The majestic Faisal Mosque stands against the backdrop of the lush Margalla Hills as a symbol of a Pakistan placed firmly in the modern day, while holding on to its history and traditions. The capital city of Islamabad is a forward-thinking metropolis nestled among the green base of the Himalayas, and though it has traditionally been thought of mainly as a diplomatic city, it has recently grown to become an important business and financial centre for the region, as well as an emerging travel destination, one which, together with its neighbouring sister city of Rawalpindi, gives travelers in-the-know a taste of all sides of contemporary Pakistan.
PakistanDue to serious political instability and major conflicts, Pakistan has been off the radar of most travelers in the last years. Although many visitors have pointed out that the state of the country is painted to be more dire than it really is by Western media, there have been repeated attacks on travel groups and visitors in recent history. As soon as the well-deserved peace for Pakistan comes to its incredibly hospitable people, its vast deserts, ancient ruins and impressive mountains will be accessible to tourists again. To the country’s north, this includes the western part of the Himalaya Mountains, and thus the K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
A cosmopolitan melting pot of Eastern and Western influences, ethnicities and cultures, Karachi will enrapture all those who visit. With the warm waters of the Arabian sea lapping at its shores, a breathtaking mix of architectural styles and the warm welcoming hospitality of its people, Karachi will uplift the spirits and animate you with a glow that gives credence to its nickname as the “City of Lights."
As Pakistan longs for a surge of international visitors, its second city – Lahore – sits at the gates, prepared to swing them open at first notice. The capital of Punjab and recognised cultural centre of the country, Lahore holds some rare remnants of Mughal rule, Pakistan's largest number of academic institutions, splendid gardens, and endless culinary delights, living up to its reputation of a gastronomic paradise.
Historically an important trading centre, Peshawar sits not far from the Khyber Pass, once part of the legendary Silk Route, and an important gateway to the Indian subcontinent travelled by prominent conquerors and explorers. Things remain volatile in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa border province, of which Peshawar is the capital, but recent trends seem to indicate a decline in criminality and a budding resurgence of urban life.