Karachi On a BudgetKarachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the most populous city in Pakistan, and sixth most populous city proper in the world. Karachi, located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, is the financial and commercial center of the nation, as well as its largest port. The pace of life here is more hurried, and social attitudes are far more liberal than elsewhere in Pakistan. Locals call it the City of Lights, the City of The Quaid, and the City that Never Sleeps. The city credits its growth to the mixed populations of economic and political migrants along with refugees from different national, provincial, linguistic and religious origins, who generally come to the city to settle permanently.
SightsClifton Beach is Karachi's busiest beach, although you'll want to take a stroll rather than a swim. Clifton is one of Karachi's posher neighborhoods, but the beach attracts a complete cross section of society, so gives a good picture of Karachi at play. It's deserted before late afternoon, and at its most festive on Sundays.
This curiously shaped Quaid-i-Azam Mausoleum is a monument to Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. It's set at the top of a stepped pyramid in a small park. Built in 1958-68 from the design of a Turkish architect, it is minimalist and stark. The white marble structure makes some concession to traditional styles with a square plan and supporting a semicircular dome.
Frere Hall is a building in Karachi, Pakistan that dates from the early British colonial-era in Sindh. Completed in 1865, Frere Hall was originally intended to serve as Karachi's town hall, and now serves as an exhibition space and library.
The Chaukhandi Tombs near Karachi, Pakistan are constructed out of huge sandstone slabs, which are delicately stacked into a finessed pyramid shape. The slabs were painstakingly carved with intricate patterns, drawings and relatable scenes. Built between the 15th and 18th centuries, the Chaukhandi Tombs now form a remarkably well-preserved necropolis that often attracts curious visitors and archeologists alike.
The South is a diverse district, home to Saddar, Karachi's downtown area and center of activity. Home to Karachi's tallest skyscrapers and much historical architecture. Many beaches, parks, museums, landmarks, colonial buildings, restaurants and hotels are located within this district.
East district is a mix of Karachi's industrial heartland and white collar office center. There are some good museums along with many amusement and wildlife parks, and the major Karachi Airport.
The largest district of Karachi by area, and is regarded as the countryside of Karachi City due to its open atmosphere and lush green farmlands. It houses many of city's water amusement parks.
The West is home to South Asia's largest slum and also one of the success stories of low-cost housing: Orangi Town. Large industrial parks are scattered through the district, along with the Port of Karachi in the Kemari area. West Karachi also has many beaches and islands.
This district is primarily a middle-class area, it developed immediately after Pakistan's independence, due to a wave of immigration. Many of these migrants were refugees from the partition.
ActivitiesThere is much to do in Karachi. A city of more than 18 million people is unlikely to be short on activities. Simply let yourself be overwhelmed by this city, its size and scope, its heart breaking disparity between rich and poor, and its breathtaking sights and sounds. Karachi isn't just a city, it is a world unto itself.
Try camel and horse rides on the sands of Clifton Beach are popular, while stands sell cold drinks, chai (tea) and grilled corn. The main roundabout near the beach has plenty of buses, autorickshaws and taxis, many heading for Saddar.
Safari Park has a zoo, a children's playland and many gardens. It is one of the major recreation and amusement areas of Karachi geared with viewing facilities like chairlifts and safari tracks, as well as two natural lakes. You might be interested in catching a bird's-eye view of the animals from the Chair lifts here or enjoy Swan lake which is a natural lake featuring a pagoda style sitting place.
See a Dolphin Show. Experience the beauty of sea life and a dazzling array of flips, leaps and twists of Dolphins at Pakistan Maritime Museum. Go turtle spotting. In the evenings of September through November, you can easily spot giant Olive Ridley and green turtles along parts of Hawkes Bay and Sandspit. The best way see them is to go with a local naturalist or hire a boat with a knowledgeable captain for the specific purpose of watching them.
Experience Dreamworld Resorts, Pakistan's iconic Resort with a Golf club, Amusement Park, Water Park, 5-star Hotel, Spa, multiple World-class restaurants, numerous all-ages entertainment and sports events.
Food and DiningKarachi is one of the fastest growing cities in South Asia, with a booming economy and an increasing affluence which is fueling the growth of the city's restaurant scene. The culinary establishments of Karachi now combine a wide range of world cuisines with authentic Pakistani food included. Bun kebab, the jazzed-up Pakistani version of the burger, is the stuff from which food dreams are made: minced meat (most likely mutton) is spiced with black cumin and red chilies, and comes with a fried egg, onions, a coriander and mint chutney spiked with green chilies, and sometimes lentils, all served between charred buns. If red meat isn't to your liking, you can opt for the vegetarian version, the aloo bun kebab (made of potato, and without the egg), or perhaps a paratha chicken roll. Chicken smeared in ginger, garlic paste, turmeric and mustard is necklaced with white onions and then rolled into an oily and deliciously chewy paratha. It's impossible to eat just one!
TransportationFor shorter routes to and from Karachi, it is recommended to book ahead. The best prices for buses and trains in Pakistan can be found on 12Go. They let you search across all bus, train, and airline routes throughout Asia.
Jinnah International Airport is Karachi's largest international and domestic airport located on the outskirts of the main city. First Class travel with Pakistan Railways is good, and Karachi has railway connections with various major cities in Pakistan. Karachi can be reached by car from different cities of Pakistan as well as India, China, Afghanistan, and Iran. It's not very hard to find a mode of transportation and if you know what you are doing, it is very easy to get around. The most common method of traveling in Karachi is by bus and is used by most people. Regular bus services link the airport with the city and the journey time is around 50 minutes. A number of taxi companies operate from outside the airport terminal building. The journey time to the city is around 25 minutes depending on traffic. Rickshaws (also called three-wheeled scooters, tuk-tuks or simply autos) are good for shorter trips. You can find rickshaws everywhere across the city.