Mazar-e-Sharif is the 4th biggest city in Afghanistan, coming under Balkh territory surrounded by Kunduz in the east, Herat in the west, Kabul in the southeast and Uzbekistan in the north. Mazar-e-Sharif attracts many visitors because of other famous mosques and shrines in this city.
Mazar certainly holds international honour due to the famous Shrine of Ali – also known as the Blue Mosque. But, aside from visiting the Blue Mosque, you can tour the city centre and the local Bazaar market, buy some incredible Afghan rugs in the illimitable carpet shops, and hang out with Afghans as they consecutively invite foreigners to drink Afghan tea and fruit juices. In Mazar-e-Sharif, there are lots of fruit stalls and juice shops. So keep yourself refreshed with a daily dose of vitamins by drinking and eating fruits. Check out list of things to do in mazar-e-sharif.
1. Blue Mosque – The Shrine of Ali
Mazar-i-Sharif means “The tomb of the magnificent” because Muslims believe that the Blue Mosque holds the remains of Ali, son-in-law of Muhammad – the prophet of Islam and the cousin. Every Afghan New Year – the Nauroz – endless pilgrims come to Mazar-i-Sharif to pay homage to Ali and partake in the festivities and religious ceremonies. The shrine was constructed in the 1100s, destroyed by Genghis Khan in the 1200s, and rebuilt in 1481.
2. Archeological Museum
The archaeological museum is a short walk from the Train Station. The two-story building has the main display on the second floor and a fascinating section on the first floor. The show on the first floor was from many generations but concentrated on some of the more meaningful archaeological findings in the locality. Particular sites here are the bathtub display and the pottery. In addition, a unique showcase was devoted to Japanese archaeologist Kyudzo Kato, who died in 2016. He is known for his work at the Fayaz tepa and Kara tepa sites. An additional camera fee is required for entry, but it is worth it. The museum is top historical things to do in mazar-e-sharif.
3. Buy carpets in Mazar-i-Sharif
Mazar-i-Sharif is a beautiful place to buy a rug from Afghanistan at a fair price for connoisseurs of carpets. Unlike other nearby countries like Uzbekistan, where prices are very high, Afghanistan, on the other hand, has low fees for carpets. Buying rugs and carpets should be on your list of things to do in mazar-e-sharif.
4. Barat Hotel
The Barat Hotel is opposite the mosque. Here you’ll have an exceptional view of the sanctuary and the city. Amazing. There are new rooms, all furnished with a tv, air conditioning and a well-fitted bathroom, but the prices are high. There are cheaper rooms as well. If you are looking for a low budget, there are simple rooms with clean sheets, old furniture, a fan, and a balcony to view the street on the 4th floor.
Few tips about Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan
● The Afghan scarf, called Shemagh, is very affordable in Mazar-i-Sharif. There are different colours to select from.
● Don’t talk with people who strangely stare at you; they might be Taliban supporters.
● Never refuse a glass of juice if you’re invited to it, as it will upset most Afghans. Even if you don’t understand the language, try to have fun and enjoy the moment. Always return the favour to people that smile and gesture to you.
● Dress appropriately. Afghans don’t show much skin, so even during summer time use long sleeves.
● There are lots of street restaurants in Mazar city centre. They are very affordable and offer tasty Afghan dishes.