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Getting there & away

The train station (7 09 35) is 1km west and 400m south of Niyazov Sq. There are two trains a day to Turkmenbashi (3½ hours), and two to Ashgabat (seven hours), one of which continues to Turkmenabat and Dashogus. The more convenient train to Turkmenbashi departs at 6.16am while the better train to Ashgabat departs at 7.50pm.

Marshrutkas and shared taxis gather in the lot in front of the train station. These travel to Ashgabat (US$2 to US$3, six hours) throughout the day. A taxi will do the trip for US$15.

Turkmenistan Airlines flies between Balkanabat and Ashgabat (US$11) on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The airport is 2km east of the city. A booking office (3 35 25) is inside the railway station.