Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan.
- 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 to Dubai, Delhi, Istanbul and Kiev. It is a hub for East Air, Somon Air and Tajik Air.
S7 airline or its share code flies to most European countries and you could check in your luggage up to Dushanbe. Otherwise you will require a transit visa to collect your luggage and check it in again. If you have no checked luggage, you could walk direct to the transit area. If you use a different airline and have checked in luggage you need a transit visa because the airlines will not transfer it for you. For that reason you have to collect the luggage yourself and check it in for your final flight. In order to collect it you have to pass passport control for which you need a visa (many countries get it upon arrival and free). These policies are subject to change without a notice. Check with your airlines to find out whether they transfer luggage.
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.
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 (close to the airport). 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).
A number of bus services operate in Dushanbe, however there is not much clarity which one goes to where.
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 TJS1, while private cars are much quicker and cost TJS3. 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 and retro way of getting around the city. Dushanbe has a few trolleybus lines running (no. 4 is one of the main ones, between the centre and the circus). Strictly a card is required to use the trolleybus, which can be loaded up with somoni. However, it's not the most user-friendly and it's much easier to offer the driver 1 somoni cash per ride (it's not actually legal for them to accept cash but almost all drivers do), the driver will usually either pocket it or let you on for free.
Within Dushanbe it is best to take a taxi, usually it should not be more than TJS30.
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. It is essential to know "straight ahead," "to the left," and "to the right" in Russian or Tajik.
The centre 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 coloured 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 (Close to Hotel Avesto). 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, (Close to Hyatt Regency Dushanbe).
- 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 [dead link] 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 Museum of Antiquities (Национальный музей древности Республики Таджикистан) (on the main square near the Sadbarg shopping center). It is quite old fashioned and includes a number of exhibits that detail the country's history. It is great for historians of contemporary Tajikistan and the current President, but only if they speak Russian or Tajik, as there are very few English signs. The museum is very poorly funded (there is a man who follows you to turn off the lights after you are finished with an exhibit room) and rather underwhelming. One of the highlight is the statue of Khatlonskogo's Sleeping Buddha which height is 14 m, found at the excavations in 1966 in south of the country.
- 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 Hissar (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 cab for around TJS80. 10 km out of the city). Rebuilt 13th century fort and madrassa. It is a must-see and includes small museums of ancient Tajik culture. It was destroyed by Soviet troops in their hunt for Enver Pasha. 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 downtown Dushanbe 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 all of Tajikistan, 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.
- Georgia Cafe. 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.
- La Grande Dame. The only French restaurant in the city. Serves good steaks and other food at a hefty price. Popular with consultants with hefty per diems. On the corner of Bukhoro and Shevchenko.
- Kellers. A nice, well-hidden restaurant that serves European and Chinese style food (although the lines between the two are often blurred). Also, the home made beer (TJS3) is well worth trying. It is on the left side of Somoni street near Rudaki end, at the side of a block of flats.
- 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.
- Beer gardens: 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 somani 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.
- Irish Pub: A brand-new, Irish pub serving Guinness in a can with Irish charm (considering this is Central Asia). Unfortunately the enterprising owners of this restaurant have discovered that foreigners are willing to pay absurd amounts for a Guinness, and now one can costs TJS40 (other beers cost around TJS10). To find it, go to the Gurminj museum, head south to the corner and turn left.
- 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.
- Adventurer's Inn, ul. Pulod Tolis (ул. Пулод Толис) 5/11
- 1 Atlas B&B (Гостиница Атлас), 63, Mirzo Rizo (ул. Мирзо Ризо), ✉ email@example.com. Very good Tajik Guesthouse. US$80.
- 2 Almos hotel, 6, Mirzo Rizo str (ул. Мирзо Ризо), ☏ , , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (2014).
- 3 Avesto (Гостиница Авесто), Ave. Rudaki (пр. Рудаки), 105 А, ☏ , .
- Guest house Bakhor (Гостевой дом Бахор), Ul. Karamova (ул. Карамова) З, ☏ .
- 4 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.
- Gulistan Tour Hotel, ul. Bukhoro (ул. Бухоро) 78, ☏ , , . US$90-120 per room (2014).
- 5 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 (2014).
- 6 Hyatt Regency Dushanbe (Хаятт Ридженси Душанбе), Prospekt Ismoili Somoni 26/1 (in City Park, near Lake Komsomol), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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 (2014).
- 7 [dead link] Lotus Hotel (Гостиница Лотус), Perviy Proezd Lokhuti (Первый проезд Лохути), 5 (500 m east of Opera), ☏ , , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Free Wi-Fi, a fitness centre From $80.
- 8 [formerly dead link] Guesthouse Firyz (Гостевой дом Фируз), Proezd Muhammad (проезд Н.Мухаммад) 6/3, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Tajik kitchen open 08:00-20:00.. Twelve rooms. All rooms have a bathroom, telephone, TV, mini-bar, air conditioning, hair dryer. Triple US$90.
- 9 Istiqlol Hotel (Гостиница Истиклол), 12, Sportivnaya str (Улица Спортивная), ☏ , , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Single/double from US$161/185.
- Komron (Гостиница Комрон+П), Karabaeva (1 проезд Н.Карабаева) 11, Apt 3 (кв.№3), ☏ , .
- 10 Marians Guesthouse (Гостевой дом Marians), Shohtemur St (ул. Шотемур) 67/1 (Close to the Children's Park).
- Hotel Oriyo, ul. Karamova (ул. Карамова ),4, ☏ , .
- Poytakht Hotel (Пойтахт ***), Rudaki ave. (Проспект Рудаки) 7. - T.: +992 44 600-3448, +992 37 221-9655, F.: +992 44 600-3494, +992 37 223-2019
- 11 [dead link] Yeti Hostel, Gafurova Street (ул. Гафурова), 34, Bldg 1 (7 km northwest from the city center, near Aquapark "Dolphin"), ☏ , , , ✉ email@example.com. Two four-bed rooms, one eight-bed room. 24-hour front desk staff, free WiFi, free safety box, non-smoking policy, airport pick up/drop off service Dorm US$20.
- 12 Serena Hotel (Отель Серена), 14 Rudaki Ave (Проспект Рудаки 14) (Next to National Museum), ☏ , ✉ Reservations.firstname.lastname@example.org. Deluxe US$230, Executive $280, Executive Suite $360.
- SAAF (СААФ **), (ул. Профессора Хусейнзаде) 1, T: +992 37 223-13-52, F.: : +992 37 223-13-51
- 13 Hotel Sino (Гостиница Сино), Shevchenko Street ( ул. Шевченко), 75-26, ☏ . Single/double from US$92/115 (2014).
- 14 Hotel Taj Palace (Asia Grand Hotel, Гостиничный комплекс Тадж-Палас), Mirzo Tursunzoda Street (Улица Турсунзаде) 21a,b (NE two blocks from Opera), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Standard single/double US$120/150, Junior single/double US$150/180, Deluxe US$250. Breakfast US$6-7, lunch US$15-18.
- Takhti Shohi Hotel (Гостиница Тахти Шохи), 3, Loiq Sherali Str. (ул. Лоик Шерали) (Close to Botanical Garden), ☏ , . 6 standard rooms; 22 superior rooms Standard single/double US$72/96, Superior single/double $84/108.
- 15 Tajikistan Hotel, 22, Shotemur Str. (City centre: 1 km). Sinhle/double from US$196/380.
- 16 Tadzhikmatlubot (Таджикматлубот **), Rudaki ave. (Проспект Рудаки) , 137, ☏ .
- 17 Hotel Twins (Гостиница Твинс), Adkhamova Street (ул. Адхамова), 21 (NE half km from Shahmansur Market), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Wide-screen TV, discount for 3 days+ orders, free Wifi Deluxe single/double/double+ From US$94/110, a suite from US$160.
- 18 Gastnitsa Vakhsh, Rudaki ave. (Проспект Рудаки), 24 (Just next to the opera), ☏ , . Check-out: 12:00. Nice, clean and centrally located. The staff might try to sell you to more expensive. All rooms have a bathroom and a TV while some of the rooms have nice balconies toward the square in front of the Opera. Some English and German is spoken at the reception (sometimes). dorm TJS60, double TJS120, suite TJS180.
- 19 Vefa Center Hotel (Апарт Отель VEFA), Bokhtar str.(ул. Бохтар), 37/1, ☏ , , , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 (2014).
- 20 [dead link] Dushanbe Hostel Latifa, Rahmon Nabiyev, 2. proezd, dom 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.
- Rohat, проспект Рудаки, 24 (across the road from the Opera & Ballet Theater), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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).
- 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 is 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.