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Living in Karachi
A comprehensive guide about living well in Karachi
Known as the "City of Lights", the thriving cultural scene and the modern city life never fail to fascinate expats and foreigners. Karachi is one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in Pakistan. Find more information about living in Karachi in our guide.
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Life in Karachi
Culture and Leisure
Karachi is known as “The Bride of the Cities” and the “City of Lights”, due to its lively nightlife and thriving cultural scene. Expatriates living Karachi will be able to enjoy the city’s historical riches and its modern restaurants, bars, and clubs.
The most important historical sites in Karachi are the hundred-year old tombs located in the Chowkandi graveyard, as well as many buildings from the Raj era, including the Karachi Port Trust and Sindh High Court. Karachi has many beautiful beaches and parks, and is home to a Pakistani National Park; Kirthar National Park, which also has its own lake.
The city is also home to some of Pakistan’s most important cultural and artistic institutions and events, such as The National Academy of Performing Arts, the National Museum of Pakistan, and Kara Film Festival.
Education in Karachi
As Karachi has historically been home to many foreigners and expatriates, there are a large number of international schools located in the city. These schools will teach classes in English, and will usually follow an English, American, or international curriculum, and will therefore be suitable for the children of expatriates living in Karachi.
The most notable international schools in Karachi include the British Overseas School, Karachi American School, St Paul’s English High School, and the Beaconhouse School System, amongst many others. Karachi is home to Pakistan’s largest university, the University of Karachi, which has one of the largest student bodies and faculties in the world.
There are also a number of private universities in the city, which are mainly focused on computer technology, software development, and economics, including the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences and the Karachi Institute of Economics & Technology.
Transportation in Karachi
Foreigners and expatriates living in Karachi will be able to drive legally using a foreign driving license or an international driving permit for up to six months; after this time they must take the examination to obtain a Pakistani driving license.
As the largest and most densely populated urban area in Pakistan, traffic and congestion is common on Karachi’s roads, especially during rush hour and in the city center. As such, pollution levels are higher than many other places in Pakistan. However, steps are being taken to address the congestion, and a new series of flyovers and bypasses are being constructed on the busiest roads.
The public transportation network in Karachi is extensive, and is comprised of a both a circular railway network and a rapid transit bus system that runs all day every day. Many people also make use of the numerous taxis and rickshaws that fill the streets, as these are an inexpensive way to travel.
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