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Pakistan travel guide

About Pakistan

From the ancient Mughal city of Lahore to the snow-capped peaks of the Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan is a diverse nation defined not just by its natural beauty and architectural splendours, but by its friendly inhabitants, varied wildlife and rich culinary traditions.

Shame then, that political instability and sectarian violence has made large parts of the country a no-go for tourists, and prevented Pakistan from realising its potential as a top travel destination.

However, those daring enough to take a punt on Pakistan will be richly rewarded for their endeavours – particularly those with a penchant for the great outdoors. The North-West Frontier Province and Gilgit-Baltistan region are home to some of the world’s most famous mountain ranges, including Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush.

That explorers will have these sights more or less to themselves is another boon; gone are the well-marked routes and tea houses of India and Nepal, here lies real adventure.

From jaw-dropping mountain scenery to bustling conurbations, Pakistan’s vibrant cities each have their own distinct flavour. The super-sleek capital, Islamabad, is a modern metropolis bristling with contemporary architecture, world-class cultural attractions and some of the country’s finest restaurants.

Lahore is the very antithesis to Islamabad. Pakistan’s cultural capital, this ancient city abounds with UNESCO listed attractions, stunning shrines and ornate Mughal architecture. Its old town is a maze of bustling bazaars, which harbour mosques, museums and manicured gardens.

Karachi, the former capital and the economic powerhouse of the country, is a mega-city in every sense of the word, cramming 15 million or so into its boundaries. Meanwhile, Peshawar, in the North-West Frontier Province, remains a frontier town, sometimes dangerous and always intriguing.

Those seeking sun and seclusion, should explore Pakistan’s glorious coastline, which is home to some of the most pristine, crowd-free beaches in South Asia. While those looking to evoke the spirit a Kipling-style adventure should follow the ancient trade routes of the Khyber Pass, Grand Trunk Road and Karakoram Highway.

All of this and more lies in Pakistan, and all remains accessible to the more adventurous tourist.

Key facts


796,095 sq km (307,374 sq miles).


192,826,502 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

250.1 per sq km.




Federal Republic.

Head of state:

President Arif Alvi since 2018.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif since 2022.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

  • The districts of Baujar, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province
  • the districts of Charsadda, Kohat, Tank, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, Buner and Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
  • the city and district of Peshawar
  • travel on the N45 road, from the north of the Mardan ring-road, to the edge of the district of Chitral
  • Balochistan province, excluding the southern coast of Balochistan (see below)
  • the section of the N35 (or Karakoram Highway) between the Mansehra ring road and the N15/N35 Chilas interchange
  • within 10 miles of the Line of Control

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • Arandu town and the road between Mirkhani and Arandu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province
  • the southern coast of Balochistan, defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway as well as the section of the N25 which runs from N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar
  • areas of Sindh Province north of, and including, the city of Nawabshah

Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Pakistan’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.

It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO guidance on foreign travel insurance.

Before the COVID pandemic there were nearly half a million visits by British nationals to Pakistan. Most visits are trouble free.

Public gatherings of more than four people are prohibited across the country. There are localised internet connectivity disruptions including mobile networks, and nationwide blocks of social media websites. You may experience difficulties accessing mobile networks and social media. Further disruption should be expected. Political rallies and protests regularly take place across Pakistan. Some may have an anti-western dimension and could turn violent. Tear gas can be used to disperse protests. Avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and political events. Be alert to local news and, where possible, social media and follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company. If you find yourself near protests, turn away and move to a safe place. See Safety and security

Through late summer and early autumn 2022 Pakistan experienced extreme monsoon rainfall, causing flooding and landslides. Travel in many parts of the country has been severely impacted. See Natural disasters

Some periods of the year may pose heightened risks. During holy periods/religious holidays, there is an increased potential for targeted attacks, including on western interests and religious minorities.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the major cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. You should try to avoid all crowds and public events including political gatherings and religious events throughout Pakistan, and take appropriate security precautions.

Densely populated and unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, hiking trails, airports, infrastructure projects, public transport, schools and educational institutions are potential focal points for attacks. You should be extra vigilant at all times in such areas and minimise your exposure to areas that pose a higher risk. See Terrorism

Pakistan can experience extreme weather, including severe heatwaves. These typically occur between March and June. The extreme temperatures can cause poor air quality, wildfires and power cuts. You should avoid unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight and take precautionary measures. More information and detailed guidance is available on the National Disaster Management Authority website. You should monitor the local and international weather updates from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company before travelling.

Pakistan is in a major earthquake zone and remains at risk from further earthquakes, aftershocks, landslides and flooding. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake. See Natural disasters

Consular support is severely limited in parts of Pakistan where the FCDO has existing advice against all travel and all but essential travel (as set out above). The British High Commission’s ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be restricted or delayed in these areas.

If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Pakistan on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities and check with your airline.

International travel

Information is available on the official government of Pakistan website on COVID-19.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Pakistan.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Pakistan

Travel to the airport

You’re strongly advised not to travel to the airport if you’re displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, including a high temperature. When you enter the airport, you may be thermal scanned by the Pakistani authorities or asked to a take COVID-19 rapid antigen test. If you have a high temperature or other COVID-19 symptoms, you might not be permitted to fly and you may be advised to self-isolate for 5 days. Detailed guidelines for home isolation are available at the Government of Pakistan’s official website.

Public places and services

Pakistani authorities have lifted all COVID-19 related restrictions on public activities for vaccinated individuals. This includes attending indoor dining, events, and the use of public transport. Wearing a face mask is encouraged when in crowded places and during close interactions.

You should follow the federal and relevant provincial guidance, and monitor local media for updates. Plan any movements accordingly.

Healthcare in Pakistan

The Pakistani authorities have a helpline (on phone number 1166) for people who have COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you’re worried about the virus, or suspect you may have contracted it, call the helpline and follow the guidance given by the authorities. You can also check the official government of Pakistan website on COVID-19.

If you’re running out of medication or have medical needs, you should speak to your travel insurance company for advice and seek local medical assistance, including from pharmacies. If your usual medication is not available, speak to your travel insurer, ask a local doctor or request advice from your UK doctor.

If you are planning to travel to Pakistan with your medicine, please consult NHS advice before travel.

For contact details for English speaking doctors, visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Pakistan.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

Testing Positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan

The local authorities advise individuals who have Covid-19 symptoms, or suspect they have been exposed to Covid-19, to take a test.

If you test positive for COVID-19 whilst in Pakistan, you must self-isolate for 5 days. After your self-isolation period ends, you should then wear a face mask for 5 days.

If you don’t have symptoms, or your symptoms aren’t severe, you should isolate where you are staying, preferably in a room and bathroom separate to other people in the property. If you are immunosuppressed or have severe health conditions, and providing Government of Pakistan’s resources allow, you may be moved to a hospital.

Guidelines on isolating at home are available via the Government of Pakistan’s official website.

Government of Pakistan guidelines state that if you have symptoms or test positive, you should self-isolate for 5 days if asymptomatic or until symptoms are resolved (without fever for 24 hours). You should then wear a face mask for the next 5 days.


There is a range of financial support from the government that you can access if you’re unable to return due to coronavirus restrictions.

Further information

You can find further information on Pakistan’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at the official government of Pakistan COVID-19 Health Advisory page.


Be aware of the risk of street crime and take sensible measures to protect yourself and your belongings. Take particular care of your passport, bank cards, bags, jewellery, laptop and mobile, especially on public transport, when travelling to and from the airport and in crowded areas including markets. There is an active black market in forged and stolen passports. Credit card fraud is common.

Exercise caution when moving around urban areas at night, especially if travelling on foot.

British nationals of Pakistani origin have been targeted by criminals, including kidnappers, as they are often perceived as being wealthier than locals.

Much of Balochistan, northern Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have a high level of lawlessness.

Political situation

Public demonstrations are common in Pakistan. You should keep track of the local news. Protests can occur with little warning and while most remain peaceful, they can turn violent and escalate quickly. During elections, political events, rallies and polling stations have been the target of targeted terrorist attacks. You should avoid all political demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events and be prepared to change your plans as necessary.

Local travel

The Pakistan authorities currently advise that “all foreigners, including diplomats may not move out of their city of residence without proper security and without prior co-ordination with the law enforcement agency”. This requirement has not been rigorously enforced, but you should consider informing local authorities of any travel plans, and be prepared to be stopped and challenged by officials, who may instruct you to turn around.

When travelling in Pakistan, you or your travel company should contact the local authorities of your destination in advance to check the local security situation. They may arrange police protection as necessary and will advise whether you need a No Objection Certificate issued by the Pakistani Ministry of Interior.

You should exercise care in selecting accommodation and take precautions to maintain safety and keep a low profile.

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan. More information about altitude sickness is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).

Border areas

Except for official border crossing points, foreigners are not allowed to travel within 10 miles of Pakistan’s international borders and the Kashmir Line of Control, or within 30 miles of the Afghan border in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The situation for border crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan may change rapidly due to the security situation in Afghanistan. The FCDO advises against all travel to Afghanistan.


Police and security agencies have a significant presence in Islamabad. You should exercise caution in the outlying districts, such as I8, I9, I10 and areas further west, where security forces have conducted operations against suspected criminals and terrorists.

You should avoid all protests. Crowded areas such as the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) and Aabpara Market in G6 have been a focal point for protests in recent years.


Karachi can be prone to varying levels of violence, and the safety of daily activity can be unpredictable. Criminal and political violence is common including armed carjacking, robbery, kidnap and murder. Strikes called by various religious and political parties are capable of causing significant disruption across the city and can occasionally lead to violent civil unrest. Smaller scale labour strikes are also a common occurrence and cause regular disruptions on a more localised scale.

Terrorist related activity can occur in Karachi. Public service and health officials have also been subject to attacks in the past whilst delivering health programmes. There is also a risk of violence in parts of the city which include government offices. Major hotels and the financial district are generally regarded as more stable, though there remains a risk of violence, particularly following Friday prayers. On 26 April 2022, a suicide bomb at the University of Karachi killed 4 people.

You should carefully plan any travel within the city. You should take advice from hosts or trusted contacts, abide by direction from law enforcement officers and be prepared to cancel or curtail your plans. Lyari, Malir, Quaidabad and Orangi Town have a greater risk of violence based on past activity. Exercise heightened vigilance if visiting these areas.


Lahore is the capital of Punjab province, and attracts large numbers of tourists and business travellers. While the city has a widespread police presence, there have been a number of terrorist attacks in recent years. These have targeted public places and government or security forces. You should avoid religious events or gatherings, public events and large crowds of people throughout Pakistan.


There is a significant risk from kidnapping and militant activity in much of Balochistan. The FCDO advises against all travel to most of the province (see Summary) other than the southern coast of Balochistan where we advise against all but essential travel. The southern coast is defined as the area south of (and including) the N10 motorway as well as the section of the N25 which runs from the N10/N25 intersection to the Balochistan/Sindh border, including the port city of Gwadar.

If you intend to visit the southern coast of Balochistan, make sure you have the necessary permission from the authorities and proper security arrangements in place.


The terrain in Gilgit-Baltistan is mountainous, with remote and isolated locations that are difficult to police effectively. You are strongly advised to obtain and follow local security advice and make appropriate personal security arrangements in advance of any visit.

All foreign nationals must register with the local authorities when visiting Gilgit-Baltistan. You may need a permit for mountaineering or trekking, in particular for mountains over 6,000 metres. The permission process can take up to 2 months and is best organised through a travel company. The validity of your travel insurance policy may be affected if you do not have the correct permits.

Use reputable trekking agencies, stay on established routes, and always walk in groups. Do not trek alone. Be aware of the risks of altitude sickness.

Karakoram Highway

The Karakoram Highway runs from Hasan Abdal in north Punjab towards Gilgit and the Chinese border. The FCDO advises against all travel on the Highway between Mansehra and Chilas via Battagram, Besham City, Dasu and Sazin up to the junction with the N15. You should avoid travelling on the Highway at night - the road can be narrow with sudden steep drops. All sections of the Highway north of Batagram up to the Chinese border have experienced landslides.


There is occasional military or militant activity in the districts of Swat, Buner, Malakand, and Lower Dir. Localised curfews may be imposed at short notice.

Arandu District to the south and west of Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is sometimes subject to cross border attacks.

Pakistan-administered Kashmir

The FCDO advises against all travel 10 miles of the Line of Control.

Following a terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14 February 2019, there are heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly across the Line of Control.

There is regular military activity on the Line of Control. Although a ceasefire has been implemented, there remain significant tensions between India and Pakistan and there is a serious risk of small arms fire (roughly up to 300 metres from the Line) and occasional mortar fire (roughly up to 7 kilometres from the Line).

Make sure you have the necessary permissions to travel. Specific requirements can change and you should check the latest requirements before travelling.


If you travel to southern Punjab take advice about the local security situation in advance. There are frequent reports of criminality and public order incidents.


There are high levels of lawlessness in the north of Sindh Province with a very high risk from crime and kidnapping. The area is frequented by criminal gangs or bandits with access to heavy weaponry. On 6 November 2022 a large criminal gang attacked police in Ghotki, northern Sindh, killing several officers and taking others hostage. The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to areas of Sindh Province north of, and including, the city of Nawabshah.

Air travel

The UK Air Safety List (ASL) lists all known airlines in Pakistan that do not meet international safety standards and are banned from operating commercial air services to, from, and within the UK. Check the UK Air Safety List when considering which airlines to fly with. The list is maintained by the Department for Transport, based on advice from the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Passengers aged 15 and over travelling on domestic air routes are required to present evidence of COVID-19 vaccination. Wearing a mask is recommended by Pakistani authorities.

Due to recent cases of Mpox (formerly known as Monkey Pox) there may be enhanced screening and preventive measures at points of entry.

There is limited public transport from the Islamabad International Airport (IIAP), but taxi services are available. It is recommended that you only use taxis from reputable, licenced companies that are radio-controlled.

Allow yourself enough time to get through enhanced airport security checks, but do not linger unnecessarily. Be vigilant, follow instructions from security and airport personnel, and contact your airline in the event of any disruption.

Rail travel

Avoid using the railway network, which has been subject to terrorist attacks as well as derailments.

Road travel

You should have a 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Pakistan. 1926 IDPs previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted. You can only get IDPs over the counter from selected UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel. If you are planning to hire a car, check with your car hire company for information on their requirements before you travel.

Pakistan has a modern and efficient motorway system between the major cities. The quality of other roads is more variable. Take particular care on long road journeys and when travelling cross-country. Local driving standards are erratic, especially at night. Road conditions can be poor and there is a risk of carjacking.

Avoid using street taxis. Only use taxis from reputable, licensed companies which are radio-controlled.

For your safety, you should avoid using public transport, including the Metro Bus which operates between Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The north of Pakistan is mountainous, with some of the highest peaks in the world contained within this area. As a result many roads are inaccessible at certain times of the year due to extreme weather conditions, and landslides frequently block or destroy roads. The N15 Highway between Chilas and Babusar in Gilgit Baltistan is closed at certain times of the year due to weather and is susceptible to landslides.

It is recommended that you only use experienced local drivers when traversing these routes and should only attempt to do so in clear weather conditions.

Sea travel

The threat from piracy within 12 nautical miles of the Pakistani coastline is low, but you should be aware of the significant threat piracy poses in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a high threat of terrorism and sectarian violence throughout the country. The main terrorist threat comes from Tehrik-e Taleban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organisation of groups primarily based in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Daesh is also active. While both groups’ activities are primarily directed against the Pakistani state, they have in the past stated an intent to launch attacks on western interests. TTP and Daesh conduct attacks throughout Pakistan.

Further attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Previous methods of attack have included grenades, shootings, bombings and suicide bombs. Militants can launch complex and deadly attacks. Be vigilant, keep a low profile and vary your routes and timings if you make any regular journeys. You should avoid large organised gatherings which may expose you to higher risk, such as public protests, religious gatherings and processions, and political rallies. Courts and government buildings, security facilities or personnel can also be the target of attacks.

Foreigners, in particular westerners, may be directly targeted. Densely populated and unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, hiking trails, airports, public transport, infrastructure projects, schools and educational institutions are potential focal points for attacks. Additionally, take care if you’re planning to attend sporting events or live music venues. Attacks have previously targeted places that could be considered by militants to be un-Islamic, including CD/DVD shops and barber shops. In recent years, the Pakistani authorities have reintroduced major sporting events into the country, including the Pakistan Super League in cricket. Increased security measures are in place at these events. You should be extra vigilant at all times in such areas, follow the advice of security personnel and minimise your exposure to areas that pose a higher risk. There may be a higher risk of terrorist incidents during the month of Ramadan.

Pakistani government personnel and institutions, and the security forces, including police, are prime targets for attacks. Avoid key government installations and gatherings of uniformed personnel, and be vigilant in areas around diplomatic premises throughout Pakistan.

Places of worship, including churches, religious sites, minority religious sects and shrines are often targeted. You should avoid religious events or gatherings and limit movements on Friday afternoons. During holy periods/religious holidays there may be a higher risk of targeted attacks, including on western interests and religious minorities.

Areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including Peshawar, suffer regular terrorist attacks. There are threats of attacks in Karachi and almost daily violence. Areas of Balochistan, including Quetta experience frequent attacks.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

You should keep track of the local news. Incidents can occur and the security situation can deteriorate quickly. There may be increases in security force presence and restrictions on movement may be put in place at short notice.


There is a threat of kidnapping throughout Pakistan. Both terrorists and criminal groups are involved in hostage-taking.

If you are working or travelling in Pakistan, you should be alert to the threat of kidnap targeting Westerners, including British nationals. British nationals of Pakistani origin are at particular risk of kidnap for ransom. British and other foreign national kidnap victims have faced extended periods of detention. While some were ultimately released by their captors, others have been killed.

British nationals are viewed as legitimate targets, including those engaged in tourism, humanitarian aid work, journalism or business. If you are kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.

The long-standing policy of the UK government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The UK government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners builds the capability of terrorist groups and finances their activities. This can, in turn, increase the risk of further hostage taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) makes payments to terrorists illegal.

Local laws reflect the fact that Pakistan is a Muslim country. You should respect local traditions, customs and laws at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend.

Standards of public behaviour differ greatly between the UK and Pakistan; Pakistan is culturally conservative. What might be acceptable in the UK can cause offence in Pakistan. Consideration of others is important in Pakistani culture, with loud boisterous behaviour in public frowned upon and likely to draw comment or response.


Ramadan, also called Ramazan or Ramzan in Pakistan, is a holy month for Muslims. The dates vary by year and country. Ramadan in 2024 in Pakistan begins in early March and lasts for approximately 30 days. During this time, the following actions may cause offence:

  • Eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in public in the daytime, including in your car
  • Playing loud music or dancing in public areas
  • Swearing in public

Get more advice when you arrive from your tour guide, hotel or business contacts.

You should also:

  • Check opening hours of shops and restaurants
  • Be aware that if hotels and restaurants are providing food or drink during fasting hours, they may separate you from Islamic guests, for example with screens
  • Dress modestly - clothing that doesn’t meet local dress codes may cause more offence at this time
  • Be aware that traffic may be unpredictable, and show extra consideration of other drivers
  • Be patient and show tolerance

There may also be a higher risk of terrorist incidents during Ramadan. Avoid large gatherings and exercise caution and remain vigilant at hotels, airports, markets, shopping malls and restaurants. For more information, see our Terrorism section.


You should carry some form of photo ID at all times.


You should dress modestly at all times. Men and women should cover their shoulders and legs when in public. Women should cover their heads when entering mosques or other holy places, and when travelling in rural areas.


Consumption of alcohol is illegal for Muslims. Public consumption and drunkenness are illegal and can lead to detention.


Blasphemy is illegal and has a broad definition in Pakistani law. It includes public and private comments in any form, including on social media. The state enforces blasphemy laws and there are significant criminal penalties up to and including the death penalty. In addition, those accused of blasphemy are at significant risk of violence from members of the public. Both Muslims and religious minorities have been victims of blasphemy accusations and violence, including killings. Visitors should therefore be sensitive to religious beliefs and behave accordingly.

Criminal proceedings

The death penalty can and has been imposed for crimes including blasphemy, murder, drug offences and rape.

Importing good

Importing alcohol and pork products is illegal. and neither are readily available in Pakistan. Penalties for illegal importation could include detention.


Homosexuality is illegal. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.


Cohabitation by an unmarried couple is illegal.


Possession of even small quantities of illegal drugs can lead to imprisonment. A number of British nationals have been arrested on drug trafficking charges and face long periods in detention on remand as their cases make their way through the Pakistan legal system. Drug trafficking can attract the death penalty.

Consular Assistance

If you or your parents were born in Pakistan, you might be considered a Pakistani national by the local authorities even if you do not hold a Pakistani passport, and the British government may be prevented from providing the full range of consular assistance.

Be aware that consular staff are limited by the same travel restrictions as other foreign nationals and therefore may be unable to provide in-person assistance in some areas. However, 24 hour remote assistance is available in London on 020 7008 5000.


Do not take photographs at military establishments, airports or any infrastructure, including bridges and dams including from aircraft. In the past British nationals have been arrested on suspicion of ‘spying’. Seek permission from any official, especially in border areas.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

Due to restrictions on imported goods medical supplies may become increasingly hard to find in country. You should therefore bring any medicines you need with you to Pakistan.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Medical treatment

Local medical facilities are not comparable to those in the UK, especially in remote areas. For psychiatric illness, specialised treatment may not be available outside major cities in Pakistan. Private medical care is available in all major cities, but expensive. The British High Commission Islamabad maintains a list of medical facilities in different cities of Pakistan. You’re strongly advised to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers the duration of your stay in Pakistan.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

If you are planning to travel to Pakistan with your medicine, please consult NHS advice before travel.

Other health risks

You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Take care when purchasing bottled water. A recent government report found a number of bottled water brands to be contaminated.

This page has information on travelling to Pakistan.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Pakistan set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Pakistan’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

You will need a visa to enter or travel through Pakistan as a visitor. For further information consult the High Commission for Pakistan in London.

Passengers aged 12 and above require full vaccination against COVID-19 in order to undertake inbound flights to Pakistan. Some exemptions apply.

On 28 December 2022, the Government of Pakistan Border Health Services announced that 2% of passengers arriving on international flights will be randomly selected and tested for COVID-19. The test will be in the form of a lateral flow with those testing positive then receiving a PCR test. Anyone who tests positive will be advised to self-isolate for five days.

If you’re transiting through Pakistan

Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

Transiting through Pakistan is permitted for travellers who are fully vaccinated.

Land Borders

The majority of Pakistan’s land borders are open but the FCDO advise against travel to most of the Afghanistan and Iran border areas.

The Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan is open to those crossing with valid passports and Pakistan visas, which you can apply for on the Ministry of Interior website. All borders with Afghanistan are liable to close at short notice and there have previously been reports of crowding and violence at open crossings. Those crossing into Pakistan may have to comply with coronavirus testing and quarantine measures. The FCDO currently advises against all travel to Afghanistan and Iran.

Illegal entry to Pakistan is a serious offence. If you cross from Afghanistan without the correct documentation you may be subject to detention and/or deportation. There is currently no process for regularisation of status for illegal entrants, which is necessary for onward travel.

If you’re fully vaccinated

Pakistan accepts vaccines which are currently on the WHO Emergency Use Listing.

On 24 February 2022 Pakistan removed the requirement for a negative COVID-19 PCR test for vaccinated travellers entering the country.

Travellers to Pakistan are no longer required to provide their contact information through the Pass Track App. You may have to fill in a health declaration form on arrival. Pakistan government guidance is available on their COVID-19 website.

Proof of vaccination status

Passengers aged 12 and above must present proof that they have been fully vaccinated to take inbound flights to Pakistan.

Pakistan will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

Non-vaccinated passengers who are aged 12 years and above are required to possess a negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to commencing travel to Pakistan, unless one of the exemptions apply.

Children and young people

Children below 12 years of age do not need to show proof of vaccination to enter Pakistan.

Exemptions to Vaccination Rules

Exemptions to the vaccination rules may apply for:

  • Passengers who hold a medical certificate stating that they have been medically advised not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Passengers who travelled outbound from Pakistan before 1 October 2021 who have connecting flights in Pakistan.

If one of these exemptions apply, you are required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours before the start of travel.

Partial, or non-vaccinated travellers seeking further exemption from the vaccination or PCR testing requirement may apply through the relevant Pakistani High Commission to an Exemptions Committee for inbound travel to Pakistan.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport Validity

If you are visiting Pakistan, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date of your visa application.

Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.


If you’re travelling to Pakistan on a British passport, you will need to get a visa before you travel. Visa violations can be treated as a criminal offence and could result in a fine or detention.

Journalists’ visas often have additional travel restrictions, which you should observe.

For further information consult the High Commission for Pakistan in London, including for information on any changes in visa process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP)

You can enter Pakistan visa free and remain there for an unlimited period of stay if you hold a valid National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or Smart National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (SNICOP). For more information visit the website of the High Commission for Pakistan in London.

Travelling with children

A single parent or other adult who is not the child’s parent may need to provide documentary evidence of parental responsibility, particularly if the child is of Pakistani origin, before the immigration authorities will allow the child to leave the country.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry into Pakistan. Holders of an ETD entering or leaving Pakistan will need to have either a valid visa or a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) / Smart National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (SNICOP) issued by the government of Pakistan.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Returning to the UK

All passengers leaving Pakistan must have a valid visa, a Pakistani national identity card or a valid Pakistani passport. If you are travelling on a British passport and your visa has expired you may not be allowed to board your flight unless you have a visa extension or an exit visa. Contact the Ministry of Interior, or refer to the website of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports for instructions on visa extensions and exit visas.

If you’re visiting Pakistan for more than 4 weeks, you may need to provide proof of polio vaccination when you leave Pakistan. For more information, see the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Screening on departure

If you are leaving Pakistan, you may be screened at the airport for any symptoms of COVID-19. You may also be subject to thermal screening for high temperatures. If you are vaccinated and free from symptoms you will be allowed to travel. If you’re suspected of having symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and breathing difficulty, you will be subject to a secondary screening by a medical professional or undergo rapid antigen testing. After which, you may be allowed to board if it is assessed that you do not have symptoms, have not been at risk of exposure and do not have a fever. If the secondary screening assesses that you may have COVID-19 you may be asked to self-isolate 5 days before you can travel. You may also be referred to a medical facility.

Pakistan recently experienced flooding and landslides. Roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed, meaning travel in many parts of the country is likely to be impacted. More information is available on the National Disaster Management Authority website.


The monsoon season in Pakistan is from late June to early October. Heavy rains can cause severe flooding, particularly in Sindh and Punjab Provinces.


Check local forecasts and news reports and be aware of the risk of landslides and road blockages, particularly in hilly and mountainous regions. Take extreme care crossing swollen rivers.


Earth tremors are common. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

More information and detailed guidance is available on the National Disaster Management Authority website. You should monitor the local and international weather updates from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, follow the advice of local authorities and your tour company before travelling.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can not offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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