Karachi Moves Pakistan
Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan in terms of area as also population, and is the capital city of the Province of Sindh. Karachi served as the initial capital of Pakistan after independence from the British rule in until the capital was formally shifted to Islamabad in 1967. Karachi with a population of 217 million Karachi is the most populous city of Pakistan and the fifth most populous city in the world. Karachi is country’s financial and industrial hub and is ranked as beta-global city. It would not wrong to call Karachi as the ‘gateway’ city as much of the commerce and trade takes place via seaports located in and around Karachi. Despite the capital having been shifted to Islamabad, Karachi continues to exert great influence in the politics, economics, logistics and mercantile of Pakistan. Karachi has a truly cosmopolitan culture with different ethnic, linguistic and religious communities living in peace and harmony. Like all major cities Karachi had had its share of problems and issues like crime, sanitation, traffic, population, pollution and cultural frictions but overall Karachites are liberal, open-minded, forward looking and progressive people with hospitable attitude and accommodation for the outsiders, especially tourists.
Karachi is one of the most ancient cities in this part of the world. It is believed that Karachi was known to the ancient Greeks and that Alexander the Great may have once camped near Karachi. Arabs entered the Subcontinent via Karachi in 971 A.D. Karachi has always been the major shipping port of Subcontinent and later days Pakistan.
Karachi being a modern city is well connected to other cities in Pakistan and to the outside world. Many major airlines operate daily flights to and from Karachi to other major cities in the world. You may click the following links to find a list of airlines operating flights to/from Karachi:
Karachi is also connected via train and bus service with almost all major towns and cities of Pakistan. To find railway and bus service to/from Karachi you may click the following links:
Karachi Metro Bus Service is the most economical and safest mode of travel within Karachi. Local buses, minibuses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are abundantly available. Following operators run bus and taxi services that can be coordinated using their respective apps available on Google Play Store:
A list of car rental companies is being prepared. A link will be provided here as soon as available.
Karachi has a number of international and national hotel brands available for lodging. Besides local hotels, inns and motels are available to suit different budgets. We are in the process of compiling a list of hotels and other lodging options in Karachi. A link will be provided here as soon as available.
Karachi has a truly cosmopolitan culture when it comes to food. Most major international food chains have their outlets in Karachi. A number of national restaurant chains have multiple outlets in Karachi. Besides some local joints, and owner-operated restaurants serve quality food at affordable prices. We are in the process of compiling a list of dining places in Karachi and would place a link at this page as soon as available.
Due to its ethnic mix of Urdu speaking population that migrated from India at the time of independence, Sindhi speaking local population of Sindh, a visible size segment of Pushtu speaking Pathans and a large number of Punjabi speaking people, Karachi is often termed as “Mini Pakistan”. All this makes Karachi one of the most diverse cities ethnically, socially, culturally and demographically. Karachi also has people belonging to almost all known religious and faith groups making Karachi a truly global city. English is extensively spoken and understood in Karachi. There is a reasonable chunk of Farsi speaking people of Iranian origin as also Bengali speaking people who are active part of the city’s population. Likewise there is a reasonable size population of Balochi speaking people from Balochistan and Coastal Belt of Makran that have made Karachi their home.
Karachi is the hub of trade and commerce in Pakistan. Much of the imports and exports of Pakistan are routed through ports located in and around Karachi. Pakistan’s oldest and biggest Stock Exchange and Mercantile Exchange are located in Karachi. Pakistan’s Central Bank called State Bank of Pakistan has its Headquarters located in Karachi. Most of the commercial banks in Pakistan have their central branches and headquarters in Karachi. Likewise most of the shipping, trucking, logistic, insurance and merchandizing companies have their headquarters located in Karachi. Karachi is also at the centre of much of industrial production and marketing activities in Pakistan.
Being an ancient city and a major cosmopolitan center Karachi has innumerous tourist attractions. Karachi indeed is so big that you might stay a month here and yet be able to see only a fraction of the city’s life, culture and attractions. Some of the major and popular tourist attractions are covered below:
Churna Island is about 2 hours drive from Karachi Central and a major tourist attraction. The water here is very clear and you can spot a number of fish and sea species besides water sports like swimming, snorkeling and scuba-diving.
Turtle Beach is a popular tourist attraction due to presence of some very rare turtle species found here. The beach is located between Hawks Bay and Sandspit. In the breeding season turtles come to lay eggs that are then hatched by the naturally hot weather.
Built in a mix of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, Mohatta Palace was built in 1925 by a Hindu Prince. The building now serves as an art gallery, a museum and an art exhibition hall. There is always some cultural, social or commercial activity on at the Palace.
The final abode of the Founding Father of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is another popular tourist attraction of Karachi. Visitors from all over Pakistan and from abroad visit the Mausoleum to pay homage to the legendary leader. The mausoleum with its white marble façade and elegant design is in itself the work of art and superior architecture.
Quaid-e-Azam House, also called the “Flagstaff House” is a building that was bought by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1943 and where he lived during the period from 1944 until his death in 1948. The building was bought later by the Government of Pakistan and is reserved as a museum for personal belongings and articles related to the great leader of Pakistan.
Those interested in the military history especially the role of aircrafts in the modern warfare must visit the PAF museum. The museum is home to a number of old aircrafts and new aircraft models, weapons and armaments. If you like aircrafts and all things aeronautic, then the Pakistan Air Force Museum is a must-visit. The museum also has a lawn and a cafeteria for refreshments.
The Chaukhandi Tombs are located at about 30 km from Karachi. The tombs are part of an ancient graveyard with decorated graves and tombs with elaborate sandstone carvings and motifs. The tombs are associated to Jokhio tribe of Sindh. The graveyard and the tombs are included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The National Museum of Pakistan was established in April 1950 in the Frere Hall, a historical building with its own historical significance and stature. The museum was later shifted to its current location in 1970. The museum is home to a wide range of collection depicting the origin and various stages of development of Indus Valley Civilization to modern day Pakistan. The artifacts range from sculptures, statues, coins, documents, stone and metal objects, weapons and tools and paintings belonging to different ears and civilizations.
Located in one of the busiest business district of Karachi, Empress Market is a famous tourist attraction for bargains on gift items, clothing, jewelry and imitation watches. Together with adjoining bazaars and alleyways the Empress Market forms a business hub that is a must see for the visitors.
Pakistan Maritime Museum is located on Habib Rehmatullah Road, Karachi. The museum showcases different aspects of maritime and naval life and is spread over an area of 28 acres with galleries, halls and lawns. The main attraction at the museum is the inside tour to a real Dephne Class Submarine besides other maritime vessels like destroyers and minesweepers. Interactive computer animations and presentations have been incorporated to introduce various aspects of maritime life and warfare to the visitors.
Port Grand is an upscale open-air food place by the sea. Port Grand is a good place to try different types of food offered by multiple food stalls and restaurants located here offering variety of food.
Set over an area of 130 acres the Ibn-e-Qasim is the largest park of Karachi. The park is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by millions of people each year. A rose garden and a turtle pond are amongst the favorites attractions at the park.
Located within the DHA Marina Club is a must visit for activities like boating, sailing, yachting and canoeing. The club offers a great view of the sea.