Turkmenistan Quick Guide

Turkmenistan is often referred to as a triangle country, because its three large neighbors Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan share many porous borders. Because of this, both northern and southern Turkey penetrate the country. Each country has an ethnic Turkish majority and an Islamic minority. Most importantly, all three have closed political systems, free market, and highly progressive environments.

Turkmenistan is a mountainous country bordered on one side by the Caspian Sea. It is known for its archaeological sites, including those at Nissa, major archaeological stops along the old Silk Road, and Ashgabat, the capital city. Ashgabat is a modern center of industry and commerce and includes a spectacular manmade lake. There are many Turkmenistan travel guides that discuss visiting Ashgabat. Google maps provides a comprehensive route.

The city of Khoten is considered to be the best place in Turkmenistan to experience the true flavor of the local cuisine. The city is home to a carpet museum that features an array of local fabrics, including textiles made during the 19th century. The museum is not open to visitors, but the rich history and artwork inside are worth experiencing. Turkmenistan travel information about Khoten can be found in many traveling packages.

Dakhla is the second largest town in Turkmenistan, and it is located on the desert steppe near the south of Astana. Dakhla shares its borders with Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, and Iraq. It's a very arid desert and receives almost one million tourists each year. Tourists come to pay their respects to the desert animals, shop for carpets, and partake in all manner of activities on the sand dunes.

Ertogrulgazi is the third largest town in Turkmenistan and is known for its ancient ruins, including an ancient capital built by priests and warriors during thekhuryzmian era. The ruins were discovered in the 1950s and are open to tourist tours. A Turkmenistan travel visa is required for entry into the desert. Tourists who wish to see the desert and its many landmarks without a visa should consult the Department of Foreign Affairs and get a visa prior to visiting Turkmenistan.

On your Turkmenistan travel tour, you will have plenty to do and see, and any time you are planning to visit the desert for any reason, you will want to plan ahead. Visas and permits can be easy to acquire, and it is important that you have all necessary documents up-to-date before leaving for Turkmenistan. In particular, you will need to ensure that you have a passport and visa before leaving for your trip, and that you pass through a border crossing between Turkey and Turkmenistan. While you are planning your itinerary, you may wish to consider taking advantage of special holiday packages offered by Turkmenistan Airlines. Some packages include airfare, accommodation, and sightseeing, so if you are planning to visit the desert on your own, this is often the best way to save some money.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkmenistan is the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea starts in the north near the Black Sea and flows southward into the sea. A large part of Turkmenistan is in close proximity to the Caspian Sea, so if you are traveling to the country, it would make sense to include trips to the Caspian Sea in your itinerary. Of course, there are many other tourist destinations in Turkmenistan, including the capital Ashgabat and the larger cities of Minsk, Zhanaozen and Popoyan.

Turkmenistan Travel Guide provides a complete list of all the sights and activities available to tourists in Turkmenistan. There is plenty to do in Ashgabat including visiting the archaeological site of Khunakhojaya as well as the beautiful bazaar. You can shop in the bazaars, enjoy sporting events, or tour the museums in Ashgabat. The capital is also home to several other tourist attractions, including the Republic Square, Orta-Darya Museum, Andrushtishoy Museum, Tvetov Palace, and the Baisakhi Cathedral.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Turkmenistan are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The best time to visit Turkmenistan is between the months of March to June and then again from September to November. Winter months can be extremely cold and by contrast, July and August are extremely hot, particularly in the desert regions.

Do I need a Visa?

British nationals need a visa to enter Turkmenistan. You will need a letter of invitation (LOI), certified by the State Migration Service of Turkmenistan, from a private individual or company to support your application.

See which forms you may need for entry into Turkmenistan.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Turkmenistan is the Turkmenistan Manat (TMT). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Turkmenistan you can grab amazing Turkmenistan Manat deals via Wise.com (GBP to TMT).

What about the wildlife?

Turkmenistan has a range of habitats and these support a wide range of animal life. There are 91 species of mammal recorded in the country, some of which are threatened. There are bats in the caves, leopards, bears, mountain sheep, wild ass and goitered gazelles in the mountains, and seals in the Caspian Sea.

What is the traditional food?

Turkmen food? Rice pilaf (plov, or palaw) is a core dish in Turkmen cuisine, as it is in all of Central Asia. Dograma, a meat and bread stew, is sometimes considered the national dish.

What Languages are spoken?

Turkmen is the official language of Turkmenistan (per the 1992 Constitution), although Russian still is widely spoken in cities as a "language of inter-ethnic communication". You can learn some basic Turkmen before you travel to Turkmenistan and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Turkmenistan is the Turkmenistan Manat (97% of the people in the Turkmenistan average tipping percentage in restaurants is between 8% to 17%. The actual tipping percentage is determind according to the level of service given in the restaurant and the tipping percentage can go above 8% if service was suberb or go under 17% if the service was bad).).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 102
  • Ambulance: 103
  • Fire: 101
  • UK Embassy: +993 12 36-34-62

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is 4 hours

Travel Apps

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Learn Turkmen

Learn some Turkmen before your trip to Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Guidebook

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