Gilgit Valley

Gilgit (Urdu: گلگت) is a mountain town in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Travelers exploring the Pakistani Himalayas or en route to or from China are almost definitely going to spend at least one night here. This makes it a great base to further research your trip, meet up with potential travel partners, or simply take a break. It's also a launching pad for climbers to nearby Rakaposhi.

Get in

Danyor Tunnel
Plane landing at Gilgit airport

Gilgit is just off the Karakoram Highway between Chilas and Karimabad, and most people arrive by road. The main bus stand is on the KKH - Karakoram Highway, and requires a taxi ride or shared jeep to reach from town. There are booking agents in town for long distance buses along the KKH. The journey from Islamabad can take as long as 24 hours.

The best season to visit is from May to mid October. The local dialect is Shina, however, Urdu and English are also spoken and understood.

Gilgit Airport (IATA: GIL) is small and has 45 minute flights to/ from Islamabad on PIA . Due to extreme weather changes, flight delay or cancellation is a normal occurrence.

Get around

Private vehicles are normally used as local transport. Renting jeeps is also a common way of moving around. You can go to nearby cities on buses and by air.


This area is no doubt a heaven for trackers and hikers.

With the help of a guide or by yourself - area is safe as well as a treat to experience untouched beauty and a rendez-vous with the locals. One of the most hospitable, down-to-earth, modest and loving people.


There are banks around town that change cash and travelers checks. Some shops accept the foreign currency as well. You can buy gem stones, antiques and Chinese goods - anything from silk to electronics.


You can try local fruits like apples, cherries, apricots and a variety of nuts rich in omega 5 like almonds, chestnuts, walnuts etc. Restaurants offer all sorts of Western breakfast to local ones - like salted tea and bread as well as Chinese food, Tanduries, and local dishes. In this region, people do not eat spicy food like the rest of the country. Local food consists of special baked breads (different varieties), handmade-noodle soups, salted meats, roasted meat, vegetables, fruits & dairy products. All the products are organic as they believe in traditional farming without the use of chemical fertilizers and sprays.


Gilgit River

Most of the high end hotels have their own bars but at some areas they have their local alcohol too.


Suburbs of Gilgit

Gilgit has one of the cheapest accommodation for visitors with a budget.



There are a handful of internet cafes along the main road. Fax and telex are also available.

The main post office (M-Sa 9AM-7PM, closed Sundays) is at Saddar Bazaar on the main road.

Stay safe

Gilgit is fairly stable and safe compared to other regions. Travelers - both local and foreign still visit the area and enjoy the breathtaking beauty and nature.

Go next


You can see Hunza valley right from Gilgit near Diamir area. All the autumn colors and seasonal changes give a sit at home treat. It takes 35 minutes by jeep to get to Hunza but weather and traffic are two important factors leading to a bit longer drive to Hunza. The drive towards Hunza is exciting, breath-taking, and once in a lifetime experience. Hunza has the highest literacy rate of Pakistan, close to 98%. People are very friendly and it is quite developed. UNESCO World Heritage Sites can also be seen there.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, January 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.