Travel

Airports

On domestic flights Austrade suggests that you only fly with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). It is worth paying the extra small premium to fly business class. Be sure to re-confirm all domestic and international flights with PIA or reservations can get cancelled.

In all international arrival cities - Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore - most people join the hotel shuttle buses, which are usually complimentary. Private car transfers can also be arranged.

From the airport the journey is approximately:

  • Islamabad: 15km, 25 to 30 minutes
  • Karachi: 20km, 30 to 45 minutes
  • Lahore: eight km, 20 to 25 minutes.

Ground transport

Avoid any long distance travel by trains or buses at night.

It is relatively inexpensive to hire a car and driver from your hotel. This is generally the best option for business visits given heavy traffic and confusing road layouts.

Dining

Pakistani food is relatively mild and there are a lot of meat dishes and breads. Although the standard of food is quite good, many Australians will find the dishes very oily and there are few options for vegetarians (particularly in summer). Avoid seafood and salads, even in hotel restaurants.

It is customary for Pakistanis to eat their evening meal relatively late. At functions, the meal is usually eaten around 10.00pm. Restaurants normally open at 7.00pm.

Tipping

Tipping is common and is around Rs50 and above, depending on the service.