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Islamabad (Urdu: اسلام آباد) is the capital of Pakistan and has an estimated population of just over 1 million. It is located in the central northern parts of the country on the Potohar Plateau at an altitude between 500 and 600 metres above sea level. Together with Rawalpindi it forms one urban area, but Islamabad itself was only built during the 1960's to replace the former capital of Karachi.
Islamabad has a pleasant climate in general from September to March when it is usually dry and warm or even hot but with relatively low humidity. May and June however are very hot with temperatures regulary exceeding 40 °C, followed by the monsoon months of July and August when around 300 mm of rain falls in each month, combined with still high temperaturs. Winter nights bring occasional snowfall but not always and not much either as daytime temperatures still are just below 20 °C.
Islamabad International Airport (ISB) has a number of connections abroad, among which are those with the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines to Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kabul, London, Manchester, Milan, Muscat, New York, Oslo, Paris, Riyadh, Tokyo and Toronto. Several other airlines serve mainly neighbouring countries.
|Continental House||94-A Nazimudin Road F-8/4||Guesthouse||-|
|New Cape Grace Guest House||House 8, Justice Abdul Rasheed Road F-6/1||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|Aspen Lodge Islamabad||H: 14, st: 76, Sector G-6/4, Islamabad||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Bonita||House # 10,Begum Sarfaraz Iqbal Road, G-6/4||HOTEL||-|
|RooMs IslamabaD||Rohtas Road, G-9/1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Paramid International||House # 248, Street # 31 Near Tipu Market, G-8/2||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Daffodils Inn||House No 1 Street 11 F-8/3 Islamabad||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Cybercafes can be found on virtually every street corner and the rates are as low as Rs 15-20 per hour. They usually don't have a very fast operating system so don't be too impatient. They usually use 14 inch monitors with Windows 2000, Windows 98 or Windows XP usually installed. Most of the cafes have a decent speed internet connection.
Internet Access can be obtained easily on notebook computers with the help of GPRS enabled mobile connections, supported by almost all of the five mobile operators. Mobilink provides EDGE based connection in very limited areas of Karachi, but Telenor's coverage of EDGE is wider. The standard price of GPRS/EDGE usage is Rs 10-18 per MB of data transferred but Zong offers Rs 15/h. If you wish to download much more, you may want to use unlimited packages, provided only by Warid, Mobilink and Telenor at this time. World Call and Ufone also offers USB Modem.3G and 4G based connections are also available from all the mobile service providers, rates are nearly same as EDGE.
There are Wi-Fi hotspots all over Pakistan, in hotels, malls, and cafes/restaurants.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country code for Pakistan is +92 if you are calling from outside the country.
Major providers of mobile phone service (GSM) are Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, Warid and Zong - China Mobile. One very convenient feature is that all Pakistani cellular operators use the GSM platform, so that cellular handsets nationwide are freely interchangeable between providers.
There are various service providers offering a huge variety of plans. Among them are Mobilink, Warid Telecom, Telenor, Ufone & Zong (China Mobile). It's not a bad idea to buy a cell phone and use a prepaid plan to get yourself connected while you are in the country. The mobile phones and the prepaid plans are very cheap; you can usually get a new cheap cell phone just for Rs 2,000 and a prepaid connection for Rs 150-400.
Due to security threats, in order to purchase a SIM card you will need to provide formal identification such as Visas, resident permits, residing address in Pakistan along with a written declaration that you will not use the provided phone number for any illegal activity. Starting March 2015, possesion of unverified SIM will be considered a serious and punishable crime.
Public Call Offices can be found all over the country. You will find a PCO in nearly 50% of the general stores where there is usually someone who operates the phone and fax. Fees will be charged according to the time spent, and you will pay when you have finished your call.
The Pakistan postal service works well. But be aware you are not allowed to send CD's or DVD's out of the country. This includes your photo's on CD. This is due to the high number of software and media trafficking in Pakistan.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Islamabad searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Islamabad and areas nearby.
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