National Museum of Afghanistan
South Kabul, Darul Aman Road
free, donations welcome
10am-4pm weekdays, 9am-noon Fridays
several miles from the city center, across from Darulaman Palace

The National Museum of Afghanistan once housed one of the greatest collections of Central Asian artifacts in the world. A large percentage of the previous collection was looted in the 1990s during Taliban rule after the upper floors of the museum were bombed. Many of the early Buddhist treasures were destroyed by the Taliban at the same time as the Bamiyan Buddhas. Looted items still turn up around the world at auctions. The museum is open once again, with far more modest, but still impressive, displays of early Buddhist and Islamic artifacts.

Bagh-e Babur
10 Af for locals, 250 Af for foreigners

The gardens surround the tomb of the first Mughal Emperor Babur. Though he had wished to be buried here, he was originally buried in Agra, and later moved to this spot. Historically, the gardens have been visited by Afghans for picnics and lazy afternoons. There is a swimming pool, a small mosque for prayers and a small museum among other things.

Darul Aman Palace
At the end of Daral Aman road, south of the city, next to the Kabul museum
Afs 200 or so bakshesh to the guard to look around inside the ruins

Originally built as King Amanullah's Palace in the 1920s, it has been destroyed and rebuilt a few times over. Plans were unveiled a few years ago to renovate it once again although it is still in a state of crumbling disrepair on the verge of collapsing.

Bagh-e Bala

Built in the late 19th century, it served as a summer palace for Amir Abdur Rahman. Today, much of the original interior has been preserved, and the area around the palace has become a large park.

Kabul Zoo
10 Af for locals, 100 Af for foreigners
6AM-6PM daily

The zoo is very popular with Afghans, and houses over 100 animals, albeit in relatively poor condition. China was once one of the main donors of animals in the zoo, but after the death of a few animals to disease and malnutrition, China has announced that there will be no donations until living conditions improve. 'Marjan' the lion, which was blinded by a grenade, was the main draw of the zoo, but has died recently.

Daoud Khan Memorial
Up the hill behind Darul Aman Palace

On June 28, 2008, the body of President Daoud and those of his family were found in two separate mass graves in the Pul-e-Charkhi area, District 12 of Kabul city. There is now a small memorial to the deceased on a small hill, offering nice views over southern Kabul.

Lake Qargha

described as Kabul's lake district, only 9km from the city. Spojmai restaurant provides international cuisine. Swimming and boating are popular on the lake with plans for water skiing and jet-skis in the future. Spojmai Hotel joins the list of establishments to be attacked by The Taliban in June 2012.

British Cemetery.

Where foreigners are buried in Kabul. There are also Memorial plaques commemorating those ISAF forces killed during the last few years.

National Gallery of Afghanistan
Asamayi Watt
Afs 250
8am-ish to 4pm-ish, closed Fridays, and you may struggle to be allowed in on Thursday afternoons
34°31'2.94N, 69°10'15.97E

A beautiful gallery in a charming old Kabul house that has been carefully restored. The collection used to have some 820 paintings and portraits but 50% have been looted or destroyed; the director said the Taliban destroyed 210 portraits. Most of the collection is of European and Afghan landscapes and portraits of famous Afghan writers and kings and a portrait of the French writer Victor Hugo. Well worth making the effort to see. The Sultani Gallery is attached, but the opening hours are a mystery.