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This place is on the up. Shopping malls, vast new buildings and plush resorts all conspire to deliver a thoroughly modern city...
Pakistan's capital is known as a peaceful and green city. Along with its twin city Rawalpindi and the Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad forms a large metropolitan area that encompasses many attractive sights, including beautiful lakes, pretty gardens and fascinating museums.
There are a number of open spaces in and around the city. Rawal Lake offers exquisite gardens, wildlife, picnic spots and a number of water sports, while fishing and boating are available at Simli Lake, Islamabad's largest reservoir. Fantastic views of Islamabad and Rawalpindi can be seen from the pretty terraced gardens found in the Shakaparian Hills. The city's Rose and Jasmine Gardens are also popular and well known for the variety of roses on display.
There are many sights to see and things to do in the city. The Faisal Mosque is probably the best-known landmark and is well worth visiting.
For a history of the area and its links with other cultures, head to the Islamabad Museum, home to more than 25 galleries. Islamabad Zoo is popular and has more than 300 species of animals, including tigers and lions.
Islamabad enjoys a humid subtropical climate. As a result, the hottest months are May to July, when temperatures of 38C are not uncommon. The monsoon season follows until September, while winters are generally mild to cold with foggy mornings and sunny afternoons.
Although taxis are relatively cheap and safe, car hire in Islamabad is also a popular choice with visitors, as the city is laid out on a grid system, making it easy to navigate. Islamabad car hire can be arranged from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB), which is located in central Rawalpindi, as well as locations in the city centre. Compare car-hire prices and then book in advance to select the most convenient options for you. Pre-booking is always the best way to find the cheapest deals.
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There’s a hectic diary of things to do in Islamabad, though the surrounding areas offer ample opportunities to enjoy a serene day out...
If you rent a car, Islamabad opens up and allows you to see the sights on the outskirts of the city and beyond.
Islamabad car hire is also a good choice for those wishing to travel the Karakoram Highway, the world's highest paved international road, connecting Pakistan and China.
The resort of Pir Sohawa is a popular first port of call for visitors to Islamabad. It’s an 11-mile drive from the city and its mountain setting offers breathtaking views. It has a reputation for having one of the region’s finest restaurants, from where you can overlook Islamabad as you dine.
A 15-minute drive out of Islamabad will take you to the delightful shores of Rawal Lake. This is the perfect spot for a picnic. The highest point of the raised gardens grant panoramic views over the lake and surrounding countryside.
Rawalpindi is traditional Pakistan, away from the sharp angles and straight-as-an-arrow highways of modern Islamabad. You can drive from the heart of the capital to its sister city in around 25 minutes, though the two urban areas appear to have merged into one. The roads are hectic in Rawalpindi, though they lead to time-worn monuments and exciting daily markets.
To find the best price on car hire in Islamabad, use TravelSupermarket's search tool.