With Turkmenistan Welcoming Tourists, Here Are 8 Things You Must Definitely Do When You Visit

by Mallika Khurana
With Turkmenistan Welcoming Tourists, Here Are 8 Things You Must Definitely Do When You Visit

After years of being shielded from the outside world, Turkmenistan has finally swung open its doors to tourists, inviting explorers to discover its enchanting beauty and captivating history. This country, adorned with archaeological wonders and graced by warm-hearted locals, offers an array of remarkable experiences waiting to be uncovered. While the visa policy is relatively stringent, the introduction of e-visas through authorised travel agents has made it more accessible. Join us as we embark on a journey to unearth the treasures of Turkmenistan’s tourist hotspots.

Things To Do In Turkmenistan

1. Visit The Gates Of Hell

Darvaza Gas Crater
Photo Credits: Canva

The Darvaza Gas Crater, often referred to as the “Gates of Hell,” is an astonishing natural phenomenon that captures the imagination of travellers. This flaming crater has been burning for decades, creating a surreal and almost otherworldly sight in the desert landscape. Located in the Karakum Desert, the fiery glow of the crater is particularly enchanting when witnessed at night, offering an unforgettable experience.

2. Explore Ancient Nisa

things to do in Turkmenistan
Photo Credits: Canva

Delve into Turkmenistan’s rich history by exploring the archaeological site of Ancient Nisa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near the capital city of Ashgabat. The ruins of Nisa provide a window into the past, showcasing the remains of a Parthian city that once thrived along the Silk Road. Visitors can explore the ancient fortress walls, royal residences, and religious structures that reveal insights into Turkmenistan’s historical significance.

3. Experience Ashgabat’s Eccentric Architecture

Photo Credits: Canva

The capital city of Ashgabat is renowned for its unique architecture that combines modernity with grandeur. As you stroll through the city streets, you’ll encounter opulent marble buildings, towering golden statues, and ornate monuments that reflect the nation’s ambition and pride. The eclectic blend of architectural styles creates a striking visual panorama.

4. Discover The Ancient Silk Road City Of Merv

things to do in Turkmenistan
Photo Credits: Canva

Embark on a journey to the UNESCO-listed archaeological site of Merv, an ancient city that once thrived as a prominent stop along the Silk Road. Walking through the ruins of Merv allows you to explore the remnants of grand fortresses, mausoleums, and intricately designed structures that offer a glimpse into the city’s past as a thriving centre of trade and culture.

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5. Attend Turkmenistan’s Horse Festival

Turkmen Horse Festival
Photo Credits: Canva

Immerse yourself in Turkmenistan’s equestrian culture by attending a vibrant horse festival. These festivals celebrate the nation’s deep connection with horses and offer a chance to witness traditional horse games, skilful horsemanship displays, and colourful parades that showcase the pride and heritage of the Turkmen people.

6. Visit The Kow-Ata Underground Lake

things to do in Turkmenistan
Photo Credits: Canva

Embark on an extraordinary journey to the Kow-Ata Underground Lake, a hidden gem within a massive limestone cavern. The cave reveals a breathtaking sight—a serene underground lake with crystal-clear blue waters. The unique environment, formed by natural mineral deposits, creates an otherworldly mysterious and captivating ambience.

7. Experience The Yangykala Canyons

Yangykala Canyons
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

For nature enthusiasts, the Yangykala Canyons offer a surreal and awe-inspiring spectacle. These stunning canyons feature dramatic red and ochre-hued cliffs that rise majestically from the desert floor. The panoramic vistas overlook the vast expanse of the Caspian Sea. This breathtaking view from the top will be truly unforgettable.

8. Attend Turkmen Cultural Performances

Photo Credits: Website/Unesco

Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural traditions of Turkmenistan by attending captivating folk music and dance performances. These performances often take place during cultural events and festivals. Witness traditional melodies, graceful dances, and unique rituals that have been passed down through generations.

Each of these unique encounters adds a layer of depth to the traveller’s exploration of this lesser-known but captivating destination.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva