Guide to Islamabad
Visiting a city for the first time you may seem to face a challenge; a proper visit takes a lot of planning. We here tell you how to see the best of Islamabad without you juggling with guide-books. We welcome you to the green, calm and peaceful city of Pakistan. Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. It is a moderately populated city, where the culture is preserved with the tints of urban life. Islamabad is a diverse cultural and historical city situated between the green mountains, shows the development of the nation since formation in 1947. Here is a complete tour guide to the 2nd most beautiful city in the world.
Hotels to Stay-In:
Islamabad Serena Hotel
The five-star deluxe hotel of Islamabad combines local culture and heritage for travelers, with its vast peaceful garden and Islamic architecture. The Hotel provides facilities like Airport transport, 24-hour room service, Wi-Fi access, Mini bar, a choice of Cuisine and Restaurants, Souvenir shop and Traditional Embroidery Shop, Spa, Heated outdoor pool, Fitness center, Banquet and Conference facilities, 24-hour Business center. The average price per night starts from $275 deluxe rooms to $2500 Presidential Suits.
Islamabad Marriott Hotel
The five-star international hotel located at the footsteps of the famous Margalla Hills and is surrounded by President & Prime Minister Houses, Senate, World Bank, Parliament House, giving a view of Rawal Lake and the green hills. It takes half an hour to commute between the Hotel and the Islamabad International Airport. The Hotel consists of its own dining area with all kinds of cuisines available, fitness area, spa, sauna, and swimming pool. The hotel provides airport transport service; free Wi-Fi, Safe deposit box in rooms, direct access from the elevator to Fitness area, Spa & pool. The average price per night starts from $118 Guest rooms to $360 King Suits.
A 3.5 stars comfortable hotel, situated near the cultural heritage sites and museums. Hotel Margala is the main venue for the corporate conventions and social events of the city. A usual meeting place of politicians, diplomats, businessmen and of the country. Hotel Margala provides airport transport service, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, and room service. It has a mini-bar, dining area with traditional and contemporary flavors, fitness center, relaxing spa and massage service, parking space and conference rooms. The average price per night starts from $80 Classic rooms to $100 Executive suite.
Envoy Continental Hotel
The 3-star hotel is located in the heart of the city surrounded by the commercial area, shopping mall and plazas, media houses and famous News channel offices. The hotel provides airport pick n drop, Restaurant open 24/7, Wi-Fi, rent a car, rooftop B.B.Q, conference and meeting halls, and Tennis court. The average price per night starts from $68 standard rooms $142 Presidential Suits.
Hotel One Jinnah
A small hotel set just one-hour drive from the airport, Hotel one offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi, a 24/7 front desk accommodation, mini-bar and its own restaurant that offers buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel service offers room service, free parking, and elevator facility. The average price per night starts from $46 standard rooms to $70 Deluxe Suits.
A clean, peaceful and cheap lodge, located at the commercial area near the heritage sites, with airport pick n drop service, room service, open air Tandoori restaurant, dry clean and laundry, free Wi-Fi, free parking and children play area. The average price per night starts from $24 standard rooms to $46 Deluxe Suits.
Meals are always the first priority while traveling to new places. The capital city offers to enrich quality food from cultural to international cuisines. Contrasts of both traditional and modern worlds meet here, from high-end elite restaurants to tiny food stalls. Here are few recommendations to dine-in.
The Monal Restaurant
The high quality, an affordable restaurant located on the top of Margalla Hill bears an exotic menu and irresistible top view of Islamabad city. The special dishes are Kabuli Pulao, Seekh Kebabs, Chicken Biryani, and Palak-paneer. You sure should not miss on sweets and must have Gulab jamuns. The restaurant also has souvenir shops around the entrance where handmade Jewelry, key chains, and embroidery can be found.
An upscale market filled with Cafes and Bookstores. The market is one of the elitist hangout places for foreigner’s diplomats and businessmen. The menu is expensive yet tempting. The Cafes like Street 1 café, Tuscany Courtyard, Table Talk, Chai Khana, and Mocca Café are a fusion of desi breakfast. So, tuck in for a proper desi breakfast like Halwa Puri, Paratha Omelet, Karak Chai and Seasonally Fresh Juices.
The old natural village of in the suburb of Margalla Hills, a live feel of countryside traditional houses and street made of rocks paths. Beside the old Hindu temple and a Sikh gurdwara in the village, it’s hard to choose among the high-quality desi restaurants such as Des Pardes, Dera Pukhtoon and Andaaz Restaurant. The restaurants offer a delightfully fresh menu with the unique blend of Mughlai Cuisine and Pakistani local food originated from different tribes of the country. Lamb chops, Tikka, Rosh, Dampukht, Palau, Bihari Tikka, Mutton Handi and Peshawari Kebab are well-known dishes can be enjoyed with family and friends.
Places to Visit
Prepare to walk a lot as Islamabad is highly famous for its natural attractions and historical ruins among the tourists. Build your day roaming around the museums, art galleries, historical garden or enjoy the nightlife of by watching an open-air theater or attend any local event, the city has it all. Here are few picture square spots to help you build the memories of your trip.
The hiking trails of Margalla Hills
Need time from the hustle bustle of the city head out towards the hiking trails of the Margalla hills? Highly safe and well-constructed trek trails leading to Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa. There are 6 trails leading to different paths in the mountain, named 1 to 6, among which trail 5 is the easiest and but longest trail.
Historical places and Museums
If you are curious about the history of Islamabad, head out to Pakistan monument, where the history is precisely stated by wax figures and statues, narrates the freedom movement of Pakistan. Lok Virsa is a cultural museum located near Pakistan Monument, gives you an insight into the diverse four province culture and tradition of the country with well-preserved artifacts, and architectural relics and Lollywood film industry of Pakistan. The Golra Sharif Railway Station Museum describes the railway history of Pakistan since its foundation, The Photo museum of Saidpur Village tells the tale of the city. Faisal Mosque, the third largest mosque in the world, holds 10,000 worshipers is situated at the foothills of Margalla hills. The historical museum is surrounded by souvenir shops of handmade wooden key chains, jewelry, and home décor pieces.
The green gardens host of four seasons
The forever green city witnesses all four seasons, of which the spring is the best to explore the city. Islamabad is the city with a large number of parks and gardens open to the public. The famous ones are, the Fatima Jinnah Park a romantic place for couples which covers the whole F9 sector, while on another hand Lakeview Park gives a view of Rawal Lake and is an excellent picnic spot for the family. Rose and Jasmine Garden possess over 250 kinds of Roses and Jasmines with an annual flower show in the spring. Shakarparian is a ceremonial garden, a tribute to the martyred, where most of the ceremonial tree plantations take place.