6 undeniable reasons why Islamabad is Pakistan’s coolest city…. by far!

They call it the City that Always Sleeps. The Dead City some might say. “So boring,” commented one party animal, “No night life whatsoever, everyone asleep by 10 p.m.” No doubt that ‘person’ was from other, more “happening” cities; I won’t take any names so go figure. Always comparing Islamabad to their flashy, glittery, supposedly “yo” cities and bitching out our beloved capital to the nth degree. Let ‘em compare I say, let ‘em say what they will. For in the eyes of every loyal Islamabadi (and no I WILL not call us Isloo-ites, the phrase that y’all have so crudely coined for us), there IS no comparison. So why should we even waste our time, energy and breath listening to such comparisons? It’s not even worth it. It’s getting so old. YAWN.

What did the five fingers say to the face? *SLAP*

Now normally we wouldn’t even dignify the constant digs at us with a response but honestly, we from Islamabad are pretty darned sick of hearing the constant yak yak yak, day in and day out about how dull our town can be. Hence the time has come to reply to the jibes. The truth is: you’re all are just jealous. Jealous cats eat rats. And here’s why:


# 6 – It’s clean

Hell yeah. You bet it’s clean! The air is fresh and not even half as polluted as that in the other cities of the country. The roads are wide and lined with trees. The city is planned and organized and divided into sectors alphabetically. There is no smog. And we like it like that. You can keep your fancy shmancy, over crowded, “exciting” cities. Keep inhaling that toxic air; be happy with the boggy smell that marks the entrance to your cities (hint hint) we’ll just keep breathing in clean, fresh air and live healthy and hearty!

“Gas masks are all the rage in Milan and Paris these days,” *cough*, *cough*


# 5 – Surrounded by mountains

Beat that. If you can.

Every summer they descend upon us. From all over. They like bitching the city out. But they arrive all the same. Like the plague. To go to Murree. Nathiagali. Naran. Kaghan. Etc. Etc. Infact the truth is this: if you’re planning a trip up to Pakistan’s beautiful and rugged north, a stopover in the “sleepy” city is the sensible thing to do. We’d like to see the critics accessing the mountains from elsewhere in the country.

And we haven’t even played the Pir Sohawa card yet. Boom!

Fact is over the years, my beloved city has been bombarded by the arrival of ahem…”other” city dwellers, some of whom have taken up permanent residence even. The city has become more crowded and at rush hour, the traffic is mind-boggling. As far as we are concerned, here’s the deal. If you don’t like it and enjoy being crabby about it, kindly be gone. We like our city the way it was. Without your nagging presence. And furthermore, hear this, all you other cities: We, from Islamabad, like to hike. We like our numerous hiking tracks and trails. And no, when we say ‘hike’ we DO NOT mean a trip to the local, typical (read: BORING) mall. You are welcome to your malls and concrete jungles. We’ll just hop onto Trail 3 and become one with nature, thanks.


# 4 – Sight seeing

Sure we don’t have the splendour of the Mughal era buildings or the might of the ocean at our doorstep. But we have plenty. Remember we are a fairly young city with none of the history that other cities can boast of. So kindly shut your beaks and your constant cribbing and give us a break. We have Daman-e-koh which has over the years grown from a small, obscure one-restaurant joint to a full-fledged tourist spot with top-of-the-line eating places. We have Pir Sohawa (we warned you we were bout to play it soon). It’s really very, very beautiful. We have the gorgeous and pristine Faisal Masjid which is quite amazing.

Please don’t drool; it’s so unbecoming.

There is Rawal Lake, Shakar-parrian, Golra Railway Station, the Islamabad Club AND we have Saidpur village. Yay! If you haven’t seen it, you ain’t seen nothing yet! There’s plenty more in The Green City. And if you’re in the mood for a bit of history, you can grab a cab and head on over to Taxila which is an hour’s ride away. It doesn’t get more historic than Taxila.


# 3 – We have the ORIGINAL Hot Spot

Thank you very much. The original ‘train ka dubba’ Hotspot started off in the one and only Islamabad. And we like to claim it as ours first. The spin-offs in various other hip cities have only one purpose: to pacify the throngs of out-of-town-dwellers who went “oh-my-God-what-a-cool-place”. They loved it so much and went on and on about it so much back in the day that HotSpot was forced to appease them by opening up other branches (but not even half as cool as our train ka dubba).


# 2 – Coffee from Gol Market

A personal favourite. I’ve never had a tastier cup of coffee anywhere. It’s mostly doodh-coffee but what the heck? It’s great. It’s sweet and milky and a sweet-toothed connoisseurs delight. Try it you’ll like it. And it’s cheap! Nothing like a steaming cup of coffee in a Styrofoam cup, brought till your car on a cold Islamabad winter’s eve. Take that, all you high end snooty coffee lounges that have sprung up everywhere. We like our coffee to be just that: coffee. Not packaged in a fancy ‘cappuccino’ cup charging us a hefty Rs. 500 for the ambiance.


# 1 – Exclusive

We capital city dwellers are an exclusive and smart-as-heck bunch. We don’t like rubbing shoulders with all and sundry. Our parties are exclusive. Our get-togethers are exclusive. Being a busy lot, we don’t like to waste time at random riff-raffy parties. We believe time is money. We don’t land up just everywhere in the hope that we’ll make it to the front pages of Sunday magazine. We pick and choose. We have standards. And they’re high.

Speaking of high, you have noticed all that wild weed growing about haven’t you?

We really don’t give a tiny rat’s ass about what y’all think about us. You don’t think we’re cool, that’s fine. We don’t care. Go ahead and keep calling us boring. That’s fine. Because here’s our motto (in the words of someone famous) “Being cool, is not trying to be cool”.

So there.



Categories: The World I Know

Author:Alliya Iftikhar

Is still working on a by-line!


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17 Comments on “6 undeniable reasons why Islamabad is Pakistan’s coolest city…. by far!”

  1. Mona
    June 15, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Your article is cool but I think you are being a bit too mean.I also live in IBD , I also love it but I love Pak more.We should not say some thing bad about other Pakistanis if they are doing it let them do, but we are actually the responsible citizens of our country cz we are the capital citizens.
    But I do have an explanation for sleeping at 10 it’s ISLAMABAD Islam is abad here and where in Islam is that we should party all night.atleast we dont follow Hindu or English culture

  2. September 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Hell Yes.. Whattay Beautifuls ❤

  3. Prince Muzamil Malik
    June 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Assalam o Alaikum
    Muzamil Malik From Mianwali
    I m student and my age is 17.
    plz friendship with me all pakistan

  4. A
    March 11, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Islamabad club is ‘sightseeing?’ LOL

  5. February 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Islamabad is the city of my in-laws and, I grew up in Karachi, spent a few years in Dubai and now we are in Montreal QC. The first time I went to Islamabad — but first thing first, please don’t call that beautiful city Isloo, ‘coz it sounds like “Its-a-loo,” Like someone asked a Frenchman what do you call a toilet he replied, “La Loo” and that joke was dedicated to Mr. LaLoo Prasad — I was shocked to see my in-laws having dinner at 7:30 never mind that and then within 20 minutes while watching the 9:00 pm news they were snoozing on the lounge chairs! Finally at 9:30 I heard my father in law saying: “Accha bhai chalo sab log sonay”! Oh gosh, in Karachi I used to go out with friends at 10:00 pm. and return home by 3:00 am.

    I am a nocturnal since then and thanks God life in Montreal so vibrant and so lively that people are partying all night during summer and even during in winter when it is -15C you can see the restaurants are full till 1:00 am.

    Btw, we have a river, called St. Laurent the oldest river in the world from ice ages, we also have a mountain Mont Royal i.e., how the city got its name Mont Royal, MonRoyal to Montreal, still it is pronounced as MonRoyal in French. Skiing and Tobogganing is fun.

    Its called the city of festivals like, Jazz Fest. Carri Fest, Comedy Fest., ice sculpture fest on top of the mountain in winter even there is an ice hotel with 30 rooms. There is a food culture here. In downtown alone there are about 4000 restaurants and on the island of Montreal there are about 7000 restaurants. Just take a look at one of the views of the city:

    Anyways, I don’t mind being in your Isloo for a day because I have obligations and I have enjoyed reading the comments of IImana Fasih. And, I also like your style of writing.

    Take care
    follow me on twitter JAVED ALI KHAN badnoc@hotmail.com

  6. Rumi
    December 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    great article! so true!

  7. Sameer
    November 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Great article Alliya, you really hit the bulls eye on this one, sub ko aag laga dee hahahahaha, too good

  8. Fahad
    November 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Hmm… I don’t think the article was meant to be taken as personally as everyone is taking it. I’m from Lahore and love it, but that’s just because I’ve lived there my entire life. I’m sure it’s the same for anyone, anywhere. I think most people haven’t noticed the line on top of the page that says ‘weekly humor site’. It’s just a piece of light entertainment, take it as such.

  9. Brian C.
    November 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I actually lived in Islambad for a few years during the early 00’s. And surprisingly I loved it, it wasn’t how I expected South Asia to be like in the slightest. I’m not entirely sure whether I should weigh in on which city is better, but I do know that I had a great time and was never at a loss for what to do. Guess perhaps it all depends on who you’ve got for company. But above all, Pir Sohawa was breathtaking.

  10. Ilmana Fasih
    November 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Yeah, true to it’s name the city Is-lame-abad.
    And where in the lone sight seeing spot…the Faisal Mosque… one becomes a ‘sight-seeing spot’ oneself, as if descended from Mars.

    You perhaps forgot to mention the crowning glory of the city…it’s Embassies and High Commissions, which are monuments in their own rights, and where the poor Pakistanis come for pilgrimage with sheer reverence. And that nexus between the taxi drivers, the guest houses and the Embassies which is impossible to evade, no matter what their charges.

    Sorry, for my bitter experience, but the blog was ‘not bad’.

  11. K. Afridi
    November 28, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    i’ve been following your site for a few months now and it’s been great, but this time i’ve got beef with you guys. you’re not wrong in what you say, isl is undeniably the best city in pakistan. iits that you were too light with the whip. karachi? who cares they’re so far off and its the most haphazard shithole in the world. lahore? please… its a stinky, cesspool. lahoris like to claim how great their restuarants are… apart from maybe one or two the rest are all just barely roadside dhabas. they wouldnt know good food if it came up placed itself in their mouth.

    and is it just me or does the comment section on this article stink of unwashed lahoris taking it all a little personally? despite the fact that no cities were named… complex anyone? 🙂

  12. Bilal K.
    November 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    lol. i love this freaking article because its so cutely written.
    are we still in kindergarten that we are debating about how cool isb is?
    and then you say that time is money. I wonder how much money you made writing all this 😉

    haha. i just like being mean.

  13. LPJ
    November 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    That was so childish. I’m from Islamabad but I grew up in Lahore and it’s my favourite city. Every city has its beauties to admire. Don’t be so aggressive, it’s all Pakistan! (And by the way, Islamabad wouldn’t be clean if all the foreign big dogs didn’t live there).

    • K. Afridi
      November 28, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      uhhh no einstein its clean because unlike lahoris we in islamabad were taught not to poop where we eat. plus the riff raff leaving the city helps too.

  14. Khooni Darinda
    November 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm #


  15. Aqeel
    November 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    no doubt

  16. Faiza
    November 25, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    ahem ahem…

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