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Tourist Attractions in Afghanistan

The most interesting and beautiful tourist sites in Afghanistan

Photos, reviews, descriptions, and links to maps

About Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a wild and dangerous exotic. It is a country attracted by its primitive beauty, where high mountain peaks on the horizon are juxtaposed with highland deserts shimmering in the sun in countless shades of red. Here is the birthplace of Zarathustra, ancient fortresses and citadels, invaluable from a historical point of view. Unfortunately, not all of them have been preserved during 30 years of civil war, as a result of which many towns and villages lie in ruins.

Only the most desperate go to Afghanistan. It is reckless and unsafe, although there are fewer dangers here for a European foreigner than for a representative of neighbouring Pakistan. It is impossible to get to this country just like that, as a visa is required. And there is no such thing as a “”tourist visa””. People go there on business, on business trips or as members of humanitarian missions.

If by fate a traveller finds himself in Afghanistan, he is in for a mild shock from the unreal contrasts of this country. Local millionaires with heavily armed guards, living in houses with helipads, neighbour with people who live in dugouts with their whole families. Kabul’s hotels with machine guns mounted on their roofs stand next to guesthouses where the traveller is invited to sleep in a shared room in a sleeping bag. The towering peaks of the Hindu Kush and the Wakhan Range are interspersed with clear blue lakes and rivers.

Top-12 Tourist Attractions in Afghanistan

Buddha of Bamyan

314 reviews
Giant images of the deity 37 metres and 55 metres long, located in the Bamiyan valley. These statues were erected around the 6th century. They utilise elements of Indian Gandhar art. In 2001, the statues were destroyed by the Taliban with the wording “people should not worship idols”. The whole world (including Islamic countries) strongly condemned the destruction. Unfortunately, UNESCO has no plans to rebuild the statues because of the high cost of the project and because the new statues will not have the same historical meaning as the original structures.
Open time
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours

Shrine of Hazrat Ali

675 reviews
A picturesque mosque in Balkh province, where Caliph Ali, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad himself, was supposedly buried. The Caliph’s tomb has existed since the XII century, the mosque was built in the XV century by Hussein Baykara. It received the prefix “blue” due to the large number of turquoise tiles covering the walls and domes. The mosque is the best preserved ancient monument of Afghanistan.
Open time
Monday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Tuesday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Wednesday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Thursday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Friday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Saturday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Sunday: 4:00 AM – 12:30 AM

Herat Central Blue Mosque

923 reviews
A magnificent temple, in the creation of which the philosopher and poet Alisher Navoi took part. Due to the numerous wars of the last 30 years, the mosque was completely destroyed, but now it has been restored. The restored and rebuilt building is covered with rich paintings, the inner courtyard can accommodate almost 5000 worshippers. There is also a large cauldron dating back to the 14th century, in which sherbet has been cooked for six centuries for distribution to people on holidays.
Open time
Monday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday: 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Eidgah Great Mosque

The largest mosque in Kabul. Here Emir Amanullah Khan declared the independence of Afghanistan in 1919. Id-Gah (translated as “festive”) is one of the centres of religious life in Kabul. It is the centre of Kabul’s religious life, where large Muslim festivals are celebrated with great fanfare, during which thousands of Afghans come to pray against the walls and in the square in front of the mosque.

Minaret of Jam

97 reviews
A 12th century structure in the ancient city of Firuzuh. This priceless monument of architecture is lost in the mountains in the north-west of the country, it is very difficult to reach it because of the military situation. The 65 metre high minaret is perfectly preserved, the exterior wall decoration has survived almost completely for 8 centuries. It was built during the heyday of the Gurid dynasty, which controlled in the Middle Ages a vast territory from the Bay of Bengal to the Indian city of Nishapur.
Open time
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours

Babur Garden

1023 reviews
Kabul Park, home to the tomb of Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty. It is a series of 15 cascading terraces in the typical style of Mughal architecture. The emperor’s tomb is located in the middle of the park. During the civil war, most of the buildings were destroyed and trees were cut down, but the park was fully restored in 2011.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The National Museum of Afghanistan

566 reviews
A collection of ancient artefacts from various cultures that existed at different times on the territory of Afghanistan. The museum had a difficult fate – in 1996, after the Taliban came to power, the collection was 70% looted and destroyed, some of the exhibits were removed. In 2004, the restored museum was reopened to the public.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Thursday: Closed
Friday: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Herat Citadel

1122 reviews

Also known as Alexander’s Citadel, as it was built during the conquest of the area by Alexander the Great. Under the guidance of UNESCO, excavations were carried out here and many interesting artefacts were discovered, which are displayed in the collections of the Citadel Museum. The citadel experienced sieges by numerous armies during the Middle Ages.

Open time
Monday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 AM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM


21 reviews
A 5th century structure in the city of Kabul. Served as a shelter for the rulers of Afghanistan for many centuries. The fortress was rebuilt many times to make it more secure. In the XIX century during the Anglo-Afghan War, part of the buildings were destroyed by order of British General Roberts. Now the citadel is used as a place of deployment for the Afghan military.

Khyber Passage

A mountain pass on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. A beautiful mountain road 53 kilometres long, which is an alternation of deep and narrow gorges. There is a railway and the Kabul-Peshawar highway along the pass. It is a strategic location reinforced with firing points, military cordons and posts to protect the border.


In the local language it is called the Gorge of Five Lions. It is a picturesque valley in the Panjsher province. On its territory there are convenient passes leading from the northern provinces to the southern ones. In times of war, the gorge becomes a convenient refuge and impregnable fortress from where guerrilla raids can be carried out.

Band-e Amir

195 reviews
A network of reservoirs in the heart of Afghanistan. The lakes are surrounded by mountains and steppes. The piercing blue to deep blue colour of the water looks very picturesque against the white and pink limestone of the surrounding cliffs. Bande Amir is on the list of the most beautiful coloured lakes in the world and a UNESCO natural heritage site.