Shopping in Pakistan is fun especially as each city has a different selection of souvenirs to buy – and its capital has plenty! The traditional way to shop is to try the colorful open-air bazaars where prices can be enthusiastically bartered! The oldest is Qurtuba Market in Bahadurabad and Zainab Market is one of the largest and is in the heart of the city near the hotels.
There are some elegant high-end stores to be found in Zamzama Street and Park Towers. There are some snazzy malls too including Dolmen Mall in Tariq Road which suits a variety of budgets but does stock all the top international brands. Two other Malls include Lucky One and Clifton Mall – which even has a branch of UK stores ‘Next’ and ‘Debenhams’! Karachi is viewed as the food hub of Pakistan so some edible treats are definitely worth buying and there is tasty street food to give you sustenance as you shop!
Have a look at the top 10 souvenirs to buy in Karachi!
1. Look stylish in some great new jeans
There is one particular stall in Zainab market that has an almost cult following because it is THE place to buy great jeans and sells 1,000 pairs every month! Faisal Garments is jam-packed with a great variety of jeans that are destined for the export market and you will find the Swedish brand H&M as well as Abercrombie & Fitch, Berksha, Mango and Zara. There are jeggings, skinny, bootleg, classic and flares to choose from and if you want to try on a pair, be warned – the changing ‘room’ is really tiny but trying on is recommended to avoid disappointment!
2. Buy some beautiful black onyx
If you are looking for a special souvenir, a stylish piece of black onyx is certainly not the cheapest but is definitely stylish! There are vases in all shapes and sizes, decorative egg-shaped pieces, lovely trinket boxes, and even soap dishes – all with beautiful natural banding in the stone.
3. Get a stylish shawl
The women in Pakistan wear the most beautiful pashmina shawls and they are widely available to buy and are perfect for your travel bag as they take up such little room! There are two main sizes available – small and large. They are available in a wide range of beautiful patterns as well as in solid colors. The small shawls are the perfect way to add interest to a plain colored dress or white shirt and trousers. Be warned, the large shawls really are large and whilst they are too large to wear, they make a wonderful throw for a sofa or bed, an attractive wall hanging or even curtains!
4. Order some made-to-measure leather
Leather is one of Pakistan’s largest exports and the country has more than 600 leather tanneries – most of them located in and around Karachi! Leather production is increasing in Pakistan as it is decreasing across Europe. There is a vast selection of leather goods at really good prices and these range from wallets, purses, and belts right up to trousers and jackets. In Panorama Plaza there are a number of good leather shops where garments are made-to-measure in just a few days.
5. Get fashionable in Karachi
All the latest European fashions for men and women can be found in the city and most of the clothes are really good quality as they are destined for the European shops! Great buys can be found in the markets and also in the shops and one in particular that is worth a browse is Kapray which means ‘clothes’ in Urdu and there are several branches in the city! Other fashion stores worth visiting include Khaadi, Agha Noor and Sapphire and for very special ladies’ party clothes Cross Stitch definitely has something different. A word of warning though, always try clothes on as sizes do vary.
6. Treat yourself to some smart sportswear
Sportswear is widely available throughout the city but if you are after the top names then Ocean Mall is the place as it stocks both Nike and Reebok. It is a fun place to visit as it has a huge 3D cinema and a trampolining park called ‘Bounce’. There are plenty of eating options too and you will be able to select some great sportswear at really good prices.
7. Invest in some beautiful jewelry
There are some attractive jewelry shops selling a wide range of gold jewelry in both traditional local designs and classic western styles. Semi-precious and precious stones are well-priced with good quality ruby, emeralds, and sapphires available at attractive prices.
8. Choose your wedding dress in Karachi
There are a number of stores in the capital that specialize in wedding dresses and you will be truly impressed at the beautiful selection and the reasonable prices charged for truly exquisite designs. Most of the shops sell wedding suits as well as a selection of accessories including shoes. If your chosen dress needs to be altered for a perfect fit, this can be done expertly on the premises in just a couple of days – what a wonderful way to remember your trip to Karachi! If you are worried about fitting it all in your suitcase, you will be pleased to hear that most shops offer a mail order service!
9. Buy some colorful fabrics
If you are good at making clothes or know someone who can, there are many textile shops, piled high with lengths of fabric in every color and design imaginable! Qurtuba Market in Bahadurabad has 100 different shops and nearly half of these are fabric shops! A length of fabric is an ideal souvenir as of course, it takes up very little room in a travel bag. You may well be tempted by the beautiful range of bed linens too and most stores offer a quick service if you would like sheets and pillowcases made to fit your bed.
10. Grab a few bags of Nimco
These delicious finger chips are a very popular snack in the city and are available in more than 200 different varieties with some really tasty spicy ones! If you enjoy foodie ideas, there are numerous confectionery shops selling an amazing selection of different types of sweets and of course the numerous bakeries and several chocolatiers will provide even more temptation!