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Tajikistan travel guide - Travel S helper


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Tajikistan, formally the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked nation in Central Asia with a population of about 8 million people in 2013 and an area of 143,100 km2 (55,300 sq mi). It is bounded to the south by Afghanistan, to the west by Uzbekistan, to the north by Kyrgyzstan, and to the east by China. Pakistan is located to the south and is divided by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Tajik people’s traditional homelands comprised modern-day Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan.

Tajikistan’s territory was previously home to several ancient cultures, including the Neolithic and Bronze Age city of Sarazm, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of various faiths and cultures, including the Oxus civilization, Andronovo culture, Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Islam. Several empires and dynasties have controlled the region, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire, Mongol Empire, Timurid dynasty, and Russian Empire. Tajikistan gained independence in 1991 as a consequence of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. From 1992 to 1997, a civil war raged nearly soon after independence. Since the war’s conclusion, the country’s economy has grown thanks to newly created political stability and international assistance.

Tajikistan is a four-provincial presidential republic. Tajiks make up the majority of Tajikistan’s 8 million inhabitants and speak Tajik (a dialect of Persian). As a second language, many Tajiks speak Russiana. More than 90% of the country is covered by mountains. It has a transition economy that is heavily reliant on remittances, aluminum manufacturing, and cotton production.

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Tajikistan - Info Card




Somoni (TJS)

Time zone



143,100 km2 (55,300 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language

Tajik - Russian

Tajikistan | Introduction

Geography Of Tajikistan

Tajikistan is a landlocked country with the smallest land area in Central Asia. It is mostly located between latitudes 36° and 41° N (with a tiny region north of 41°) and longitudes 67° and 75° E (with a minor area east of 75°). It is surrounded by mountains of the Pamir range, and more than half of the nation is more than 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) above sea level. The only significant regions of lower ground are in the north (part of the Fergana Valley) and in the south (the Kofarnihon and Vakhsh river valleys that create the Amu Darya). Dushanbe lies on the southern slopes of the Kofarnihon valley.

Demographics Of Tajikistan

Tajikistan has a population of 7,349,145 people (as of July 2009), of whom 70% are under the age of 30 and 35% are between the ages of 14 and 30. Tajiks (Persians) who speak Tajik (a dialect of Persian) are the majority ethnic group, with significant minorities of Uzbeks and Russians, whose numbers are decreasing owing to emigration. The Pamiris of Badakhshan, a tiny community of Yaghnobi people, and a sizable minority of Ismailis are all considered Tajiks. Tajikistanis refer to all Tajik nationals.

Tajikistan’s ethnic Russian population was 7.6 percent in 1989, but it is currently less than 0.5 percent due to Russian exodus caused by the civil war. Tajikistan’s ethnic German population has similarly decreased owing to emigration; it was 38,853 in 1979 and has almost disappeared since the Soviet Union’s demise.

Tajik is Tajikistan’s official and colloquial language, but Russian is widely used in commerce and communication. The Constitution mentions Russian as the “language for inter-ethnic communication,” but an amendment passed in 2009 was thought to remove all Russian’s official roles, but it was later clarified that the status was later re-instated, and Russian has returned to its status, being a language permissible for law-making, though all official communications should formally take place in Tajik first.

Despite its poverty, Tajikistan boasts a high percentage of literacy because to the former Soviet system of free education, with an estimated 99.5 percent of the population being literate. Sunni Islam is practiced by the vast majority of the people.

In 2009, approximately one million Tajik men and women worked in other countries (mainly in Russia). Traditional villages are home to more than 70% of the female population.

Religion In Tajikistan

Since 2009, the government has legally acknowledged Sunni Islam of the Hanafi school. Tajikistan considers itself a secular state, with a Constitution that guarantees religious freedom. The government has designated two Islamic holidays as state holidays: Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Tajikistan’s population is 98 percent Muslim, according to a US State Department statement and the Pew Research Center. Approximately 87–95 percent of them are Sunni, approximately 3 percent are Shia, and approximately 7 percent are non-denominational Muslims. Russian Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism comprise the remaining 2% of the population. During Ramadan, the vast majority of Muslims fast, but only approximately one-third in the countryside and 10% in cities follow daily prayer and food restrictions.

Bukharan Jews have resided in Tajikistan since the 2nd century BC, but there are now practically no survivors. Tajikistan’s Jewish population totaled approximately 30,000 individuals in the 1940s. The majority were Persian-speaking Bukharan Jews who had resided in the area for millennia, as well as Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe who had relocated there during the Soviet period. The Jewish population is currently believed to be fewer than 500 people, with about half of them residing in Dushanbe.

Relationships between religious groups are usually cordial, but mainstream Muslim officials are concerned that minority religious organizations may damage national unity. There is fear that religious organizations may get involved in politics. By law, the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP), a key fighter in the 1992–1997 Civil War and a proponent of the establishment of an Islamic state in Tajikistan at the time, is limited to 30 percent of the government. Membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a violent Islamic organization that now seeks to topple secular governments and unite Tajiks under a single Islamic state, is illegal, and members face arrest and jail. The number of big mosques suitable for Friday prayers is restricted, which some believe is discriminatory.

Religious communities are required by law to register with the State Committee on Religious Affairs (SCRA) and municipal authorities. Registration with the SCRA requires a charter, a list of ten or more members, and proof of local government permission for a prayer site location. Religious organizations without a physical structure are not permitted to assemble in public for prayer. Failure to register may result in significant penalties and the closure of a house of worship. According to accounts, registration at the municipal level may be difficult to acquire at times. People under the age of 18 are likewise prohibited from publicly practicing their religion.

Economy Of Tajikistan

Immigrant remittances account for almost 47 percent of Tajikistan’s GDP (mostly from Tajiks working in Russia). The present economic position is nevertheless precarious, due mainly to corruption, unequal economic reforms, and economic mismanagement. The economy is extremely susceptible to external shocks since foreign income is dangerously reliant on remittances from migrant workers abroad and exports of aluminum and cotton. International aid remained an important source of support for rehabilitation initiatives that reintegrated former civil war fighters into the civilian sector, thus helping to maintain the peace in FY 2000. International aid was also required to handle the second year of severe drought, which resulted in a continuing food production deficit. On August 21, 2001, the Red Cross declared a famine in Tajikistan and requested international assistance for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; nevertheless, access to food remains an issue today. Food insecurity affected 680,152 Tajiks in January 2012. 676,852 were at danger of Phase 3 (Acute Food and Livelihoods Crisis) food insecurity, whereas 3,300 were at risk of Phase 4 food insecurity (Humanitarian Emergency). Those at greatest risk of food insecurity lived in GBAO’s rural Murghob District.

Tajikistan’s economy expanded significantly following the conflict. According to World Bank statistics, Tajikistan’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 9.6 percent between 2000 and 2007. This boosted Tajikistan’s standing in comparison to other Central Asian nations (particularly Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), which seem to have deteriorated economically subsequently. Tajikistan’s main sources of revenue include aluminum manufacturing, cotton cultivation, and remittances from migrant labor. Cotton provides for 60% of agricultural production, supports 75% of the rural population, and accounts for 45 percent of irrigated arable land. The state-owned Tajik Aluminum Company represents the aluminium industry, since it is the largest in Central Asia and one of the largest in the world.

Tajikistan’s rivers, such as the Vakhsh and the Panj, offer significant hydropower potential, and the government has prioritized soliciting investment for projects for domestic consumption as well as energy exports. Tajikistan is home to the world’s tallest dam, the Nurek Dam. Russia’s RAO UES energy conglomerate has recently been working on the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant (670 MW capacity), which began operations on January 18, 2008. Other projects in the planning stages include Iran’s Sangtuda-2, China’s SinoHydro’s Zerafshan, and the Rogun power plant, which, if completed, would surpass the Nurek Dam as the tallest structure in the world at 335 meters (1,099 feet). CASA-1000, a proposed project, would transport 1000 MW of excess energy from Tajikistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan. The entire length of the transmission line is 750 kilometers, and the project is intended to be a Public-Private Partnership with the assistance of the World Bank, IFC, ADB, and IDB. The project is expected to cost approximately $865 million USD. Other energy resources include large coal deposits and lesser natural gas and petroleum reserves.

Tajikistan was the world’s most remittance-dependent economy in 2014, accounting for 49 percent of GDP, and remittances are projected to decrease by 40 percent in 2015 owing to Russia’s economic crisis. Tajik migrant workers abroad, mostly in Russia, have become by far the primary source of income for millions of Tajiks, and the World Bank predicts that with the 2014–2015 Russian economic slump, a significant number of young Tajik males would return home with limited economic prospects.

Approximately 20% of the population, according to some estimates, lives on less than US$1.25 per day. Tajik migration and remittances have been unparalleled in terms of volume and economic effect. Tajik labor migrants’ remittances reached an estimated $2.1 billion US dollars in 2010, an increase from 2009. Tajikistan transitioned from a planned to a market economy without significant and prolonged need on assistance (of which it currently gets only minimal amounts), and solely via market-based methods, simply by exporting its primary comparative advantage – inexpensive labor. According to the World Bank’s Tajikistan Policy Note 2006, remittances have played an essential role as one of the drivers of Tajikistan’s strong economic development over the last few years, increasing earnings and, as a consequence, helping to considerably decrease poverty.

Tajikistan’s main illicit source of revenue is drug trafficking, since it serves as a transit nation for Afghan drugs destined for Russian and, to a lesser degree, Western European markets; some opium poppy is also grown locally for the domestic market. However, with increased support from international organizations such as the UNODC and collaboration with US, Russian, EU, and Afghan authorities, some headway in the battle against illicit drug trafficking is being made. Tajikistan ranks third in the world in terms of heroin and raw opium confiscations (1216.3 kg of heroin and 267.8 kg of raw opium in the first half of 2006). According to some analysts, drug money corrupts the country’s administration; well-known individuals who fought on both sides of the civil war and had positions in the government after the ceasefire was reached are now engaged in the drug trade. The UNODC is collaborating with Tajikistan to improve border crossings, offer training, and establish joint interdiction teams. It also aided in the establishment of the Tajikistani Drug Control Agency.

Tajikistan is an active member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (ECO).

Things To Know Before Traveling To Tajikistan

Internet, Comunication In Tajikistan

It is worth noting that Tajik telecom providers charge for internet use based on the quantity downloaded. This is particularly essential for those who intend to live in Tajikistan and pay directly for the service, such as USD50 per month for up to 1GB of downloads. To buy private internet service, you must have a Ministry of Immigration registration form.

Language In Tajikistan

Tajik, which is mutually intelligible with all Persian varieties, is Tajikistan’s main and historical language. It is one of many dialects of the Persian language, along with Farsi, Dari, Hazaragi, and others. Furthermore, as a result of the Soviet promotion of Russian across Central Asia, virtually all Tajiks speak Russian. There are also ethnic Russians who speak Russian as a first language. Russian is extensively utilized in government, thus government personnel, such as politicians, speak it. However, English is seldom spoken, and the only individuals who are likely to understand it are young people in Dushanbe. However, Russian is frequently more popular among them since it is commonly taught to them by their parents.


Tajikistan is a conservative culture, and women should dress modestly in public. Headscarves and facial coverings are outliers rather than the rule. Shorts for males are typically frowned upon, especially in bigger towns like Dushanbe. Although some Tajiks are very nice, it is also unusual for individuals to be as unfriendly. Tajiks in general are extremely kind to visitors. While you should be cautious of scammers in bigger cities, it is normal for young people to approach you to say hello and practice their English. When conversing with elder Tajiks, put your right hand over your heart. In Tajik culture, this is a show of respect for elderly men or women.

Culture Of Tajikistan

Tajik is the mother tongue of about 80% of Tajikistan’s population. Tajikistan’s major urban hubs are Dushanbe (the capital), Khujand, Kulob, Panjakent, Qurghonteppa, Khorugh, and Istaravshan. Minorities include Uzbek, Kyrgyz, and Russian.

Though called Tajiks, the Pamiri people of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in the southeast, bordering Afghanistan and China, are linguistically and culturally different from other Tajiks. In contrast to the majority Sunni Muslim population of Tajikistan, the Pamiris practice Ismaili Shia Islam and speak a variety of Eastern Iranian dialects, including Shughni, Rushani, Khufi, and Wakhi. They have maintained numerous old cultural practices and folk arts that have been virtually lost elsewhere in the nation due to their isolation in the highest regions of the Pamir Mountains.

The Yaghnobi people reside in northern Tajikistan’s mountainous regions. The approximate population of Yaghnobis is currently about 25,000. Forced migrations in the twentieth century wiped them off. They communicate in Yaghnobi, the sole direct contemporary descendent of the old Sogdian language.

Tajik craftsmen constructed the Dushanbe Tea House, which was given to Boulder, Colorado, as a gift in 1988.

Visa & Passport Requirements for Tajikistan

For trips of up to 90 days, nationals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, and Ukraine do not need a visa.

Visas are becoming more simple to acquire, following the lead of other Central Asian nations, especially for citizens of affluent countries. This strategy is intended to boost tourism in Tajikistan. The most significant change has been the elimination of OVIR registration for tourist trips lasting less than 30 days. Letters of invitation are no longer required upon arrival at Dushanbe International Airport, but are required to prearrange a visa from the British and American embassies.

Since July 2016, residents of most affluent nations have been able to get 45-day evisas for $50 at Along with the evisa, you may apply for a GBAO permission. The evisa is valid at all land crossings and airports, and it is usually granted within two working days. Some users have experienced teething difficulties with the evisa system (see Caravanistan), although the technology generally works smoothly and saves a page in your passport.

Visas must be obtained in advance at Tajik embassies, online (see above), or upon arrival at Dushanbe airport. However, owing to a recent legislative reform, these visas are now only accessible to residents of countries that do not have a Tajik embassy. You may save time by completing and printing a form before arriving. It is preferable to utilize the Tajik form and bring two passport photographs, a handful of passport photocopies, and cash. The whole procedure takes around ten minutes. Tajikistan tourist visas cost $US25 at Dushanbe International Airport and consulate agents throughout the world. If you want to visit the GBAO area, you must get a special permission. It is easy to acquire while applying for a visa or in Dushanbe; the fee is USD50 locally or at Central Asian consulates, but it is generally free in Europe.

If you are crossing a land border, you must get a visa before you arrive. The embassy in Vienna and the embassy in London are the most professional. You may have difficulty obtaining a visa at certain consulates, which will simply state “get it at the airport” (e.g., Kabul), which is inconvenient if you wish to travel by land.

How To Travel To Tajikistan

Get In - By plane

The country’s two airlines are Tajik Air, a national carrier, and Somon Air, a new commercial airline. Flights from Dushanbe to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Sochi, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Perm, Krasnoyarsk, Orenburg, Irkutsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Surgut, Kazan, and Yekaterinburg are available. Central Asian destinations include Bishkek, Almaty, Ürümqi, and Kabul.

The Khujand airport serves approximately a dozen Russian cities through eight airlines, as well as a weekly China Southern Airlines route to Ürümqi.

Get In - By car

While Tajikistan’s ties with Uzbekistan are the finest among its neighbors, it is the most traveled through, and the roads leading to these crossings are in far better shape than those going to Kyrgyzstan or Afghanistan. The present status is unclear, although Tajik cars have not been permitted into Uzbekistan in previous years, while Uzbek vehicles have had to pay high taxes to enter Tajikistan. As a result, your journey may need driving one vehicle to the border and then getting a ride on another after crossing. The trip from Tashkent to Khujand takes approximately two and a half hours and is often taken by private vehicles and marshrutkas (minibuses) for a nominal fee (under USD10). Private vehicles and marshrutkas regularly make the short (60km) journey from Samarkand, Uzbekistan to Penjikent. Due to poor ties between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, a border crossing near Penjikent is now blocked (July 2012). If you wish to go to Samarkand from Khujand, you must pass the border at the Oybek checkpoint (250km from Samarkand). From Khujand to Oybek, marshrutkas and taxis are available. Taxis range in price from 50 to 100 somonis, depending on the time of day.

During the winter, snow closes the passes that link Dushanbe to Tajikistan’s north. During these months, you must go south and pass from Termez, which will take you around the west and south sides of the mountains and to Dushanbe.

There are a few choices from Kyrgyzstan, mainly from Osh, and none are very pleasant. The slowest, but most popular, route is the rough, isolated Pamir Highway (see next paragraph). A route runs west for 500 kilometers through the Karategin Valley from the junction at Sary-Tash to Dushanbe. It’s a bit rough towards the border, but nothing near as bad as the Pamir Highway. A alternative route is to go from Batken to Isfara through numerous Uzbek enclaves inside Kyrgyzstan, which needs a multiple-entry Uzbek visa and plenty of time for border crossings; avoiding these enclaves is difficult and involves navigating several poor, rural roads with little or no signs. Traveling via the Ferghana Valley also has the least interesting landscape, and recent ethnic clashes in the area make it an unappealing option for visitors.

The Pamir Highway, which stretches from Osh through Khorog and then to Dushanbe, is a beautiful, though difficult, route into Tajikistan. This route, which is almost the sole roadway in the GBAO area, varies from smooth asphalt full with buses and trucks to a single-lane road cut into a cliff. The border crossing is located at 4280m, while the Ak-Baital Pass is located at 4,655m. The trip from Osh to Khorog takes 2-3 days, and three days on the tougher section from Khorog to Dushanbe, with more time if you want to stop and enjoy the landscape. Every few days, minivans traverse the road from Osh to Murghab for USD15; hitchhiking aboard Kamaz trucks and ZIL fuel tankers is also available anywhere along the route for USD10. A four-wheel drive vehicle is required, as significant sections of the route are impassable in the winter and often blocked by mudslides in the spring.

The United States has financed two bridges linking Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The major crossing at Nizhnii Panj is reached by roads from Qurghonteppa, Kulob, and Dushanbe. From there, a road goes south to Kunduz, which, as of 2010, is a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan. There is a bridge in Khorog leading to Feizabad, Afghanistan, as well as a few hilly routes leading to Afghanistan elsewhere in the GBAO.

In 2004, a border crossing with China was established. The crossing and associated roads connect the Pamir Highway to the Karakorum Highway, linking Kashgar (Kashi) to the north and Pakistan to the south. 

Get In - By boat

There is presently a ferry service running over the Pyanj River between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, which costs around USD10 one trip. The inauguration of the US-funded bridge across the Pyanj, however, would most certainly put a stop to this service, which crosses approximately three times each day and does not operate on Sundays.

Get In - By train

Migrant laborers like taking the train to Moscow. It takes around five days and passes through Uzbekistan twice, Turkmenistan once, and Kazakhstan; transit permits are needed in all of these countries.

Train 367 departs Dushanbe at 08:08. (Mondays & Wednesdays). The next day, at 14:04, he arrives at Khujand. Kanibadam is the last destination.

Train 335 runs three times a week from Khujand to Samarqand and Saratov. 18:44 departure from Khujand (Mon, Thurs, Sat) and 02:15 arrival in Samarqand.

Train 336 leaves Samarqand at 06:10 (Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) and arrives in Khujand at 14:27.

How To Travel Around Tajikistan

Get Around - By minivan / shared taxi

There are scheduled minivans connecting large cities, but otherwise, renting a car or sharing one with other people is the only method to travel throughout the nation. Prices are usually quoted per person, not per vehicle, and are split by the number of passengers.

SUVs may be rented and depart from Khujand’s huge minibus station, which is situated just outside the city. Prices are flexible, but should be in the USD60-$100 area per person. Ascertain if the car is suitable for long-distance travel, and check the spare tire.

Get Around - By plane

Because the nation is divided into numerous remote regions by mountain passes that shut in the winter, travel during this season is limited to air only, if the aircraft are flying. Tajik Air and Somon Air provide numerous daily flights to Khojand (travel time varies between 35 and 70 minutes depending on the aircraft) and Khorog, a thrilling descent over Himalayan peaks. If it’s windy, this flight won’t take off. Ticket sellers in Dushanbe’s Green Market can give an accurate approximation of their schedule. Make it a point to arrive early for your journey. Passports and visas will also be checked on domestic flights, so carry them.

Destinations in Tajikistan

Regions in Tajikistan

  • Ferghana Valley
    Central Asia’s infamously turbulent, yet intriguing and culturally dynamic area encompasses three nations in one of the world’s most complicated political and geographical jumbles.
  • Karategin
    Tajikistan’s core, including the capital, Dushanbe.
  • Khatlon
    Tajikistan’s varied southwestern region, and the epicenter of the uprising that sparked the country’s catastrophic post-Soviet civil war.
  • Pamirs
    One of the world’s highest mountain ranges, featuring towering vistas, hiking, climbing, and a breathtaking journey along the Pamir Highway.
  • Zeravshan
    Beautiful valleys surrounded by the magnificent Fann Mountains, as well as old ruins near Panjakent.

Cities in Tajikistan

  • Dushanbe is the capital and by far the biggest city.
  • Isfara is a historic Silk Road village in the Ferghana Valley near the Kyrgyzstan border.
  • Istaravshan is an ancient city renowned for its magnificent Abdullatif Madrassah and Mosque.
  • Khorugh is the biggest city in the Pamirs and the entrance to them.
  • Khujand is the capital of Tajikistan’s Ferghana Valley region, as well as the country’s second biggest city.
  • Konibodom is located in the middle of the Ferghana Valley, near the Uzbek border.
  • Kulob is the third biggest city in the nation.
  • Qurghonteppa — Khatlon’s biggest city and the political epicenter of Tajikistan’s previous civil war.
  • Tursunzoda is a settlement west of Dushanbe on the road and train to Uzbekistan.

Other destinations in Tajikistan

  • The Pamir Mountains, with passes ranging from 3200 to 4500 meters, and Lake Karakol
  • Penjikent, a border village 70 kilometers from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, containing historic city remains.
  • The Zeravshan valley, which includes the Fan Mountains, is a popular hiking and climbing destination in Central Asia.

Accommodation & Hotels in Tajikistan


There are just a few major hotels in Dushanbe. The Hyatt Regency was newly constructed and opened its doors in March 2009. Another large hotel is the “Tajikistan” (recently refurbished), which is situated in the city center. Most are from the post-Soviet period and are overpriced and in bad shape. There are a handful of recently constructed hotels that provide western-style lodging for between $US70 and $US220 each room.

MSDSP guesthouses

The Aga Khan Development Support Programme for Mountain Societies maintains a network of guesthouses in locations like Kalaikhum and Khorog that provide a high quality of lodging. Full board is about USD40 per person.

Formal homestays

The French NGO ACTED is developing a network of homestays in the Pamir region, particularly in the Murghab area. A decent bed in a family household costs approximately USD10 per person each night. The amenities are simple, with no running water and an outdoor toilet, but visitors can anticipate pleasant, clean rooms, excellent local cuisine, and a friendly welcome.

Independent guesthouses

There are a small but increasing number of independent guesthouses in Dushanbe, Khorog, and Murghab. These are comparable in terms of quality and cost to the ACTED homestays.

Things To See in Tajikistan

Tajikistan has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the proto-urban site of Sarazm in Panjakent and the Tajik National Park in the country’s east, which encompasses the Pamirs. Tajikistan’s mountains are among the highest in the world, with three peaks rising over 7,000 meters and more than half of the nation rising above 3,000 meters above sea level.

Tajikistan is a beautiful country with much to see and do, from the Silk Road mystery of towns like Khujand and Istaravshan to the magnificent, unspoiled alpine landscapes of the Pamirs and its attraction of unclimbed peaks with virgin hiking trails. The Fan Mountains may be a viable alternative to the Pamirs. They are easily accessible and provide excellent hiking opportunities.

Food & Drinks in Tajikistan

Food in Tajikistan

Tajikistan’s cuisine is a mix of Central Asian, Afghan, and Pakistani cuisines, with a touch of Russian influence. If you like Russian cuisine, you will most likely have a pleasant gastronomic experience. If you find Russian cuisine dull, you may struggle here.

  • Plov- Rice, meat or mutton, and carrots are used to make the national meal. All cooked combined in a special qazan (a wok-shaped pot) over an open flame in vegetable oil or mutton fat. The meat is diced, the carrots are finely cut into long strips, and the fried carrots and oil color the rice yellow or orange. The meal is served communally on a single big platter in the middle of the table. In Tajikistan, plov is often referred to as “osh.”
  • Qurutob is a traditional meal that is still eaten with hands from a communal plate. Before serving, the dish is topped with fried onions and other fried vegetables. There is no meat in this dish. Qurotob is regarded as the national dish.
  • Laghman- a pasta soup with veggies and either lamb or beef Try the stir-fried Uyghur variations offered at many Dushanbe eateries.
  • Sambusa- (baked pastries)
  • Shashlik (shish-kebab)- charcoal-grilled fish, liver, chicken, mutton, and cattle.
  • Soup with Tushbera- (like ravioli, or pasta with meat in it)
  • Soup Ugro- (handmade spaghetti soup served with cheese cream and basilic)
  • Jiz-biz-style (fired freshcut lamb or mutton on its own juice)
  • Dolma- (steamed rolls with grape leafs and meat inside, served with sour cream and red pepper)
  • Mantu -(steamed beef dumplings served with sour cream and fried onions)
  • Shurbo- (fresh vegetable soup with lamb or beef, garnished with green onion and basil)
  • There are many different kinds of bread, such as chappoti, kulcha, nan, fatir, qalama, and so on.
  • Damlama- (like English stew, steamed lamb or beef with vegetables in its own juice)
  • Khash- (soup made from sheep’s legs, limbs, joints, and tendons)
  • Melons and watermelons are very popular among locals and may be found at relatively low prices in local markets.

Take caution while eating street food, and DO NOT consume unclean veggies or fruits. It is preferable to soak them in distilled water and fully cook them.

Now, things are different. Tajikistan’s national cuisine, such as Shurbo, Oshi Palov, Mantu, Sambusa, and others, is growing increasingly popular.

Drinks in Tajikistan

  • Green tea – Tajiks often drink unsweetened (or sweetened) green tea throughout the day. As a result, it is the national beverage of the country.
  • Compote – A fruit punch that has been distilled.

Money & Shopping in Tajikistan

Since October 2000, Somoni has been the national currency, and we utilize the ISO 4217 international currency code of TJS put before the quantity in all of our articles. When shopping locally, though, you may see a variety of notations put before or after the sum.

TJS1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 banknotes are available, as are TJS0.05, TJS0.10, TJS0.20, TJS0.25, TJS0.25, TJS0.50, TJS1, TJS3 and TJS5 coins.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Tajikistan

Stay Safe in Tajikistan

Tajikistan is a secure nation, but occasional factional warfare from neighboring Afghanistan (as well as local warlordism) persists. Visitors should be informed about the security situation and avoid taking needless risks. It is not safe to stroll about outdoors alone after nightfall, and it is not safe to go to remote regions alone. If you have any concerns during your visit to Tajikistan, please contact your embassy or the European Commission – External Relations Directorate General in B-1049 Brussels.

The failure of Tajikistan’s law enforcement agencies to offer sufficient and timely help is a major source of worry. Lack of personnel, poor pay, and insufficient training all contribute to a lack of professionalism within law enforcement agencies. Dushanbe police officers have been known to demand payments from expats and tourists even when no crime has been committed. If you are traveling at night, it is usually advisable to go in groups and avoid places frequently monitored by police (like Rudaki Park) if you have been drinking. Play stupid if you’re approached for a bribe. Even if you speak Russian or Tajik, you should act as though you don’t comprehend the officer’s request. They will generally lose patience and abandon you. Never quarrel or antagonize the cops. Consult your embassy if you have been the victim of a crime. Your embassy may be able to assist you in recovering stolen goods or renewing your passport.

Even if they are readily accessible, do not purchase counterfeit or pirated products. Not only are the bootlegs unlawful, but you may also be in violation of local law.

It is prohibited in certain areas to photograph specific structures. In certain areas, driving under the influence may put you in jail right away. These criminal punishments will differ from one nation to the next.

In Tajikistan, the penalties for illicit drug possession, use, or trafficking are harsh, with convicted criminals facing lengthy prison terms and large fines.

There may be a restriction to the number of things that may be exported. It is prohibited to export or possess raw stones, metals, or jewelry that does not have a hallmark (mark of authenticity). Even if travelers have a document proving the lawful purchase of such goods in Tajikistan, the items must be reported at the time of departure.

Stay Healthy in Tajikistan

Tajikistan’s health-care system is severely undeveloped in comparison to Western norms, with chronic shortages of essential medical supplies such as disposable needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics. The elderly are particularly vulnerable. The fact that the majority of medical professionals are unqualified is a major source of worry.

DON’T DRINK TAP WATER. There is no functioning filtration system, and outbreaks of typhoid and cholera are frequent (occasionally). Other endemic diseases that may be avoided include hepatitis A, rabies, poliomyelitis, and tick-borne encephalitis. The odd anthrax case is reported, although they are few and far between these days. During the hot season, there are a few areas where malaria may develop. In Tajikistan, HIV is becoming a major public health concern. Prospekt Medical has opened an English-speaking comprehensive primary care facility just behind the Chinese Embassy. Altitude sickness is a significant danger in the Pamir mountains. In the event of an accident, contact your embassy. It is highly advised to get health insurance and medical evacuation insurance.

For longer stays, professional drivers and house security guards may be hired. Rent out safe, well-known owner properties.



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Tajikistan’s capital and biggest city is Dushanbe. In Persian, the word dushanbe means “Monday.” It got its name from a community that used to have a...