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Revision as of 14:16, 18 April 2014

Downtown Karachi

Karachi [1] (Urdu: كراچى, Sindhi: कराची/ڪراچي) is the capital of the province of Sindh, and is the largest city and financial capital of Pakistan.

Beginning in 1947 at partition of the British Raj, when hundreds of thousands of Muhajirs from India sought refuge, the population has exploded from about 450,000 to an estimated 18 million today. With more than a million new inhabitants pouring in each year, it's not surprising that the stretch marks are showing in one of the largest and most rapidly growing cities in this world!

Karachi, located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, is the financial and commercial centre of the nation, as well as its largest port. Karachi is different from the rest of Pakistan in the same way that New York is different from the rest of the United States. The pace of life is more hurried, and social attitudes are far more liberal than elsewhere in Pakistan. Locals call it: the City of Lights, the City of The Quaid, and the City that Never Sleeps.

The city credits its growth to the mixed populations of economic and political migrants along with refugees from different national, provincial, linguistic and religious origins, who generally come to the city to settle permanently. Residents and those born in the city are called "Karachi-ites" and almost 98% of the population in Karachi understands the Urdu language.

Contents

Districts

Karachi is a huge city and an administrative division of Sindh Province. The Karachi division is officially divided into five districts, which are further sub-divided into eighteen towns that are administered by the city government, and six military cantonments which are administered by the Pakistan Army.

For the purposes of this guide, the six military cantonments have been incorporated into their respective districts below, so that visitors should find the conceptual region list below more useful:

Five official districts of Karachi are merged here into three
South Karachi ( Saddar Town, Lyari Town, Jameshed Town including P.E.C.H.S, Karachi Cantonment, Clifton Cantonment and Defence)
The South is a diverse district, home to Saddar, Karachi's downtown area and centre of activity. Home to Karachi's tallest skyscrapers and much historical architecture. Some of Pakistan's richest neighbourhoods, such as Clifton and Defence, are here, along with the iconic Karachi Railway Station. Many beaches, parks, museums, landmarks, colonial buildings, restaurants and hotels are located within this district.
East Karachi and Malir ( Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, Korangi Town, Landhi Town, Shah Faisal Town, Faisal Cantonment and Korangi Creek Cantonment / Malir Town, Bin Qasim Town, Gadap Town and Malir Cantonment)
East district is a mix of Karachi's industrial heartland and white collar office centre. There are some good museums along with many amusement and wildlife parks, and the major Karachi Airport. Malir district is the largest district of Karachi by area, and is regarded as the countryside of Karachi City due to its open atmosphere and lush green farmsland. It houses many of city's water amusement parks.
Central and West Karachi (Baldia Town, Kemari Town, SITE Town, Orangi Town and Manora Cantonment / Liaquatabad Town, North Nazimabad Town, Gulberg Town and New Karachi Town)
The West is home to South Asia's largest slum and also one of the success stories of low-cost housing: Orangi Town. Large industrial parks are scattered through the district, along with the Port of Karachi in the Kemari area. West Karachi also has many beaches and islands, while Central district is primarily a middle-class area, it developed immediately after Pakistan's independence, due to a wave of immigration. Many of these migrants were refugees from the partition.

Understand

Day breaks over Karachi
"You will yet be the glory of the East; would that I could come again, Karachi, to see you in your grandeur" — Charles James Napier

Karachi is the most diverse and cosmopolitan city in Pakistan and may offer a hint as to the future direction of modern life in Pakistan. In many ways, it can be compared to New York where the pace of life is more hurried and the time is money. Large numbers of non-Muslim religious communities are settled in Karachi compared to other Pakistan cities: Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, Bahai, Jews, Buddhists as well as Zoroastrians. Karachi's inhabitants, locally known as Karachiites, are a cosmopolitan population composed of many ethno-linguistic groups from all parts of Pakistan, as well as migrants from several different countries and regions including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and Uganda, making the city's population a diverse melting pot.

History

The early history of Karachi dates back to 327–325 BC, when Alexander the Great used the city to camped and prepare a fleet for Babylonia. Karachi was later known to the Arabs as Debal from where Muhammad bin Qasim led his conquering force into South Asia in 712 AD. The modern day history of Karachi begins when it was made the capital of Sindh in the 1840s. In 1878 under the British Raj, the city was connected to the rest of British India by rail. Public building projects, such as Frere Hall and the Empress Market were undertaken. In 1876, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was born in the city. Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Karachi had become a bustling metropolis with beautiful classical and colonial European styled buildings, lining the city’s thoroughfares. Karachi was chosen as the capital of Pakistan. In 1960, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to the newly built Islamabad. During the 1960s, Karachi was seen as an economic role model around the world. Many countries sought to emulate Pakistan's economic planning strategy and one of them, South Korea, copied the city's second "Five-Year Plan" and world Financial Centre in Seoul is designed and modelled after Karachi. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ethnic and political violence broke out across the city between Muhajir followers of the Mohajir Quami Movement, ethnic Sindhis and Punjabis and state forces. As a result, the Pakistani army was deployed to restore peace in the city.

Climate

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 25.6 26.4 28.8 30.6 32.3 33.3 32.2 30.8 30.7 31.6 30.5 27.3
Nightly lows (°C) 14.1 15.9 20.3 23.7 26.1 27.9 27.4 26.2 25.3 23.5 20.0 15.7

Check Karachi's weather forecast at BBC Weather

Located on the coast, Karachi has a relatively mild climate with low levels of rainfall of approximately 250 mm (10 inches) each year, the bulk of which occurs during the July-August monsoon season. Winters are mild, and the summers are hot. The city's proximity to the sea keeps humidity levels at a near-constant high, and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. Due to the high temperatures during the summer (ranging from 30-44°C from April to October), the winter months (November to February) are generally considered the best times to visit Karachi. July, December and January have pleasing and cloudy weather when most of the social events, ranging from weddings to charity fund raisers, frequently take place. Tourists and expatriates usually visit Karachi in these months. Karachi's weather is considered mild and can be compared to Florida's weather (except for the precipitation). The highest ever recorded temperature in Karachi is 47.8°C while the lowest is 0°C.

Culture

The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other cities and towns in Pakistan. Karachi's culture is characterized by the blending of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, South Asian and Western influences, as well as the city's status as a major international business centre. As a whole, there is considerable diversity in culture, and this diversity has produced a unique cultural amalgam of its own type. Karachi also hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.

Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana offers a two-year diploma course in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theatre. The All Pakistan Music Conference, linked to the 45-year old similar institution in Lahore, has been holding its Annual Music Festival since its inception in 2004. The Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is awaited anxiously and attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.

The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) also has musical performances and Mushaira (poetry recitations). The Kara Film Festival organized annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries. Our Karachi Festival celebrates Architecture of Karachi.

Festivals

  • Sindh Sea Festival [2]
  • Kara International Film Festival [3] The event features all kinds of films like length, short, and documentary films as well as other events are the part of the festival that invites the showbiz celebrities and media persons globally by getting the flights to Karachi.
  • Hamara Karachi [4]
  • Arts Council [5]
  • All Pakistan Music Conference [6]
  • Dolphin Show [7]
  • Karachi Literature Festival [8] [9]
  • Karachi Classic Car Show [10]
  • Karachi Photo Walk [11]
  • Karachi Fashion Week [12]

Get in

By plane

Karachi airport building

Jinnah International Airport (IATA: KHI ICAO: OPKC), [13], is Karachi's largest international and domestic airport located on the outskirts of the main city though in a huge populated area. The Airport has connections to many other hubs such as Toronto, London, New York, Tokyo and Dubai. It is also the hub for Pakistan International Airlines [14], Pakistan's national carrier, which flies to numerous destinations, including all the major cities in Pakistan, and international cities such as Beijing, Barcelona, London, New York, Toronto, Istanbul, Kabul, Copenhagen, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Oslo, Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow], Hong Kong, Dhaka, Sharjah, Al Ain, Kathmandu, Kuwait, Mumbai, Muscat, Riyadh, Jeddah, Amman, Bangkok and Tokyo. The Airport has three terminals out of which the Terminal 3, also referred as Jinnah Terminal is in the commercial operations whereas Terminal 2 is now dedicated to Hajj operations and Terminal 1 is now the Head Quarter of Civil Aviation Authority.

The Main Jinnah Terminal i.e. Terminal 3 is divided into two concourses - the Jinnah East Satellite Concourse which is used for international flights and Jinnah West Satellite Concourse for domestic flights, each having a provision of passenger-loading bridges, which extends from airport terminal gate to an airplane, allowing passengers to board and disembark without going outside or transfer via shuttles. The two satellite concourses also supplement the departure lounges of the terminal building and also provide shopping facilities, mobile recharging points, and snack counters. The lower level of the terminal is for arriving passengers, where a dedicated lane of taxis is situated just outside the airport building for arriving passengers whilst the upper level of the terminal is for passengers departing.

Facilities in the airport include several restaurants including McDonald's and Butlers Chocolate Cafe. There are also a number of Bank Kiosks, ATMs, Money Exchange counters, Wi-Fi, Free Internet kiosk (in Departures), mosques, coffee shops and many gift, convenience stores and sweet shops. There is a big duty free shop selling rugs, carpets, sports goods, medical instruments, onyx, gems and many more at cheap prices but it doesn't sell alcohol. Left-luggage facilities are also available within the terminal for those wishing to store baggage. Free trolleys and Dedicated Porter Services are available at Rs100 for domestic flight passengers and Rs200 for international flight passengers. Assistance for the disabled is available on request from the airline prior to departure. Wheelchairs and wheelchair assistance can be found from desks in the arrival and departure areas of the terminal.

Airport's CIP Lounge can be used for free by all First/Business Class Passengers, major Credit Card Holders and Jubilee Saffron Card Holders including one other guest on all outbound flights. Barclays and UBL have separate lounges for their credit card customers. There is also PIA Business Class Lounge next to CIP Lounge. The facilities at Airport's CIP Lounge includes a comfortable sitting area to relax in, access to leading TV Channels, free wifi, a wide range of snacks and beverages for free, newspapers, magazines, shower rooms, fax, telephone and mobile charging facilities.

Immigration and customs procedures are often a lengthy process, especially during peak hours, and can take a notoriously long time (more than 45 minutes). Passport Control is always hectic with long lanes especially at the Pakistan Passport counters, but there are ways to avoid lanes and get a special handling at both arrival and departure lounges with Foreign Exchange Remittance Card (FERC) [15].

There are also plenty of hotels near Jinnah International Airport including 5 Star Ramada Plaza Hotel and budget Airport Skyrooms Hotel. These are located in less than 1 km (0.6 miles) from the main terminal building and linked via a shuttle bus service. Facilities at these hotels include a gymnasium and pool, as well as meeting and event space. There is also an on-site McDonalds outside the main terminal building at Karachi Jinnah International Airport.

Short-term car parking is located immediately opposite the terminal building; while long-term parking is a little further from the terminal, but within easy walking distance. Immigration and customs procedures are no longer as tedious and ordeal as they used to be. For lost and found items, contact the Civil Aviation Airline Baggage Lost and Found office within the terminal. Also it is advisable to reach the airport atleast three hours early for international flight to complete various procedures on time. For domestic flights two hours should be enough.

By bus

Daewoo Sammi [16] offers direct services to Karachi from over 40 major cities and 45 destinations nationwide including Hyderabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore and Islamabad. They're considered as punctual and safe. You can also call them on their UAN number which is ☎ +92 21 111 007-008 for ticketing enquiries. Their Main Bus Terminal is located at Sohrab Goth, Super Highway and has facilities including Summit Bank and HBL ATM that accepts Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay cards. Moreover they also have ticketing and pick and drop points at convenient locations throughout the city where passengers are transported to the main terminal via shuttles.

  • Super Highway Main Bus Terminal: Sector 3-B Coridor Area, Scheme 33 (Next to PSO), Sohrab Goth, Main Super Highway.
  • Karachi Airport Terminal: Shop No. SF-3, Falak Naz Heights, Opposite Jinnah International Airport, Shahra-e-Faisal. Contact numbers: 021-34684200, 021-34684300
  • Karachi Cantt Railway Station Terminal: Shop No. 45, Fatima Jinnah Road, near Bombay Hotel, Cantt Railway Station Karachi. Contact numbers: 021-35641043-4
  • M.A. Jinnah Road Terminal: Taj Complex, adjacent to Ali Raza Imam Bargah, Karachi. Contact number: 021-34248982
  • Federal B Area Terminal: Shop No. 05, Nighat Square, Naseer Abad Market, Oppsite to Allama Iqbal Open University, Taleemi Bagh Road, Block 7 FB Area, Karachi. Contact Numbers: 021-36333311-2
  • Gulistan-e-Iqbal Terminal: Shop number A83, A84, Rabia Palace Block 10, Gulshen-e-Iqbal, opposite Alla Din Park, Rashid Minhas Road. Contact numbers: 021-34964611-12
  • Hyderi Terminal: Nazimabad, Shop 9-A, plot No. SF/1, Yaqoob Market, Block E, North Karachi. Contact numbers: 021-36672827-8

By train

Karachi Circular Railway

First Class travel with Pakistan Railways [17] is good, and Karachi has railway connections with various major cities in Pakistan including Lahore, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, & Peshawar. Seats availability can be checked on their website while tickets can be purchased from Pakistan Railways booking offices located across the city including Level 1 of the Jinnah International Airport and Railway Station itself.

The city is served by two major railway stations namely The Karachi Cantonment Railway Station and Karachi City Station. Other two stations include Landhi Railway Station and Drigh Road Railway Station. The Drigh Road Railway Station is located close to the Jinnah International Airport but not all the trains stop here.

The Thar Express runs weekly between Bhagat Ki Kothi near Jodhpur in India and Karachi. Cargo trains also run between Turkey and Karachi via Iran. Passenger facilities are currently not available in Turkey to Karachi trains.

  • Karachi Cantonment railway station, earlier known as Frere Street Station, is the principal railway station served by all trains coming to/from Karachi. Situated near Dr Daud Pota Road in Saddar, the station building has been declared as ‘Protected Heritage’ by the Government of Sindh but despite that the station needs attention of the authorities on maintenance. The facilities in the station includes a large parking lot to park vehicles, Current and Advance Reservation Offices for booking seats in trains and ATM machines. Food and drink stalls and book Shops are found on platforms. Some restaurants like Rehmat-e-Shereen and Pizza Hut have their branches at Platform No.1. The distance between Jinnah International Airport and Karachi Cantonment Station is around 17.5km and the journey takes around 30 minutes. There are also several budget hotels around the station within walking distance. Pak Business Train [18] is a private train that runs daily non-stop between Lahore and Karachi via Karachi Cantonment Station. Facilities in the train includes family cabins, LCD, Free Wifi, Food and Medical services. Tickets can be reserved online and can be collected via home delivery option where you can pay for the ticket via cash on delivery. Credit cards are not acceptable. The train also has a business lounge, a hotel and a cafe at Lahore Railway Station.
  • Karachi City Station, formerly McLeod station, is the first and the oldest railway station of Pakistan. It is commonly called "City station" or "City railway station" in Karachi. It is situated near Habib Bank Plaza on I. I. Chundrigar Road. The Station has all basic facilities including a Parking lot, Ticket Reservation counters, Cargo and Parcel services. Specific trains such as Bahauddin Zakaria Express (from Multan), Bolan Mail (from Quetta), Fareed Express (from Lahore), Hazara Express (from Havelian), Khushhal Khan Khattak Express (from Peshawar) and Sukkur Express (from Sukkur) currently serve the Station.

By car

Karachi can be reached by car from different cities of Pakistan as well as India, China, Afghanistan and Iran. National Highway N5 connects the city from other cities of Pakistan (Lahore 1,240 km, Peshawar 1,380 km) as well as Afghanistan, India and China. RCD Highway N25/N55 connects the city with Southern Balochistan including Gwadar via Makran Coastal Highway as well as Iran and Turkey. M9 Motorway (also called Super Highway) connects the city with Jamshoro and Hyderabad 160km.

By boat

Kemari Boat Basin in Karachi

Karachi is a major trading hub for dhows from around the Indian Ocean. Travellers wanting to arrive in the city via boat or ship will probably need to make their own arrangements with the captain of the vessel. Foreign visitors cannnot arrive this way.

A cruise service used to run between Karachi and Dubai but it is now closed.

Get around

"Left luggage"
There are left luggage services available in the Arrivals area of Jinnah International Airport. The left luggage office remains open 24 hours. Some hotels will also store luggage for customers who have checked out of the hotel.


Once you get the hang of traveling in Karachi, it becomes a very entertaining experience. You meet new people and get to see unexpected things. It's not very hard to find a mode of transportation and if you know what you are doing, it is very easy to get around.

By walk

Sometimes, walking may actually be the fastest way to get from point A to point B but much of Karachi is quite pedestrian-hostile. Distances are long and road signage is poor. But if you really want to walk around, always ensure you walk on the footpath, or if one isn't available, as far to the side of the road as possible and on the right facing on-coming traffic. The road is not that dangerous a place in Karachi, but many pedestrians are often injured by passive drivers. Those who are squeamish to pollution or have asthma may need to wear a mask; the air pollution from passing trucks and buses, combined with the searing heat and humidity can be overwhelming at times. If you really want to walk around, these places would be good:

  • Walk from Dolmen City, Sea View to Salt n Papper Village and onwards (a walk of close to 2-3 km).
  • Walk from Mereweather tower on II Chundrigar Road to the National Museum of Pakistan on Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed Road and towards Arts Council of Pakistan on MR Kiyani Road.
  • Walk on Club Road from Sheraton Hotel/PC Hotel to Frere Hall on Abdullah Haroon Road

By bus

The most common method of traveling in Karachi is by bus and is used by most people. Regular bus services link the airport with the city and the journey time is around 50 minutes. For lack of space, people often sit on roof, or hang from bars, and are jam-packed inside the bus. Outsiders might be put off by the cramped conditions in the buses, and might prefer traveling in taxis. But for very tight budget travelers, bus is the only option. Karachi Bus routes and numbers can be checked here [19] and the mini buses and coaches routes can be checked at [20].

By taxi

A number of taxi companies operate from outside the airport terminal building. The journey time to the city is around 25 minutes depending on traffic, and the fare starts from Rs250.

Black and Yellow

Black and Yellow taxis are the most economical way of traveling within the city and are located immediately outside the airport terminals. These taxis don't use meter anymore, so you should first fix the charge and the location with the driver before getting in. The official rate per kilometer is around PKR 7 but expect to pay around double. Taxi fares from airport to downtown hotels in Saddar should not be more than Rs 300. Although, you can always call hotel in advance to get better idea about taxi rates.

Private taxis

If you want a comfortable and air-conditioned ride, it's best to travel by branded cab services that operate with government-approved tariffs. These services operate modern fleets with well trained drivers. Available with 30-60 minutes notice, they're clean; air-conditioned; equipped with digital, tamper-proof meters; punctual; honest and GPS-equipped and monitored (which makes them far more secure at any time). Respected firms include:

  • White Cab, [21] is most popular and can be called in at the airport or anywhere in the city. Per kilometer rate is PKR 15 plus PKR 50 calling charges. Available on just a call (+92 21) 111-789-786. You can easily find kiosks of White Cab in Level I of Jinnah International Airport, Parking Area of Cantt Railway Station, East Wharf Gate at Karachi Port Trust, G-4, A/B, Court Road and 10-C, Main Khayaban-e-Shamsheer Phase 5, D.H.A. Typical cost for a full day (8 hrs, 150 km) is US$25.
  • Metro Cab, [22] can be called at (+92 21) 111-222-787. Usually easily available from the airport, their rates are reasonable, they have a white corolla fleet - Per mm charges: Pak Rs. 20. Min charges: Pak Rs. 300 within 12 km. Metros are taxis operated by several different private sector companies. Foreigners are often overcharged.
  • Sky Cab, [23] is another popular cab service with limousine fleets. They can be called (+92 21) 111-759-426.
  • Pak Radio Cabs, UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 732-732
  • Pearl Cabs, UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 725-786

By car hire

A number of private-hire taxi firms provide longer-term vehicle rental, with a driver included. Avis is also represented at the airport and offers self-drive vehicles, but it is generally advisable for foreign visitors to opt for a car with a driver.

  • Avis [24], has comprehensive operational system, wide range of fleet selection and highly qualified staff. Their Toll Free Number is 0800-111-69.
  • Hertz [25], is another great option. They have Mercedes, Accord, Camry, Civic and Corolla Fleets. Their Toll Free number is 0800-HERTZ(43789)
  • Vintage Limousine Services, ☎ +92 21 5677721-23. All kinds of vehicles with chaufer, without fuel just on one call.
  • Pearl Radio Cab, ☎ +92 21 4604465. Rs 1,500 per day including fuel, if you’re staying in the city limits and travel less than 100 km.
  • Walji’s, ☎ +92 21 5660248. 13 Services Mess, Mereweather Rd. For self-drive cars. Prices are around Rs 2,400 per day (without fuel; unlimited mileage).
  • Travel & Culture Services, ☎ +92 21 35218097. 702 Panorama center Fatima Jinnah road Saddar. For cars and vans with driver for tours in Karachi or out of Karachi Excursions. Prices are around Rs 2,800 per day (without fuel;). [27]

By rickshaw

Rickshaws (also called three-wheeled scooters, tuk-tuks or simply autos) are good for shorter trips. You can find rickshaws everywhere across the city. Set prices beforehand and haggle. They don't usually follow traffic guidelines, so some might think it's dangerous, but they're perfectly safe and a cheap way to get around.

  • Call-a-Rik, [28] ☎ +92 331 2255745, is an innovative mode of public transportation. These rickshaws are installed with tracker devices and also has LED and sound system for customer entertainment. Prices are very reasonable at around Rs 10 per km.
  • Chingchi Rickshaw, is another affordable transport service which carries a group of people where each passenger pays for their own seat. A Chingchi is available at almost every signal crossing but they're banned in city's South district due to traffic mess.

By MRT

Karachi Circular Railway used to run in the city but closed due to excessive losses. A project to transform the existing but non-operational Karachi Circular Railway into a modern mass transit system, also covering an underground and elevated Mereweather Tower to Sohrab Goth line has been approved by the government but work on it has yet to be commenced.

By ferry

Two ferries operates between Kemari and Manora Island named after Arfa Karim and Afza Altaf on daily basis. Besides these, hundreds of boats operates between Kemari and Manora on daily basis. You can also take boat from the marshes of Port Grand to Boat Basin, Kemari and Savor Restaurant in DHA peninsula. Karachi to Mumbai Ferry Service was operational until 1965.

By tram

A number of urban tramway systems used to operate in Karachi before 1960's but none are operational anymore.

Talk

Karachi is Pakistan's largest metropolitan & cosmopolitan city. Urdu is the national language and is spoken throughout Pakistan as a lingua franca. However, being Pakistan's largest city and main commercial centre, English is widely used in the corporate world and in banking and trading. English is also the official language of the country and you will be able to get by with English everywhere, as most people you will encounter can communicate in broken English at the very least. Signages and Announcements are bilingual in both English and Urdu.

See

Individual listings can be found in Karachi's district articles

Karachi is a huge city and there is a lot to see here, so all individual listings are in the appropriate district articles, but the typical "tourist" sights are concentrated in South Karachi. An overview is presented here.

Waterfront

A view of the Port Grand Promenade
  • Port Grand, MT Khan Road (Under Jinnah Bridge), [29]. is an extensive food street and entertainment complex located at Port of Karachi near Native Jetty Bridge in downtown Karachi. It has a pedestrian friendly pier, housing different restaurants on one side and views of Karachi Harbor on the other side. The center of the attraction is 150 years old Banyan tree and an iconic tavern building known as the Napier’s tavern that sits at the edge of the Napier Mole Bridge. The Port Grand also has shops, port bazaar, bookstore, florist, Art lane, 6D Cinema, ATMs and a Hindu temple. You can also take boat ride from here to the adjoining creek for Rs. 500. There is an entry fee of Rs. 300 per person out of which Rs. 200 is redeemable at different food outlets and shops inside the facility. Entry fee is waived for Jubilee Saffron and UBL card holders, selected university students, children below 12 years and adults above 65 years. Some restaurants also offer free entry on advanced reservation. Also entrance is "strictly for families & couples" and single males are not allowed inside except for Wednesday evenings. Opens daily from 6:00PM to Mid night, the facility is accessible from M.T. Khan Road for visitors coming via cars/taxis and from Jinnah Bridge for visitors coming through buses. Parking is free with a complimentary valet service.
  • Clifton Beach, Beach Avenue. was the world's most popular silver-sand beach and health resort during 20th century but now it is affected by an oil spill that occurred in 2003. The beach is still Karachi's most busiest beach due to its location with in the central metropolitan area, although here you'll want to take a stroll rather than a swim. There is also a nearby Beach Park. The beach is deserted before late afternoon, and most festive on Sundays. Camel and horse rides on the sands are popular, while hawker stands sell cold drinks, chai (tea) and grilled corn. There is also a nearby Water Jet Fountain which is the world’s tallest fountain that remains open during weekends between 6PM and midnight.The taxi/rikshaw to the Clifton beach from Saddar might take around PKR 200.
  • Dolmen City, Beach Avenue (next to the clifton beach). is the largest shopping complex of Karachi. It is home to numerous high street shops, a huge Carrefour hyper market, Sindbad amusement park for kids and a large food court with eateries from western cinnabon, fat burger, johnny rockets to the most trendiest GunSmoke. You can also enjoy beautiful sea view from Gloria Jeans here or try Fish Spa.
  • Bagh-e-Ibn-e-Qasim, Shahrah-e-Firdous (next to the beach park, opposite Park towers). is the most famous park of the city. Attractions include: Lady Lloyd pier, Jahangri Kothari parade, a century old amusement park called Funland, an underground Hindu temple, a mosque and a mausoleum. Two of Karachi's photo walks held here and the park offers many subjects. Try to visit the park at late evening hours when the park is lit. It is closed in the daytime anyhow. Free.
  • Boat Basin, Khayaban-e-Roomi. got its name from the famous China Creek which was used to park boats. Today the creek is surrounded by a large public park called Benazir Bhutto Park spread over an area of 240 acres (40 acres dry area and basin on 200 acres). The park is the most expensively built in the country and just across it is a mile-long strip of open-air street food & restaurants. Free.
  • Do Darya, Beach Avenue. also referred as Devil's Point and located in DHA Phase 8 next to the Arabian sea has now become a giant food district housing several authentic restaurants such as Kolachi, Charcoal, Ambala, Afridi Inn and several others. Restaurants with dine in by the sea really worth a visit. Also, the place is getting popular for dinner cruises, Savor and nearby Carlton Hotel offers dinner cruises in the Arabian Sea. Rs. 1000-1500 per head.

Museums

There are few good if not so many museums in Karachi which can be referred to as the most famous museums in Pakistan. Most of the museums in the city are concentrated in Karachi South district (Saddar & Clifton) such as Mohatta Palace, Quaid-e-Azam (Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan) Mausoleum and Museum, State Bank Museum and most popular National Museum of Pakistan. Also worth planning a visit is prominent Arts Council of Pakistan.

There are many small museums scattered in all over the city. For listings of specific museum, see the individual district sections of our guide.

  • Quaid-e-Azam's Mausoleum and Museum. The tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, is a prominent and impressive landmark of Karachi located at the City Center. Designed by architect Yahya Merchant, this white marble Mausoleum with its curved arches, copper grills and a four-tiered crystal chandelier gifted by the peoples Republic of China is a must see. There is also a museum and large park surrounding the mausoleum. Entry fee is Rs 20.
  • Mohatta Palace Museum of regional history, Clifton, [30]. a beautiful palace that now houses a museum with rotating exhibits, often modern art and offers a diverse range of activities for both the casual and informed visitor. The exhibitions in the museum detail the history of Pakistan's distinctive artistic heritage. There's also a small but nice gift shop with art and handicrafts. The museum open every Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00AM to 6:00PM and it is closed on Monday. Entry fee to the museum is Rs 20 for adults while it is free for students and children under 12 years. Gallery talks are conducted every Wednesday at 12.00 noon and are strictly by appointment only. You can also reach the museum through Bus No 20, Minibus N and W30 and Coaches Super Hasan Zai and Khan Coach.
  • National Museum of Pakistan, Dr Ziau-ddin Ahmed Rd. displays two million years old axe discovered from the Potohar Plateau. There is a remarkable gallery describing the early civilisation of Debal and Mansura. Another gallery ‘Freedom Movement gallery’ contains a large collection of pictures and articles arising from the time of the Independence movement. Items on display include archeological artefacts, islamic art, and other historical documents. Currently being renovated, caretakers may unlock some of the dusty, largely empty rooms for you. The museum opens every Thursday from 10AM-1PM and 2PM-5PM and every Saturday through Tuesday from 9:00AM to 12 noon.
  • Quaid-e-Azam House (Flagstaff House/M.A. Jinnah's House), Fatima Jinnah Rd. The home of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, it has many items Jinnah owned and from the same time period. A step back in time. The museum is free but you should tip the guide a little bit. A nice garden as well.
  • Frere Hall (Bagh-e-Jinnah), Abdullah Haroon Road. A beautiful British Colonial building, it now houses an art gallery (Sadequain Galerie,) a library plus a peaceful garden. It also hosts an old book sale on some weekend days. Free.
  • State Bank Museum, I.I Chundigar Rd, [31]. is the money museum of Pakistan that exhibits financial history of the country. The museum consist of seven Galleries and it remains opens Mon-Fri from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Free.
  • Pakistan Maritime Museum, Karsaz Road, [32]. located just next to Arena [33] and the famous Ringoli Restaurant in Karsaz, Pakistan Maritime Museum is a well maintained, fascinating and highly recommended maritime museum. Apart from several interesting galleries including the Naval Gallery, Marine Life Gallery, Maritime History Gallery and Interactive Science Gallery which houses scientific articles and machines of FDSK and SUPARCO (Pakistan's Space Agency), there are some great outdoor exhibits. The museum is also a venue of seasonal Karachi Dolphin Show [34], which happens mostly in winters. Don't forget to check out the midget submarine, mine sweeper and breguet atlantic aircraft. The museum remains open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. The entry ticket for Adults is Rs 30 and Children Rs 20.
  • Pakistan Air Force Museum, [35]. has 30 aircrafts on show, including an Indian Gnat that was captured by Pakistani forces in 1965. The Museum is also a major venue for events and has an outdoor Amusement Park called Sindbad. The museum remains open everyday throughout the year from 8:30AM to 10:00PM except for Friday when it opens from 3:00PM to 10:00PM. The entry fee for Adults is Rs 30 while it is free for children under 3 years and senior citizens over 60 years.
  • PIA Planetarium, (next to Karachi Expo Centre, on main University Rd). is a virtual observatory which regularly puts on shows about the solar system and cosmic phenomenon. The shows in English are much more detailed, and are held every Sunday evening. On other days there are only Urdu shows. A ticketed, guided tour by an officer enables one to view the plane from the inside; its cockpit, pilot seats, and various other areas. Tickets for the planetarium show are Rs 45, and for the show plus the plane tour are Rs 60.
  • Karachi Expo Centre, University road (opposite City and District Government Offices), [36]. is a huge venue for different Trade Shows. Some of the most popular shows include IDEAS, Dawn Lifestyle, My Karachi and Expo Pakistan. Free.
  • WWF Wetland Centre, Sandspit, [37]. Explore the wildlife of Karachi in the middle of mangrove forests, just 35 min drive away from the city centre. The activities include trips to mangrove forests, beaches, bird watching, turtle watching, lake watching and nature excursions can be arranged. It also houses an information center which provides an overview of the major Ramsar sites, biodiversity of the area and geographical information.

Colonial buildings and landmarks

The British built variety of private and public buildings during British Raj from 1858 to 1947 in Karachi, many of which colonial buildings and landmarks still remains today. The city possesses over 600 protected buildings dating largely to the British period. Some fine examples are located in the Karachi South district, such as Frere Hall, Mughal architecture styled Mohatta Palace and Hindu Gymkhana, Karachi Port Trust, Khaliqdina Hall, City Court Building, Denso Hall, Quaid-e-Azam House, Trinity Church, Sind Club, Karachi Gymkhana, Karachi Cotton Exchange, DJ Science College, Supreme Court, Saint Andrews Church, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Sindh High Court, Wazir Mansion and the most notable Empress Market. There are a also lot of other modern and old structures to look at in this district specially in Saddar town. These include Habib Bank Plaza, which was built in 1963 and was the the tallest building in South Asia for more than a decade.

To get the best experience, take a long stroll around the wide roads of MA Jinnah Road, and I I Chundrigar Road. Other famous monuments to be seen in I I Chundrigar area are the Mereweather Tower, Former Lloyds Bank building, Karachi Stock Exchange and many banks that are also excellent examples of colonial architecture in the city. This area preserves some of the finest private architecture from Karachi's early period. The area is known as main business street of Karachi and home to a large number of banks and office buildings. It is the also largest financial district in the country and often termed as the "Wall Street of Pakistan".

Beaches and Islands

Riding on the beach in Karachi

Karachi coastal line of more than 60 km stretches from Cape Monze in the west to Bundle Island in the east however most of its area is barren except little tourist attraction or facilities provided and waiting for developments. Karachi has many big and small beaches, including one in the Karachi South's downtown area "Clifton Beach", which is city's busiest and most popular beach. But they aren't that great and the water off Karachi's coast is extraordinarily dirty and also these beaches are not the kind where women can wear swimsuits particularly two-pieces. The relatively better ones are in the Karachi West district most popularly Sandspit Beach, Hawks Bay Beach and French beach. These are located at the outskirts of the city and are less strict about clothing. These beaches are also the breeding ground for endangered turtles and sometimes contain stinging jellyfish, especially during the monsoon (July to September), so it is advisable to avoid walking on beach alone after dark.

Karachi also has several islands including Oyster Rocks, Bundle Islands, Minora Island and Churna Island. Minora Island is a great place to visit and there are ferries and boats available from Keamari terminal to take you there. This is the island where the Talpurs gave up to British. You can find ruins of the 19th century hindu temple and church. Many food stalls here are selling fish. Another island is Churna Island which is a Naval gunnery site and coral reef. It is gifted with a marine park and here you can find fishes from Dolphins, Sea urchins, Barracudas, Hound fish, Marlin, Angel fish, Turtles, Parrot fish, Sea Anemones, Jelly fish, Puffer fish and creatures that are just beyond the word “Beautiful”. Besides the marine life, there are also birds of various species on the island. Divers Reef organize weekly trips to the island from PKR 3500 per person.

Parks

Karachi has a justified reputation as a concrete jungle, but there are some nice pockets of greenery within the city. Some city parks are very well-maintained mostly in Karachi South district where two most popular Bagh-e-Ibn-e-Qasim Park and Boat Basin Park are located. Others being Polo Ground, Frere Hall, Hilal Park, Nisar Shaheed Park, Sea View Park, Captain Farhan Ali Shaheed Park and Zamzama Park. Zamzama Park offers various facilities such as skating rinks, walking paths, jogging tracks, bonsai gardens, gymnasium, kido fido rides and play area. It also houses Karachi's only Modern Arts Museum FOMMA. The city zoo (Karachi Zoo formerly Gandhi Garden) is also located in this district and well-preserved. Jheel Park and Hill Park are also very popular and offers birds eye view of the city. In Karachi East, there are plenty of amusement parks as well as adventure parks with "Safari Park" being most popular. Aamir Kanji Gardens inside Aga Khan University Hospital is one of city's best urban landscaped garden. Quaid-e-Azam park is the largest park of steel town. In Malir district, you can found plenty of water parks, a best option for relaxation.

Karachi also have Pakistan's second largest national park "Kirthar National Park", which is situated outside the city in the Kirthar range mountains in Karachi District. Pakistan's largest national park "Hingol National Park" is also located just 190kms from the city.

Do

Ice skating in the Arena

There is much to do in Karachi, a city of more than 18 million people is unlikely to be short on activities. Simply let yourself be overwhelmed by this city, its size and scope, its heart breaking disparity between rich and poor, and its breathtaking sights and sounds. Karachi isn't just a city, it is a world unto itself.


  • KiaSceneHai.pk, 0344-4436661, [38]. Discover what's happening in Karachi through online event discovery offered by KiaSceneHai.pk

Relaxation

  • You can walk along the beaches, under clear skies, which at night is an experience worth the travel alone, as visitors can gaze towards the heavens while the Arabian sea cascades over their sandalled feet. Streetlights dotting the coast of Karachi increase the beauty of the sea and surrounding areas. A Riding Victoria type horse carriage from Polo ground to Clifton can be a memorable experience.
  • Most city dwellers visit other beaches at the outskirt of the city like Hawksbay, Paradise Point, Sansdpit & French Beaches. Huts are available on these far-flung beaches, where you can also do fishing, yachting, ride on horses and camels, collect sea shells or dive.
  • Manora Island, next to Clifton Beach, is another breathtaking place for a picnic. Private boats are the easiest way to reach the Island; they can easily be hired from marshes Port Grand. Manora Island also has a shrine, a light house, hindu temple, church and some hundred-year old monuments.
  • For those who love watching the city skyline, they can visit Hill Park, an amusement park, offering a nice view of the City.
  • Karachi has recently been experiencing a spa and massage boom, and there are now plenty of choices for everything from holistic Ayurveda to green tea hydrotherapy. Good spas can be found in most five-star hotels such as Avari, Marriott, Sheraton, Ramada Plaza, Regent Plaza and PC.
  • There are plenty of options for Boating & Cruise Dining. Checkout the options by Savor [39] and Carlton Creek Hotel [40]
  • If you have the time, and inclination to smoke, check out one of Karachi's cigar lounges. They stock quality international brands including authentic Cuban cigars at Club Havana (DHA 5). Other notable lounges are Castro's and the Cigar Bar in Zamzama. These places have luxurious interiors and can give the illusion of being in a 1950s film, Note that you will have to pay a handsome sum for the pleasure of genuine Cubans. You can also try shisha at Cafe Shisha or at Indulge.

Entertainment

Karachi is also a great place to go to the movies. Most cinemas have world-class standards and show the latest Hollywood, Bollywood and Pakistani releases. The tickets are available at very low prices compared to the west and expect to wear 3D glasses for some of the latest Hollywood releases.

  • Atrium Cinema [41], located inside Atrium Mall in Saddar. There is also a gaming zone 'Atrium GHQ' just next to the cinema entrance.
  • Nueplex Cinemas [42], is Pakistan's largest Cinema Complex located inside The Place at Khayaban-e-Shaheen, DHA Phase VIII (Opposite Creek Vistas Apartments). The complex has five theatre halls – 270 seats in cinema 1, 360 seats in cinema 2, 275 seats in cinema 3, 148 seats in cinema 4 and cinema 5, which is a luxury cinema, has 48 seats.
  • Cinepax [43], located in Ocean Mall, Clifton
  • Karachi Cineplex [44].
  • 5D Cinema, [45],a 8 seat movie cinema is located inside Emerald Mall Karachi offering a unique movie experience.

You might also like experiencing 6D Cinemas located inside Port Grand and Millenium Mall or visit The Arena, [46] a gaming arcade at Karsaz offering an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, minigolf course, arcade games, rock-climbing and much more. Area 51 is another bowling alley located besides creek club in DHA Phase VIII.

Culture

Karachi has a fine collection of Anglo-Indian architecture, a legacy of the British Raj, which will keep history buffs engaged. Culture vultures will find a city with many art galleries, displaying a broad spectrum of works from Asia, and some New Age works from aspiring Pakistani artists.

Adventure & Sports

One is spoiled for choice by the variety of adventure options that can be found in Karachi:

  • Snorkelling, Explore the beautiful aquatic life of Arabian Sea at a totally different level. Spend a thrilling, fun and excitement filled day with Divers Reef [48] at the Churna Island and know what true open sea adventure is all about for PKR 3500.
  • Scuba diving, Karachi Scuba Diving Center [49] organizes and promotes swimming, lifesaving, skin diving and scuba diving, through training programs to provide a complete range of instructions.
  • Water sports, Jetski Rentals at Jetski Karachi [50] , Sailing (at the Karachi Yacht Club), snorkelling, water-skiing, wind surfing, deep sea fishing which are accessible due to the City's Arabian Sea coast.
  • Paragliding - packages offered by Karachi Gliding Club.
  • Offshore Fishing, If you are a nature and outdoor lover, then saltwater fishing is the sport for you. The adventure and joy of Karachi's outdoor wilderness, fishing in the virgin blue waters, will definitely be one of the finest and exciting investments of your lifetime. Agha’s Sportfishing [51] (the headquarters of saltwater sport-fishing in Pakistan) was established in 1985 in Karachi, with the prime purpose of promoting sea fishing in the country. It organizes offshore sport-fishing tournaments, provides fishing guide service, sells charters and takes out fishing publications that also highlight environmental issues. The company also promotes marine environmental causes.
  • Go Aish Adventure park, University Rd, [52] is Karachi's largest adventure park offering different adventure activities such as rope course, Paintball, Wall climbing, ATV track, Big Swing & Flying Fox.
  • Golf, there are several fine golf courses which host international tournaments such as the Pakistan Open on the Asian circuit. Airmen Golf Club has the biggest golf course in Pakistan.
  • Cricket can be found at every conceivable corner, from the lush grounds of the more wealthy professional clubs or elite schools to the side streets of the working class Saddar City district.
  • Water parks, there are several water parks located in the suburbs of the city near the Super highway. Some popular ones include:
  • Fiesta, [53], opens only on weekends (fri-sun) and public holidays.
  • Sunway Lagoon, [54]
  • Cosy Water Park, [55]

Amusement parks

Don't miss the indoor kids theme parks that are located inside shopping malls, listed under Buy

  • Dreamworld Resorts, [56] Pakistan's MashAllah icon Resort with Golf club, Amusement Park, Water Park, 5-star Hotel, Spa, multiple World-class restaurants, numerous all-ages entertainment and sports events. Also very popular among Corporate for various official events and meetings as well as different Corporate entertainment activities.
  • Aladdin Amusement Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, [57] is an outdoor theme park with several rides for children. It also has a mini zoo and offers options for boating, shopping etc.
  • Sindbad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, is another outdoor kids theme park offering different rides for children. Dont be confused with other Sindbad's which are located inside different shopping malls in Karachi.
  • Askari Park, Main University Rd. The reptilian house and aquarium are worth a visit.
  • Hill park & Jheel park, (near Tariq Rd), offers Birds eye view of Karachi.
  • Karachi Visual Park, Well its nothing compared to the ones in Dubai and Vegas but for those who wants to see the glimpse.

Wildlife

  • Safari Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, [58] has a zoo, a children's playland and many gardens. It is one of the major recreation and amusement areas of Karachi geared with viewing facilities like chairlifts and safari tracks, as well as two natural lakes. You might be interested in catching a bird's-eye view of the animals from the Chair lifts here or enjoy Swan lake which is a natural lake featuring a pagoda style sitting place. There is also an adventure park called Go Aish Adventure Park [59] also running in the Park as well as Metro Cash & Carry [60]. Aladin Park [61] is also originally a part of Safari Park but has a seperate entrance from Rashid Minhas road.
  • Dolphin Show, [62] Experience the beauty of sea life and a dazzling array of flips, leaps and twists of Dolphins at Pakistan Maritime Museum, Karsaz Road Karachi.
  • Karachi Zoo [63], Garden Rd, (formerly called Gandhi garden), Reptile house, a natural history museum, and a mughal garden.
  • Turtle Spotting: In the evenings of September and November, you can easily spot giant Olive Ridley and green turtles along parts of Hawkes Bay and Sandspit. The best way see them is to go with a local naturalist or hire a boat from Keamari with a knowledgeable captain for the specific purpose of watching them.
  • Crabbing tours: Karachi Oyster Rocks is an amazing location for crabbing. Avari Hotel organizes crabbing tours where you will be picked from the hotel in the evening for Kemari harbor where you will be transferred to board on a traditional sail boat. It will cruise outside the Karachi harbor and stop near oyster rocks to try your luck to catch crabs. The crabs caught by you and the expert fishermen will be cooked on board with traditional style of mild spices and fried potatoes and you can have a delicious dinner and enjoy the sunset at Karachi harbor. You will be bought back to the hotel around 8:30 - 9 PM

Clubs

Karachi has numerous quality country clubs. If you know anyone who has membership (they are, of course, restricted) check them out.

  • Arabian Sea Country Club, Bin Qasim, [64], [65].
  • Aga Khan sports club, Stadium Rd.
  • Auto travel club, 72 Garden Rd, [66].
  • Arena [67], Karsaz Rd. Ice skating rink, bowling alley, mini golf, arcade games and rock climbing.
  • Civil Aviation Club, Star gate, Sharah-e-Faisal
  • Carlton resort hotel & club, DC-5, Opp. Zulfiqar Street, Phase 8, D.H.A. UAN, ☎ +92 21 111 727 272, Dinner & boating excursion.
  • Countryside Chalets, Club E Resort, Super Highway, [68].
  • Dreamworld Resort, Hotel and Golf club, (adjacent to Gulshan-e-Maymar, off main Super Highway), [69].
  • DHA Creek Club, Phase 8, DHA.
  • DHA Golf Club, Phase 8 DHA, [70].
  • Karachi Boat Club, MT Khan Rd.
  • Karachi Club, Ziauddin Ahmed Rd.
  • Karachi Gymkhana[71], 4 Club Rd.
  • Karachi Race club
  • Karachi Scuba Diving, [72].
  • Karsaz golf club, Karsaz, [73].
  • Kashmir Club, Kashmir Rd, PECHS.
  • Marina Club, [74], DHA.
  • PAF Yacht club, Korangi creek.
  • Pavilion end club, Rashid Minhas Rd, (adjacent to Alladin park), [75]. Club house, sporting facilities and swimming pools.
  • Sea View riding & Equestrian club, Clifton
  • Sind Club, Abdullah haroon Rd, [76].
  • Sunset Club, Khayaban-e-Jami, Phase 2 Extension, D.H.A
  • The Royal Rodale, TC-V, 34th Street, Khayaban-e-Sehar, Phase-V, Ext.,DHA UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 000-168, [77]. Sports and recreational complex with dining, banquets, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, swimming pool, yoga, aerobics, tennis, billiards, and snooker.
  • The Yacht club, (Standard Chartered Bank compound), I.I. Chundrigar Rd, [78]

Medical Treatment

Medical tourism in Pakistan is viewed as an untapped market. A number of modern health facilities exist while majority of doctors & surgeons are foreign qualified.

Many patients, mainly of Pakistani origin, from the Middle East, United Kingdom and United States, also travel to the city to seek a range of treatments which they cannot otherwise access in their resident countries either due to expense or lack of insurance coverage there; common treatments that these patients seek include cardiac surgery, infertility treatments, dental surgery and cosmetic surgery. A number of patients from neighbouring countries also travel frequently to Karachi for treatment.

Learn

  • Body Beat, 1st Floor, 42-C, 10th Street, Badar Commercial Phase 5, D.H.A., (92-21) 3-584-1243 (), [79]. Dance workout set to the latest Indian and Hip-Hop music.
  • The MAD School, Zam One, Main Zamzama Boulevard, Zamzama Phase 5, D.H.A, (92-21) 0336-235-0775. Mon-Fri 11am-7pm. Run by a team of fervent artists and musicians who are dedicated to helping students learn means of expression in fun and interactive ways. The school aims to fine tune the students’ potential, elevating their passion to new heights. The faculty include the famous and talented Nida Butt & Hamza Jafri.
  • Candela. Salsa dance group with instructors from USA & Canada. Have been dancing salsa and other Latin dance styles for over 10 years. Learn the hottest salsa moves from New York & Los Angeles. The Original and Classic Salsa from Puerto Rico.
  • Indus Scuba, No. C-23, Small Bukhari Commercial St 5, Phase 6, D.H.A., +92 21 3524-3153, +92 21 3524-3163 (), [80]. PADI scuba diving centre with scuba diving classes, equipment sales and service.
  • Rangoonwala Community Centre, Dhoraji Colony. Variety of classes on cooking, computers, handicrafts, sewing, textile designing, English, fitness and more. Art gallery and other exhibitions.
  • School of Leadership, Clifton. Provides a platform for individuals to discover and utilise their lives through conscious endeavor. A youth-driven organisation, SoL has a huge following and regularly organizes and facilitates learning conferences, seminars and events.

Work

Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of the country. There are many jobs available in the financial sector such as banking, the IT/media sector such as BPO, call centre etc., especially for English-speakers which you can find at [81]. You can also do acting in one of the largest play and drama industry of the world or work in one of many television morning shows.

Buy

Individual listings can be found in Karachi's district articles

Karachi is the world's most cheapest city and shopping capital of the country. You can shop to your heart's content, in the massive range of markets and bazaars that dot the city, or you can shop in one of the many modern shopping malls that are found across the city's more affluent sectors, namely Defence and Clifton. And don't worry too much about your budget as a recent survey by the Times newspaper (UK) found Karachi to be the cheapest city in the world. It is generally advisable to plan and list down the items that you want to buy before coming here.

There are a great number of shopping places in Karachi, ranging from the traditional bazaar to the modern shopping malls. A first-time visitor should try and visit the bazaars, The bazaars usually consist of many small vendors selling a variety of products from accessories to clothes to food and drink. In addition, there are larger stores which are more specific in their products. Also one would find that the bazaars are a more culturally enriching experience. One problem is that when shopkeepers find out you're from out of town, they will charge you double/triple prices. Try to go with someone local if you can to get a good price.

If there is one book you need to pick up about the people of Karachi, go for 'Karachiwala: a subcontinent within a city' written by Rumana Husain. It is a coffee-table book sold at all outlets of Liberty Books and copies of the book are also available at bookshops located in major hotels in the city. The book is priced reasonably, and it helps to understand the origins, traditions, history and lifestyles of the diverse communities inhabiting this metropolis.

Buying Pakistani currency

The Pakistani currency is the Pakistani Rupee (PKR/ Rs). It is usually advised to get your foreign currency converted in local currency before you buy stuff (of course that's only applicable if you're planning to buy with cash and not credit card). A number of licensed currency exchange companies operate their offices located in various parts of the city that can be used for the exchange. A passport might be required as an identification document but the requirement is often ignored. Some good repute currency exchange companies are Dollar East and Galaxy International and they exist at both arrival and departure entrances of the airport.

Most large department stores and souvenir shops, as well as all upscale restaurants accept major credit cards. Some small shops may choose to pass on their 2-3% service fee to you if you choose to pay through credit card, but this is negotiable so don't hesitate to haggle.

ATMs exist almost every where across the city including airport and major hotels and accept major credit/ debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay etc. ATMs charge fee of 3% of the transaction amount for foreign currency transaction.

The exchange rate between the transaction currency and the billing currency used for processing foreign currency transactions is a wholesale market rate selected by Visa from within a range of wholesale rates in effect plus the Bank charges of 3% as the Foreign Currency Conversion Fee.

Places to Shop

The Forum Mall
Shopping at a Karachi bazaar

Shopping Malls are everywhere in Karachi. Locally renowned ones are:

  • Atrium Mall [82], on Zebunissa Street is one of the brand new and largest shopping mall in the city. Its also home to Karachi's only 3D Cinema, a Gaming Zone, Zam Zam departmental store and a giant food court.
  • Dolmen Mall is the place to shop in Karachi, especially if you're looking for big shopping malls and high street designer boutiques. There are currently 3 Dolmen Malls in Karachi at Clifton, Tariq Road and Hyderi. Each is equipped with big and budget brands, an indoor kids theme park and huge floor dedicated to food. The Clifton Dolmen Mall is the largest of all and is also featured on CNN news report. The mall is home to Debenhams (a British department store), HBL Bank Smart Branch with cash deposit machine, a huge Carrefour hypermarket (locally called Hyperstar), Toni&Guy salon and the country's largest Sindbad (the kids amusement park). Khaadi and Khaadi Home is a hip local chain stores with clothes, furniture and home goods. Wall Street Money Exchange company is also located inside Hyperstar in the mall.
  • Ocean Mall, located in Pakistan's tallest building The Ocean tower in Clifton, is one of the brand new malls of the city. It is home to Farids, one of the country's most sophisticated retail shop which houses popular brands such as Liberty books, United Mobile, Scentsation, Pharmacy, MARS Currency Exchange, Mong Chow, OPTP etc all under one roof. It also has a wide-ranging Grocery Section that houses everything including gluten free food, soy milk, organic fruit and vegetables, diet and low fat food, pro-biotics and a fresh deli selection (catered by the best restaurateurs in town) and the famed Rahat Bakery. Other famous shops in the mall include Bonanza, BabyShop, Ego and Krude. The mall is also home to several restaurants including Turkey's most famous Solen Istanbul, Cafe Zouk and Shoko latte. Cinepax Movie Complex and Children's Play Area are located on fourth floor of the mall.
  • Chase,[83] is a departmental store selling various products at wholesale rates. You are sure to get the best value for your money here.
  • The Forum, Clifton. Includes shops, food court and Ebco superstore.
  • Park Towers, Clifton, [84]. Includes Shop, food court, a superstore, an indoor kids theme park and art gallery.
  • Lavish Mall, Tariq Rd.
  • Jumeirah Mall, Tariq Road
  • Millennium Mall, Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Includes shops, restaurants, indoor kids theme park, superstore, 6D cinema, cocktail bar and a bowling alley.
  • Emerald Mall, Clifton, opposite Ocean Tower
  • Makro Wholesale Centre, Saddar [85]. Also houses famous clothing brands like Gul Ahmed, Kurta corner, Cambridge and Junaid Jamshed.
  • Metro Cash & Carry, University Rd, Stargate Airport & SITE [86].
  • Hyperstar - Carrefour, Inside Dolmen Mall, Clifton
  • Awami Markaz, Sharah-e-Faisal.
  • Imtiaz Super Market, Bahadurabad, Awami Markaz at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Nazimabad. [87]. Store Of Selling Products, Exports Products, Ration With Highly Discount.
  • Naheed Super Market, (near Tariq Rd). Superstores chain.
  • Aghas super market, Shop no 1,Uzma court DC 3,Block 8,Clifton,Karachi.
  • Sea View, Bahadurabad, [88]. Superstores chain.
  • Dreams, Mohd Ali Society. Lal Qila Lane, Karsaz, (near Kay bees restaurant).
  • ARY Cash 'n' Carry, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, [89]. Superstores chain.

Some of the main bazaars in Karachi that deserve a visit:

  • Tariq Road Bazaar, is currently the largest shopping district of the city. It houses several shopping malls such as Dolmen Tariq road, Jumeirah and Lavish.
  • Sunday Bazaar, for a wide variety of second hand goods.
  • Zebunissa Street, (formerly known as Elphinistone Street) during the british era is now home to Karachi's biggest high end shoes shops from Metro, Sputnik to English Boot House, Gold Souks and other retails shops. It also houses one of Karachi's largest Atrium Mall.
  • Bahadurabad Bazaar, adjacent to Tariq Rd
  • Zamzama Boulevard, for upscale designers boutiques, clubs and restaurants.
  • Gulf Area Market, many traditional vendors and more upscale boutiques and designer shoes
  • Hyderi Bazaar, North Nazimabad, is also home to several high-end malls such as Dolmen Hyderi, Madni and Saima mall.
  • KDA Market, Gulshan Iqbal. Comparatively small than other Bazaars of Karachi, but KDA offers wide range of branded/non-branded clothes, foot-wear and cosmetics.
  • Zainab Market, Branded clothing for half the normal price.

There are also three underground bazaars in Karachi at Bohri Bazaar, Nazimabad chowrangi and Liaqatabad No. 10. These are just a few to mention. On the whole, shopping in Karachi is interesting, exhilarating, and an often tiring experience.

What to Shop

  • You can buy very cheap garments, bed sheets, shirts, T-shirts from any store located at Tariq Rd or Zainab market; local branded stores include Chen One, Bonanza, Ideas (Gul Ahmed), Cambridge Shop [90]. For upscale designers boutiques, you can go to Zamzama Avenue, It is also worth mentioning that many world renowned brands like Adidas, Levis, Slazenger, HangTen, Nike, Reebok, Calvin Kline Jeans, Armani, Versauce, American Eagle etc get their products prepared from Faisalabad which has got one of the largest textile industries of the World. You can find cheap products of these brands at local stores. You can get a pair of Levis jeans (or any other good brand for that matter) for just Rs 1200.
  • Leather goods, like shoes, jackets and bags are also a specialty of Pakistan. Go to English Boot house [91], Hush Puppies, Sputnik, Shoe Planet, Servis, Metro, Gap shoes (at Tariq road), Lotus, Step-in (at Hyderi, North Nazimabad), Jaybees (at Zebunissa market, Saddar) for best quality shoes at low prices. Also, do shop for Leather Jacket, Leather Wallet, Ladies Bag and Travel bags from Panaroma Center in Zebunissa Street.
  • Gold, at Gold souks located in major malls and across Zebunissa market. Gold in Karachi is available duty free and is cheaper than even Dubai and other major Gold destinations.
  • Sports goods, like cricket bats, balls, kits, footballs, sports wear and almost anything related to sports you can imagine. You will not find such high quality equipments at such low cost anywhere else. To mention, Pakistan produces ninety percent of the world’s sports goods and is the largest provider of sports equipment to FIFA for the World cup.
  • Pakistan produces cheap and high quality musical instruments. You can get an acoustic guitar for as low as Rs 2,000.
  • Books, from Liberty Books next to Bar BQ tonight restaurant in Clifton. You can also find Liberty Books in most of the shopping malls and well as in the Marriot hotel.
  • Computer accessories, Regal Centre, (Preedy St, Saddar), Rainbow centre (near Preedy St, Saddar for CDs & DVDs), Technocity (II Chundrigar Rd, Saddar), Unicenter (II Chundrigar Rd, Saddar), Naz plaza (M.A Jinnah Rd).
  • Electronics/ Cell Phone, from Electronic Market in Preedy St/ Regal. You can buy the world's cheapest Samsung S4 here.
  • Arabian, Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani carpets.
  • Afghan carpets, (Marriott hotel)
  • Asian carpet palace, Zebunissa St.
  • Wazir Carpets, (Hotel Metropole on Club Rd)

or visit stores located at Zamzama Ave.

  • Wood carvings
  • Gems , handicrafts, glassware, brassware, marble products, crystal works, carved wood and antiques,Zebunissa St, Saddar. (formerly known as Elphinistone St). Also buy pashmina, rugs, wool-shawls or wraps, which can cost anywhere between US$15 to as much as US$700. Remember to bargain. Ajrak, a shawl is the souvenir of Sind province.
  • Souvenirs', such as decorative items from sea shells.
  • Food stuffs, go to any super store like Dmart, Makro, Naheed; especially buy Swat honey (the world's best), biscuits and Mitchells Jubilee chocolate.
  • Home accessories, visit shops located in Dolmen mall at Tariq Rd or one of many departmental stores such as Imtiaz and Zubedas.
  • Art galleries
  • V. M Art Gallery, Rangoonwala Community Centre
  • Jahanzeb Art Gallery, Clifton Commercial area
  • Vision Art Gallery, Kehkashan, Clifton
  • Tariq Jay Gallery, P.E.C.H.S
  • A . R . Fareedi, (Permanent Collection), Arts Council building
  • Ahmed Pervaiz Gallery, Arts Council building
  • Fayzee Rahamin Gallery, (French Cultural centre), Alliance Francaise De Karachi Art Gallery
  • Sadequain Galerie, Frere Hall, Bagh-e-Jinnah, ☎ +92 21 920-4325, Ongoing art exhibition & library plus a peaceful garden.
  • Clifton Art gallery, 11-Al Habib Apartment, Clifton Rd
  • Indus Art Gallery, Bath island, Feroznama Rd
  • Chawkandi Art, DCI Kehkashan. Clifton
  • Funkar Art Gallery, 202,Dean Arcade, Schon Circle, Building No.8, Clifton
  • Studio Art, D-67,Block-9,Clifton
  • Kunj Art Gallery, 147/D KDA Scheme No.1
  • Majmua, The Art Gallery, 239 Staff Lines, Fatima Jinnah Rd. [92]
  • Momart, The Art Gallery, Anum Classic,Mezzanine,Main Shahrah-e-Faisal
  • Reevaj, The Art Gallery, at [Park towers]http://www.parktowers.com.pk/
  • Louvre Art gallery, 9 Pearl Haven, Block 5, Clifton
  • Canvas Art gallery, A-3 Hassan Homes, Block 5, Clifton, Clifton Rd
  • Zinaini, Clifton Commercial Area,

Eat

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Individual listings can be found in Karachi's district articles
This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Below Rs 500
Mid-range Rs 500-1500
Splurge Over Rs 1500

Karachi has several fantastic upscale restaurants, which serve a huge variety of cuisines. Most of the upper-end restaurants are either located within one of the major hotels in the city (the Sheraton, the Pearl Continental and Avari Towers), or in malls such as Dolmen, Ocean and Atrium or in the trendy shopping district of Zamzama in Defence. One can also easily find a franchise of KFC ☎ +92 21 111 -532-532, McDonalds ☎ +92 21 111 244-622, Subway ☎ +92 21 586-8907, Papa Johns (Clifton) ☎ +92 21 585-3374, Mr Cod ☎ +92 21 535-0746, Henny's ☎ +92 21 5867151, +92 21 5864023 9a-11p), Pizza Hut ☎ +92 21 111 241-241, Domino's ☎ +92 21 111 366-466 and Dunkin Donuts ☎ +92 21 111 366-887. The beauty of the food in Karachi is that you will probably find cuisine for every taste.

Food districts

"Tipping"
Tip between 5-10% at sit-down places. If a place includes service charges on the bill, you don't need to leave an extra tip. Note the difference between service tax and service charges. Service tax goes to government and not to the staff. While tipping is always a good practice.


Please do not miss the food courts located inside different malls listed under 'Buy'.

  • Beach Avenue. is a huge strip along the Clifton beach, is home to several restaurants including Pizza Hut. It is famous for its giant food outlets such as McDonalds, KFC,Burger king, Dip shop, The Village, Kinara and of course the Dolmen Mall. Along side, far away from main beach there is a strip known as Do Darya, it is a food district filled with several authentic restaurants: Sajjad, Afridi inn, Charcoal grill, Ambala, Kolachi, Hot bite etc to name a few. Here, the rocky shore provides shrimps which is used as bait to catch fish.
  • Port Grand Promenade, [93]. along side Karachi Harbor next to Clifton is the city's only pedestrian friendly food strip with scores of restaurants, cafes and eateries such as Aylanto, Chairman Mao, Bistro, Skewers, Mr. Cod, Mr. Burger, Oishi Sushi, One Potato Two Potato,Sheikh Abdul Ghaffar Kebab House etc.
  • Zamzama Avenue. This is the place where the rich , famous and affluent like to hangout. Zamzama is home to the trendiest and hippest Cafes in Clifton town, where all the hip and young people of Karachi like to hang out in their designer attires and sip on the best brews in town. At the same time Zamzama is also home to the more up end and exclusive dining places in the city , some of the most expensive restaurants in the country are found on this one boulevard. For Cafes be sure to check out Ciao, Espresso , Aylanto, Chatterbox and of course the only chocolate café in town Butlers Chocolate Café ( the Irish chain). As far as restaurants go Copper Kettle, Arizona Grill and Roasters being the oldest restaurants on the street win hands down as far as popularity goes. For fine dining the most reputed places to head to are Fuchsia, Okra and Baan Thai. Other than the above mentioned Zamzama has a fair share major fast outlets scattered across it, the most notable being Pizza Hut, Dominos and Subway.
  • Boat Basin. is a mile-long strip of open-air street food/restaurants in Clifton. Favorites tend to include Karachi Broast, Mr. Burger, Qasr-Al-Nakheel, Jans, Dera, Nihari Inn,Cafe Clifton,BBQ Tonight and Tandoori Hut. Boat Basin is where almost all of Karachi's late-partying citizens wind up, since food is often available here until 5-6AM, and some restaurants are open 24 hrs. Most dining is open air, during winter this becomes the most popular hangout place in the city. Local style breakfast (such as halwa puri and anda paratha) is also served at Boat-Basin from 6AM-7AM onwards. Note that restaurants here will frequently only accept cash. It is a good idea to carry enough cash to tide you over, at most of these locations Rs 1,000-2,000/person will be more than sufficient. If you're not the experimenting type then theres always the fast food option. KFC, Pizza Hut,Burger King, Mr Burger and Nandos can all be found here. The Chicken Makhni (Butter Chicken) with Garlic Naan at Tandoori Hut is by far the most popular dish on this mile long gastronomic delight.
  • Burns Road. For authentic Karachi food this is the place to be in Saddar district. The best tasting Nihari, Sajji, Bottis and Tikkas can be found in this congested corner of Old Karachi. Burns Road is a part of Saddar the main business district of Karachi. Most of the restaurants here are built in really old pre independence era Victorian style buildings which sort of gives you the feeling of being in a crowded part of Old Delhi. Hygienically this may not be the cleanest part of town, but if you are a big time foodie and you really want to taste real Karachi food then seriously this is the place to head to. If food preparation hygiene is really an issue for you then the best option is to head to Food Centre, the biggest and prettiest building on the street. Places to head to here include Punjab Lassi house for the best Lassi in town, Food Center and Sabri Nihari. Other than these there are many more restaurants scattered througout this street. Restaurants accept only cash here. Price wise you can easily have food dessert and a glass of Lassi for less than Rs 300.
  • Khadda Market. in Defenceis mainly famous for its delicious "Paratha Rolls" that can be eaten with a various array of different meats eg Chicken, Beef and Kebab to name a few. With different fillings and yea that includes Cheese and Garlic Mayo also. For the best Paratha Rolls head to Hot and Spicy and Red Apple. One average Paratha Roll with out any fillings will cost you around Rs 80. The more fillings you add the more price increases this can go up to around Rs 130-150 per roll. Other than the Paratha Rolls both of the above mentioned restaurants serve great Sandwiches and Burgers also. Other popular places in the area to head to are Chatkharay and Gazebo for "Chaat" , Indus Biryani for Biryani , Kay Bees for fast food. Mingcourt, Chopstix and China Ming for Chinese. Food aside Khadda market is home to the best Salons in the city for a designer snip head to Clippers and Pzazz.
  • Sindhi Muslim SMCHS. The main food district in PECHS is basically built around one roundabout. Sindhi Muslim is home to the typical fast food joints like KFC, Nandos and Pizza Xperts. Places to check out over here are Kahva, Royal, Bundoo Khan and Hyders. Karachi's famous Hob Nob bakery is also located here. Most recently a new coffee chain Gloria Jeans Coffee house has opened there.
  • Shahbaz Commercial. This place is slowly developing in to the new Zamzama. With Zamzama getting more and more congested new restaurateurs are looking towards Shahbaz in Defence to set up their new businesses . Trendy cafes and restaurants have started to spring up left right and center. Shahbaz like Zamzama is basically a rich mans playground where most of the restaurants and cafes clientele comprises of people from the rich and upper middle class of society. Notable places to check out are Studio Cafe for the best Sheesha in town theres a seperate floor for Sheesha, the one thing that's special about this place is that once you're done eating your food a professional photographer takes you down to the basement for a photo shoot and you get a CD that contains your pictures in it to keep as a memorabilia of your visit here. Then theres Kaps Cafe that is a flower shop cum coffee shop all in one. Secret Recipe is popular for its sumptous Cheesecakes and other desserts. Not to forget Espresso is by far hands down the most popular cafe in town , this place serves the best western styled breakfast in town. Espresso has two more outlets in town but this branch tends to be the most popular one in town. The newly opened The Diner seems to be doing pretty well it serves great continental food. Sawasdee is famous for its tangy hot and sour Thai food. Other than the above mentioned your fast options in this part of town include Pizza Hut and Subway.
  • 26th Street and Tauheed Commercial. Fine dining in Karachi's Defence has officially found a new home. Most of the finest art galleries in the city are found in this area , so it isnt uncommon to come across a restaurant that has an art gallery within in it or vice versa. Hence because of this , this area has unofficially been dubbed the "Artist district" of Karachi. The finest French restaurant in the city if not the country Cafe Flo is located here. An artist favorite is Cafe Koel. The Patio is another favourite that has an art gallery attached to it. Purple Haze a popular youngster hang out where they occasionally have a Karaoke night. Another youngster favourite hang out is The Hotspot. The Hotspot is known to serve the best desserts in town. From Banoffee Pie to Supersonic fudge sundaes you name it and they've got it. Infact you can also create your own Milkshake flavour over here like for eg Banana Caramel with White Chocolate (Toblerone).
  • Hyderi. This tiny suburb of Karachi in North Nazimabad has now grown into a food hub of Karachi housing numerous restaurants. These include US famous Hardees which is famous for its thick burgers and unlimited drink refills to other fast food chains like Pizza Hut, KFC, Arizona Grill,Burger king and several others. Hyderi is also home to sub branches of Karachi namely chains like Red Apple, United King Bakery, Naheed Super Market and several other restaurants and food centers.
  • Bahadurabad. in Gulshan is famous for its restaurants like Tooso, Wimpys and Have More and ofcourse the United King bakery.
  • Tariq Road. Apart from Shopping, Tariq Road in PECHS district is also famous for different traditional food items including traditional Samosa, Katchori and especially the mixed fruit chat (Type of fruit Salad mixed with spices and/or fresh Cream). Laziz Mix Fruit Chat Liberty Signal Tariq Road is the most renowned, famous and an old clean place for dine in and take away.
  • Hasan Square, (University Rd). in Gulshan-e-Iqbal is famous for Sajji, Barbeque and various other Pakistani dishes.

Drink

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Drinking alcohol in public areas is nominally banned, since Pakistan is an Islamic country, and most of the top end hotels have their own bars. Try local brands like Murree Brewery, in addition to that there are other brands such as Budwieser and Barveria with non-alchoholic beer. Some larger hotels have bars, but often they are hidden (as in, you have to go through the laundry room or they are in a random guest room.)

In soft drinks, try local Limca cola which makes "pop" sound when opened. you can also try Pakola; Pakistan’s premier soft drink brand which is available in different flavors like Ice cream soda, Lychee, Orange, Raspberry, Apple sidra, Vino, Double cola, Bubble up etc.

Also try, Lassi which is a classic yogurt drink that is served either plain or sweet, and is sometimes flavored or even fused with fresh fruit. Rooh-Afza, a red-color-sweet-herbal drink. Sugar Cane Juice which is extracted by mechanical force, it is best when fresh. You would also love the Falouda and Gola Ganda which include various kinds of syrups in crushed ice.

If you want to drink plain water, always prefer bottled water of a good brand, it just costs Rs 35 for a 1.5 ltr bottle of Nestle water.

  • Mirchi 360, Stadium Lane No. 2, Phase 5, D.H.A..

Cafes

  • Aroma, (Regent Plaza Hotel), Main Shahrah-e-Faisal, UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 111-774
  • Bread people bakery & Cafe, 10-C, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, 26th St, Shahbaz Commercial Area, Phase 6, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 524-3256. Live music bands, usually on random Saturday nights. Call for schedule.
  • Basement, (off Zamzama Ave).
  • Bowling Cafe, Royal Rodale, TC-V, 34th St, Khayaban-e-Sehar, Phase-V, Ext.,DHA, UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 000-168
  • Celsius, Defence Phase II, adjacent to Iqra University, UAN: ☎ +923343828155, ☎ +923218950766
  • Cinnamon, Avari Towers, Fatima Jinnah Rd, UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 282-747
  • CAFE 9, 5-E, 9th Commercial Ln, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 529-5081, +92 21 529-5082
  • Cafe Chatterbox, 3-C, 3rd Commercial Ln, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 583-0337, +92 21 586-9548
  • Cafe Fresh, (Juice Zone), Shop No. 1 Main Zamzama Blvd. Phase 5, D.H.A.
  • Cafe Lamore, 4,I-C, 3rd Commercial Ln, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 581-0061
  • Cafe Lagoon, (Dreamworld Resort), [94], (off main Super Highway), ☎ +92 21 32219236, +92 21 32219246
  • Cafe Sheesha, Clifton
  • Casbah & 007 Club, (Beach Luxury hotel), MT Khan Rd. Saturday night dance party. Couples only. Call to confirm. ☎ +92 21 561-1031
  • Creek inn, DHA 8
  • Don Coreleons Cafe & Restaurant, Mall Square, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 583-0615
  • Damascus Cafe, (near KPT Underpass), Block-9, Clifton, ☎ +92 301 824-9444, +92 300 824-9444
  • Dunkin Donuts, 11 Locations around the city.
  • Déjá Vu, Clifton
  • Indulge, For Sheesha, Park Towers. [95] ☎ +92 21 587-7953, Millennium Mall, Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal. ☎ +92 21 460-0995, +92 21 460-0996
  • Koel Cafe, F-42/2, Block 4 Scheme 5, Clifton Karachi, Pakistan. ☎ +92 21 530-9745
  • Kahva, 6-C, Mustafa Arcade, Block A, S.M.C.H.S. ☎ +92 21 455-3395, +92 21 455-3582
  • Latte Lounge, C3C, Nishat Commercial Area, Phase 6, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 534-8631
  • OLÉ, Plot #22, C-1, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 529-5144, +92 21 529-5145
  • Opera Cafe, Grand Mercure Hotel, Karachi Airport, Star Avenue Terminal 1
  • Original Crepe Factory, Shop #1, Khaada Market, Main Khayaban-e-Mujahid, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 300-987-8778, +92 21 322 206-8783
  • Purple Haze, 66C-68C, 25th Street, Tauheed Commercial Area, Phase 5, D.H.A. (in the basement of 'Evolution' restaurant). ☎ +92 21 586-0941, +92 21 582-4651. It serves some of the best desserts in Karachi and also 'Shisha' (Arabic Tobacco). Karaoke nights are usually fun too.
  • Roadside Cafe, F-10, FL 19, Block 5, Kehkashan, Clifton. ☎ +92 21 586-9777, +92 21 586-9778
  • Roasters, 10-C, 2nd Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 530-2204, +92 21 530-2205
  • The Sports Bar C-22, Suite No. 2, 26th St, Tauheed Commercial Area Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 530-4257, +92 21 530-4258
  • The Elbow room, Mumtaz Hussain St, I.I. Chundrigar Rd, ☎ +92 21 241-2241, +92 21 241-2242
  • The Grapewine, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Rd, UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 505-505
  • Venus Cafe (Carlton Resort Hotel & Club), DC-5, Phase 8, D.H.A (opp. Zulfiqar St). ☎ +92 21 584-9172 UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 727-272

Coffee houses

  • Avenue Art Cafe, 33-C, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., ☎ +92 21 582-3972, +92 21 583-0983
  • Alao Coffee House, Shop #37, SB 3 K.D.A., Scheme 1 ☎ +92 21 200-5129
  • Coffee Day, First Stadium Lane, Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 546-3814, Live rock bands, usually on random Saturday nights. Call for schedule
  • Ciao, 3/1-C, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., ☎ +92 21 587-7974
  • Espresso ( 3 locations),The Forum Shopping mall, Clifton ,10th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., ☎ +92 21 582-4007 ,Main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, Commercial Area Phase 6 D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 534-2725.
  • Fanoos Coffee Shop Sheraton Hotel Club Rd. ☎ +92 21 563-3333
  • Lattetude, Clifton
  • Le Grand 9-E, 7th Commercial Lane, Zamzama Phase 5, D.H.A. ☎ +92 21 582-0186, +92 21 582-0187
  • The Second Floor (T2F) [96], 10-C, Sunset Lane 5, Phase 2 Extension, DHA, Karachi, ☎ +92 300 823-0276, 11AM- 9PM. The second floor is a wireless coffeehouse, featuring a bookshop and a space for creative expression and intelligent discourse. Apart from excellent coffee, T2F also has a range of excellent sandwiches, snacks and dessert. There are regular events such as poetry readings, book signings, workshops, talks, debates, film screenings, unplugged music sessions, gallery openings, exhibitions and stand-up comedy. Numerous well-known politicians, artists, writers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and thinkers of all ages frequent the place to speak, work or simply hang out.
  • U &amp Me Coffee, 10-C 8th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., ☎ +92 21 587-8913, +92 21 857-8931

Juice, milkshakes, frozen yogurts and ice cream

  • Agha juice since 1960 main Nazimabad No1, branches 1. Opp Amber Auditorium, Bahadurabad. 2. Main Rashid Minhas Rd, Gushan Iqbal. 3. Khadda Market Defence phase 5.
  • The Dip Shop, (near Sea View Mc Donalds and Gulshan Iqbal 13).
  • Brown, Rahat Commercial, DHA Phase 6.
  • Mövenpick Ice Cream, Clifton
  • Gelato Affair, haidery,karsaz,clifton
  • HotSpot, 33st, Towheed, DHA Phase 5
  • Hyder Juice, Sindhi Muslim Housing Society Commercial Area, (near Tariq Road and off Shahrah-e-Quadeen Rd.)
  • Tutti Frutti,Many locations in the city,Dolmen City Mall,North Nazimabad etc.
  • Yogunfruz,Bahadurabad
  • Snog Frozen yogurt,Dolmen city mall
  • Red Mango

Cigar lounges

  • Castro's Cigar lounge, Carlton Hotel, DC-5, Opp. Zulfiqar Street, Phase 8, D.H.A., UAN: ☎ +92 21 111 727-272
  • Cigar Bar, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., ☎ +92 21 530-2006
  • Club Havana, 2, Vawda House, 10C, 10th Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., ☎ +92 21 537-4463, +92 21 582-1696
  • Mizaaj, Clifton. An Egyptian theme restaurant, is also famous for cigars.
  • Club Genova,37-C khayaban-e-Seher off Saba avenue DHA , Karachi, Pakistan-74500

Nightlife

Excelsior, Toby's bar, Purple haze, Basement, the Casbah. Karachi's night life has become the envy of the region. Bars, nightclubs and dance halls have sprouted across the city and some people have also made entertainment venues in their own homes. In the seaview and defence area there are Sports car and bike races.

  • Port Grand, [97] is an extensive entertainment & food complex in downtown Karachi housing numerous food outlets, shopping malls, art gallery, tavern area, pedestrian friendly street and much more.
  • 'Arts Council, [98]. Live theatre.
  • Karaoke nights & Live Bands at Purple haze, at Base Rock cafe [99] (6th lane, Ittehad, DHA phase 6), at The Sports Bar (26th Street, Towheed, DHA Phase 5), and at Thespianz Theater
  • Bread People Bakery & Coffee Day Cafe. Live music bands, usually on random Saturday nights.
  • The Elbow room, (off II Chundrigar Rd). Concerts, movie nights, masquerade balls.
  • Nadia Cafe, (Marriott hotel). Theme Nights
  • Royale Rodale club on Sea View Road with a gym, sauna bath and a bar and bowling alley.
  • Spianz Theater, Live theatre.
  • PC Hotel, Live band playing all types of music from 8:30PM-11PM. Live Ghazal band from 11PM-2AM
  • Karachi Club, Live band playing all types of music from 8:30PM-11PM. Live Ghazal band from 11PM-2AM
  • Al-Bustan, (Sheraton Hotel). Live Pakistani traditional band playing nightly from 8PM-12 midnight.
  • Dumpukht, (Marriott Hotel). Live Indian traditional dancer every night except Monday from 8-11:30PM.
  • Beach Luxury Hotel, Saturday night dance party for couples.
  • Boat Basin, Restaurants at are open till 6AM
  • Carlton Hotel, offers a luxury cruise out to sea with a buffet dinner for up to 35 people

Sleep

Individual listings can be found in Karachi's district articles

Contact

The area code for Karachi is 21. Prefix +92 If you are calling from outside Pakistan. Phone numbers are eight digits long. All mobile numbers, however are 11 digits long and begin with "03", and should not be dialled with the city prefix. Omit the '0' when dialing a cell phone from outside Pakistan and prefix the '92' code.

Internet Access, can be obtained easily on mobile phone or notebook computers with the help of GRPS, supported by almost all of the 5 mobile operators but their speed is low. Alternatively, you can buy PTCL Evo [100], which is a USB internet device with speed upto 9.1 mbps. Witribe [101], Qubee [102] and Wateen [103] also offers wireless pocket modems with good speed at low prices.

Wifi, There are several free Wifi Hotspots in Karachi [104] in hotels, malls and cafes/resturants. Wateen HotSpot [105] is a paid WiFi service, which is being offered free of any charges for a limited time only.

Cybercafes, used to be found on virtually every street corner with rates as low as Rs 15-20 per hour but most of them have closed now with the emergence of mobile internet but still some exist. The ones which exist usually use 14 inch monitors with Windows 2000, Windows 98 or Windows XP installed. They usually don't have a very fast operating system or decent internet speed so don't be too impatient. Also caution is advised for putting USB in these computers as they mostly have viruses.

Public Call Offices, can be found all over the city. You will find a PCO in nearly 50% of the general stores , there is usually someone who operates the phone and fax. Fees will be charged according to the time spent, and you will pay when you have finished your call.

Cell phone, coverage in the city is pretty good. There are various service providers offering a huge variety of plans. Among them are Mobilink, Warid Telecom, Telenor, Ufone & Zong (China Mobile). Its not a bad idea to buy a new sim and use a prepaid plan to get yourself connected while you are in the city. You can purchase a new sim only from the customer care centers of the cellular companies by providing a copy of your passport while you can recharge your sim from almost every general store in the city.

Postal & Courier, can easily be found across the city. Some popular postal & courier companies include TCS [106], Leopards [107], Pakistan Post [108], DHL [109], Fedex [110] etc.

Stay healthy

Karachi is a hot city. The temperatures from April through June regularly top 35°C, meaning that proper hydration is of the utmost importance hence you should keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Drink only bottled water so you may avoid any water-related illness. Also, Drink a lot of water, 8 glasses a day, particularly in the summer.

Keep yourself covered in summers to avoid a heat stroke. Do not eat food that has been lying out for some time, as high temperatures speed up deterioration. Some street food can be very spicy! Always notify your host, cook or waiter if you can not stomach very spicy food.

Stay safe

Travel Warning

NOTE: Some districts such as Orangi town and Lyari town are home to regular conflicts between gang groups and other criminals. These conflicts can result in loss of life, so visiting the effected areas should be done with caution.


Street crime in Karachi is about what you'd expect from a big city. Use common sense and avoid dangerous areas. Avoid going out alone, or walking by yourself on dark, empty streets. Never flash electronics or valuables in public; keep your cell phones, watches, and purses in a safe place. These things easily attract attention. There are also con men looking out for foreigners, so if someone you don't trust approaches you, just keep on walking. Beware of pickpockets when you are in any crowded areas.

If you are planning to see colonial public buildings, especially those that are located on MA Jinnah road or Preedy street, try to see them at late evening, after 10PM or at early morning, before 7AM because traffic in those streets are a nightmare during the day time.

The people of Karachi are very hospitable. They tend to welcome any foreigner very warmly, but regardless of how nice someone seems you should remain aware and alert at all times, and try to keep a low profile at all times.

Karachi has mostly been spared the attacks that have happened in the rest of the country, but "mostly" is a relative term. You should always keep the emergency telephone contact numbers of your country's consulate in Karachi.

There should be no serious danger in the affluent parts of the city. Defence and Clifton are regarded as safe at all times, as they are populated by the city's business and cultural elite. These districts offer the most "tourist-friendly" experience of Karachi, given that there will be no language barrier (most Pakistanis can speak some English, and many people in these districts will be completely fluent). Most visitors will find there is a large degree of cultural understanding and compatibility between the residents of Karachi and western tourists.

Traffic jams are a major hassle in Karachi. Although the city government has recently built dozens of underpasses and flyovers to get rid of the overflow of the traffic, it is a good idea to keep a look for any rallies/protests and check out alternate routes while traveling in the city. Do not attempt to drive in Karachi if you are new to the city since drivers are aggressive and chaotic.

Pedestrians should be careful while crossing roads as some drivers will neither slow down nor sound a horn to warn of an impending accident. This also applies when getting out of the car on the traffic side; look both ways until you are off the road and don't hesitate to run if you sense a car barreling towards you. Minibus drivers are particularly notorious.

Emergency Numbers

  • Police, (toll free: 15).
  • Fire, (toll free: 16).
  • Ambulance, (toll free: 1021). Private sector handles Ambulance network in the city. Edhi Foundation runs the world's largest ambulance service while others include Chippa (1020) and Aman Ambulance (1021). For Air Ambulance Service contact Princely Jets at (+92-21-111000062), Edhi(1150) or Aman Air Ambulance (+92-21-111118324).
  • City Call Center, (toll free: 1339). For complaints regarding civic amenities

Cope

Newspapers & Radio

Local newspapapers are reliable sources for daily updates about the city. Several newspapers publish daily from the city including Dawn [111] which is an english daily. The newspaper also has a supplement called Metropolitan which is dedicated to the updates about the city. Another major newspaper is the The Express Tribune [112] which is an international affiliated newspaper that publishes in partnership with The International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times. There are also other english newspapers like The News, Business Recorder, The Nation and Daily Times. Liberty bookstore sells British and American newspapers. There are also plenty of radio stations in the city with most of them broadcast on FM band.

Hospitals

Individual listings can be found in Karachi's district articles

List of Major Hospitals:

  • Aga Khan University Hospital, Stadium Road, P.O. Box 3500, (92-21) 3-493-0051, [113]. 24x7.
  • Aga Khan Hospital Clifton, Scheme #5, Block 2, Clifton, (92-21) 3-925-0051, [114].
  • South City Hospital, St-1, Shahrah-e-Firdousi Block 3, Clifton, (92-21) 3-586-2301.
  • Omi Hospital, 89/1, Depot Lines, (92-21) 3-225-8075, [115].
  • Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, Rafiqi H J Rd, Karachi (Its a Government-run free hospital for civilians).

Animal Hospitals

  • Karachi Veterinary Hospital, Garden Road (Inside Karachi Zoo), +92-21-35426684.
  • Richmond Crawford Veterinary Hospital, MA Jinnah Road.
  • Animal Care Center, Badar Commercial Area Phase 5 Extension, D.H.A., (92-21) 3-585-1296.

24 hour chemist

  • Time Medico, Afzal Apartment, Stadium Road (Opposite Aga Khan University Hospital, next to McDonalds). +92-21-34932278.

Get out

By road

  • Thatta - Once a famous center of learning, arts, and commerce, as well as a provisional capital for about four centuries. Visit Makli a UN World heritage site, Debal The first Mosque of South Asia was built in 8th Century A.D. by Muhammad Bin Qasim, Jamia Masjid - built by Mughal emperor Shah Jehan -who also built Taj Mahal, Haleji Lake - Famous Birds sanctuary and Sunway Lagoon Waterpark. 55 km away from Karachi.
  • Keenjhar Lake Resort- 16 miles from Thatta on left side is the famous Keenjhar Lake with cottages for overnight stay. Here, travelers can take a break, go boating, bird-watching and fishing. At night you can light beachcombers' torches to extend your enjoyment of the day, before turning in at your cottage. The cottages are booked through Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) offices located in Karachi on Stratchen Road, opposite Hotel Metropole.
  • Kirthar National park - An absolutely beautiful park.
  • Hungol National Park- The biggest park in Pakistan, with sites including volcanoes and remnants of the country's ancient civilizations.
  • Makran Coastal Highway - (Over 770 km From Karachi to Gwadar) provides a unique destination for tourists. The highway, which follows the route that Alexander the Great took through the coastal belt of Balochistan in 325 BC, takes you by some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Somiani Caves - Spectacular and amazing

By train

Pakistan Railways has connections to several major cities of Pakistan including Sukkur, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar

By air

  • Moenjodaro- An ancient civilization, not to be missed by history buffs
  • Gwadar - Enjoy the beaches of Gwadar
  • Dubai - Several low-cost carriers frequently travels between Karachi and Dubai

By sea

  • It is apparently possible to take cargo ships from Karachi to a few ports around the Middle East like Dubai, Oman and other cities.



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