Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, is a beautiful city of stark contrasts between the old and the new. Old Soviet-era buildings stand adjacent to new massive state buildings and monuments, and there always seems to be a tension between the demolition of the old and the construction of the new. Even with its massive buildings and endless construction, Dushanbe remains the quaintest of the Central Asian capitals.
Dushanbe, sitting at about 800 m in the intermountain Gissar Valley basin at the confluence of the Varzob and Kofarnihon Rivers, is the main population centre of the country with about 1.2 million people in 2022.
It has seen instances of human habitation since neolithic times, witnessing the presence of great civilizations like the Greco-Bactrians and the many iterations of the Persian Empire. Dushanbe began life as a small nondescript village existing simply as a place to host a weekly Monday market (indeed Dushanbe is Tajik/Persian for "Monday"), but received a whirlwind of development when it was chosen to be the capital of the Tajik ASSR (Associated Soviet Socialist Republic), which was an autonomous region of the larger Uzbek SSR during the Soviet Union. In the 1930s, the Tajik ASSR was carved away from the Uzbek one and made equal, and Dushanbe now found itself one of the 15 main capitals within the Soviet Union. During most of the Soviet Union, Dushanbe was known as Stalinabat
With the withdrawal of Soviet influence in the dissolution of the USSR, Dushanbe regained its former name but went through schisms of identity crisis alongside the country as it plunged into a civil war that lasted from 1992 - 1997. Even now, it struggles somewhat to exert full control over the entire country, but it nonetheless takes on the dynamics of Tajikistan's main commercial center and happening place.
Dushanbe's central location in Tajikistan makes it a perfect launchpad for excursions across the country.
- 1 Dushanbe Airport (DYU IATA, Международный Аэропорт Душанбе), M. Mastangulova (ул.им.М. Мастангулова), 32/2 (SW of city center), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Moscow flights by (Tajik Air, Somon Air, Domodedovo Airlines and Sibirian S7), Istanbul IST on (Turkish Airlines); Urumqi (China Southern Airlines). Somon Air have a weekly direct flight to Frankfurt, as well as flights from Dubai, Delhi, Istanbul and Kyiv. It is a hub for Somon Air and Tajik Air.
If you are flying to Dushanbe from anywhere beyond Türkiye, Dubai, or Kazakhstan, you'll need to make sure your bags are checked all the way through. If all of your flights are on the same airline, you shouldn't have to worry about anything. But if your connecting flights involve switching airlines as well (which may be the case if you're traveling from the western hemisphere), there's a high likelihood that you'll need to go through customs and retrieve your bags during your connection and re-check them through.
Visa at the airport
Most of the European and North American nationals can apply for a visa upon arrival in Dushanbe. The airport is very small and the immigration is before the passport control. Bring 2 passport photos, and have the address at which you are staying. Don't lose your "beeline travel slip" which you will get at the immigration office. The luggage X-ray machines are very poor and they pay little attention to the screens. For travelers traveling for non-tourist reasons (like work or study) you'll need to get a visa in advance from an embassy.
Before you go through Tajik customs, all travelers must fill out a Migration card (available by the visa office). This form comes in parts A and B, and you must keep the B part with you until you leave the country (otherwise there's a big fine).
Watch the children when you leave the airport they will offer to take your bag to the car and start to pull it off you, though not with intentions of stealing, just wanting to help and get a tip.
- 2 Dushanbe Railway Station, Nazarshoev St (SE part of the city). From Moscow via Volgograd, Atyrau and Termez. Trains depart from the Moskva Kazanskaya rail terminal each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at 12:08, arriving 16:16 four nights later. Tickets costs from 9000 руб for a second class sleeper. - Trains depart to Iski-Guzar (via Vahdat), Tursunzoda (toward west via Hisor), to Kulob (via Obikiik, Kuybyshevsk, Qurghonteppa, Sarband).
There are no international bus services.If you are planning to go to a different town in Dushanbe there are 'terminals' that you can either find a shared taxi or a minibus. Departs are mostly early morning.
- Pamir bus terminal (Povorot aeroporta terminal Pamira, Avtobaza 2929), Ahmed Donish Street. Toward east to Khorog (Pamir) going usually 4X4 vehicles (525 km, 12 to 14 hours, prices are vary) all via Kalaikhum (285 km).
- 3 Terminal Khojent (Vodanasos cement factory Terminal), Rudaki Street (End of Rudaki Street towards Varzob Valley. Ask your taxi driver to drop you to the Stoyanka Khodjenta close to Vodonasos or Cemzavod. It is the end of the Trolleybus line.). Minibuses to Khojent and Varzob, Aini, Penjikent, Khujand.
- 4 Korvon Market terminal (Korvon Market, south of Center). Many private cars to Kurgan-Tybe and Kulyab.
- 5 From Dushanbe I Train Station,. can take mini taxis toward east: Kofarnihon, Faizabad
- Polytechnic Institute terminal, Djami Avenue. for taxis toward west: Hissor
- Sakhovat Market terminal (Sakhovat Market). Private SUVs go (daily) to Afghan Border (Sherkhon Bandar). You will have to go early in the morning 05:00 to check for a shared car. Best is to go there a day before and arrange for the next day travel. Also lines toward south Qurghonteppa (85 km) and Kulob (190 km).
Riding the bus in Dushanbe is an adventure in and of itself. For starters, there are no published or otherwise available bus route maps or timetables. Locals have been there long enough to know which bus(es) they need to take where, but travelers will often have to guess. Luckily, most of the tourist sites and buses are along Rudaki Avenue and Somoni Avenue, and Google Maps works well enough in the city that you'll be fine if you just follow along the map as you ride the bus and get off at a stop near where you need to be.
Officially, buses only take payment by city bus cards which can be purchased at kiosks near the stations (whether or not the kiosks are working is another story), however in practice most bus drivers accept cash payments too. It costs 2 TJS per person per ride (1.8 TJS if paying with card); drivers may or may not give change depending on if they have it/want to). Buses are clean and modern and so are the bus stops.
There are also unofficial "buses/marshrutkas" that run. These are private cars that drive in the rightmost lane and will flash a card with the route number they run at people waiting on the curb. While it's an open secret that these cars exist, the drivers can get in trouble if caught by the police (the passengers, however, will not). Despite their sketchy nature, these vehicles are safe to use and get the job done, but it's still recommended to take official transportation in case issues arise.
It is very useful to figure out the marshrukta system (private cars and minibuses), which run on a standard set of routes. Minibuses are overcrowded, stop more frequently, and cost TJS 2.50, while private cars are much quicker and cost TJS 7. For marshrukti, the only important phrase is "hamin jo" (ha-MEEN JOH), which means "right here", to indicate that you want to get out. A couple of useful 'lines' (2010):
No. 1: Giprozem (south) - Sakovat Bazaar - Circus - War Memorial - Aini Street - Dushanbe Airport
No. 2: Giprozem - Sakovat Bazaar - Circus - War Memorial - Bokhtar Street (centre)
No. 3: Dushanbe I Train Station - Rudaki Avenue - Vodanasos Bazaar (north)
No. 8: Dushanbe Airport - Aini Street - Rudaki Avenue - Ismoil Somoni Street - 102nd microdistrict (west)
No. 17: 82nd microdistrict - Ismoil Somoni Street - Rudaki Avenue - Vodanasos Bazaar
No. 29: Giprozem - Circus - Bus Station - 82nd microdistrict - Ismoil Somoni Street - Barakat Bazaar (centre)
Cheap way of getting around the city. Dushanbe has a few trolleybus lines running. No. 1 is the main one running along Rudaki Avenue between the main train station in the south and Sadreddin Ayni Park in the north. Line 4 runs between the centre and the circus. For finding directions with trolleybuses and buses use Yandex Maps. It's possible to pay with cash, the fare is 2.5 somoni. Just don't expect to get change from a large bill, bring coins.
Within Dushanbe it is best to take a taxi, usually it should not be more than TJS30.
There are five main taxi companies that offer licensed taxis (phone numbers listed after each):
- Yak Taxi (Yak is Tajik for "one") - 1111
- Asian Express - 1616
- Rakhsh Taxi - 3333
- Olu4a Taxi - 7000
- Somon Taxi - 888
All of them are Tajik and Russian speaking services, although with the exception of Somon Taxi they may have occasional English services.
Very few streets in Dushanbe are known by their names, so it is important to know landmarks and how to navigate with them. Every taxi driver knows the airport, Somoni statue and opera-ballet, but beyond that, it is a toss-up. The two street names everyone knows are Rudaki Avenue and Somoni Avenue. Drivers also generally know where neighborhoods are so if you know what neighborhood you're going to you can at least get close to it. It is essential to know "straight ahead," "to the left," and "to the right" in Russian or Tajik.
The center street (Rudaki Avenue) is effectively long street, with a few other main streets crossing it.
Dushanbe is an interesting city, but only for a few days. Other than a few museum and monuments, there is not much here. The nightlife is not of a western standard. There are three main clubs: Port Said, Dior, and Vastan (all on or near Rudaki Street). The clubs are pretty bad and attract bad music, prostitutes, and are mostly filled with men. If a man goes out with a Tajik women, he will be expected to pay for her. The streets are lined with old and tall planetrees, so in the evenings a stroll along Rudaki is quite pleasant. Rudaki Park also features numerous fountains lit by colored lights, and the Botanical Gardens (behind the Chinese Embassy, somewhat north along Rudaki) is the best place to escape the dust and noise of the traffic for peace and quiet.
- 1 Haji Yaqub Mosque (Мечеть Хаджи Якуб), Rudaki Ave. The largest mosque in the CIS cost of US$100 million. It has a crescent-topped minaret and burnished golden dome.
- Sari Osiyo Mosque (Мечеть Сари Осиё). A new one
- 2 Ismaili Centre (Центр Исмаилизма), Ismoil Somoni Ave,.
- 3 St. Nicholas Cathedral (Свято-Никольский собор), Druzhby Narodov St (улица Дружбы народов)), ~64 (Central city cemetery or commonly Russian Cemetery (Центральный Городский кладбище, русский кладбище)). The main pravoslav church of Dushanbe.
- 4 Gurminj Museum of Musical Instruments (Gurminj Museum, Музей музыкальных инструментов), Bokhtar Street , 23 (Located in the center of Dushanbe, a block east of Rudaki near the Iranian Embassy), ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-18:00. This small museum has an interesting variety of Central Asian musical instruments as string instruments example: rubab, Pamiri rubab, tanbur, dutor, setor, qashqar, and ghizhak. There are also number of drums such as tabl, daf, and doyra. That alone is worth a peek if you like instruments, but better still is to go when a musical or cultural event is being held, or hope to catch the folk musicians who practice there and can demo many of the instruments in the collection. Admission 10TJS.
- 5 National Museum of Tajikistan (Национальный музей древности Республики Таджикистан) (on the main square near the Sadbarg shopping center). This museum offers four floors detailing the history of what is now Tajikistan, primarily through art. The basement covers prehistory, including the geology of the country, while human history starts on the ground floor and increases chronologically as you ascend to the next floors. The ground floor is home to the crown jewel of the museum, the giant Buddha in Nirvana statue found in Ajina-tepe, as well as numerous historical artefacts from each empire to have set foot in the country. The upper floors detail Tajikistan's history post-Russian conquest, while the final floor is a gallery of paintings and sculptures made during the Soviet era, including a display of Soviet films filmed in Tajikistan. 35 somoni per person, more if you want to pay for photos.
- 6 Monument of Amir Ismail Samani (Tajik:Ҳайкали Исмоили Сомонӣ, Russian: Арка и памятник Исмаилу Самани.), Prospekt Aiani (At the south rim of Rudaki Park). A monument to the 10th-century founder of the Samanid dynasty. This statue commemorates the one after whom the currency is named. Apparently, the crown is 10 kg of Tajik gold. Beware: the police at the bottom may ask for money if you take photos, so stand far back and use your zoom. (And don't encourage this bad behaviour.)
- 7 Rudaki statue (Rudaki Park). It was opened for the Shanghai summit, a new park on Rudaki Avenue that has a huge statue of Rudaki, a new government palace, and enough fountains to drain the whole of Dushanbe. Go at night to see the lights.
- 8 Rokhat Teahouse (Tajik:Rohat Chaikhona, Russian:чайханы «Рохат»,), 84, Rudaki Ave, ☏ . Old traditional teahouse located near central Dushanbe on Rudaki. Better to go for the interesting architecture, not the food.
- 9 Dushanbe Flagpole (Located in front of the Palace of Nations). The second tallest free-standing flagpole in the world (162 m). This flagpole flies an 1,800-square-metre (19,000 sq ft) flag of Tajikistan, weighing 700 kilograms (1,500 lb).
- 10 Vahdat Palace (Palace of Unity, Tajik: Кохи Ваҳдат/Kokhi Vahdat/کاخ وحدت), 107, Rudaki Avenue (проспект А. Рудаки) (near Hotel Avesto). It is the headquarters of the ruling People's Democratic Party and is also used to host international conferences
- 11 National Bank of Tajikistan (Бонки миллии Тоҷикистон), хиёбони Рудакӣ, 107A (Opposite Ayni Opera and Ballet Theatre), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Located in a nice monument building.
- 12 Tajik State National University (Tajik: Donishgohi Davlatii Millii Tojikiston, Донишгоҳи миллии Тоҷикистон, Russian:Таджикский национальный университет (ТНУ)), Rudaki Ave. (хиёбони Рӯдакӣ), 17, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. On Rudaki another nice building at #33 Tajik Academy of Sciences
- Fort Hisor (Гиссар) (The cheapest way to get there is taking local bus #8 (available from Rudaki ave.) to Zarnissor bazaar. From there you catch a marshrutka (minibus) to Hissar village (TJS2) where you can easily flag down a car for TJS1/seat. That means a roundtrip is roughly TJS7/person. Alternatively you can hire a taxi for around TJS80. 10 km out of the city). Hisor fortress (also spelled Hissor, Gissar, etc.) is a partially-rebuilt Silk Road fortress located not too far from Dushanbe. It was the seat of the Khanate of Bukhara's power in Tajikistan, and was captured by Alexander the Great and Chinggis Khan. Across a square from it is a madrassa and the foundations of a caravanserai, but neither of those have been restored (but they can still be toured). Entrance fees are TJS1-3..
- 1 Aquapark Dolphin (Аквапарк Дельфин), Bogoutdinova (Богоутдинова), 7/2 (West of City center. Take bus 8, 22, 25, 28,17 to '101 mikrorayon', after Saodat Shopping Centre the next street turn toward south (left) and walk ten mins on the right side look for it), ☏ . Adult/child M-F TJS70/40, Sa Su TJS80/40 (four hours); after 17:00 (three hours) TJS50/30; Tariff "VIP" admission to all areas. From sunrise to sunset. Adult TJS150.
- Bactria Cultural Centre
- 2 Circus (Здание цирка), Karaboev Avenue, 1-3 (Ave. S. Sherozi corner).
- 3 Botanical Gardens (Ботанический сад Академии наук Таджикистана) (behind the Chinese Embassy, somewhat north along Rudaki turn left to Samad Gani St). The best place to escape the dust and noise of the traffic for peace and quiet. A small forest with plenty of greenery. Usually the newly married couples have photos taken here.
- 4 Dushanbe Zoo (Dushanbe Zoological Park, Tajik: Боғи ҳайвонот, Russian: Душанбинский зоопарк), Ismoili Somoni Avenue (in the centre of the city on the Luchob river bank, next to the Pamir Stadium). The number of animals kept is about 600 on the area: 67000 m². This is the only institution of this kind in the country. Animals are indigenous and foreign species, with the most exotic being lion, jaguar and snow leopard. The local fauna are represented by brown bears, black bears, Bactrian camel, donkey, wolf, jackal, fox, raccoon, and some birds such as owl, vulture, golden eagle, falcon. Also some reptiles, including snakes, caymans, lizards are displayed indoors.
- 5 Park named after S. Ayni (Парк культуры и отдыха имени С. Айни,Tajik:Боғи фароғат ва истироҳати ба номи С. Айнӣ) (Around Opera).
- 6 Victory Park (Парк Победы,Tajik:), Druzhby Narodov St (Turn left off of Rudaki at the TSUM and pass the beer factory.). Hike to the top for a seasonal tiki-themed beer garden offering views of the city. The truly brave can take the rickety gondola. Also there is the Victory Memorial.
- 7 Ayni Opera and Ballet Theatre (Таджикский академический театр оперы и балета имени С. Айни), Nisor Muhammad St and Rudaki Ave cnr (Centre), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00. Regularly has free or cheap concerts sponsored by embassies and travel companies.
- 8 Lahuti Drama Theatre (Таджикский академический драматический театр имени А. Лахути), Rudaki Ave,.
- Mayakovsky Theatre
- Padida Theatre
- 9 Puppet theatre (Государственный театр кукол Лухтак).
- 10 Parasty Theatre, Rudaki Ave, (Next to Lohuti Drama Theatr).
- Summer theatre (летних амфитеатра).
- 11 Youth Theatre named after M. Vahidova (Государственный молодежный театр имени М. Вахидова -), Karaboev Avenue, 21-23.
- Various concert halls
- 1 Korvon Bazaar, A384 road (far away and is very large (Marshruktas with "Корвон" signs on their dashboards will get you there for TJS3); south of Park Druzhby). Korvon has a massive indoor clothing and shoes section as well as a smaller food section. It is also the place for rugs, although all of the rugs come from Turkey, not Tajikistan. Somewhat cheaper than Shakhmansur.
- 2 Shakhmansur Bazaar (Green Bazaar, Зелёный Базар), Lohuti Street (east of Opera). This is the biggest bazaar in the city centre and has a huge variety of foods (very cheap by Western standards), including dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, meats and bread, as well as an odd assortment of tools and household products. It is possible to see the entire bazaar in an hour or two. The locals invariably charge foreigners more.
- 1 Cafe Merve, 92 Rudaki Avenue (Next to Orima supermarket). Casual Turkish cafeteria is always packed with students and young locals. Kebabs, pizzaa, salads, french fries, cakes, coffee and authentic Turkish breakfasts (feta with olives) are all on the menu, but have several choices in mind, as they rarely have everything available at any given time.
- Delhi Darbar, Rudaki Avenue (near the Pedagogical Institute.). The most well-known, and possibly the best vegetarian food in the city, of three local Indian restaurants serves excellent butter chicken and spinach. It also offers private "family rooms."
- Salsa. The only Ecuadorian restaurant for hundreds of miles. It is a reasonable imitation of Latin cuisine and popular with Europeans. It is located just off the north end of Rudaki near Starry Night (Zvezdnaya Noch) billiards.
- 2 Tiflis. One of two Georgian restaurants in the city with some of the best meat dishes in the city, and a substantial wine list. Located behind the opera-ballet, across the park.
- Gruzinski Restorant "Kafene Gruziya", Rudaki Avenue 29. the other Georgian restaurant, located about a block north of the Opera Square on Rudaki Avenue. It has simple and tasty dishes, good cheap house wine, and a nice friendly atmosphere. Either book or come early due to its popularity.
- 3 Steakhouse (The Steakhouse). Despite the name, it is one of the only places in Dushanbe to get sushi. Other meals include steaks, pasta and American style cuisine. Live entertainment nightly.
- Segafredo, Rudaki Ave (near the corner of Rudaki Ave and Ismoil Somoni Ave, across from Hotel Tajikistan). Western food: sandwiches, soups, chicken dishes. Good place to get coffee or a snack. The salmon is surprisingly good and fresh. Downside: smokers. You will see many foreigners here.
While drinking alcohol openly isn't strictly allowed, you'd never know and the outdoor beer cafes are some of the nicest places to spend a sunny afternoon; priced at 4-5 somoni per beer, they are also some of the cheapest. You'll always be able to find "zakuskas" here, snacks to have alongside beer. Plaited smoked cheese, "kasichky" ("chechil") and small pieces of battered fish are popular, as is "kurut", hard salty balls of parmesan-like cheese.
- 1 Best Bar City, Shohtemur Street 22 (inside Hotel Tajikistan), ☏ . Cozy atmosphere.
- 2 28 Monkeys (Гастробар), Bokhtar St, ☏ . Gastropub with sausages and beer and things.
- Small Restaurants in front of the Opera (at the small square in front of the Opera, just off from Rudaki). There are about 6 small restaurants selling shashliks, beer and softdrinks in front of the opera. Pick a table in the shade and watch people walk by while sipping your cold beer. beer: TJS3.
- 1 Greenhouse Hostel, 98a Khusravi Dehlavi Street, ☏ . Caters to bicycle travelers. Small courtyard. Differently priced simple dorms and individual rooms. Dorm bed starting at $12.
- 2 Dushanbe Hostel Latifa (Rahmon Nabiyev Street, 2nd Passage, Nr. 23), Rahmon Nabiyev Street, 2nd Passage, Nr. 23 (from the centre, marshrutka 2 or 7 in direction to '1. Sovetskaya'. get off at 'Korea Avto'. Follow the waymarker on the 'Korea Avto' building. from the airport marshrutka 7. same direction.), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Family-run hostel with 18 beds, free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. 10-20 min drive from the city centre. US$6-7.
- Hostel Hello, Dushanbe!, 5 Proyezd Nisora Mukhammada 4/1, ☏ . Indoor pool and airport transfers. Dorm US$15.
- 3 Yellow hostel, Nisor Muhammad Street 16, ☏ . Just around the corner of the popular "Greenhouse Hostel" this place offers similar style dorms and comfort. Dorm 80 SM.
- 4 Atlas B&B (Гостиница Атлас), 63, Mirzo Rizo (ул. Мирзо Ризо), firstname.lastname@example.org. Very good Tajik Guesthouse. US$80.
- 5 Almos hotel, 6, Mirzo Rizo str (ул. Мирзо Ризо), ☏ , , , fax: , email@example.com. Sauna & swimming pool, billiards & table tennis, fitness saloon, massage services, conference-room, Wi-Fi, disco-bar with variety of beverages, transport services, dry cleaning and storing the luggage, Reservation and obtaining of tickets Single/double from US$80/120 to 150.
- 6 Mercury Hotel (Гостиница Меркурий), 9, Lev Tolstoy Str (ул. Л. Толстого) (Near to the Botanical Garden), ☏ , , , , , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Standard single/double: US$70/90, suites US$100.
- 7 Rohat, Rudaki ave. (Проспект Рудаки), 24 (across the road from the Opera & Ballet Theater), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Central, across the road from the Opera & Ballet Theatre. 100 metres to Dushanbe main road: Rudai Av. &00 meters to Traditional Market (Green Market).Good mattresses; Kettle for tea or coffee in the room, free tea bags, coffee powder, bottles of mineral water and toiletries provided daily, safe box, aircon and good Wi-Fi, flat screen satellite TV all in your room; transfer from and to the airport; self-service substantial breakfast, discounts for long stays/off-season. Helpful English speaking staff. US$60 negotiable.
- Gulistan Tour Hotel, ul. Bukhoro (ул. Бухоро) 78, ☏ , , . US$90-120 per room.
- 8 Hotel Sino (Гостиница Сино), Shevchenko Street ( ул. Шевченко), 75-26, ☏ . Single/double from US$92/115.
- 9 Hyatt Regency Dushanbe (Хаятт Ридженси Душанбе), Prospekt Ismoili Somoni 26/1 (in City Park, near Lake Komsomol), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A five-star hotel with 202 rooms and suites. Amenities: floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting area, heated bath floor, wireless internet and free access to pool and health club. Lounge for free continental breakfast and evening cocktails. From US$212.
- 10 Vefa Center Hotel (Апарт Отель VEFA), Bokhtar str.(ул. Бохтар), 37/1, ☏ , , , , email@example.com. 24 rooms. Services: air-con; free in-room breakfast with menu; Cable and satellite TV; Free Wi-Fi, Underground Parking; Laundry; Transfer, rent a car; 24/7 presence of the staff, security and video surveillance 24 hours; daily room cleaning; medical care; mini bar. Standard room US$180, Luxury apartments US$200, Family Cross-bedroom apartment US$220, Double lux US$240.
- 11 Istiqlol Hotel (Гостиница Истиклол), 12, Sportivnaya str (Улица Спортивная), ☏ , , , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Single/double from US$161/185.
- 12 Serena Hotel (Отель Серена), 14 Rudaki Ave (Проспект Рудаки 14) (Next to National Museum), ☏ , Reservations.email@example.com. Deluxe US$230, Executive $280, Executive Suite $360.
- 13 Hotel Taj Palace (Asia Grand Hotel, Гостиничный комплекс Тадж-Палас), Mirzo Tursunzoda Street (Улица Турсунзаде) 21a,b (NE two blocks from Opera), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Standard single/double US$120/150, Junior single/double US$150/180, Deluxe US$250. Breakfast US$6-7, lunch US$15-18.
- 14 Tajikistan Hotel, 22, Shotemur Str. (City centre: 1 km). Sinhle/double from US$196/380.
- Komron (Гостиница Комрон+П), Karabaeva (1 проезд Н.Карабаева) 11, Apt 3 (кв.№3), ☏ , .
- Hotel Oriyo, ul. Karamova (ул. Карамова ),4, ☏ , .
- 15 Avesto (Гостиница Авесто), Ave. Rudaki (пр. Рудаки), 105 А, ☏ , .
- 16 Tadzhikmatlubot (Таджикматлубот **), Rudaki ave. (Проспект Рудаки) , 137, ☏ .
- 17 Guesthouse Comfort (Гостевой дом Комфорт), 59 Lva Tolstogo str. (Ул. Льва Толстого, ул. Хамза Хакимзаде) (near the Botanical Garden and the Hotel Mercury), ☏ , , , , email@example.com. 24-hour room service, breakfast, bar, dinner and conference halls, laundry, transportation, Wi-Fi, telephone services, copying, scanning, printing.
In general, Dushanbe is safe but robberies and street crime do sometimes occur even in broad daylight although this is rare. The police force can sometimes seem a little ineffective. Avoid attracting police attention, as the law enforcement officials are primarily concerned with augmenting their small income. People tend to be private and conservative but with a little effort they can be incredibly welcoming and genuine.
Many people complain about corrupt airport officials, who try to scam departing passengers. For further information and how to avoid problems google "Dushanbe airport scam".
Don't drink the water from the tap, nor use the water to brush your teeth, unless you're used to the tap water of the region. Always wash fresh produce, especially when bought from the local bazaar. Some melons, although they are incredibly fresh and sweet, can be irrigated and fertilized with manure, so sometimes washing them will not help. Commonly foreigners from developed countries will get sick at least once while in Tajikistan, but this can be delayed by avoiding unwashed/unpeeled fruits and vegetables (be especially wary of this in restaurants).
Power and water cuts can happen at random, although not as frequently as in the past. This is more of an annoyance to the traveler, but you should still be prepared.
- China, No.143, Rudaki Street., ☏ , , , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Germany, 59/1 Ismoili Somoni Street, ☏ , , fax: , .
- 1 Russia, Abuali Ibn Sino (ул. Абуали ибн Сино) 29/31 (Ismoili Somoni Avenue off), ☏ , , , , , fax: , email@example.com.
- 2 Turkey, Rudaki ave. (Проспект Рудаки), 17/2 (South of Tajik National State University), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 United States, 109-A, Ismoili Somoni Avenue (Zarafshon district) (West), ☏ , fax: , , email@example.com. M-F 08:00-17:00. Closed on U.S. and Tajik national holidays.
- 4 United Kingdom, 65 Mirzo Tursunzoda Street (Two blocks north of the Children's Park), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00-17:00.
- Uzbekistan (Take the small street off from Rudaki just next to hotel Avesto (Rudaki 105) and walk until the bend.). M-F 09:00-12:00. Visas to Uzbekistan can be obtained here. You need to bring a passport size photo, a copy of your passport and your Tajik visa in addition to your passport. Some nationalities (including Finnish), need to bring an invitation. The visa is issued on the same day you submitted your application so that the processing takes, depending on how busy it is at the embassy, about an hour. The staff are neither friendly nor helpful. US$62.
Wi-Fi in Dushanbe is a rare thing. Shokoladnitsa (Шоколадница) and Çitir Usta both offer Wi-Fi vouchers if you eat in. Staff are friendly. Fancy places but the cheapest drinks are around 3-6 somoni. Download a good VPN before you arrive if you really need internet, the government is prone to blocking Google and social media access unpredictably.
There are many drivers for hire who will take you to lakes and mountains nearby. Varzob River also has some vacation areas with raised platforms above the narrow river, which is quite refreshing on a hot day. Be aware that the drivers will most likely not speak English, so a working knowledge of Russian or Tajik is advisable, as are haggling skills.
Iskander-Kul lake is popular with locals in the summertime and it's very much possible to reach it for free through hitchhiking and hiking. There is a waterfall. Often completely packed though.
An alternative waterfall in the area is near Gusgarf village. It drops 32m into a pool, possible to swim (for the brave!) unlike in Iskander-Kul. Difficult to find, however. There is a shepherd's trail from Gusgarf village about 4km north. 1,000m ascent over rough scree. Follow the (sometimes invisible) trail to the top of the mountain (where it is possible to camp and make a fire), look down over the ridge and to the left, the waterfall is hidden behind the large bare rock. Turn left along the ridge and walk along until you see a trail leading down to the right; follow this over a ford until you reach a rocky barely-there stream flowing steeply downhill on the left, then follow this down to the waterfall. Or ask a shepherd for directions ("gdye vadapad?" should suffice). Difficult hike, wear good shoes.