Nightlife in Islamabad can prove rather interesting. Before you dress up and ready yourself for a night on the town, you need to consider a few things though. You may not be able to do some of the things you typically do back home.
As Islamabad’s legal system is heavily based in Islamic law, practicing Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol. You will see printed on most menus a statement similar to “liquor available for non-Muslim foreigners.” Even if you are from a different country, if you are a Muslim, you may not be allowed to order an alcoholic drink. If you are caught with an alcoholic beverage, you may face stiff penalties.
Due to the ban on alcohol for Muslims and residents, there are very few traditional bars in town. As the alcohol can only be sold to non-Muslim tourists, having an open bar doesn’t make a lot of sense.
If you want an alcoholic drink and are legally able to purchase one, the best place to start is your hotel. The Islamabad Marriott is one of the better offerings, as not only does it sell liquor, but it also plays live music.
You will pay a hefty price for alcohol. Due to the fewer number of locations selling alcohol and the difficulty of importing it, you’ll end up paying a significant markup.
There’s Always Shopping
So perhaps you are not able to go out and enjoy an alcoholic beverage. Checking out one of the local shopping markets at night may be just as fun. The Jinnah Supper Market and the Super Market are two of the more popular offerings within the city. With shopping available at night, you can wander the streets, find incredible offerings, and purchase the perfect take-home gift.
This is a fun “bar” that plays excellent music. You’re not going to be able to drink alcohol, but you can relax and enjoy some of the best tea in the city.
Hot Shots is another “club” location, and it does have dancing. However, if you need alcohol to get your groove on and just aren’t able to purchase any, you can always skip the dancing and just head to the bowling alley on site.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Islamabad Travel Guide
- Islamabad Things to Do – Attractions & Must See
- Islamabad Shopping – Shops, Stores, Best Buys & Inside Tips
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about nightlife in Islamabad.