Afghanistan is one of the fast-growing countries in the Middle East with stunning mosques and exciting recreational activities.
Not all areas of the country are safe to visit, with terrorist attacks and armed conflicts happening in various places.
Learning about the 10 safest cities in Afghanistan will make it easier for you to plan your travel accordingly.
Take the time to do your research and find out what the travel advisories are at the time you’re planning your trip so that you don’t go during a time of civil unrest.
- 10 Safest Cities in Afghanistan
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Afghanistan
- Afghanistan Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Safest Cities in Afghanistan
Afghanistan travel advisories can terrify you into not visiting the country.
Whether you want to see the devastation for yourself or you’re visiting family, there are still cities in Afghanistan that you can visit and feel at least a little safe.
The city of Panjshir is one of the safer places that you can visit in Afghanistan tucked inside a valley.
It is nearly 200 km to the north of Kabul, which means that it stays away from some of the violence.
There are various museums that you can visit, and you may want to spend time hiking through the Band-e-Amir National Park.
Various mosques are available for touring, too – and most were never touched by Taliban attacks, leaving them still standing in all of their beauty.
The city of Mazar-i-Sharif is a relatively large city in the northern part of Afghanistan.
It is also an entry point for those who travel from Uzbekistan.
Blue Mosque is one of the most stunning mosques in the country – and it’s located in Mazar-i-Sharif.
If you do not visit anything but this, you will have enjoyed yourself.
The area is considered relatively safe, so you will simply want to exercise caution and adjust your travel plans based on Taliban activity.
Bamyan is safe depending upon how you are traveling into the city.
It is a mountainous region, but some of the areas have been restricted by the Taliban.
There are a number of Mongolian features throughout this area because it is the native land of the Hazara people.
You can spend a lot of time exploring the architecture throughout this region.
Much of the area has yet to be developed, which allows you to stare out for miles and see nothing but mountains.
The Wakhan Corridor is considered a relatively remote region with approximately 12,000 inhabitants – most of them being of the Wakhi and Pamiri people.
This area can be popular to visit due to its proximity to neighboring Tajikistan.
The accessibility shifts periodically based on the internal conflicts that are taking place within Afghanistan.
If you are permitted into the area, there is some beautiful scenery, roadside tombs, as well as village walks where you can have diverse cultural exchanges.
Balkh is a city that has been heavily influenced by Buddhist culture prior to the Arab invasion.
Today, you can see a variety of ancient ruins within the city that show signs of the old Asian culture.
There are also ruins of several mosques, which are places of interest.
There has been a surge of kidnappings and murders throughout the region, and some local news outlets report that there have been around 1300 criminal incidents recorded in the province in a single year.
As such, you need to make sure that you do your research prior to booking travel in this area.
Samangan is a small town located in the northern part of the country.
During the fourth and fifth centuries, it was a medieval caravan stopped.
You will find a significant amount of architecture, primarily in ruins, where there was a lot of Buddhist influence.
The weekly market still takes place, providing you with access to incredible craftsmen and exhibits of art.
Due to the population that is typically less than 10,000, there is not a lot of crime in comparison to some of the larger cities.
However, the northern part of Afghanistan still remains torn by internal conflicts.
Jalalabad is found within the eastern part of Afghanistan and has always been identified as one of the more beautiful ones because of the greenery as well as the surrounding water.
You will find architecture, which includes the Nangarhar University and the mausoleum of Amanullah Khan.
There is a significant amount of police presence in the city, which is helping to increase safety.
Ideally, you should plan on visiting the city only if you have local contacts.
Kandahar is slowly becoming a safer city now that the US has officially left, and the Taliban has taken possession of the country.
Most of the fights at the city gates have finished. Ideally, this area is safer if you have local contacts.
There is a significant amount of history that you can explore in the area, especially considering that it was founded by Alexander the Great.
Prior to 2021, Kandahar was always considered one of the safer cities in the country.
There is also a growing Aino Mina section that you may want to explore.
Herat has long been considered the cultural capital of Afghanistan.
It is where you will find fortresses, madrassas, and mosques.
This is one of the bigger cities, and it is also close to the border of Iran.
Of all of the big cities in Afghanistan, this is one of the safer ones that you can visit.
There are limited checkpoints, though late-night crime does still occur.
With the location of Herat being in the Hari River valley, there is always sightseeing that you can do to pass the time.
Kabul is actually considered relatively safe, and this is because the area is heavily controlled by the government.
The city has grown a lot in recent years, but it has also experienced a significant amount of devastation.
Wandering around, you will see violent crimes being committed in the middle of the streets.
It is highly recommended that you do not wander around after 10 PM.
Additionally, suicide bombings have been known to happen periodically.
When at all possible, when you want to enjoy the beauty and vibrancy of Kabul, stay close to your hotel.
Always make sure that you are using licensed taxis for transportation, too.
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a beautiful country, though there have been a number of crimes being committed.
In any given year, countries may provide advisories because of the “extremely dangerous” situations that can take place.
Knowing some safety tips will help to keep you safe.
1. Read the Travel Advisories
In many instances, your country may not allow you to travel to Afghanistan.
It can be a war zone depending on the year and what is going on.
It can be extremely dangerous, particularly with kidnapping, bombings, and more.
By reading travel advisories before you get too deep into your travel plans, you can decide if it is safe to attempt passage into the country.
2. Do Not Travel as a Solo Female
Afghanistan is extremely dangerous for solo females because of the high rate of kidnapping.
The laws are very different in Afghanistan than they are in parts of the western world.
Female travelers should be accompanied by men at all times, day or night.
3. Obtain Travel Insurance
While travel insurance is always highly encouraged, it is more important in Afghanistan because of the uncertainties that are found within the country.
You may encounter medical problems or theft while you’re there. Additionally, travel insurance can help you with any changes to your flights, such as if commercial flights get canceled or you struggle with getting out of the country.
4. Ensure Your Passport is Adequately Dated
In addition to obtaining a visa to enter Afghanistan, you need to make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months past the date.
This will be necessary for you to get your visa. It is also vital in the event that you are detained while in Afghanistan.
5. Stay on Established Paths
Afghanistan can be extremely dangerous because of the years of war that the country has had to endure.
There are landmines and other explosive devices that may have not yet been detonated.
Do not touch anything that looks unfamiliar.
Stay on paths that are well-worn.
When at all possible, take tours so that you know exactly where to go and do not wander aimlessly.
Afghanistan Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Afghanistan Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: HIGH
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: HIGH
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: HIGH
- MUGGING RISK: HIGH
- TERRORISM RISK: HIGH
- SCAMS RISK: HIGH
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: HIGH
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do many government advisories say not to visit Afghanistan?
For all intents and purposes, Afghanistan is still considered a war zone because of the internal conflicts that are taking place.
What is the safety index rating of Afghanistan?
The safety index gives every country a rating of 0 to 100, with 100 being the safest.
Afghanistan sits at a 14 because of the many crimes that happen and the overall danger of walking around.
What are some of the biggest threats facing travelers to Afghanistan?
There are a number of threats, which is why many people are advised not to travel to Afghanistan.
This includes terrorism, mugging, and scams.
The country is also highly susceptible to natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.