The Republic of Tajikistan is a state in Central Asia in the Pamir Mountains. It borders Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The capital city is Dushanbe.
The climate in Tajikistan is temperate continental and dry. In January, the average temperature is +0 - +2°C and in the highlands it is -27°C. In July, the average temperature in the highlands varies from +4°C to +15°C and in the valleys it is +23 - +30°C. From October to May, snowstorms frequently occur in the mountains so climbing is impossible. The best time for visiting Tajikistan is from March to April.
The Republic of Tajikistan is the only state in the world with the Iranian (Persian) speaking population. The population practice Islam. The official languages are Russian and Tajik.
Those who love climbing should go to the Pamir Mountains. The mountains received the metaphorical description as the Roof of the World. This mountain range includes Himalayas and Karakorum, Tien Shan and Hindu Kush. The Pamir Mountains also include two legendary peaks the height of which is over 7.000 meters. They are the Peak of Communism and the Peak Korzhenevskaya. They are extremely popular among the climbers. The travelers can make their own trekking route or head to the Pamirskoye Highway and see the settlement of the early man and visit the famous valley of petroglyphs.
Those who want to spend time on the beach should go to the Kayrakkum reservoir, a beautiful man-made lake.
Dushanbe is the center of city entertainments and shopping. In Khujand, the travelers can see the ruins of the Hudzhant fortress and the Masdzhidi Dzhami’s mosque, built in the 16th century.
The city of Panjakent is known for its unique palaces and monasteries. The travelers will be impressed by Ura-Tube, Khujand and Kanibadam. The Mausoleum of Khoja Mashhad, Adzhina Tepe with the ruins of the Buddhist monasteries and the Hissar Fortress are a must-see.
Tajik Air and Atlant-Soyuz offer regular flights from Moscow and other CIS capitals to Dushanbe. There are also flights from large Russian cities by Rossiya Airlines, Oren Air, Yakutia Airlines, S7 Airlines, Ural Airlines and Donavia.
Tajikistan has regular flights to Almaty, Bishkek, Riga, Istanbul, Dubai, Tehran, Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, and London.
Several times a week, a train runs from Moscow to Dushanbe through Uzbekistan.
There is a ferry route between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
The visa-free regime is valid for the citizens from all CIS countries except Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The travelers from Russia also do not need to obtain a visa to come to the country. They should have a valid international or Russian passport.
The travelers from the European Union have to obtain a visa to travel to Tajikistan. The simplified visa regime has been implemented in 69 countries; the tourists from these countries can obtain a visa on arrival at the Dushanbe airport and stay in the country within 45 days. A simplified visa regime is also valid for the citizens of the United States of America, China, Great Britain, Japan, Turkey, and Iran.
The foreigners who come to Tajikistan for over 3 working days must register in the Local Police department. If a tourist stays in a hotel, the managers of the hotel will register him or her.
It is prohibited to import and export the national currency. The import of foreign currency is limited to 5.000 US dollars. The sums exceeding 3.000 US dollars must be declared.
In addition to general restrictions, the tourists are not allowed to bring in Tajikistan:
- video materials and printed materials violating the Islamic laws;
- drastic medications without a doctor’s prescription.
The tourists are not allowed to export from Tajikistan:
- any food products;
- rocks and minerals without a permit of the authorities;
- any precious stones;
The Tajik cuisine is similar to cooking traditions of the Central Asian peoples, but has its own unique peculiarities.
Meat is the staple food in Tajikistan. The locals usually cook from goat meat and mutton. They do not eat pork. Horse meat is very popular among the locals and from this meat they cool their famous sausage called Kazy. Meat is roasted before it will be added to any dish.
The tourists should try local kebabs from pieces of meat or from chopped meat with tail fat. Such traditional dishes as Kaurdak (roast mutton with vegetables), Shakhlet (minced beef wrapped in fat), and Kaboby will make your mouth water.
Pilaf holds a special place in the Tajic cuisine. The tourists will have a great choice of various types of pilafs. Often, the locals use noodles instead of rice. They fry it and then crash until it is the size of a rice grain.
The Tajiks like various porridges with meat. We recommend savory porridge Osh-tuglama with mutton.
Legumes and grains are also in the Tajiks diet. They grow and eat rice, chickpea, lentils, white durra, and wheat. The tourists will discover e new taste of dishes from flour (rice, chickpea, rye and wheat) with meat. Of course, anyone will be delighted by manty, pelmeni-khushan and pies Sambusa.
No meal goes without rich, thick and aromatic soups. Do not leave Tajikistan without trying Shurbo, Shavlya, a mutton soup Hash and a horse meat soup Naryn.
Those who have a sweet tooth will not be forgotten. They will enjoy the taste of sweet melons, fresh and dried fruits. Khalva will melt in your mouth. Also try the candies Pichak, a cream Nishallo and grape sugar Nabat. This is just a few desserts to mention.
A traditional drink in Tajikistan is strong green tea. Sometimes the Tajiks brew Shirchoi, black tea with butter or milk. The Tajiks prefer to avoid alcohol.
The national currency is Tajikistani Somoni (TJS).
We recommend exchanging the currency at banks, airports and in hotels. In large cities, there are many exchange offices.
In the malls and international hotels in the capital city, credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted. The holders of MasterCard and Visa can withdraw the money at banks and in ATMs in Dushanbe and Khujand.
On the markets and in many malls, the tourists can pay with US dollars and Russian rubles.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Tajikistan
- In the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, the tourists will be delighted by the beauty of the city squares. The tourists can have a walk along the Square of the 800th anniversary of Moscow and see a big fountain; the Square, named after Sadriddin Aini with a monument to the writer and the Dusty Square with a monument to Ismail Samani. Anyone can see the Presidential Palace, visit the Museum of Fine Arts named Behzod and the Republican History and Regional Study Museum named after Rudaki with unique archaeological discoveries. The tourists like to walk along the parks in Dushanbe and the Hisor Fortress is a must-see.
- We recommend visiting the ruins of the Khijand Fortress and the Mosque Masjid-i Jami' of Herat. Anyone can go from Khujand to the Ak-Su peak and climb it.
- Pyanjekent is a city which is 5.000 years old. The tourists will be interested by the Zoroastrian monuments of ancient civilization Sogdiana and unique excavations of the Stone Age. Take an excursion to the Mausoleum of Abu Abdollah and Mausoleum of Hazrat Bobo. The Proto-urban site of Sarazm inscribes on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- In the 2.500 years old city of Istravshan, the tourists can see the most beautiful mosques of the country such as Savriston Mosque, Havza-Sangin Mosque and Mausoleum of Amir Khamza Khasti Podshoh. Anyone will be greatly impressed by the Middle Age Kahkakha fortress and the excavations of the Mugteppa.
- Do not miss a chance to visit the Tajik National Park «Mountains of the Pamirs which is inscribed in the UNESCO World heritage List. You can also visit the Tigrovaya Balka Reserve, the sanctuary Kusavlisay, the State Reserve Dashti Djum, and the Zorkul State Reserve.
Souvenirs in Tajikistan
- Textile, rugs, clothes, shawls, headwear, handmade crafts with silk threads, semi-precious and precious stones and the traditional patterns can be bought in Dushanbe.
- A very good gift is a tubeteyka, gown and chapan with gold embroidery Gulduzi are sold in Khujan.
- Go to Pyanjekent to buy national leather shoes and pictures.
- Pottery, wool mittens and socks can be bought in Istaravashan.