The city of Ashgabat stands as the largest city of and capital of Turkmenistan. Located in Central Asia it sits between the Kara Kum desert and the Kopet Dag mountain range. Primarily Turkmen, you’ll still find ethnic minorities of Russians, Armenians and Azeris making up the total population of 695,300. The city was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s highest concentration of white marble buildings in 2013. The city gained many high rise buildings when they exited the Soviet Union. In the process, Ashgabat adopted modern construction techniques and many of the buildings have been made of marble.
The main industries in Turkmenistan are metal working and cotton textiles and it’s a major stop on the Trans Caspian railway. The Tolkuchka Bazaar in the suburbs thrives as it sells a massive range of commodities on Sunday.
So if you’re traveling through Ashgabat, here is a list of some of the most popular things to see while your there:
Parthian Settlement of Nisa:
Some of the best preserved ruins in Central Asia, this UNESCO heritage site dates back as far as 200 BC. It is located about 30 to 60 minutes from Ashgabat proper and is not to be missed. Make sure to bring a guide so you know what your looking at.
Ashgabat National Museum of History:
By far the most popular museum in Ashgabat, the National Museum of History is not to be missed. It hosts a large collection of artifacts and art from the area and costs $20 USD to get in. Also, a guide is required.
Located in the center of town, an art park complex which is a favorite place for the locals to hang out.
A famous amusement park which is a local version of Disneyworld.
The city has many parks! Gunesh, Independence, Eternal Flame, Gerogly , Dolphin, Ruhiyet, Turkmen-Turkish friendship, and Magtymguly to name a few. Take your pick!
In Turkmenistan the horseback tours are unique. Famous for its horses the tour is based from a stud farm and the horse you will ride will be original hot blooded Turkmen horses. If you don’t want to ride a horse you can take a 4 wheeler and follow as close as possible. You can meet up with the riders on breaks and at the end of the day. World over, the Turkmen’s are key to champion horses, valued above all other possessions by the aristocrats of three continents as well as kings and emperors.
Ashgabat Railway Station:
The main railway station that was built in 1888 then was demolished in the earthquake in 1948. Rebuilt in 1950 but not completed until 2009.
This large market is a chance to see how life and commerce work in Ashgabat.
This is one of the leading weird structures in this city. On the top of the gold statue of the first president, it has a viewing platform where you can see good views of the mountains and the city.
That’s it folks…enjoy Ashgabat!!