Karachi, the capital city of Sindh province in Pakistan, has the highest population in the country. Karachi is a very bustling city, with lots of vibrant colours and a whirlwind that can feel a bit chaotic. But don’t let that scare you away.
Like most cities, Karachi has an array of things to see and do. From shopping, to surrounding beaches, to countless museums, sights and landmarks. With Pakistan’s rich history, there is much to experience and learn about the culture of the country. It can be overwhelming to choose which things shouldn’t be left off your list.
Luckily, we’ve rounded up 10 amazing Karachi tourist attractions that you simply should not miss to help you out.
Travelling to Pakistan? Check these out too:
1. The National Museum of Pakistan
If you really want to learn and experience the culture of Pakistan, the National Museum will offer just that. Here you can see all the different types of artwork, including paintings, sculptures and models, relics, and much more that depict the diversity of Pakistan culture. There are also countless artifacts to be admired, including those from Indus Valley Civilization and right through to the present day. And if that wasn’t enough, the museum is famous for showcasing an impressive collection of coins and rare manuscripts of the Quran that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
2. Empress Market
Built in 1890, the building that houses Empress market is an amazing and well preserved structure. Here is where you can shop til you drop, although you won’t be finding the high end brand names here. Empress market offers a local experience, and all things culture. Amidst a whirlwind of colour, find beautiful textiles and handmade goodies, as well as fresh and interesting food, and even animals and pets. It’s a weird and wacky world, but you’re bound to love it as it offers a true experience of Pakistan.
3. Churna Island
Although it’s a two-hour drive from Karachi city, Churna island is a great place to explore. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and jump into a deep blue ocean to experience the underwater magic of the reef. You can dive, snorkel, or simply swim at Churna island to spot water wildlife like sea turtles and colourful exotic fish. You’ll be at peace in the clear, warm waters and enjoy an adventure-fuelled day to break up the sight-seeing.
4. The Chaukhandi Tombs
Ancient graveyards may creep some people out, but for others, they are simply fascinating. The Chaukhandi tombs are definitely more likely to fascinate you. With intricate carvings and designs engraved onto these tombstones which house ancestors of one of the local tribes, these tombs are works of art. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chaukhandi tombs are well preserved despite their 15th to 18th century heritage.
5. Mohatta Palace
A little younger than most of the buildings in Pakistan, Mohatta palace was built in the 20th century in 1925. However, that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The palace was constructed by a Hindu prince by the name of Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta who lived in it during the summers. Its architectural structure employs a Rajasthani style with impressive stone structures and domes that you’ll definitely marvel at. These days, the building is used as a museum, so you can wander its halls and admire the latest exhibit and learn about the early history of Sindh.
6. Turtle Beach
Another one for the adventure-lovers. Located between hawksbay and sandspit, Turtle beach is a breathtaking attraction that offers some quiet from the city once more. Green sea turtles lay their eggs at this beach, which means if you travel in the right season (summer time), you just might get lucky enough to see them hatch and fight their way to the sea. This is also a great spot for a picnic with the soft sand free of rocks and reefs, and enjoying some fresh air, so consider making the trip.
7. Mazar-e-Quaid (Jinnah Mausolem)
One of the most well-known tourist attractions in Karachi, The Mazar-e-Quaid is not to be missed. It’s also referred to as Jinnah Mausoleum, as the incredible structure is a tomb and resting place for Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. The incredible dome structure of the, now museum, took inspiration from the Samanid Mausoleum in Uzbekistan to complete its design. It stands out tall and proud in the heart of the city, so it’s definitely one to see.
8. Clifton Beach
Clifton Beach is highly popular, mainly due to its close proximity to Karachi city. The beach is located in the Arabian Sea, not too far from the Saddar Town. The reason for its popularity is the array of activities on offer that will make your experience in Pakistan unique. With options for beach horse rides and camel rides, you can truly experience the landscape here. Alternatively, you can enjoy the amusement parks for an extra thrill, or dine at one of the many restaurants. Locals also love to hang out here, so if you’d prefer to lay back like the locals you can bring a picnic to Clifton Beach and relax while you watch the sun go down.
9. Frere Hall
The impressive Frere Hall was constructed in 1865 in honour of Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere (Commissioner of Sindh 1851-1859), who instigated various economic developments in Karachi. As a very well preserved structure, you can admire the yellow limestone used to build Frere Hall and the luscious green garden that surrounds it. Today, the building is home to a library and art gallery which are worth visiting to see the hall’s two floors. It’s also worth experiencing this piece of history, as the colonial style of Frere Hall and those around it reminds of a time when Pakistan was part of the Indian British colony.
10. Haleji Lake
This one’s for the birdwatchers. But if you love a good sunset, you’ll also love Haleji Lake. The lake, roughly 52 miles from Karachi city, is home to thousands of bird species including Asia’s greatest waterfowl. During the winter, many species of birds migrate here from Siberia and can be observed from the banks and viewing platforms. This is another tranquil spot that is a great way to break-up all the museum visits and fast-paced city life. Don’t forget your camera!
With such a diverse selection of history and architecture, natural sights, shopping and adventure activities, Karachi is a pretty amazing city to visit.
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