In this page:
Entry Requirements |
Organising Your Trip |
Living Conditions |
Organising Your Trip
Transportation From Airport to City Centre:
Kabul Hamid Karzai Airport (KBL)
8 km / 5 miles
AFG 100/ 15 min
Different Forms of Tourism
Despite decades of civil war and conflict, Afghanistan preserves many historic sites, most being located in the capital city of Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan and Mazar-e Sharif. While tourists are advised against at all but essential travel to Afghanistan, several sites remain safe to visit. These include:
- Babur Tomb and Babur's Gardens: Laid out by the Mughal ruler Babur in the 16th century, the site is the largest and oldest public green space in the city of Kabul.
- Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley: This area represents the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries and hosted two giant Budha statues, which were exploded by the Taliban in 2001. The site is part of UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger.
- Darul Aman Palace: Former location of the King of Afghanistan. Bombed out during the war, the building is expected to be fully renovated by 2019.
- Balkh: One of the oldest cities in the world and has many ruins from the Hellenistic period and Buddhist constructions. It is also the birthplace of the poet Mevlana Rumi.
- Herat Citadel: Built by Shah Rukh in 1415 after the Mongol invasion of the city of Herat.
- Kabul Museum (National Museum of Afghanistan)
- OMAR Mine Museum: Displays 51 of the 53 types of landmines used in Afghanistan. Curated by the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR).
- Sultani Museum: Private museum, contains a large collection of Afghan antiquities
- Ka Faroshi Bird Market
- Band-e-Amir National Park
- Qargha Lake
- Panjshir Mountains
- Noshaq: The highest point in Afghanistan (7,492 m)
- Blue Mosque (Mazar-e Sharif): Contains the shrine of Hazrat Ali, the cousin of Prophet Mohammed and the fourth caliph of Islam
- Friday Mosque (Herat)
- Minaret of Jam: Dates back to the 12th century and is part of UNESCO's World Heritage
- Khwaja Abd Allah Ansari Shrine
- Red Mosque (Kandahar)
There is no thermal tourism in Afghanistan.
There is no beach tourism in Afghanistan.
- Winter Sports
As the country's landscape is fairly mountainous, there are many skiing sites, most waiting to be restored and improved. There are several ski resorts in Bamyan Province where a ski competition is held every year.
- Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities outside safe zones (The ski resort in Bamyan, Band-e-Amir National Park, Qargha Lake) is advised against due to security concerns. Tourists can also attend traditional Buzkashi games, the national sport of Afghanistan.
While international brands are not readily available in the country tourists can buy carpets, handicrafts, cloths, embroideries and gemstones at craft shops. There are also local non‐government and non-profit organisations, such as Zardozi, carrying products made by local entrepreneurs.
Health and Safety
- Health Precautions
A proof of vaccination (an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis - ICVP), given four weeks to 12 months before departure may be required on exit. Failure to produce this documentation may lead to vaccination at the point of departure, most likely with oral polio vaccine.
Medical facilities are very limited and supplies are unlikely to be available locally.
Travelling in hotter months could trigger diarrhoeal diseases and other gastrointestinal infections, and malaria.
Respiratory tuberculosis is common among the Afghan population.
Medical insurance is essential.
- For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Travel advice on FCO's website
Health Information for Travelers to Afghanistan (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- For Further Information on Safety Conditions
UK FCO Security Advice
U.S. Department Travel Advisory
|Brigade general in Kabul
Time Difference and Climate
- Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Kabul (GMT+4.5)
- Summer Time Period
Map of the Time Zone
- Type of Climate
Most of Afghanistan has a subarctic mountain climate, with cold and dry winters, and hot and sunny summers. The climate in the south of the country is arid or semiarid. The country has four distinct seasons (winter, spring, summer, autumn). Summer temperatures can rise to 50⁰C (122⁰F), especially in the south, while winter temperatures can be as low as -25⁰C (-13⁰F). The mountainous landscape of the country causes significant temperature variations amongst regions but also between day and night. The mountainous region in the north receives extensive snowfall and some parts remain isolated from the rest of the world for as much as four months.
- Hotel reservation websites
Geography and climate information (Norwegian Afghanistan Committee)
Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall
- Food Specialties
Afghan dining scene has become more vibrant since the end of the Taliban rule; however, eating out is not too common. Several restaurants, especially in the capital city of Kabul, are UN-cleared and thus safer; nonetheless, they are also more expensive compared to traditional eateries.
Afghan cuisine is a mix of flavours surrounding the country and ethnic groups within the country, namely Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Pashtuns. Indian influence is also quite strong, as evidenced by the use of spices like coriander, saffron, black pepper, and cardamom. Qabeli Palaw, a variety of pilaf dish, consisting of steamed rice mixed with raisins, carrots, and lamb, is the staple of Afghan cuisine. Other specialties include mantu (steamed dumplings), shorma (soup), and qorma (fried onion with various meats, spices, fruits, or vegetables).
Consumption of alcohol is illegal for Afghan nationals. Alcohol can only be served to foreign journalists and tourists at outlets with special licenses.
- Dietary Restrictions
Pork meat and alcohol are illegal.
- Domestic Currency
- ISO Code
- To Obtain Domestic Currency
AIB (Afghanistan International Bank), Bank Alfalah, and Standard Chartered Bank ATMs accept international cards and it is possible to withdraw money both in local currency and US Dollar. It is advised to carry sufficient cash in US Dollars.
- Possible Means of Payment
While credit cards exist in Afghanistan, most local businesses operate on a cash basis. As the banking system is underdeveloped, local businesses depend on the informal hawala system to make payments and transfer funds. Money is transferred through a network of brokers without any promissory note. Travellers' cheques are not widely accepted.
- Official Language
Dari (Afghan Persian) and Pashto.
- Other Languages Spoken
Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen), and 30 other minor languages which primarily include Balochi and Pashai.
- Business Language
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Latest Update: September 2023