Step-By-Step Guide for Travelling to Pakistan from UK

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Have you ever imagined exchanging your usual tea and scones for a tantalisingly spicy biryani? Or trading the view of the Thames for the majestic peaks of the Karakoram range? Pakistaninfo-icon is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history, and it's no wonder that more and more people are choosing to visit. However, before you pack your bags and head to the airport, there are a few things you need to know.

In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through everything you need about travelling to Pakistan from the UKinfo-icon to make your journey enjoyable.

Step 1: Check Entry Requirements

All passengers leaving Pakistan must have a valid visa, a Pakistani national identity card, or a valid Pakistani passport. If you're travelling on a British passport, you must get a visa before you travel. You can obtain your visa at the Pakistani Embassy or a Consulate before initiating travel to Pakistan. Visa violations can be treated as a criminal offence and could result in a fine or detention.

Getting a visa could be a hurdle for some people mentally thinking about the paperwork. But don't fret; obtaining a visa for Pakistan from the UK is a cinch. You only need your passport, a couple of passport-sized photos, and a completed visa application form.

Oh, and don't forget your sense of patience, as this can take up to 4 weeks. Don't worry, it's worth the wait!

Step 2: Plan Your Trip – Your Personalised Pakistani Adventure

Pakistan, with its rich tapestry of landscapes and cultures, offers an endless array of possibilities. This makes planning your trip essential and part of the adventure itself! So grab your notebook and your favourite pen, and let's get to it.

Choosing Your Destinations

Firstly, ponder over which parts of Pakistan you wish to visit. The bustling city of Lahore, with its historical sites like the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort?

Or the serene beauty of the northern areas like Hunza and Skardu, home to tranquil valleys and majestic mountains?

Or the cosmopolitan city of Karachi, with its vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine. As they say, variety is the spice of life, and Pakistan certainly has plenty of it.

Duration of Stay

Next, determine how long you'll stay in each place. This might depend on the number of attractions you wish to visit or the type of activities available. For example, if you're an adrenaline junkie planning to conquer the K2, you'll need more days in the northern areas.

On the other hand, if you're a history buff, a few days in Lahore or Islamabad, exploring the Mughal and British-era monuments, should suffice. Remember, it's not a race. Take your time to soak in the beauty and culture of each place.

Activities and Experiences

Finally, consider what activities and experiences you want to partake in. Would you like to navigate the bustling markets, haggling over prices for traditional handicrafts? Or you'd prefer a tranquil boat ride on Attabad Lake, surrounded by towering peaks. For the foodies among us, a culinary tour of the street food in Karachi or Lahore is an absolute must.

In Pakistan, countless adventures are to be had, from paragliding over fairy meadows to sipping chai at a roadside dhaba. So, think about what makes your heart sing, and plan accordingly.

Step 3: Pack for All Seasons and All Situations

Now, let's talk about packing. We all know one person who tries to fit their entire house into a suitcase before a trip. You might need to be that person when you're travelling to Pakistan.

You see, Pakistan's geography is as diverse as the flavours in a plate of biryani. This country has everything from the lofty peaks of the Karakoram range in the north to the balmy beaches of Karachi in the south.

Many airlines offer cargo services, and shipping companies specialise in handling excessive luggage and cargo. It's recommended to compare rates and services, ensuring that your items are held securely and arrive on time.

Remember to declare any high-value items and always check the customs rules of Pakistan before shipping any goods. Some items may be subject to customs duty, and others may be restricted or prohibited.

Lastly, record what you've packed in your excess luggage and cargo to Pakistan. This will help you keep track of your items and make the unpacking process more accessible when they arrive at your destination.

Wardrobe Wonders

And what does this mean for your suitcase? Well, variety is the spice of life, as they say, and your suitcase will be no exception. Pack some warm layers heading north to the cool mountain regions. A good quality jacket, comfortable sweaters, and thermal socks would be a good start.

On the other hand, if your journey takes you to the warmer southern regions, lighter clothing should make up the bulk of your suitcase. Cotton shirts, linen trousers, and, of course, some comfortable sandals would be ideal. The trick is to balance comfort and practicality, all while considering the country’s cultural norms.

Sun and Safety

And please, don't underestimate the power of the Pakistani sun. It's open about making its presence known, nor should your sunscreen be. A high-SPF sunscreen is a must, regardless of where you're headed. Consider it your new best friend.

Health and Safety Essentials

Preparing for any health and safety needs during your trip is always good. A basic first-aid kit with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers would be ideal. Essential prescription and over-the-counter medication should also be secure in your luggage.

Water purification tablets can be helpful, especially if you plan hiking or trekking. And remember insect repellent because mosquitos, like in any country, can be a bit too friendly.

Tailor Your Pack

It might seem like a lot to remember but don't worry, only some of these items might be necessary for your trip. Discuss with your doctor about your travel plans and which items will be most essential for you. It's always better to be over-prepared than under, so carefully plan your packing list.

Remember, the goal here is not to pack your entire home into your suitcase but to ensure you have everything you need to make your trip comfortable, safe, and enjoyable. After all, an adventure is only as good as the suitcase you pack it in!

Step 4: Embrace the Local Culture

A Taste of Pakistan

Welcome to Pakistan! You've traded the hustle and bustle of the UK for an entirely new rhythm. And what better way to acclimate than indulging in the local cuisine? Pakistani food is a flavourful symphony of spices, showcasing a rich culinary heritage.

From a hearty plate of Biryani to the sweet delight of Gulab Jamun, each dish is a unique experience. Remember to pace yourself, however. It's a culinary marathon, not a sprint!

Speaking the Local Lingo

Next up, let's talk language. Pakistan's official language is Urdu, and even though English is widely spoken, learning a few phrases in Urdu can enrich your trip. Simple words like "Shukriya" (Thank you) and "Assalam o Alaikum" (Peace be upon you - a standard greeting) can go a long way in making connections.

Plus, you'll get bonus points for your effort!

Dancing to the Beat of Pakistani Festivals

Now, let's get festive! Pakistan's calendar is chock-full of vibrant festivals. From the springtime celebration of Basant Panchami to the cultural performances at Lok Mela, there's always a reason to celebrate. Don't just watch from the sidelines—join the dance, try flying a kite, or indulge in some traditional festival foods.

It's the ultimate cultural immersion!

The Chai Experience

Finally, we can't talk about Pakistani culture without mentioning chai. This isn't your standard cup of tea—it's a social institution. If a local invites you over for a cup, don't hesitate. Accept the invitation with a warm smile and prepare for some exciting conversation. Remember, it's not just about the tea; it's about the hospitality that comes with it.

Embracing the local culture is more than a step in your travel guide. It's the key to transforming your journey from a trip to an unforgettable experience.

So go ahead, dive right in! The Pakistani culture is ready to embrace you with open arms.

Step 5: Explore Your Heart's Content: Discovering Pakistan's Rich Tapestry

Embarking on a trip to Pakistan is akin to opening a treasure chest filled with cultural riches, historical gems, and natural wonders. It's a country where every region offers something unique and beautiful. So, let's dig a little deeper into this treasure trove.

The Call of the North: Natural Beauty and Adventure

If you're a fan of the great outdoors, the north of Pakistan is your paradise. With breathtaking mountain ranges, serene lakes, and charming villages, it's a feast for the eyes and the soul.

Hunza Valley: A Slice of Heaven

Imagine a place where lush green terraces cascade down to a river, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. That's Hunza Valley for you. Known for its friendly people, delicious local food (apricots are a must-try!), and ancient forts, it's a place where you can genuinely explore to your heart's content.

Skardu: For the Adventurous Spirits

Fancy a bit of adrenaline rush? Head to Skardu, the gateway to some of the highest peaks in the world, including K2. You can indulge in trekking, mountaineering, and even river rafting here. Remember to visit the mesmerising Shangrila Lake while you're there!

The Heart of Pakistan: Cultural and Historical Wonders

The heart of Pakistan - Punjab and Sindh provinces - is steeped in history and culture. It's where you'll find grand architecture, bustling cities, and culinary delights that will make your taste buds dance.

Lahore: The Cultural Capital

From the grand Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort to the vibrant Anarkali Bazaar and delicious street food, Lahore is a city that encapsulates the spirit of Pakistan. And make sure to attend the Wagah Border ceremony - it's a spectacle you will remember!

Karachi: The City of Lights

Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, is a microcosm of the country. It's a place where modernity and tradition coexist. Here, you can sunbathe at Clifton Beach, shop till you drop at Zainab Market, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

The Undiscovered South: Unspoiled Landscapes and Heritage

While less frequented by tourists, the south of Pakistan offers unspoiled landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Here, you can experience the hospitality of the Baloch people and explore the ancient ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Quetta: The Fruit Garden of Pakistan

Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, is known for its unique landscape and its fruit orchards. Explore the bustling local markets, savour the famous Quetta apples, and visit Hanna Lake.

Mohenjo-Daro: A Step Back in Time

Take a step back in time and visit Mohenjo-Daro, one of the world's earliest major cities, dating back to 2600 BCE. Walking through the well-preserved ruins gives you a unique insight into a civilisation that once thrived here.

There you have it - a guide to exploring Pakistan to your heart's content. Remember, travel is all about the journey, not just the destination. So take your time, soak in the experiences, and make beautiful memories. Safe travels!