Pakistan offers a unique and charming shopping ambience, with a lively mix of street bazaars, local shops, as well as up-scale malls. Visitors will be delighted with the variety of handicrafts, art items, and souvenirs available. There is always an endless stream of interesting and exotic products to choose from.
Pottery has been a part of Pakistani art culture ever since 3,000 BC. The modern art forms of the country include jugs and jars that are beautifully carved and designed. The designs and styles vary according to the different regions of the country.
Shopping in Karachi
A noisy and busy bazaar is characteristic of Pakistan. You will find a rich assortment of items in the markets of Karachi, from hand embroidered shawls to glass bracelets. The bazaars of Karachi are colorful, displaying a rich assortment of jewelry and artifacts—a sheer treat for the eyes.
Pakistan is one of the biggest exporters of hand woven carpets, and Karachi is just the place to look for quality carpets at reasonable prices. The main shopping area in Karachi is Saddar, located between Abdullah Haroon road and Zaib-un-Nisa Street.
Don’t miss out on Zainab market, Bohri Bazaar, and the Express market. All these markets have something unique and special to offer you, from beautifully designed clothes to hand block printed bedspreads.
Shopping in Lahore
Whether it’s the Liberty market, Kashmiri Bazaar, Brass Bazaar or the Sarafa Bazaar, Lahore provides a splendid shopping ambience where you discover unique local handicrafts and items for you to take back home. The Anarkali Bazaar is a great place to shop for handicrafts and jewelry.
Shopping in Islamabad
Islamabad is a shopper’s paradise with a huge array of shops and bazaars that sell interesting items. You will find Multana Khussa, or shoes, exquisitely embroidered clothes for men and women, pottery, earthenware, camel skin ware, gorgeous carpets, and various products made of wood. If you’re passing through the city of Multan though, be sure to take a break from your shopping and try the sumptuous mangoes in the Shujabad district. For attractive Oriental bazaars, visit Rawalpindi, just a short drive away from Islamabad. Other interesting markets in Islamabad include the Jinnah Supermarket, Covered Market and Aabpaara Market.
You will find many up to date shopping centers in Pakistan that include high-end malls. These malls sell products from international brands and some of them also provide restaurants and eating joints. Popular malls include The Forum and Park Towers, both of which are situated in Karachi.
Most Pakistani shop vendors are open to bargaining. Similar to bargaining methods in other Asian countries, make sure that you take your own sweet time with the bargaining process and try not to settle for the first price you get. Usually shop sellers reduce costs significantly from the original quoted price; however, it also helps to remember that most Asian countries are poor, and a few dollars could make a huge difference to a family. Therefore it makes sense to bargain on expensive items; whereas going easy on cheap items is a good idea.