Best places to visit in TAJIKISTAN
Planning a trip to Tajikistan and wondering what are the best places to visit in Tajikistan?
Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It is the smallest nation in the region by area. But despite this fact, there’s no shortage of things to do in Tajikistan.
As the ancient silk road passed through modern-day Tajikistan, the country boasts a rich history that goes back centuries. Tajikistan is not a popular tourist destination, but it offers wonderful experiences. Besides the ancient cities, there is beautiful scenery and amazing nature. Majestic mountains, mountain lakes and out-of-this-world landscapes.
Check out our list of some of the best things to do in Tajikistan for some travel inspiration!
7 best places to visit in Tajikistan
Dushanbe is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan.
It is not the most interesting capital city, but it’s still worth a visit for a couple of days. There are a few interesting landmarks in Dushanbe that travellers find to be very interesting.
Stroll around Rudaki Park. It’s a fantastic park for walks. There are trees and flowers everywhere, as well as pretty fountains.
Visit Bayrak, the famous flagpole of Tajikistan. Standing at 165 m, Bayrak was the world’s tallest flagpole between 2010 and 2014. Now it is the second-largest flagpole, after the Jeddah Flagpole.
Check out Ismoili Somoni Monument — an imposing, Art Deco–style monument in a small city square.
Do not miss the impressive National Museum of Tajikistan. The exposition area of the museum is 15 000 m², and it consists of 22 large and small exhibition halls. There are 4 exhibition departments—Department of Natural History, Department of Ancient and Medieval History, Department of Modern and Contemporary History, and Department of Fine and Applied Arts.
Visit the Museum of National Antiquities which is famous for its murals from Panjakent.
Explore the grand buildings of Dushanbe, for example, the National Library, Navruz Palace and Haji Yaqub Mosque.
(Photo source: https://www.atlasobscura.com)
Hisor is a city in western Tajikistan.
Located just some 30 km from Dushanbe, Hisor is a great day trip from the capital. The city has a rich history, and it was the main settlement in the region until Dushanbe was founded.
The highlights of Hisor are its spectacular fortress and madrasa. The fortress has been heavily reconstructed recently, but the original structure is from the 18th century. Unfortunately, not much of the original structure remains, as it was destroyed by the Red Army.
Also do not miss Hisor bazaar. It is one of the most interesting landmarks in the city.
The Fann Mountains are a part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system.
The Fanns boast about a hundred peaks. Several of them rise to an altitude of more than 5 km. The highest peak is 5489 m.
The mountains are also noted for their lakes. The most famous one is Iskanderkul lake. With an altitude of 2195 metres, the lake has a triangular shape with a surface area of 3.4 square kilometres.
Haft Kul is another popular lake system in the Fann Mountains. Also called “Seven Lakes” or Marguzor, Haft Kul is a spectacular group of seven lakes. The colour of the lakes ranges from pale turquoise to blue.
Khujand is the second-largest city of Tajikistan.
Dating back about 2500 years, it is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. Over the course of time, it has been a part of various empires and was an important city along the Silk Road. Khujand is a very traditional city. It is famous for its spectacular architecture — its mausoleum, mosque and other historical buildings around the main square.
If you are visiting Khujand, do not miss Panjshanbe Market. It is a spectacular traditional bazaar where you can buy all sorts of goods. It is one of the largest covered markets in Central Asia.
The Wakhan Valley is a mountainous region in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
The area is known for its ruggedness and scenic beauty. One of the most famous landmarks in the Wakhan Valley is Yamchun. With the Afghan Hindu Kush in the background, it is the most beautiful fortress in the area.
Another must-see is Langar. It is a secluded village set in a gorge, surrounded by steep rocky slopes. It is also where the Wakhan and Pamir rivers meet. Thanks to the unique setting of the village, it is one of the most beautiful and best places to visit in Tajikistan.
The Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range between Central Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.
Lying mostly in the Gorno-Badakhshan Province of Tajikistan, the Pamirs are among the world’s highest mountains.
One of the most famous destinations in the Pamir Mountains is the stunning Pamir Highway (formally, a part of the M41 highway). It is the 2nd-highest highway in the world, after the Karakoram Highway. It is 1252 km long and runs from Dushanbe to Osh in Kyrgyzstan.
From this highway, you can see majestic mountains of the area, remote high-altitude pastures and magnificent river views.
Karakul is a massive lake located in the Tajik National Park in the Pamir Mountains.
Lying at an elevation of 3960 m, the lake has a diameter of 25 km. The lake is situated in a circular depression that was created by meteor millions of years ago.
Backed by snow-capped mountains, Karakul Lake boasts beautiful scenery and is one of the best places to visit in Tajikistan.
Tajikistan travel tips
- Tajikistan offers e-visas to many nationalities.
- The best time to visit Tajikistan is during the summer (September is OK, too).
- You can find ATMs in the big cities. Bring cash, just in case you run out of it, and there are no ATMs nearby.
- Marshrutkas and local shared taxis are the most popular modes of transportation for locals and budget travellers.
- Tajikistan is predominantly Muslim. So, you have to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees.
- Infrastructure is poor outside of the large cities.