The ruined Buddhas are the main reason that most people visit Bamiyan. Although some feel that to visit at all is to reward cultural vandalism and desecration. Created in the 6th century, they were the largest in the world and a pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Over the centuries they were damaged by various invaders, and in 2001 the Taliban declared them 'un-islamic', rolled in tanks and destroyed them completely. All that remains are the 'footprints'. But there are many interesting caves and inside, many of the caves have remains of painted frescos. A Afs 300 ticket will get you in, and a guide $15/day is well worth it. This ticket will also let you into Zohak City and Gogola City.
The area around the buddhas and to the west is interesting to walk around stay on well-used paths. Many of the buildings were destroyed in war and there are occasional leftover weapons and destroyed jeeps, one of which is now used as a bridge over a stream.