Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its unique architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture, this city offers a plethora of exciting experiences for travelers. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an avid nature lover, or simply someone who loves to immerse themselves in a new culture, Ashgabat has something for everyone. Here are 10 must-do activities in Ashgabat that will make your visit truly unforgettable.
1. Explore the Ancient Ruins of Nisa
Start your journey by visiting the ancient ruins of Nisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located just outside Ashgabat, this archaeological site dates back to the Parthian Empire and provides a fascinating glimpse into Turkmenistan’s rich history. Marvel at the well-preserved ruins, including royal residences, temples, and fortifications, as you learn about the ancient civilization that once thrived here.
2. Visit the National Museum of Turkmenistan
To delve deeper into the history and culture of Turkmenistan, a visit to the National Museum is a must. This state-of-the-art museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, including ancient Turkmen jewelry, traditional costumes, and historical documents. Immerse yourself in the exhibits that showcase the country’s nomadic heritage, its glorious Silk Road connections, and the achievements of modern Turkmenistan.
3. Wander through the Ashgabat National Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a peaceful stroll through the Ashgabat National Park. This sprawling green oasis offers a refreshing retreat, with beautiful gardens, shady pathways, and picturesque ponds. Take a moment to relax, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.
4. Admire the Grand Mosque of Ashgabat
A visit to Ashgabat is incomplete without seeing the magnificent Grand Mosque. This impressive architectural masterpiece is one of the largest mosques in Central Asia and boasts intricate designs and exquisite craftsmanship. Step inside to witness the stunning interior adorned with intricate tilework and delicate chandeliers. Don’t forget to dress modestly as a sign of respect when visiting this sacred place.
5. Explore the Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque
Another spectacular mosque worth exploring is the Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque. This modern architectural marvel sits atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the city. Admire the elegant white marble exterior and step inside to witness the grandeur of its prayer hall. With its towering minarets and peaceful surroundings, this mosque is a true sanctuary for spiritual reflection.
6. Discover the Monument of Neutrality
Standing tall at the heart of Ashgabat is the Monument of Neutrality, a symbol of Turkmenistan’s commitment to peace. Climb to the top of the monument for breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline. Learn about Turkmenistan’s stance on neutrality and marvel at the golden statue of the country’s first president, Turkmenbashi, which rotates to always face the sun.
7. Experience the Ashgabat Cable Car
For a unique perspective of the city, hop on the Ashgabat Cable Car. This modern transportation system offers a thrilling ride above the city, providing stunning aerial views of Ashgabat’s skyline and surrounding landscapes. Capture memorable photos as you glide above the city, admiring the architectural wonders and the majestic Kopet Dag Mountains in the distance.
8. Shop at the Tolkuchka Bazaar
Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by visiting the Tolkuchka Bazaar, one of the largest markets in Turkmenistan. Browse through a wide array of stalls selling traditional handicrafts, colorful textiles, and fresh produce. Engage in friendly haggling with the local vendors and take home unique souvenirs that reflect the authentic essence of Turkmenistan.
9. Indulge in Turkmen Cuisine
No trip to Ashgabat is complete without savoring the flavors of Turkmen cuisine. Treat your taste buds to delicious dishes such as manty (steamed dumplings), shashlik (grilled meat skewers), and garaşsyzlyk (pumpkin and lamb stew). Don’t forget to pair your meal with traditional Turkmen tea, a fragrant brew served in ornate teapots. Explore local restaurants and street food stalls to experience the authentic flavors of this culinary delight.
10. Attend a Traditional Turkmen Performance
Wrap up your Ashgabat adventure by immersing yourself in the vibrant Turkmen culture through traditional performances. Attend a folk music concert or witness a mesmerizing dance performance that showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage. Be captivated by the traditional costumes, lively music, and graceful movements, as you gain a deeper appreciation for the local artistic traditions.
Ashgabat is a city that seamlessly blends history, modernity, and cultural richness. With its fascinating attractions, warm hospitality, and diverse experiences, this vibrant capital will leave you with lasting memories. Embark on a journey of discovery as you explore the ancient ruins, marvel at architectural wonders, savor local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Ashgabat – a truly remarkable destination in Central Asia.
*Note: The content has been provided in English as per the instructions given.
Q: What is the first activity to do in Ashgabat?
A: The first activity to do in Ashgabat is to explore the ancient ruins of Nisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Q: What can I find at the National Museum of Turkmenistan?
A: At the National Museum of Turkmenistan, you can find an extensive collection of artifacts, including ancient Turkmen jewelry, traditional costumes, and historical documents.
Q: Where can I escape the hustle and bustle of the city in Ashgabat?
A: You can escape the hustle and bustle of the city by wandering through the Ashgabat National Park, which offers a peaceful retreat with beautiful gardens and picturesque ponds.
Q: Which mosque is a must-visit in Ashgabat?
A: The Grand Mosque of Ashgabat is a must-visit mosque in Ashgabat, known for its impressive architecture and intricate designs.