Gilgit is situated in the North of Pakistan, just a little off from the Karakoram Highway and is the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan. Gilgit is perhaps the most spectacular region of Pakistan because of its captivating landscape, rich cultural heritage and biodiversity, which make it a popular tourist hub.
Gilgit is home to a multitude of cultures, diverse ethnic groups and languages like the Shina and Burushaski but all the people are very hospitable and will make you feel right at home. The fact that the three highest mountain ranges in the world – the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and Karakoram meet here makes Gilgit a mountaineer’s paradise.
Gilgit is famous for the yearly polo festival which takes place in Shandur and Gilgit, and we recommend you plan your trip around the annual tournament.
Jovago’s Top 3
The 7th century beautiful rock engraving of the Buddha is Gilgit’s most famous attraction. Located on a rock near Kargah ravine, 10km from Gilgit, it is a popular picnic and short outing spot. A widely-believed legend about the Buddha is associated with this location and this makes the Kargah Buddha a significant part of the region’s unique history.
SherQilla and Naltar
Located 38km from Gilgit, trout fishing can be enjoyed in the SherQillaNullah. The route also links with the Naltar valley (famous for its lush Alpine forests), a ski slope, gorgeous glaciers, lakes and gorges. Those interested in flora and fauna will love the Naltar valley and its scenic beauty, and should definitely pay it a visit.
Water channel Walk
Breathe in the fresh mountain air along the water channel walk high above the city of Gilgit. It is an easy 2 hour walk with breathtaking views from above the valley via the Victory Monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago. The valley is heavily wooded with pine, spruce, birch and fir trees.
Gilgit has many local spots which serve the local cuisine but the hotels serve all kinds of food so you can enjoy cuisine from all over the world. The best dining experiences are at the Dumani restaurant, Garden BBQ at Hotel Serena, Jutial Lounge and the Hotel Riviera.
You could explore the Gilgit Bazaar – the well-known Chinese market and local handicraft market. Gilgit shopping can be done in stalls and small shops which sell traditional products and a few shopping centers like Habib and New Golden have opened up.
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Gilgit has a small domestic airport situated 2.3km east of Gilgit but the safest airport nearby to travel from is Benazir Bhutto International airport (Islamabad). The distance from Gilgit to Islamabad is 269km.