Top things to do

Top Choice Turkish in Ashgabat

Çeşme

This charming red-painted cellar in the backstreets between the train station and the Hotel Paýtagt attracts a thoroughly local crowd, but you'll be made to feel very welcome. It's all about the sublime kebabs here …
Top Choice Teahouse in Dashogus

Chaikhana

This is by far the most atmospheric place in Dashogus to eat – a simple, Uzbek-run chaikhana where you’ll eat good home-cooked soups, tasty kebabs and fresh bread. It's a five-minute walk from the Hotel Uzboy: from …
Archaeological Site in Eastern Turkmenistan

Gonur Depe

Long before Merv raised its first tower, Bronze Age villages were assembling along the Murgab River in what is called the Margiana Oasis. The greatest of these ancient settlements, currently being excavated around G…
Natural Feature in Karakum Desert

᠎Darvaza Gas Craters

One of Turkmenistan’s most unusual sights, the ᠎Darvaza Gas Craters are the result of Soviet-era gas exploration in the 1950s. The three craters are artificial. One has been set alight and blazes with an incredible …
Lake in Western Turkmenistan

Köw Ata Underground Lake

Like entering Milton’s underworld, only with changing rooms and a staircase, a visit to the Köw Ata Underground Lake is a unique experience. You enter a cave at the base of a mountain and walk down a staircase, 65m …
Canyon in Western Turkmenistan

Yangykala Canyon

With bands of pink, red and yellow rock searing across the sides of steep canyon walls, Yangykala is a breathtaking sight and one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Turkmenistan. Just as alluring as the …
Museum in Mary

Mary Regional Museum

Mary's highlight is this excellent museum housed in a sparkling white-marble palace across the river from the centre of town. The enormous premises is home to a collection of taxidermy, temporary exhibits and a gall…
Museum in Ashgabat

National Museum

Looking like a lost palace in the urban desert, the National Museum occupies a striking position in front of the Kopet Dag. It’s actually a collection of three pricey museums – the History Museum, the Nature & E…
Islamic Site in Konye-Urgench

Gutlug Timur Minaret

Crossing the road from Turabeg Khanym Complex to the side of the minaret, the path through a modern cemetery and the 19th-century Sayid Ahmed Mausoleum leads to the Gutlug Timur Minaret, built in the 1320s. It’s the…
Monument in Ashgabat

Arch of Neutrality

Beyond the national museum is the President Hotel, some distance behind which you'll see the Arch of Neutrality. Once the centrepiece of Niyazov's Ashgabat, it was erected to celebrate the Turkmen people's unsurpris…