Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been going through different conflicts non-stop since 1979, when tribal people rebelled against the Communist party, starting a war between the Soviet Union and the Mujahideen.

The Soviets were defeated but then, Mujahideen warlords began to fight each other over power.

Disappointed that Islamic law had not been installed after the Soviets were kicked out, a former Mujahid named Mullah Omar founded a movement named Taliban and, by 1996, they controlled 90% of Afghanistan’s territory, including Kabul, ruling until 2001.

Then, the American Invasion came, withdrawing nearly 20 years later, when the Taliban took over again.

Afghanistan, however, is more than conflict; this former Silk Road country is a melting point of cultures and civilizations, visible in the extreme ethnic diversity and jaw-dropping shrines, besides being home to some of the kindest people on earth.

need to know for traveling in Afghanistan

Quick facts

Capital: Kabul

Population: 38.3 million (37th)

Languages: Pashto, Dari

Area: 652,867km² (40th largest country)

Visa

You can get your visa in less than 24 hours at the embassies of Dubai, Islamabad, Peshawar and Doha.

Also at the embassies of Madrid, London or Berlin, among others, depending on your residence.

More info in our visa guide

Getting in

There are daily flights from both Dubai and Islamabad. Check Kam Air and Fly Dubai.

You can also get in from the Khyber Pass in Pakistan, as well as Iran and Uzbekistan.

Travel Insurance

Most insurance companies do not cover travel in Afghanistan but IATI Insurance does:

5% discount if booking here:

Best time to visit

In Winter, Afghanistan is covered in snow, it’s a beautiful time to visit.

Spring and autumn are the best times to travel anywhere.

Summer is the best for visiting in Bamyan and the Wakhan Corridor.

Tours for Afghanistan

Against the Compass runs tours into Afghanistan. The next are scheduled on:

Sep 5th to 14th (2024)

Oct 15th to 24th (2024)


Is Afghanistan safe during Taliban rule?

Afghanistan text box category

Before the Taliban took over in 2021, the country was in a civil war and the risk of being kidnapped was extremely high.

Now that the Taliban are ruling, this war is over but is it safe to visit Afghanistan?

It depends. Today, there is no war, and Taliban are trying to create a normal country that invests in tourism.

Security however, is relative, and a certain degree of caution applies. For more information, read our safety guide.


Top experiences in Afghanistan

Crazy Kabul

As sophisticated as Iran and as wild as Pakistan.

The Blue Mosque

Perhaps, the most jaw-dropping sight in all of Central Asia.

The mountains of Bamyan

Some of the most mesmerizing Silk Road landscapes.

Taliban Kandahar

The heartland of the Pashtun is where the Taliban movement was founded.

tips for Afghanistan

Accommodation

There aren’t many hotels used to accommodate foreign visitors but you can always find a few in Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar, Bamyan, and Herat.

Independent travel

Traveling around Afghanistan independently is allowed but you must arrange necessary permits and be prepared to deal with the many Taliban checkpoints, who will certainly make you waste a lot of time.

Transportation

Most likely, you’ll be traveling in a private car but independent travelers should know that public transportation is cheap and that you can go to most towns and cities.


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