The most popular hill station in Pakistan is Murree, at an elevation of 7,500 feet, it is only an hour drive from Islamabad along a good quality, winding alpine road. The scenery is superb, the climate cool in summer and crisply cold in winter, nice hotels and a comfortable drive. The long Summer days are ideal for lazy strolls or riding ponies along shady path on the Mall-between Kashmir and Pindi Points. In the winter the charming chalets, covered with snow set amidst fragrant pines is a jewel of a hill station for a romantic visit, nestled in the shadow of snow clad peaks.
Murree city (Punjabi, Urdu: مری) is a popular hill station and a summer resort, especially for the residents of Islamabad, and for the cities of the province of Punjab, Pakistan. Murree is also the administrative centre of Murree Tehsil, which is a sub-division of Rawalpindi District and includes the Murree Hills.
Murree is located along Islamabad-Kohala highway N75, some 30 km (19 miles) northeast of Islamabad.
The name Murree is derived from ‘marhi’, “high place” although there is a popular belief it is named after the virgin Mary.
Murree is one of the largest resort towns in the Galyat area of Pakistan, and is the capital city of Murree Tehsil (which is an administrative division of the Rawalpindi District). It is situated on the southern slopes of the Western Himalayan foothills as they ascend to the northeast towards Kashmir. During British Rule in the nineteenth century, its altitude was established at 7,000 feet (2,100 m), but its actual altitude has now been determined as 2,300 m (7,500 ft) above sea level.
Murree is accessible by road from the centre of the Islamabad and Rawalpindi areas. It is still associated with Britain; many British fruits (including cherries, raspberries and strawberries) thrive locally. There is a church, built in 1857, located at the centre of the town, which is still used as a place of worship. Many houses around the church are still standing, functioning mostly as hotels. Old traditional restaurants have been replaced by fast food shops and newer restaurants. Some old places of accommodation, such as the Rich Villa Inn and Gulberg Hotel, have completely disappeared. A typical hotel usually provides a motel type accommodation with breakfast and communication access. Newly built hotels are also accessible.
Murree has expanded since 1947 at a rate much greater than that which its infrastructure can sustain. Securing water and electricity has been a constant challenge. The jam-packed bazaar has caught fire a number of times in the last century, and the growth of tourism and a construction boom have had an adverse effect on the local environment.