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a VirtualTourist member from Karachi


Tour to Murree,islamabad,Naran,Kagan couple with kids

Salam all brothers,
I have plan to visit in June very first week or July very first week to visit to islambad,murree,kagan and naran with mrs and kids,i am going from karachi,
I have following few questions please.
1-what is the best time to visit in these areas from above choices,which cost lower.
2-Budgest hotels name within 2500 rupees in the suggested months.
3-I have 10 days plan excluding my traveling hours from karachi to islamabad and i want to stay atleast 5 days in murree.As such i have left 5 days for naran,kagan,abbotabad, it ok
4-Where should i stay in above places keeping in view of lower expenses.
5-first time going in abbotabad and naran kagan so want to know where from i start after islamabad and what days enough for what city.
please note my last 5 days i planned in murree.
How much budget is enough for us.We need one bed room with one extra mattress at each stay point.
waiting for some detailed suggestions and information.
thanks in advance

14 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

If I will go to Naran then I will definitely leave Murree so that I can spend more time in Kaghan valley which is very different from Murree, etc...

Out of 10 days, keep atleast 3 days for traveling between Karachi and Islamabad unless you take the flight which is very expensive.

So you will have 7 days, or one week, for sight seeing which is good enough to explore the Kaghan valley (including Abbotabad) leaving no time for other places unless you want to spend most of the time on the road.

I see you posted the same question at PakWheels which is imo a better forum for traveling inside Pakistan especially for locals...

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

1. For Naran very first week of July is relatively suitable. For Murree both are ok.

2. I have posted a list of Standard Class as well as Budget Class hotels in Naran page. You can get a nice room in Naran within your range.

In Naran you can stay at any one of the following Standard Class Hotels:
[original VT link]

Budget Hotels in Naran: [original VT link]

Phone Numbers of Hotels are given in review. You can call couple of hotels to confirm the latest rates.

In Murree you can stay at AL-QAMAR HOTEL. Its cheaper hotel.
Phone no. 051-3411273, 051-3410311

There are lot of hotels on Mall Road which fall under your budget. Do bargain.

3. Your plan is not bad. 5 days for Kaghan Valley are ok. But if you can cut atleast one day from Murree & add to Naran then it will be better & also I will prefer first to go to Murree then to Kaghan side. Its colder in Kaghan Valley relative to Murree.

4. is same as point 2.

5. Well I don't know if you want to stay in Abbotabad otherwise people mostly don't stay in Abbotabad or Mansehra. They go direct to Naran. It takes min. 6-7 hours from Islamabad to Naran.

Your jouney will be Islamabad to Naran via Abbotabad, Mansehra & Balakot. If you can get direct bus for Mansehra or Balakot then it will be more convenient. Then you do not have to change buses again & again. From Balakot you'll get conveyance for Naran. You should have Rs. 50,000/- at least.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

According to your plan if you go first to Kaghan Valley then on the way back the road from Abbotabad which directly goes to Murree via Nathiagali. Do stay at least one night in Nathiagali. It is more peaceful & green than Murree. Murree has become over crowded. In June July it is very crowdy. So you'll like stay in Nathiagali.

From Islamabad you can find hiace/bus for Murree from Faizabad Bus stand. Fare will be around 100 to 150 per person. Daewoo also goes to Murree. They take Rs. 210/- per head. Btw Daewoo also goes to Abbotabad.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Thanks brothers for your replies.
I have 10 days plan after islamabad and with three days traveling its total 13 days plan.
If Kagan naran is much colder than Murree then i think i should change my plan and first go to murree for 4 days.
It will be better if i stay one day at islamabad in returning from kagan later.
it will give us some rest also before starting the long traveling from islamabad to karachi.
I know in murree 5 days is very much but actually my wife and i himself like it very much because we had visited once before and like busy stuff in murree.watching show in theater,and lot of markets and shoppings,its very attractive life of murree for both of us.Last time i stayed 7 days only in murree and two days in islamabd.
Please also suggest some good guest houses or hotels in Islamabad.i can increase one or two more days in our schedule.
Why i told that we like to stay in last in murree because we like it much more but as u told kagan is much colder than may be we dislike the murree weather if go there in last.Is it?
i listen that there is nothing in kagan and naran in night life and its only day time enjoyement and visitings.Is it?
i will surely like to stay one night in abbotabad but what to stay in balakot or go directly to Naran.i really not decided about it because its my first time traveling in these areas.
Please also note i have little kids and do not like to travel long on daily basis.
any more suggestions please.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

I'm glad that you found above posts helpful.

Keeping in view your preferences i'd suggest to keep Murree for the tail end of the trip partly because you and the family can relax after a long journey.

This is true that there is not much nightlife in mountains but who will go there for that? It is basically nature which we Karachite have especially forgotten. Perhaps you will find that a bit hectic but I can bet the family and the kids will cherish that whole of their lives. I can still feel the taste of those beautiful trips my parents took me to when I was young!

So make a good plan and enjoy your trip. Guys here at VT are amazingly helpful and then you have plenty of time to fine tune the trip.

13-14 days are good enough to explore the valley and then relaxing in Murree. I would suggest you the following itinerary:

Day 1: Leave Karachi
Day 2: Reach Rawalpindi and try to make it to Abbotabad/Mansehra. (Daewoo runs Karachi-Abbotabad from where Mansehra is half an hour easy drive). Night stay in Abbotabad.
Day 3: Mansehra to Naran
Day 4: relax
Day 5: Day trip to Lake Saiful Mulook (trip is absolutely incomplete without this)
Day 6: Naran to Shogran
Day 7: Shogran
Day 8: Shogran to Murree
Day 9-11: Murree
Day 12: Islamabad
Day 13: Islamabad-Karachi

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

@ Siddique bhai: you rock man! :)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

I will agree that your plan of putting Murree in last is fine. I understand your situation now. We also have visited Murree twice. But still my wife says that our next trip will also be to Murree.

There are lots of thinks to do in Kaghan Valley other than Saiful Maluk. BUT most of them are for Adventure loving young guys who are travelling without kids & family. Also they are day trips. So you should follow your own plan with details as told by Muzammil. Also include one night for Nathiagali. As you told you stayed in Murree last year for 7 days. Then you'll be aware of the spots. Besides Main Murree Hills people go to a day trip to:

New Murree, Patriata side
Bhurban, Neelam River Side
Nathiagali, Changlagali, Dungagali, Ayubia Side.
Or some just relax & stay in Murree. (Sometimes extra walk/travel tires you.)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Thanks for detailed replies and suggest plan for me.It's really nice plan.I really like this visit memorable for my family.Last time i went murree in 2006 and that time my kids were too young that not remember any thing.Just infants,and we only visited murree that time.
We plan to travel By train from karachi to rawalpinidi because coach journey will tired us and kids also likes train.I himself has vomiting problem in long travel of coach journey.Do u know which train is best with lower ac class for pindi.
I last time travel by Karkoarm express but it goes only till Lahore and i know if i went through it i have to stay at Lahore but its not in my plan yet.Do u think i should stay at Lahore for one day and then go directly to Naran from Lahore.
Any fun for kids there.
As u told that i can get good hotel in 2500 in all my visiting areas,is it confirmed because in 2006 i stayed in murree at hotel AL BADAR at mall road and its cost rupees 2000 per day in august 2006 and Now its 2012.Do u know the update rate for the month of July(Peak season).

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Well I will only comment on the train part:

Personally speaking I always prefer train over bus and flying. Only bad thing is you have to incorporate the delay trains are famous for.

For Karachi-Rawalpindi, one way is to take the train for the full journey. Tezgam makes a good case for that. You can easily see the train schedule on by selecting 'Karachi Cantt'. In your case, I would suggest this option as otherwise you have to go through the bother of train to bus transfer which would be more hassle-some than keep sitting in the train.

The other option would be to break the journey as you yourself mentioned in Lahore (or Faisalabad). However, Lahore to Naran in one day would be quite tiring, imo, if not undoable. Or you may continue from Lahore to Abboatabad (7 hours) without having a stopover through Daewoo (

hope this would be helpful for you.

Just to mention, my suggested itinerary is only for reference purpose and only to give an idea of the traveling time. Feel free to tweak that as per your choices and family preferences.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Pakistan Railway is in crises these days. They don't have railway engines. Trains are not departing on time. First a train reaches, they take its engine & attach to a going train. If engine has repair work, then first they repair it, then attach to going train.

Trains to Rawalpindi have too many stops, so they take much longer time than Coaches. Suppose a coach reaches Islamabad in 24 hours then a train will reach in 36 hours or more.

Only 2-3 trains to Lahore take relatively less time like Kakarkoram & Krachi Express. Because they have less stopovers. Therefore by train only upto Lahore is advisable. Onwards you may rely on coach or direct go on Coach. I know it is tiring, specially with kids but its faster than train.

As far as Hotels are concerned there is a great margin of bargain. Sometimes an agent refers you a hotel. In this case his commission is also included in the rent. When you arrive Murree Leave your wife & kids at bus/taxi stand or in the waiting area of ANY hotel nearby. Then wander alone (also make sure to keep agents away from you) & soon you'll find an economical hotel.

Last time when we left taxi there were a no. of agents trying to catch us. I do went with someone & he took me to a hotel near Murree Church. They show me a budget class room (with no warm water in Jan) @ Rs. 2000/- They said warm water is no where in Murree because lines are choked. But then I went to Al-Qamar Hotel my self & they gave me far more better room with 24 hours warm water @ Rs. 500/-

Going to Naran Direct from Lahore is fine.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Thanks for replies and suggestions.
I checked the train schedules and found that better option is to go through karakoarm express and stay one night at lahore and then go to abbottabad via daewoo coach.I plan to stay in lahore at hotel near railway station because i think they are much cheaper than city hotels.I checked business train but its fares for kids are higher than karkaoram.
I hope karakarom will not late as compare to other trains.
yes i can not go directly from lahore to naran so i will stay one night at abbottabad.I will also visit in lahore and abbottabad visiting places to take the advantage of staying there.
then i will leave abbottabad on next day to directly naran.
I will increase one more in my schedule due to stay in lahore.
Faisalabad is not my choice now as i studied there for four years and only thing i can show to kids is the university of textile engineering manawala where Father i means me studied but lol they are not interested in it and rightly so.
and rest nothing to do in faisalabad except its dirty dust flying on streets.
Yes train is my only choice from karachi to Lahore or any where.
But in return i have only one option and its confirmed that i will return from pindi to karachi in Tezgam whatever its late for 4 hours or 14 hours.
Bukhari bhai you visited murree in last year Janaury and that time hotels price are on lower side but in July do u brother knows what will be the expected price per night.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

You are most welcome. It is pleasant to note that you are finding the info helpful :)

Your plan of going through Karakoram Highway makes sense given your situation. However, I would like to continue directly to Abbotabad through Daewoo as soon as I reach Lahore.

From so many tours of the beautiful North, what I have learned is that one should make it to their last destination as quickly as possible avoiding enroute stopovers. For instance, the one night stopover in Lahore would only add up to the hassle as the city is big enough to be enjoyed in half a day and that too with the family and right in between a long journey.

In fact, if you choose to stay overnight in Lahore, you will have to make it all the to Naran from Lahore which will be hectic imo, unless you want to sacrifice one more day and opt to stay overnight in Abbotabad also. If you stay overnight in both cities than you will reach Naran the 4th day, leaving you only 9 for the rest of the journey which is impossible to divide between Kaghan valley (Naran and Shogran), Murree, Islamabad (optional), and the return journey!

So I will suggest to plan your travel smartly otherwise you will be spending most of your precious time on the road!

Why I suggested Faisalabad is that it takes roughly one hour less fpr Karachi-Faisalabad than Karachi-Lahore. Additionally it takes roughly one hour less for Faisalabad-Islamabad than Lahore-Islamabad, so saving two or more precious hours. However, the problem is Daewoo does not run direct Faisalabad-Abbotabad which means that Lahore option would be better.

Further, in case of Daewoo do book your seats as soon as you finalize your plan. I guess you can book that via telephone and you don't have to pay anything. They will actually give you a time, usually, one hour before departure, to pay for the ticket otherwise your seats may be given to other travelers.

Also book Karakoram asap as good seats get filled up days ahead...

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Serwar bhai from your last post I thought things are getting clear in your mind but now after Muzammil's last post a little confusion has been created. I appreciate him for a detail reply. I agree with him in some points like you should plan your travel smartly to avoid time wastage.

I would have totally agreed with him if you were travelling alone or with friends, BUT you are travelling with wife & kids. This is a totally different scenario. In Pakistan house women are also dependent on their fellow men travellers. So Server has to handle kids & wife. He can not Opt for long distance travels without a proper stop.

Karakoram's arrival time at Lahore is around 11 am. If they don't stopover in Lahore then they will reach Abbotabad by night (around 8 pm), which are late hours to find a hotel. In case Karakoram gets late then there is no chance to leave the same day. So I will recommend a stopover in Lahore & leave early next morning for Abbotabad. Abottabad is also cool place. You may skip Abbotabad & stopver in Balakot, which is relatively cooler & beautiful.

I do agree with Muzammil that extra couple of days are being killed before Naran. But direct travel from Lahore to Naran is also tiring.

By the way you can't totally enjoy visiting locations in Lahore & Abbotabad. In Lahore you'll have evening/night time when you'll reach there. Next day you must leave early to Abbotabad. So in Abbotabad you'll have evening time. Anyway Best of luck.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Karachi

Salam friends.
I was busy in field works so unable to reply.Thanks again for your valuable information and help.
Dear due to some reasons my plan of july was changed and now i am going on 3rd of june(coming sunday).Seats are booked in karakoram buisness class.
Hopefully i will reach to Lahore Insha Allah on 4th of June.
Now need some more help and information due to change of my plan dates.
I heard on some websites that in June Kagan and Naran or not feasible and we may found road blockages.
For that i thought to first go to murree instead of Naran valley and after stay 4 days there i departure for naran.
My plan from karachi to Murree is as follows:
June3 day1: Departure from karachi.
June4 day2: stay night at Lahore.
June5 day3: reach islamabad and stay.
June6 day4: reach murree
June7,8,9 day 5 to 7: stay in murree.
June10 day8:departure to Naran.
I have increased two days in my plan and now i have total 16 days including my traveling from karachi to islamabad.As such i have five days for kagan naran and return to 13 days to stay.
please provide me some plan from my 8 day after murree.
Also please inform me that in these dates what are the possible conditions of roads blockage.I do not want reach naran and return without seeing saiful malook and lalazar lakes etc.
waiting for some quick replies please.

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