Jinnah International Karachi Airport is the largest airport in Pakistan. There is one terminal separated into international and domestic flights. It is equipped with basic amenities and on average, it welcomes three million passengers annually.
How to get around
With the airport located 15km away from the city centre, journey there from the airport typically takes around 30 minutes. There are three ways to get to the city centre. If you wish to rent a car and there are several car rental companies available at the airport.
You can also opt to take taxis to the city centre. A drawback about taxi services in Karachi is that taxi drivers might not turn on their meters. It is advisable to negotiate with drivers for the taxi fare before getting in.
Another alternative is to engage in Metro Radio Cab services, a 24 hour private vehicle service. Although they are slightly more expensive than taxis, fares are pre-determined by the company and no negotiation is required.
Although Karachi has an extensive bus system, they are not popular options with tourists as bus stops are not properly marked and they are often crowded to the point where passengers sit on bus roofs.
The fastest and most convenient way to explore the city is through taxi. As mentioned earlier, negotiate for taxi fares before entering the cab. Walking is another alternative but roads are hazardous and places of interest might be located far apart. Take care when crossing too.
What to see and do
Unlike its landlocked counterparts in Pakistan, Karachi is a cosmopolitan, coastal city overlooking the Arabian sea. Karachi is home to many historical, cultural and religious landmarks and natural places of interest.
Head over to Sandspit, a natural breakwater. It is a popular destination with families and tourists. Unwind and relax by the beach. If you are looking for a quieter getaway, consider French Beach. This tranquil and serene beach is open mainly to foreigners.
A good place to people-watch and take a stroll is at Clifton Beach. Located nearby is the biggest urban park in Karachi, Bagh Ibne-Qasim.
To have a better comprehension of Pakistan’s military, head to Pakistan Air Force Museum and Pakistan Maritime Museum. Both museums are located near each other and are well-maintained with interesting galleries like the Naval Gallery and Marine Life Gallery.
For a unique experience, visit Dhobi Ghat (Great Laundry). Spanning 3-4km, locals use this riverbank to dry, wash and dye their clothes.
Visit the majestic Jinnah Mausoleum, also known as the National Mausoleum. It is the resting place of the deceased Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder.
Another iconic landmark is Masjid-i-Tuba (Defence Housing Authority Mosque), a white-marbled mosque constructed in the 1960s. Marvel at the splendour of this mosque. There are also churches in Karachi. Churches notable for their architecture include St Andrew’s Church and St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Shop at Bohri Bazaar and Zainab Market. The bazaar contains many handicraft shops and carpet shops. Most shops close at 9pm and on Sundays.
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