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Sightseeing in Ashgabat - what to see. Complete travel guide

Ashgabat was the capital of the Soviet Turkmen Republic. When USSR collapsed and Turkmenistan became an independent country in 1991, the government decided to limit entry to the country for foreigners. Currently, this is one of the most closed countries in the world. Ashgabat, the capital of modern Turkmenistan, is a beautiful place but, as a rule, there are not many people outside. There are many soldiers on the streets, but it is prohibited to take photos of them in order not to create conflict situations. Ashgabat is present in the Guinness World Book of Records because of the white marble constructions that occupy a truly giant territory – approximately 4.5 million square meters.
The Teke people started the history of the Turkmen capital. They were the first settlers in the previously wild and unpopulated land. Teke chose a small plot of land not far from Kopet Dagh and named it Ashk-Abad. In Persian, this literally means “the city of love”. At the end of the 19th century, the Russian Empire moved its troops to conquer this region. Russians built the first military garrison on the site of the town and built the first railroad in the region. These changes gave a powerful boost to the settlement that no one heard about before. Ashk-Abad became a populous city.
Residents of Ashgabat are hospitable and friendly people. They still cherish and respect hospitality traditions of the past. When a Turkmen family hosts guests, they always cover the table with a big cloth and prepare various dishes. This cloth has a special meaning in the country, and it is strictly prohibited to step on it. People thank Allah before they start the meal, and only after that they start eating. Turkmen people always try to cook the most delicious food for guests because it is a sacral duty of every host to keep guests satisfied. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Elderly people are deeply respected in Ashgabat. No one can turn down their request, argue with elders or show disrespect. Children respect their parents and always fulfill their requirements. Father is definitely the head of the family, and so fathers have the right to evaluate the deeds of their children. At the same time, it is the duty of every man to protect his family. Honor is crucially important in the region, so no one is allowed to do anything to damage someone’s reputation. This is particularly true about relatives. Friendship and love are not just words for residents of Ashgabat. They deeply value the feelings of other people and will do their best not to hurt others.
As Ashgabat is a relatively young city, there are no ancient landmarks here. What attractions can tourists see in this city then? Not far from Ashgabat, travelers will find the ruins of Nisa. The first settlement in this region appeared approximately one thousand years BC. Nowadays, the ruins of Nisa are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nisa was the capital of the Parthian Empire. Supposedly, King Arsaces I was the founder of the city. When exploring the surviving ruins, you will notice two fortresses. One of them belonged to Old Nisa, and the other one – to its new part. Besides that, there are ruins of the royal residence, temples, palaces, and the treasury.
Tourists may also find it interesting to visit the village of Gypjak that has become famous because of Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque. Gypjak is the home village of President Saparmurat Niyazov who was also known as Turkmenbashi. The gorgeous white marble mosque and surrounding constructions occupy an area of eighteen thousand square kilometers. The halls of the mosque are so specious that they can provide space for up to ten thousand people simultaneously. When exploring the complex, visitors can see the mausoleum with the tomb of Niyazov himself.
It is no less interesting to visit Ashgabat museums. For example, the carpet museum tells visitors about the history of weaving and how carpets were made in the past. The National Museum of History has an interesting exhibition dedicated to interesting facts in the history of the capital. There are also many precious artifacts that archeologists discovered in the nearby regions. The Museum of Fine Arts displays paintings by artists from Russia and Europe, as well as works of talented people from Central Asia. Complete your sightseeing with a visit to the treasury that keeps silver jewelry for humans and horses.
It is easy to reach Ashgabat from the capital of Russia. Turkmen Airlines have regular flights that connect the two cities. There are flights every day except Sunday. S7 Airlines also has flights to Ashgabat that depart from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow, Russia. There are usually flights to Turkmenistan’s capital on Tuesday and Saturday. In Ashgabat, travelers can get a taxi or a private bus to reach the city center from the airport. If a slow ride in the city is preferable, Ashgabat’s public transport (buses and trolleybuses) will take you to any part of the capital. Naturally, public transport is a lot cheaper than taxi services, but such a ride can be even more entertaining as you can see the city in detail this way.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Ashgabat and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Ashgabat and around
♥   Art museum 'Turkmen Museum of Fine Arts' Ashgabat, 5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Turkmen Carpet Museum' Ashgabat, 6.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Ashgabat from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Artogrulgazy Mosque

From the series “Top Largest and Famous Mosques Worldwide”
Inexperienced travellers can meet difficulties with finding this mosque. It is surrounded by houses and you can see its high minarets that will bring you to the mosque. The nearby mosque’s territory has a nice decoration. There you will see a lot of trees, staircases and even natural stone fountains. The building has a marvellous inner yard with a marble fountain and columns. This mosque is open for everybody. That’s why if you are not Muslim you still can adore the wonderful inner decoration. Walls and ceilings are decorated with a delicate painting. The best time for visiting the mosque is a bright sunny day. This conditions will help you to see the whole beauty of the stained-glass windows. … Read further

Sightseeing in Turkmenistan: things to see

Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, is also rich in architectural landmarks and cultural centers. The spectacular Artogrul Gazi Mosque is definitely one of them. The mosque was built approximately 20 years ago and has quickly become one of the main religious centers in the country. The mosque is so big that it can provide space for up to 5,000 people at the same time. The building is made in line with historical traditions of the Ottoman Empire. The mosque has exquisite inner décor and a beautiful inner yard. … Open
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Rentals in Ashgabat

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Sightseeing in regions nearby Ashgabat

All about Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Ashgabat, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Ashgabat in few days.
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