Best attractions in Tajikistan: Top 16

Most of our tourists know very little about the sights of Tajikistan, so they often choose other countries for their holidays. But in the world this small state is known as a tourist center, so it is worth taking your chance to see the local beauty with your own eyes. In fact, there are many things to see in Tajikistan, and our review will give you the most complete impression of them.

The main thing that attracts you here is the stunning nature and variety of landscapes. In the mountainous areas you can admire the peaks rising into the sky, gorges and huge plateaus, and on more flat areas you can make fascinating trips to national parks. Excursions in Tajikistan usually involve going outside the city limits. Although even in the cities there is something to do: tourists are interested in museums and fortifications preserved from past times. Where to go in Tajikistan, each vacationer to decide for himself, and we will try to facilitate your choice by providing information about the most popular sites.

What to see in Tajikistan first

In order for the trip to bring only good emotions and memories, it is necessary not only to have an idea about the sights of Tajikistan, but also to decide what is a priority for you - the comfort of life or the romance of the mountains. The fact that there are really good hotels only in Dushanbe, but staying in villages in the foothills of the Pamirs, you can fully experience how the locals live. Once you have decided on this point, and the composition you are going on vacation (with or without children, alone or with friends, with a loved one, etc.), start reading the list of things to see in Tajikistan.

1. Karakul Lake

Snow-capped peaks of the Tajik Pamirs around Lake Karakul

Lake Karakul - Located in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region at an altitude of more than three kilometers, this lake fascinates with its beauty of views and surpasses all other water bodies of the eastern part of the mountain range by its size (its area is 380 square kilometers). Only the sounds of nature reign here, so the inhabitants of megacities come here to take a break from the noise. Deciding whether to swim in Karakul or not, keep in mind that even in summer the water is very cold (a little over ten degrees warm). The lake has a great transparency - you can see the bottom at a depth of up to 9 meters.

2. Fann mountains

The Fann Mountains are a land of high mountain lakes and impregnable cliffs

The Fann Mountains are part of the Pamiro-Alai system to the west and are characterized by numerous rushing rivers that are ideal for rafting, as well as glaciers and pristine lakes. Both adventurous hikers and hikers who prefer trekking will enjoy it. Popular among travelers this attraction of Tajikistan makes a developed transport and tourist infrastructure. The easiest way to get through Samarkand, and on the territory of the mountain hub itself, there are equipment rental shops, hotels and establishments that offer national food for a reasonable fee.

3. Pamir

The beautiful mountain scenery of the Pamir

The Pamir is a mountain system bordering the Himalayas with three seven-kilometer peaks. Numerous glaciers have formed on the massif, and the snow from the peaks does not descend even in the warm season. Experienced climbers come here to make dangerous ascents in a harsh climate. There are special camps set up for them at different altitudes. Until now, the territory of Pamir is a source of conflict between the states of the region, but it does not affect the safety of tourists. When you travel in the mountains be sure to inform the local authorities so that in case of an avalanche or other unforeseen situation you could be found by the rescuers.

4. Flagpole Dushanbe

Flagpole with the flag of Tajikistan on the "Flag Square" in Dushanbe

Flagpole Dushanbe - Few people come to the country for a couple of days, but if you still need to know what to see in Tajikistan in 1 day, the record-breaking flagpole in the capital is sure to make the list. Its height is about 165 meters, which allows to call it the highest in the world. The national flag is mounted on a special structure near the Palace of Nations, and the cost of its construction exceeded three and a half million dollars. The design and manufacture of the elements were carried out by Dubai specialists, local workers only have to perform the installation work, which was completed seven years ago.

5. National Museum of Tajikistan

New building of the National Museum of Tajikistan

The National Museum of Tajikistan is a frequently visited place for visitors to the capital, where there is an opportunity to learn a lot about the history of the state in different eras. There are also collections devoted to geological and other expeditions (the territory of the Pamirs is still not fully explored), and the number of exhibits is constantly increasing. The building itself can be called a landmark of Tajikistan, which uses elements of the Baroque. The museum is surrounded by a park area where you can stroll and relax on the benches.

Official site:

Check out the wonderful views of Tajikistan in this fascinating video!

6. Monument to Ismail Samani in Dushanbe

Memorial Complex of National Unity of Tajikistan in Dushanbe

Monument to Ismail Samani in Dushanbe - to see this landmark of Tajikistan, which is about 25 meters high, it is enough to go to the Friendship Square in the capital. The monument was erected in 1999 as a tribute to one of the greatest emirs in the history of the country. It is considered the most “ornate” monument due to its luxurious appearance, particularly the presence of gilded elements.

7. The fortress of Khujand

Historical Museum of Sughd Region in restored Khujand Fortress

Khujand Fortress - Built in the 6th-5th centuries BC, during the raids of Genghis Khan, the fortress served as protection of the city of the same name from invaders. In order to break the defense, the khan had to involve about 75 thousand soldiers, after which the fortification complex was destroyed, but several centuries later it was restored as a government residence.

8. Hissar fortress

The main gate of Hissar fortress

Hissar fortress - this fort is often mentioned in the recommendations of what to see in Tajikistan, because its ruins are more than 2.5 thousand years old, but they are in excellent condition. The structure successfully performed a defensive function (which is quite understandable, given the thickness of the walls of more than one meter) and was used as a place of residence of the ruling dynasty.

9. Ajina-Tepa

13-meter clay statue "Buddha in Nirvana" from Ajina-Tepa Dan Lundberg

Ajina-Tepa is the site of a monastery of Buddhist followers that was excavated in the early sixties. Besides the preserved walls of the building and the belongings of the monks, the archaeologists managed to find a statue of Buddha made of clay - it has no analogues in the whole Central Asian region in terms of size.

10. Sarazm, an ancient settlement

The place of excavation of Sarazm the ancient settlement

Sarazm is an ancient settlement that was discovered by archaeologists during excavations about half a century ago. Some buildings, many tools and artefacts dating back to the 4th or 2nd century BC have been preserved here. The site is protected by UNESCO, being one of the most interesting places in the country for those who are interested in cognitive recreation.

11. Tajik National Park

One of the landscapes of the Tajik National Park

Tajik National Park - covering an area of more than two and a half million hectares, characterized by clean air and unspoiled nature, which attracts eco-tourists.

Attractions in Tajikistan: what else to visit in Tajikistan

Although the state is small in size (occupies the last place in size among the countries of the Central Asian region), the sights of Tajikistan, especially the natural ones, please with their diversity. The attractions listed below are not included in the top attractions rating, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be of interest to travelers. See what else to see in Tajikistan, and you can organize yourself a terrific vacation.

12. Kayrakkum reservoir

Tajik Sea is a popular vacation spot Dogross

Kayrakkum Reservoir, next to which are built clinics, camps for children and other obligatory attributes of traditional recreation on the shores of the reservoir. Locals call it the sea, but in fact it was artificially created about a hundred years ago. Here you can not only bathe, sunbathe and improve your health, but also go fishing or take walks, watching the birds.

13. Mountain Lake Iskanderkul

The bluish-green water of Mountain Lake Iskanderkul in the Fann Mountains

Mountain Lake Iskanderkul is a body of water whose history is linked to a variety of legends, including that King Iskander’s (Alexander the Great’s) horse died here during Ancient Macedonia. The lake is located in the center of the Fann Mountains, so if you are going to rest there, be sure to look at this picturesque place at a height of two kilometers above sea level.

14. Garmchashma Hot Spring

One of the hot mineral springs of Garmchashma Yurochkin Roman

The hot spring of Garmchashma - here you can not just enjoy bathing in hot water, but also to improve your health. The water of the spring has long been considered healing, so altars were set up here in the past, and later a balneological sanatorium was opened.

15. Sarez Lake

A top view of the dark blue smoothness of Sarez Lake (right) Hausibek

Lake Sarez is one of the unique sights of Tajikistan, which almost all travelers dream of seeing. It is the only existing freshwater body of water that is a little more than a hundred years old. Its formation is associated with underground tremors that triggered an earthquake in the early twentieth century. After the collapse of part of the Mukzol range, an average depth of about 202 meters was created, into which the waters of the Mugrab have fallen. The lake occupies nearly eighty square kilometers, being at an elevation of about 3,200 meters.

16. Pamir tract

Panorama of the Pamir highway

The Pamir Tract, known among tourists as the best road in terms of views, running at a high altitude between the settlements of Khorog and Osh (located in Kyrgyzstan). You can try to drive along the tract in a rented car, but it is much more convenient if you go by bus - so you can, without distraction and without risking your health, consider the gorges you meet on the way, plains with Martian landscape and desert areas.

Listed options, what to see in Tajikistan, all interesting, but each tourist has his own tastes, for example, someone more interesting to make a trip to the national park, while others would prefer a close acquaintance with the archaeological sites. Our review, which contains descriptions and photos of the best places of interest, can serve as a basis for planning your trip. Remember that some of the sights of Tajikistan are located in high mountainous areas, respectively, even in summer you will need warm clothes. If in doubt about what interesting places to choose, take a couple of minutes to study the reviews of other travelers.

A couple more useful recommendations for those who are figuring out what to visit in Tajikistan, intending to spend a weekend or an entire vacation in this country with ancient history:

  • be prepared to pay in cash - bank cards are only accepted in major cities, and not everywhere;
  • If visiting museums is a priority for you, choose hotels in Tajikistan in the capital - it is in Dushanbe where the main museums are concentrated;
  • mountaineering enthusiasts should consider including an ascent to the summit of Ismoili Somoni, the height of which exceeds seven thousand meters;
  • no matter what city you live in, there will definitely be a restaurant where you can try the national dishes (pilaf, flatbread, puff pastry, etc.). But be careful with water - not all water is suitable for drinking (better ask the local or guide, if you can drink it or not);
  • Many people speak Russian, so to find a guide in Tajikistan will not be a problem, but the cost of services must be negotiated in advance.

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