Attractions

Top Choice Fortress in Khojand

Citadel

The city’s top sight is the citadel, the reconstructed corner of which is open to visitors. From the top of the 10th-century ramparts, the disintegrating baked-earth walls suggest hints of the seven gates and 6km of…
Top Choice Market in Khojand

Panchshanbe Bazaar

The core of this great bazaar, reputedly the largest in Central Asia, is an unusually elegant, purpose-built hall (1964) with arched entrance portals and a pink-and-lime-green neoclassical facade. If not the largest…
Museum in Khojand

Historical Museum of Sughd Province

Built within the reconstructed southeastern bastion of the city wall, this museum houses a fascinating set of modern marble mosaics depicting the life of Alexander the Great – the war scenes with their multiple hors…
Islamic Site in Istaravshan

Sary Mazar

Shaded by ancient chinar (plane) trees, a pair of small but ornately stucco-fronted 17th-century tombs are set beside a fine old mosque with tapering wooden columns. A set of 18 tiny windowless cells known as chehlk…
Fortress in Istaravshan

Mug Teppe

In the northeast of the city, rising above low-level housing, this grassy, flat-topped hill once boasted a fine citadel. Stormed by Alexander the Great in 329 BC and Arabs in AD 772, only minimal mud-wall traces of …
Old Town in Istaravshan

Shahr-e-kuhna

The old town is an intriguing maze of mudbrick lanes with water channels running along the centre of the thoroughfare. Houses are tantalisingly hidden from view behind straw-and-wattle plastered walls, but occasiona…
Islamic Site in Istaravshan

Abdullatif Sultan Medressa

The 15th-century Abdullatif Sultan Medressa is also known as the Kök Gumbaz (Blue Dome) after its turquoise Timurid dome. Closed in Soviet times, the religious school now gives a broad tuition, including English, to…
Islamic Tomb in Khojand

Mausoleum of Sheikh Massal ad-Din

The final resting place of Sheikh Massal ad-Din, a 12th-century poet and ruler of Khojand, forms the central feature of the surrounding assembly of mosques and minarets. The roof of the 14th-century mausoleum was al…
Museum in Khojand

Museum of Archaeology & Fortifications

The reconstructed eastern gate houses the Museum of Archaeology & Fortifications, which has some interesting 19th-century photos and plans of the original citadel. From the ramparts, there are good views of the …
Market in Istaravshan

Bazaar

The vast and colourful central bazaar is a town unto itself. A three-storey, triple arched building indicates the main hub but stalls selling everything from 'all you ever wanted' to 'nothing you need' have flooded …