Pakistan Currency Exchange Guide

With towering peaks in the Himalayas, stunning beaches along the Arabian Sea, and a melting pot of cultures influenced by Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia, Pakistan has something to offer every type of traveller. The country is a haven for adventure-seekers, with opportunities for trekking, mountaineering, and rafting, and is home to historical sites such as Mohenjo-daro and the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. Most importantly, the people of Pakistan are known for their warm welcome and hospitality towards visitors, making your trip an unforgettable experience.

General Pakistani Currency Information

What is the currency of Pakistan?

The official currency of Pakistan is the Pakistan rupee (PKR).

What do Pakistani notes & coins look like?

Pakistani notes

The Pakistani notes are not just a medium of exchange; they also serve as a witness to the nation’s history and culture. These banknotes are filled with interesting symbols and elements representing Pakistan’s rich heritage. The obverse design of all Pakistani notes comprises the image of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation, while other personalities such as Muhammad Iqbal, Fatima Jinnah, and Syed Ahmad Khan are included with Jinnah in the Rs. 75 denomination. On the reverse side, each note has a unique picture representing a different aspect of Pakistan’s cultural history. For example, the Rs. 50 note displays K2, the second highest mountain in the world, while the Rs. 500 note features the Badshahi Masjid in Lahore. These notes are not just currency; they are a treasure-trove of cultural significance.

Pakistani coins

While Pakistani coins have a captivating history and stunning designs, each displaying unique imagery on both sides representing significant figures and places in Pakistani culture. For instance, the one rupee coin exhibits Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Mausoleum, while the two rupee coin showcases the crescent and star and Badshahi Masjid in Lahore. The five rupee coin displays the crescent and star with the number “5”, the ten rupee coin features the crescent and star with the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, and the fifty rupee coin exhibits the crescent and star with the Sri Gru Nanak Dev Ji Gurdwara in Kartarpur. From the legendary founder to the magnificent buildings and symbols, each coin tells a unique story and encapsulates the beauty of Pakistan’s culture.

Economy

Pakistan is a low-income developing economy with a population of 227 million people. Its nominal GDP is $376 billion, with a nominal GDP per capita of $1,658. The country is undergoing economic liberalization, privatizing government corporations to attract foreign investment and decrease budget deficits.

Despite these efforts, challenges such as a rapidly growing population, high illiteracy, corruption, political instability, a hostile neighbourhood, and heavy foreign debt persist. Primary export commodities include textiles, leather goods, sports equipment, chemicals, and carpets/rugs.

Brief currency history

The history of Pakistan’s currency can be divided into five generations of banknotes. After the country’s independence in 1947, the Reserve Bank of India’s modified notes were used in Pakistan until the formation of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in 1948. The Government of Pakistan issued emergency banknotes in denominations of Rs. 5, 10, and 100, followed by the SBP’s first-generation banknotes in 1949. These notes incorporated security features such as a crescent moon watermark and security threads and were printed in English, Urdu, and Bengali.

In the second-generation series of banknotes, the SBP incorporated more sophisticated security features, including a portrait of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation, on the Rs. 100 note. The third-generation series discontinued all notes carrying political inscriptions and introduced a new series with updated colours and a new design for the Rs. 100 denomination.

The fourth-generation series incorporated both Urdu and English inscriptions on the banknotes and added a line of Urdu text to the back of each denomination. In the fifth and current generation of banknotes, the SBP introduced high-tech security features to deter counterfeiting and improve efficiency in machine-based note processing. The new design banknotes were introduced in 2005 and printed with a quality assurance mechanism that brings Pakistani banknotes to par with modern banknotes.

Overall, the evolution of Pakistan’s currency has been marked by a steady improvement in security features and a focus on representing the country’s diverse society through the use of multiple languages and the inclusion of national icons on the banknotes.

Taking Travel Money to Pakistan

Pakistan 2

What currency should I take to Pakistan?

If you’re travelling to Pakistan, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollar to Pakistani rupee (AUD to PKR).

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Pakistan?

Converting currency in Australia makes more practical sense as it allows you to know exactly how much travel money you have and get the best exchange rates. You can accurately plan your budget and manage your expenses accordingly. Moreover, it’s also more convenient as you can access those funds right away, eliminating the need to carry excess cash or rely on ATMs. 

How much money can I take to Pakistan?

There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that a person can bring into the country. However, if you plan to take out foreign currency, you can take up to US$10,000 without any conditions. 

Where to convert currency?

Crown Currency Exchange stands out as the top foreign currency exchange provider in Australia, delivering a competitive AUD to PKR exchange rate and easy-to-access service. Our seasoned and personable experts, who have been in the industry for almost two decades, offer exceptional customer service without any undisclosed charges or fees. We have established a broad presence with 50 stores nationwide, making currency conversion in Australia more convenient than ever before.

Is tipping customary in Pakistan? How much is expected?

If you’re a first-time guest or a frequent visitor, these helpful tips will guide you on how to express gratitude for exceptional service.

Taxi driver: Although taxi drivers do not typically expect to receive tips, offering a gratuity of a few rupees, such as 20-30 rupees, to a driver who was particularly helpful and friendly would be warmly received.

Hotels: When staying at large hotels, a government room tax of up to 17.5% is typically included in the bill. While it’s uncertain whether individual staff members will receive a portion of the gratuity, it’s customary to offer bellboys, porters, and maids a tip of around 30-40 rupees to show appreciation for their services.

Restaurants: High-end hotels and restaurants generally include a 10% service charge in the bill, while other tipping is optional. At local or mid-range restaurants, giving a tip of 30-50 rupees directly to the staff or leaving small change on the table is a thoughtful gesture of appreciation.

Spas: While tipping spa staff is not customary in Pakistan, it’s important to note that their wages may be quite low. To show appreciation for satisfactory service, it’s appropriate to offer a gratuity of 30-50 rupees directly to the staff.

Tour guide: When in Pakistan, it’s customary to tip your tour guide between 200 to 300 rupees per day, depending on your level of satisfaction. For group tours, a reasonable tip would be 30 to 50 rupees. Additionally, it’s appropriate to offer a small gratuity to your driver as well.

What is ATM access like in Pakistan?

ATMs are readily accessible throughout Pakistan, although those located in rural areas are often known for their unreliability. If you plan on leaving the city, it’s advisable to withdraw enough cash beforehand to avoid any potential issues.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

If you are looking to visit Pakistan on a tight budget, then set aside between Rs16,127-18,973 (AUD $85-100) per person per day should be sufficient. This amount will allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of this vibrant country without breaking the bank. This amount will cover basic accommodations, local transportation and meals in local restaurants – but not more expensive activities such as tours or souvenirs. 

Moderate

Setting aside between Rs24,664-31,305 (AUD $130-165) per person per day may be necessary for those looking for more comfort during their travels. With this amount, visitors can enjoy comfortable accommodations and transportation options such as Uber rides and train tickets. Additionally, visitors can also indulge in some sightseeing with tourist packages offered by many companies within Pakistan. 

Luxury

For those who want to experience Pakistan’s best without worrying about their budget, setting aside Rs47, 432+ (AUD $250+) per person per day is recommended. With this amount of money allocated daily, travellers can expect top-quality accommodation and transportation services and access to exclusive attractions such as luxury spas and dining experiences in upscale restaurants throughout their trip.  

Currency details

Currency:

Pakistani rupee

Currency code:

PKR

Currency symbol:

Rs

Central bank:

State Bank of Pakistan

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Paisa = 1/100 of a Rupee

Bank notes:

5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000 rupees

Coins:

1, 2, 5 rupees

Must-do's while you are in Pakistan

Badshahi Mosque

Visit Badshahi Mosque 

The Mughal-era Badshahi Mosque is one of the most magnificent buildings in all of Lahore. Built by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671, this grandiose mosque is renowned for its stunning red sandstone architecture as well as its sprawling grounds, which can accommodate up to 100,000 worshippers at once. Be sure to take a moment and marvel at this awe-inspiring site before heading off into the city.

pakistan Trekking Adventure 

Go on a Trekking Adventure 

With three mountain ranges stretching across the country, there are plenty of opportunities for trekking adventures in Pakistan. From the breathtaking views from Nanga Parbat peak or trekking along the Karakoram Highway—there is something for everyone! Be sure to bring your waterproof gear and hiking boots—you won’t want to miss out on any of these incredible experiences.

Mohenjo Daro

 Explore Ancient Ruins 

Mohenjo Daro was one of the earliest human settlements located in Sindh province. Established around 2500 BC, this ancient city was home to some of South Asia’s earliest civilizations. The ruins are an incredible sight to behold and offer insight into how our ancestors lived thousands of years ago. As if that wasn’t enough, Mohenjo Daro also boasts some fascinating archaeological sites that are definitely worth seeing.

Chitral Valley

Visit Chitral Valley 

Located between two mountain ranges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province lies Chitral Valley—one of Pakistan’s most beautiful regions. Chitral Valley offers visitors a chance to get away from it all and explore untouched nature trails through forested hillsides as well as traditional villages where one can interact with local people who have been living in harmony with nature since time immemorial. Be sure to catch a glimpse of magnificent Mount Tirich Mir while visiting too!  

Pakistani food

Try Pakistani Cuisine 

Last but not least, on your list should be indulging in Pakistani cuisine! Pakistani food offers everything from spicy curries and piquant kebabs made with succulent chicken or red meat to desserts like kheer (rice pudding) or sheermal (sweet bread). Plenty of vegetarian dishes are available such as saag paneer (spinach cooked with cheese cubes) or aloo gobi (potatoes & cauliflower cooked together). No matter what kind of food you prefer, there will be something delicious waiting for you when you visit Pakistan!  

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