Things to do in Karachi
Karachi offers a wide scope of activities; however, don't expect too much even though it's one of the world's biggest cities. Due to being on the shoreline, Karachi offers plenty of opportunities for water babies.
- Arena, FEC-01, Habib Ibrahim Rehmatullah Rd, Main Karsaz (Near Maritime Museum), +92 21 9924 5251/54, 9924 5264, e-mail: [email protected]. M-Th 13:00-23:30, F,Sa 13:00-00:30, Su 12:00-23:30. A modern and family friendly gaming arcade offering 16 lanes computerised bowling alley, virtual bowling for those who don't want to handle the traditional heavier bowling balls, mini golf, pool tables, 29 different arcade games, coin-operated kiddy rides for children, ice skating rink which is first of its kind in Pakistan, virtual reality simulator, paint ball, rock climbing, and a gymnasium. There's a nice buffet restaurant "Rangoli" which serve continental & Mughlai dishes and a cafe styled restaurant "Cafe Mist" and "Mocktail Bar" located inside the Arena. Entrance fee is Rs 500 per person which is redeemable.
- Boating You can hire a boat for a 15–20min ride at Kiamari boating harbour, which will take you to Manora Island(though not really an island) or tour you around the Karachi harbor. At the southeastern end of Manora island is the tallest lighthouse (28 m high) in Pakistan, which was erected by the British after they captured Karachi's Talpur rulers. The access to lighthouse is unfortunately restricted due to its presence inside the military protected area. Private boats can be hired for around Rs 500-3,000 per hour according to size of boat. If you are also interested in eating fish or crabs, ask the boat owner to arrange some and have a cookout on the boat while you travel. Please avoid taking photographs as it is prohibited when you're touring near the harbour due to its proximity to a Naval base, and other sensitive installations around. Even the boats crew will discourage you to take photos. Aside from the wooden trawlers, ferries are also available. Some captains of boats and ferry offers sea fishing, or even just crabbing but within the harbour. You can spend a romantic evening crabbing in Karachi's coastline beginning at sunset and ending with a delightful crab and seafood feast under the stars in evening. There are also two ferry boats run by government, which run twice daily and can take you to Manora island free of charges. You can also rent larger boats from Kiamari boat harbour for longer duration to go further away to other islands such as Bundle Island or Buddo Island but you'll have to heavily negotiate to get a better rate, and try to avoid the touts who would be lurking outside in the parking area. One of the best ways to see Karachi coastline is from the waters of Karachi. Boats in Kiamari may offer marvellous tour and views of the Karachi beach and Port of Karachi of varying durations and prices.
- Cinemas. 10:00-02:00. Karachi loves going to movies, and Karachihites flocks to cinemas every day. Nueplex Cinemas in The Place, Khayaban e Shaheen, is a recently opened magnificent and country's biggest movie theatre. This is Pakistan's most notable cinema, offers a high quality experience with a good 3D system and has huge screens in an attractive ambience. The cinema is designed by world renowned cinema Architects Mesbur & Smith and comprises five theatres including a luxury one, totalling 1100 seats and features 3 of the largest silver screens in Pakistan. Other major players includes Cinepax in Clifton, Cineplex at Seaview and Atrium Mall in Saddar, close to Zainab Market. These cinemas show mainstream releases of Bollywood, Hollywood and Pakistani. Rs.500-1,000.
- Dinner Cruise, Phase 8, DHA.. Enjoy dinner on board while taking a boat ride off Karachi coastline in middle of sea. Cruise dining is itself most exciting part and makes this fantastic dining experience especially if you never did cruise dining before. Please note booking needs to made a day in advance. Either go with Savor, Savor provide 2 hour sailing time but if you've money and you want to go private, nearby Carlton Hotel can rent a nice comfortable, with both air-conditioned and open air deck and clean boat for you. They charge Rs 17,500/hour and Rs 2,300 per person for dinner. They've 2 menus to choose from, either Chinese or Pakistani.
- Hutting - there are hundred of beach huts on the outskirts of the city, not found elsewhere in the country, built on the shoreline of the Arabian Sea. You can rent a hut on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. When summer comes to Karachi, more beach huts spring up and every day large numbers of people from Karachi rent huts to enjoy picnic, swimming, and sunbathing. The huts are built on various small beaches located next to each other with a parallel access road and are less strict about clothing because of the more private access to the beach via these huts. Prices depend on the quality of hut you want, but normally start from Rs 8,000 a day. Prices can be negotiable though, so don't hesitate to haggle. Even huts with low charges are equipped with some basic furniture such as chairs and a bed together with a stove. Lifeguards and security are usually available as well in case of emergency. Bring your own food and drink. The beach with the most huts is Hawke's Bay beach. , which is most popular due to its close proximity to the city. It's a sandy beach with crystal blue water and is one of the few beaches in the world where green sea turtles come to lay eggs. There are hundred of huts built on the beach shoreline along Hawke's Bay Drive. Sandspit beach. is also a popular tourist spot due to its close proximity to the city. Huts built on the beach shoreline are along Manora Drive. French beach. is often cited as Karachi’s most beautiful beach. Located half way between Hawke's Bay and Paradise Point, it offers plenty of beach huts for rent. Its rocky beach and clear water are ideal for fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving as well as surfing during the monsoon season. Visitors have to bring their own equipment for diving and fishing though. A minute away from French Beach is 7 Tushan beach. and "Turtle beach" which have a mixture of small hills with a perfect sandy beach with a few beach huts. You'll need to book the hut in advance.
- Revolving restaurant, 16th Floor, Caesar's Tower, Main Shahrah-e-Faisal(Opp. Aisha Bawany School), . Have you ever heard of or experienced dining in a Revolving restaurant? If not, this is time to do. It is the only restaurant of its kind in the country where one can dine on a revolving floor located on the rooftop of the building and enjoy the stunning views of the Karachi skyline and major landmarks such as Mazar-e-Quaid.
- Safari Park, Main University Rd, Gulshan-e-Iqbal. This family-only park was opened in 1970, has a small zoo, a children's playland and some gardens. This park is one of the major recreation and amusement park in the city. Catch a bird's-eye view of the animals from the 10 minutes long chairlifts in the park. Also, houses Karachi's largest adventure park Go-Aish which offers different adventure activities such as rope course, Paintball, Wall climbing, ATV track, Big swing and Flying fox.
- Snorkelling and scuba diving Snorkelling and diving is getting popular in Karachi. The most well-known dive site in Karachi is Churna Island, where you can explore the city's beautiful aquatic life at a totally different level. It would be a thrilling, fun and excitement filled experience for those who've never dived before. The diving season in Karachi is from September to mid-May, so it's better not to dive during the monsoons in Pakistan which usually occur from June until September. The water temperature is a minimum of 16⁰C to a maximum of 29⁰C and you may dive to a depth of more than 30 m (100 ft). Churna Island is actually a small island off the coast of the city and is only accessible by boat. It has abundant of coral reefs and widely varied marine life which makes it very popular for diving. There is a marine park where you can find fishes such as hound fish, marlin, angel fish, parrot fish, puffer fish and barracuda together with dolphins, sea urchins, turtles, jelly fish and sea anemones as well. Karachi Scuba Diving Centre offer a complete scuba diving and snorkelling package which usually includes breakfast, lunch, diving instructions, diving gear, life jackets, local boat ride to Island and a pick-up, drop-off service as well Divers Reef Karachi along with knee-boarding, banana tubing and cliff diving. For those looking for some thrilling experience, take a thrilling and exciting ride on Jet Ski in city's seashore. The riding time is from dawn in the morning until afternoon. Ride usually cost around Rs 3,000 for two persons.
- Water parks There are some water parks in Karachi located in the suburbs of the city. They usually charge around Rs 500 entrance ticket and open from early in the morning until 6PM. Among the good ones are The Great Fiesta Water Park. located on M-9, one of the best water park in Pakistan. Surely a family park so only families are allowed. Offering many exciting water slides including one of the most heart wrenching "Raft Spiral Black Tunnel", Teenager, Cyclone, Wave Pool, Lazy River, Mountain Fall, Aqua Play, Mini Titanic Ship, Light House, and Free Fall. The most amazing slide is Rainbow slide and Cosy Water Park. on N-5 which is recommended for ladies because it is one of the water parks in Karachi that offers private ladies slides in a wide range. Other includes Al Mehran Water Park and Dreams-world Resorts.
Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana offers a two-year diploma course in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theatre. The All Pakistan Music Conference, linked to the 45-year old similar institution in Lahore, has been holding its Annual Music Festival since its inception in 2004. The Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is eagerly awaited and attended by more than 3,000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.
The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) also has musical performances and Mushaira (poetry recitations). Karachi has a few museums including the Mohatta Palace Museum and National Museum of Pakistan that regularly have exhibitions related to performance arts. Karachi is also home to the annual Kara Film Festival, which is one of the biggest film festivals in Pakistan and showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries.
Karachi hosts plenty of cultural events on regular basis, from art exhibitions to concerts, theatre plays and local newspapers often have listings of forthcoming culture event in the city. The city has a fine collection of Anglo-Indian architecture, a legacy of the British Raj, which will keep history buffs engaged. Culture vultures will find a city with many art galleries, displaying a broad spectrum of works from Asia, and some New Age works from aspiring Pakistani artists. It is not wrong to mention that some of the most famous art galleries in Pakistan are found here.
- Dolmen Mall Clifton, Sea View Rd (http://www.dolmengroup.com/our-projects/dolmen-mall-clifton/). 11:00am-11:00pm. More than just a shopping mall, this giant luxurious mall situated infront of the Karachi beach has much more to offer for its visitors. Every weekend thousands of people from across the city flock to mall for window shopping, eating and fun.
- Tour bus (Super Savari Express), , e-mail: , [email protected]. Karachi's first and only guided bus tour service. It is recently started and is popular among elite, students and foreigners.Rs 2,000.