Khujand (called Leninabad in the Soviet period) is a city in Tajikistan.
Khujand is the second largest city in Tajikistan (163,000 inhabitants), in the Ferghana Valley on both banks of the Syr Darya river, known in ancient times as the Jaxartes.
Khujand is an old city, having been founded by Alexander the Great in 329 BCE as Alexandria Eschate (furthest Alexandria). It sits on the historic Silk Road in a strategic position, at the exit of the valley, where it can tax trade and resist invasions. Khujand was a moderately important trading city on that route for centuries.
- 1 [dead link] Khujand Airport (LBD IATA) (in Buston, Gafurov district, 10 km from Khujand). is an international airport. Often is referred to by its Soviet name - Chkalovsk, formerly known as Leninabad (during the Soviet era). Khujand airport has many flights to Russia.
Shared taxis and marshrutkas to Dushanbe, Penjikent, Istaravshan and other southern Tajikistan destinations depart from the central bus station (avtovokzal). The ride to Dushanbe cost 120 Somoni in a shared taxi (2017).
Marshrutkas and taxis to the Uzbekistan border depart from the northern bus station. Taxi to Oybek post should cost about 50-80 Somoni.
From Osh: it's a bit of a trek but not too difficult. Go to the new bus station (not the Stariy Avtovokzal by the bazaar), officially Oshskiy Avtovokzal. About 45 minutes walk from the bazaar, north. Take a marshrutka for 307 som (yes, 307 exactly) to Batken (the drive is stunning, get a window seat if you can). From there get a shared taxi to the border (50 som, haggle) and then another to Isfara (5 somoni), and then another to Khujand (20-25 somoni, haggle hard. Some of them will try to fleece you for 20 USD).
Taxi should cost not more than 10 Somoni for any destination in the city. Taxi to the airport costs about 30 Somoni. There are plenty of marshrutkas as well (1 Somon per journey in 2017). The young people know English quite well, and some know German.
- 1 Somoni Park, Ave Ismoili Somoni. Monument to Ismail Somoni is located on the right bank of Syrdarya. It stands on top of a hill surrounded by fountains. There is a color and music show every evening.
- 2 Mausoleum of Sheikh Muslihiddin (Мавзолей Шейха Муслихиддина), Sharq Street (next to Panchshanbe Bazaar). The resting place of Sheikh Muslihiddin, author of important Islamic text Sahih e Bukhari.
- 3 Panjshanbe Bazaar (Рынок "Панчшанбе"). 07:00-20:00 daily. Nice Stalin-era building and a good place for shopping local food.
- 4 Historical Museum of Sughd Region (Осорхонаи таърихии вилояти Суғд), ☏ . 08:00-16:00 Tu-Su, closed M. Possibly the biggest standout here is the building the museum is housed in, the reconstructed Khujand Fortress/citadel from approximately the X century, but the museum too is quite remarkable, tracing the history of the area from the time of Alexander the Great. Part of the gallery is built within the reconstructed wall.
- 5 Kamoli Khujand Park (Боги ба номи К. Худжанди). Site of a mausoleum-like building with earth from the grave of the poet Kamal Khujandi, three music stages with beautiful wooden carvings, springs and a reconstructed house exhibit of a rich Tajik from Khujand. Also where you can catch the tramway (Kanatnaya Doroga) over the river.
- 6 Arbob Palace (Дворец культуры «Арбоб»). A government building that was originally built in the 1950s as headquarters for a Soviet kolkhoz (collective farm). It was modeled after the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and is where the independence of Tajikistan and flag design were drafted. Probably not a place you can just go snooping around snapping photos ad nauseam though.
- 7 Independence day monument. A stele next to the river and a very tall Tajik flagpole. Just to the east of here is a monument to the illustrious poet Rudaki, a founder of classical Persian literature.
- Theater "Xudƶandi". Interesting Soviet-era building on a beautiful place with springs and restaurants.
- Cultural center Interesting building in an pseudo-ancient (and also bling-bling) style for weddings and any kind of cultural parties of the city. It is on the left river bank beside the main bridge.
- Eat local cheap food.
- 1 Kanatnaya Doroga (Канатная дорога). 10:00-22:00 daily. Ride an aerial tramway between Kamoli Khujand Park and Somoni Park, over the Syr Darya River. This is right next to the Leninabad Hotel.
- 1 Leninabad (Sugdiyon (Сугдиён)), ☏ . Economical Soviet-era hotel that just underwent renovation. Double room with private shower costs 330 somonis for foreigners (100 somoni for citizens of CIS, 80 somoni for tajiks). Lift is not working. The left luggage service costs 2 somoni. The hotel is located on right bank of Syrdarya near the river.
- 2 Somoni-Hostel, Ave Ismoili Somoni 7a, ☏ . If you're looking for something very budget, this might work. Might be kind of basic but location is good, next to museum and parks and river, plus there's breakfast. 186 SM.
There is a Kairakum reservoir on Syrdarya river. To get there you should takt marshrutka #40, #40A near Panchshanbe market (2,5 somoni, 30 minutes). There is a small beach with infrastructure and eateries near dam, and a lot of sandy beaches further. Water is good and warm, though beaches themselves could be dirty.
Dushanbe: There are only shared taxis going from Khujand to Dushanbe. The cost seems to vary between 60 and 120 somoni depending on the time of day, week, waiting time and type of car. The roads have been much improved from 2005, and a 2WD is (May 2019) as good as a 4WD. Drivers do not tend to rip tourists off for this route as the competition is so high. Haggling is possible within about 20 somoni on any given day. The drive takes 4-5 hours depending on whether the drivers stop for lunch, and the views of the Fan Mountains are stunning. Talk of the Anzob Tunnel being risky is outdated, the infrastructure in the "Tunnel of Death" is improved now and its reputation is no longer deserved, although cycling or walking through would be a very bad idea.