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How To Spend 24 Hours in Islamabad, Pakistan!

Recently, I had a 4 day trip to Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan instantly rose to one of my top 5 countries for a plethora of reasons – friendly locals, cheap things, fantastic food, its quirkiness and much more, such as my drive to visit less-vistied countries with a “dangerous” reputation. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Islamabad, then this is how to spend 24 hours in Islamabad!

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Is Islamabad Safe?

24 hours in Islamabad

Is Islamabad safe? Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, has made significant strides in terms of safety and security in recent years. However, like any city, it has its own challenges and considerations that potential visitors or residents should be aware of. Here’s a detailed look at the safety situation in Islamabad:

Crime Rate:

  • Low Crime Rate: Islamabad generally has a lower crime rate than other major cities in Pakistan like Karachi or Lahore. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and purse snatching can occur, but violent crimes are relatively rare.
  • Police Presence: The city has a visible police presence, especially in high-profile areas and near government buildings. There are also several checkpoints throughout the city to enhance security.

Political Stability:

  • Government Control: As the capital, Islamabad is under tight control of the federal government, which ensures a higher level of security and rapid response to any incidents.
  • Protests and Demonstrations: While generally peaceful, protests can occur, notably around government buildings. These are usually well-managed by the authorities but can cause disruptions.


  • Reduced Threat: In the past, Pakistan, including Islamabad, faced significant terrorist threats. However, comprehensive counter-terrorism efforts have substantially reduced these threats in recent years.
  • High-Security Zones: Key areas such as the Diplomatic Enclave, government offices, and major hotels are heavily secured, reducing the risk of attacks in these locations.

Safety Measures:

  • Security Protocols: The city employs rigorous security protocols, including CCTV surveillance, secure access points, and regular security drills.
  • Embassy and Diplomatic Security: Embassies and diplomatic missions are heavily guarded, ensuring the safety of international staff and visitors.


  • Seismic Activity: Islamabad is in a region susceptible to earthquakes. The city has experienced significant earthquakes in the past, and buildings are constructed with this risk in mind.
  • Preparedness: The local government and institutions have disaster response plans and conduct regular drills to ensure preparedness for seismic events.

Healthcare Facilities:

  • Quality Care: Islamabad has some of the best healthcare facilities in Pakistan, including several well-equipped hospitals and clinics.
  • Medical Services: There are numerous pharmacies and international health services available. However, it is still recommended that insurance is purchased.

What Is Islamabad Best Known For?

24 hours in Islamabad

What is Islamabad best known for? Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, is best known for its stunning natural beauty and meticulously planned urban landscape. Nestled against the backdrop of the picturesque Margalla Hills, Islamabad offers a serene and green environment that sets it apart from other bustling metropolises. The city is famous for its lush parks, such as the expansive Fatima Jinnah Park, and the breathtaking Daman-e-Koh viewpoint, which provides panoramic views of the city.

Islamabad’s layout, designed by the Greek architect Constantinos Apostolou Doxiadis, features wide tree-lined streets, ample green spaces, and a well-organized grid system, making it one of the most beautiful and liveable cities in the middle east. The city’s dedication to maintaining a balance between urban development and nature has earned it a reputation as an oasis of tranquility and greenery.

Moreover, Islamabad is renowned for its cultural and educational significance. It hosts numerous prestigious institutions, including the Quaid-i-Azam University, the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), and the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), making it a hub for higher education and research.

The city is also home to several important cultural landmarks, such as the Pakistan Monument, which symbolises the unity of the nation, and the Lok Virsa Museum, which showcases Pakistan’s diverse cultural heritage. Additionally, the majestic Faisal Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, stands as an iconic symbol of Islamabad, attracting visitors and worshippers alike with its striking modern design and spiritual ambiance. These attributes make Islamabad not only a centre of natural beauty and urban planning but also a beacon of education and culture in Pakistan.

Is Pakistan Safe For Solo Women Travellers?

24 hours in Islamabad

Is Pakistan safe for solo women travellers? Traveling solo as a woman in Pakistan can be a unique and rewarding experience, but it also requires careful planning and awareness of cultural norms and safety considerations. In Islamabad, I did feel very safe, and dressed conservativley as possible. I did notice a lot of stares and did have a lot of people ask me for photos, and at one point it did get a bit overwhelming – as around 50 people surrounded me asking for photos (now I know what it feels like to be a celebrity 😎). Although my experience may be different from other people’s.

In recent years, Pakistan has made significant strides in improving safety and security for tourists, including solo female travellers. Major cities such as Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, as well as popular tourist destinations like Hunza Valley and Skardu, generally have better infrastructure and more robust security measures in place. However, solo women travellers are advised to exercise caution, especially in less developed or rural areas where conservative cultural norms may be more strictly observed.

It’s important to dress modestly, respecting local customs, and to remain aware of one’s surroundings at all times. Utilizing reputable local guides and staying in well-reviewed accommodations can also enhance safety and ensure a more comfortable travel experience.

While many solo female travelers have reported positive experiences in Pakistan, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. Street harassment, although not rampant, can occur, particularly in crowded or less-policed areas. Language barriers might pose difficulties, but English is widely understood in urban areas, and local hospitality often bridges communication gaps. Building connections with local women and expat communities can provide valuable insights and support during the journey.

Additionally, leveraging social media platforms and travel forums to connect with other female travellers who have explored Pakistan, such as the inspirational Eva Zu Beck, can offer practical advice and boost confidence. Overall, while solo travel in Pakistan is not without its risks, thorough preparation, cultural sensitivity, and vigilant travel practices can lead to a safe and enriching adventure – so don’t let it hold you back.

Is Islamabad Cheap?

24 hours in Islamabad

Is Islamabad cheap? Islamabad is incredibly cheap for westerners, although it is not the cheapest city in Pakistan.

The cost of living in Islamabad is generally higher than in other Pakistani cities due to its status as the capital and its modern infrastructure. However, it is still relatively affordable compared to many Western cities. Accommodation costs can vary significantly; upscale areas and furnished apartments command higher rents, while budget-friendly options, such as guesthouses and mid-range hotels, are available for those looking to save money.

Dining out in Islamabad can be inexpensive, especially if you frequent local eateries and street food vendors, which offer delicious and affordable meals. Transportation costs are manageable, with affordable options like taxis, and buses readily available. I used Careem to get around the city, and my most expensive journey was 74p…although there wasn’t always seatbelts (as shown by my face in the photo!). I loved giving the taxi drivers more money for the rides, as the look on their faces when I told them to keep the extra was always priceless!

While some entertainment and leisure activities, such as visiting upscale cafes or shopping in high-end malls, can be pricey, many of the city’s attractions, like parks, museums, and cultural sites, are either free or have a nominal entry fee. Islamabad can be an affordable destination, particularly if one is mindful of their spending and takes advantage of the numerous cost-effective options available.

How To Spend 24 Hours in Islamabad, Pakistan:

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Islamabad, then these are the best ways to spend 24 hours in Islamabad, Pakistan:

Pakistan Monument

24 hours in Islamabad

Tourists should visit the Pakistan Monument in Islamabad for its remarkable blend of historical significance, architectural beauty, and cultural representation.

Perched on the scenic west Shakarparian Hills, the monument offers a panoramic view of Islamabad and the surrounding areas, making it an ideal spot for photography and sightseeing. The structure itself is an architectural marvel, designed to symbolize the four provinces and three territories of Pakistan through its blooming flower petal-like design.

Each petal features intricate artwork that depicts pivotal moments in Pakistan’s history, providing visitors with a visual journey through the nation’s past. The monument’s adjacent museum further enriches this experience, showcasing exhibits and artifacts that narrate the story of Pakistan’s creation and its cultural heritage.

Additionally, the well-manicured gardens and serene ambiance of the monument provide a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. Visiting the Pakistan Monument is not only an opportunity to appreciate the country’s rich history and culture but also a chance to enjoy some of the best views and landscapes Islamabad has to offer. There is a shop and museum on site, but the monument is free to visit. I will always remember walking to the monument and having a group of school kids all say, “Hi!” “Hello!” “Wow!!!” “Where are you from?” “So pretty!” – moments like this made me love the country even more.

Faisal Mosque

24 hours in Islamabad

The Faisal Mosque in Islamabad is known for its unparalleled architectural grandeur, spiritual significance, and scenic setting. As one of the largest mosques in the world and a symbol of Pakistan’s Islamic heritage, Faisal Mosque stands out with its unique, modern design that blends contemporary and traditional elements.

Commissioned by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and designed by the Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, the mosque’s striking silhouette features a large triangular prayer hall and four towering minarets, reminiscent of a Bedouin tent, which distinguishes it from conventional mosque architecture. Inside, the mosque boasts a vast prayer hall that can accommodate up to 100,000 worshippers, adorned with stunning calligraphy and a magnificent chandelier that adds to the mosque’s serene and awe-inspiring ambience.

The mosque is situated at the foot of the Margalla Hills, offering breathtaking views and a tranquil environment that enhances the spiritual experience. Beyond its architectural and spiritual appeal, the Faisal Mosque is a cultural landmark where visitors can learn about Islamic traditions and Pakistan’s religious practices. Its spacious courtyards and beautifully maintained grounds also provide a peaceful place for reflection and relaxation, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Islamabad.

Monal Restaurant

24 hours in Islamabad

Monal Restaurant is a must-visit for its exceptional dining experience, breathtaking views, and unique ambience. Perched high in the Margalla Hills, Monal offers a panoramic vista of Islamabad that is especially captivating at sunset and night when the city lights create a mesmerizing landscape.

The restaurant’s open-air terraces provide an unparalleled setting for enjoying a meal while taking in the natural beauty and fresh mountain air, whilst being the perfect way to finish off your 24 hours in Islamabad. Monal is renowned for its diverse menu, which features an array of Pakistani and international dishes, expertly prepared to satisfy a variety of palates. The emphasis on fresh ingredients and authentic flavours ensures a memorable culinary experience.

In addition to its delicious food, Monal’s elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, enhanced by live traditional music performances, creates a delightful ambiance that is perfect for both intimate dinners and larger gatherings. The attentive service and the opportunity to dine in such a scenic location make Monal a standout destination in Islamabad, offering tourists a unique blend of gastronomy and natural splendour that is hard to find elsewhere.

EM EN Café

24 hours in Islamabad

EM EN Café, also nicknamed the Barbie Café, is an inviting and stylish dining experience in one of the city’s trendiest spots. Located in the upscale area of F-7, EM EN Café is known for its chic interior, which combines modern design elements with cosy touches, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The café’s ambiance is perfect for relaxing, socialising, or working, making it a versatile destination for a variety of visitors. The menu at EM EN Café offers a delightful range of options, including gourmet coffee, artisanal teas, and a selection of both local and international cuisine. From hearty breakfasts and light lunches to delectable desserts, every dish is crafted with quality ingredients and presented with artistic flair…especially the cakes! I’ve never seen such beautiful cakes (and at such a good price too!) – and they also had an extremely affordable afternoon tea option!

The outdoor seating area is particularly popular, allowing guests to enjoy their meals amidst all of the pink decor! EM EN Café also hosts occasional live music performances and art exhibitions, adding a cultural dimension to the dining experience. For tourists seeking a blend of culinary excellence, aesthetic appeal, and a touch of Islamabad’s vibrant café culture, EM EN Café is a must-visit destination and one of the best things to do if you have 24 hours in Islamabad.

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24 Hours In Pakistan FAQ:

What is the language of Islamabad?

The primary language spoken in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, is Urdu, although English is also widely used for official and administrative purposes.

Is Islamabad worth visiting?

Yes, Islamabad is worth visiting for its beautiful blend of modern architecture, lush green landscapes, rich cultural sites, and serene environment.

Is it safe to visit Islamabad now?

Yes, it is generally safe to visit Islamabad now, as the city has robust security measures in place, a low crime rate compared to other regions, and has been welcoming tourists with a focus on safety and hospitality.

How To Spend 24 Hours in Islamabad, Pakistan – Conclusion:

Overall, after reading this post all about how to spend 24 hours in Islamabad, Pakistan, you’ve hopefully been given some inspiration! Which ways to spend 24 hours in Islamabad interest you the most? Do you have any ways to spend 24 hours in Islamabad that you’d recommend to other travellers? If you liked this post and would be interested in reading any other similar posts, then these are what I’d recommend:

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