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When is the best time to plan your visit to Pakistan?
The best time to visit Pakistan depends on the region you are visiting. The north of Pakistan ( Karakoram Highway and the Himalaya / Hindu Kush region) is best visited from April to October. At that time the temperature is between 10 and 25 degrees. Keep in mind that there can be a lot of rain in July and August. During the other months you are dealing with bad weather and possible road blocks due to snow or landslides.
For Central and Southern Pakistan September to April is the best to visit. The temperatures then fluctuate between 10 and 25 degrees. In the summer months of May to August, the temperature can get quite high, during which temperatures of 40 degrees are not uncommon. Especially in the desert and big cities, temperatures can get very high.
Do I need insurance for my trip to Pakistan?
Everyone must take out travel and health insurance before leaving for Pakistan. Whether Pakistan is covered by your policy differs per insurance policy. In most cases this will not be a problem. If not, we recommend that you check with one of the following international insurance companies: Global Underwriters or IATI Travel Insurance. They have different packages and you can put together exactly what works best for you.
Do I need a visa for Pakistan?
Pakistan has an e-visa system. This means that you do not have to go to the embassy to apply for your visa. You can arrange everything via their official website.
For the visa request we will send you the Letter of Invitation (LOI), which you can upload online during the process. After approval of the visa (this can take a few days to several weeks) you will receive a Visa Grant Notice in your email. This is actually your visa and you must print it and bring it with you during your trip. When you arrive, you hand this over at the customs.
What is the time zone in Pakistan?
Pakistan uses the time zone UCT +5.
Pakistan has no difference between summer and winter time.
How can I pay and how much will I spend in Pakistan?
Pakistanis pay with the Pakistan Rupee (PKR). Always make sure to bring some cash with you on the trip, as the ATMs don’t always work. Euros are generally accepted at banks and exchange offices. However, it is better to bring American Dollars. These are accepted everywhere and can easily be changed. For the most recent exchange rate, visit www.xchange.com.
Of course, it mainly depends on yourself how much you actually spend, but as a guideline we advise about € 20 to € 30 per day, with which you have to save. If you like to buy souvenirs, you better bring something extra. Soda costs about € 0.75 and a meal is usually around € 5.
Tipping local guides is always encouraged. They don’t earn much in this part of the world and it often makes a big difference to them. Of course this is according to your own preference.
Do I have to arrange my international flight myself?
We are always available to advise you when booking a flight. However, most customers prefer to book the flight themselves. Often this is cheaper in terms of price and you can pick your own preferences.
What is the voltage and which plug should I use in Pakistan?
The complete electricity supply in Pakistan is 220 Volt / 50 Hz. You can use a European plug but you will also need an adapter plug. So we recommend to bring a universal plug. There is also regular power outages, so make sure to charge everything as soon as there is power in your hotel.
Is there internet access and can I make calls in Pakistan?
Internet is available at most accommodations (if it works). However, don’t expect a very fast and steady connection. In general, there is also mobile coverage everywhere in Pakistan. It is possible to buy a local SIM card. The local guide can help you with that.
What are the local customs in Pakistan?
Pakistan is officially a strict Islamic country. In practice, however, you see many differences between the regions. The more west you go (along the border with Afghanistan and Iran), the more conservative. If you go more east, you will see a slightly more liberal attitude.
However, we have to respect different local rules and customs towards the locals.
– If you go to the cities along the border with Afghanistan (such as Peshawar ), we advise you to wear local clothing.
– Always take off your shoes when entering a mosque or house. Never show your shoe sole when you sit down.
– Don’t pass by someone who is praying.
– As a man you may not always start a conversation or contact a woman.
– It is forbidden to bring alcohol to Pakistan.
Is Pakistan safe?
In recent years, Pakistan has made big steps with security. It is now safe to travel around most of the country. We will also only take you to those areas.
The areas in Pakistan that we visit are places where we feel comfortable and where we feel are safe to bring people. If the situation changes, we will also respond immediately. We therefore ask for a certain flexibility from our travellers. Some of the measures we take on our travels are;
We do not discuss the itinerary or the name of the hotel with anyone. Although it will of course only be out of curiosity that someone asks, we do not share this information with others, purely as a precaution.
– We may be invited to tea or dinner in people’s homes. This is one of the great things about traveling through Pakistan. However, we have to be careful with this. Always follow the advice of the guide when he indicates that it is not wise.
– If we have a long day to go, we start early and on time. If we have a car breakdown, we don’t want to get stranded after dark.
– If you want, you can register at your local embassy. If you have problems on the spot, it is much easier to get in touch with the embassy on site.
Can I take pictures in Pakistan?
In general, you can take photos freely. However, there are a few points to keep in mind.
– Always ask permission before taking a photo of a person. Don’t take pictures of women or praying people.
– You may also not take photos of soldiers, military installations, police officers or government buildings.
Food and drinks in Pakistan
Pakistani dishes are very diverse and often originate from different cooking traditions. Pakistani food is a mix of dishes from neighbouring countries India, Afghanistan and Iran. This combination gives the Pakistani cuisine also a specific taste. Most dishes are stews and consist primarily of seasoned meat. Expect plenty of lamb, beef, chicken, and goat. Furthermore, bread and rice are standard ingredients for a meal. For vegetarians Pakistan is not an easy country. There are few vegetarian options. The local guide will certainly help you with that. It is not possible to drink water from the tap in Pakistan. This is due to a bad filter system for bacteria.
In Pakistan, you can buy and drink alcohol from the age of 21. Locals must first apply for a license, as for Muslims alcohol is prohibited. The best place for tourists to drink alcohol is in the more expensive hotels / restaurants, as it is often allowed to sell alcohol to foreigners.
What should I wear in Pakistan?
Pakistan is a strict Islamic country. It is therefore very important to respect local customs and rules. Women should wear loose-fitting long-sleeved clothing and a headscarf. Men should wear long trousers.
In most hotels in the big cities there is an opportunity to do laundry.
Health and hygiene
Pakistan is a developing country with a very turbulent history. Healthcare is therefore very limited. Also in terms of hygiene, the standard much lower than in the Western world. Make sure you have enough disinfection gel, sunscreen and insect repellent.
We advise you always to the last (health) risk programs for the region where you’re going to visit. Check with your own government for the latest info about your destination.