Karachi is well connected with other countries by air through Jinnah International Airport. It has local buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis to get around the city. You can also walk around to get glimpses of local life and culture. It is also well connected to other cities by Pakistan Railways and the government and private buses.
The cheapest way to get around Karachi is to use the buses. But on the flip side, they are dangerous because of reckless driving and overflowing passengers. Although not advisable, bus travel could provide insight into the locals' daily lifestyle, tradition, and culture. Travel at your own risk.
The best way to traverse Karachi using public transport is to wave a taxi. However, before you start with the taxi ride, make sure that the cab meter is working and if not, negotiate the fare for the destination beforehand. Yellow cabs are pretty famous in Karachi, but you can hire bulky black & yellow taxis with larger seating & luggage capacity for slightly lower fares.
If you have the confidence to navigate through the roads of Karachi behind the steering wheel, then hiring a car is the right choice. Driving a car in Karachi is a daredevils job considering the roads and traffic sense. Essentials like stopping at signals and positioning your car for turns is not necessarily followed. But the safety and independence derived from rental car driving are one of a kind. The best is to hire a car with a driver.
Almost all parts of Pakistan are well-linked by rail operated by Pakistan Railways. Karachi is home to two important railway stations - Karachi City Station and Karachi Cantonment Railway Station. Tourists can travel to Pakistani cities such as Multan, Quetta, Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, etc.
If you want to make an international call to Karachi, the international dialling code of Pakistan is +92, followed by the area code of Karachi, which is 21. Subsequently, enter the local number. When dialling a mobile number from outside of Pakistan, enter +92 3 followed by the number.
Contacting people via the internet is easily possible since every corner of Karachi's streets is home to innumerable cyber cafes offering a decent internet speed at nominal charges. Internet access is also available on mobile phones with the help of GPRS enabled connection. Mobilink, Telenor and Zong are the leading service providers who offer GPRS/EDGE. There are leading five mobile phone operators in Karachi: Mobilink, Warid Telecom, Telenor, Ufone & Zong (China Mobile).
Wireless internet is also available extensively in Pakistan at Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, malls, cafes/restaurants, and business districts.
Usually, tipping is included in the bills as a service charge, so it is not mandatory. It could vary from 5 to 10% depending upon restaurants. However, if you get excellent service, then in the form of appreciation, staff members expect a little extra tip. Tipping is expected at restaurants and cab drivers. In a local language, it is known as baksheesh.
The safety of tourists becomes a significant concern in this city as the crime rate is relatively high. Due to a history of violent crimes, it becomes necessary to take precautions while travelling to avoid becoming an easy target. It is always better to travel by taxi instead of public transportation in the city. The outfit should be kept conservative and adopt local dress customs to avoid the unnecessary attraction of goons. Evade dangerous areas and narrow and dark streets at night.
It is always necessary to ask before lighting up cigarettes as the government bans smoking. Even if the law is not strictly followed, it's better to be safe. Smokers are easily seen on public transportation, and there is no strict heavy penalty levied.
The best time to visit Karachi is during late winter (October to January) or early spring when the climate is cool and pleasant. Rainfall is from July to September. The temperature is relatively high in the summer season and mainly due to high humidity. To an extent, it can be pretty sweltering in the daytime.