Divide

America’s adversaries have mounted online campaigns to amplify the social and political conflicts over Gaza flaring at universities, researchers say.

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pakistan travel situation

By Steven Lee Myers and Tiffany Hsu

An article on a fake online news outlet that Meta has linked to Russia’s information operations attributed the clashes unfolding on American college campuses to the failures of the Biden administration. A newspaper controlled by the Communist Party of China said the police crackdowns exposed the “double standards and hypocrisy” in the United States when it comes to free speech.

On X, a spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Kanaani, posted a cartoon of the police arresting a young protester in the guise of the Statue of Liberty. “Imprisonment of #freedom in the U.S.A.,” he wrote.

As protests over the war in Gaza have spread across the United States, Russia, China and Iran have seized on them to score geopolitical points abroad and stoke tensions within the United States, according to researchers who have identified both overt and covert efforts by the countries to amplify the protests since they began.

There is little evidence — at least so far — that the countries have provided material or organizational support to the protests, the way Russia recruited unwitting Black Lives Matter protesters to stage rallies before the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Nonetheless, the campaigns have portrayed the United States as a country rived by social and political turmoil. In the past two weeks alone, state media in Russia, China and Iran have produced nearly 400 articles in English about the protests, according to NewsGuard, an organization that tracks misinformation online. The countries have also unleashed a wave of content through inauthentic accounts or bots on social media platforms like X and Telegram or websites created, in Russia’s case, to mimic Western news organizations.

“It’s a wound that our adversaries are going to try to spread salt on because they can,” said Darren Linvill, a director of the Media Forensics Hub at Clemson University, which has identified campaigns by all three countries. “The more we fight amongst ourselves, the easier their life is and the more they can get away with.”

Researchers are concerned that some foreign influence operations are also pivoting toward the presidential election in November, seeking to inflame partisan tensions , denigrate democracy and promote isolationism . All three adversaries have unleashed a deluge of propaganda and disinformation ever since the war over Gaza began in October, seeking to undercut Israel and, as its principal ally, the United States while expressing support for Hamas or the Palestinians generally.

The campus protests, which gained momentum in recent weeks, have allowed them to shift their propaganda to focus on the Biden administration’s strong support for Israel, arguing that it has undermined its international standing while not reflecting popular sentiment at home.

“The policies of the Biden administration are complicating the situation inside the country,” the article on TruthGate, one of a handful of websites that Meta said last year were created by a Russian information operation known as Doppelgänger to spread propaganda under the guise of an American news outlet, said on Wednesday. “In the rush to help our controversial allies, they have completely forgotten about domestic affairs. Now the situation seems irreparable.”

The influence efforts have been tracked by researchers at Clemson and NewsGuard, as well as the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Recorded Future, a threat intelligence company.

One covert Chinese influence campaign known as Spamouflage , which was first linked to an arm of the Ministry of Public Security in 2019, has also turned its attention to the protests. Some posts on X claimed that the United States was “DISPLAYING TOTALITARIANISM.” Similar language — such as “how could there be such rough police officers in the world” and “expulsion, arrest, suppression!” — echoed across several accounts identified by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a research organization in Washington focused on national security.

Max Lesser, a senior analyst for the foundation, described the “high volume” of protest-related content as “a clear example of a foreign adversary actively exploiting an ongoing domestic crisis.”

Many of the accounts linked to Spamouflage share similar content. One on X, with nearly 18,000 followers, retweeted a post from a Chinese diplomat in Pakistan that criticized the police response to student protesters and featured Mandarin-subtitled footage of the campus demonstrations. Its profile photo was an image of Winter, the South Korean pop singer. It listed its location as the United States but typically posted during Asia’s day, while its content frequently included grammatical errors.

Another account on X, which according to Mr. Linvill of Clemson was also linked to Spamouflage, an operation sometimes known as Dragonbridge, reposted a message by a prominent pro-Palestinian organization in New York City calling on protesters to “flood the encampments” at the city’s universities.

The researchers, however, have not detected a direct effort to organize protests or provoke violence. The focus, rather, has been to highlight the divisions that the war in Gaza has exposed in public opinion in the United States — and the potential effect that has on government policy.

Brian Liston, an analyst with Recorded Future, said that in the case of Russia, the campaign “was attempting to stoke tensions on both sides of the protest argument,” alternately praising the protesters and denouncing them as antisemitic.

In many instances, the campaigns are simply amplifying sentiments expressed by the protesters and their supporters. Chen Weihua, an outspoken editor and columnist for China Daily, the official state newspaper in English, has recently reposted messages on X from people like Jill Stein, the presidential candidate of the Green Party, and Cynthia Nixon, the actress from “Sex in the City.”

For China, the scenes of American police officers in riot gear arresting young protesters have particular resonance because of the sharp criticism the Communist government faced from the United States and other democracies when its security forces clashed with protesters in Hong Kong for months in 2019 over the reversal of political freedoms that the government had promised to preserve in the former British colony.

“When Hong Kong students destroyed schools, blocked roads, and threw gasoline bombs, the United States told the Hong Kong government to exercise restraint and not disrupt reasonable demonstrations,” one account linked to Spamouflage declared. “Now facing American students, the police take direct action and arrest them!”

Melanie Smith, the director of research for the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a research organization that studies online disinformation, polarization and extremism, said China’s efforts had become notably more aggressive toward the Biden administration.

Her organization and others previously identified an incipient effort to undermine President Biden’s re-election prospects. That effort has included creating fake accounts posing as those run by Americans critical of Mr. Biden’s policies.

“Their content is relatively aggressively talking about how young people are unlikely to vote for Biden over this as an issue,” Ms. Smith said of the Chinese response to the protests.

Bret Schafer, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund who studies information manipulation, said China, Russia and Iran had different motivations for getting involved. They all, however, benefited from highlighting narratives that damage global perceptions of the United States. State media in Iran, which has long supported Hamas, has posted more about the protests than Russia or China and amplified criticism of the police response from American commentators such as Jackson Hinkle , he said.

The emphasis on the protests follows similar efforts to criticize the $95.3 billion foreign aid package for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine that Congress passed and Mr. Biden signed last month.

The Information Epidemiology Lab, a research group that studies malign influence campaigns, said the Russian information operation Doppelgänger had been posting content critical of the aid package or focused on the political debate surrounding it. The goal is to portray the United States as an unreliable global ally — some posts claimed that it had abandoned Israel.

Instead, the posts suggested, Israel and other countries should seek new partnerships with Russia and China. Another series of posts shared an article from a website masquerading as Fox News, which claimed that former President Donald J. Trump would “stop the plundering of the U.S. budget.”

Steven Lee Myers covers misinformation and disinformation from San Francisco. Since joining The Times in 1989, he has reported from around the world, including Moscow, Baghdad, Beijing and Seoul. More about Steven Lee Myers

Tiffany Hsu reports on misinformation and disinformation and its origins, movement and consequences. She has been a journalist for more than two decades. More about Tiffany Hsu

Our Coverage of the U.S. Campus Protests

News and Analysis

The most recent  pro-Israel counter demonstration was at the University of California, Los Angeles, home to large Israeli and Jewish populations. More are planned in the coming days , stirring fears of clashes.

An officer whose gun went off inside a Columbia University building fired it accidentally  as the police were removing pro-Palestinian protesters from the campus, the New York Police Department said.

A union representing academic workers said it would file unfair labor charges  against the U.C.L.A. and potentially walk out over the handling of protests this week.

Exploiting U.S. Divide:  America’s adversaries have mounted online campaigns to amplify  the social and political conflicts over Gaza flaring at universities, researchers say.

A Year Full of Conflicts:  The tumult in Bloomington, Ind., at Indiana University where large protests have led to dozens of arrests and calls for university leaders to resign, shows the reach of the protest movement .

Seizing Hamilton Hall:  Some of those arrested during the pro-Palestinian demonstration at Columbia were outsiders  who appeared to be unaffiliated with the school, according to an analysis of Police Department data.

A Collision Course:  Desperate to stem protests that have convulsed campuses across the country , a small number of universities have agreed to reconsider their investments in companies that do business with Israel. But how?


  1. The Best Places to Visit in Pakistan

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  1. Pakistani Travel Requirements in 2023


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  1. Pakistan Travel Advisory

    Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Do not travel to: Balochistan province and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to terrorism and kidnapping. The immediate vicinity of the India-Pakistan border and ...

  2. Travel advice and advisories for Pakistan

    Do not travel by road to Gilgit-Baltistan province. Chitral. Many parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province are unstable due to terrorism, violence, and crime rates, including Upper and Lower Chitral districts. Do not travel by road to this area. Terrorism. There is a high threat of terrorism in Pakistan. The security situation is fragile and ...

  3. Pakistan travel advice

    FCDO advises against all travel to Balochistan Province, except the southern coast of Balochistan. FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the southern coast of Balochistan. That is the ...

  4. Health Alert- U.S. Mission to Pakistan (January 8, 2024)

    Phone: + (92) (91) 526 8800. Contact Peshawar or scan the QR code to access it from your phone. State Department - Consular Affairs. 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444. Pakistan Country Information. Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

  5. Pakistan Travel Advice & Safety

    Earthquakes are common. Flooding, landslides and tsunamis can occur. Some areas of Pakistan experience extreme heat, with temperatures recorded above 50 degrees Celsius. The risk of disease can increase during the monsoon season (July to September). Follow the advice of local authorities. Full travel advice: Safety.

  6. NH&MP

    NH&MP Travel Advisory: ... Pakistan Meteorological Department Daily Forecast, 3 Days Forecast . Motorway North Zone Ph:051-9278808: Sector M1 (Peshawar to Islambad Motorway) Ph: 093-8490463 0331-5999130: Weather : Cloudy from Islamabad Toll plaza (KM 351) to Peshawar Toll Plaza (KM 498).

  7. 14 things you need to know before traveling to Pakistan

    The security situation can vary widely as you travel around Pakistan. Potentially dicey areas include parts of rural Sindh, some neighborhoods in Karachi , the area of Indus Kohistan close to Abbottabad (where Osama Bin Laden lived in hiding until 2011), parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan , and all of Baluchistan and ...

  8. Safety and security

    When travelling in Pakistan, you or your travel company should contact the local authorities of your destination in advance to check the local security situation. They may arrange police ...

  9. Security Alert

    (May 19, 2022) Location: Countrywide Reminder: Given the recent rise in sporadic violence in and around Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the U.S. Mission in Pakistan reminds U.S. citizens of safety and security recommendations while living or traveling in Pakistan. The Department of State's Travel Advisory lists Pakistan as "Level 3: Reconsider Travel" due to terrorism and ...

  10. Entry requirements

    Returning to the UK. You must have a valid visa, a Pakistani national identity card or a valid Pakistani passport to leave. If you are travelling on a British passport and your visa has expired ...

  11. Pakistan Travel Guide: Everything To Know Before You Go

    Pakistan is a relatively cheap country to travel, although it can be tricky to find budget accommodation outside of the popular tourist destinations or in high season (June - August). Below is a breakdown of the average cost of traveling in Pakistan on a backpacker budget. At the time of writing, US$1 = 155 Rs.

  12. Pakistan

    Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas. If you choose to drive a vehicle in Pakistan, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork. Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.

  13. Useful tips for traveling to Pakistan in 2024

    In any case, this is a pretty cheap country and I think you can easily travel to Pakistan for less than 20 a day, sleeping in private rooms and eating 3 meals outside. These are the (approximate) prices of the most typical things: Local meal - 150PKR. Local meal in a mid-range restaurant - 250-500PKR.

  14. Is Pakistan safe for travel in 2024?

    In short: yes, Pakistan is safe to travel. Is Pakistan safe?: What's actually going on with Pakistan's security situation? The country stabilized immensely since peak Taliban activity around 2009-2012. Pakistan's military has a tight hold on the country to maintain peace.

  15. Pakistan

    Stay on top of Pakistan latest developments on the ground with Al Jazeera's fact-based news, exclusive video footage, photos and updated maps.

  16. Covid-19 Air Travel

    Testing will be conducted as soon as possible after arrival. The testing process generally takes 24 hours, but might be delayed in some cases due to heavy load of inbound passenger traffic. The quarantine can be extended based on the result of the passenger's COVID-19 test, or upon the discretion of governmental health authorities considering ...

  17. Pakistan Travel Advisory

    This is a regional information covering specific areas of Pakistan. Issued by: New Zealand government Info: Do not travel to Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (except for Chitral district), and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir due to the high risk of kidnapping, terrorism and the unpredictable security situation (level 4 of 4). Do not travel to the border areas with Afghanistan and India, including ...

  18. 45 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Pakistan

    Visit as many beautiful mosques as possible. Pakistan might be very conservative (and traditionally tribal in some places) in some places, but the country is technically not governed under Sharia law. Pakistan is a democracy and you 100% do not have to be Muslim to travel here (or even visit ancient mosques).

  19. 'Cousins at war': Pakistan-Afghan ties strained after cross-border

    Many Afghans also travel to Pakistan to access health facilities. Last year, following the surge in violence, Pakistan launched a drive to push Afghan refugees living in the country back to ...

  20. Welcome to Pakistan

    He said, World Travel Market (WTM) London is one of the largest international tourism exhibitions which will provides a unique platform to Pakistan to interact with global tourism organizations, top tourism experts and professionals, exhibitors and visitors from a variety of sectors including tourism, hospitality, aviation, transport, travel ...

  21. Regional risks

    The situation at the Pakistan-Iran border can be extremely tense. In January both Iran and Pakistan conducted missile and drone strikes targeting militant groups on either side of the border ...

  22. How We Can Tap Into Pakistan's Tourism Potential As The World ...

    The existing situation of the tourism sector is below average as Pakistan stands at 121 out of 140 countries overall. In terms of business travel and cultural resources, out of 140 countries, the rank of Pakistan is 56. In price competitiveness, Pakistan, being considered an inexpensive country around the globe, is placed 37 out of 140 countries.

  23. More than 100 killed across Pakistan and Afghanistan as flash ...

    Unseasonal rainfall has lashed Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past few days, killing more than 100 people across the neighboring countries, authorities said.

  24. Pakistan and Iran vow to enhance efforts at a 'united front' against

    Neighbors Pakistan and Iran have pledged to enhance efforts at a "united front" against Afghanistan-based militants, saying their presence poses a serious threat to regional and global security

  25. IMF promises Pakistan 'immediate' release of $1.1bn loan after key meet

    Islamabad, Pakistan - Cash-strapped Pakistan is poised to receive a $1.1bn loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a key meeting of the international lender's executive ...

  26. Pakistan Meteorological Department: Weekly Drought Information (3 May

    News and Press Release in English on Pakistan about Drought; published on 3 May 2024 by Govt. Pakistan ... Situation Report Source. Govt. Pakistan; Posted 2 May 2024

  27. Watch pilgrims scale volcano during Pakistan's biggest Hindu yatra

    The steep mud volcanoes mark the start of Pakistan's largest Hindu pilgrimage festival. Climbing to the volcano's peak, worshippers toss offerings into the crater, seeking permission to visit Hinglaj Mata cave temple. Hundreds climb stairs to the volcano's peak, tossing coconuts and rose petals into the shallow crater.

  28. Karachi's women face daily life without access to toilets

    05/02/2024 May 2, 2024. Pakistan's largest metropolis has very few public toilets, and the situation is especially difficult for women, who are not allowed to use the same facilities as men.

  29. Campus Protests Give Russia, China and Iran Fuel to Exploit U.S. Divide

    Nonetheless, the campaigns have portrayed the United States as a country rived by social and political turmoil. In the past two weeks alone, state media in Russia, China and Iran have produced ...