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Kabul (Persian: کابل) is the capital and largest city in Afghanistan and has about 3 million inhabitants. It is located in the central eastern part of the country in a valley at an altitude of about 1800 meters, with the nearby Hindu Kush mountains towering above the city in the distance. It is believed that the city has been inhabited since at least 3500 years and nowadays it is the economical and cultural heart of the country. Although the city saw relatively many travellers before the Soviet invasion during the late seventies, since then number have declined significantly. Nowadays, few travellers make it to this ancient city but the adventurous people who travel overland from Pakistan are rewarded with some great experience, albeit not very safe due to unexpected bomb attacks which can happen everywhere. The National Museum and the narrow alleys filled with bazaars are the main features of Kabul.
During the month of Musharram, Afghans commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed. Ashura marks the 10th day of the month-long mourning.
Held between January and March (whichever date the New Year falls according to the Islamic calendar), Nau Roz is the most popular of all the festivals in Afghanistan. Farmers express gratitude and joy for abundant produce and people celebrate with music and dance. It is also during the Nau Roz or New Year festival that buzkashi matches or tournaments are held.
Depending on the Islamic calendar, Mawleed al Nabi is celebrated between the months of Marh and May when residents of Afghanistan remember the birth of the revered Islamic prophet (Muhammad). It is a day to offer special prayers and visit mosques.
Labor Day is a national holiday and a legacy of the Soviet era.
The independence day of Afghanistan falls on August 19, commemorating the end of British control over the foreign affairs of the country.
Ramadan is one of the most sacred traditions of the Islamic faith. It usually falls between the months of September and November each year, depending on the calendar. During the month-long observance, Afghans don’t eat or drink anything during the day and almost all restaurants and businesses are closed.
Eid e Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. During this celebration, people pray collectively in mosques and then gather with relatives and friends to enjoy a hearty feast.
Eid e Qurban falls between December and February on the Afghan calendar, during which animals like goats, camels, or sheep are sacrificed to mark the commencement of the Muslim pilgrimage (Haj).
Kabul's climate is harsh, with hot and dry summers and sometimes bitterly cold winters. Average summer temperatures are well above 30 °C during the day in most of the country, but drop to around 15 °C or a little more at night in places at higher altitude like Kabul. The short winter lasts from December to February with temperatures during the day a few degrees above zero, but averaging around -8 °C in Kabul in January for example. Records of 40 °C in summer and -21 °C in winter have been recorded in the capital. Summers are dry while March and April sees most of the rain.
|Avg Max||4.5 °C||5.5 °C||12.5 °C||19.2 °C||24.4 °C||30.2 °C||32.1 °C||32 °C||28.5 °C||22.4 °C||15 °C||8.3 °C|
|Avg Min||-7.1 °C||-5.7 °C||0.7 °C||6 °C||8.8 °C||12.4 °C||15.3 °C||14.3 °C||9.4 °C||3.9 °C||-1.2 °C||-4.7 °C|
|Rainfall||34.3 mm||60.1 mm||67.9 mm||71.9 mm||23.4 mm||1 mm||6.2 mm||1.6 mm||1.7 mm||3.7 mm||18.6 mm||21.6 mm|
Kabul International Airport (KBL) receives the most international flights and Ariana Afghan Airlines is the national airline serving destinations like Ankara, Delhi, Dubai, Dushanbe, Frankfurt, Jeddah, Islamabad, Istanbul Atatürk, Tehran and Ürümqi.
Pakistan International Airlines flies to and from Islamabad. Kam Air operates flights to and from Almaty, Dushanbe, Delhi, Mashad, Kuwait, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Shrjah. Few other airlines serve Kabul but London will have connections by Safi Airways in the near future when things have cleared up a bit in the country.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Kabul searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Kabul and areas nearby.
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