I must admit, Karachi is not the hottest tourist destination there is, but when you want to break out of your comfort zone, and experience something totally out of your world, this is the place to be.
Not your usual cobblestone pathways with the floor length windowed cafes and stunning mall designs, there is definitely an absence of shine in Karachi. I would say though, that most of your experience in Pakistan will be molded by its people. Overwhelmingly friendly and hospitable, your presence as a tourist there, they treat as a gift in their lives.
I digress. Coming back to the point of this article, seven things to do while you’re in Karachi!
Ride a Camel!
Go to a beach and you’ll almost always find a camel ride there! My first ever camel ride was here in Pakistan! It was an exhilarating experience. You know when you sit on a horse, and it’s movements are predictable? You know you’re gonna bob up and down cause that’s how a horse moves when it trots. The camel has no such predictability in its movements. Up down, forward backward and sideways, just all over the place. Hang on tight when a camel gets up off its knees and gets back down on them to let you on and off, cause I swear those are the two times the camel deliberately tries to throw you off its back. I am not. kidding. About this. Cling on for dear life.
Go to Port Grand
If you’re looking for a calm and beautiful place suitable for both date nights as well as family outings, Port Grand is a jewel of a place, quite hidden in Karachi.
Situated near the city center, this cobblestone paved spot has great restaurants and food booths that you can try out.
Entrance is free but you pay 300 (RM 12) rupees to buy food and drinks.
Go to a Sunday Bazaar!
If shopping is your thing, you will go crazy when you see the immense amount of vendors in one of these bazaars. Taking the flea market to the next level, Pakistan’s Sunday bazaars sell everything from kitchen utensils to action figures. Whatever your heart wishes for, it is here you’ll find it. Rows and rows of set up shops stretch as far as the eye can see.
Really is a scene to behold.
And haggling here is fun! If you know how to, you can almost always buy at the price you ask for. You can get really beautiful hair clips and adorably designed socks for only 30 rupees (RM 1).
Visit Frere Hall on a Sunday.
The hall itself is alluring, don’t forget to look up to admire the beautifully painted ceiling.
Go there on a Sunday, and you’ll be happy to find a weekly book fair set up.
They have a great selection of books there for cheap.
You could spend hours there browsing. The gardens there are also really pleasant. Tip: bring a mat and some food there. You could buy books, then curl up in one of the gardens there and read the day away.
Visit Mohatta Palace
This palace has been transformed into a museum.
They have a pretty exhaustive collection of maps from like the beginning of time. Also, they sport an impressive historical collection of Pakistani textiles, so be prepared to be taken back in time to enjoy those gorgeous fabric prints and clothing designs. Downside of this place though, they don’t allow cameras inside the museum so pictures are pretty hard to get.
Saddar and Empress Market
If you simply cannot wait till Sunday, Saddar is the one place in Karachi where you can get anything and everything. This is the city center of Karachi, and right in the middle, you’ll find this iconic building left behind by the British; The Empress Market.
You can get things like fresh produce, utensils, fresh meat, nuts and spices, clothing, and even pets!
Then you can roam around Saddar’s hundred and one shops to find traditional clothing, leather jackets, knick knacks, shoes, bags, and the long list goes on.
While you’re in Saddar, you should check out Tit Bit. 17 bookstores have closed down in Karachi throughout the past 7 years. This is one of the last ones standing. The owner here charge you an incredibly good price for a book (150 rupees), then when you’re done with it, you can come back to this store and exchange it for FREE!
PAF Museum, Karachi
The Pakistan Air Force Museum.
Take a stroll around the gardens here and admire the aircrafts that once flew the skies in search of their targets.
Do explore the indoor museum which showcases the development of Pakistan’s air force throughout the years, with special tribute to the 1971 war with India after the Partition. A very interesting and substantial collection of not only Pakistan’s Air Force but also a bit of air craft info and development worldwide. It was fascinating to see the wars fought in Pakistan and get to know the Air Force heroes and the valiant acts they performed for the sake of Pakistan’s safety. Kudos to the makers of this museum, and the brilliant tour guide that took us around.
8. Quaid-E-Azam Mazaar
The tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The interior of the monument is quite spectacular.
You can see Pakistan’s former leader’s tombstone displayed with full grandeur, and a majestic chandelier which was a gift from the Chinese government, hanging directly above the burial spot.
There are museums portraying the life of the founder as well to explore, and beautiful gardens surrounding the compound to relax in.
Get Swept up by the Exciting Hustle and Bustle of Karachi City!
I’m sure there are a lot more things to do around this bustling city. You can always go on a street food hunt (won’t ever go wrong, there are so many eateries in Karachi), go for a movie, find someone with a rooftop and chill the evening away there, etc. Do suggest below in the comments if I missed out anything major. So, when you do visit, have fun in Karachi! Mingle with the locals, try the food (with caution), learn to take in things with a positive vibe and you’ll have an amazing experience in Karachi and Pakistan!