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Ashgabat

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Ashgabat (Turkmen: Aşgabat, also Ashkabat, Ashkhabad, Ashgabad, etc) is the capital of Turkmenistan, surrounded by Ahal Province.

Understand

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 7 10 15 24 30 36 38 37 32 23 17 10
Nightly lows (°C) -1 0 5 11 16 21 23 21 10 7 5 3
Daylight (hrs/day) 4 4 5 7 9 11 11 11 10 7 5 3

Ashgabat has a typical continental climate. Summers are extremely hot and winters are rather cold.

Get in

By plane

Turkmenistan Airlines offers domestic flights from Dashogus (6 flights per day), Mary (3 flights per day), Turkmenabat (5 flights per day) and Turkmenbashi (3 flights per day). (2009)

Turkmenistan Airlines has offices in Moscow, London, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Karachi, Abu Dhabi, Delhi, Bangkok, Almaty, Minsk and Kiev.

  • Turkish Airlines has flights from Istanbul/Turkey leaving Istanbul on Wed, Fri and Sun, arriving in Ashgabat next morning.

By rail

Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice) runs trains to Ashgabat from Turkmenbashi and Turkmenabad via Mary.

Trains leave Turkmenbashi every second day at 7.30 pm and arrive in Ashgabat at 5.20 am next morning or daily at 4.05 pm, arriving in Ashgabat at 5.50 am next morning.

Trains leave Turkmenabad at 6 pm and Mary at 0.25 am daily and arrive in Ashgabat at 8.20 am next morning, Another train leaves Turkmenabad at 9.55 pm and and Mary at 2.50 am every second day, arriving in Ashgabat at 9.35 am next morning. There is a day train leaving Turkmenabad at 4.20 am and Mary at 10.23 am, arriving in Ashgabat at 6.35 pm.

By car

Distances to Ashgabat: Almaty in Kazakhstan 2120 km, Bishkek in Kyrgyztan 1870 km, Tashkent in Uzbekistan 1290 km, Samarkand in Uzbekistan 1000 km, Shakrisabz in Uzbekistan 1100 km, Turkmenabad 590 km, Mary 350 km, Mashhad in Iran 270 km, Dashgovuz 650 km,

Get around

  • Nissa, 15 km West of Ashgabat, settlement dating back to the 2nd cent BC
  • Geok Depe, 50 km West of Ashgabat, site of the final battle between troups of Turmen and tsarist troops in 1881/84, Saparmurat Hags Mosque, erected by President Turkmenbashi
  • Bakharden, 100 km West of Ashgabat, near the Kopet Dag mountains, cave with the Köw Ata Lake with hot thermal water, however, smelling of sulphur, a favorite place for excursion for people of Ashgabat at weekends.
  • Nokhur, 150 km from Ashgabar in South Western Turkmenistan in the valleys of the Kopet Dag mountains. The people of Nokhur claim to be direct descendants of Macedonian warriors of Alexander the Great's times,
  • Anau, 15 km South East of Ashgabat
  • Altyn Depe is a settlement of the Eneolithic and Bronze Ages. It has been extensively excavated during the Soviet period. The settlement has specialised potter's quarters, evidence of a differentiation of the living quarters according to the wealth of their inhabitants and a monumental cult complex. During excavations a small golden head of a wolf and a bull were found. According to the Russian archaeologist V.M.Masson, the cult complex was dedicated to the Moon Good as in Mesopotamia. The site was abandonned in the middle of the second millenium BC.

See

  • Ashgabat Flagpole The tallest freestanding flagpole in the world.
  • Turkmenbashi Cableway, Kopet Dag (south of the National Museum). 9am to 10pm. Cable car, opened in 2006, climbing up to 1290 meters, offering spectacular views over the city with the desert in the background 1000M.
  • Tolkuchka Bazaar, (8 km north of Ashgabad, past the airport). Satt, Sun 8am to 2pm. one of Central Asia's most colourful bazaars,
  • National Museum, Archabil sayoli 30 (in front of the Kopet Dag), 454954. 9am to 5pm. Hall 1 is dedicated to post-independence Turkmenistan, Hall 2 (upstairs) has a focus on ancient history with exhibits from Bronze Age sites and artefacts from Margiana. Halls 3 shows artefacts found at the Parthian site of Nisa. In Hall 4 a model of the medieval Merv, dioramas from Konye Urgench and Anau and the beautiful Merv vase are exhibited. Hall 5 and 6 display collections of weapons, musical instruments, silver jewellry and female dress. In Hall 7 (downstairs) a 20 m x 13 m carpet is exhibited. US$10, camerra US$1.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, (west of the Palace of Justice), 351566. Wed to Mon 9am to 6pm. The Central Hall has a large picture of President Niyazov Abundance of the Harvest. In the Independence Hall the heroic figures of the nation (Oguz Han, Togrul Beg, Alp Arslan and the poet Seydi) are shown. The museum also contains a reconstruction of the dragen freeze of the mosque of Arnau and exhibitions of Turkmen paitings before and after 1950. The first floor is devoted to Russian paintings from the 19th century and to European paintings, including minor works by Tiepolo and Poussin. US$ 10.
  • Turkmen Carpet Museum, 5 Georogly köcesi, 398879. Mon to Fri 10am to 1pm., 2 to 6 pm,. The museum houses antique carpets of the 18th and 19th centuries and modern carpets from all parts of the country. There is a nearly 200 square meters carpet which was intended as curtain of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, but proved too heavy. The pride of the museum is the largest hand-woven carpet in the world, as certified by the Guiness Book of Records. It covers 300 square meters and was woven by 40 carpet makers on the ocasion of the 10th annoversary of Turkmenistan's independence. 12000M.
  • Turkmenistan Independence Park, (take bus 16 or 34 from the city center). The Park covers an area 2 km long and 1 km wide. It contains monuments of famous people of Turkmen history: the founder of the Seljuk dynastySeljuk Beg, the founder of the Turkmen people Oguz Han, the Turkmen poet Magtymguly, the Seljuk leader Sultan Sanjar, the Turkmen warrior Georoglythe Seljuk rulers Alp Arslan and Malik Shah, the 18th century leader of the Ahal Tekkes Keymir Kor, the poets Zelilli and Sydi, the leader of the White Sheep confederation Uzyn Hasan, the father of the founder of the Ottoman Empire Ertogul Gazy, the Turkmen commander and poet Bairam Han, the poets Molianepes and Mataji, the Turkmen leader Gara Yusup, the Seljuk ruler Togrul Beg, the spiritual leader Gorkut Ata and the poet Kemine.
  • Museum of Turkmen National Values, 451954. 9am to 12,30 pm, 2 to 5,30 pm, daily. In the first floor, the Museum houses displays of silver jewellery for women and horses, and replicas of the golden bull- and wolf-head sculptures from Altyn Depe. US$ 10, 25000M for photographs.

Do

Theatres

  • Mollanepes Drama Theatre, Magtymguly sayoli 79, 357463. Wes to Sat 7pm. US$ 0,25.
  • Magtymguly Theatre, Shevchenko köcesi, 350564. Fri to Sun 7pm. Turkmen musical performances
  • Pushkin Russian Theatre, Magtymguly sayoli 142, 3654193. Sat, SUn 7pm. US$ 0,25.

Buy

The Yimpas Shopping Center, Turkmenbashi sayoli 75, 9am to 11pm, western country like supermarket where you can buy all necessary stuff like food, drink, soap, toothbrush, cosmetics etc. Probably the only one in the whole city. The shopping center has a nice food court in the second floor where you can get all kinds of kebabs for reasonable prices. You can also rent pool tables, play table tennis or go bowling there.

  • Tolkuchka Bazaar: 8 km north of Ashgabad, past the airport, Sat, Sun 8am to 2pm, also Thu morning at a smaller scale. Buy a telpek (sheepskin) for US$ 10 to 15, a khalat (red and yellow striped robe for men) for US$ 15 or a typical red carpet for US$ 150 to 250. Be aware that you also need an export certificate, which you can get at the 'expert commission' behind the Carpet Museum, Görogly köcesi 5.
  • Carpet Shop, Görogly köcesi 5, east of the Carpet Museum, run by the government.
  • Gulistan market (Russian bazaar), ul. M. Kosaev (opposite Grand Turkmen Hotel). 9AM. Centrally located universal market: fruit, vegetables, handcrafts, clothing. 8PM.

Eat

  • Asuda Nusay, Alishera Navoi Köcesi 54a, 352288. speciality: sturgeon from the Caspian Sea
  • Altyn Jam, Magtymgily sayoli 101, 396850. European dishes and sweets

Drink

Sleep

  • Hotel Nissa, Atabaeva Street, 18B, Tel: (+993-12) 22-10-25, Fax:(+993-12) 22-10-23, email: ahal@online.tm. Apparently owned by family of Saparmurat Niyazov, this is a four-star hotel with air conditioning, swimming pool, pool bar, sauna, Turkish sauna, gym, jacuzzi. This is about the "best" quality hotel you'll find in Ashgabat (think somewhat run-down and a bit overpriced for its features), about a 10 minute walk from the war memorial and book shop. The restaurant has decent Italian food. Expect to come across lots of foreign workers, and women of dubious persuasion at the hotel bar. Some English is, however, spoken.
  • Hotel President, Новоарчабильское шоссе 54, Tel: +993 (12) 400000, Fax 993 (12) 40 00 41 und 993 (12) 40 02 22, E-Mail: presidenthotel@online.tm
  • Hotel Grand Turkmen (Гостиница "Грант Туркмен Отель"), ul. Georogly 7 (ул. Героглы, 7), 744000 Ашхабад, Tel: +993 12 51-05-55; Fax +993 12 511251, E-mail: grandhtl@online.tm
  • Hotel Ak Altyn, Magtumguly ave 141/1, Tel: +993 12 36 37 00 und +993 12 363701, Fax +993 12 363543 und +993 12 36 34 94, E-Mail: akaltyn@online.tm. $75 per night, Visa accepted (MasterCard is not). Contains offices of the British Embassy and American Information Centre, so it's a good place to stay if you find yourself needing assistance. Supposed to have WiFi but is so slow it's effectively useless, internet available in telecom building less than a block away though.
  • Hotel Azatlyk, Tel: +993 12 48 87 00, Fax +993 12 48 81 55, E-Mail: ahal@online.tm
  • Hotel Ahal, Tel: +993 12 48 87 37, Fax +993 12 48 01 92, E-Mail: ahal@online.tm
  • Hotel Nebitchi, Tel: +993 12 489360, Fax +993 12 489312
  • Dovranov Homestay, Garaja Burunov (old: Krupskaya), or 1997 st. No: 36 (Close to '1st Children Hopital'), 92-71-78. Homestay where you'll stay with the big family. $10,- for B&B + Dinner. Daughter Jennet speaks English.

Cope

Internet

Internet cafes are available at some locations around town. Price is 6 TMT per hour. Yimpas Shopping Center Great Turkman Hotel Russian Market Sofitel, aka Oguz Kent, Features free wifi in lobby and bar.


Airlines

  • Aeroflot, Turkmenistan Söwda merkazi, Magtymguly sayoli 73, 398792.
  • Aerosovit Ukrainian Airlines, Turkmenistan Söwda merkazi, Magtymguly sayoli 73, 350164, [3].
  • Armavia, Turkmenbasi sayoli 15, 390548.
  • British Airways, Grand Turkmen Hotel, Görogly köcesi 71, 510799, [4].
  • Iranian Airlines, Magtymguly sayoli 71, 510641.
  • Lufthansa, http://www.lufthansa.com, 510684, 510331, [5].
  • Pakistan InternationalAirlines, Magtymguly sayoli 71, 511838.
  • Turkish Airlines, Magtymguly sayoli 73, 5161666, 512219, [6].
  • Turkmenistan Airlines, Magtymguly sayoli 82, 352643, International Ticket Office: 394271, [7].
  • Uzbekistan Havo Yullari/Uzbekistan Airways, Main Concourse, Saparmurat Turkmenbashi Airport, 378203, [8].

Emergencies

Dial 01 for the fire brigade, 02 for police, 03 for ambulance. Be aware that the operators will speak Turkmen and Russian only.

Embassies and Consulates

  • Afghanistan, Garashsyzlyk köcesi, Berzengi, 480757. Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm.
  • Armenia, Ingenernaya köcesi 37, 354418, 395542 (). Mon to Fri 10-12 am.
  • Azerbaijan, 2062 köcesi 44, 364608 (, fax: 3646510), [9]. Mon to Fri 9am to 1pm, 2 to 6 pm.
  • Belarus, Maxim Gorki köcesi 81, 331183 (fax: 331185). Tue to Fri 3 to 6 pm.
  • China, Kuvvat Hotel, Berzengi, 488105 (fax: 481813). Tue to Fri 3 to 6 pm.
  • France, Ak ALtyn Hotel, third floor, 363550,363468. Mon to Fri 9am to 1pm, 3 to 5pm.
  • Georgia, Azadi köcesi 139a, 330828 (fax: 330248). Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm.
  • Germany, Al Alty Hotel, first floor, Magtumguly Avenue, 363515, 363517 to 21 (, fax: 363522). Mon to Fri 9 to 12 am.
  • India, Emeryal Business Center, 1 Yunus Emre köcesi, mir 2/1, 456153 (fax: 456156), [10].
  • Iran, Tehran köcesi 3, 350236 (fax: 350565). Mon to Fri 8.30 to 12 am.
  • Japan, Paytagi Offic Building, Parahat District, 477081 (fax: 477083).
  • Kazakhstan, Garaszylik sayoli 11-13, International Ustay Compound, Berzengi, 480468, (fax: 480468). Tue, Thu and Fri 9 to 12am, 5 to 6 pm.
  • Kyrgyzstan, Görogly köcesi 14, 392064. Mon to Fri 10 to 12 am, 4 to 6 pm.
  • Netherlands, Tehran köcesi 17, 346700 (fax: 344252). Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm.
  • Pakistan, Garashszlyk köcesi 4/1, 482128 and 29 (, fax: 482130). Mon to Fri 9-12 am.
  • Romania, K.Burunov köcesi 43A, 347655 (fax: 347620).
  • Russia, Turkmenbashi sayoli 11, 335957, 391505 (, fax: 398466).
  • Saudi Arabia, Emperyal Business Center, Yunus Emre köcesi 1, 454963 (fax: 454970).
  • Tajikistan, Gorgoly köcesi 14, 480163 (, fax: 481877), [11]. Mon to Fri 9am to 1pm, 3 to 5 pm.
  • Turkey, Shevchenko köcesi 9, 354118 (, fax: 391914).
  • Ukraine, Azadi köcesi 49, 391874 (, fax: 391028).
  • United Arab Emirates, Kalifa center, Turkembashi sayoli 124, 456915 (fax: 456916).
  • United Kingdom, Ak Altyn Hotel third floor, 363462 to 64, [12]. Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm.
  • United States, (99312) 35 00 45 (, fax: (993-12) 39 26 14), [13].
  • Uzbekistan, Turkmenbashy sayoli 124, 342419 (fax: 342337). Mon, Wed, Fri 10am to 1pm.

Medical services

  • Central Hospital, Emre köcesi 1, phone 450303 or 450331. Foreigners have to pay for their medical treatment.
  • International Medical Center, Berzegi, phone 519006 or 519008.
  • Lechebnii Hospital, Shevchenko sayoli, phone 390877.
  • Dr.Arslan Nepesow, Turkembashi köcesi 124, phone 425250

Registration

  • OVIR (State Service for the Registration of Foreign Citiziens), 2011 köcesi 57, phone 391337, 9 to 12 am, 2 to 5 pm. All persons entering Turkmenistan on a tourist or business visa have to register within three working days. You need three passport photos and your entry card. In most cases the tour operator that invited you will organise this for you. Persons holding transit visa are not required to register.

Get out

By plane

Turkmenistan Airlines [[15]] offers domestic flights toDashogus (6 flights per day), Mary (3 flights per day), Turkmenabat (5 flights per day) and Turkmenbashi (3 flights per day). (2009)

  • Turkish Airlines has flights to Istanbul/Turkey on Thu, Sat and Mon morning.

By rail

Turkmendemiryollari (Turkmenistan Zeleznice) (phone 255545, fax 473858) runs trains from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi and Turkmenabat via Mary.

Train 24 to Turkmenbashi leaves Ashabat every second day at 8.40 pm and arrives at Turkmenbashi at 6.55 am next morning. Train 606 leaves Ashabat daily at 8.10 pm, arriving in Turkmenbashi at 9.15 am next morning.

Trains to Turkmenabat and Mary leave Ashabat at 7.40 daily, arriving at Mary at 5 pm and at Turkmenabat at 11 pm. Train 195 leaves Ashabat daily at 5.20 pm and arrives at Turkmenabat at 7.35 am next morning. Train 21 leaves Ashabat every second day at 10.10 pm, ans arrives at Mary at 5.25 and at Turkmenabat at 9.40 next morning.


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