Bāmyān is a picturesque town located in central Afghanistan, known for its stunning natural beauty and historical significance. The town is famous for the giant standing Buddha statues that were carved into the cliffs surrounding the valley, although they were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Bāmyān is also home to the Hazara people, a minority ethnic group in Afghanistan.

The town attracts tourists and researchers interested in exploring its archaeological sites and cultural heritage.

Key Phrases

Speak like a local

  • "سلام" - Hello
  • "خوش آمدید" - Welcome
  • "مرسی" - Thank you
  • "خدا حافظ" - Goodbye
  • "بله" - Yes
  • "نه" - No

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Bmyn

morning:Start the day with a visit to the Bāmyān Cultural Centre to learn about the region's rich history. Don't miss the intriguing Buddha niches and galleries. Enjoy local breakfast delights at Jawed Restaurant.

afternoon:Stroll through the Bāmyān Bazaar and haggle for souvenirs at the bustling market. Head to the Shahr-e Gholghola, the City of Screams, and immerse yourself in its tragic past. Refuel at the welcoming Nan and Kabob Bakery.

evening:Unwind with a captivating sunset view at the Bāmyān's Red City area. For a lively evening, experience the warm hospitality and vibrant atmosphere of Café Noraayee.

day 2

Nature's Wonders

morning:Embark on an early morning hike to the Band-e Amir Lakes and savor the breathtaking beauty of these natural wonders. Don't forget to fuel up with a hearty breakfast at the scenic Band-e Amir Lakeside Restaurant.

afternoon:Continue your day at the picturesque Shahr-e Zohak, exploring the awe-inspiring landscape. Delight in a traditional Afghan lunch at Qesem Restaurant amidst stunning surroundings.

evening:As the day winds down, enjoy a serene evening stroll around the Shahr-e Zohak and witness the magical sunset over the valley.

day 3

Cultural Immersion

morning:Immerse in the traditional Afghan lifestyle with a visit to the local farms and villages. Experience the authentic charm and indulge in a farm-fresh breakfast at a local eatery.

afternoon:Discover the ancient caves of the Bāmyān Valley, marveling at the historical richness. Continue the cultural journey with a delightful lunch at a traditional chaikhana, Quyashah Restaurant.

evening:End the day with a visit to the serene Hazar Sum Castle and soak in the spectacular views whilst enjoying a cozy dinner at a local guesthouse.

day 4

Historical Odyssey

morning:Begin the day with a visit to the Bāmyān Museum, unraveling the region's captivating history through its intriguing artifacts. Recharge with an appetizing breakfast at the charming Dogh Village Restaurant.

afternoon:Explore the remarkable Kakrak Valley and its ancient citadels. Savor a fulfilling lunch at the quaint Kakrak Valley View Restaurant offering panoramic vistas.

evening:Conclude your day with an evocative visit to the poignant Shahr-e Gholghola and appreciate a serene evening at the atmospheric Zohak Cafe for a relaxing end to your historical odyssey.

Bāmyān Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes


A must-try dish in Bāmyān, Mantu consists of delicate steamed dumplings filled with seasoned ground meat and topped with a yogurt-based sauce and a sprinkle of ground meat, split peas, and mint. To savor this dish, visit the bustling Market Road in the heart of Bāmyān, where numerous vendors sell Mantu.


Kabuli Pulao

Kabuli Pulao, a beloved Afghan rice dish, is a delightful combination of tender lamb or beef, sweet raisins, and carrots, all cooked together with fragrant Basmati rice. The best place to relish this dish is at the charming Qamar Dari Restaurant, known for its exquisite preparation of Kabuli Pulao.


Bolani, a type of stuffed flatbread, is a popular street food in Bāmyān. It features a thin, crispy crust filled with spiced potatoes, leeks, or other savory fillings. For an authentic Bolani experience, head to the stalls lining the Old Bāmyān Bazaar, where skilled vendors craft these delectable treats.

Photography Spots in Bāmyān

Locations for the best views and photo opportunities

Buddha niches

Located in the Bamiyan Valley, these niches provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape and are great for photography.

Shahr-e Zohak

Also known as the Red City, this ancient town offers panoramic views of the Bamiyan Valley and the surrounding mountains, making it a great spot for photography.

Seasonal Advice

Best times to visit and what to expect in different seasons


Best time to visit with moderate temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush green landscapes.


Warm temperatures, ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring the cultural sites.


Mild temperatures, beautiful foliage, and less crowded tourist sites.


Cold temperatures, occasional snowfall, and the chance to experience local winter traditions.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Old Bāmyān Bazaar

Exploring the vibrant Old Bāmyān Bazaar is a delightful way to sample an array of street food offerings. Here, you can savor local favorites like Bolani, kebabs, and traditional sweets, all while immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of this historic market.

Market Road

The bustling Market Road is a hub of culinary activity, with numerous vendors offering a diverse selection of street foods, including Mantu, Ashak, and warm, aromatic bread fresh from the tandoor. This is the perfect place to experience the authentic flavors of Bāmyān.

Things to do in Bāmyān

Unique local experiences...

Pet sitters in Bāmyān

Relax and unwind while your furry friend enjoys making a new companion!

Continue exploring Afghanistan

Discover local cities, attractions and more!

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