Traveling in Pakistan is already cheap… but if you’re a foreigner often traveling by train, it’s about to get even cheaper! Here’s a quick guide on how to get a foreigner discount on train travel in Pakistan.
Though encountering other foreign travelers is a rare occurrence in Pakistan (for now), we did run into one Swiss man in Hunza during our first foray into Pakistan. The man, Kuri, lived in Pakistan for seven months, and was filled with all kinds of useful intel we’d never heard about.
One of the most useful things he told us was how to get a foreigner discount on train travel in Pakistan. More than one year later, we finally had the chance to try it out… and it worked! So, without further ado, a quick guide on how to get a foreigner discount on train travel in Pakistan.
Getting a foreigner discount on train travel in Pakistan
To get a discount on train travel in Pakistan, you must visit the Commercial Office of the train station where you wish to buy a ticket from. The office can usually be found close to the train station; just go to the main ticketing window and ask.
Note: Train stations in smaller towns might not have commercial offices, but all big city train stations such as Lahore and Rawalpindi certainly do.
Once you’ve found the commercial office, simply state you are applying for a foreigner discount. Someone should know what you’re talking about, but don’t be disheartened by confused looks, or a delay for the required paperwork to appear. When we applied for a discount in Rawalpindi, the person in charge told us that the last time someone applied for this discount was in 2011.
Required documents for getting a discount
To apply for the discount, you need to fill in some paperwork, and hand over a copy of your passport, visa and entry stamp. The train officer might also want to see your original passport, so make sure to bring it. Once the station official has all the documents, he’ll issue you a paper stating you’re eligible for a foreigner discount. You can use this paper to buy a ticket at the station.
Note for students: There used to be an extra added 25% discount for students—so 50% off in total. The papers for this discount still exist, but according to the station officer, the discount doesn’t exist anymore. However, not all ticket vendors know this. Ours had to check, but others won’t be so motivated! If you have a student card, bring a copy when applying for the foreigner discount.
Timing and other information
For us, the entire process took 45 minutes. Timing will largely depend on the station, and how familiar the officer on duty is with the procedure. Don’t bother if you’re in a hurry.
On the form, you have to fill in the route for which you want the discount to apply. Check online to see train schedules. This means that you have to apply for a new discount every time you want to buy a train ticket. We don’t think you can get a more general discount voucher, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
So there you have it, a quick guide on how to get a discount on train travel in Pakistan. Let us know in the comments if you have any updates or more information.
Want to know more about travel in Pakistan? Check out our blog posts on this great country!