Tajikistan is a country in Asia according to aristmarketing. The mountainous terrain of Tajikistan is ideal for adventurous trekkers, while the ancient Silk Road, which winds through some of the country’s most scenic areas, offers a glimpse of more prosperous times. Tajikistan has existed as an independent country since 1991, when the former Soviet Union dissolved and the country declared its independence. An internal power struggle between Islamic fundamentalists and the government led to a civil war in 1992 that killed around 30,000 people. Russian troops came to the aid of the ailing regime in 1994 and organized negotiations between the government and the rebels. Some time has passed since the signing of the peace agreement (1997) and the political situation is currently stable. Tajikistan has never had a well-developed tourist infrastructure and some sights were destroyed during the civil war, but there is still a lot to explore here.
Arriving by plane
The private Tajik airline Somon Air (SZ) flies once a week non-stop from Frankfurt/M. to Dushanbe. Feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. are possible from Austria and Switzerland with Lufthansa (LH) and the respective national airlines. From Frankfurt/M., Vienna and Zurich, Emirates (EK) in cooperation with flydubai (FZ) fly via Dubai and Turkish Airlines (TK) fly to Dushanbe via Istanbul.
Frankfurt/M. – Dushanbe: 6 hrs 25 mins (non-stop); Vienna – Dushanbe: 14 hours 15 minutes; Zurich – Dushanbe: 14 hrs 25 mins (journey time varies depending on length of stopovers.)
Arrival by car
Tajikistan can be reached from neighboring countries along the following main routes: – from Afghanistan via the Mazar-i-Shari-Dushanbe highway; – from Uzbekistan via Samarkand; – from China via the Kulma Pass and – from Kyrgyzstan via the Pamir Highway, an at least six-day adventure through one of the most remote and impressive regions in the world. However, sometimes the borders are closed without notice or heavy snowfall makes the roads impassable. Long-distance bus: Long-distance bus services are repeatedly interrupted by border closures and are unreliable. Usually there is a connection from Dushanbe to Tashkent and Samarkand. At higher altitudes, buses only operate from May to November. Toll: The road between Sughd, in the north of the country, and Kurgan Tyube, south of Dushanbe, is subject to a toll. Fees are payable at tollbooths along the road. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Arrival by train
Russian Railways offers train connections between Moscow and Dushanbe via Uzbekistan twice a week (journey time: approx. 4 days). Travelers need visas for the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for this trip. There is also a train connection from Saratov, Russian Federation, to Dushanbe via Samarkand (Uzbekistan).
Traveling by plane
Somon Air (SZ) flies twice a week from Dushanbe to Khujand.
Traveling by car/bus
The Pamir Highway offers one of the most beautiful routes in the world. On the way from Dushanbe via Khorog and Mughab to the Kyrgyz city of Osh, it is worth taking a detour via the breathtaking Wakhan corridor. However, the trails here are off-road rather than roads; without local knowledge or a driver, it can be difficult to find your way.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The road network is poorly developed; some road sections are seasonally impassable. In winter, from October to March, due to the snow conditions from Dushanbe, some important connecting roads are closed, such as the road to Khorog via Khalaikum, the connection to the Kyrgyz border through the Garm Valley and the road to Khujand via the Anzob Pass and ayni These regions can then only be reached via Uzbekistan. The road between Khorog and the Kyrgyz city of Osh is passable all year round and passes through the beautiful Pamir mountain range.
Rental cars are only available with a chauffeur.
Taxis can be found in all major cities. The fare should be agreed before departure. The cheaper shared taxis also travel overland, but only start when they are full.
Bike rentals are available in larger cities such as Dushanbe, Khujand or Mughab.
If the weather conditions allow, minibuses run regularly between the larger cities, but these are usually slow to get around. In order to get to smaller places or to reach your destination faster, there is an option to rent a car with a driver.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; absolute ban on driving under the influence of alcohol; Speed limits: – urban: 60 km/h; – country roads: 90 km/h; – Motorway: 110 km/h.
There is no organized breakdown service. Tajiks are very helpful though.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Traveling in the city
Dushanbe has a system of shared taxis that operate on fixed routes. Furthermore, minibuses (mashrutkas) and trolleybuses are also used on fixed routes. Single use taxis are also available.
Locally on the way by train
Tajikistan has two separate railway networks with a total length of 680 km. The network in the north runs from Khujand to the Uzbek border. The network in the south connects Dushanbe with Iski-Guzar and Kulob, among others.