Cost of Living in Islamabad, Pakistan

Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, and is also federally administered as part of the Islamabad Capital Territory.

It is a very calm, beautiful, green, tourism capital – and therefore, an expensive city: from clothes to grocery – pretty much everything will be higher in price.

Still, the amount of money you’ll need here solely depends on your preferences and style of living.

You’ll find many families living happily here with around 300$ per month and many cannot fulfill their expenses with 1500$ per month.

Many find the high standard of living completely worth the money – Islamabad is known for its safety and abundant greenery.



Restaurants are a little bit more costly in Islamabad than in other cities of Pakistan. Still, if you’re coming from any of the more developed countries, you won’t find restaurants expensive at all. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you less than 2$, while a dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around 12$.



Usually, expats who live in Pakistan long term get bored with local food, but in Islamabad you can find imported food items in many places, though count that this will definitely increase your food bills to around 300$ a month. The prices in Islamabad vary from sector to sector, as in F sectors have higher food prices, while in G sector prices are low.



Public transportation in Karachi is not good, though prices vary greatly from city to city. Traveling by taxi and rickshaw is expensive, but it’s the only way to go about anywhere in Karachi. Travel in private transporters vans is not recommended though they are cheap. If you use your own car, fuel will cost you around 100$ a month, including oil and regular maintenance cost.



The cost of bills for utilities depends greatly on the season: during winter they cost around 30$, while during summers they can go up to 200$ if you’re not careful with your AC! Generally speaking, for an apartment of about 85m2, all basic utilities like electricity, gas and garbage services cost around 60$ a month.

Sports and leisure


The cost of enjoying sports and fitness activities is definitely high for someone living and working in Islamabad long term – not as much for those who are only tourists coming from the western countries. If you want to become a member of a gym or a fitness club, it costs around 23$ (which is a lot for Pakistani standards), while cinema tickets are relatively cheap – again, mostly for tourists – 4$ per ticket.

Clothing and shoes


There are many shopping centers in Islamabad, and the prices of clothes are significantly higher than in other cities of Pakistan. For quality jeans like Levi’s, you’ll pay only about 20$, while summer dresses and shirts in chain stores like Zara or Mango cost more, around 25$. Running sneakers cost around 50$ a pair.

Rent per month


With the economy growing and more places like Barhia Town being built and added onto the general constitution of Pakistan, the rent is only going to go up, especially in major cities like Islamabad. The closer to the center you get, the higher the price. You can get a nice one-bedroom apartment in the city center for around 170$. It can be much cheaper if you opt to live below average or further from the city.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Islamabad

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $1.79
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $2.15
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.23
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $0.79
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.45
Eggs (12) $0.84
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.14
Monthly Pass $7.15
Gasoline $0.66
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $56.65
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.02
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $20.70
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $23.30
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $8.48
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $4.29
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $20.50
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $28.28
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $49.82
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $173.77
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $105.73
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $381.96

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Islamabad?

With rent prices being fairly low, food is definitely the first on the list of things an average person living in Islamabad spends in this country.

This percentage can go lower or higher, depending on where you go shopping.

The next expense is rent, but given than only 19% of an average paycheck gets spent on rent, it testifies to the fact that rent isn’t expensive.

Restaurants and transportation are another significant factor for the wallet, while utilities draw less money than sports in Islamabad, if we’re looking at these percentages.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Islamabad: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The average salary is very low in Islamabad, considering the prices.

Although most things in this country are exceptionally cheap, a minimum wage of only 108$ cannot begin to cover everything.

Though the average salary is three times the amount, it is still very difficult for people living in Islamabad to pay for their expenses (especially if they’re renting) and not have to worry about their existence in the long run.

If you’re planning on going to the capital of Pakistan, around 1000$ per person would definitely suffice – you could even splurge.

Average Salary$312.59
Minimum Wage$108.00
Mortgage Interest Rate12.28%

Cost of Living by City in Pakistan

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Islamabad 25.86
Karachi 23.9
Lahore 25.83

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