Islamabad was once known as the dead city, but not anymore. This generation of kids who have grown up here is painting the town red in interesting and innovative activities that people from all over the country and abroad love to engage in.
This is my list of the top 30 things to do in Islamabad that no one else has compiled so thoroughly to date.
1. Cool off in summers in Islamabad’s swimming pools
Only five sites have heated pools
- Jacaranda Family Club (JFC) DHA-2 , Ph.: 051-2311001 and charge Rs 1000 per visit
- Serena Hotel Islamabad Sector G-5, Phone 051-2871100
- Islamabad Marriot Hotel, Sector F-5/1, Phone +92 51 2826121
- National Defense University (NDU) Sports Club, Sector E-9, Islamabad, Phone 051-9262066-8
- Islamabad Club Pool, phone 051-9046000
The rest have normal pools
- Navy E-8 swimming pool, phone 0332 8883366
- PAF E-9 swimming pool, Phone 051-9501500
- Ramada Hotel, Phone 051- 111 379 379
- Megazone F-9 Park (F-10 Markaz Gate) Phone 051-2324140
2. Appreciate the majestic horses of Riding Clubs in Islamabad
- Pak Navy E-8 horse riding club
- Islamabad Club horse riding
- Bahria Phase 4 Club, horse riding
3. Practice target shooting at Islamabad Gun and Country Club
Since this sport is so expensive, only one club has been able to run its operations. Even in Islamabad club, it is better that you bring your own licensed weapon otherwise the one they give you is considerably expensive to use.
Phone: 051-8466532-3 Extension 102 or 103.
4. Connect with buddies at the Golf course in Islamabad
Enjoy the lush greens at any one of these Golf courses of Islamabad with a green fee of around Rs 1000 per 9-hole round.
5. Join mixed – gender Rock Climbing events
There are about 50 rock walls that have already been hooked up and rigged for amateur climbers at various sites on the Margalla Hills. Rock climbing clubs bring ropes and harnesses on the weekend to help you enjoy a two-hour session with them. They even let you use their gear.
- RCCI Nazir Sabir 03457771117
- Alpine Club of Pakistan 03335176672
- Climax Adventure 03441612024
- Pakistan Sports Complex Rock Climbing wall
6. Take up hiking on the Hiking tracks of Margalla Hills
There are a total of ten hiking tracks around Islamabad.
Formal ones are
While informal ones are
All these trails are free for everyone.
7. Play team games like PanIQ room escape riddle in Islamabad
Islamabad has something absolutely novel in the shape of escape room games that is unprecedented in Pakistan and is being well received.
What is PanIQ room escape?
The primary purpose of an escape room game is for a team to work together and find their way to the other side of several interconnected chambers by cracking riddles, codes, locks, combinations and by using visual hints.
PanIQ Escape room concept was first started in Hungary in 2011, where it gained a massive following. Since then, it went to do well in the USA through a franchise. Currently, PanIQ room escape games have 18 locations worldwide, including Pakistan, Singapore, and Australia.
This Pakistani Chapter of escape games comes by the name of “PanIQ room” and has various themes like
- Insane asylum,
- Red Wire Spy thriller and
My Review of PanIQ room Islamabad
I found it intense, pressure-inducing , and requiring team skills and that is its strength too.
One person cannot solve all the riddles to get to the other side so there has to be a team leader, a thinker, and a doer.
Some even suggest that foreign militaries have made it compulsory for their officer corps to go through escape chambers like these to develop mental toughness and teamwork.
I saw several groups of young boys and girls and even families enjoying their one hour in the chamber.
Then, there were teams from companies trying to build rapport with each other in a casual environment.
You can also get PanIQ room memorabilia and souvenirs from the place
I found the Asylum theme a little spooky and the jailbreak theme requiring more people to solve. Three or six people are the ideal group strength to do any theme on the menu.
The best part of PanIQ room Bahria Town is that the CEO Adeel and his staff are friendly and on the ball at all times, which makes the experience pleasing.
Who all will enjoy PanIQ room Islamabad?
People who like riddles, brainteasers, puzzles and mystery hints and fantasies must visit this place to satisfy their cravings.
I barely got out in time, otherwise, I was incarcerated in the mental asylum forever – joking! – They give you unlimited hints before you make it out on your own.
PanIQ room escape Islamabad Ticket prices and Timings
This escape riddle game ticket price ranges from Rs 2000 to 3700 depending on group size.
PanIQ room Contact
- Name: PanIQ Room Islamabad
- Address: Theme Park Avenue, Bahria Phase 7, Rawalpindi (near Greenvalley Hypermart)
- Phone Number: 92-51-8444457
8. Other game sites
- Name : Megazone Islamabad
Phone: (92 51) 2251962, 2251952
Location: F-9 Park
- Battle Field paint ball and Zip line
Phone: 0300 8400987
Location: Lake View Park
9. Watch a movie at Islamabad Cineplex Cinema
- Cinepax Cinema
Location: Jinnah Park, Kachehri Road، Rawalpindi
- Cineplex Cinema, The Centaurus Mall Islamabad
Address: 4th Floor, Centaurus Mall، Islamabad,
- The Arena
Location: Bahria Town Phase IV Islamabad
10. Offer prayers at the majestic Faisal Mosque
Faisal mosque is shaped like a Bedouins tent and glimmers in the sun light. Don’t miss the chance to check out the massive chandelier turning on at sunset.
11. Absorb Islamabad’s Natural greenery
12. Visit museums
- Supreme Court museum
- Natural History Museum
- Lok Virsa Museum
- Pakistan Monument Museum
17. Lakes to enjoy
18. Go bowling in Islamabad
- JFC DHA 2
- Round-2 at PWD, Phone : 0335 2963338
- Safa Gold Mall
19. Scratch your creative itch at PNCA theater Islamabad
get an update on their next show from this PNCA event calendar
20. Try getting an invite to Diplomatic enclave clubs of Islamabad
- Australian Cub
- French Club
- British High Commission Events
21. ATV F1 tracks at Lake View Park
- F1 tracks four wheelers are fast for a track this size.
- ATV F1 Traxx Phone number : 0300 5693908
- Charges : Rs 4000 per person per ride of 15 minutes
22. Go boating and fishing at night to Rawal Dam and Khanpur Dam
For Rawal dam you’d need formal permission to fish there, but Khanpur is free for all as long as you stay at the less populated bank of the dam toward Islamabad.
23. Buy trinkets and hiking gear at Sunday bazaar
There is something mysterious in digging for treasures from used stuff that these shop keeper import as junk from abroad.
Top items were electronic accessories, sunglasses, hiking equipment, used boots, puzzles, and decoration pieces.
24. Try getting an invite to exclusive club in Islamabad
Clubbing in Islamabad is limited to closed communities and you’d have to be a part of their personal crowd or a lady to enter one that is not your own.
25. Open air music at Sadhu’s retreat
Their highlights are live music and hiking on a full moon night
Sadhu’s retreat Islamabad Phone Contact: 0314 5187977
26. Lookout for music concerts in town
A general search on google for the keyword “concerts in Islamabad” will show you when the next concert is happening.
You can also try the website allevents.in
27. Shopping in Islamabad
Go for branded stuff at Centaurus mall
Pakistani textile clothing like women’s pret a porter and guy’s jeans jackets are high quality and relatively cheap.
28. Find authentic food in Islamabad
You can find food from all ethnicities here like
- Iranian Restaurant
- Pakistani cuisines
- Japanese food
- Chinese Food that tastes Pakistani
- Afghani Tikka
29. Enjoy coffee at road side cafes
- Coffee Planet I-8, Phone (051) 4938081
- Burning Brownie F-11, Phone (051) 2814300
- Chaaye Khana F-6, Phone (051) 8312193
- Cinnabon, DHA-2, Phone (051) 2725517
30. Drive along Constitution Avenue
Appreciate the Mughal style architecture fused with ottoman minarets along the constitution avenue that is if you can get past the bored policemen at most useless check post in the world
Islamabad has a lot to offer for those who have the time and energy to enjoy its unique attractions. You only have to decide what kind of rush you need and dive straight into my to-do list here.