Khorog, Tajikistan
Khorog, Tajikistan

Khorog, Tajikistan

Women in traditional dress
Photo by Joel Heard

TAJIKISTAN

Asia

Tajikistan Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Dushanbe

Location:

Central Asia, west of China, south of Kyrgyzstan

Currency:

Tajikistani somoni (TJS)

Area:

144,100 sq km

Population:

8,990,874 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Tajik (official) 84.4%, Uzbek 11.9%, Kyrgyz 0.8%, Russian 0.5%, other 2.4% (2010 est.)

Religion:

Muslim 98% (Sunni 95%, Shia 3%) other 2% (2014 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+5

Tel Code:

+992

Weather

Climate

Tajikistan has a diverse range of climates, depending on the region. In the low-lying areas, such as Dushanbe and Khujand, the climate is semi-arid with hot summers and mild winters. In the high-altitude regions, such as the Pamir and Fann Mountains, the climate is alpine with cool summers and cold winters. In the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, the climate is arid with hot summers and cold winters.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Tajikistan depends on what you want to see and do during your trip. If you want to explore the low-lying areas and enjoy the warm weather, the best time to visit is from May to September. If you want to visit the high-altitude regions and see the snow-capped peaks, the best time to visit is from June to September. If you want to avoid the heat and crowds, the best time to visit is from October to April.

It is worth noting that even in the summer months, the high altitude regions can get very cold, so it is essential to pack warm clothes. Also, some of the high altitude passes may be closed during the winter months.

Transportation

Air Transportation

Tajikistan has two main international airports, Dushanbe International Airport and Khujand International Airport. These airports connect Tajikistan to several cities in Central Asia, Russia, and Turkey. There are also several domestic airports that connect the major cities and the mountainous regions of the country.

Bus and Marshrutka Transportation

Buses and marshrutkas (minivans) are the most common form of public transportation in Tajikistan. They connect the major cities and towns, and also travel to remote areas. They are relatively cheap, but the comfort and quality of the buses and marshrutkas can vary.

Car Rental

Car rental is a popular option for visitors who prefer to explore the country on their own. There are several car rental companies in the major cities, such as Dushanbe and Khujand, that offer a wide range of vehicles for rent. It is worth noting that the roads in Tajikistan can be in poor condition, and it is essential to have a good map and a GPS device.

Taxi

Taxis are widely available in the major cities, such as Dushanbe and Khujand, and can be hailed on the street or arranged through your hotel. They can be a convenient option for short trips, but the cost can add up quickly. It is recommended to negotiate the fare before starting the trip.

Train Transportation

Tajikistan has a limited train service connecting Dushanbe to the northern cities of Khujand and Isfara, and to the border of Uzbekistan. These trains are relatively cheap but may not be as comfortable as other forms of transportation and the schedule may be limited.

Note

It is worth noting that the availability and reliability of transportation options can vary depending on the location, time of the year and the weather conditions. It is recommended to have a plan B and be flexible with your plans. Also, it is essential to check the border crossing opening hours and requirements, especially if you plan to cross the border to neighboring countries.

Accommodation

Hotel Accommodation

Tajikistan offers a wide range of hotel accommodation options to suit all budgets. In the major cities, such as Dushanbe and Khujand, there are several international standard hotels and resorts, as well as budget-friendly guesthouses. These hotels usually offer amenities like air-conditioning, private bathrooms, and internet access. Some of the well-known hotels include the Hyatt Regency Dushanbe, the Dushanbe Serena Hotel, and the Hotel Tajikistan.

Homestay Accommodation

Homestay accommodation is a great way to experience the local culture and hospitality of Tajikistan. Many local families offer homestay accommodation in their homes, where you can enjoy traditional meals and get a glimpse into the daily life of the local people. Homestay accommodation is available in all regions of the country, including the major cities and the remote villages of the Pamir and Fann Mountains.

Guesthouses and Hostels

Guesthouses and hostels are a budget-friendly option for travelers in Tajikistan. These accommodations usually offer shared rooms and bathrooms, and may have a more basic level of facilities. Guesthouses and hostels are common in major cities, such as Dushanbe, Khujand, and Khorog, and in the popular tourist destinations such as the Seven Lakes, the Wakhan Corridor and in the Pamir Mountains.

Camping and Trekking

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, camping and trekking in Tajikistan's nature and mountains is an option. There are several camping and trekking outfitter companies that provide camping gear, guides and support. Some of them also provide yurts or other traditional accommodation options.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Tajikistan Closed
Test
Required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Tajikistan is a land of stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. From the snow-capped peaks of the Pamir Mountains to the lush green valleys of the Fann Mountains, there is no shortage of breathtaking scenery to explore. Here are the top 10 things to do when visiting Tajikistan:

      1. Explore the Pamir Highway

      The Pamir Highway is a must-see for any traveler to Tajikistan. This legendary road winds its way through the heart of the Pamir Mountains, offering spectacular views of towering peaks, deep gorges, and remote villages. Whether you're traveling by car, bike, or on foot, the Pamir Highway is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.

      2. Visit the Ismaili Center in Dushanbe

      The Ismaili Center in Dushanbe is a stunning architectural masterpiece that serves as the spiritual and cultural center of the Ismaili community in Tajikistan. The Center features a mosque, a museum, and a library, as well as a beautiful garden and a stunning view of the city.

      3. Visit the Seven Lakes

      The Seven Lakes are a must-see for any nature lover. These seven stunning alpine lakes are located in the Fann Mountains, and offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. You can hike or horseback ride to the lakes and enjoy the stunning views and peaceful surroundings.

      4. Visit the ancient city of Penjikent

      Penjikent is an ancient city that was once an important center of trade and culture. The city is home to several ancient ruins, including a fortress and a palace, as well as several museums and art galleries.

      5. Explore the Wakhan Corridor

      The Wakhan Corridor is a remote and beautiful region of Tajikistan that is home to some of the country's most stunning scenery. The region is also home to several ancient forts and towers, as well as several traditional villages.

      6. Visit the Rudaki Park

      Rudaki Park is a beautiful park located in the heart of Dushanbe. The park is home to several monuments and statues, as well as a pond and a playground. It is a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll or a picnic.

      7. Visit the Hulbuk Fortress

      The Hulbuk Fortress is an ancient fortress that dates back to the 8th century. The fortress is located in the western part of the country, and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

      8. Visit the National Museum of Tajikistan

      The National Museum of Tajikistan is a must-see for any history buff. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the country's rich cultural heritage, with exhibits on everything from ancient artifacts to modern art.

      9. Visit the Nurek Dam

      The Nurek Dam is the tallest dam in Central Asia and the ninth highest dam in the world, and offers a stunning view of the Vakhsh River. You can also visit the hydroelectric power station and learn more about how it works.

      10. Visit the Varzob Valley

      The Varzob Valley is a beautiful valley located just outside of Dushanbe. The valley is home to several traditional villages and offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Tajikistan. It is a perfect place for hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking.

      These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Tajikistan. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or nature, this beautiful country has something to offer everyone.

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