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Islamabad & Rawalpindi

Money & costs

Money

Private moneychangers are grouped in the Blue Area in Islamabad – there’s a bunch behind the Usmania Restaurant. It’s worth comparing rates, as competition is high. At the time of research the airport moneychangers­ were only changing foreign currency (not travellers cheques).

Most banks in Saddar Bazaar in Rawalpindi exchange foreign currency. There are also several moneychangers near the corner of Kashmir Rd and the Mall – they keep longer hours than the banks, offer slightly better rates (but not always) and will often change travellers cheques.

Citibank (111333333; 9am-5pm Mon-Thu, 9am-12.30pm Fri, 9am-1.30pm Sat) Islamabad (Jinnah Ave, Blue Area); Rawalpindi (Adamjee Rd) Changes major currencies and travellers cheques, and has an ATM accepting most cards.

JS Bank (111777999; Ali Plaza, Jinnah Ave, Blue Area, Islamabad; 9am-1.30pm & 2.30-5pm Mon-Thu, 9am-12.30pm & 3-5pm Fri, 9am-12.30pm Sat) Has an Amex-only ATM.

National Bank Islamabad (2826848; Khayaban-e-Suhrawardy, Aabpara, G-6; 9am-5pm Mon-Thu, 9am-1.30pm & 3-5pm Fri); Rawalpindi (9272676; Bank Rd; 9am-1.30pm Mon-Thu, 9am-12.30pm Fri & Sat) The National has several branches that change cash and travellers cheques, including one at Melody Market (9204665) in Islamabad.

Standard Chartered Bank (Map p78; 5527286; cnr Haider & Canning Rds, Rawalpindi; 9am-5pm Mon-Thu, 9am-1.30pm & 3-5pm Fri)