Kabul Afghanistan Things To Do
In his final days as president, Donald Trump has promised to withdraw as many American troops as possible from Afghanistan while guaranteeing the Taliban a place in the country's future. Apart from the lack of detail, there are many questions about what post-war Afghanistan will look like, including who will rule Kabul again. Afghan security forces are growing and are being supported by air strikes. The US has resigned itself to the fact that, despite all efforts, it has not yet defeated the Afghan Taliban. Taliban fighters have abandoned their last stronghold in Kandahar, while the militia in Afghanistan continues to disintegrate.
The battle between the Taliban and Afghan forces is still fierce, and the battle may seem fruitless, but, as you might expect, Afghans are far more tolerant of foreigners than the US and its allies. Even blondes can get involved in Afghanistan, so you want to avoid the most sensitive places. Long, bushy beards are associated with the Taliban and are not a good idea to import into Afghanistan.
If you are going to Afghanistan, or even seriously considering going there, and want a better security perspective, I recommend you join a Facebook group that looks at security notifications in Afghanistan. To get an idea of how much is really going on there, join the Kabul Security Now Facebook groups.
If you are planning your trip to Afghanistan, check out our Coronavirus section for everything you need to know about coronaviruses. When visiting Ghor province in Afghanistan, do not forget to visit the famous Khorasan National Park, one of the most beautiful places in the country. Believe it or not, there are a number of other amazing places there that are definitely worth a visit.
This gallery opened in 1919 and is almost completely filled with items unearthed from Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan. It is not recommended to travel from here to Kabul or Mazar, but you can sit for a few hours free of charge in the gallery and have a good view of the city and its surroundings.
A relatively safe way to visit Afghanistan is to cross the so-called Wakhan Corridor between Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. The easiest departure point for Afghanistan is known to be Kabul International Airport.
The untamed border has a fixed date every year, which is a great way to visit Afghanistan as long as you enjoy the company of other travelers. You can also visit Afghanistan for a second visit organised by Let's Be Friends of Afghanistan. Buses can be used from Kabul International Airport to Mazar-i-Sharif or from the Wakhan Corridor to Kandahar Airport.
Bamiyan is a popular destination for foreigners coming from the mainland, and its Hazara population is one of the most hospitable in Afghanistan, but you can also do so if you are outside Afghanistan. Kandahar is relatively safe, and travelers can visit it without fear of incident, in part because it is home to the world's second-largest Muslim population. The journey on the highway to Kandahari is very dangerous under the Taliban and, as mentioned, tourists travelling overland from Kabul to Herat were attacked by them only in 2016. However, the road linking it to Kabul has been rebuilt and runs through several Taliban-controlled areas, so the city itself is safe.
Fortunately, there are flights between Kabul and Kandahar, and I am already planning my next visit to Afghanistan, including most Pashtun cities.
At the moment, the best way to obtain a visa for Afghanistan is to visit the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, or the Afghan Embassy in Kabul. If you can easily enter from Pakistan, I have heard that the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad does not require a LOI and is the easiest place to get an Afghan visa nowadays (see this post on Lost Purpose).
To obtain an Afghan tourist visa, you must first fill out a form that you can find at the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, the US Embassy or the Embassy in Kabul. This can also be done at the Kabul Statistics Office of the Ministry of the Interior in Parwan Square.
This beautiful valley is one of Afghanistan's must-see attractions, offering stunning views of the Kabul skyline, city centre and Kabul National Park. Attractive sights in the city include the Afghan National Cemetery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction. This cemetery, surrounded by a high wall, is one of the few foreign historical monuments that survived the destruction by the Taliban.
Long walks are not a good idea in Afghanistan, so you want to be able to drive fast. If you are a tourist to Afghanistan, there are limited security permits, and the tourist attractions in Kabul, Mazar and Herat are usually far apart. However, if you follow the information in our Afghanistan guide, all of the cities mentioned above should be safe enough to visit.