Pakistan’s northern areas are one of the most beautiful and serene places ever, with picturesque mountains and a rich ethnic culture. The Pakistani cuisine is one that you will remember for the rest of your life, because your taste buds will always be asking for more!
The hospitality in the country is one of the finest I’ve seen yet and it’s an incredibly welcoming country! You’ll love your time over there.
Today, our guide is about traveling to the hill station of Murree, a pretty popular site for tourists from all over the country, it’s also pretty easily accessible.
How to Get There
Murree is at a 1.5-hour drive away from the main city of Islamabad. You can hire a coaster or a private car from Islamabad to take you there. You can even go in your own car, although it’s less recommended because the way to Murree has a lot of slopes so it requires a skilled driver. You’ll get many cars and coasters in Islamabad that will give you a round trip and will even take you around in Murree!
If you’re a skilled driver, you can even take your own car but make sure it has a high engine horsepower. You can also rent a car from Islamabad for this purpose.
What is the best time to go there?
Now, this is a tricky question. The best time to go actually depends on what you want to see over there. If you’re going for the snowfall, the best time is during the winter months but if you don’t want to go during the snowfall days, then it’s best to go during the month of Ramadan. This is because in the summer vacation season, that is, from June to August, it gets pretty crowded in Murree because travelers from all over the country come here to escape the hot climate of the rest of the country.
It’s best to avoid the peak season so that you can explore the place easily without any hassle! During the peak season, the fares and charges of accommodation also increase to a higher amount!
Places to Visit
Mall road is one of the busiest and most popular roads in Murree! It’s a busy street lined with cafes, souvenir shops, food and street vendors. If you want to get something for your family back home or if you just want to take something as a souvenir, this should be your go-to shopping place. The vibrancy and liveliness of this place is amazing!
You can buy traditional Pakistani winter clothes from the shops located here. I bought a flute from an antique wooden shop at Mall Road!
As its name suggests, this is the place where you can view Kashmir from! It’s a wonderful sight and it’s definitely worth a visit, especially during the snowfall season, when the peaks of Kashmir are covered with snow. The scenery is truly picturesque and beautiful, like an actual-life version of those pretty wallpapers we have on our phones and laptops that depict snow-capped mountains.
The Kashmir Point is about a kilometer away from the General Post Office so you can easily take a walk to the point.
If you’re looking for some adventure close to Murree, then this is where you should head over to. There’s a chairlift service available at Pindi Point, which takes you about 1.5 km away. It’s an interesting and exciting experience that allows you to have an aerial view of the aesthetic roads lined by pine trees on both sides. Pine trees are pretty abundant in the entire area and you’ll see a lot of them beneath you. They’re magnificent and tall trees that give an interesting view.
Places to Visit that are Near Murree
Although the Murree hill station itself is a beautiful place to visit, you might also want to visit nearby places that are in the Murree District. They’re locating just a few kilometers away from the main Murree hill station so they’re definitely worth a visit owing to the interesting and picturesque sights that the places have to offer.
Here are a few of the places that you absolutely should visit if you’re going to Murree:
This area is a pretty popular and adventurous area! The cable car service offered here gives you a great past-time and lets you bond with your family while you’re up in the air! The cable cars are covered with glass from all sides so that you can easily enjoy the view outside. However, make sure not to go during the peak season because then you might have to wait in line for your turn at the chairlift! The line can get pretty long and you might even have to wait for hours during the peak season.
After you get off the cable car, you can also hop on to a chairlift! The chairlift ride is even more exciting than the cable car ride because the chairlift allows more freedom and isn’t even covered! It’s truly fun riding on the chairlift.
You’ll also find many monkeys at and near Patriata, so make sure you stay safe! The monkeys are very clever. Cases where monkeys steal phones and food have been reported!
Ayubia is further away from the Murree Hill Station than is Patriata. It’s about 25 kilometers away, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Ayubia also has a chairlift, which allows you to view the beautiful pine trees from above. It’s actually a pretty interesting and adventurous experience, except if you have acrophobia. Well, if you do have acrophobia, you shouldn’t even be visiting the northern areas in the first place!
While you’re on the chairlift, don’t panic because it will all be okay.
If you’re interested in hiking, you should definitely visit Ayubia because it’s the primary starting point for hiking! Many hiking trails start from Ayubia, some of which are listed below:
- Ayubia to Donga Gali – this hike is a beautiful hike and it’s one of the prettiest and most beautiful hikes in the entire continent, which is why this should definitely be on your to-do list. Even if you haven’t hiked ever before, you can easily hike here even if it’s your first time! After reaching DungaGali, you can continue your hike to mushkpuri, or you can head back to Ayubia.
- Ayubia to ChanglaGali – this is also a pretty interesting hike, but it’s a less popular hiking trail than the one listed above.
Murree has quite a lot of hotels and accommodation places to choose from. However, during the peak season, the fares will be pretty high and there will be fewer rooms available so make sure you book in advance. To book in advance, you can go to booking.com and search for hotels in Murree. If you’re going off-season, then you can just check into any hotel over there without having to worry about the availability of a room.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Don’t disrespect the locals while you’re there
- Bargain while shopping on Mall road
- Don’t forget to take a souvenir back home! Support the local tourist industry there.
- Don’t forget to try the rich Pakistani cuisine over there.
- Take amazing pictures while you’re there. You’ll regret it later on if you forget to take pictures.
- Don’t panic while you’re on the chairlift and if you have acrophobia, don’t get on the chairlift. It’s okay to be scared sometimes!
Items to take along
Of course, when you’re going on vacation, you need to make sure you have all your essentials with you so that your trip can be safe and enjoyable. Here’s a checklist just in case you need it:
- Extra cash or a debit card. Carrying extra cash may be difficult for you, which is why you should have your bank card with you. You never know when you might need some extra cash and you should always be prepared to face any unforeseen situation.
- Extra winter clothes. It’s going to be a lot colder there than you’d expect it to be. Don’t forget to pack extra sweaters! Moreover, don’t forget to take along extra pairs of socks, gloves and hats. All of these are available at the shops there too but they’ll charge you more.
- Power bank – in case your phone dies and you urgently need it! A power bank always comes in handy while you’re traveling. Make sure it’s charged too!
- First Aid Kit – a must!
- Extra pair of shoes with a gripping sole
These are just a few of the many things you’ll need during your stay in Murree! Remember, it’s a beautiful and wonderful place where you can get a relaxing and peaceful escape from your daily routine. Make the best out of your time there and try to unplug from the internet and from social media as well! Take that time to bond with your family or friends and enjoy every moment to the fullest!