17 Best Landmarks in Turkmenistan


Turk­menistan is one of the most closed coun­tries in the world. Get­ting here is a great suc­cess, but the local attrac­tions are worth it.


What to do in Turkmenistan

Archi­tec­ture lovers will cer­tain­ly enjoy the local palaces. Ori­en­tal­ly tra­di­tion­al, they are made of mod­ern mate­ri­als. For exam­ple, Oguzhan is the res­i­dence of the pres­i­dent. Get­ting inside for obvi­ous rea­sons will not work. But in order to appre­ci­ate the beau­ty of the struc­ture of mar­ble with gold trim, it will be enough to exam­ine the exte­ri­or and walk through the giant adja­cent park.

A vis­it to the ancient cities will be a great expe­ri­ence for those who are inter­est­ed in his­to­ry. Nisa impress­es with the ruins of the fortress. Merv — frag­ments of well-planned quar­ters. And Dehis­tan is a whole his­tor­i­cal reserve with the remains of mosques and mau­soleums.

Nat­ur­al sights await adven­ture seek­ers and con­tem­pla­tive rest lovers. In the Dar­vaza gas crater, the flame has not gone out for 50 years. In the Yan­gi-Kala canyon, you can walk along the bot­tom of the pre­his­toric sea and admire the unusu­al rocks with a red tint. There is a min­er­al under­ground lake with hot water in the Bakhard­en cave.


Ruhiet Palace


The Palace of Con­gress­es and Arts was built in Ash­ga­bat in 1999 by order of the then Pres­i­dent Niya­zov. The high­light of the archi­tec­tur­al com­plex is turquoise domes with eth­nic pat­terns at the base. There is a foun­tain in front of the facade. The image of the palace is placed on the local ban­knote of 20 man­ats.

This mon­u­men­tal build­ing hosts con­gress­es, recep­tions of heads of state, forums, high-lev­el meet­ings and oth­er offi­cial events. The inte­ri­ors are equipped with advanced tech­ni­cal equip­ment.

Dur­ing the peri­od of polit­i­cal calm, exhi­bi­tions and con­certs are orga­nized in the palace. The main dec­o­ra­tion of the inte­ri­or space is the “Pres­i­dent” car­pet of cyclo­pean dimen­sions 14×21 m and weigh­ing over 1 ton.

Palace complex Oguzhan

dvorcovi kompleks ogushan

The res­i­dence of the Turk­men pres­i­dent was built in just 3 years. The area of ​​the Ori­en­tal-style palace is approx­i­mate­ly 16,000 square meters. m, the height of the walls reach­es 45 m. A cas­cade foun­tain is equipped next to the facade.

The inte­ri­ors are fin­ished with pre­cious woods, mar­ble and gran­ite. To dec­o­rate some rooms, Turk­men craftswomen hand-made 14 car­pets.

The palace hosts nego­ti­a­tions and meet­ings at the high­est lev­el. You can’t go inside, but you can take a walk in the adja­cent park with an area of ​​​​about 7 hectares.

Wedding Palace Bagt Koshgi

dvorec brakosochetanii

An unusu­al 11-storey build­ing was erect­ed in 2011 in Ash­ga­bat. The con­struc­tion con­sists of three parts, each of which is made in the form of an eight-point­ed star. The con­struc­tion is crowned with a cube, inside of which a giant ball with a diam­e­ter of 32 m is placed. A map of Turk­menistan is applied to its sur­face.

You can enter the palace from four sides. The inte­ri­or decor is in typ­i­cal local style. The palace has six halls for solemn mar­riages, two restau­rants (for 500 and 100 seats), sev­en ban­quet halls, two cafes, a hotel with 20 rooms, sev­er­al beau­ty salons, car rental and about 40 shops that sell every­thing for orga­niz­ing a wed­ding cel­e­bra­tion. .

Monument of Independence

monument nesavisimoati

A mon­u­ment embody­ing the inde­pen­dence of Turk­menistan was opened in Ash­ga­bat in 2001. The archi­tec­tur­al com­po­si­tion is a 118-meter stele with a cres­cent and five stars on top — they sym­bol­ize the 5 main tribes of the coun­try.

The base is made in the form of a nomad’s yurt, inside there is the Muse­um of Inde­pen­dence. It con­tains arti­facts relat­ed to the for­ma­tion of Turk­menistan as an inde­pen­dent state.

A long alley leads to the mon­u­ment. At its begin­ning, a mon­u­ment to the first Pres­i­dent S. Niya­zov was erect­ed. Next to it are images of anoth­er 27 heroes of the coun­try. The com­plex is notable for the abun­dance of gild­ing in the decor.

religious buildings

Turkmenbashi Mosque

mechet turkmenbashi

The most impor­tant mosque in Turk­menistan, opened in 2004, has sev­er­al achieve­ments at once. It is the largest mosque in Cen­tral Asia and the largest one-domed mosque in the world.

The build­ing area is about 7,000 sq. m, and the entire reli­gious com­plex — about 18 thou­sand. The height of the build­ing is 55 m, and the four minarets sur­round­ing it are 91 m. This num­ber is not acci­den­tal — it sym­bol­izes the year when Turk­menistan became an inde­pen­dent state. Eight arched gates lead inside, next to each there is a foun­tain.

The white mar­ble walls are dec­o­rat­ed with say­ings from the Koran and quo­ta­tions from S. Niya­zov’s book “Rukhna­ma”. Up to 10,000 peo­ple can pray in the mosque at the same time. Next to the build­ing is the mau­soleum of the first pres­i­dent of the coun­try.

Ertogrulgazy Mosque

mechet ertogrulgasi

The most beau­ti­ful and largest mosque in Ash­ga­bat was built in 1989. Its appear­ance shows the fea­tures of the Turk­ish style, and the name is a trib­ute to the great ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Ertogrul.

Up to 5,000 peo­ple can pray in the tem­ple at the same time. Many believ­ers believe that the Ertogrul­gazy Mosque resem­bles the famous Blue Mosque in Istan­bul.

ancient cities



Not far from Ash­ga­bat are the ruins of the city of Nisa, the for­mer cap­i­tal of the Parthi­an king­dom, which exist­ed in the 2nd cen­tu­ry BC. Tourists can see the remains of the fortress. The thick­ness of its walls reached 9 m, and 43 bas­tions made the cap­ture of the citadel almost impos­si­ble.

On the ter­ri­to­ry of the fortress stood a palace, a trea­sury and facil­i­ties for stor­ing food. Dur­ing archae­o­log­i­cal exca­va­tions, sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered frag­ments of ceram­ics, weapons, sculp­tures and house­hold items.



The ruins of the ancient city of Cen­tral Asia are locat­ed near the mod­ern city of Bayra­mali. The first build­ings appeared here in the era of the Mar­gian civ­i­liza­tion (about the 2nd mil­len­ni­um BC). Over time, the city became one of the strong­holds of the Parthi­an king­dom. It was sur­round­ed by 7 rings of fortress walls.

The set­tle­ment reached its peak dur­ing the peri­od of Arab rule. Under Sul­tan San­jar, Merv became the cap­i­tal of the Seljukids (XII cen­tu­ry). It is believed that the philoso­pher Omar Khayyam lived here for some time. On the ter­ri­to­ry of Merv, frag­ments of sev­er­al mosques, mau­soleums and the remains of fortress walls have been pre­served.



Sev­er­al cities were locat­ed in the once flour­ish­ing oasis. One of them was Dehis­tan, found­ed in the 3rd cen­tu­ry BC. e. It is the best pre­served com­pared to its neigh­bors. Tourists come to see the remains of the fortress walls made of baked clay, 25-meter tow­ers of minarets and the tomb of Shir-Kabir. On the walls of the mau­soleum, you can still see col­or­ful draw­ings.

An archae­o­log­i­cal reserve oper­ates on the ter­ri­to­ry of Dehis­tan. There are unique mon­u­ments of ancient archi­tec­ture, includ­ing the Mashad necrop­o­lis and the Mashad-ata mosque, which has crossed the 1000-year mark.


kunia urgench

Once this city stood on the Great Silk Road. This loca­tion made it pros­per­ous and rich. The exact date of the found­ing of Kun­ya-Urgench is unknown, but men­tions of it are already found in Zoroas­tri­an books. Then it was the cap­i­tal of the state of Khorezm.

In the 10th cen­tu­ry, thanks to the Samanids, the city received a new name — Gur­ganj. Most of the build­ings that have sur­vived to this day date back to the 11th-16th cen­turies. These are mau­soleums, a mosque, a car­a­vanserai and a fortress. Made in a spe­cial man­ner, these build­ings influ­enced the devel­op­ment of archi­tec­ture in neigh­bor­ing Iran and Afghanistan.

natural attractions

Gas crater Darvaza

gasovi krater

The fiery crater, pop­u­lar­ly referred to as the “Gates of Hell”, was formed in 1971. While drilling, geol­o­gists stum­bled upon a void. There was a col­lapse, and all the equip­ment fell into the abyss.

A fun­nel with a diam­e­ter of 60 m and a depth of more than 20 m was formed, from which gas began to ooze. To pro­tect peo­ple and graz­ing live­stock, it was decid­ed to set it on fire. Geol­o­gists believed that it would quick­ly burn out, but the flame still con­tin­ues to blaze and attract crowds of curi­ous peo­ple.

Dinosaur Plateau


A rel­a­tive­ly small plateau 300x400 m is locat­ed near the vil­lage of Khodzhapil. It is com­plete­ly dot­ted with dinosaur paw prints (about 3000 tracks) and paths along which ancient giants moved. The age of the pale­on­to­log­i­cal attrac­tion is about 200 mil­lion years.

Once upon a time there was a swamp in this place, which dried up, pet­ri­fied and pre­served a unique mes­sage from pre­his­toric times for peo­ple. There are no ana­logues to this plateau any­where else in the world.

Canyon Yangi-Kala

kanion yangi

Mil­lions of years ago, the sea lapped at this place. Then it dried up and exposed the rocks, which the wind gave an unusu­al shape. Peo­ple who came to this area mil­len­nia lat­er called them Yan­gi-Kala (Fiery fortress­es).

It’s all about the col­or of the rock and the shape of the rocks — nat­ur­al for­ma­tions real­ly resem­ble bas­tions grow­ing out of the ground. They shim­mer in red, bur­gundy, pur­ple, yel­low and brown. These shades look espe­cial­ly beau­ti­ful at sun­set.

Bakharden cave

bahardenskaya peshera

The karst cave is locat­ed about 120 km from Ash­ga­bat in the bow­els of Dugun Moun­tain. It is a stone hall over 200 m long and about 50 m wide. There, at a depth of about 55 m, there is an under­ground lake Kou-Ata. More than 30 chem­i­cal ele­ments are dis­solved in its water, and the tem­per­a­ture is sta­ble at +37 °C. The lake feeds a min­er­al spring locat­ed about 800 m from the entrance to the cave.

Repetek Reserve

repetekskii sapovednik

The bios­phere reserve with an area of ​​almost 35 hectares is locat­ed in the Karakum desert. The air here warms up to +50 °C. Mon­i­tor lizards, lizards, cara­cals, por­cu­pines, gazelles and oth­er rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fau­na live in such, at first glance, unfriend­ly nat­ur­al con­di­tions. Veg­e­ta­tion is rep­re­sent­ed by pea­cock pop­py and desert aca­cia.


National Carpet Museum

musei kovra

The muse­um, found­ed in 1993, is locat­ed in the very cen­ter of Ash­ga­bat. The area of ​​its exhi­bi­tion halls is over 13,000 sq. m. They exhib­it more than 2 thou­sand rare car­pets exclu­sive­ly hand­made from var­i­ous mate­ri­als. None of the orna­ments are repeat­ed. There are car­pets for var­i­ous pur­pos­es: for enter­ing the yurt, for dec­o­rat­ing a camel, for bur­ial, for fes­tive events, etc.

Craftswomen work­ing at the muse­um car­ry out the restora­tion of old prod­ucts, which are brought not only from all over Turk­menistan, but also from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Car­pet Day is cel­e­brat­ed here every year.

State Museum

nac musei

The insti­tu­tion was formed in 1998 as a result of the merg­er of the Muse­um of Nation­al His­to­ry and Ethnog­ra­phy with the Muse­um of Fine Arts. There are 7 per­ma­nent expo­si­tions that tell about the cul­ture, life and his­to­ry of the Turk­mens.

In total, more than 130 thou­sand exhibits are pre­sent­ed at the exhi­bi­tions. These are archae­o­log­i­cal finds from ancient cities, car­pets, nation­al clothes, jew­el­ry, weapons, house­hold items and more.


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