Islamabad Weekend

Ok, so I was actually staying in Rawalpindi, the capital’s rather scrappy sister city, but with the MetroBus now a reality (for better or for worse), transport between the two metropolises has never been easier! I was shown a great time around the city by a few good friends who live there.

Looking towards the Margalla Hills and Shah Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

Looking towards the Margalla Hills and Shah Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

While in Lahore, dining and entertainment is open for all, in Islamabad it’s more about quality than quantity, and its possible to have a rather fancy weekend away in the planned, orderly city of leafy avenues that seems to be the antithesis of everything else in the country.

Kohsar Market, Islamabad

Kohsar Market, Islamabad

First stop was the lovely Kohsar Market, a break from the Pakistan we all know and love, to sip lattes with carrot cake near the Margalla Hills. We went to Mocca, a chic cafe around the side of the market with an upstairs area.

Salad and fresh juice, or carrot cake with iced latte at Mocca

Salad and fresh juice, or carrot cake with iced latte at Mocca

Later that day I headed with Jawad to Kuch Khaas, which translates to English as “a little bit special”. Kuch Khaas is a function centre, social club, entertainment venue and restaurant even further up towards the hills; so close in fact that it’s across the road from forest!!

Karaoke night at Kuch Khaas

Karaoke night at Kuch Khaas

There was a karaoke contest on, in which I missed my opportunity to sing the only English song on the list (Why This Kolaveri Di?). We then headed inside, just in time to miss the impending monsoonal downpour, to The Lime Tree, Kuch Khaas’ restaurant. We dined on beef pepperoni woodfired pizza, and a creamy Asian-fusion fettuccine carbonara.

Dinner at Kuch Khaas' The Lime Tree

Dinner at Kuch Khaas’ The Lime Tree

The next morning it was off to the Margalla Hills for a walk in the monsoonal mist followed by a barbecue.

Marla Hills, Islamabad

Margalla Hills, Islamabad

The Margalla Hills are the backdrop to Islamabad, and although they’re not nearly as lofty as the peaks further north, the clouds descending through them seem to bring (placebo) cool respite in the summer months.

Make your own Magnum, Centaurus Mall, Islamabad

Make your own Magnum, Centaurus Mall, Islamabad

Before heading back on the overnight bus to Lahore, we made one last stop at Centaurus Mall for dinner and an invent-your-own Magnum for dessert. Yum!

 

See Islamabad with Pakistan Traveller!

 

What’s your idea of a perfect city break? Luxury and relaxation, or scavenging the streets for the best deals available?

Comments (9)

  • Anna @ shenANNAgans Reply

    You karaoke?
    What was the Margalla Hills walk like? Do you have pics from your walk?
    And make your own Magnum… Holy bajinkas, I need this in my life. YARM!

    November 1, 2015 at 7:58 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Margalla Hills was lovely, but humid and misty with rain clouds. I’ll post some pics later – it was really lovely! And yeah – they had a make your own Magnum bar in Melbourne for a while, but it was only a pop-up store.

      November 3, 2015 at 7:33 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      And yeah, I could karaoke 😀

      November 3, 2015 at 7:33 pm
  • Andrew Boland Reply

    this is no way resembles Islamabad when I went there! It looks like there’s been some rain! I guess once a century….

    November 1, 2015 at 8:19 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      I’m guessing you didn’t go in the monsoon season, then? 😉 It was raining on and off the whole time I was there… lovely!

      November 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm
  • Agness Reply

    Oh Tim! I’m so jealous of your awesome stay in Islamabad. To be honest, I’ve never heard of this place before but having some nice food and walking around sounds like a great fun!

    November 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      You’ll need to go, Agness!! It’s the capital of Pakistan, and while it’s not the ‘real’ Pakistan, so to speak, it’s a great fancy weekend away from Lahore 🙂

      November 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm
  • Agness Reply

    You always do fun things while having yummy food!! 🙂

    November 7, 2015 at 7:47 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      So true!! Thanks for stopping by, Agness 🙂

      November 9, 2015 at 10:31 am

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