Getting around

Getting around the country has become much easier now a days as with the completion of some motorways, and an increase in private airlines.


There are three good online maps for Pakistan; Open Street Map, Naqsha and Google Maps. Cities are well covered in the map, however roads in rural areas are not, as many minor roads missing – Google Maps in particular is sometime marking/showing dried up river beds as minor roads, so if exploring, it is a better to use Google Earth to double check your route. Good printed map of Pakistan are also available in F7 markaz, Islamabad.

By Plane:

Numerous domestic destinations are covered by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and is the sole airline, serving three airports in the north for tourists i.e. Chitral, Gilgit and Skardu. Two flights are usually operating from Islamabad to these cities daily, but they are subject to weather and often over-booked — show up early to guarantee a seat.

By Train:

Rail services are provided by Pakistan Railway within Pakistan.The stations tend not to have their timetables in English, however sales agents can usually explain everything to you. There are several different classes of fares depending on amenities.

By Bus:

A large portion of travel between cities in Pakistan is carried out by bus. Travelling between Karachi and other major cities by bus may take days. Travel by bus is often the cheapest and most convenient alternative. There are many private bus services between several major cities, with air-conditioned buses and seats booked one day ahead. Further Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO) runs buses between Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan region. When major cities are travelled, smaller buses shall be preferred over the larger ones, as the larger ones tend to take up passengers along the way, and therefore travel more slowly. The situation is likely for local transport. Though the local transport organization may look a little different between cities, usually there is an active bus service operating through the city, with varying levels of government control.

By Taxis & Rickshaws:

For local transport within cities, Taxi and auto rickshaws are a cheap and flexible alternative. Take information about the prices/rate and always negotiate a price before entering the taxi/rickshaw. Rickshaws are not allowed in the capital city Islamabad.