Is it safe to travel to Pakistan?
Pakistan is a vast country with more than 200 million people, with a rich and diverse culture. It's no wonder that it is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Pakistanis are extremely welcoming people. With the improved security situation, Pakistan is witnessing an influx of foreign tourists. Major cities of the country are receiving International influencers in abundance.
But is it safe to travel to Pakistan?
The country of Pakistan is a safe and wonderful place to visit. Contrary to what International media depicts Pakistan is a safe country. As is evident from the exhibition of international cricket events, mountaineering expeditions, and British Royal family visits.
Here's what you need for your trip so that everything goes smoothly and without any worries!
Safe Places to Visit in Pakistan
It's generally safe to travel to Pakistan in the most popular tourist destinations. These include cities like Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, and Gilgit; cultural hubs like Multan and Lahore, Sindh; Gilgit-Baltistan regions like Hunza and Skardu; beach cities including Karachi and Gwadar; and the country's national parks, Khunjerab National Park, and Deosai National Park.
It is safer to visit popular cities than remote areas specifically rural areas as one must have in-depth knowledge of the routes and terrains to navigate. Read our best place to visit in Pakistan article to plan and visit tourist places in Pakistan.
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Pakistan's tourism industry is growing steadily. Sure the pandemic is a major setback but each country around the globe whether developed or developing is struggling to sustain the tourism industry by imposing vaccinations, SOPs, and social distancing. Pakistan has also adopted similar social distancing protocols, foreign tourists are required to present Covid negative reports on arrival, and government mandates to wear masks in public spaces.
In the Pre Covid world, Pakistan witnessed substantial traction in the tourism industry, it also caught the eye of major tourism magazines and websites including Forbes, Conde Nast traveler, and the British Backpackers society that ranked Pakistan as a top adventure travel destination. According to Pakistan Tourism statistics the country received around 948,000,000.00 tourists, a 12.19% increase from 2018 which was 845,000,000.00. Apart from the tourist influx, the government of Pakistan has also eased travel restrictions and adopted tourist-friendly policies so that travelers get a wholesome experience during their stay.
Pakistan is also attracting international influencers. The most notable Bloggers/Vloggers/Youtubers that visited Pakistan include; Eva ze Beck, Rosie Gabrielle, Wandering Emma, Angela Carson, Haley's takes on the world. Luke Damant, Jetlag warriors, and Mark Wiens among others.
Foreign Travel Advisory
As always, it's important to check your government's travel advisories before heading out on a trip, particularly if you're visiting during Covid times.
The USA's Center for Disease Control CDC has listed Pakistan among 11 destinations with Low Covid risk.
Whereas, UK foreign Travel advisory mandates travelers to present the Covid-19 PCR test.
Passengers aged 15 and above require full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to undertake inbound flights to Pakistan.
Major cities of Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan region are ideal for solo travelers whereas travelers can book group tours through reliable tour companies to visit the remote area. Gilgit-Baltistan is the safest for Travelers as it has the lowest crime rate in entire Pakistan and the security situation is good.
Keep Your Belongings Safe
In addition to the usual precautions, you take anywhere as a traveler—not showing off expensive belongings, and being aware of your surroundings.
Avoid wearing expensive jewelry, clothes, and shoes. They will attract unwanted attention. Be aware of personal safety. Keep your documents close at all times, and avoid giving out personal details to strangers.
Use Reliable Transport
When it comes to public transport, rely on taxis or car booking apps. Avoid overcrowded buses. Make sure to use transport that is arranged by your hotel or tour company. Major cities of Pakistan have chaotic roads, make sure to travel with experienced and knowledgeable drivers.
If your passport is lost while you're in Pakistan, report it immediately to your embassy.
Pakistan can be warm during summer but varies depending on where you are. Provinces of Sindh, Punjab, KPK, and Balochistan receive ample sunshine for most of the year whereas northern Pakistan-the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan has moderate and pleasant weather in summers and gets extremely cold in winter. Pack accordingly to the season you are visiting.
It's also essential to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm with SPF, and an umbrella or waterproof jacket (depending on the season). The sun is harsh in Pakistan so it's important to wear a hat when you're outside.
Practice Safe Food Consumption
Practice safe food and water precaution. Avoid consuming street food that has been prepared unhygienically. Do not drink tap water.
Observe Covid-19 Protocols
Covid-19 protocols are being ramped up in Pakistan, with more widespread testing and aggressive social-distancing measures. Inbound travel to Pakistan is open to travelers. The National Command Operation Centre NCOC releases guidelines for travel from time to time. Vaccination has been made compulsory for inbound flights and RAT has been abolished to ease movement. Always wear a mask and avoid crowded spaces.
Pakistan is an incredibly diverse country with a range of attractions. From the capital city Islamabad to Karachi's beaches, picturesque Hunza Valley, or Lahore's famous cuisine - there are many reasons why this South Asian nation should be on your travel bucket list.