Traveling to PAKISTAN: Everything You Need to Know

Published by Darron Toy on

hi guys I'm Ava and I'm a travel blogger and I love Pakistan I am currently in Islamabad on my second visit to this amazing country and I thought I'd make a little vlog to tell you a bit more about traveling here it's not one of the easiest countries in the world to travel to and if like me you have a foreign passport there's a few things that you need to know before coming here and if like me you have traveled in Asia before but never to this particular region there's also a few things that you should probably know about the local culture and customs just to enjoy your stay 100 percent now just before I get started with all my tips I want to preface this by saying that Pakistan is not at all what you expect it to be at the end of the video I will make one really important point that every single traveler coming to Pakistan absolutely needs to know about so make sure you hang around right until then alright let's get started the number one thing that you need to know about traveling to Pakistan is your visa conditions every single country has slightly different set of visa requirements so make sure you check those before booking your trip I have an EU passport so what I needed to provide before coming here was a letter of invitation also known as the LOI this is a letter provided by someone in Pakistan a tour company or a friend if you have one here attesting that you have been invited to come here that they will be taking care of you at all times yes it seems a little bit strict and it is a piece of formality that you may need so make sure you check beforehand with your local embassy the LOI I had to provide has to be a physical original copy of the letter which had to be mailed to me from Pakistan to Europe via DHL so that took a little while make sure you give yourself enough time to plan you will also probably find yourself filling out extremely long visa forms mine had 11 pages and it included all my personal details as well as the details of all the countries I traveled to in the last two years as a travel blogger I've traveled to a lot of places once you have your LOI and once you've submitted your documents to the Embassy it really just depends on that organisation how long it's going to take to process your visa mine took 2 weeks and from what I heard that's pretty standard anywhere in the EU number two once you're over the hurdle of the visa application you will also need to check which areas in Pakistan you can travel to you should know that some areas in Pakistan are restricted which means that you might not be able to go there at all or you might need to apply for special permits in order to go there for example as at Kashmir also known as occupy Kashmir I mean it's an area of very high tensions here in India and Pakistan azad kashmir is one such area before going there you may need to apply for an NOC which is basically a noncom NOC non non Objection Certificate excuse my ignorance for the bureaucratic lingo you may need to apply for an NAC from one of the ministries here before going that note that this could take a week or more to process a lot of the most popular tourist areas however don't require you to have an NOC for example if you go to gilgit-baltistan where holmes's and Skardu probably you won't require an OC but this could change so make sure you check before going places like Lahore or Karachi or some about of course you don't need an NSC however as I said these things change so make sure you check before coming just so you have all the right permits to go to the areas you may want to check out related to NoCs and restricted areas sometimes in some places you might be assigned a god if you're not traveling with a local what does that actually mean I've actually never personally been assigned to guard because I've always travelled people from here from Pakistan but I have heard stories of travelers who got on buses from Islamabad to gilgit-baltistan up in the mountains of Pakistan and on the bus they were signed to God or in their private car they had to provide a space for the God now these gods I usually assign that military checkbox so you don't need to do anything before coming here the God will just be given to you it may not be the best travel experience but unfortunately that's how it still is in some areas of Pakistan however if you're in the city is like laho like Islamabad or Karachi you won't be assigned to God so you can travel freely in those areas of course number 4 this is something I struggled with when I came here for the first time and I still sometimes struggle with as well it's what to wear any Pakistan now guys you don't you listening to this part the girls this is probably for you what I am wearing right now for example is a relatively edgy kind of t-shirt for much of the Pakistani population now the thing is you can technically wear anything you want in Pakistan however you might get stared at or looked at in the wrong way so in order to feel comfortable here is a few tips I've picked up along the way number one wear trousers that are loose so no leggings and jeans should be okay shorts are a no-go for women again it's not illegal to wear them per se but you will get a lot of strange looks so long trousers number to wear a shirt that's a little bit longer maybe covers your bum three sleeves I walk around in a t-shirt a lot of the time but if you want to feel really comfortable if you're traveling in more remote areas I would suggest something that's a 3/4 sleeve however having said that in places like Islamabad I feel perfectly comfortable walking around in jeans and a t-shirt so it's really up to you and it really depends on the situation and location basically like a tunic style outfit with loose trousers should do the trick do you need to wear a headscarf in Pakistan no you absolutely don't it's not like Iran which I know is quite strict about those things in Pakistan you don't need to wear headscarf and many women especially in cities choose not to wear one number 5 nightlife and alcohol if you've done a bit of research about Pakistan you will know that it's an Islamic Republic which means that alcohol is illegal for the most part here no bars no clubs no parties as you may know them in the West and definitely no alcohol in shops so try and enjoy juices chai the local cuisine and have fun without the parties actually my question before coming here was so is it really impossible to get alcohol in Pakistan the honest answer is no it's not impossible in fact it is quite possible especially if you're not a Muslim if you're a foreigner it is possible to obtain alcohol here but as I said just come here to enjoy the culture without necessarily subscribing to some of the things that you might know from back home in the West number 6 food one of my absolute top favourite topics to talk about here in Pakistan so Pakistani food culture is absolutely incredible and there are so many different subtypes of local cuisines sweets and those I see things now get ready there's a few things that you need to know about Pakistani cuisine before you try it first of all it's spice see a lot of it is really quite fragrant aromatic and actually quite hot so if you're not into hot boozy make sure you tell your hosts or your chefs that you need it a little bit milder now I love my food a really really spicy so I can just gobble it all up but it really just depends on your personal preferences another thing you should know is that Pakistani cuisine is very rich and hearty so one serving is usually going to be enough if you have it with a roti or chapati which is the local type Fred it's gonna fill you up for a good few hours as opposed to India which has a lot of options for veggies Pakistan is a meat lover's paradise really so while you can't get things like pork here because it's considered Haram which means sinful in Islam there is so many other types of meat that are very popular here in Pakistan chicken mutton lamb beef really pretty much anything you want cities like Lahore and Karachi are really famous for their Street food scenes so go and check those out if your true foodie in terms of the way you eat and watch eat there's a couple of different schools I subscribe to the first which is I'll try anything at least once even Street food restaurant food home-cooked food anything I'll give it a go however I appreciate that not everybody is blessed with a very strong stomach or a very strong God so a lot of people say that if when you come to Pakistan you should be a little bit more careful with the food that you consume and make sure that all of the fresh fruit or fresh vegetables you're eating are washed with Nestle water and by the way Nestle water is more or less a generic term to refer to mineral or filtered water that's definitely saved in Pakistan the food is just insane it's so good it's too good actually that reminds me where is lunch let's keep going with this list of things that you need to know before coming to Pakistan getting to point number seven now sightseeing there's a few museums here they can visit a lot of beautiful mosques some old forts there's so much history here you'll be spoiled for choice and most places are absolutely fine for you to visit no matter where you're from who you are female or male but there's a couple of rules that you should probably follow in visiting places of worship like mosques for example women should out of respect put on a headscarf when visiting a mosque usually you also take off your shoes for both men and women if you're not sure about any of these rules just ask a passerby or the person in charge of the place you're visiting and ask them they'll give you all the tips that you need number eight getting a record Pakistan is not as developed in terms of its public transport infrastructure as many countries in Southeast Asia for example or in Europe so you may need to do a little bit of digging a little bit of research there is a pretty decent bus Network running across most of the country that can get you to some of the most popular spots in Pakistan especially the touristy places it doesn't cost that much to hire a private driver either and it's going to cost you much much less than it would in the West so don't be afraid to ask for prices the great thing about having a driver of your own is that you really have a lot of freedom of movement some places in the mountains or in the Swat Valley really require you to have a car it's very difficult to get around with that one it remind me a bit of a pain what about driving on your own in short if you're not used to Pakistani traffic which you're probably not if you're watching this video I just wouldn't recommend it just just get a driver another obvious way to get around in Pakistan is by flying there's a bunch of airlines here that operate flights between all the major cities and even some of them more mountainous regions usually prices are quite elevated I've seen upwards of $200 for a one-hour flight so consider whether going overland might be a better option number 9 we're getting close to the end boys and girls number 9 is all about hotels this is an interesting one there's a couple of luxury hotel chains here in Pakistan such as this arena or the Pearl Continental or even the Marriott and those hotels really give you the highest levels of security while you're in the country then they're usually quite barred away from everything around them with big fat walls and those hotels can cost you 100 200 300 dollars a night quite easily if like me you prefer more of the local flavor and you want to support the local economy then have a Google search now a lot of these hotels are not going to be on or TripAdvisor especially if we're talking about more remote areas like Windsor or Seurat you will probably find a lot of hotels on those sides for cities like a whore in Karachi so go for that but it's not the same for the remote areas usually it's better to look through blog posts or Facebook pages even recommendations from locals in fact a lot of the time you might be able to just drive up to a hotel and inquire whether there's room available and usually there is especially if you're coming here out of season in some of the more mountainous regions you shouldn't be paying more than $20 per night for a simple hotel do note that Pakistan's tourism industry is very much in the emerging stages right now so there's gonna be a lot of hotels that are under development but that perhaps don't yet provide the best service they could because they're very young and very fresh so you may need to find yourself having to forgive a lot of fools but Pakistanis are so hospitable and so welcoming that you will very quickly forget about all the imperfections number 10 and this is something I still see every single day I haven't Pakistan every single time I leave the house pretty much you have to get ready to be the center of attention not many tourists visit Pakistan of course the industry is now increasing and growing but still it's not necessarily an everyday occurrence to see a foreign tourists especially in the more remote areas of Pakistan whenever you show your face in some of those areas you will probably get quite a lot of tender love and care and probably a lot of requests for selfies in the past I've also found myself receiving invitations for tea for chai for coffee for dinner people's homes so it's really lovely makes you feel very very welcome in this country but yes not everybody loves attention so just get ready for an onslaught of that when you're here and now I'm coming to the last point which is actually the most important Pakistan is not at all what you know it to be it's not at all how the Western media portray it it is not a desert with camels running around it is not a horrible terrorist State with bombs going off at every single corner Pakistan is a beautiful country with the most welcoming people I have come across anywhere in the world so before coming here make sure that you just forget all of your stereotypes all the biases that have been instilled in you by Western media and just open your heart to the love the kindness that you're gonna receive and the beauty that you'll see all around you I still find myself astonished every single day at the small gestures of kindness and generosity that I receive here every day I'm still baffled by all the natural beauty in Pakistan and how it's just not known anywhere outside of the country even if you have an idea of Pakistan right now and you've never been here get ready for that to be dashed and I hope that you'll be positively surprised by your visit here just like I was the first time around and that's why I came back for more thank you so much for watching this video I hope you found it informative and I hope that it's helped you make a decision whether to come to Pakistan if you have any more questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with me via any of my social media channels and I hope to be able to help and if you've enjoyed this video obviously it would mean the world to me if you subscribe to my youtube channel or follow me on one of my other social media channels listed below thanks so much for watching and see you next time


HUNTERS HUNTERS · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm


Raja Bilal · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Visa proses for foregner much eazer now then befor..

Sania Asad · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I belong to Pakistan and I MUSTT say Pakistan is so Beautiful, peaceful and worth watching country. And Eva we really love you for representing Pakistan in true colors. lots of Love and Respect for you ๐Ÿ’•

Romeo Fishermen · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

thank you so much eva you make my eyes full of tears … thank you so much for promoting pakistan and his image.. we people are welcoming kind and full of peace.. i have no words for you but one thing just ๐Ÿ˜˜ โค

Ijaz Khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Ur beautiful girl sweet

salahuddin malik · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Eva now a lot many formalities have been abolished it is much easier to get a visa

Mazhar Abbas Bukhari · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Travelling to america ,england europe ,canada everything you need to know .plz make on that too.

H · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

God bless you Eva and may God give yo a happy and prosperous life and afterlife…. U r beautiful…. Just like Pakistan๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐ŸŒน๐Ÿ˜˜

H · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Skarbie Pakistanโค๏ธ๐Ÿ’šโ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ

H · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

You're killing me with all the talk about food๐Ÿ˜ข
I'm so poor and so hungry I would absolutely love to have all that food mmmm๐Ÿ˜
Love your video, so cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’–

Farhan Sunny Ch · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

you can survive with low budget In Pakistan, No restriction for any tourist or foreigner, very nice Pakistan and Pakistani People,,,,,, #Loving People

Farhan Sunny Ch · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

awesome and true video.. love it

salman origins · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I am a Pakistani and i also didnt know that much information about my country thank you Eva keep bright and shine you are not a guest you are the Family Welcome to Pakistan

Alpha World · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm


Ahmad Furqan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Thanks sister I'm proud of you

gulista khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

you are amazing! in future I'll visit Pakistan…how can keep in touch with you

okthennone · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I would like to thank Pakistan for hiding Osama Bin Laden, knowing we were looking for him. Cool A-holes Well, we found him. -USA

Harris Naseem · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Well, it is because you are white, thats why. If you were Pakistani, you will get robbed (like me when I was 13 over an ice cream in Lahore).

Bright Vlogs · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

So sweet of you Eva

Dheeraj Kumar · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Pakistan food ๐Ÿ’— is best ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿœ๐Ÿœ

Muhammad Ali · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

God bless you enjoy your stay in pakistan

Nadeem Ahmed · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Thanks for good comments and perfect information about Pakistan, Pakistan is great place for visit

Ali Wasti · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I am a pakistani and she is pretty accurate

Shoaib Ahmer · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Thanks #Eva

Aurangzeb Rathore · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Wow. I've explained to my friends here in Germany so many things about Pakistani culture etc. You literally hit on every one of those points. From the clothes, to the food, to the alcohol. Kudos to you. Fantastic video. If I'm ever asked again, I'll just show them this.

technical Pakistan in urdu · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I love you

Umar Butt · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Woah…didn't know it was so difficult for foreigners to come to Pakistan Visa wise. Feel abashed at my preconceived notions as I take traveling here for granted

Kashaf Zaman · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Love you @evazuback โค love from Pakistan ๐Ÿ’š you are so sweet respect ALLAH BLESS YOU ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Œ

NaSiR iQbaL · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

thanks Eva zu back

Weronika · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I'm verry happy and proud that someone from my country is finally showing Pakistan and its people in such bright colors. I hope in the future more people will change their mind and stop being scared of this place and notice its a good destination for travelling. My husband is also from Pakistan and I'm looking forward to travel with him to his homeland one day to see by my own eyes the treasures it offers .
Greetings from Poland ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐโœŒ

เดžเดพเดจเตŠเดฐเต เดฎเดฒเดฌเดพเดฐเดฟ · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I am indian. but we cant visit pakistan ๐Ÿ˜

aamir malik · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Eva you are such a darling. Thank you so much for showing the possitive image of Pakistan.

Asad Asad · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Welcome You Pakistan Welcome

Aqeel Dean · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

1. Azad Kashmir is not 'occupied' Kashmir
2. Haram does not mean 'sinful' but intstead it translates closey to forbidden. Similar but different.
Peace ๐Ÿ™‚

Huzaifa Sajid · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Thanks you

Nida Khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

which song music is so nice??

Javed Ihsan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm


MEENU RANA · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Wow…. Thenks for so an informative video. It's so insightful. And it had indeed alleviated my fascination for Pakistan even more. โ™ก

sajid khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I think the prime minister of Pakistan is so educated man.
Kpk is so beautiful province of Pakistan
From Scotland

sajid khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Am from Scotland
Basically from Afghanistan.
Inshallah after the eid I will visited to my muslim beautiful country.

Shayan Khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Love you

Shayan Khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I am you country going lnshallh

khan khan · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm


Mazhar Abbas · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Pakistan is a very beautiful country I am from Pakistan Thanks for visit my beautiful country Welcome

Adeel Gaming PUBG · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Great Love from Pakistan & great urge to meet You. Big fan of yours

Sakwatbajwa Bajwa · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm


Valรฉrie Cassรฉ · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Also, to add to what Eva says, gifts are very important there (usually, you can bring perfumes, luxury soaps, everything that goes into an emergency box (plasters, etc.) ). Do not forget, there is a lot of kids, so games are very much appreciated. Anything that will get the kids busy. Eva, I love your videos very much. Long life to Pakistan!

Valรฉrie Cassรฉ · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Married to a Pakistani man, the scarf is HIGHLY recommanded in the SWAT district. Closed shoes with socks, long tuniq and wide pants (long) is the best way to melt in the mass. Anywhere in Pakistan, when you are a woman, you need to be with someone trusty, a local. Avoid to go alone as a woman. Cover your hair and skin is always a better choice.

Naeem Tv · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

I love pakistan

Naeem Tv · July 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

U r so sweet

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