Karachi, the City of Lights

48 Hours in Karachi

The most populous and cosmopolitan city in Pakistan and the 8th most populous metropolitan city in the world is Karachi. Located on the tip of the Arabian Sea, it is home to two major seaports in South East Asia. The best thing about this city is its liberal culture and religiously diverse society. According to 2017 Census of Pakistan, this gigantic city is home to 14.9 million residents, including over 2 million refugees from various regions in Asia.

Karachi serves as the main financial hub of Pakistan with the fastest growing economy in South East Asia. Known as the ‘City of Lights’ in the late 1960s for its charming and vibrant nightlife, it has secured its importance in Pakistan due to its lively culture. It is famous for its antique goods, delicious food, fashion industry and vibrant ambiance.

Before I start introducing Karachi, I would like to share that I was actually born in Karachi in 1993. I was raised in Karachi for most of my teenage life before I moved to the United Kingdom for higher studies. The thing I love about my city is the weather, as it’s 25C Clear on average around 10 months a year, which is as exciting as it sounds. I love sunshine and the weather here is perfect. Though it could get extremely hot during July to August, but it then cools down in September during the monsoon season.

Karachi has come under the worst highlight in the international media for violence. However, it has dropped down drastically in the last 2 years .I never feel unsafe whenever I visit home, apart from the fact that I don’t carry expensive items on me when I am hanging out, mainly for safety reasons. You shouldn’t do that either when you visit Karachi, as it’s a general safety measure for most of the developing countries.

So if you’re exclusively travelling to the ‘City of Lights’ or have a long stopover en-route to other destinations in Pakistan, below are my top favourites that you must see in Karachi: –

1: Do-Darya

I enjoyed my first day in Karachi at this beautiful and relaxing place to recover from the jet lag. The most exclusive and breathtaking views of Arabian Sea can be found at Do-Darya (which means two rivers) point. It’s called Do-Darya cause it’s the point where two rivers meet each other, making it a perfectly romantic setting to enjoy the sunset in the city of lights. There’s a whole new food street opened right by the sea shore where you can enjoy delicious meals and drinks. My favourite restaurant is the Al-Sajjad Restaurant for two reasons, its hut shaped exclusive dining location and the delicious seafood platter they serve there.

Make sure you eat at one of the restaurants at Do-Darya and take in the Sunset views of the Arabian Sea. You can also hire a boat to enjoy the lovely sunset with your loved ones making it an unforgettable day in Karachi. Being away from the hustle bustle of this metropolis city, Do-Darya will surely leave a lovely smile on your face.

Find out more information about the opening hours of the Al-Sajjad Restaurant here: –

http://sajjadrestaurant.com

2: Zainab Market

Karachi is known for its architecture, antiques, fashion and colourful markets. I spend my second day browsing the colourful bazaars of Karachi. Among all, my favourite was the Zainab Market. Renowned for the antiques and souvenirs, this place is a perfect spot to grab some bargained items that you’ll find three times higher in prices at the Duty Free Shops in Pakistan. If you’re fond of handmade arts and crafts, antique goods, jewellery, carpets and even export quality clothing, this is the place to be. Karachitis loves to bargain, so make sure you are good in negotiations cause a souvenir that’s priced at Rs, 1800 could be purchased for Rs. 1200 if you’re a good bargainer. They usually give you higher discounts if you’re buying multiple items. Make sure to compliment the items in order to secure a good bargain.

If you fell in love with the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (Link here) you’ll surely like Zainab Market as well. The only difference is that it’s a lot smaller comparatively in size, but the whole shopping arena is huge with plenty of shops to spend your whole day in the market.

3: Mohatta Palace

After spending some time shopping around, I went to see the Mohatta Palace Museum. It was built in 1927 by a Hindu Marwari businessman from Rajasthan in India. The architecture of this stunning museum is designed by using pink Jodhpur stone in combination with the local yellow stone from Gizri, which makes it resemble the architecture in Jodhpur, India. This palace which later transformed in to a museum displays amazing Islamic calligraphy, paintings and historical maps and travel routes. You’re most certainly going to question yourself whether you’re in Jodhpur or Karachi, cause the architecture is almost identical. Besides, this is the only museum in Karachi that has been preserved really well, which is why it attracts the attention of all the tourists.

Find out more information about the opening times here: –

http://www.mohattapalacemuseum.com/index.html

I hope you’ll enjoy your stay in Karachi. Don’t forget to share your travel pictures on my Instagram, use hashtag #LAVOYAGE

See you at other destinations around the world!

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