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Asia > Central Asia > Afghanistan > South Afghanistan > Kandahar


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Main road in Kandahar city Afghanistan in 2009
The main mosque in Kandahar. Adjacent to it are the mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Durrani and the site of the Prophet's Cloak.

Kandahar (Pashto: کندهار) is capital of Kandahar province, and the largest city in Southern Afghanistan. Kandahar is also the second largest city in Afghanistan, and was the first capital of the modern state of Afghanistan.


Kandahār or Qandahār (Pashto: کندهار ) (Persian: قندهار) is one of the largest of Afghanistan's thirty-four provinces and is located in the southern region of the country. Kandahār is a border province, connecting the southern region to Pakistan's Balochistan province through Chaman, and used to be the capital of Afghanistan until the late 17th century. It is considered to be an economic and political hub of Afghanistan and has always played a major role in the history of Afghanistan.

Most of its inhabitants are Pashtuns (Pashto: پښتون Paṣ̌tun, Pax̌tun). Many Afghan rulers such as; Ahmad Shah Durrani, Mirwais Khan Hotak, King Amanullah Khan, King Nadar Khan, and King Zahir Shah have originated from Kandahar.

Kandahar is surrounded by mountains. The capital is Kandahār, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m (3,297 feet) above sea level. The Arghandab River runs along the west of the city. The Ring of Rivers lies alongside the city and lush green gardens enhance the natural beauty of the city.

The majority of Kandahār people are engaged in agricultural endeavours. The province has a population of nearly 913,000, with over 800,000 living in its capital city.

Kandahār is a major trading center for sheep, wool, cotton, silk, felt, food grains, dried fruit, fresh fruit including pomegranates and grapes, and tobacco. The city has canning plants and facilities for drying, and packing fruit.

There is an international airport in Kandahār and roads provide links to Tareen Kot in the north, Quetta in Pakistan in the south. Farah and Herat toward the west, and Ghazni and Kabul to the northeast.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Kandahar International Airport (KDH IATA). now has flights on Ariana Afghan Airlines [1] & Kam Air between Kandahar, Dubai every Wednesday Ariana & Monday Kam Air; as well as three domestic flights per week between Kabul and Kandahar and one Domestic flight from Kandahar-Herat-Kandahar every Tuesday by KamAir. Flights are also available by the UN & ICRC but are only open to UN staff and other approved organisations. Kandahar International Airport on Wikipedia Kandahar International Airport (Q33156) on Wikidata

By car[edit]

A good highway, the A01, links Kandahar to Kabul. However, passing through Zabul province is not safe. The Highway from Kabul to Kandahar is nowadays quite safe apart from regular patrolling of security forces. Total drive is of 6 hours but can take 12 hours if there is patrolling as US Forces do not allow cars to overtake them. The highway from Herat is also being improved, again it is very dangerous where it passes through Helmand and Farah. Highway A75 which runs south towards Spin Boldak and the border with Pakistan, then continuing to Quetta is also very dangerous.

By bus[edit]

By boat[edit]

Get around[edit]


Mausoleum of Baba Wali, located in the Baba Saab neighborhood on the northern edge of the city.
  • Kandahar Museum (Western end of the Eidgah Durwaza). Contains the paintings of Ghiyassuddin, regarded as one of the most important Afghan painters of all time.
  • Mausoleum of Baba Wali (Baba Saab). Baba Wali, a Sufi saint or pir, is buried at this site.
  • 1 Mosque of the Cloak of the Prophet Mohammed. One of the holiest sites in Afghanistan, contains what is said to be a cloak used by Prophet Mohammed. The cloak is locked away inside and has not been taken out since 1996. Shrine of the Cloak on Wikipedia Shrine of the Cloak (Q3406259) on Wikidata



  • Afghanistan International Bank (AIB), Kabul Bank, Azizi Bank and Western Union all have branches in town with cash machines.


There are plenty of food choices in Kandahar, however most of them only serves Afghan cuisine. The popular items include roasted chicken, lamb, and beef, along with Afghani rice dishes, cooked vegetables, and plenty of fine fresh fruits.



Pizza Hut, Subway and Tim Horton's all have outlets inside the military airbase if you're looking for a taste of America. You need an ISAF access badge to get on the base.

  • Kandahar Coffee Shop, In Madad Chowk, +93 700300169. Coffee shop with fast food service, snooker and Internet Cafe. Located in the central Kandahar. A nice outlet for evening gathering
  • Mumtaz Restaurant (In Shaheedan-Chowk). Indian, Chinese and Afghan cuisine, located in a large hotel.


  • Lamar Restaurant (In Shahra-e-Naw), +93 700363636. 5 star rated restaurant with Indian, Continental and Afghan cuisine.




  • Armani Pashtun Bed And Breakfast (Armani Pashtun) (Two miles from city center, six miles from airport), +93 705601977, e-mail: . 5-9. Check-in: 12 PM, check-out: 11 am. B&B accommodation, transporter available with affordable price From US$10 per night.


  • Continental Guest House, Shar-e Nau Road, Herat Darwaza (near Zarghoona Anna Lisa), +93 303001924, +93 70302613. In center of city, has air conditioning and Internet access inside rooms. Food is available from own restaurant. From US$55 per night..



Stay safe[edit]

Kandahar is regarded as one of the safer destinations in Southern Afghanistan. Its remoteness and the largely Pashtun population have kept it distant from most of the fighting. After 2013, it became safe, because the family of Mullah Omar (Taliban's first leader and founder of Taliban) came to Kandahar and became Afghan citizens. Out of respect for them, the Taliban has been stopped by their leaders from conducting terrorism in Kandahar.


Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Kandahar is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.