The city of Kabul is a fascinating one. It’s not a traditional destination frequented by the casual vacationer, but rather an experience for seasoned travelers who respect the many intricacies, customs and delights of this ancient city. Kabul is littered with the remnants of past civilisations and periods of extreme warfare, but despite this, it’s also a city of great change and development. As modern culture begins to creep slowly into everyday life, new restaurants, cafes and shopping malls (like the Majid), open up to satisfy the demands of wealthy Afghans and international visitors. By day, Kabul has plenty of bazaars that are not only swarming with activity, but are the perfect spots to enjoy traditional street food. After sampling some of the local delicacies and purchasing handmade trinkets, visit the beautiful Gardens of Babur, the Id Gah Mosque or the Qargha Reservoir. The lush landscape gardens that surround the burial place of the first Mughal Emperor Babur are an extraordinary sight. There’s no better way to spend an evening than in an authentic Afghani restaurant, especially those that are alive with music and dancing. Or, simply watch an Indian film in one of the small cinemas. For the keen-eyed visitor, Kabul is a gem that offers a rare insight into one of the world’s most stunning ancient civilisations ravaged by war.
Temperatures are at their highest in the months of June all the way until the end of September, so combining this heat with higher flight prices means a less than ideal travel time. Springtime, specifically from March till May, transforms the region beautifully and offers a much more affordable travel cost. Also, visiting Kabul in May gives you the opportunity to visit the Sound Central Modern Music Festival held annually in Kabul, offering live music and a taste of contemporary Afghan culture.
Walking isn’t recommended as the city streets of Kabul can be very busy, experiencing plenty of stagnant traffic. There are companies offering a great rental or taxi service that you can hire short or long term. Also, buses stop just about everywhere in the city. Whilst not always comfortable, they are relatively cheap, just be sure to shout out your destination to the driver!