When is the cheapest time to fly to Islamabad?
Much of Pakistan remains warm for the majority of the year, but like anywhere there are high and low seasons for tourists. It’s the autumn-winter period, September to November, which is generally cheapest when booking flights in advance. Flights from London to Islamabad are cheaper in October, rising a little in April. And of course, the price will also depend on the airline you choose and how many stopovers you’ll need to make.
When is the best time to book your flight to Islamabad?
While you may be able to bag some last minute, cheap flights to Islamabad, it’s always sensible to try and book your flights in advance as this will give you the best chance of securing a bargain. We would recommend booking your flight to Islamabad at least six weeks in advance, but it isn’t always possible to book as far in advance as you might like as some airports’ flights are not announced until a few months prior to the departure date. This is especially true during the low season!
How long is the flight to Islamabad?
The duration of your flight to Islamabad is dependent on a number of factors. Of course, where you’re flying from in the UK will have some impact on the flight time; flying from London in the south rather than Glasgow in Scotland will reduce the time somewhat. Generally, a flight from London — with a stopover— should take around 12 hours, though some stopovers can last much longer. If you opt for a cheaper airline that requires more than one stopover, it’s likely that your flight duration will be slightly longer.
Flying to Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB)
So, you’re on your way to Islamabad. What can you expect upon arrival at the airport serving the Pakistani capital? For one, it’s practically brand new. It commenced full operations in 2018 after initial planning started in 2007, ultimately replacing the now defunct Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Its modern facilities, including popular restaurants, extensive parking and car hire services, film theatre and baggage check make it the only airport in the country that can accommodate the world’s largest airplane, the double-decker A380s. At its current capacity, Islamabad International Airport (also known as Rawalpindi Airport) is able to serve 9 million passengers yearly, but planned expansions in the future mean this number will rise to around 25 million.
On arrival and getting around the airport
There’s nothing quite like the warm air of a hot country hitting you as you step off the plane, and that’s likely to be the case when you arrive at Islamabad International Airport. But how do you get around? There will be porters available who can help you with your luggage for a fee, at the Passenger Porter Services (PPS). These services are available at all times, so you can rely on a friendly porter to give you a helping hand. There are also additional specialist services to help the elderly or disabled, should they need further support.
The airport houses world-class retailers via duty-free areas, as well as restaurants and cafes where you can cure your post-flight hunger once you have passed through the various security checkpoints. You’ll be clearly signposted towards the various exit signs once leaving the building, taking you to the concourse where you can take another step closer on your journey to the Pakistani capital.
Getting to the city from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB)
Islamabad International Airport is around 16 miles from Islamabad, with several options taking you from the airport to the city quickly and easily. The cheapest option is public buses; there are several options available on the extensive network, many of which are available on a round-the-clock basis. Otherwise, a taxi journey will cost the equivalent of between £6-£9. If you’re planning to travel around the city — and even wider Pakistan — by car, then hiring one might be a more economical idea. There are plenty of hire car options available at Islamabad International Airport.
Why visit Islamabad?
Leafy. Peaceful. And with plenty of culture and character for tourists all the year round. Islamabad is a city of serene beauty and significant religious poignancy. Among its winding streets and plentiful green spaces, you’ll never be far from your next discovery. Plus, Islamabad is a gateway for tourists to the wider beauty of Pakistan. Let’s take a look at the reasons to visit this beautiful location.
The allure of Islamabad’s deep-rooted religious significance means it’s an incredible place for sightseeing. The city is home to Pakistan’s national mosque, the Faisal Mosque, and as a feat of engineering alone it lives up to its role and reputation. The largest mosque in South Asia, its towering white spires and contemporary structure stand out from a distance from its location in the fells of Margalla Hills. Elsewhere, the multi-peaked Fatima Church is well worth a visit, as is the stunning, crisp-white Golrah Shrine. kistan. Let’s take a look at the reasons to visit this beautiful location.
Unlike many cities, Islamabad is abundant with beautiful green spaces that give the city an air of calm. Its plentiful parks offer stunning locations across the urban sprawl to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and instead lounge beneath dappled shade or wander around its beautifully kept garden spaces. Some highlights include the prime picnic spot of Fatima Jinnah Park, known for its pretty marble entrance and floral expanses, and Lake View Park, which lives up to its name and sits beside the stunning Rawal Lake.
Don't forget before you fly
Before flying, all travellers should be aware that as well as a valid British passport, all UK residents will need to provide evidence of a visa to enter Pakistan. Passengers aged 12 and above are also required to show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 in order to undertake inbound flights. Islamabad is widely considered to be the safest place in the country to visit. It welcomes millions of travellers each year and has ample security resources. So, no worries there.
It's always worth ensuring you will be appropriately dressed in Pakistan, both from a weather-wary and cultural perspective. Oh, and note that the most extreme weather conditions typically take place between March and June, when dangerous heatwaves can occur.