How to travel across Turkmenistan?

This section will be updated soon.

Places of tourist interest

Historical and cultural monuments of Turkmenistan are integral part of world civilizations. Such historical-cultural monuments as ancient Merv, Koneurgench and Nisa are included to the List of world natural and cultural heritage of UNESCO.

Great importance is attached to work on preserving and reconstructing historical and cultural national heritage. Recently mausoleum of Abul Phazl in Sarahs, Talhatan-baba`s mosque in Ioltan etrap, minarets of Dakhistan, mausoleum of Alamberdar in Atamurat etrap and others have been saved from destruction and were restored. Territories of most famous settlements were announced historical and cultural reservations. These are:

Nisa is an ancient town located at the foothills of Kopetdag (Akhal velayat). It is one of the first capitals of Parthian empire (III B.C. – III A.D.), which is in the rank of largest state formations of antique world. In Nisa, there were palace and temple structures; there were a treasury, huge wine storage and warehouse with enormous stocks. Fortified walls had 8-9 meters of thickness in their foundations and were strengthened with 43 rectangular towers;

Ancient Merv (Maty velayat) is one of the most ancient towns of Central Asia. It is situated near Bairamail town and is a part of Margiana, one of the most ancient civilizations. If earlier were known four most ancient centers of civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China), now Margiana is recognized to be the fifth centre. It is one of the largest archeological places in Central Asia; there is a number of settlements (Erk-Kala, Gyaur-Kala, Sultan-Kala, Abdullah-Kala and Bairamail-Kala) by which it is easily read historical topography of this legendary town from antique times up to late Middle Ages. Among architectural monuments one can mark the Big and Small Kyz-Kala, mausoleum of Muhammed ibn Zeid and Ashabs, mosque of Khodja-Yusup Hamadani and glanderous burial vault of Sultan Sanjar, which is unanimously considered by explorers to be the masterpiece of the Middle Ages architecture of the East.

In Merv at different periods of time lived and worked Al Khorezmi, Omar Khayam, al-Mervezi, as-Samani, Enveri and other great thinkers of the Middle Ages. It is established by archeological explorations that Merv emerged in VII B.C. at the place of Erk-Kala;

Koneurgench (Dashoguz velayat) is an ancient capital of Northern Khorezm in the past, which was founded in the I A.D. in the middle of the VII century it came under the power of Arabs and in 995 it was renamed into Gurgandge and became the residence of Khorezmshanks. It was a cultural and trading center of the Middle Ages. Its pride was great Encyclopaedist Abu Reikhan al-Biruni (973-1050) and genius naturalist, doctor and philosopher Abu Ali ibn Sina known in the west as Avisenna (980-1037). The town during years of its existence underwent destructions more than once – 1221 by Tartar-Mongolian horde with Chingiz Khan at the head and in 1338 by the troop of Tamerlan. That`s why many monuments of Koneurgench are damaged, but remained monuments cause admiration, such as mausoleum of Tyurabek-Khanum (XIV), Sultan Tekesh (XII), II-Arslan (XII), Kutluk Timur`s minaret (XI-XIV) and many others.

Now Keneurgench is not only a complex of historical monuments attracting tourists from the whole world by its magnificence visiting card of which is one of the highest constructions of the world ancient minaret (XI) of 60 meters high; it is also a sacred place for Muslims.

Nation`s memory of outstanding persons of Koneurgench is vividly reflected in unrepeatable burial vaults erected in this sacred town in different epochs by their architectural image and artistic value. One of such places is sacred complex of Nejmeddin Kubra, which is called “Uch yuz altmysh” and is the centre of mass pilgrimage of Muslims from the whole world.

Atamurat town (former Kerki), whose ancient name is Zemm. It was situated at the banks of the Amu Darya river (Lebap velayat). The earliest mentioning of Zemm refers to beginning of the VII century. Ruins of two archeological monuments are left in the town, one of them is “Bekov fortress”, which till 1917 was the residence of Kerki beck and another one is “Russian fortress”, which existed during kushano-sasanid period. At the end of the XX century a treasure of gold and silver coins of sasanid tsar Varakhran the fifth was found (420-438). One sightseeing of ancient Zemm is mausoleum of Astana-baba (unique complex construction, which underwent reconstructions more than once and accessory buildings during several centuries); another one is Alamberdar (the largest from remained building of Northern Khorasan).

Ancient Dehistan (Balkan velayat) came into existence admittedly in the III millennium B.C. The largest monument of the Middle Age – Dehistan is Misrian settlement, which endured prosperity in the period of Khorezmshaks ruling. Its beautification speaks about high level of town culture development; traces of compact structures with system of water supply and sewerage, bathhouses, paving and etc. were found.

There was also a madrasah belonging to pre-Mongolian periods;

Old Sarahs (Akhal velayat) is an ancient town in the upper reaches of the Tejen river. Settlement of Sarahs oasis began in the epoch of eneolit (IV millennium B.C.) During its existence Sarahs underwent periods of flourishment and decline.

It always was one of the most significant and key towns of the region in the whole sequences of changing each other state reforming (Akhemenide empire, Greek-baktri kingdom, Parthian empire, Sasanid empire, state of tahirids, empires of Gaznevids and Seljuks) etc. The main thing, which made Sarahs famous was unique for the whole Middle East architectural school of XI-XII centuries. Masters from Sarahs were so widely famous that they were invited to construct unique structures to many towns of Iran and Central Asia;

Abiverd (Akhal velayat) is a middle age settlement in the West of Kaka that was one of the most important towns of the Northern Khorasan. Written sources of times of Arab conquest (V-VII) mention about its existence. In district of Abiverd there were numbers of settlements, villages and towns. Middle age Abiverd was covered by cultural layer of late period (XV-XVIII), here one can see ceramic things of IX-XII centuries, coins of local dressing of later periods;

Shehr-Islam (Akhal velayat) is one of the largest handicraft centers of the Northern Khorasan of the Middle Ages (XI-XII). On the palace of the settlement first there was small fortress protecting agricultural oasis from attacks of nomads. Favourable geographic position on caravan way connecting Khorasan with Khorezm and other far countries caused rapid growth of population. Judging from archeological data, people of Shehr-Islam achieved great successs in town building. There were many monumental constructions, which were decorated by ornamental bricks and carving. Besides, covered brick water pipeline was discovered there; it was unique hydrotechnical construction of the time with the length of 20 km with the help of which ancient town was supplied with water.

Geokdepe fortress (Akhal velayat) was defensive construction of Akhal tekes. It was erected from 45 km to the North-West of Ashgabat in 1879 just before the attacks of Russian army (1879-1881), Its walls are earth embankment enclosed by a ditch and covered by a layer of clay. Their height was 4 m, thickness at foundation was 10 m and on the top it was 5 m. The whole perimeter was 4,4 km . The territory of the fortress of 40 hectares was plane, only in the North-West corner there was old hill and southward there was enclosed yard and wells. During sieges of the fortress half of all inhabitants of an oasis gathered in it (about 45 thousand people).

During the years of independence mausoleum of Abul Phazl in Sarahs, Talhatan-baba`s mosque in Iolotan etrap, minarets of Dehistan, mausoleum of Alamberdar in atamurat etrap and others have been saved from destruction and restored.

The territory of Turkmenistan nowadays, too causes particular interest of many archeologists, historians, because it keeps many unresolved mysteries. More than one decade will be needed for investigating numerous monuments of culture and history of Turkmen land.

“Avaza” – National tourism zone

The Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea has great possibilities for sanatoria, resort and ecological tourism. The sector has mild climate, mineral and mud sources, long golden sand beaches, magnetic sea view, noisy rookeries on the biodiverse unique water-mash areas of Hazar State Reserve.

The presentation of the National tourism area of Avaza in June 2007 became an event of international significance. It marked the beginning of a new approach towards the use of great natural and economic potential of the country based on foreign investments into the tourism and recreation industry.

Its main aim is the implementation of a very important aspect of social policy of Turkmenistan – the formation of necessary conditions for full fledged life of the population of the country.

The construction of the tourism zone of an international standard on 16 kilometers coast line is stipulated by the plan.

The experience of many countries and cities proves that free economic areas bring people together, stimulate foreign capital inflow and the development of territories and well-being of the country.

Many projects on building of super modern hotels, nursery sanatoria, boarding houses, villas, trade and business centers are being implemented by foreign firms and companies.

All necessary environmental and protective requirements have to be provided in projecting, building, reconstruction, allocation and operation of these projects.

The presence of transport communications such as a seaport, an airport, motorways and railways is also of great importance.

The construction of a new railway line North-South opens wide perspective for the development of tourism in the Caspian Sea region.

With the development of the national tourism area of Avaza foreign guests can awake their interest to other recreation areas especially to internationally famous sanatoria with mineral and mud health care sources.

Favorable conditions have been established for the investors and tourism business with the development of the National tourism zone ”Avaza”.

They include a wide range of prerequisites:

  • permission of unused profits to transfer overseas remittance gained as a result of rendering services for Turkmenistan residents
  • conversion of national currency into freely convertible currency
  • simplification in obtaining entry visas and permissions to foreign specialists and workers whoa arrive in national tourism area
  • simplification of obtaining entry visas for tourists who have tourist vouchers
  • state registration of juridical persons and investment projects on the territory of tourist area, certification and closure of deals at commodity and stock exchange without levy of registration and exchange tax collections and without payment for certification
  • free provision of land form rent
  • during the first 15 years of construction value added tax, income tax and property tax will exempted.

At present time the area ”Avaza” has been determined as 1700 hectares. The list and size of 90 plots of land of first-priority category of the resort development has been approved. The building of hydro-power station with 254,2 megawatt capacity is planned on the territory of the National tourism area “Avaza” in 2008.

International experience of tourist areas proves the fact of rapid development of not only tourism, but also of other accompanying fields and business activity in the economy of the state.

Mollakara resort, which is situated in some hours of driving from “Avaza” offers mud treatment from a salty lake and other kinds of water treatment for people with vertebral pathology. After the reconstruction within the National Tourism Area of “Avaza” project realization of this unique resort will be a kind of addition to the area.

In the nearest future the level of amenity of well-known sanatoria in Archman (gastro-intestinal diseases treatment) and Bairamali (heavy complex kidney diseases, heart diseases and nervous system diseases treatment) will increase after reconstruction.

The main forms of tourism services development are:

  • creation of entertainment and recreational infrastructure, rise of quality of service and development of entertainment business
  • tourist health promotion and sanatoria, resort cure, tourist tours, which give the opportunity to go in for active types of sports, establishment of different kinds of tourism in the recreational zone (such as sea trips, horse riding tourism, eco and agro tourism, excursions) and provision of conditions for tourist routs (motortransport, railway and air transport) to the sights and architectural monuments of Turkmenistan.


Representative offices of Turkmenistan airlines
Abu Dhabi– SHEIKH ZAYED St. “Theblan
Rashid Al Muhairu” – 2nd floor, flat # 202,
P.O. Box: 46350 Abu Dhabi
tel.: (+44208) 5772211, 5779889
fax: (+44208) 5779900

Hotels of Turkmenistan

President Hotel (5*)
High class hotel for 150 places in the southern part of the capital at picturesque foothills of Kopetdag.
Address: Ashgabat, Archabil avenue, 54
tel.: (+99 312) 40 00 00
fax: (+99 312) 40 00 41, 40 02 22
“Nisa Hotel” (5*)
Modern hotel for 134 places in the centre of the liveliest street of the capital
Address: Ashgabat, 1995 St, 70
tel.: (+99 312) 22 10 25
fax: (+99 312) 22 10 23
“Grand Turkmen” Hotel (5*)
Five-star hotel for 190 places in a quiet green part of the city
Address: Ashgabat, Gyorgoly St, 50
tel.: (+99 312) 51 05 55
fax: (+99 312) 51 12 51
“Ak altyn” Hotel (4*)
Comfortable hotel for 109 places
Address: Ashgabat, Magtymguly ave, 141\1
tel.: (+99 312) 36 37 00
fax: (+99 312) 36 34 94
“Serdar” Hotel (5*)
High class hotel on the Caspain shore
Address: Turkmenbashi, Avaza
tel: (+99 3243) 2 15 90
fax: (+99 3243) 2 15 93
“Gara Altyn” Hotel (3*)
Hotel at the outskirts of the capital
Address: Ashgabat, Archabil ave
tel.: (+99 312) 48 93 23
fax: (+99 312) 48 96 23
“Turkmenbashi” Hotel (5*)
Hotel with the view to the Caspian Sea
Address: Turkmenbashi
tel: (+99 3243) 2 13 08
fax: (+99 3243) 2 17 17
“Nebitchi” Hotel
Modern hotel in the outskirts of town
tel: (+99 312) 48 93 62
fax: (+99 3243) 48 93 12
“Uzboy” Hotel (2*)
Hotel a the famous market of Dashoguz
Address: Dashoguz, Turkmenbashi ave, 19\1
tel: (+99 3322) 2 60 16
fax: (+99 3243) 2 60 13
“Margush” Hotel (3*)
Hotel in the centre of Mary
Address: Mary Goushut-Khan St, 20
tel.: (+99 3522) 6 03 87
fax: (+99 3243) 6 03 86
“Turkmenabat” Hotel (2*)
Hotel in the centre of Turkmenabat
Address: Turkmanabat, Magtymguly St, 49
tel: (+99 3422) 6 02 26
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
Latest News

The delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov attended the 65-th session of General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on 19-23 September, 2010.

More >>

Quick Facts
Capital City :Ashgabat

Population : 5,097,028

Geographic Co-ordinates :
40 00 N, 60 00 E

Area - total: 488,100 sq km