Pakistan’s official currency is the rupee (Rs), which is often abbreviated as Rs, and coins are produced in values of 1, 2, and 5 rupees. Rs 10 (green), Rs 20 (orange green), Rs 50 (purple), Rs 100 (red), Rs 500 (rich deep green), Rs 1000 (dark blue), and Rs 5000 (mustard) banknotes are available. The rupee is split into 100 paise by the Indian government (singular: paisa). Normally, 5 rupees 75 paise would be written as Rs 5.75. It’s usually a good idea to have a few tiny dollars on hand since merchants and drivers don’t always have change. Small notes (10-100) should be kept in your wallet or pocket, but bigger notes should be kept separate. Then it will be difficult to tell how much money you have. Many shops may say they don’t have change for a $500 or $1,000 bill. This is often a deception to avoid being saddled with a big bill. If you don’t have precise change, it’s better not to purchase.
There are three coins in circulation: 1, 2, and 5. Coins may be used to purchase tea, provide change to beggars, and give precise change for bus or auto-rickshaw fares.
In Pakistan, lakh and crore are frequently used to denote 100,000 and 10,000,000, respectively. Despite the fact that these words are Sanskrit, they have become so firmly embedded in Pakistani English that most people are unaware that they are not common in other English dialects. When writing numbers, you may also see non-standard, but standard in Pakistan, comma placement. One crore rupees is written as 1,00,00,000, therefore use a comma after the first three digits, then every two numerals after that. This format may seem strange at first, but once you start thinking in terms of millions and crores, it will become second nature.
Most locations have ATMs that accept major credit cards such as AmEx, MasterCard, and VISA.
In polls, Pakistan, especially Karachi, is rated as one of the cheapest shopping destinations in the world. It offers a diverse variety of marketplaces and bazaars to explore as well as items to purchase without blowing your budget.
Buying Pakistani currency
It’s generally preferable to convert your foreign money to Rupees before making purchases (this is only true if you’re buying with cash rather than a credit card). A passport may be needed as an identity document by a number of regulated currency exchange businesses, although this requirement is often disregarded. In large commercial districts, currency exchange shops are readily accessible. Make careful to specify the amount you want to exchange and request the ‘best quotation,’ since rates on the board are often adjustable, particularly for bigger sums.
Major credit cards, including as American Express, MasterCard, and Visa, are accepted at most big department stores and souvenir shops, as well as all upscale restaurants and hotels. Some small businesses may seek to charge you a 2-3 percent merchant fee. Credit cards are accepted in retail chain shops and other restaurants and stores in numerous cities and towns. Because small shops and family-run establishments virtually never take credit cards, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand.
Exchanging rupees abroad is generally difficult, but locations with large Pakistani populations (such as Dubai) may provide reasonable prices. Before you leave the nation, attempt to get rid of any extra rupees.
The majority of ATMs can discharge up to $50,000 in a single transaction. HBL, MCB Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, and United Bank are Pakistan’s four largest banks, with the most ATMs. They accept most foreign credit cards for a little fee. In Pakistan’s main cities, international banks such as Standard Chartered have a substantial presence. It’s usually a good idea to have bank cards or credit cards from at least two different companies on hand in case one of your cards gets suspended by your bank or just does not function at a specific ATM.
You are supposed to haggle with street hawkers in Pakistan, but not in department shops. If you don’t, you risk overpaying several times, which may be acceptable if you believe it is cheaper than eating at home. Retail chain shops are springing up in most of the major cities, offering a shopping experience that is almost comparable to that of such establishments in the West. Although you may spend a bit more at these shops, you can be certain that you will not be receiving a cheap counterfeit. The more you negotiate, the more money you save. After a few attempts, you will discover that it is enjoyable.
The longer you spend at a shop, the better the discounts you’ll receive. It’s worth taking the time to get to know the owner, ask questions, and have him show you around his other goods (if you are interested). When the owner determines that he is earning a substantial profit from you, he may often provide you with extra products at a price that is near to his cost, rather than the standard “foreigner rate.” When you purchase several products at one shop, you will receive better pricing and service than if you haggle in different stores separately. You can probably obtain the actual Pakistani pricing if you observe locals purchasing in a store. “How much would you pay for this?” softly inquire someone nearby.
In general, stores in major cities are open from 9:00 a.m. until 23:00 a.m. In smaller towns and rural regions, they open and shut for business sooner.
Most tourists will find Pakistan to be reasonably priced, but it is much more costly than Afghanistan. In general, Karachi is more costly than the rest of Pakistan. Luxury hotels and plane tickets, on the other hand, are quite inexpensive, with even the most opulent 5-star hotels costing less than Rs 20,000 per night.
In Pakistan, tipping is regarded a good habit. If you have had excellent service, hotel porters, taxi drivers, and delivery guys would welcome a little tip.