Winter has finally rolled in; the days have gotten shorter and definitely more pleasant, sunny afternoons are considered a blessing and the nights are just perfect to snuggle up in a blanket and munch on dry fruit while watching Netflix. Winter is a blissful season in Islamabad but we often get too lazy to enjoy its real essence and end up staying in bed on stunning Sunday mornings. Here are a few things we recommend you do when in Islamabad this winter, to make the most of the season.
Hike up the Margallah Hills!
Hiking up the Margallah Hills in Islamabad is an age-old tradition. It dates back to the days when the city only had Pappasallis and Chinatown in F-7 as popular eating out options for teens. Hiking has consistently been the ‘cool’ thing to do since forever and it is relevant till date. However, don’t underestimate the hike because it is no joke. Some of these trails actually take you all the way up to Monal and have some rather steep climbs so make sure to warm up your body before you head that way! Hiking in Islamabad is one of the most popular ways to incorporate physical exercise in your routine while witnessing the preserved natural beauty of the city. The trail 4 and 5 are easier and hence great for beginners but the trail 3 is for the hiking beasts. Whether you are a regular or somebody who goes once in a blue moon, hiking is most enjoyed in the winter so don’t let the season pass without one memorable hike!
Picnic at F-9 Park
While most cities in Pakistan are struggling with green spots, it’s good to know that an entire sector in Islamabad has been preserved as a park. The Fatima Jinnah Park or F-9 Park is a beautiful asset for the city. And what good is an asset if it isn’t used well? People in Islamabad generally know how to make the most of F-9 Park. From adults to kids to the elderly, everyone can be seen strolling around the park in the evening, having a great time. In winter the park also becomes the perfect spot for a Sunday morning picnic. Get your friends together, pack a few board games, make some sandwiches and brownies to head to F-9 Park on a Sunday morning to remind yourself of the good old times of childhood when picnics were a norm. Somewhere between fancy brunches and coffee meet-ups, we forgot what fun picnics are. Let’s revive the tradition this winter with a picnic at F-9 Park. Play, eat, take photographs but make sure to clear the mess before you leave.
Brunch at Kohsar Market
One of Islamabad’s favorite things to do on a Sunday is brunch. That’s precisely why just about every place in the city now offers Sunday brunch. However, there is no brunch like the one at Kohsar Market. Whether under a sky of bright and beautiful lanterns at Street 1 Café or inside the cosy space of Mocca Café, Kohsar is a great place to meet up with friends and family for a delicious brunch. While Mocca serves a delicious detox/diet platter for breakfast (which keeps a check on the calories), Street 1 Café serves the most delicious meals that can help you get a good dose of protein for the day with Eggs Benedict, Philly Cheese Omelette or the Brisket Beef Benedict. But that’s not it; they also serve a whole lot of desi specialties for those who want to enjoy piping hot halwa puri or nihari and naan. Breakfast at Kohsar Market is an experience, especially during sunny, wintry Sunday mornings.
Morning coffee at Gloria Jean’s, Express Way Murree
If a breakfast is not your cup of tea, drive up to the Gloria Jean’s at Express Way Murree for a cup of coffee. Not only does this make for a scenic and calm long drive out of the city but also ensures you’ll be surrounded with mother nature for the day. The drive to GJ Murree is an ideal staycation - you’re away from the city and in the hills but not too far away from the city either.
This trip can refresh you, help you put things in perspective, take a break from every day hassles and just purely enjoy some hot coffee in a rather scenic location. Designed as a wooden hut, the café itself is a beautiful location to have breakfast, lunch or enjoy a cuppa.