Turkmenistan is a very interesting and orientally mysterious country, where there are many places to visit. There are many impressive and scenic natural attractions as well as significant historical sights. However, the main attraction of Turkmenistan is the people and their original culture.
The list of “must visit” among the country’s natural locations includes the Darvaza crater (also known “The door to Hell”), the Karakum Desert which occupies about 80% of the territory of Turkmenistan, impressive colorful Yangykala Canyon, the Kov Ata underground lake, the disappeared river Uzboy and the warm and salty Gulf Garabogazgol.
There are 3 places in Turkmenistan have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the State Historical and Cultural Park “Ancient Merv” (inscribed in 1999), Ancient City of Kunya-Urgench (inscribed in 2005), Parthian Fortresses of Nisa (inscribed in 2007). They are included in the mandatory program of almost every fairly long tour to the country.
However, there are many interesting historical sites in Turkmenistan that are not included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, but are worth a visit. We list here just a few of them: Dayahatyn Caravanserai, Seyit Jamal-ad-Din mosque, Parz-Depe or Parzdepe, Tagta-bazaar – Ekedeshik Cave Town, Namazga Depe, the ancient village of Murche.
The museums and sights of Ashgabat, a city made of white marble, are worth mentioning separately. The most interesting museums are the Turkmen Carpet museum, the State Museum of Turkmenistan (National Museum) and the Fine Arts Museum. Among the modern architecture of Ashgabat Wedding Palace “Bagt Koshgi”, the Arch of Neutrality, Ertogrul Ghazi mosque stand out.
If you are interested in the topic of ethnography and local traditions, then authentic villages are waiting for you, where the centuries-old way of life is preserved. For example rich in history, nature and customs, Nokhur mountain village located about 160 km west of Ashgabat in the cool valleys of Kopetdag.