Islamabad is divided into sectors with commercial centers.
Islamabad’s bazaars display locally-produced, handmade crafts- metalworks (copper and brass), terra cotta tiles, hand-woven rugs and carpets, embroidery, wool and silk shawls, stoneworks, unique woodworks, furniture, and more. You can find carved wooden trunks and dishes, glass bracelets, and hand-carved camel bone.
At some places, prices are fixed, but at most, you need to bargain hard.
This upscale area has hundreds of shops selling handicrafts, antiques, fabrics, books, flowers, electronics, and CDs/DVDs (most are pirated). The Hayee cosmetics shop, featuring some Western brands, sells perfumes and shampoo. There are open-air cafes, a Pizza Hut, and several gold jewelry shops. Some grocery stores advertise imported products. Boutiques sell expensive traditional garb.
With its many shops, it’s dominated by a few general stores that advertise local and imported items at steep prices.
Rana Market provides everyday items and services, and excellent tea-time snacks.
This large market features retailers of clothing, books, crafts, and much more. United Bakery, Shaheen Chemist, and Watson Pharmacy are popular. Shopkeepers speak English well. Prices are cheaper than Jinnah.
Historically, this has been a second-hand market, selling furniture and other goods left behind by departing diplomats and resold at sometimes exorbitant prices.
Kohsar Market offers selections (especially food) from around the world.
This area has lagged behind other markets, but has shown signs of development.
G-9 Karachi Company
Here you can find wholesale groceries, auto shops, photo shops, fruit and vegetable stands, and more. It’s also home to He & She Garments, a large retailer.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Islamabad.