Tajikistan is a mountainous country in the heart of Asia, with a great historical heritage and an ancient and distinctive culture. It is the land of striking natural contrasts, the highest peaks, mighty glaciers, rushing, mighty rivers, lakes unique in their beauty, unique vegetation and rare animals. 93% of the territory of the Republic belongs to mountain ranges, which are part of the Pamir, Gissar-Alay and Tien-Shan mountain systems. The mountain ranges are separated by rich and fertile lands of Fergana, Zerafshan, Vakhsh and Hissar valleys. The complexity of the relief and the great altitudinal amplitude of the mountain systems cause an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna. The soil, vegetation and fauna of Tajikistan have a highly indented character. The vegetation is rich in wild fruit trees and thousands of plant species, which are actively used by the population. The most valuable wealth of the republic is its rivers and lakes with systemic glacial food. There are huge reserves of snow and ice in the highlands of Tajikistan. Types of tourism activities include mountaineering, mountain sports and ecotourism, rafting, paragliding, skiing, interhiking, historical, cultural and ethnographic tourism, spa stays and recreational activities. Here is the useful information for your Travel to Tajikistan.
Why visit: A trip to Tajikistan takes tourists to historical sites and ancient cities like Khujand, Penjikent and Istaravshan. The best areas in Tajikistan for ecotourism are the Fann Mountains, Lake Karakul and the Pamir Mountains. Families spend an active holiday with their children in Tajikistan, visiting the dolphin water park and the Dushanbe zoo. Mountaineers from all over the world come to Tajikistan to conquer the 7000 m high Communism peak. Spend your wellness holiday in Tajikistan at the thermal springs of Garm Chashma and Obigarm.
When to travel: Winter in Tajikistan is the best time for skiing and extreme mountaineering. The snow and ice transform Tajikistan into a frosty wonderland with sparkling peaks. But at the same time, the mountains become potentially dangerous and the mountain roads are sometimes covered with snow, making it almost impossible to cross the Pamirs.
Autumn in Tajikistan varies depending on where you are. In the mountains it rains and a cold wind blows, while the valleys of Dushanbe and Khujand offer a pleasant backdrop in the golden hues of the leaves. September is the last month when you can travel comfortably on the Pamir Highway, but even then temperatures can drop below 00 C at night.
Spring approaches in April and beautiful landscapes of mountains and valleys appear as early as May. Spring in Tajikistan is full of festivals and is perfect for combining tours of the cities and the mountain regions. The melting snow of the Pamirs fills the rivers and the mountain slopes are covered in green.
Summers in Tajikistan are sunny but not so hot. This is the ideal season for travelling through Tajikistan. You can drive freely in almost all mountainous areas. It is quite warm during the day for swimming in the mountain lakes. At an altitude of up to 3,000 metres you can sleep comfortably in tents. In summer, the markets are already full of fragrant and extremely tasty fruits and vegetables.
Arrival: The most comfortable and fastest way to reach Tajikistan is by plane to the capital. Dozens of foreign airlines, such as Flydubai, Turkish Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air Astana, Siberia and others, have their offices in the capital of Tajikistan. Besides Dushanbe, there are international airports in Kulob and Khujand. Tajik Air and Somon Air fly on local routes. These airlines also operate flights to Europe.
Language: Tajik is the official language of Tajikistan. Russian is the language of international communication and a small amount of office work is done in this language. Uzbek in particular is one of the most widely spoken indigenous minority languages. Very few people in Tajikistan speak English.
Visa: Foreign nationals require a valid passport and visa to enter Tajikistan. A visa can be applied for at the Tajik Embassy abroad. It is also convenient to get an electronic visa on the portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan. Tajikistan has a visa-free regime with almost all CIS countries, except Turkmenistan. There is also a simplified visa regime with 69 countries under which one can get the tourist visa on arrival at Dushanbe airport. More details on the visa for Tajikistan can be found here ⇒.
Registration: Every foreigner should be registered on arrival in Tajikistan within 3 working days from the date of entry into the country. An accommodation certificate should be obtained from the hotel and then registered with OVIR. Registration with OVIR may take more than 3 days, so it is better to ask the hotel or travel agency that organised your trip for help. There is a fee for registering with OVIR and the hotel.
With a tourist visa, a foreigner has the right to stay in Tajikistan for 30 days without registration. To visit the Pamirs, a foreign tourist needs a permit in addition to a visa. The permit is issued together with the visa at the embassies of Tajikistan in Europe or can be obtained at the police station in Dushanbe.
When leaving Tajikistan, your passport and the validity of the visa will be checked at passport control. The immigration officer may also ask you to present the registration forms from your hotel or the local OVIR. So make sure you always have your hotel’s registration form to hand (preferably stapled to your passport) before you go through passport control at the airport.
Accommodation: In Dushanbe and the larger tourist cities of Tajikistan, there are European-style hotels with a wide range of services. In other cities, Soviet-style hotels and private hotels with modest accommodation are common.
Money and currency exchange: American dollars, euros and Russian roubles can be exchanged for Tajik somoni at Dushanbe airport, banks and hotel exchange offices ⇒exchange rate. Exchange offices and banks do not accept banknotes if they are old, worn, torn or crumpled, or if there is any handwriting on them. You can only pay with a bank card or withdraw money from ATMs in Tajikistan’s major cities, hotels and supermarkets. Travellers’ cheques cannot be cashed in Tajikistan.
Departure: For international flights, travellers are advised to arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before departure. Before leaving your hotel at the airport, check the following documents: passport, registration form received from your hotel or OVIR, customs declaration on arrival, flight ticket and validity of visa for Tajikistan in your passport.
Through customs: When leaving the country, you will need to fill in a copy of the customs declaration at the customs checkpoint. Please indicate the exact amount for each type of currency and any valuables you are transporting. Please note that it is not formally allowed to take more cash out of Tajikistan than was brought in at the beginning of your trip to Tajikistan.
Handicrafts and souvenirs: At the checkpoint, the customs officer may ask you to show him handmade items and souvenirs you have purchased to ensure that you are not illegally exporting cultural goods or antiques. If you are taking such items out of the country, you must have the relevant documentation with you.