Quetta is a compelling city, cradled by three imposing mountains in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The scenery is particularly dramatic in winter, when the russet rocks and mountain crests are dusted with white snow. Quetta is known for its impressive archaeological finds, bustling bazaars and great wilderness.
Things to do in Quetta
Keep an eye out for a bargain at Quetta’s prominent bazaars. Find green marble products and colourful handicrafts, particularly the traditional Balochi mirror work and Pashtun Embroidery. Both styles feature intricate geometrical designs and are used to decorate homewares and clothing in Pakistan.
Duck into a teashop or old eating-house to sample local delicacies, such as the popular sweet green tea known as “Kawa”. Nearby, discover a rare collection of antique weapons, pottery and manuscripts at the Quetta Archaeological Museum.
Outdoor enthusiasts can explore Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, 20 kilometres south-west of Quetta. Legend has it that 1,000 treasures are buried here within the folds of the Sulaiman Mountains. The park is a beautiful place to explore by foot, with over 15,000 hectares of rugged terrain, arid desert and dense forest.
The calm emerald waters of Hanna Lake, 70 kilometres from Quetta, provide a stark contrast to the rugged imposing mountains, a particularly beautiful site in winter. In summer, don’t miss the magnificent Pir Ghaib Waterfall.
Getting around Quetta
For most travellers, PAF Khalid Airport is the gateway to Quetta and is only a 15- minute drive from the city centre. There are also daily trains connecting Quetta with most major cities in Pakistan. The city centre is relatively small and can be explored by foot, while rickshaws are a popular way to get around at a more rapid pace.