Kabul - in the east the capital
Bamiyan - The Remains of the Buddhas. Once considered one of the wonders of the world, the Taliban destroyed these stonework in a notorious act of cultural vandalism.
Ghazni - in the southeast, between Kabul and Kandahar
Herat - in the west, gateway to Iran, has a strong Persian influence and several interesting historical sites
Jalalabad - in the east, between Kabul and the Khyber Pass
Kandahar - a southern city influenced by the Taliban is not safe at the time
Kunduz - An important city in the northeast and crossing point to Tajikistan
Mazar-e Sharif - home to the impressive Blue Mosque and starting point for trips to Uzbekistan

Other destinations

  • Balkh: once one of the largest cities in the region and capital of ancient Bactria. Although much of it is in ruins, the remaining architectural and cultural elements have hardly changed since Alexander the Great.
  • Band-e Amir National Park: 5 incredible turquoise lakes in a secluded and beautiful setting, not far from Bamiyan.
  • The Khyber Pass is the gateway to India, a historic route of invasion and trade.
  • The Minaret of Jam is well off the beaten path but some say worth the journey - possible as a roundtrip from Herat or when traversing the Central Route from Herat to Kabul.
  • Panjshir Valley: a beautiful trekking area leading to the famous Anjuman Pass.
  • The Salang Pass is a high mountain pass and a tunnel connecting Kabul with the north.
  • Shamali Plain north of Kabul. Shamali, which means "wind" or "north", is a green plain that produces a large amount of food for central Afghanistan. From Kabul it extends northward through Charikar in the province of Parwan to Jabal os Saraj. The Taliban have destroyed irrigation systems and are just beginning to recover.
  • Gardez - a beautiful city in a mountain valley southeast of Kabul.

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Afghanistan - Travel guide