Dushanbe

Rudaki Avenue sidewide, Dushanbe
National Library of Tajikistan

Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan.

Bread market in Dushanbe
Opera theatre in Dushanbe

Get in

By plane

Luggages

S7 or it's share code flies to most European countries and you could check in your luggage up to Dushanbe. Otherwise you will require a transit visa to collect your luggage and check it in again. If you have no checked luggage, you could walk straight to transit area. If you use a different airline and have checked in luggage you need a transit visa because the airlines will not transfer it for you. For that reason you have to collect the luggage yourself and check it in for your final flight. In order to collect it you have to pass passport control for which you need a visa (many countries get it upon arrival and free, Google yours). These policies are subject to change without a notice. Check with your airline(s) to find out whether they currently transfer luggage.

Visa at the airport

Most of the European and North American nationals can apply for a visa upon arrival in Dushanbe. The airport is very small and the immigration is just right before the passport control. Make sure to bring 2 passport photos, and know the person's address in which you are staying. Don't lose your "beeline travel slip" which you will get at the immigration office. the luggage x-ray machines are very poor and they pay little attention to the screens.

Watch the kids when you leave the airport they will offer to take your bag to the car and start to pull it off you. though not with intentions of stealing, just wanting to help and gain a tip.

By train

By bus

There are no international bus services.If you are planning to go to a different town in Dushanbe there are 'terminals' that you can either find a shared taxi or a minibus. Departs are mostly early morning.

Get around

By bus

A number of bus services operate in Dushanbe, however there is not much clarity which one goes to where.

By marshrukta

It is very useful to figure out the marshrukta system (private cars and minibuses), which run on a standard set of routes. Minibuses are overcrowded, stop more frequently, and cost 1 somoni, while private cars are much quicker and cost 3 somoni. For marshrukti, the only important phrase is "hamin jo" (ha-MEEN JOH), which means "right here", to indicate that you want to get out. A couple usefull 'lines' (2010):

No. 1: Giprozem (south) - Sakovat Bazaar - Circus - War Memorial - Aini Street - Dushanbe Airport

No. 2: Giprozem - Sakovat Bazaar - Circus - War Memorial - Bokhtar Street (centre)

No. 3: Dushanbe I Train Station - Rudaki Avenue - Vodanasos Bazaar (north)

No. 8: Dushanbe Airport - Aini Street - Rudaki Avenue - Ismoil Somoni Street - 102nd microdistrict (west)

No. 17: 82nd microdistrict - Ismoil Somoni Street - Rudaki Avenue - Vodanasos Bazaar

No. 29: Giprozem - Circus - Bus Station - 82nd microdistrict - Ismoil Somoni Street - Barakat Bazaar (centre)

By taxi

Within Dushanbe it is best to take a taxi, usually it should not be more than 30 Somoni ($6).

Orientation

Very few streets in Dushanbe are known by their names, so it is important to know landmarks and how to navigate with them. Every cab driver knows the airport, Somoni statue, and opera-ballet, but beyond that, it is a toss-up. It is essential to know "straight ahead," "to the left," and "to the right" in Russian or Tajik.

The center is basically one long street, with a few other main streets crossing it.

Dushanbe is an interesting city, but only for a few days. Other than a few museum and monuments, there is not much here. The nightlife is not of a western standard. There are three main clubs: Port Said, Dior, and Vastan (all on or near Rudaki Street). The clubs are pretty bad and attract bad music, prostitutes, and are mostly filled with men. If a man goes out with a Tajik women, he will be expected to pay for her. The streets are lined with old and tall planetrees, so in the evenings a stroll along Rudaki is quite pleasant. Rudaki Park also features numerous fountains lit by coloured lights, and the Botanical Gardens (behind the Chinese Embassy, somewhat north along Rudaki) is the best place to escape the dust and noise of the traffic for peace and quiet.

See

Holy places

Museums

Others

Further afield

Do

Parks

Theatres

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Stay safe

In general, Dushanbe is safe but robberies and street crime do sometimes occur even in broad daylight although this is rare. The police force can sometimes seem a little ineffective. Avoid attracting police attention, as the law enforcement officials are primarily concerned with augmenting their small income. People tend to be private and conservative but with a little effort they can be incredibly welcoming and genuine.

Stay healthy

Never drink the water from the tap, nor use the water to brush your teeth. Always wash fresh produce, especially when bought from the local bazaar. Some melons—although they are incredibly fresh and sweet—can be irrigated and fertilized with manure, so sometimes washing them will not help. As a rule of thumb all foreigners from developed countries will get sick at least once while in Tajikistan, but this can be delayed by avoiding unwashed/unpeeled fruits and vegetables (be especially wary of this in restaurants).

Cope

Embassies

Go next

There are many drivers for hire who will take you to lakes and mountains nearby. Varzob River also has some vacation areas with raised platforms above the narrow river, which is quite refreshing on a hot day. Be aware that the drivers will most likely not speak English, so a working knowledge of Russian or Tajik is advisable, as are haggling skills.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, December 07, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.