Central Asia is somewhere really special and a place I hope to explore more of. I’ve solo travelled in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and I hope to see more of this beautiful part of the world very soon! So, when a Tajikistan expert offered to write this blog post for me to show you some of the best things to do in this country, I jumped at the chance!
Tajikistan is an undiscovered land that is different, adventurous and remote, mainly because few travellers go there. Yet, the absence of any significant tourism has kept authentic adventure and cultural exchange intact and easy to find.
Tucked away between Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, this Central Asian state at the core of the ancient Silk Road will attract you with its glacial lakes, idyllic mountains and world-class hospitality.
Experience the colours and richness of the unbridled natural beauty and wealth of things to do in this amazing country.
How to get a Tajikistan e-Visa
An e-visa is an online authorization that makes the tourist and business visa handling process much easier. The process of getting one is simple.
All you have to do to get the Tajikistan visa is fill the online visa application form with your data, pay the visa fee, and the approved e-visa will be emailed to you.
The validity of an e-visa is 3 months, and it can be issued either as a single-entry or multiple-entry visa.
The only document required to start filling the online visa application form is a valid passport. Just make sure that it doesn’t expire within six months!
You can find more information about getting a Tajikistan e-visa here: https://visatajikistan.com/
Things to do in Tajikistan
If you still have some doubts about visiting the Central Asian country, let us make it easier for you with this list of some of the best things you can do in Tajikistan!
Travel the Pamir Highway
Driving along the Pamir Highway is one of the greatest road trips in Asia.
It offers you the best of everything, from soaring mountains, desert plateaus to shimmering lakes.
The highway crosses through the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, but the Tajikistan section gives some of the best sights to see along its beautiful landscape.
Those spectacular sights include the Karakul Lake, a meteorite crater filled with water, and the snow-capped Peak Lenin.
Savour the Beauty of Iskanderkul
You can catch a beautiful sunrise at Iskanderkul Lake with its perfect morning reflections.
The glacially-fed Iskanderkul Lake lies on the northern slopes of the Gasser Range among the Fann Mountains.
The name ‘Iskanderkul’ means Alexander’s Lake. According to folklore, Alexander the Great’s favourite warhorse, Bucephalus, drowned in the lake.
A story revolves amongst the locals that the horse can be seen grazing on the shoreline on clear summer nights. While this is a legend, it is one reason tourists visit to the stunning lake.
Explore the Ruins of Penjikent
Penjikent was originally a group of small towns, and the name itself means ‘five towns.’
The town is located in the far northwest of Tajikistan by the Zarafshon River Valley, and two archaeological sites called Old Panjakent and Sarazm are its highlights.
Sarazm is one of Tajikistan’s two UNESCO World Heritage sites and dates back to the 4th millennium BC.
Outlines of walls, streets, and buildings can be seen among these ancient ruins, and a guided tour can give life to them.
Penjikent also has a small market with local produce and a museum containing frescoes and artefacts from the two sites.
Sightsee In Modern Dushanbe
The name ‘Dushanbe’ means ‘Monday’ in Tajik, and it was derived from the capital’s popular Monday Bazaar.
The capital city is easy to explore on foot and has some interesting modern and Soviet architecture.
Not only that, but there are some interesting things to do in Dunshanbe. It houses the largest ‘chai khana’ or ‘tea house’ in the world, one of the tallest flagpoles in the world, the biggest library in Central Asia, and the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan.
The wide green spaces, restaurants, cafes, and the tree-lined Rudaki Avenue make Dushanbe the perfect place to relax while taking a break between adventurous excursions.
Enjoy Qurutob, the National Cuisine of Tajikistan
Real Tajik cuisine is not easy to find, but the national dish unique to Tajikistan is Qurutob.
It is a delicious dish consisting of a crispy, thin bread called fatir bread, sautéed onions, qurut, which are dried yogurt balls drenched in water to make a cheesy sauce, and topped with spices and herbs such as dill.
Sometimes other vegetables are also used like tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and more.
It’s not easy being vegetarian in Central Asia – but this dish is completely meat-free!
Dushanbe is the best place to get Qurutob – the capital city has many restaurants called qurutobkhona that specialize in this recipe.
Is Tajikistan worth visiting?
Historically, many people travelled along the Silk Road to visit Tajikistan with its lively bazaars and rich culture of poets, scientists, and philosophers.
Today, you can rediscover the hidden gems of this land from the famous Pamir Mountains, whose peaks reach the clouds and pure lakes of serene beauty, to its lively capital Dushanbe.
Don’t forget to obtain your e-Visa on time and enjoy a trouble-free journey! There is so much on offer in Tajikistan, and we’re sure that you’ll absolutely love the country.