The modern, well-organized capital of Pakistan
Islamabad is the purpose-built capital city of Pakistan. It was built in the 1960s to replace the former capital Karachi. Incredibly well-organised and laid out in specific sectors and zones, Islamabad is the location of the federal government buildings, the Pakistani parliament, Pakistan's top educational institution, the Quaid-i-Azam University, and the famous Faisal mosque, which is the fourth largest mosque in the world. Human settlement in the region has existed for thousands of years, but as a very young country, which has only existed since 1947, Pakistan has created a well-planned modern capital city to reflect its new ideas. Islamabad has attracted people from all over Pakistan, which has made it an increasingly busy and cosmopolitan place, but one that still retains a calm suburban-like atmosphere.
Islamabad is Pakistan’s ultra-organised capital city, boasting lots of pleasant green areas and a quiet, dignified atmosphere. Islamabad is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, with new international restaurants and shopping areas opening up.
When to Go?
Islamabad has a very hot and humid subtropical climate, with temperatures getting well into the 40s between the months of April and August. Monsoons and heavy rains are common in the wet season between July and August. The best time to visit Islamabad is in the winter, between October and January, when the temperature and humidity are at their lowest.
How to get there?
Flights to Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB), (formerly called Islamabad International Airport) are available from Pakistan International Airlines. Islamabad flights depart from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Birmingham and London Heathrow Airport. Glasgow to Islamabad is also a recent addition to the list. British Airways have offered Islamabad flights previously, but are not currently operating on the route.
Just to the north of Islamabad, the Margalla Hills provide a stunning backdrop to the urban areas, and are excellent for hiking and walking. Visit Rawal Lake in the Margalla Hills National Park, which form part of the foothills of the Himalayas, where there are some excellent walking trails and picnic areas and fishing on the lake. The Faisal mosque is one of Islamabad’s most impressive buildings. It was built under the patronage of the King of Saudi Arabia and can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers. Visit the Lok Virsa Museum with its 25 galleries, or visit the tigers at Islamabad Zoo.
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