Travel Guide

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Take A Skardu Tour Today

Complete Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu

If you are planning to travel to the northern part of Pakistan, you may come across the name Skardu. This important city in Gilgit-Baltistan may be less famous than the Hunza Valley in the north or Ferry Meadows in the west. However, it is still one of Pakistan’s top tourist destinations due to its unique natural attractions nearby.

Skardu is the perfect destination in Pakistan if you dream of visiting a cold desert or alpine plateau. If you’re also in the mood to sample some of Balti’s delicacies, it’s time to pack your bags and plan your vacation in Skardu.

Here’s the complete travel guide to Skardu that you should consider before heading to Skardu.

Where is Skardu?

Skardu is located in northern Pakistan’s eastern part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region at an altitude of about 2230 meters. It is one of the most important cities in the area, alongside the majestic Himalayas. This place brings a unique landscape and ecosystem to the region, which can be found in very few other locations worldwide.

Weather in Skardu

Compared to the rest of northern Pakistan, Skardu has a relatively m

Travel Guide to Skardu- Weather Update of Skardu

ild climate. The hottest months are from June to September, when temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius, and the coldest months are from December to February, when temperatures often drop below zero. In the months in between, expect temperatures around 10°C. The highest precipitation occurs from December to May.


Best time to visit Skardu

The best time to visit Skardu is the summer months, from June to September. It’s the perfect time to enjoy lush green landscapes at a comfortable temperature, avoid heavy rain, and escape the oppressive heat of the rest of Pakistan. October is another great time to visit Skardu to experience the region’s golden fall in autumn. Winter turns the area around Skardu into a beautiful white wonderland, but during this season, the city will be hard to reach.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Best Time to visit Skardu

Are you confused about what to wear in Skardu? Most of the time, you can wear warm clothes as the nights in Skardu are too chilled.  

How to get to Skardu?

Entering Skardu is both a blessing and a curse. You have more options than most other places in northern Pakistan, as Skardualready has its airport.

Here’s how to get to Skardu:

Daily Flight Operation for Skardu

There are daily direct flights from Islamabad and Karachi to Skardu Airport. Flights are operated by the national airline PIA with small aircraft. Despite the relatively short flight time, flights to Skardu are expensive, ranging from $80 to $200 per round trip. Getting into the mountains (scenic) is very difficult for pilots, but it’s still safer to fly to Skardu than to reach the city by road.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Skardu Flight Operations

Drive To Skardu

Are you confused about what to wear in Skardu? Most of the time, you can wear warm clothes as the nights in Skardu are too chilled.  Driving to Skardu is a lot cheaper than flying. You can hire an experienced driver with a private car to take a bus for that route. There are four ways to reach Skardu by road from Islamabad:

First: Islamabad > Mansehra > Basham > Dasoo > Chilas > Jaglot > Skardu

Second: Islamabad > Mansehra > Basham > Dasoo > Chilas > Deosai > Skardu

Then we have, Islamabad > Mansehra > Balakot > Naran > Babusar Top > Chilas > Jaglot > Skardu

Last: Islamabad > Mansehra > Balakot > Naran > Babusar Top > Chilas > Deosai > Skardu


Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Drive to Skardu


You can also travel to Skardu from Gilgit. The total length is 256 kilometers.

Best Hotels in Skardu

There are many hotel options in and around Skardu. If you’re looking for an upscale experience, you might consider staying at one of the popular hotels near Skardu. This includes the Serena Higg Hotel within Fort Higg and the Shangri-La Resort around Lower Kachula Lake. However, Shangrila resort Skardu is the most famous resort in Skardu.

Travel Guide to Skardu- best hotels in Skardu

If you’re looking for something low-end and still want a central location, you’d prefer to be close to the actual city. Our best recommendation is Cherry Inn Skardu, where you get all amenities and a homely atmosphere.  

How to get around in Skardu?

The best way to visit Skardu is with a private driver or guide. Our tour guides are the most experienced and know every inch of the areas you are visiting. So it is always recommended to stay with a professional tour guide. Are you looking for the Skardu tourist map? Here you can find it ultimately. 

Is it Safe to Travel to Skardu?

Overall, Skardu is a very safe travel destination in Pakistan. However, to ensure a smooth ride, there are a few things to remember. Many Skardu hidden places are still unexplored.  Skardu is famous for its mesmerizing places, natural beauty, and fantastic weather.  A Skardu trip is one of the best decisions you can make.

Road Condition in Skardu

The best route for Skardu is by air or Gilgit. As mentioned, the road connecting Skardu and Gilgit is the most dangerous. If you decide to travel by road, make sure to:

  • Hire an experienced driver.
  • Only use vehicles in good condition and avoid large buses.
  • Avoid traveling in the dark and during the landslide season.
  • Budget a lot of time for this adventurous trip.

Usually, this is not a big problem in cities, but when you are outside Deosai National Park, avoid getting too far from your car if you encounter a brown bear in the Himalayas.

Food in Skardu

Papua is a traditional Balti dish consisting of buckwheat pasta in a creamy pesto sauce. Balti has probably the most popular food in all of Pakistan. The flavor and spice of Balti are pretty different from the rest of Pakistan you may be familiar with, as it has far more carpi comfort food than spice. Since balti is hard to find in other parts of Pakistan, it should be eaten as much as possible in Skardu.

First Aid in Skardu

As elsewhere in Pakistan, food safety is your biggest health concern, so avoid tap water and unfinished food.

Also, it’s a good idea to keep some altitude sickness drops with you in case the altitude affects you.

Some popular balti dishes include:

Papua: Korean TikTok-like soba noodles served with creamy pesto

Mamtu: Steamed Wheat Dumplings Stuffed with Beef, Lamb, or Yak

Balti Lentil Soup: A thick, mild, and vegetable soup similar to German Lentil Soup.

Namkin Chai: Milk tea flavored with a pinch of salt to create a fantastic flavor.

Travel Guide to Skardu- Famous Food of Skardu

Best places to visit near Skardu

The area around Skardu is full of fantastic tourist destinations. Some of the best places to visit in Skardu are worth seeing. 

Here are some suggested attractions near Skardu, arranged in perfect order:

From the city itself, despite its regional importance, Skardu is a relatively small town so it can be easily explored in a few hours.

Visit Skardu Bazar and shop for local handicrafts and textiles at the town’s souvenir market. Don’t forget to haggle!

Deosai National Park

The Deosai Plateau near Skardu is between 3,000 and 5,000 meters above sea level, making it the second-highest plateau in the world. Deosai National Park was established initially to protect the Himalayan brown bear and other endangered species and is now included in UNESCO’s Temporary World Heritage List. Visit Deosai National Park and admire the vast and empty landscape, along with the Kalapani and Barapani waters and Sheosar Lake, a 1-2 hour drive south from Skardu to Deosai National Park through the mountain pass.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu-Deosai National Park

Mantuka Falls

Mantuka Falls is a beautiful waterfall about an hour’s drive southeast of Skardu. Surrounded by a serene green valley, Mantuka Falls emerges from towering and luxurious mountains; it is hard to believe the waterfall is artificial! Bask in the crystal clear waters of waterfalls, snap photos of silky streams and rainbows, and enjoy a relaxing picnic in one of the most beautiful places around Skardu.

Travel Guide to Skardu- Mantuka Falls

Shigar Valley

The beautiful Shigar Valley is located along the Shigar River, about an hour’s drive northeast of Skardu. Follow the scenic road to the beautiful village of Shigar, where you will see not only local architectural gems such as the Shigar Fort or the old wooden Khilangrong Mosque but also the traditional Balti village life.

Sarfaranga Desert

Sarfaranga Desert is one of the famous cold deserts around Skardu. It is located in the Shigar Valley along the Shigar River, so it is the perfect result for a visit to Shigar. Stay on the soft sand and bounce around the tall dunes with friends. But beware, some thorns may be hidden under the sand!

Travel Guide to Skardu- Safarranga Desert

Katpana desert

Closer to the city is the Katabana desert, another cold Skardu desert. Surrounded by towering mountains and beautiful lakes, the Katapana Desert is incredibly stunning in winter when its sand is covered in soft snow. Also, it is close to Skardu Airport and has easy access to the Katapana Desert all year round.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Katpana Desert

Upper Lake Kachura

Kachura, a settlement about an hour northwest of Skardu, is known for its two lakes: Upper Kachula and Lower Kachula. A 15-minute hike can reach the first through a small forest. Popular activities on Lower Kachula Lake include swimming, fishing, and jet skiing.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Upper Khachura Lake


Shangri-La Resort

Lower Kachura Lake is one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan, if not the world, located in the majestic Shangri-La resort. Spend a relaxing afternoon in one of the greenest gardens in paradise on earth, and be sure to enjoy some organic cider in front of the heart-shaped lake. If you’re feeling more gifted, consider staying overnight at the resort.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu-Shangrilla Lake

Manthal Rock

A short drive south of Skardu, Manthal is home to an ancient Buddhist monument known as Manthal Buddha Rock. The rock is around 1,200 years old and contains a Buddha image. While you won’t have the chance to visit Manthal alone, it’s a great addition to your Skardu itinerary if you have the time.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Skardu- Manthal Rock

Also, visit if you have time to explore beautiful Pakistan:

K2: Skardu is the gateway to the summit of K2, the second-highest peak in the world, and more than 8,000 peaks. While the summit is reserved for the best climbers in the world, you can visit K2 Base Camp alone or on tour.

Fairy Meadows: Fairy Meadows is a beautiful mountain paradise surrounding Nanga Parbat. Your journey to this remote paradise begins near Chiras, which means you’ll pass through the area on your way out of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Hunza Valley: The Hunza Valley is the most popular tourist destination in Pakistan and a must-see when you travel in Pakistan. The beautiful valley is located north of Skardu on the Karakoram Highway.

Islamabad: If you’re flying to Skardu, this could be the start and end of your trip, so it never hurts to spend a day or two exploring the Pakistani capital.

Go through our ultimate travel guide to Skardu, and let us know if you need any queries.

Book your Skardu Tour Package Today and experience the most fantastic time of your life.


Saba Ghani

Since 2017, Saba Ghani has been the chief content writer for Pakistan Tour and Travel & EMHI Solutions. You can catch her at or Twitter