Top things to do in Turkmensahra

Top Choice Monument in Gonbad-e Kavus

Mil-e Gonbad

A Unesco World Heritage site since 2012, this 53m tower in Gonbad's centre looks like a buttressed-brick spaceship with the cross-section of a 10-pointed star. Built in 1006, it's so remarkably well preserved that o…
Islamic Shrine in Turkmensahra

Khalid Nibi Shrine

Dramatically perched above a sea of badlands sit three small mausoleums. The most important commemorates a certain Khalid Nibi; although he was apparently a 5th-century Nestorian Christian, the site now attracts Mus…
Monument in Kordkuy

Mil-e-Radkan Qarbi

Sitting upon an astoundingly lonely knoll with wistful views over the cliff-edged valley, this circular, conical-topped tower was built in 1020 for a military commander of Tabarestan's ruling Bavend dynasty. Along w…
Iranian in Gonbad-e Kavus

Havash Traditional Restaurant

The term 'traditional' refers to the excellent food, served with tanour bread fresh from the clay oven – not to the decor, which, while very comfortable, is a series of somewhat rectilinear mini cottages in new red …
Village in Golestan National Park

Espakho

Beyond the national park's eastern edge, 5.3km north of the highway, ridge-backed Espakho is a small, Khorasani village retaining several traditional-style mud houses, some lovely old trees and – most famously – a s…
Coffee in Gonbad-e Kavus

Cafe Night Star

Expertly made barista-quality coffee (from IR70,000) with a view of the tower from the open terrace (albeit through electricity wires).
Ruins in Turkmensahra

Sadd-e Eskander

This ancient wall once stretched 190km from the Golestan Mountains to the Caspian Sea; like its equivalents in China and England, Alexander’s Wall was built to keep out warlike raiders from the north. For the Sassan…
Village in Turkmensahra

Haji Qoshan

Locally known for being a former home of Turkmenistan's 'national poet' Makhtumkuli, the visually forgettable village of Haji Qoshan is one of the points where the vague undulation that was once Sadd-e Eskander cros…
Museum in Gonbad-e Kavus

Carpet Museum

This well-presented but very small museum exhibits seventeen 20th-century Turkmen carpets, labelled with dates of production and styles. There are also a few implements and some raw materials for the dyeing process …
Ruins in Golestan National Park

Robat Qarehbil

Close to the Golestan National Park's eastern tip, this apparently uninteresting highway-strip hamlet hides a small, atmospherically ruinous Safavid-era caravanserai with small area of partly restored interior domes…