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Cost of Living in Pakistan: A comparison between Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad

The citizens of Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad always get themselves in a fight over social media. Each city’s person claim they have the best food and best people. But today, we will not talk about which these internet wars. We will be talking about the cost of living in these cities. Cost of living means the amount of money required to be able to afford necessities. You would have heard the comparison of cost of living in Pakistan Vs US or cost of living in Pakistan Vs India. But, today, it will be an inter-city comparison.  We will discuss how the cost of living in Pakistan in each city differs from the others.

We will use different factors to make the comparison. Costs of food, clothes, real estate, building, and rental rates, to name a few.

Lahore, The City of Gardens


Lahore is called The City of Gardens since 1950, the ‘Walled City of Lahore’ is another name for it. And recently, it is given the title of ‘the City of Literature by UNESCO. Lahore represents the actual rich culture of Punjab in Pakistan. From Mughal era buildings to food streets to all the places that hold national significance, Lahore bears all of these monuments of culture, tradition, and history on its land. The city itself is art. Let’s learn about the cost of living in Lahore, Pakistan.

  • Food costs:

Saying that Lahore food is one of the best in the world would be no wrong. The city preferred sticking to its traditional foods and didn’t create fusions of desi and traditional. Naming the best ones Chicken Karahi, Halwa Puri, Nihari, Haleem.

Talking about the cost of living in Pakistan in Lahore especially: the cost of food in Lahore is relatively low. Mainly because of a large number of food stalls and hotel competition. The abundance of these dining areas has made food cheaper for the citizens.

  • Clothing costs:

Pakistani people spend tons of bucks on clothes. So, let’s see how the cost of living in Pakistan is affected by it. Lahore has multiple textile industries. Along with this, the neighboring cities of Lahore bring their textile product to Lahore’s market for its sale. The competition and the quantity of cloth availability again make clothes in Lahore cheaper than in Islamabad.

  • Real estate costs:

The real estate market in Pakistan is quite an active one. The piece of plots or property on the whole in Lahore are cheaper. The societies which got their NOC approved like, Lahore Smart City, have a range of properties. They include all the inclusive and exclusive properties. Lahore Smart City has an overseas lock as well. So the prices are highly dependant upon the location, size, and the facilities the housing society offers.

Buying an apartment or renting it is cheaper in Lahore as compared to Karachi. The populous city of Punjab has accommodated several people at lower rates than Islamabad and Karachi.

  • Construction costs:

The construction costs of Lahore are almost similar to that of Karachi for a plot of the same size. If you want to save some of the construction cost, hire a top contractor in Pakistan. 

By keeping these factors in mind, think about, Is Lahore a good place to live?

Karachi, The City of Lights (Cost of Living in Pakistan)


Karachi is one of the busiest places in Pakistan. So, it is given the name ‘The city of Lights’. Life in Karachi is so happening that people say that the city never sleeps. Karachi was a target of the terrorists for a long time. Now the conditions of Karachi are returning to normal, and the lights of Karachi are reviving. Despite all this, the city served Pakistan as an economic zone. The contribution of Karachi to the economic growth of Pakistan is more than any other city. The factors that affect the cost of living in Pakistan in cities like Karachi are as listed.

  • Food costs:

Karachi is home to people from different provinces so, it has a multicultural cuisine. However, it being a coastal area, is famous for its seafood. The lovers of Karachi city are often seen arguing over the social media with the citizens of Lahore on how their Biryani is the best one. The food in Karachi is cheaper than that in Islamabad but not as cheap as in Lahore. So, you can estimate the cost of living in Pakistan just by looking at the difference between the costs of food of different cities.

  • Clothing costs:

No city can beat Karachi in terms of cloth prices. The clothes in Karachi are at exceptionally reasonable prices. If you have good bargaining power, you will love Karachi the most. Zainab market and Zamama markets are prime examples of places where you can find good quality stuff at low prices.

  • Real estate costs:

The city of lights is undoubtedly providing shelter to most people in the country. The property prices are surprisingly still not high. They are at the same level at which the property prices of Lahore are. Some of the housing societies have targeted the high-income people. The rest are providing housing at competitive and low rates. The cost of living in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi is low.

  • Construction costs:

The construction cost will again depend upon the contractor you hire. And also on the plot size and the type of house you want to construct.

You might like to read about some types of commercial properties in real estate.

Islamabad The Beautiful


Islamabad is one of the beautiful capitals of the world. The beauty of Islamabad captivates the people. The Margalla hills protecting the city from one side is a sight that can’t be seen in other cities. Some landmarks of Islamabad are Faisal Mosque, Pakistan Monument, and Daman-e-Koh. This pretty capital has a highest than the cost of living in Pakistan. It is the most expensive city in Pakistan. Let’s follow the same order of the factors that we discussed earlier.

  • Food costs:

Islamabad being the capital city, doesn’t have one culture. People around the country have settled here for the sole reason that it is the capital and has better facilities than other cities. So, it doesn’t have a particular type of food or cuisine. The people and restaurants of Islamabad have made fusions of eastern and western foods. The restaurants serve almost every kind of food.

But, the food costs of Islamabad are the highest. The restaurants charge a pretty penny for their services. People in Islamabad generate more income than the residents of other cities. So, they can easily afford these foods.

  • Clothing costs:

Islamabad has the outlets of almost every clothing brand in every of its market that can affect the cost of living in Pakistan. The eastern or western clothes will be available in Islamabad at far higher rates than in Karachi and Lahore. You will easily find the same clothing article at a much lower price in other cities.

  • Real Estate:

Property in Islamabad is significantly costlier than in Lahore and Karachi. The real estate market of Islamabad reflects the cost of living Pakistan. However, some developers have stepped forward and created societies in Islamabad that provide affordable housing. Blue World City and Capital Smart City are two examples.

If you have questions related to different housing schemes in Islamabad, you can visit: Top CDA and LDA Frequently Asked Questions. 

We hope that we have covered points that will assist you in comparing the cost of living in Pakistan‘s top 3 cities.







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