Karachi, the City of Lights, is known for its iconic landmarks, architectural gems depicting rich colonial history, bustling city life and, yes, not to forget, the expansive Arabian Sea. You will never find a dull moment here. The cacophony of honking buses plying on the road round-the-clock, numerous road-side eateries (dhabas) and shopping spots open until late night are the reason why the city never sleeps. So, if you’re a visitor who only has 24 hours in Karachi, don’t fret. There are plenty of things to do in Karachi.
How To Make The Most of 24 Hours in Karachi
Exploring a city full of life, culture and history can be a bit challenging, especially for first-time travelers. For your convenience, we’ve prepared a list of things to see in Karachi. From the best tourist places in Karachi to the most popular restaurants, there’s a lot you can do in 24 hours. Here’s a snapshot:
- Clifton Beach
- Breakfast at Boat Basin food street
- Visit the largest single domed mosque – Tooba Masjid
- Mohatta Palace Museum
- Lunch at Burns Road
- Port Grand
- Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum
- Frere Hall
- Flagstaff House
- PAF Museum
- Dinner at Do Darya
Let’s discuss each of these in further detail:
Morning walk at Clifton Beach
Wake up at dawn and head to Seaview for a refreshing start to your morning. The vast Arabian Sea attracts Karachiites and foreigners alike. You can visit the Devil’s Point from where, while sitting on the ledge, you can watch the rising tide hitting the rocks and the waves slowly receding. Dip your feet in the water or take a walk along the beach. You can also go for a camel or horse ride. If you are interested in knowing more about beaches and picnic places in Karachi, take a look at this blog: Top beaches in Karachi for a perfect picnic.
Breakfast Spots in Karachi
Regardless of the fact that you’re in the city only for a day, all visitors must visit at least one of the many desi food restaurants in Karachi. Boat Basin’s food street tops the list in this regard. Indulge in scrumptious aloo paratha, chicken cheese paratha and qeema paratha at any of the eateries situated in this area with karak doodh patti to wash it all down. If you are willing to splurge, then visit Xander’s in Khyaban-e-Shujaat in DHA Karachi. It is one of the most chic restaurants in the city, serving all-day breakfast. The outdoor seating area is its best feature. Only a short 26 minute drive from Xander’s is Dolmen Mall, Clifton. It has a large number of international brands and a food court. You can shop here to your heart’s content.
Xander’s Address: C 32 E St, Block 4 Clifton, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan
Timings: 8:00 AM till 12:00 AM
Visit the Largest Single Domed Mosque in the World
It is more commonly known as Round Dome Mosque or Gol Masjid, due to its large domed roof. Masjid-e-Tooba is a beautiful mosque and is one of the city’s major attractions, just like Badshahi Masjid is in Lahore. The white marbled dome is around 236 feet in diameter and is placed on a low surrounding wall. The amazing bit is that there are no centre pillars to support the dome. The mosque can accommodate around 5,000 worshippers and is one of the major tourist places in Karachi.
Address: Phase 1, DHA Karachi
Timings: All day
Mohatta Palace – A Cultural Heritage Site
An important landmark of Karachi, Mohatta Palace is a must-visit attraction for any history buff. It is located on Hatim Alvi Road, Clifton. The first glance at this magnificent building will stop you in your tracks. Mohatta Art Gallery also holds exhibitions of various artists and painters. The space attracts a large number of art-lovers who appreciate not only the paintings exhibited in the gallery, but also the Victorian-era statues that are placed outside the building. The museum is open throughout the week except on Mondays and the timings are from 11:00 am to 06:00 pm.
Address: 7 Hatim Alvi Rd, Block 5 Old Clifton, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh 75600, Pakistan
Timings: Closed on Monday, 11:00 AM till 6:00 PM
Burns Road – the oldest food street in Karachi
For lunch, head over to the food street on Burns Road. Foreign tourists and local people who come from far off locations, always visit this area as it houses some of the city’s best desi restaurants. If you’re visiting Burns Road for the first time then make sure to drop by Waheed Kabab House, Mazedar Haleem and Delhi Rabri House. If you love Nihari, then there is no place like Javed Nihari. There are numerous famous nihari outlets in Karachi, however, Javed Nihari tops the list. Located in the heart of Federal B. Area, which is a popular housing area of Karachi, Javed Nihari can be easily reached from all parts of the city. The restaurant’s slow-cooked stew garnished with ghee and green chillies is to die for. People say in order to truly enjoy the taste, you must dine in.
Address: Saddar, Karachi
Timings: 8:00 AM till 3:00 AM
Experience the food street on Karachi’s shores at Port Grand
Karachi has an expansive shoreline and if you are in the city you must make the most of it. If you think diving in the rough waters of the Arabian Sea at midnight is a little too extreme, you can, may be, experience boating at Port Grand. Port Grand provides a boat ride around Karachi’s coast – a speed boat ride and an exclusive floating party deck. The spot also organizes a bazaar at night and, if you’re visiting over the weekend, you can experience other attractions such as magic shows for kids, fire shows and concerts. But if you are visiting on a regular weekday, there is comparatively less rush and you can enjoy a quiet moment there. Take a walk on the cobbled pathways, look at the ships in the sea, experience a beautiful sunset against the backdrop of the Arabian sea. You can also enjoy scrumptious dishes at the food street.
Address: PNSC Building, Road Opposite، Port Grand Food St, West Wharf, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh
Timings: 5:00 PM – late night
Most-visited tourist spot – Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum
If you are looking for sightseeing spots in Karachi, then do not miss going to Quaid’s mazaar, the striking marble facade of Quaid’s mausoleum will make you spell-bound. It is a resting place for the country’s founder. There is a huge park spread on 53 acres of land and is a perfect spot for picnickers.
Address: M. A. Jinnah Rd, Jacob Lines Ghm، Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh
Timings: Closed on Monday, Tue-Sun 10 AM to 6:30 PM
Explore architectural gems: Frere Hall
A Karachi tour would not be complete without visiting Frere Hall. You can’t help but appreciate the Venetian Gothic style architecture and murals on the ceiling, painted by renowned Pakistani artist Sadequain. Frere Hall was built in 1865. Like its design, the building’s name is also serves as a reminder of its colonial past. It’s named after Henry Bartle Frere, who was a governor of Bombay. It also houses Karachi’s largest libraries and a beautiful art gallery.
Address: Fatima Jinnah Rd, Civil Lines Saddar, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan
Timings: Daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Learn more about the life of Quaid: Flagstaff House
If you are in Karachi, then you have to visit the residence and office of the founder of Pakistan. It is a museum showcasing relics and artefacts related to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The building has a magnificent brick and stone facade. Intricate carvings, and archways add beauty and elegance to the structure and make it one of the most attractive tourist places in Karachi.
Address: Fatima Jinnah Rd, Karachi Cantonment, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh, Pakistan
Timings: Daily 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Revisit Pakistan’s wartime history at PAF museum
If you like aircrafts, then Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum is a must-visit. It houses various aircrafts and jets that were used by Pakistan during war times, especially during the 1965 war with India. For a history aficionado, this museum is worth visiting. You can also buy food from the various outlets available there and there is a huge garden where people sit and relax. Plus, there’s a small amusement park near the museum.
Address: PAF Faisal Air Base، Shahrah-e-Faisal Rd, Faisal Cantonment
Timings: 9:00 AM till 9:00 PM
Enjoy dinner besides the sea at Do Darya
Do Darya is the most iconic food street in Karachi. It is famous not only for its beautiful ambience but also for its amazing food. It is less likely for you to feel hungry after a fulfilling lunch at Burns Road, earlier in the day, but once you see the picturesque views of the sea at Do Darya, you would want to book a table right away. The next thing you know is that you are seated at a spot close to the sea and tucking in the all-time favourite malai reshmi handi. Also, their cheese naan is worth every bite. A general tip: if you are visiting Karachi on a weekend, then make sure to book your seat at Do Darya at the earliest or you will have to end up waiting in a queue.
Address: Sea View Rd, D.H.A. Phase 8
Timings: 6:00 PM till 3:00 AM
There is more to Karachi than meets the eye. The metropolis is home to a lot of other spots that you can visit during a longer stay, even if you’re travelling to Karachi alone.
From mesmerizing views of the sea and historical buildings to fun picnic places in Karachi and an amazing food scene, the city is blessed with immense cultural wealth.
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