Pictured on the 20TJS banknote and just 30km west of Dushanbe, the remains of this 18th-century fort make for an interesting day trip from the capital. All that survived a 1924 Russian assault is the twin-towered gateway but the site has plenty of atmosphere, not least as it is a popular escape from the city for locals. A 17th-century madrassa at the site contains a small museum with a fascinating relief model of Tajikistan demonstrating its 93% mountainous coverage.
There are some excellent shops here for traditional crafts and enterprising locals offer short horseback rides (5TJS) mostly suitable for kids. To reach the fort, minibuses and shared taxis leave from Zarnisar Bazaar for Hisor. From here a shared taxi costs 5TJS. It's easier to hire a private taxi from Dushanbe (150TJS, 30 minutes).