20 best sights in Tajikistan


Tajik­istan is a small coun­try in Cen­tral Asia, famous for its ancient mosques, beau­ti­ful palaces, mag­nif­i­cent moun­tain land­scapes and fast rivers.


What to do in Tajikistan

Set­tle­ments on the site of mod­ern Tajik­istan were formed even before the begin­ning of our era. The state, locat­ed on the Great Silk Road, attracts tourists with archae­o­log­i­cal sites, orig­i­nal archi­tec­ture of east­ern cities, medieval tow­ers, mosques. Peo­ple come here to see the Hissar fortress, the mau­soleum of Abu-Abdol­lo Ruda­ki, the ancient set­tle­ment of Mugtep­pa, the Khavzi-San­gin mosque.

The cul­tur­al her­itage of Tajik­istan is care­ful­ly pre­served in muse­ums. His­tor­i­cal exhi­bi­tions are con­cen­trat­ed in Dushanbe, telling about the nation­al char­ac­ter­is­tics of this peo­ple. Among the exhibits are ceram­ics, weapons, man­u­scripts of famous Tajik sci­en­tists, philoso­phers and poets.

Var­i­ous fes­ti­vals are held annu­al­ly in Tajik­istan:

  • The fes­ti­val of nation­al cui­sine and bal­loons is very pop­u­lar. For sev­er­al days in the cap­i­tal there are culi­nary mas­ter class­es, fairs, food tast­ing, music con­certs. The high­light of the hol­i­day is bal­loons dec­o­rat­ing the city sky.
  • In sum­mer, the Roof of the World fes­ti­val starts in Khorog, gath­er­ing lovers of eth­nic music. A stage is set up on the street, par­tic­i­pants show inter­est­ing num­bers and exchange cul­tur­al tra­di­tions. The pro­gram includes the­atri­cal and vocal per­for­mances, dances, fire­works.

More than 93% of the ter­ri­to­ry of Tajik­istan is occu­pied by moun­tains. The coun­try is crossed by the Altai, Turkestan, Gis­sar ranges and the Pamir moun­tain sys­tem with peaks of sev­en thou­sand meters. Such a land­scape attracts active peo­ple and pro­fes­sion­al climbers. Local firms offer walk­ing routes for 3–7 days. The manda­to­ry pro­gram includes moun­tain climb­ing, meals, overnight stays in tourist bases and camp­sites.

In Tajik­istan, every­one will find some­thing to their lik­ing. Tourists go to explore moun­tain lakes, hot springs of Garm­chash­ma, rapid rivers. Vivid impres­sions will be pro­vid­ed by vis­it­ing ori­en­tal bazaars and restau­rants, as well as a trip to the cap­i­tal’s zoo.

Interesting places

Dusti Square

ploshad dusti

In the cen­ter of Dushanbe, the main square of Tajik­istan — Dusti flaunts. It is a wide green esplanade extend­ing from the mon­u­men­tal mon­u­ment to Ismail Samani to the Dushan­bin­ka Riv­er. The archi­tec­tur­al ensem­ble ded­i­cat­ed to the founder of the first Tajik state con­sists of a huge arch inlaid with sta­lac­tites. Its top is crowned with a gold­en crown.

In front of the arch ris­es a thir­teen-meter sculp­ture of Ismail Samani with a scepter in his right hand. The mon­u­ment is guard­ed by two for­mi­da­ble stone lions. A cas­cade of musi­cal foun­tains with col­ored illu­mi­na­tion is installed along the esplanade.

Mugteppa settlement

gorodishe mugteppa

In the north of Tajik­istan is the city of Istar­avshan, found­ed in the VI cen­tu­ry BC. Today it is a tourist cen­ter that attracts guests with ancient mosques, car­a­vanserais, and mau­soleums.

The archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ment of the Achaemenid era, found on the banks of the Nizhon Riv­er, is espe­cial­ly pop­u­lar. The set­tle­ment of Mugtep­pa, built in the XII-IV cen­turies BC, is well pre­served. Tourists can see frag­ments of streets and squares, palaces, columns, gates, and the remains of defen­sive for­ti­fi­ca­tions.



Khu­jand, spread out on the banks of the Syr Darya, has a his­to­ry of many thou­sands of years. This is one of the old­est cities in Cen­tral Asia, which was con­quered by Alexan­der the Great, Genghis Khan, Arabs — but it has always been reborn from the ash­es. Of the sights of Khu­jand, the mosque-mau­soleum of Sheikh Mus­li­hid­din, the Ortho­dox Church of Mary Mag­da­lene, the medieval citadel and the mon­u­ment to the poet Kamol Khu­jan­di on the main square are of great val­ue.



The city of Pen­jikent was an impor­tant trade and cul­tur­al cen­ter on the Great Silk Road. On the left side of the Zer­avshan Riv­er, the ancient city of Sarazm, dat­ing back to the 5th-8th cen­turies, has been pre­served. The mon­u­ment is of great his­tor­i­cal impor­tance and shows what was the struc­ture of medieval cities in Cen­tral Asia.

Dur­ing the exca­va­tions, sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered a large necrop­o­lis, the remains of squares and streets, old hous­es dec­o­rat­ed with paint­ings by Sog­di­an mas­ters. The list of finds includes bronze and sil­ver coins, pot­tery, shards cov­ered with ancient writ­ings.

Architectural and historical sights

Khujand fortress

hundgaiska krepost

In the his­tor­i­cal part of Khu­jand, the for­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem of the city, found­ed in the 6th-5th cen­turies BC, has been pre­served. Ini­tial­ly, the citadel was sur­round­ed by a ram­part, lat­er thick walls and a moat filled with water appeared. Dur­ing the inva­sion of Genghis Khan, the fortress was destroyed. It lay in ruins until the 15th cen­tu­ry. After it was restored by the local ruler and arranged his res­i­dence inside.

The mod­ern fortress has been restored and wel­comes tourists. There is a muse­um and a sou­venir shop on its ter­ri­to­ry.

Mosque Masjidi Jami

mechet masdgidi

On the Pan­jshanbe square in Khu­jand stands the Masji­di Jami mosque dat­ing back to the 16th cen­tu­ry. Its dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture is a large vault­ed hall with numer­ous columns. The main entrance and the wall above the mihrab are paint­ed with bright col­ors. The inte­ri­ors are dec­o­rat­ed with carved orna­ments with geo­met­ric motifs.

Famous archi­tects of the Mus­lim world were involved in the dec­o­ra­tion. The mosque is com­ple­ment­ed by a high burnt brick minaret with a tra­di­tion­al lantern and arched spans. There is a foun­tain in the court­yard.

Palace of the Nation

dvorec nacii

In the heart of Dushanbe ris­es the huge res­i­dence of the Pres­i­dent of the coun­try, designed for offi­cial meet­ings and events. The beau­ti­ful white build­ing is dec­o­rat­ed with thin mar­ble columns, arched win­dows, carved pat­terns. The facade is crowned with a gild­ed dome, over which the nation­al flag flut­ters. The Palace of the Nation com­plex includes the square in front of the main entrance, Ruda­ki Park, the Nation­al Muse­um and the Library.

Hissar fortress

gissarskaya krepost

In the west of the repub­lic lies the Gis­sar Val­ley, through which the Great Silk Road passed in ancient times. In the val­ley is the vil­lage of Gis­sar, found­ed 2.5 thou­sand years ago. The medieval madras­sah and the Hissar fortress remind of the old times.

The cen­turies-old citadel has thick bat­tle­ments and round mul­ti-stage tow­ers with nar­row loop­holes. The struc­ture was par­tial­ly destroyed, but retained its majes­tic and for­mi­da­ble appear­ance.

Khawzi Sangin Mosque

mechet havsi sangin

In Istar­avshan, the Khavzi San­gin mosque, erect­ed by order of the Sul­tan in the 12th cen­tu­ry, has been pre­served. Its walls are made of stone quar­ried from a local reser­voir.

The domed mosque con­sists of a round­ed hall sup­port­ed by columns. Wood­en vaults are cov­ered with paint­ings and orig­i­nal orna­ments. Earth­en­ware jars with­out a bot­tom are mount­ed in the dome, pro­vid­ing excel­lent acoustics. At the begin­ning of the last cen­tu­ry, the Khavzi San­gin Mosque was restored, and now it is in good con­di­tion.

Mausoleum of Rudaki

mechet rudaki

For more than a thou­sand years, peo­ple did not know where the bur­ial place of the great poet and sci­en­tist Ruda­ki was locat­ed. In 1940, archae­ol­o­gists final­ly unearthed the tomb, on the site of which they built a beau­ti­ful mau­soleum in the tra­di­tion­al Islam­ic style.

The attrac­tion is locat­ed in the small vil­lage of Pan­jrud among the pic­turesque moun­tains and green forests. A wide stone stair­case leads to the mau­soleum, the entrance is marked by a large Per­sian arch and wood­en gates. Behind them is a mul­ti­fac­eted red brick build­ing with a blue dome. Inside there is a mar­ble sar­coph­a­gus with the remains of the poet.



In the vil­lage of Mehro­bod, the Khul­buk archi­tec­tur­al com­plex, which is part of the ancient set­tle­ment of Khishtepa, has been pre­served. A muse­um-reserve has been opened on its ter­ri­to­ry.

Tourists are shown a rec­tan­gu­lar citadel, sur­round­ed by fif­teen-meter walls, and a palace made of baked bricks. It con­tained wall paint­ings, ter­ra­cot­ta par­quet and even plumb­ing. On the tour you can see ancient coins, sam­ples of edged weapons, as well as house­hold items that char­ac­ter­ize life in medieval Asia.


National Museum of Tajikistan

nac musei

In 2013, the Dushanbe Muse­um of Local Lore received a new two-sto­ry build­ing in the city cen­ter. It con­sists of 22 expo­si­tion depart­ments. Among them: the hall of nature, depart­ments of applied and fine arts, ancient, medieval and mod­ern his­to­ry. The col­lec­tions include archae­o­log­i­cal finds, nation­al clothes, pot­tery, antique fur­ni­ture, antique car­pets, paint­ings, stuffed ani­mals and birds, and even skele­tons of pre­his­toric ani­mals.

Museum of Antiquities

nac musei drevnostei

There is a nation­al muse­um of antiq­ui­ties of Tajik­istan in the cap­i­tal. Its exhi­bi­tions are reg­u­lar­ly replen­ished with archae­o­log­i­cal and ethno­graph­ic exhibits from all over the coun­try. Ceram­ics, ear­ly print­ed books, man­u­scripts, sil­ver coins, weapons, and jew­el­ry are pre­sent­ed to the atten­tion of the guests. The list of unique exhibits includes a twelve-meter clay fig­ure of Bud­dha, dis­cov­ered by archae­ol­o­gists dur­ing the exca­va­tions of Aji­na-tepa, and arti­facts from the ancient set­tle­ment of Sarazm.

Natural attractions and reserves



In the south of the West­ern Pamirs there are hot min­er­al springs that come to the sur­face of the earth with vio­lent foun­tains. Water is col­lect­ed in a kind of recess­es in the form of baths, the banks of which are cov­ered with frozen sta­lag­mites and sta­lac­tites.

The chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion of water is sat­u­rat­ed with sil­i­con, hydro­gen sul­fide, flu­o­rine, iron, mag­ne­sium. Here, at an alti­tude of 2000 meters above sea lev­el, the health resort of Garm­chash­ma was built. The sana­to­ri­um spe­cial­izes in the treat­ment of res­pi­ra­to­ry, der­ma­to­log­i­cal and joint dis­eases.



The reserve on the slope of the Dar­vaz Range with a length of 19.7 thou­sand hectares includes beau­ti­ful rocks and wood­ed hills. It is intend­ed to con­serve the pop­u­la­tion of the mark­hor and the Cen­tral Asian mou­flon. Dashti­jum Nation­al Park is a pop­u­lar tourist attrac­tion.

Hik­ing trails are laid through the pic­turesque hills. From Novem­ber to Decem­ber, in agree­ment with the man­age­ment of the reserve, pho­to hunt­ing is car­ried out for ani­mals list­ed in the Red Book.



In the Fann Moun­tains, at an alti­tude of 2195 meters above sea lev­el, there is Lake Iskan­derkul. Its area is 3.4 km², the depth is 72 meters. The oval lake is filled with bicar­bon­ate-cal­ci­um water, which is good for health. On the shore there is a Tajik weath­er sta­tion and a lime­stone rock, on which Russ­ian trav­el­ers left inscrip­tions in 1870.



Lake Karakul, sur­round­ed by rocky ridges, is locat­ed at an alti­tude of 3214 meters above sea lev­el in the north of the Pamir Range. Sci­en­tists came to the con­clu­sion that it arose about 25 mil­lion years ago as a result of the fall of a huge mete­orite. This is a salty drain­less lake, divid­ed into two parts by a penin­su­la and an island. In win­ter, the water freezes com­plete­ly, and in sum­mer it always remains cold.

Peo­ple with good phys­i­cal fit­ness who are not afraid of climb­ing moun­tains can get here. Trav­el­ers should stock up on warm clothes, as an icy wind blows at the top.


Aquapark “Dolphin”

aqua park

A water park has been built on the out­skirts of Dushanbe, which oper­ates dur­ing the hot sea­son. Out­doors there are three adult and two chil­dren’s pools. For thrill-seek­ers, high-speed attrac­tions Kamikaze, Ser­pen­tine, Black Hole, Space Odyssey, Mul­ti­slide are intend­ed.

For kids there are water can­nons and small slides. Near the pools there is a recre­ation area with sunbeds, umbrel­las, cafes. Vis­i­tors can hire a swim­ming instruc­tor and a chil­dren’s enter­tain­er.

Botanical Garden of Tajikistan

bot sad

A botan­i­cal gar­den has been plant­ed in Dushanbe along the Dushan­bin­ka Riv­er. The main entrance leads peo­ple to a glass green­house. Numer­ous alleys extend from it, laid in dif­fer­ent parts of the botan­i­cal gar­den.

Since 2007, an ethno­graph­ic reserve has been estab­lished among trees and shrubs. It hous­es tra­di­tion­al Tajik hous­es, pot­tery and weav­ing work­shops. The botan­i­cal gar­den hosts exhi­bi­tions of folk art and oth­er cul­tur­al events.



A zoo has been opened on Ismail Somoni Avenue in Dushanbe, cov­er­ing an area of ​​6.7 hectares. To date, it con­tains 130 species of ani­mals. All ani­mals live in nor­mal con­di­tions. Spa­cious enclo­sures are pro­vid­ed for preda­tors, pens for artio­dactyls.

A huge nurs­ery was built espe­cial­ly for mon­keys. The snakes live in a ter­rar­i­um. The Dushanbe zoo has a large play area for chil­dren, cafes and sou­venir shops.


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