View of Chaukhandi Tombs near Karachi, Pakistan

Things to do in  Karachi

Paris by way of Pakistan

Pakistan’s largest city is also its most cosmopolitan and unique, a coastal metropolis overlooking the Arabian Sea. It's home to heritage sites including Mohatta Palace, top-notch street food joints along bustling Burns Road, camel-filled Clifton Beach, and the iconic white-domed mausoleum of Mazar-e-Quaid, final resting place of the country’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. There are plenty of things to do in Karachi to keep you busy. A note to foodies: Tasting the city’s fragrant biryani should be at the top of your list.

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All about Karachi

When to visit

Karachi’s climate is usually warm and humid year-round. Winter (November–February) is a popular time to soak up the sunny weather, as it's when plenty of other destinations (including in northern Pakistan) succumb to chilly temperatures. Midsummer tends to be the monsoon season, with heavy rains disrupting traffic, so come on the early side if you want to visit in summer. November to April tends to be the calmest weather window for snorkeling.

Getting around

First-timers visiting Karachi usually arrange for a hired car and driver through their hotel for seamless airport pickup and drop-off and for getting around. Seasoned visitors or more intrepid travelers can make use of the city’s rickshaw rides and inner-city bus system. But typically, tourists travel by private taxi—just make sure you’re getting a car through a reputable source, especially if you’re a solo traveler.

Traveler tips

It’s impossible to spend any time in Karachi without hitting the beach, and its coastlines can vary wildly. For sunsets and people-watching, head to bustling Clifton Beach. Hawke’s Bay Beach is popular with divers and snorkelers, while anyone looking to dive even further afield can head to Charna Island, an uninhabited coral-filled island smack-dab in the Arabian Sea. Visitors can also rent overnight hut accommodation at French Beach or ride a camel along the coast of Paradise Point.

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People Also Ask

What is Karachi famous for?

Nicknamed the “Paris of Pakistan,” Karachi is by far Pakistan’s worldliest city. It began as a Bronze Age-era settlement and then evolved into a port-side fishing community, and later a vibrant melting pot ruled over by the British Raj. Today, it's known for its beaches, historical sites, and Sindhi cuisine.

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Is Karachi worth visiting?

Yes. Karachi is one of Pakistan's most popular destinations. Tourists from the world over are drawn to the city’s warm, sultry year-round weather, stunning coastlines, colonial-era buildings, and welcoming locals. Whether you’re just passing through or embarking on a longer journey, a stop in Karachi is indispensable.

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How many days is enough in Karachi?

You’ll need at least three days—longer if you plan on making day trips to sites such as the UNESCO-listed Chaukhandi Tombs or Charna Island for a snorkeling excursion. Remember that locations are often spread throughout Karachi and traffic jams can make getting from place to place an hours-long affair.

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What are famous foods in Karachi?

The city’s top dishes speak to Karachi’s melting pot culture, including many Punjabi specialties, a result of the influx of Urdu speakers who arrived after partition. You'll find biriyani all over South Asia, but Sindhi versions—one made from bone marrow—are unique. Expect a variety of kabobs, a ubiquitous street snack.

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Is Karachi safe?

Safety—including both street crime and political unrest—can be an issue in Karachi. Consult an up-to-date travel advisory before planning your trip. Once in the city, keep valuables out of sight. Talk to trusted locals and get advice about which areas of Karachi are safe to visit.

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How should I dress in Karachi?

Karachi is less modest than Lahore, but travelers should cover their legs and shoulders in public. While Karachiites dress to impress, as a tourist your goal should be not to draw attention. A ready-made shalwar kameez, the traditional local dress, is comfortable, often inexpensive, and well-suited to the humid climate.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top activities in Karachi?