Whatever the yardstick – geographic, linguistic, cultural, historical, economic – Tajikistan’s a country that revels in the obscure.
Most locals speak Tajik, a modern Persian dialect in a region overwhelmingly Turkic; the landscape is absurdly altitudinous, its borders a result of arbitrary Soviet demarcations; the economy is propped up by overseas migrant remittances and illicit drug trafficking; and archaeological attractions run the gauntlet of Buddhist stupas, Silk Road bazaars and Zoroastrian ruins... What’s not to intrigue? Culturally captivating and naturally arresting, Tajikistan – arguably the Stans’ least developed land – is as enigmatic as countries come.
Our Tajikistan trips
Tajikistan travel highlights
Discover Tajikistan's diverse pre-Islamic cultural heritage in the National Museum
Wakhan Corridor, Tajikistan
Take in amazing views of the Pamirs and the Hindu Kush while traversing the corridor
Karakul Lake, Tajikistan
Sit alongside glacial Karakul Lake, appearing oasis-like out of the dust of the Karakoram Highway
Tajikistan holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Tajikistan
Geography and environment
Top 5 Traditional Tajikistani Fashions
Health and Safety
Tajikistan travel FAQs
All visitors to Tajikistan require a visa. You will need to obtain your visa & Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) permit online at the following link: https://www.evisa.tj/
Below is the information required for filling out the application form:
GBAO Permit - Yes
Purpose of visit type - Tourism
Purpose of visit - Tourism sightseeing or Tourism vacation
Group identifier - leave blank
Date of arrival - Day 5 of your trip
Address in Tajikistan - This will be supplied at time of booking
Upload your scanned, colour passport copy (no other documents are required) and submit the form for payment. You will then receive a link to download your e-visa. Please ensure you print a copy to bring with you on your trip.
In restaurants and eateries, yes. A 10 per cent gratuity is the standard for a decent meal and adequate service.
Internet cafes exist in the bigger cities, though don’t expect wireless connections available in hotels or cafes.
Roaming agreements are in place with most major international phone carriers, though coverage is mostly limited to urban areas.
Toilets in Tajikistan run the gamut of not-too-bad-at-all western-style toilets in plusher hotels and restaurants, very minimalist drop toilets everywhere else and ‘jeepers-creepers!’ in rural areas. Have emergency loo-paper with you wherever you go.
domestic 0.5 litre beer from a supermarket – 4.50 SM
cappuccino in a restaurant – 5.75 SM
three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant – 60 SM
No, Tajikistan’s tap water is non-purified and untreated. Stick to bottled water or fill a reusable canteen with the filtered water that will be available at some hotels. Also steer clear of ice in drinks and only eat fruit that can be peeled or vegetables that have been well cooked.
No. Don’t bank on being able to use your credit cards for any transactions. Tajikistan is overwhelmingly a cash-based economy.
ATMs – accepting Visa, Mastercard and Maestro – can be found in the major cities of Dushanbe, Penjikent, Khujand, Khorog, Isfara, Istaravshan and Qurghon-Teppa, plus a few smaller places besides. Some dispense US dollars, which (along with euros) are widely accepted. Try to carry with you small denominations, as small change for small purchases is in short supply.
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 2 Jan New Year's Holiday
- 8 Mar International Women's Day
- 21 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 22 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 23 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 24 Mar Navruz Celebration
- 1 May International Day of Solidarity
- 9 May Victory Day
- 25 Jun Idi Ramazon / Ramadan Celebration
- 26 Jun Idi Ramazon / Ramadan Celebration Holiday
- 27 Jun Day of National Unity / Reconciliation
- 1 Sep Idi Qurbon / Kurban Bayram Celebration
- 9 Sep Independence Day
- 11 Sep Independence Day Holiday
- 6 Nov Constitution Day
- 16 Nov President's Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Tajikistan go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/tajikistan/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Tajikistan
- Be considerate of Tajik customs, traditions, religion and culture
- Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered and shoes removed when entering places of worship
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts
- When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
- Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive and supports the local community
- Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children
- When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.