Afghanistan Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Kabul tourist information, Afghanistan food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Kabul. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Afghanistan Travel Guide

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Full country name: The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Area: 647,500 km2
Population: 28,150,000
Capital City: Kabul
Language: Dari (Persian) and Pashto
Religion: 99% Muslim (80% Sunni, 19% Shi'a), 1% other
Government: Islamic Republic
Time Zone: GMT/UTC+4:30 (Standard Time Zone)
Dialing Code: 93
Weights & measures: Metric
Electricity: 220V 50Hz
Currency: Afghani (AFN)

Money & Costs:
Average yearly salary: USD 1,000

Budget: $5
Mid-range: $20
High: $30
Budget: $33
Mid-range: range: $65
High: High: $130

Geography: Afghanistan is a landlocked and mountainous country, with plains in the north and southwest. It is frequently subject to minor earthquakes, mainly in the northeast of Hindu Kush mountain areas, which divides the northern provinces from the rest of the country. Afghanistan is the world's 41st-largest country. The nation borders with Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and China.

Climate: Afghanistan's climate is typical of an arid or semiarid steppe. Afghanistan has cold winters and dry summers and the seasons are clearly marked throughout the country. The ranges in altitude produce a climate with both temperate and semitropical characteristics. The temperatures in Kabul in summer may range from 16 C (61 F ) at sunrise to 38 C (100 F ) by noon. The mean temperature in Kabul in winter is 0 C (32 F ), however there is still much sunshine. The air in Afghanistan is usually clear and dry. Rainfall averages only about 25 to 30 cm. Precipitation occurs in winter and spring, most of it in the form of snow.

What to buy: Afghanistan is famous for its beautiful carpets, which tourist like to buy and bring back home as souvenirs. The carpets tend to have a red background colour and repeated elements called "guls" to make the geometric pattern. Many of the carpets are really beautiful and they are not as expensive as those of the top Iranian quality carpets.
Another very popular souvenir among tourists is the Afghan sheepskin coat. These coats are vary warm, because they are woolen inside and have leather on the outside to keep you warm and block wind, rain and snow.
Afghanistan is also famous for its guns. Some of them are of considerable interest to historians, collectors or tourist who simply want to bring it home and hang it on the wall as a souvenir. Guns, however, are a rather problematic souvenir. Importing a firearm may be impossible. If you are traveling overland and passing through several countries before you reach home, it is almost certainly not worth the trouble.

Food: It has been well known that the tastes and spices of Afghanistan cuisine are a rather tasteful blend of the regions surrounding Afghanistan. Unlike any other food from its neighbors, the spices used in Afghan cuisine, are neither too hot, nor pungent or bland. Actually, western travelers find the cuisine of Afghanistan as a perfect blend of exoticness and good taste and enjoy it a lot.

Drink: While being an Islamic country, alcohol consumption in Afghanistan is illegal, however travelers can consume alcohol in western restaurants in Kabul and it is tolerated.

Health: Respiratory diseases (such as tuberculosis or any food-related illnesses) are common in Afghanistan. Malaria is also of a high risk in many parts of the country too. You should be particularly meticulous about the food quality, because of poor hygiene standards around the country. Cook your food before consuming, as it is safer. Bottled water is advised, unless you have your own purification system. Bring any prescription medicine you may need from your home country, because you won't be able to find it locally. You may also like to carry pain relievers, as they'll be hard to find outside of major cities.

Insects and Snakes: are something to be careful of, because the mountainous Afghanistan has many dangerous tiny creatures such as spiders, snakes, scorpions, etc.

Note: Although visiting Afghanistan has not been advisable for the past several years, it has much to offer for a traveler. However, your trips should be meticulously planned and you should keep abreast of the latest security situation throughout the stay.

Public Holidays:
Jan 7 Ashura (Martyrdom of Imam Hussein)
Feb 15 Liberation Day
Feb 26 Roze-Maulud (Birth of the Prophet)
Mar 21 Navruz (Persian New Year)
Apr 18 Liberation Day
Apr 28 Revolution Day; Loss of the Muslim Nation May 1 Labour Day
Aug 19 National Day
Sep 10-11 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Nov 16-17 Eid-al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

Note: Fridays are the weekly day of rest (Juma)

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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