Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to Afghanistan due to civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

[00 93] (0) 700-10-8000; US Embassy Kabul, Bibi Mahru, Kabul, Afghanistan;;; note U.S. Embassy Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021; USG is providing assistance through the Embassy in Doha, Qatar: Al-Luqta District, 22nd February Street, Doha, Qatar, +(974) 4496-6000, or

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Local numbers only


An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Polio vaccination up to 1 year before travel. See WHO recommendations. Note: Afghanistan is one of two countries with endemic wild polio virus and considered high risk for international spread of the disease. Before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; in addition, before travel to any high-risk destination, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine.


Arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Currency (Code)

Afghanis (AFN)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): G

Plug Type G

Major Languages

Afghan Persian or Dari (official, lingua franca) 77%, Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbeki 11%, English 6%, Turkmani 3%, Urdu 3%, other minority languages

Major Religions

Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%)

Time Difference

UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Blue Mosque of Mazar-e Sharif; mausoleum of King Amanullah Khan in Jalalabad; Green Mosque of Balkh; Friday Mosque of Herat; Band-e-Amir National Park; archaeological remains of the Bamyan Valley (includes Shahr-i-zohok (Red City); minaret & archaeological remains of Jam

Major Sports

Buzkashi (form of polo using a goat carcass), soccer, rugby

Cultural Practices

In Afghanistan, you may see people place their hands over their hearts and nod slightly as a greeting.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is uncommon except at the fanciest of restaurants. Donations to free historical sites are appreciated, as is extra money for local guides, usually around 20 afghanis. It is very common for a taxi driver or sales persons to tell you it is nothing when you want to pay. This reticence is just a form of politeness. Insist on paying.


Tribal hats and scarves, pottery, lapis lazuli and soapstone items, handwoven rugs, brass and copperware

Traditional Cuisine

Kabuli Pulao — long-grained Basmati rice steamed in meat broth, with assorted lentils, raisins, carrots, lamb, and chopped almonds and pistachios

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2022