Best places to visit in Karachi
As the old sayings go, if Lahore is the heart of Pakistan, Karachi constitutes the country’s very backbone. Not only is it the economic pivot, the central trade hub, and marketing heaven, but also the city of lights. Known for its grandeur in numerous ways, Karachi is a place where dreamers from small towns and minuscule cities come in search of a way to realize their dreams; Karachi is what you call a REAL CITY. Since its conception, history has shown Karachi to be one of the pivotal places in the sub-continent; geographically speaking, this city has proven to be the port. Where one invader after the other has landed in search of unknown treasures, Karachi has been deemed as a star-gate entrance inside the south. With its vast landscapes across the coastline, a marvelous ocean surrounds the city on most fronts, and beaches take your breath away. Karachi is also home to the famous Wazir Mansion.
Malls and shopping centers will offer you anything you could have imagined, from the lowest to the highest prices. Sizzling hot and delicious cuisine, a comprehensive city bustling and throbbing with life, dreams, stories, marvels, history, and a promising future. But most of all, the friendly and future-oriented, easy-going folks are indeed the Karachites that make Karachi, Karachi. There are hundreds of top attractions in Karachi for you to enjoy on your visit to this beautiful city, but there are a few that mustn’t be missed at all costs.
Since the beginning of humankind, men have been utterly fascinated by the concept of monarchy; there was a good reason why for thousands of years, all across the world, families ruled the continents as they saw fit based on their blood claim on the throne. Kings and queens, princes and princesses, warriors and knights, and with all these essentials to monarchy come the beauteous concept of palaces, castles, and forts. Karachi is no stranger to palaces; there is an incredible palace called the manhattan palace, the most beautiful place to visit in Karachi. Shivratan Chandraratan built the Mohatta palace in 1927 to honor his love for his beloved wife.
The palace has now become a museum for the public to see and explore to satiate the curious minds and ever-searching souls. The palace encompasses a huge grand area and has one of the most enticing and detailed architectural buildings. With its golden domes and vast halls, it is the perfect place for anyone who is taken with history. This palace is made of teak wood with polished staircases; throughout the property, there are long unending corridors, doors that open within gates, and a complete picture of grandeur and royalty. It is also believed to be one of the most haunted places in Karachi as people believe there is a mysterious presence inside the palace grounds though no one knows for sure. But just in case you are interested in mystical and magical stuff, Mohatta palace should be on your list among the top attractions in Karachi.
QUAID-E-AZAM HOUSE MUSEUM
One of the top historical landmarks in Karachi is the Quaid-e-Azam house museum, one of the oldest historical buildings in Karachi. It was built in 1886 and was designed in detail by one of the most renowned architects of the time who went by the name Moses So make. This house wasn’t always a museum. It was bought by the founder of Pakistan, the great Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in 1943. It remained as his house where he resided until he died in 1948. As of today, it is one of the most widely visited places in Karachi, and it is also known as Flag Staff House, a mysterious yellow stone building that will leave you wanting more. A trip to this place is equivalent to riding on a time-travel pony that will take you back in time and make you see the world from a multifaceted perspective. It is not only one of the top attractions in Karachi but also a historical gem with a sentimental value attached to its core.
Frere hall is one of the oldest landmarks of the colonial Era; it was built in 1865 in the British colonial period. It is one of the most famous places to visit in Karachi. Its primary purpose was to serve as Karachi’s town hall for the Brits, but later, it was turned into an exhibition hall and library after the partition. The gallery takes its name from a famous British administrator Frere, who not only worked for the development of Karachi and Sindh but also declared the Sindhi language as the official language for official purposes instead of the Persian language the Mughals used. One of the reasons Frere hall is one of Karachi’s top attractions is the beauty of its well-maintained gardens that are lush green with flowers of all colors, hues, and kinds dotting every single spot inside the hall.
It is one of those places where you get to appreciate an Era long gone and a past long lost but not forgotten entirely. Inside the gallery, there is quite a visual treat for the art lovers and admirers who can roam around the vast spaced corridors with the walls laden with art pictures of a famous Pakistani artist Sadequain. You can check out the historical mural called Arz-o-Samawat, (heaven and earth). Since 2011, Frere hall has been open to the public; on Sundays, there is a small book Bazar where you can purchase old scripts and old books at low prices.
The Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah Mausoleum is one of the top attractions in Karachi, and for a good reason, since it is where the very core of Pakistan lies. The person who spent his life realizing the dream of millions of Muslims living in the Indian subcontinent. So it is only justified that everyone who visits Karachi would want to stroll through the massively colossal lawn and green garden of the Mazar-e-Quaid leading up to the tomb itself. It was built in 1971 after eleven years of construction; this tomb was created solely to honor Pakistan’s founder and most outstanding leader.
It is open to the public, and you can visit it any time of the day except for the time during official ceremonies held by government officials and political figures. It is one of the best places to visit in Karachi and a famous tourist attraction in Karachi. You can also experience a great stroll through a small museum at the back of the mausoleum, where you are allowed to see the many precious belongings of the founder of Pakistan, including his cars, dresses, maps, shoes, and some other historically significant items.
THE RUINS OF BHOMBORE
The ruins of Bhombore make up the remnants of what was once a great city near the N-5 National Highway, eat of Karachi. According to historians, the city dates back to the Scythe-Parthian Era and became a dominating Muslim territory from the 8th to 13th centuries. The city was abandoned later in the 13th century. You should visit this place, especially if you are a history geek because this ruined city provides a perfect spot to take your curious family for a stroll. It is also a beautifully sculptured fractured mosaic of a city that was once an important gateway and trade route for the caravans. It is the very place from where Muhammad Bin Qasim entered the province of Sindh and brought Islam to the sub-continent for the first time in history, and you can easily catch a ride from the highway to reach the ruins. There are old mosques that are centuries old yet fully well maintained and well preserved. In 2004, the department of archeology and museums Pakistan submitted the Bhombore ruins for the UNESCO world heritage sites. It is rumored to be on the list of the most haunted places in Karachi.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PAKISTAN
The national museum of Pakistan Karachi is the biggest in Pakistan and was inaugurated in 1970 by then president-general Yahya Khan. It is home to some of Pakistan’s most historically significant jewels and artifacts ever excavated. One of the reasons it should be one of Karachi’s top attractions is its building, which is one of the city’s most incredible and well-made contemporary modern buildings. It is located on the Zia-ud-din Ahmed Road and is easily accessible to the general public on weekdays.
The purpose behind the building and inauguration of the national museum of Pakistan was to study, gather, safeguard, preserve and give access to some of the scarce historically significant artifacts in the country to the general public. Before you go ahead, enjoy a walk along the memory lane in the past. You can buy a ticket for entry into the museum.
Mosques have always been the top-rated attractions to visit in Muslim culture and history; throughout the 1400 years since Islam came to be, Mosques have ruled as a primary pivotal spot for the religious and not-so-religious alike. Masjid-e-Tooba is one such exemplary place located in the heart of Karachi, built in the DHA phase 2 of Karachi. Its construction started in 1966 and was fully completed in 1969. It would be best if you did not miss this place because the mosque is one of the most distinctly manufactured landmarks with a distinguished architecture that will blow your mind and give peace to your soul. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Karachi.
The mosque is also known as Gol or round Masjid, a name best fitted for its round-shaped dome. The beautiful inlaid mirrors encompassing the landmark, along with the brilliantly laid white tiled floors and a white ceiling, will take your breath away and make you want to stay longer than you had anticipated. Like any other mosque in the world, it is accessible to all public, including non-Muslims, but you have to respect the sanctity of the holy place and dress modestly and cover your head.
What’s a city without a big, majestic, hustling bustling alive with colors and hues, gigantic marketplace? Karachi is notorious for its enormous and brilliant markets. It is an economic hub, the heart of trade, business, and shopping, making it a perfect city to visit, even if it is only to satiate the hunger for spending your money on goodies that you won’t find anywhere else. It is on the list of Famous places to visit in Karachi. The empress market is located near Rainbow center, sadder Karachi. It was constructed in the British Colonial Era between 1884 and 1889 and was named to honor the Queen Victoria of England, who was then the empress of India.
Today it is one of the finest places for shopping in Karachi, and you can find anything here, whether food, fruits, shoes, clothes, jewelry, household items, stationary, meat, etc. Even if you aren’t into shopping, it is highly advised to visit the empress market anyway because of its grand and magnificent building. This is a beautiful reminder of the British Raj in the Indian sub-continent, built with livestock stone. The yellowish hues of the market would make you want to find a corner and sit for hours while watching the market cater to thousands of people daily.
PORT GRAND KARACHI
The famous night spot of Karachi, known as the zenith of Karachi’s nightlife, is one of the tops visited places in the city. It is one of the best places to visit in Karachi and one of the top attractions in Karachi. It was opened to the public in 2011. It has an entrance fee of 300 rupees only, out of which 200 is redeemable if you buy something to eat from inside the compound. The best thing about port grand is that it is only accessible to families, which makes it one of the safest places since there isn’t a chance of harassment or unethical stuff. Port grand is a popular spot alongside the coastal area of the Indian Ocean, a seaside entertainment hub dedicated to catering to hundreds of tourists every day.
It provides the best cuisine options with so many food stalls and small eatery places for you to try new tastes and the small shops designed to provide the public with so much variety of shopping. Let it be clothes, shoes, or other items of utmost importance. Though the port grand is famous for many reasons, the thing that makes it one of the tourist attractions in Karachi is that it is responsible for managing special events, like concerts for famous singers, competitions, and artistic occasions. With every new event, the port grand design changes along with the coloring theme and overall outlook of the place according to the event, which is an exciting prospect to see and experience.
PAKISTAN MARITIME MUSEUM
Pakistan maritime museum is a naval museum opened in 1927 for the public to explore. It is located over an area of 28 acres and is situated near PNS Karsaz. It is one hugely popular tourist spot in Karachi and is open for the public to visit from Thursday to Tuesday from 10 AM to 10 PM. It is a rare museum in Pakistan because of its nature. Since Pakistan is a maritime country, this museum represents an essential aspect of this nation by displaying numerous artifacts related to nautical things like ships, underwater surveillance, and even submarines. The park inside the museum grounds shows the Daphne Class Marine, the minesweeper, and a wooden barge, a gift from the queen of England to the Naval Chief in the 1960s. It is one of the top attractions in Karachi. A ticket for entrance inside the museum is required to enter and enjoy the various attractions this serene and majestic place offers.
DOLMEN MALL CLIFTON KARACHI
The mall of Dolmen in the Clifton sector of Karachi is one primarily visited shopping areas in the city. It is massively popular among celebrities and big names from all across the country, which makes it even more appealing to the general population, especially if you are an outsider visiting Karachi for the first time. It is a place to hang out with friends, families, and acquaintances. It is one of the famous places to visit in Karachi. It also happens to be the most significant and massively gigantic mall situated on the very coastal line of the Arabian Sea, and it was opened in 2011.
Since then, it has become the heart of the city’s shopping and eatery places. You can eat out in different restaurants and go on a shopping spree, or even if you aren’t into sending too much money, you can always opt for window shopping instead. Its beautiful ultramodern building and golden-rimmed architecture will blow your mind and make you want to return. It is one of the top attractions in Karachi.
TDF Ghar is a kind sort of experience. It is located on M.A Jinnah road and was built like a great house back in the 1930s; and it has been changed into a tremendous informal learning space and a museum by the Dawood foundation. The primary attraction of this place is the historical building which depicts the very soul of the old cosmopolitan Karachi. This TDF Ghar should be on your top travel attraction spot because this house provides the sense of lonesome time travel back into the past of the old city and is now home to various exhibits. It is a massively popular host of hosting art exhibitions and different hangouts related to the entertainment and literary industry in the country. On top of all that, it also has a beautiful library where you can swap books of the same genre and read there in peace for hours at a time, and it also has an indoor restaurant and café where you can eat in peace and enjoy the historical vibes of the city. It is one of the top attractions in Karachi.
MEREWETHER CLOCK TOWER
This tower is perhaps the most prominent historical piece left in modern Karachi, which makes it the perfect spot to start your tour in the city of lights. It is a tall tower standing at a height of 102 feet. The four clocks that can be seen from afar constitute a significant relic of the colonial Era, the bell that weighs 300 pounds strikes every hour while the small ones strike every quarter of an hour.
It is easily accessible to the general public since it is located in the city’s center and at the termini of two of the most important and busiest roads in Karachi, the M.A Jinnah road and Chundrigar road. The Merewether Clock Tower was built to commemorate a British figure who served as the commissioner of Sindh and was opened to the public in 1892. Its neo-gothic vibe will astonish your mind and make you feel nostalgic for the days gone by.
SAINT PATRICK CATHEDRAL
The St. Patrick cathedral used to be the largest church in the country. It is one of the holiest sites in the country and can accommodate up to 1500 people at one time. The reason why you should visit this ominous site is its historical significance of it. It was built and opened in 1881, making it one of the oldest cathedrals in Pakistan. In 2003, the government of Sindh named the cathedral a protected monument because of its importance. Mother Theresa visited it in 1991. The building itself on the outside is relatively simple, but one look on the inside and you will be blown away by the magnificent altar, the sun-kissed windows, and the high roof laden with catholic roman style. In short, this place is a jewel of its kind.
ABDULLAH SHAH GHAZI SHRINE
As the name suggests, Abdullah Shah Ghazi Shrine is one of the most honored sites in Sindh as it not only displays and commemorates the very soul of a saint but also is a massive example of how much saints and Sufis are honored and revered in the land of Sindh. After the supposed martyrdom of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, his devotees buried his body on the top of a hill near the coastline, which is now the area near Clifton. Today’s tomb is beautifully designed with intricate colored patterns and serves as a magnificent reminder of a holy entity’s existence.
It is open to visitors at all hours for the public and serves free food known as LANGAR for those who wish to eat from the holy place. It is indeed a mystical place to visit inside the city of Karachi, and you will feel all the vibes of Sufism and divinity.
Karachi zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the city, it was previously known as the Gandhi zoo, but later, the name was changed to suit the name of the town it was built in. It is located in the Garden west area and also happens to be the second oldest zoo after Lahore zoo. The reason why you should visit this place is that it has everything to offer. This place will sweep you off your feet if you are an animal lover and a wildlife enthusiast. The white lions purchased in 2011 for breeding have become a great source of attraction for the public and wild animals. The zoo is also famous for the Mughal gardens based on a theme inspired by the Mughal dynasty era.
The gardens are lush green and constitute most of the zoo, and there are several Mughal-inspired fountains designed solely based on the old royal architecture. The reptile house has been renovated recently and contains 13 species of snakes and lizards. The natural history museum is one of the biggest treasure houses for the zoology and wildlife ecology students of Pakistan since it contains numerous brilliant stuffed animals and skin, horns, antlers, feathers, etc. The Elephant House is the most remarkable and famous exhibit in the zoo. It is crowded all days of the week, primarily because of the two female African Bush elephants who have resided in the zoo for over 12 years. The animal diversity in the zoo makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Karachi.
The Chaukandi tombs are one of the major attractions on the east side of Karachi, and these tombs are the oldest remnants of what was once a cemetery. These tombs are widely acclaimed as a must-visit place in Karachi for their incredible architecture inspired by the typical cemetery style of lower Sindh. The most notable feature of these tombs is the elaboration depicted in their sandstone carvings. These tombs were built sometime between the 15th and 18th centuries after Muhammad Bin Qasim invaded Sindh and brought Islam to the area. The graveyard was made to bury the family members of the Jokhio tribe, and then later, mainly Balochi families were buried here too. A visit to Chaukandi Tombs is worth the time and money because of its rich history and naturally preserved sandstones despite the acrid local climate.
PAKISTAN AIRFORCE MUSEUM
Pakistan air-force museum is an airfare museum located near the Karsaz flyover near Shahrah-i-Faisal Karachi. Outside the main museum, the main lawn area contains incredible artifacts like radars, jets, airfare, and weapons. Though it is the main museum where you will find fighter jets used on the battlefield by the pilots of the Pakistan Air force, the museum also contains the legendary plane once used by the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Along with fighter jets from Pakistan, the museum also has the honor of having one of the fallen jets from India that landed in Pakistani territory in the war of 1965. The museum also contains the many scale models of airfare from world war one and World War Two, which has become a war attraction for people who are invested deeply in learning about the historical events around the horrific events that took place back in the early 1900s.
STATE BANK MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
State Bank Museum is the first monetary museum in Pakistan; it opened in 2004 and is located on Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar road. Initially, it was built in the British colonial Era in the 1920s to serve as the Imperial Bank of India. Its building is set in red jodhpur stones and is a marvel. In 2004, the structure was changed into an art gallery and museum, and different projects were commenced in 2006. A sum of money was dedicated to conserving and preserving the history around the place. The con gallery containing the most ancient coin-making tools and pre-Islamic art exhibits of barter systems which also encompass the Indus valley civilization, make the area inside the museum a sight to behold.
The coin collections comprise marvelous groups in the form of the Sultanate coin, Mughal coins, Arab coins, and some highly uncommon coins from British India. The currency gallery inside the state bank museum is known for containing some rare collections from the early eras of simple paper currency leading up to the modern polymer notes. In short, geeks and nerds and anyone interested in seeing the beauty of how times change the world around it in terms of finances should visit this place. In terms of knowledgeable encounters, the State Bank Museum and art gallery are one of the top attractions in Karachi.
DAN ZOO BAHRIA TOWN
It is Pakistan’s first night and day zoo, hence named dan zoo. It is located in Bahria Town Karachi and is a unique wild place of its kind in the country. If you love wildlife and want to experience the wilderness at its full bloom amidst the rarest beautiful creatures of flora and fauna, you have to get out of the comfort of your home and buy a ticket to the Danzoo Bahria Town. Let it be the vibrant reptiles or the singing prettiest birds of all colors and hues, and dan zoo has everything to entertain the public. Take your kids to the zoo and watch them interact with the wildlife like never before. It also provides wild experiences like wild on wheels and crazy adventure rides. Some severe adrenaline rush experiences include the boating club and underwater life. Here you will experience something you have never experienced before. Danzo Bahria Town is a majestic place and mustn’t be missed at any cost.
When it comes to Karachi, the one thing that could never go wrong is the shopping, so if you plan on going on a shopping spree or an outfit hunting expedition, the Zainab market is your go-to place. It is located near the city’s main Saddar, making it easily accessible to all people around the city. It is a shopping area where mostly the export leftovers or rejected land is sold at fair and relatively cheaper prices for the public to buy.
Because of the extreme inflation and rise in dollar prices throughout the past two years, it has become quite an ordeal to buy stuff from abroad without going bankrupt. Still, the Zainab market is where you can buy branded stuff from great brands worldwide at a much lower and reasonable price. Let it be the cool funky T-shirts, cute little accessories that are a must for fashion lovers, or the various varieties of footwear and gorgeous makeup products for the ladies. You can have it all, so let’s not miss this place on your next trip to Karachi.
Established in 1925, the Hindu Gymkhana is the first building in the history of Karachi to adopt the classic Mughal-revival architectural style. It is located on Shaheed Sarwar road and was established to provide a safe place for the Hindu community to serve as a club. It was used as a social rendezvous point by the elite and affluent Hindu families of the sub-continent residing in Karachi back in the days before 1947. It is currently one of Pakistan’s most famous protected heritage sites. It has an ongoing controversy surrounding it as the Hindu community wants to reclaim the Gymkhana. Still, the Pakistan National Academy of performing arts NAPA is unwilling to leave the premises of the Gymkhana. Even with the declining area and illegal exploitation of the place, the Hindu Gymkhana is the most incredible place to visit in Karachi. The golden hues of the building will take your imagination to its highest point.
LUCKY ONE MALL
It is one of the most modernized and aesthetically pleasing places in Karachi, and people go there not just to satisfy a sudden craving for a shopping spree but also to have a good relaxing time with friends and family. It is located on the main Rashid Minhas Road near the UBL sports complex. It closes around 9 PM every day; the lucky one mall should not be left out of your bucket list of places to visit in Karachi because it is indeed the largest mall in all of Pakistan. It comprises an area of about 3.4 million square feet, making it the second largest mall in South Asia and the 31st largest mall worldwide. Even though the mall is open and accessible to everyone six days a week, from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is only dedicated to attending and catering to families; lucky one mall is the perfect family recreation on Sundays as it is entirely safe and sound to visit with kids and friends.
With over 200 retail outlets, lucky one mall provides an intelligent shopping system without worrying about the distance between the different outlets since it is so compact. There are many lifts and escalators everywhere in the mall, and it even has a wedding gallery, a food court, a banking enclave, and a health and wellness avenue. You don’t even have to think twice before going out shopping because a trip to the lucky one mall will save you from any unnecessary hustle, leaving you with unprecedented memories of a day you will never forget.
BAHRIA DANCING FOUNTAINS
The marvel that has become the Bahria dancing fountains is one of the top most visited attractions in Karachi because of its majestic beauty and magnificent vibe. They are only open on Sunday, which is the weekly holiday; hence the best time should be anytime in the evening before 9 PM. They are built and designed by the creators of Singapore Sentosa and Dubai Canal Waterfall. The Bahria Dancing fountains are a sizzling and gorgeous mess of drizzling water choreographic ventures. As you glimpse the might of the gushing water across the fountains with the serene solid notes of music thrum inside your ear, taking you to another place altogether, you will not experience anything akin to the beauty of this extraordinary place. There are many fountain shows on several occasions for the people who buy the ticket, which is required for entry inside the home, but it’s all worth the time and money since you will get to see the stunning display of water, fire, and laser choreography.
OCEAN MALL KARACHI
One of the most widely known places to visit in Karachi is the Ocean Mall. It is a substantial, tall skyscraper building of its rarity located in the Clifton area of the city. It is 120 meters tall, which means it kisses the sky above. It was established between the years 2009 to 2014 and comprises shopping centers and offices of various kinds. You can find any brand, national or international, starting from Khaadi, Sana Safinaz, Gul Ahmed, Chen One, Edenrobe, and Nishat.
In short, you can buy anything from Ocean Mall Karachi. The beautiful sky-touching building alongside the stunning interior makes the ocean mall one of the most beautiful places in Karachi.
What are the top attractions to visit in Karachi?
Mazar e Quaid, Frere Hall, and Mohatta Palace museum are a few of the top attractions.
What are the most popular places to visit in Karachi?
The beaches of Karachi make it unique, so the beaches like hawksbay and Clifton beach are the most popular places to visit among tourists and residents.
How can I spend my day in Karachi?
You can spend your day visiting shopping malls, trying new food, and enjoying the sunset at the beach.
What is the best place in Karachi?
The best place varies from person to person; shopping malls, port grand, museums, or beaches are the most loved places by tourists and locals.
What thing is famous in Karachi?
Karachi is famous for its delicious food and beautiful sandy beaches.