Cosmopolitan capital in South Asia

Islamabad is a cosmopolitan city and the unique blend of cultures with a variety of historical and religious landmarks make it a fascinating destination. The capital of Pakistan is also a major business and financial hub within the region.

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Climate, festivals and events

There are five seasons in Islamabad and the mildest weather is between November and April, which includes winter and spring. Summer starts in May, followed by the monsoon season in July and Autumn in September. Some of the most important events are Muslim holidays such as Eid el-Fitr and Aid el-Adha, whose dates vary according to the Islamic calendar, based on the moon.

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Useful travel information

A visa is required for British citizens and passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of applying for the visa. As for vaccinations, travellers should visit their GP 8 weeks before the trip. Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and polio vaccines are recommended. While the cost of living is much lower than in London, Islamabad remains more expensive than other cities in Pakistan. Prices start at around PKR 200 for a basic meal and about PKR 500 for a business lunch. If Islamabad is suburban and subdued, its twin city Rawalpindi is much busier.

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Arrival, transportation and lodging

From the airport visitors can take shared Suzuki cars to central Islamabad. Taxis cost about PKR 400 but they may be cheaper outside of the airport. When leaving, travellers should be 2 hours early at the airport, as it gets really busy. Budget accommodation is available with guesthouses and cheap hotels starting around PKR 1,000, and more luxurious options at about PKR 2,200 per night. Minibuses are a fast and cheap option for public transport, while monthly travelcards cost about PKR 3,500.

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