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Language: Urdu | Currency: Pakistan rupee | Local time: GMT+5 hrs | Avg. Flight time: 11 hrs 50m
The main airline serving Pakistan from the UK is the country’s national carrier, PIA (Pakistan International Airlines). Flights departing from Manchester (MAN), Birmingham (BHX), Leeds Bradford (LBA) and London Heathrow (LHR) mostly fly to Karachi (KHI), although it is possible to also go to Islamabad (ISB) and Lahore (LHE). These three cities are the main gateways to the country, although there are a total of 12 international airports in Pakistan. Non-stop flights take around eight hours, but they are frequently delayed and on-board service can be poor.
Other airlines include Emirates via Dubai, Qatar via Doha and Etihad via Abu Dhabi - these airlines offer a far higher quality of service but will take longer once a stopover is taken into account.
Travelling in the low season and booking at least three to four months in advance for a package (flight and hotel included) gives you the best chance of a cheaper and less stressful trip.
UK citizens need to apply for a visa beforehand and this is usually processed in five working days. In addition, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months at the time of your visa application, according to the FCO.
Single or double entry tourist visas cost £104 and £122 respectively and last up to 6 months once approved – they require a local sponsor or hotel booking, and a full itinerary must be provided on application.
Pakistan is vast, and domestic flights are the best way to cover the large distances between cities. The privately owned, low-cost carrier Airblue is the country’s second-largest airline and is based at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. It has over 30 scheduled domestic flights linking up various cities as well as flights to many destinations in the Middle East and Turkey. Shaneen Air International also has routes around Pakistan, as well as to the Persian Gulf.
Taxi ranks are located at all international airports; however, check first whether the fare will be based on a fixed rate or per mile. Only use taxis from a reputable company which are radio-controlled. Another great alternative is to hire a car with a local chauffeur to drive you around.
The cheapest way to travel around Pakistan is by bus, although this is not recommended by the FCO. In fact, public transport should be avoided.
Looking to visit Pakistan? Make sure to check out our Tips and Advice first.