Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, offers a modern glimpse into the nation, having been built as recently as the 1960s. Translating to the 'City of Islam', Islamabad is home to the Faisal Mosque – one of the world's largest. The mosque features a chic modernist design inspired by Mughal aesthetics – a style also visible across Constitution Avenue, the Star and Crescent Monument, and the Pakistan Monument. If you're looking to explore the city's cultural heritage, check out the National Art Gallery, Lok Virsa Museum and Saidpur – a 16th-century village on the outskirts of the city.
Islamabad's location at the foot of the Himalayas means there are plenty of green spaces surrounding the city. Head to the Margalla Hills National Park to see unique wildlife and diverse fauna. Similarly, the Shakarparian Cultural Complex and Lake View Park offer plenty of open space for picnics and outdoor relaxation. For picturesque views of the city and its monuments, climb the Tilla Charouni or visit the Damn-e-Koh viewpoint.
Islamabad's thriving food scene is complemented by its many street-food vendors serving the best of Pakistan's rich cuisine. Explore the Aabpara Market to chat with locals and enjoy regional delicacies like Biryani and Haleem – renowned for their aromatic spices and complex flavours. Another favourite is Golgappa – a mixture of potatoes and vegetables served with dipping yoghurt. Don't leave the city without sampling some traditional Pakistani confectionery – the walnut and almond nuggets, coated in cardamom and sugar, are said to be their best.