Popular cities in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan, located in Central Asia, is a country known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Within its borders lie several popular cities that have played significant roles in shaping the nation. One such city is Ashgabat, the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat is renowned for its impressive architectural masterpieces and opulent white marble buildings, earning it the nickname “The City of White Marble.” With its modern infrastructure and thriving economy, Ashgabat stands as a symbol of Turkmenistan’s progress and prosperity.

Nestled along the ancient Silk Road, the city of Mary holds great historical importance for Turkmenistan. It was once an essential trading hub connecting Central Asia with the Middle East. Today, Mary serves as a gateway to the archaeological marvels of Merv, an ancient city that dates back thousands of years. Merv was once a thriving metropolis and a center of culture and learning in the region. Its well-preserved ruins, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attract history enthusiasts and archaeologists from around the world.

Turkmenabat, the second-largest city in Turkmenistan, has a strong industrial and agricultural presence. Known for its cotton production, Turkmenabat contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Moreover, the city is home to various traditional markets, where locals and tourists can explore and purchase traditional Turkmen crafts, textiles, and carpets. These markets provide a glimpse into the country’s vibrant cultural heritage and artistic traditions.

Situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea, the port city of Turkmenbashi boasts immense economic importance due to its strategic location. Famous for its extensive oil and gas industry, Turkmenbashi plays a vital role in Turkmenistan’s energy sector. Additionally, the city offers picturesque beaches along the Caspian Sea and serves as a gateway to the stunning Avaza National Tourist Zone, providing visitors with opportunities for leisure and relaxation.

Dashoguz, located in the northern part of the country, is known for its ancient monuments and historical significance. The city is home to the UNESCO-listed Kunya-Urgench, an ancient capital of the Khorezm region. This archaeological site holds remnants of the once-thriving city, including mausoleums, mosques, and fortresses, which provide a glimpse into the region’s ancient past.

In Turkmenistan, each city presents a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity, contributing to the nation’s overall significance. With architectural wonders, historical sites, vibrant markets, and economic prowess, these popular cities of Turkmenistan invite exploration and shed light on the country’s enchanting past and promising future.

Popular cities in Turkmenistan

What are the Most Popular Cities in Turkmenistan?

Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia known for its stunning landscapes and rich history. The nation boasts several cities that have become popular destinations for tourists and locals alike. In this article, we will explore the most famous cities in Turkmenistan, their unique cultural heritage, and the various attractions they offer. Prepare to be enthralled by the beauty and diversity that awaits you in these incredible cities. Discover more about the top cities and their captivating highlights in the following sections.

Popular Cities in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan, located in Central Asia, offers a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. As you explore this fascinating country, make sure to visit its popular cities that showcase the diverse facets of Turkmenistan. Here are some of the most popular cities in Turkmenistan:


Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, stands out with its magnificent architecture and modern urban design. Known as the “City of White Marble,” Ashgabat boasts numerous impressive buildings adorned with white marble, creating a surreal atmosphere. The city is home to beautiful parks, grandiose monuments, and museums that provide insights into the country’s history and culture. Visitors can also explore the bustling Russian Bazaar and immerse themselves in the local way of life.


Turkmenabat, also known as Chardzhou, is the second-largest city in Turkmenistan and serves as an important industrial and transportation hub. This city, located in the eastern part of the country, offers glimpses into Turkmenistan’s rural life and traditional culture. Visitors can explore the nearby Kugitang Nature Reserve, which is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and ancient rock formations. The city also features a vibrant market where you can find local products and handicrafts.


Turkmenbashi, formerly known as Krasnovodsk, is a coastal city situated on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It serves as a gateway to the magnificent Avaza National Tourist Zone, a popular beach resort area with luxurious hotels, entertainment facilities, and beautiful sandy beaches. Turkmenbashi offers opportunities for water activities, such as swimming, sailing, and fishing. The city also features interesting landmarks, including the Turkmenbashi Ruhy Mosque, a stunning architectural masterpiece.


Mary, located in the southeastern part of Turkmenistan, is an ancient city with a rich historical heritage. It is known for its proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Merv, one of the most important archaeological sites in Central Asia. Merv was once a major center along the Silk Road and contains impressive ruins, including ancient city walls, mausoleums, and mosques. Mary itself offers a glimpse into traditional Turkmen culture, with its bazaars, museums, and vibrant festivals.


Dashoguz, situated in the northern part of Turkmenistan, is another city worth exploring. It serves as a gateway to the famous archaeological site of Kunya-Urgench, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kunya-Urgench was once a flourishing medieval city and contains well-preserved mausoleums, mosques, and other structures. Dashoguz itself offers a vibrant atmosphere with its bustling bazaars and traditional Turkmen architecture.

With their unique charm and attractions, these popular cities in Turkmenistan offer an excellent opportunity to delve into the country’s history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in modern architecture, ancient ruins, or scenic landscapes, Turkmenistan has something to offer to every traveler.

Statistically, tourism in Turkmenistan has been growing steadily over the past few years, with an increase of 10% in tourist arrivals in 2020 compared to the previous year. This upward trend showcases the rising popularity of Turkmenistan as a tourist destination among travelers worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions – Popular cities in Turkmenistan

FAQ 1: What are the popular cities to visit in Turkmenistan?

The popular cities to visit in Turkmenistan include:

  • Ashgabat
  • Mary
  • Turkmenabat
  • Daşoguz
  • Tejen

FAQ 2: What is special about Ashgabat?

Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, is known for its impressive architecture, including golden domes, modern buildings, and the extravagant Independence Monument.

FAQ 3: Is Mary worth visiting?

Yes, Mary is worth visiting for its historical attractions such as the ancient city of Merv, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Mary Museum.

FAQ 4: What can I do in Turkmenabat?

In Turkmenabat, you can visit the Aýaz Kala fortress, explore the Turkmen-Turkish Friendship Park, or enjoy a boat trip on the Amudarya River.

FAQ 5: Can you tell me about Daşoguz?

Daşoguz is a city known for its rich cultural heritage, with attractions such as the Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum, Daşoguz Museum, and the breathtaking Kunya-Urgench archaeological site.

FAQ 6: What is there to see in Tejen?

In Tejen, you can visit the Tejen Sunday Bazaar, which offers a variety of local products and traditional crafts, or explore the nearby desert landscapes for a unique experience.

FAQ 7: What is the best time to visit these cities?

The best time to visit these cities in Turkmenistan is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and temperatures are mild.

FAQ 8: Are there good transportation options between these cities?

Yes, there are transportation options available between these cities, including domestic flights, trains, and buses. It is advisable to check schedules and book tickets in advance.

FAQ 9: Can I find accommodation easily in these cities?

Yes, these cities offer a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. It is recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

FAQ 10: Are there any safety concerns in these cities?

While Turkmenistan is generally considered safe for tourists, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions and remain vigilant. It is recommended to follow local laws and regulations and be aware of your surroundings.


Overall, Turkmenistan boasts several popular cities that offer a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Ashgabat, the capital city, stands out with its impressive architectural marvels and extravagant monuments, providing a glimpse into the nation’s rich cultural heritage. Turkmenabat, with its bustling markets and picturesque palm-lined streets, offers a more traditional experience and is a gateway to the ancient Silk Road. Mary, home to the ancient ruins of Merv, is a haven for history enthusiasts, while Türkmenbaşy provides access to the breathtaking Caspian Sea coastline and a relaxed atmosphere perfect for beach lovers.

These cities not only highlight Turkmenistan’s past but also showcase its aspirations for the future. The modern developments in Ashgabat symbolize the country’s ambition to become a prominent player in the global arena. Furthermore, the balanced preservation and integration of traditional Turkmen culture into the urban fabric sets these cities apart, making them truly unique destinations worth exploring. From stunning architectural gems to historical landmarks, Turkmenistan’s popular cities offer a captivating experience for both locals and international visitors alike. As the nation continues to develop and open up to the world, these cities will undoubtedly play an essential role in shaping Turkmenistan’s future tourism industry. So, whether one seeks cultural immersion, architectural brilliance, or natural wonders, Turkmenistan’s popular cities have something to offer every traveler.

Read more about backpacking in Turkmenistan