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Backpacking in Pakistan 2 weeks itinerary

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Backpacking in Pakistan
Badshahi Mosque | Famous Tourist Attraction along Lahore Fort

This blog post is the most detailed available blog on backpacking in Pakistan 2-week itinerary on the internet.

I am originally from Hyderabad but I travelled from Karachi to Khunjerab (China Border) on a solo bike ride usually you can say that visited Pakistan from south to north and spent almost two weeks backpacking in Pakistan.

I travelled by bike and returned back by Train. My, I and my bike are on the same train from Rawalpindi Railway Station.

This was a crazy, exciting journey and undoubtedly one of my best roving experiences ever.

Very tremendous hospitality to the most outstanding landscapes continuously and just less populated areas everywhere in the north of Pakistan. Pakistan is pretty awesome, must visit one time in your life, very hard to describe and express the totally personal experience you will get.

I am writing this blog with full honesty, if you like real journeys, travel to offbeat tourist destinations and just know about local culture, I strongly recommend you come and explore Pakistan. As you know Pakistan is the top trending destination in 2020.

Backpacking guide Pakistan
Backpacking Guide Pakistan | 2 weeks itinerary

I have written this blog on my personal experience journey which has useful information and made this 2-week itinerary for backpacking in Pakistan. It expectantly will help you plan your journey through one of the most attractive countries. So, don’t miss a chance and explore Pakistan.

This blog post’s purpose is to help to plan your itinerary but not mention other travelling information such as visas, safety, budget, etc. for foreigners. On behalf of this, you should watch my YouTube series Solo Bike Ride To Khunjerab.

Pakistan evisa

Pakistan e-visas are available in almost most countries in the world. check here availability on the official website of Pakistan visa.

1. Overview of backpacking in Pakistan

Pakistan is a lovely beautiful, big, culturally rich, desert, with landscapes, mountains or Giant Mountains like K – 2 (2nd highest peak in the world), snow-caved mountains and the most dangerous roads country.

It means Pakistan is an attractive tourist destination that can’t be explored in a week or two-week itinerary, or at least not be explored properly.

Pakistan is totally beauty from south to north means Karachi to Khunjerab Pass (China Border), but most beauty lies in the northern areas of Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan and is not accessible during the winter season, especially from December to April.

When you arrived in these northern areas, moving from one place to another place takes time, sometimes it takes several hours just for less than a few kilometres.

That’s why my first choice is to choose your own vehicle to move around. Things are expensive at every tourist destination in northern areas whereas you will get normal prices in southern Pakistan.

Therefore, if you are making a plan to visit Pakistan for a week, I would recommend you, go when you have much to spend there. You will love Pakistan.

However, if your work is not allowed you to spend more time in Pakistan then must visit a couple of southern cities.

For information about southern cities of Pakistan – Top 10 Tourist destinations to visit in Hyderabad

2. Backpacking in Pakistan 2-week travel itinerary

Now, your plan is ready for two weeks backpacking in Pakistan, you will get tremendous views of the landscapes of the northern areas, as well as some other cities. This marvellous adventure will blow your mind and you will feel nice.

This is my two-week backpacking in Pakistan travel itinerary for anyone, whether you are travelling by public transportation, by your own vehicle (car/bike/bicycle) or through hitchhiking.

One thing is to mind, there are lots of bus breakdowns and landslides while you travel to northern areas, Pakistan is the country where you will definitely see some unexpected events. But, don’t worry! People are nice and friendly they can fix problems, but sometimes it takes 8 to 10 hours to clear landslides from the road or to repair the buses.

Actually, if you want to save time, you can book a flight from Islamabad to Gilgit or Skardu (both are fantastic cities) in Gilgit-Baltistan and the flight will take 1 hour. Whereas if you are travelling by bus, it will take 16 to 20 hours, the bus goes through the Karakoram Highway. The flight price will cost you around Rs 8,000 (approx.), make sure to book in advance while the bus fare is about Rs 2,200.

3. Backpacking in Pakistan 2 weeks travel itinerary – Map

Backpacking in Pakistan 2 weeks travel itinerary Map
Backpacking in Pakistan 2 weeks travel itinerary Map

My 2-week itinerary starts from southern Pakistan, and continues bike ride on National Highway (N5) to Karakoram Highway (N35), along the way until the China border. There are plenty of other places along these roads to discover.

Day 1, 2 – Arrival in Karachi

Karachi is a big, coastal city and the former capital of Pakistan. There are three main cities where you can find cheap flights, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Usually, Karachi is the cheapest.

If you are coming from Europe, then select Turkish Airlines, but Pegasus is the best low-cost airline.

The main tourist attraction of Karachi city is Sea-view, Mango Pir, Tomb of Quaid-e-Azam, Navy Museum, PAF Museum, etc.

Now, move ahead. You can travel to Lahore by flight, train or by bus. It will cost you about Rs 13,000 ($48) lowest rate by flight. Time travel by flight is 1 hour and 30 minutes, by train 20 – 24 hours and 20 hours by bus.

Day 3,4 – Arrival in Lahore

Lahore is the culturally rich capital of Punjab province where actual life must go on. A quote famous about Lahore is ‘Ji Ne Lahore Ni Takkya, O Jammaya E Nahi (Who is not born if he did not see Lahore city).

Backpacking Guide of Pakistan
Lahore Fort | Famous Tourist Attraction along Badshahi Mosque

A must-visit attraction is a world-famous border called Wagah Border between Pakistan and India. Everyday parade ceremony was held from both sides, also they open border gates and put their flags down at the end.

You can cross the border from Pakistan to India and India to Pakistan by walking if you have valid visas. This is one of the best experiences you will ever see anywhere.

Lahore is famous for its tasty food and is one of the wonderful mosques found here. You can arrive in Pakistan directly in Lahore, which is conveniently near Islamabad.

Must visit Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque, which are beside each other. A monument of Pakistan called Minar-e-Pakistan (Tower of Pakistan) was built in the 1940s when the resolution was passed out, also beside them. Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque and Minar-e-Pakistan are all located in a park called ‘The Greater Iqbal Park’.

Badshahi Mosque is one of the most scenic mosques and one of the biggest mosques in the world. A hundred thousand worshippers can worship together at the same time. It is much bigger than Camp Nou Football Stadium in Barcelona, Spain!

Day 5,6 – Arrival in Islamabad

Islamabad is the first well-planned city in Pakistan, which was built in the 1960s, with the main objective of becoming the future capital of Pakistan. It may be looking a little bit different from the image you have of Pakistan. Islamabad has clean roads and lush greenery, actually, it is situated on a hill.

One of the must-visit attractions is Margalla Hills, where you can get a view of the whole of Islamabad. The other attraction is to visit the Faisal Mosque which is one of the largest ones in the country.

Faisal Mosque Islamabad
Faisal Mosque Islamabad

where to stay in Islamabad

Nanga Parbat View Point
Nanga Parbat View Point

There is one backpacker’s hostel named Youth Hostel. I stayed there for two nights, located in the E-6 area. It is not so good but I gave it a three-star rating. Youth Hostel cost for one night is about Rs 940 rupees from booking.com. while students can get in Rs 600 rupees by showing their student identity card.

Also, there is food served every time, but you have to pay extra. While breakfast is included in the price. You can park your car or bus on the roadside of the hostel, I had the bike I said, can I park just beside the hostel park inside it, they refused me. However, even I tick on booking.com for free parking.

If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can book an Uber. It is cheaper than normal taxis.

Islamabad is an expensive city compared to other cities like Karachi and Lahore. I stayed for two days, and I visited local markets, which is too expensive.

Must include Islamabad city, an interesting place to visit on Pakistan bucket list. If you want to skip it, that’s your wish. It could be fine.

Though, if you travel to northern areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) by public transportation, you must stop here in Islamabad to get the bus.

Buses depart after 06:00 pm, which means you can catch the bus if you travel to Islamabad from Lahore on the same day.

How to get from Lahore to Islamabad

Lahore and Islamabad are connected by pretty well transport services, the distance is about 380 km road (by Motorway) and the fastest way to reach Islamabad is by bus. The buses run all day.

Instead of buses, you can travel by train but it is often delayed and could be slower. But you can travel if you are doing backpacking because the train is cheaper than the bus. The bus will take 4 hours to reach Islamabad.

I travelled this distance through National Highway (N5) because bikes are not allowed to ride on Motorway. This journey took 8 hours to reach Islamabad. Read here the full guide of my ride from, Lahore to Islamabad Solo Bike Ride.

Day 7, 8 – Fairy Meadows

Now, you are travelling on Karakoram Highway (N35) which connects Pakistan and China through Khunjerab Pass (Pak-China Border). When you arrive at Raikot Bridge, after passing a plain, bumpy, turn-by-turn on the road. You can get off here to trek to Fairy Meadows. There are lots of Jeeps (4×4) that will take you to your destination. You can book the whole jeep, but it could be expensive. Jeeps are also available on sharing basis. Fairy Meadows is considered one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan with spectacular, lush green meadows. From there, you get magnificent views of Nanga Parbat Peak (a snow-covered mountain) with an altitude of 8,125 meters high in the Himalayan range.

How to get to Fairy Meadows from Islamabad

There are plenty of private bus companies which run towards the north. There is also a government company named NATCO, daily 4 or 5 buses run from Islamabad to Gilgit approximately from 06:00 pm to 09:00 pm. Also, the available VIP bus, the only bus with AC, costs about Rs 4,200 (according to July 2023), other private buses are non – AC.

In fact, the journey takes 15 hours, but it can not be predictable because of often landslides and the buses’ constant breakdowns. In my case, I took a private bus and it was broken down in the middle of Now where (crossing Besham city), we waited for two hours on a dangerous roadside and a mechanic came to fix the problem and the whole journey took 18 hours.

Also, Transport can also be stopped for an hour due to Dam making near Karakoram Highway at Chilas.  I had seen Chinese workers exploding bombs to break mountains, there was a huge sound of the explosion.

I recommend you buy a ticket at the bus station on the morning of the day of departure. They usually already reserved the first-row seats. As a foreigner, if you insist they can give you a first-row seat, but if you are local they usually do not.

Remember to get off at Raikot Bridge for Fairy Meadows, which is about 50 km before Gilgit. Make sure to remember again and again to the conductor otherwise, they will take you to Gilgit. In my case, I slept on a bus and they took me to Gilgit

Day 9, 10 – Gilgit

Gilgit is the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan, located on the Karakoram Highway, china border is about 200 km away from here.

Gilgit is a good city to explore the valleys. There are lots of hotels and restaurants. Like other tourist places, things are expensive. You can directly take a flight from Islamabad to Gilgit. Gilgit International Airport, Gilgit is under construction and will host direct International flights soon.

A river is passing through the town, there are also beautiful bridges where you can click some nice photos.

A must tourist place I recommend you to visit is Kargah Buddha, a Buddha statue engraved in a mountain during the 7th century.

Actually, if you are following this 2-week backpacking in Pakistan itinerary then don’t stay for a long time because the beauty of this area of Gilgit-Baltistan is in the surrounding valleys. Truly, if you have your own vehicle, then go straight to Minapin village. I had a bike, and I just stayed here only fixing my bike headlight.

How to get from Fairy Meadows to Gilgit

Actually, there is no public transport but, you can get help from the Police post which is at the Raikot Bridge. The police will send you by car or by bus that passes to take to you to Gilgit for Free. Sometimes even if you don’t need to ask the police, the police will ask you:

  • Sir! Do you need any help?
  • Where are you from?
  • Where are you going?
  • They invite you for a cup of Tea.

This is our Pakistan. Always Welcome to Pakistan.

Rakaposhi Base Camp

Minapin is a small beautiful village on Karakoram Highway, it is approximately 80 km from Gilgit. You can find magnificent views of the mountains. That is a place to trek to the Rakaposhi base camp. This is one of the best treks. You can also get a tour of a trek to base camp.

Reach Minapin village in the evening, and stay at night. Wake up early on the next day and trek to base camp. You can do this trek in just one day and you won’t be disappointed.

How to get from Gilgit to Minapin Village

Passu Cones
Passu Cones

If you are not travelling in your own vehicle, the easiest way is to get hitchhike, this is time-saving activity instead of going by public transportation. Literally, hitchhiking is easy in northern Pakistan.

Day 11, 12 – Karimabad Hunza

You are listening from Hunza all the way to your trip. Hunza is no place or city but it is a region which has some cities like Kariamabad, Aliabad, etc. When I came here, I am asking from people, and police along my journey, where is Hunza? But after reaching Aliabad, they told me there is no city at all Hunza but it’s an area name. Hunza is the most northern area of Pakistan.

You can walk here freely and talk to people either men or women, they may be invited you to drink some tea or something. You will see the beautiful Passu Cone Mountains straight on the Karakoram Highway.

There are high peak mountains around Karimabad with an elevation of 7,000 meters high, as well as there are two forts, Altit Fort and Baltit Fort, which are included in UNESCO World Heritage forts.

The must-visit attractions are Altit Fort, Baltit Fort and Eagle’s Nest, where you can get a 3600 view of Rakaposhi, Diran and Lady Finger peaks. If you like hiking then the best place is Karimabad.

How to get Minapin to Karimabad

I again say hitchhiking is the easiest way to reach Kariamabad. It is also located along the Karakoram Highway.

Day – 13, 14 Khunjerab Pass (Pak-China border)

Come to Sost after visiting Karimabad, it is the least populated area. After Sost city, there is a populated area and the distance from Sost to Khunjerab is about 70 km. The landscapes are stunning, the weather is freezing, and keep visiting the Khunjerab Pass in the daytime. Khunjerab Pass is the highest border crossing in the world between Pakistan and China with an elevation of 15,500 ft, with a freezing temperature all year. you can access this border from May to September. Here, the temperature is always cold, so, bring some warm clothes with you.

How to get Karimabad to Sost?

Backpacking in Pakistan
Backpacking in Pakistan

Hitchhike is the easiest way to reach Sost from Karimabad. It is also located on Karakoram Highway. You can see the longest tunnel, Attabad Lake (Green Water Lake) on Karakoram Highway.

Day 15 – back to Lahore or Islamabad or Karachi

Now, it’s time to get back. You can get the bus from Hunza and Gilgit. Make sure to book in advance (at least one day) if you are going back by public transportation because all buses departed for Islamabad/Rawalpindi early in the morning till 10 or 11 am. The bus journey takes up to 20 hours.

If you are not on a budget trip and want to save a whole day, take a flight to Islamabad which takes 1 hour. It should be a good thing if you book a return flight from Islamabad instead of Lahore to save more than half a day.

Southern Pakistan rare visited places

Often backpackers just travel to the northern areas of Pakistan but, Sindh and Punjab provinces are where the actual cultural heritage lies.

I actually had planned to travel to these two provinces but, when I decided in March 2021, one is summer is really harsh and the other thing COVID-19 restrictions on tourist attractions, so I cancelled the plan. But, I will explore the two most and less visited places in Sindh province. One is Gorakh Hill Station (5,700 ft altitude) and it is 94 km from the city of Dadu. Whereas the other is ‘Karoonjhar Mountain’ which is in Tharparkar, a less visited place and most Hindu peoples live there. I am planning to visit in late 2021. Follow on Instagram for live updates.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to comment on any queries or give us Feedback.

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Cathrine September 27, 2021 - 5:28 am

Nice blog about Pakistan. Thanks

pakistan road trips November 24, 2021 - 4:48 pm Reply
SA November 27, 2021 - 6:22 am


slot gacor December 2, 2022 - 3:28 pm

It’s not my first time to go to see this web page,
i am visiting this site dailly and get pleasant information from here every day.


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