Islamabad is a beautiful, clean and lush green capital of Pakistan. This article is about Best Places to Visit in Islamabad. It is no wonder it is considered the 2nd most beautiful capital in the world. It is well developed, modern and attractive in so many ways.
Tourist Destinations in Islamabad
Islamabad is full of destinations that attract hundreds of tourists every year. Islamabad is known for its scenic beauty and mesmerizing landscape, with combination of Urban and Nature at ration 50:50. The city is well planned and maintained while the Development of the city is responsibility of CDA. Here are few places if someone got a chance to visit this beautiful capital city.
Lok Virsa is a cultural and heritage museum in Islamabad that exhibits the different lifestyles of people in Pakistan. You can approach Lok Virsa via road full of natural beauty either from Abpara side viewing Rose and Jasmine Garden Islamabad and Pak China Friendship Center Islamabad. If you are coming from Faizabad side you can use Shakar Parian Interchange next to Prade Ground Islamabad to reach Lok Virsa, this road is also full of greenery. You will also witness Pakistan Museum of Natural History on the same road.
You can actually visit the Pakistan Monument on the same day as the Lok Virsa Museum as they are extremely close by. Just another 5 minutes drive up the road, you’ll witness the national monument, which is represented by its shape – the four main petals represents Pakistan’s four provinces (Punjab, sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) while the three smaller petals represents it’s three territories (Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas).
On way to Pakistan Monument Islamabad, while going upward you will have option to visit Shakar Parian Islamabad on right side. Sharkar Parian is the location where master plan of Islamabad was finalized back in General Ayub Khan’s regime.
Saidpur Village Islamabad
This is surely a must visit place when you’re in Islamabad. Located on the foothills of the Maragalla mountain range, the village is from the Mughal-Era and has remnants of various civilizations. Saidpur village is sort of like a heritage site but what is amazing about it is that it displays a perfect blend of traditional culture with modern lifestyle. Here you’ll find restaurants and cafes that have been well integrated around the village while keeping the authenticity and tradition.
The Faisal Mosque is definitely the most iconic structure and symbol of not just Islamabad, but all of Pakistan. It is the largest mosque in the country and can be seen from almost everywhere in Islamabad. The mosque is so massive that it covers an area of 5,000 m2 and can accommodate over 250,000 worshipers in its inside and outside grounds.
It is certainly sight for sore eyes with its impressive and unique design. Usually Mosques are dome shaped but this one is shaped like a ‘desert Bedouin’s tent’. The Mosque is located in an area that it is visible from almost all of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Moreover, it is in foothill of Margalla Hills National Park Islamabad in very natural and calm environment.
if you want a nice time with family or your loved one, Rawal lake is the perfect place to visit. Although an artificial reservoir, the view is beautiful and you can even rent paddle boats or motor boats to explore the lake and nearby islands.
Other than boating and the view, the park next to the lake is perfect for picnics, bird watching and long walks with your loved ones. The biggest birds aviary of Pakistan is also located in same Lake View Park Islamabad where you will surely got an opportunity of watching birds from whole world in natural environment.
The ideal time to go here would be an hour or so before sunset where you can enjoy a bit of the surrounding area and then be able to capture this!
During your visit to Rawal Lake Islamabad you will also find a racing tack and paint ball fighting sight here while there are so many traditional foodies stalls also there. You will also enjoy live music by different artists with pleasant weather and natural environment.
The Margalla hills or mountain range is part of the lesser Himalayas and is a perfect destination for adventurers, travelers and locals. There are plenty of restaurants, viewpoints and nature trails to tickle everyone’s fancy. You can drive or hike up to Daman-e-Koh, which is located just half way up the mountain for a picturesque, panoramic view of Islamabad. This is a popular site for both tourists and locals.
Be mindful of monkeys that roam these areas though. We saw plenty at the car park stealing people’s food!. The view from bottom to top is stunning and the experience of going up and down the mountain in itself is amazing.
The Islamabad club is an exclusive club where the membership comprises mainly of government officials, diplomats and the elite of Islamabad. Now that puts most, if not all of you in a pickle, but if you’re in Islamabad for a long time, it’s worthwhile to get a membership here.
The club is equipped with swimming pools, tennis courts, gym, library and a lot more. They have a killer Sunday brunch and weekly dinner buffet setup serving delicious Pakistani and continental food across live stations and pre-cooked meals.
Earlier I mentioned about Margala Hills. Well if you drive/hike up further from Daman-e-koh, you will reach Monal restaurant where you can enjoy some seriously delicious kababs and other authentic Pakistani dishes like Biryani and Handi. Monal is actually touted as the #1 restaurant in Islamabad. Apart from the amazing food, the view is stunning.
From this place you will be able to view whole of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on your front while on the backside of this restaurant you will be able to see the beautiful villages and mountains of KPK Province of Pakistan.
Sunday Bazar Islamabad
Although called Sunday (itwar) bazar, it is actually open on other days as well. Sometimes Tuesday or Wednesday and sometimes Friday as well. This is a massive flea market in G-11 sector, which offers lots of vintage, second hand and interesting products such as clothing, accessories and gadgets. Here you will also find flowers, fruits, vegetables and meat.
You have to do a lot of exploring, searching and go through a bit of hustle & bustle to find what you like but prices here are really cheap and quality is pretty decent.
Tip: best to go here with a local as they know how to bargain with the shops. Also you might want to wear conservative clothing (which goes without saying when you’re in Pakistan anyway) because if they see you areyto a foreigner or from a well-to-do family, they give you a much higher price.