|Pakistan Day (March 23), Labor Day (May 01), Independence Day (August 14), Defense Day (September 06), Anniversary of Muhammed Ali Jinnah’s Death (September 11), Iqbal Day (November 09), Birthday of Muhammed Ali Jinnah (December 25), Ramadan Feast, Sacrifice Holiday, Ashoora
Pakistan is one of the most attractive destinations in Southern Asia, encircled by mountainous borders, deserts full of sand dunes, and the Arabian Sea. In addition to its geographical diversity, the country succeeds in arousing interest by its cultural mosaic consisting of different ethnical groups. Having been under the influence of war for long years, Pakistan draws attention as a destination worth exploring with its rich culture and spirit it has managed to preserve after gaining independence nearly 50 years ago.
If you are planning to travel to these lands beyond comparison with its ethnical groups in northern parts or deserts in the south, as well as its ancient traditions, palatable cuisine, bright costumes and impressive myths, take a look at the flights to Pakistan offered by Turkish Airlines now to enjoy a privileged journey of high quality to this beautiful Asian country.
Turkish Airlines flies to three different destinations in Pakistan: Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. Flights from Istanbul Airport (IST) to Islamabad International Airport (ISB) in the capital Islamabad take nearly five and a half hours. Flights to Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE) in Lahore also take five hours and thirty minutes in average. On the other hand, flights to Karachi Jinnah International Airport (KHI) in the second largest city Karachi take five hours. These three airports play a significant role in managing the country’s air traffic by their capacities reaching to 17 million passengers annually.
There are many reasons to visit Pakistan. These lands remarkable for their geographical glory offer splendid views to its guests, from the hills rising in the north. Pakistan is home to five of the most majestic mountains worldwide. Even witnessing the landscapes resembling a stunning work of art would be a reason all by itself to visit this country. Moreover, Pakistan can be visited all year round, regardless of the season, thanks to its convenient climate and numerous opportunities offered for its guests. Festivals where you can truly witness the local culture will leave indelible marks that you will remember all your life.
National Culture Festival held in February at the capital Islamabad ranks among the top significant festivals celebrating the country’s rich and diversified culture. It is possible to see the best models of traditional music, dance and handicrafts in this festival which lasts for nine days. Pakistan Flower Show held in July, is another attention-grabbing event taking place in the country. Organized in Karachi, a city full of colorful and mesmerizing blossoming flowers, the event promises a breathtaking atmosphere by coloring up the streets.
Remarkably known for its passion for sports, Pakistan’s national sports are cricket and polo. Shandur Cup organized in July every year is an outstanding polo tournament worldwide, as one of the best indicators of this passion. This deep-rooted tournament, which has been held since 1936, turns into a festival where the country’s rich tradition is celebrated. Held with great enthusiasm with many concerts and various events, Shandur Cup is the most popular organization of Pakistan on a global scale. Another important sports event in the country is Chitral Festival held in September every year. Known also as Pakistan Olympics, the festival offers many activities from archery to wrestling, mountaineering to sitar music, and dance to theater. There are even special tours organized for this festival which is attended by thousands all over the world.
If you are interested in experiencing the colorful culture and enjoy the distinctive events taking place, it would be recommendable to set your travel plan to Pakistan without delay, keeping in mind that the country’s air traffic gets busier during the vibrant festival season.
Built during 1960s to serve as a capital in place of Karachi, the city of Islamabad is the administrative hub of the country today. Declared as capital as it is surrounded by mountains, whereas the former capital Karachi was open to attacks from the sea during the war, Islamabad is regarded as the most modern and well-planned city countrywide.
First stop of your visit in the capital should be Lok Virsa Museum. Hosting many significant collections in painting, ceramics, music and textile, this museum would be the most ideal spot to learn the country’s cultural values and history as well by its impressive architecture. Another crowd-pulling spot in Islamabad is Faisal Mosque, offering an extremely aesthetic atmosphere by its capacity of 74 thousand people. Furthermore, you may also try jumping with a parachute from Margala Hills, or enjoy the nature by fishing in Rawal Lake during your stay in this adorable capital.
The former capital Karachi, on the other hand, has a highly vibrant city life as a port town. As the most populous city countrywide, Karachi also ranks among the top populous cities worldwide. Being very powerful in commerce, the city hosts many events taking place in entertainment, art and fashion fields as well. Karachi remains as one of the most significant touristic spots in the country with many attractions it harbors.
Mohatta Palace is a noteworthy sight which should definitely be seen in Karachi. Built for Mohatta family, the palace now serves as a museum and is worth-seeing by its stunning Indian architecture. Another iconic artifact in Karachi is the Town Hall. Built in 1865, this building was designed by Henry Saint Clair Wikins, which ranks among the top touristic spots in the city with the complex wall paintings of the famous artist Sadequain. In addition, Karachi Safari Park established in 1970 is another attraction, hosting many species in its vast area. The Swan Lake in the park shines out as an extremely romantic spot.
One of the most visited destinations in Pakistan; Lahore is the second largest city in the country, following Karachi. The city, which, according to legend, built by Loh, the son of Indian god Rama, is one of the most populous cities worldwide, just like Karachi. Lahore is often cited as the city of gardens, thanks to its Shalimar Gardens. As a garden complex in Mughal style, Shalimar Gardens was completed by the Emperor Shah Jahangir in 1637. The garden, serving as a best example for the importance the Mughal Empire attached to art and aesthetic has also been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Another artifact included in UNESCO World Heritage List in the city is Lahore Fort. Constructed by Mughal Emperor Ekber Shah in 1566, the castle is regarded amongst the most charming models of Islamic architecture. Although all 21 monuments and 3 museums inside the fort are worth-seeing, the most valuable monument is Sheesh Mahal, described as the "jewel in the Fort’s crown”. You may also see in the city Pakistan Monument symbolizing the country’s national unity, visit the famous wax museum and Badshahi Mosque in the same region.
As the cities in Pakistan are highly populous, the country owns an advanced transport network. You may easily see every spot in the cities via the buses with different divisions for women and men. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a more comfortable option both within the city and between multiple destinations, you may also consider renting a car, so that you may have a chance to see more than one city during your stay by setting your own route.