Magnificent architecture, fantastic museums and lush parks in Ashgabat offer an alluring introduction to Turkmenistan. The dynamic capital is known as the “City of Love” and showcases the wealth and prosperity of the oil-rich nation.
Things to do
Strolling around Ashgabat, you’ll be impressed by the gleaming white marble buildings and colossal monuments on every corner. The Palace of Knowledge is topped by a gleaming gold dome and houses a museum, concert hall and library. Just outside the city centre an elevator that whisks you to the top of the Arch of Neutrality, a 95-metre-high monument that commands panoramic views over the city.
Discover the rich narrative of Turkmenistan at the History Museum. Inside the cavernous Ancient History Hall, you can view ancient tools, amulets and weapons from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. The quirky Carpet Museum is filled with rainbow-coloured rugs.
From fine-dining bistros to casual eateries, Ashgabat is home to some of the best restaurants in Turkmenistan. The city is a great place to sample local delicacies such as plov, a flavourful rice dish featuring mutton, carrots and spices. Piping hot “chorek” bread baked in traditional clay ovens is served with most meals.
Inspired by the magnificent Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Azadi Mosque boasts grand proportions and soaring minarets. It takes cues from traditional Ottoman architecture and features intricate stone carvings and decorative tilework.
Taxis are often the fastest and most comfortable way to get around Ashgabat. Local buses run throughout the city and are a great way to get from A to B. Another option is hiring a private driver for the day. Ashgabat International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the city centre.