While Pakistan is a unique mix of natural, untouched landscapes and megacities that are literally crowded with people—nothing beacons tourists to come and explore the lesser-known secrets of the country more than the hospitable and welcoming attitude of Pakistanis. In fact, reviews of many world-famous explorers who have visited the country in recent times, show how astonishingly wonderful their journey was. These individuals travelled through the country to their heart’s content and collected some amazing souvenirs in Pakistan to take back home as a reminder of their journey.
Here, we’re listing down some of the top souvenirs in Pakistan that you should take back home with you.
Travel Souvenirs in Pakistan
From local craftsmen to online artists on social media, there are a lot of people offering different Pakistani souvenirs for travellers and locals alike. Here are some of the best travel souvenirs in Pakistan that will always be a fond reminder of your trip to the country:
Let’s shed some light on where you can find these souvenirs in Pakistan.
Gorgeous embroidered shawls and stoles made from self-fabric are commonly worn by women in Pakistan, usually accompanying the national dress of Shalwar Kameez or its variants. As a tourist in the country, you’ll probably be heading to the northern areas, which witness cold weather almost all-year-round. Shawls and stoles of various sizes, thickness, and fabric materials can easily be bought in local markets up north. If you head into the bigger cities, branded as well as local stores can provide you with hand and machine-embroidered shawls that are not just great at keeping you warm, but will make great gifts for people back home, too.
Most avid travellers collect certain forms of souvenirs, and there are plenty who prefer to create a diary of their travels on their refrigerators using magnets depicting each location they’ve been to so far. Small kiosks in malls can provide you with fridge magnets depicting the beauty of Pakistan to its fullest. These stalls are available at some of the best malls in Karachi, but similar options are present in malls in other cities as well. Hand-painted, as well as photo-printed fridge magnets, are generally available, with the former often having a 3D effect. You can also customise your order and get magnets designed according to your preferences from vendors online.
It’s always challenging to pack fragile items into your luggage, but if you have hard case luggage, then one Pakistani souvenir worth transporting is handcrafted pottery. The most famous region for this is Multan, where pottery is traditionally made from blue and white ceramic with floral patterns used to embellish the pots. Pottery is also available in bazaars in all the major cities of Pakistan in various designs and colours.
If you’re visiting Pakistan near the end of the year, don’t forget to take home a New Year’s calendar as a Pakistani souvenir. If you’re in Karachi, you can find these calendars at some of the top stationery shops in town. From scenic views of Pakistan to cultural imagery, you can often find a wide variety of calendars to make your pick.
While Pakistan itself is not a cold country, it is home to a large carpet weaving industry, with both local and imported varieties being available as souvenirs in Pakistan. As prices will vary as per the thickness, density, and quality of the carpet, it is advised that you shop for rugs with a local guide who can help you bargain with the shopkeepers for a fair price.
Paper maps are slowly fading away with the advent of technology, but to a collector, they’re still the best travel souvenirs. Guidebooks and maps not only help you find your way around town, but they’re also ideal for charting your route for intercity travel. The best part about collecting maps, as souvenirs, is that you can always open them up, with or without having an internet connection, to determine your whereabouts and get back on the right track.
Traditional jewellery in Pakistan is often heavy, made from silver or gold, with gemstones embedded into its surface. While northern Pakistan, mainly Gilgit, is best for buying gemstone jewellery, the major metropolises also have their own jewellery markets where everything from modern to traditional pieces are on display. Jhumkas, bangles, and maang tikkas and are some of the unique forms of jewellery worn in the country, primarily on weddings and other formal events.
You will also find a range of keyrings depicting scenic shots of Pakistan or various metallic charms that represent the country if you visit small kiosks in street markets and malls. There are seven major street markets in Lahore in you’re visiting the city. If you don’t like the options available there, you can get your own keyrings designed from individual artists on a custom-basis.
Pakistanis are patriots, and you can see the patriotic spirit at its peak during the cricket season, where every vendor and seller will have a range of T-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, bangles, jewellery, bandannas, and more on sale, all in the national green and white colours. Most of the apparel is designed to depict the Pakistani flag, as well. You might also find “Pakistan Zindabad” written on many shirts as a slogan, which roughly translates to “Long Live Pakistan”.
These are just a few of the many souvenirs in Pakistan that you can take back home as gifts and mementoes. If you’re debating whether or not you should travel to the country, here is why Pakistan has been the coolest place to visit in 2019.