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Turkmenistan sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places

Turkmenistan is one of the most interesting countries in Central Asia. The territory of this country is among the oldest cradles of civilization. There are many archaeological sites and interesting historic landmarks of different periods in Turkmenistan. Local people carefully preserve their centuries-old traditions and are happy to share them with tourists from distant countries.
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The territory of the modern country once was the location of the Margian civilization that existed in the 3rd millennia BC. Later, in the 6th – 4th centuries BC, Persian kings occupied this territory. Then, the region became a part of the Parthian Empire. The history of Turkmenistan is a series of battles and wars. At different times, the territory belonged to the tribes of Proto-Turks and Arabs. Later, it became a part of the kingdoms of Tahirid and Samanid.
In the 13th century, Mongols invaded the country, and during the period from the 16th to 17th centuries, Turkmenistan was a part of the Khanate of Bukhara. In 1885, the territory of modern Turkmenistan was added to the Russian Empire. After the revolution of 1917, the country became the Turkmen SSR. Turkmenistan was a part of the USSR until 1991. After that, it received the status of an independent republic. Copyright
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The gorgeous Karakum Desert occupies a large part of the country’s territory. The size of this desert is 350,000 square kilometers. Despite harsh climatic conditions that are typical for deserts, approximately 15% of Turkmenistan’s population permanently lives in Karakum. Tourists can participate in various interesting excursions to the deserted areas, during which they can visit settlements of local people and get themselves familiar with flora and fauna of the region.
Some places of interest in the country are important landmarks of the international level. Ruins of the ancient city of Nisa are one of them. In the past, this was an important trading hub in the Parthian Empire. In the 2nd century BC, Nisa was one of the most prosperous cities in the region. Nowadays, the territory of this city is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Nisa, tourists can see reconstructed fragments of ancient temples, a kings’ treasury, ruins of large palaces and other buildings.
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Konye-Urgench is a no less interesting historic attraction. This is the old capital of an ancient country. People abandoned this city more than a thousand years ago, leaving incredible buildings and shrines to descendants. Many of these structures have survived until our days in great condition. Having visited the ruins of the ancient city, tourists can walk among old mausoleums and admire the tall minaret.
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.
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Situated on the south-west of the country, Bakharden cave is, without a doubt, one of the most mysterious landmarks of Turkmenistan. This is a large cave with a spectacular underground lake, the length of which is more than 70 meters. For centuries, this cave was a sacred place of local people and a typical location of various cult rituals aimed at pleasing gods. Nowadays, there are many comfortable bridges and observation areas inside the cave. A sophisticated illumination system unleashes the true beauty of this naturally-formed landmark.
Have you ever walked on ancient trails that still have footprints of dinosaurs? In Turkmenistan, you will have an opportunity to visit the Dinosaur Plateau that is, in opinion of many, one of the most puzzling places on our planet. Scientists discovered more than 3,000 footprints of the ancient reptiles, and it is a mystery why some of these footprints are so incredibly precise. Studies have been continuously conducted here for several decades. Scientists detected approximately 30 paths, which dinosaurs used actively millions of years ago.
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Turkmenistan has regular air connection with Russia only. There are several flights a week from Moscow to this country. Turkmenistan doesn’t have railroad connection to neighbor countries, so it is possible to reach it only by bus, making a stop at the customs. It is also possible to reach Turkmenistan by car from Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan. There is a ferry that connects Azerbaijan (Baku) and Turkmenistan.

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Turkmenistan

Famous and uniques places in Turkmenistan from our review series

Artogrulgazy Mosque

From the series “Top Largest and Famous Mosques Worldwide”
In Ashgabat you can see a wonderful Artogrulgazy Mosque. It is the largest mosque in the town. The religious building was made in the best national traditions within five years and was finished in 1998. The prime minister of Turkey Suleyman Demirel ordered to build there a mosque. Today locals have a number of beliefs about the mosque.

During the building as a per infortunium several workers died. That’s why some locals believe that this mosque brings misfortune. The main part of pilgrims and tourists who gain to visit this mosque don’t believe these prejudices. The Artogrulgazy Mosque resembles the Blue Mosque in Istambul. The mosque is situated on the territory of the historical Ashgabat district, near the religious building you can find a wonderful park.

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Depression Akchakaya

From the series “Amazing Land Areas Below the Sea Level”
Aktchakaya Valley is the lowest point of Turkmenistan, the depth of which is 81 meters. The valley is located in the north of the country, on the territory of the legendary Karakum desert - one of the most interesting and visited by tourists the most visited deserts in the world. The drainless valley is impressively large. Its length reaches 50 km, and the maximum width is 6 km. The absolute depth of the sink compared to the level of the global ocean is half as large as the relative depth, which is about 200 meters.

The researcher geographer EMMurzaev was the discoverer of this depression. He made his unique discovery during an expedition through the Karakum Desert in 1935. The main feature of the valley is the surrounding mountain massifs. As mentioned above, its height reaches 200 … Read all


From the series “The Most Mysterious Geological Formations on the Planet”
Gas crater of Derweze, which is better known to travelers under the dramatic name ‘Gates of hell’, is in Turkmenistan. Its diameter is about 60 meters and the depth is more than 20 meters. This natural phenomenon was discovered in 1971. Soviet geologists have discovered a large accumulation of gas and decided to drill an exploratory well. Contrary to the expectations of scientists, there was a void under the ground, which collapsed engulfing all equipment and machinery.

It’s notable that no people were injured in such a large-scale incident. Surface formed a hole, which continued to exude a gas, which it was decided to burn. Scientists believed that the fire would burn out within a couple of days, but the crater is still lit after 40 years. The crater looks incredibly appealing and … Read all
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Sightseeing in popular cities of Turkmenistan

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 … Read more

Map of travel guides to Turkmenistan cities

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