Colonizing more than 20 Lac people of different regions and origins, Islamabad is melting pot of Pakistan and the 9th most-people city. Being perched out on the Potwar Plateau, the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad traits a very mild version of humid subtropical climate with abundant rainfall throughout the year. In last decades, the city has undergone loads of changes in terms of lifestyle, after it was declared the capital city, many international food chains are opened, nightlife has been improved after development of world-class shopping malls and this Federal-governed city has become an important financial and business hub, after the economy was fueled to boom in time of Former President Musharaf. This beautifully grid-patterned city is attracting local and foreigner expats from many years, for its noise-free and peaceful atmosphere along with a lot of greenery and epic surrounding scenery.
Today we have narrow-listed the Top 20 Tour Places In Islamabad Which Will Make Your Vacation Special, which are exciting blend of traditional-historic destinations and modern hangout spots, which altogether are making Islamabad a lively city of Pakistan.
20: Bhir Mound, Islamabad
Merely 20 minutes drive-away from downtown Islamabad, Bhir Mound is laying, the archeological site which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, being a part of Ruins of Taxila. It is believed that Bhir Mound was city, founded by Greeks and Indians once, in 6th century BCE. Displaying traces of early civilizations and Buddhism, Bhir Mound attracts thousands of visitors of all ages, to explore the Taxila city where plethora of ancient temples including the largest Buddhist stupa- Dharmarajika are narrating tales of early times, featuring ruins of ancient cities. (Note: In the same premises, there lays Taxila Museum, crammed with assets of ancient civilizations dating back to 2th Century BCE and a sculpture of a queen adorned with gold jeweler is actual crowd puller of this museum in Islamabad. )
19: Islamabad Zoo, Islamabad
Stretched over the land area of 82 acres, the Islamabad zoo is featuring more than 600 animals is ideal family destination at Pir Sohawa road. For spending educational time with children, Islamabad zoo is highly recommended to savor the atmosphere of nature and entertainment at one place, amid by Margala Hills.
18: Rawal Lake, Islamabad
Proximity to nature in Islamabad can be seen in various spots, among such precious landmarks, Rawal Lake is a must-seen place for all ages, as this artificial reservoir ideal for boating, fishing and barbecuing in open air. What can be better than such serene location, filled with water, fresh air and affordable fun activities i.e. horse riding, exploring wildlife and photography in Islamabad?
17: Lok Virsa Museum, Islamabad
The museum, simply few minutes away from Islamabad, is traditional and cultural hub featuring lifestyles and living traditions of masses in Pakistan. For the history nerds and spending educational time, displaying the art history from glorious Mughal dynasty to present times of Pakistan. Making mind to experience the flashback of history, the museum brimmed with sculptures, wide range of paintings, ancient tools of our ancestors and history stuffed in every bit of corner will never disappoint you in Islamabad.
16: Rawat Fort, Islamabad
The Rawat Fort which was built on the scenic Pothohar plateau, by Ghakkar-the tribal chief lost the battle to Sher Shah Suri, and the fort has eventually became burial place for him and his two sons. For some people it will be really surprising that modern and quiet Islamabad city can be this much rich in history, thanking to its historical assets i.e. Rawat Fort. The fort that has witnessed a deadly battle of the 16th century, between Gakhar chief Sultan Sarang Khan and Sher Shah Suri deserves a visit in Islamabad for sure.
15: Pakistan Army Museum, Islamabad
In the twin city of Islamabad, Pakistan Army Museum is all time favorite places for patriots in Rawalpindi, for featuring preserved army history of Pakistan. Having a limited collection of photos, weapons of prehistoric times i.e. rifles, swords (Of Turkish era too), Stone Age hand-axes, a former Russian missile system and, rather oddly, an Australian harpoon, the museum bestows a royal journey of exploring defense system of Pak Army. (Note: The entrance ticket of 20 for children and 50 for adult is definitely not a big deal for watching exhibits of national pride in Islamabad.)
14: Aabpara Market, Islamabad
All those people on trip of Islamabad, who complains of high prices in international malls of city, must stroll this one of oldest market. The commercial zone more like a food street is blessing in disguise for food lovers, who crave for traditional spicy food in affordable rates.
13: Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad
Tribute to one of finest lady of Pakistan history, Fatima Jinnah, the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, the park is successful project in F-9 Sector in Islamabad. This public recreational park is more like an entertaining complex for families, allowing them to plan formal dinners in the premises. Absorbing a sport complex in its territory for arcade games and own lake, the Fatima Jinnah Park is gem for citizens of Islamabad.
12: Faisal Mosque, Islamabad
At the base of Margala Hills, Faisal Mosque is installed in Bedouin tent-styled structure, which was built in Contemporary Islamic structure, as national mosque of Pakistan. To accommodate over 250,000 worshippers in its realm, the mosque is spiritual and adventure symbol for visitors of Islamabad. A bit different than typical mosques of Pakistan, Faisal Mosque is known for its unique structure and backdrops of scenic Margala Mountains.
11: Simly Dam, Islamabad
An artificial dam installed at Soan River, which is mainly consist of melting snow and natural spring of Murree Hills has recently become favorite family picnic point in Islamabad. The place is must-to-do thing in Islamabad, for exploring the scenic beauty of dam, being nestled in thick of mountains. Merely an hour drive-away from Islamabad, Simly Dam can be approched via Lehtrar Road or via Bhara Kahu Town. For tranquility seekers, the place is heaven packed with lake and mountanious backdrop. Boating and fishing is what attracts the family and friends, for having best time in town. (Note: For fishing and staying in the nearby guest house, permission is needed from CDA (Capital Development Authority.)
10: Pakistan Monument, Islamabad
Installed on the western Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan Monument is national monument displaying cultural and historical heritage of Pakistan. Solely to promote unity of Pakistani people, the monument was built, which has become soul of Islamabad, presenting modern architecture, heritage museum and panoramic views of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, owing all to its elevated location.
9: Zero Point Interchange, Islamabad
For ranging over the panoramic view of Islamabad from all four corners, one must not skip the Zero Point Interchange! It’s nothing but emerging point of renowned roads i.e. Kashmir Highway Islamabad Expressway Interchange, Connecting roads to M-2، GT Road and Murree، Islamabad. Standing near Zero Point, the South Asia's largest interchange, the breathtaking view of Sharparian Hills, Faisal Mosque and Pakistan Monument is best thing to cash in Islamabad.
8: Blue Area, Islamabad
While in Islamabad, this commercial hub must not be taken for granted in capital city of Pakistan! For wandering through the significant buildings i.e. Saudi Pak Tower Building and leading hotels in this business hub, walking tour is highly recommended. Exploring the government buildings, international company’s franchises and ravishing hotels is exiting experience, especially for students of business and architecture.
7: Pir Sohawa, Islamabad
Among the symbolic attractions of Islamabad, that worth the visit of this beautiful and clean city, Pir Sohawa is of significant important. Not mere relaxing for mind but soul-soothing for visitors, the tourist resort is located on the top of Margala Hills. To relish the breathtaking view of Islamabad from such elevated height, and savor the continental cuisines of Monal Restaurant (installed at Pir Sohawa road), each money spent and 30 minutes uphill drive is pretty fair in Islamabad!
6: Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad
Featuring plethora of historical and scientific exhibits along with vast collection of more than 300,000 objects relating to animals, plants, history, sciences, fossils and minerals, the Pakistan Museum of Natural History is precious gem of Islamabad. Entertaining and educational to people of all ages, this magnificently laid out museum is big YES for family day out.
5: The Centaurus, Islamabad
Planning for shopping or just in mood to stretch your legs witnessing the glamour and modern lifestyle of Islamabad, all you need is to rush towards the Centaurus mall in Islamabad. The five-story mall absorbing more than 250 shops of local and international brands and a lush 3D-cinema is all what making the centurus must-visit destination in Islamabad.
4: Taxila Museum, Islamabad
For the history nerds, the Taxila Museum is little paradise of ancient objects, dating back to 1st to the 7th centuries CE, the whole collection wasexcavated from the ruins of ancient Taxila. From jewelry to Stone-carved statue of Buddha, the museum is all about exploring the early civilizations.
3: Neela Sandh Picnic Point, Islamabad
While roaming in Islamabad, Neela Sandh Picnic Point must be in the must-to-do bucket list of daredevils, as reaching to this exquisite blue-green oasis of Islamabad itself is an exciting experience. Lush green valleys, a series of natural swimming pools and prepossessing waterfall of this place is all that needed to connect your soul with nature.
2: Daman-e-Koh, Islamabad
Nestled in the middle of Margala Hills, there lays this modern garden named Daman-e-Koh, an exotic patch of paradise on Earth. This must be considered as real asset of Islamabad, narrating the beauty and nature of city to expats. Wildlife, nature and elevated view of surroundings bestows visitors a memorable time of joy.
1: Margala Hills, Islamabad
Brimmed with several valleys and Margalla Hills National Park, the Margala Hills are soul of Islamabad city. The desire of seeking peace, exploring nature and wildlife, and spending best time of life can only be fulfilled here-Margala Hills, Islamabad. In the plethora of thrilling activities, hiking over trails (more than 10) is highly recommend.
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Images: All the images are courtesy of their respective owners.
Article: Written by Alvira Rajpoot