How to Get to Turkmenistan
Flights of Turkmenistan Airlines depart from Moscow to Ashgabat every day, except Sunday. S7 flies to the capital of Turkmenistan from Moscow Domodedovo on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Travel time is 3.5 hours. Residents of the northern capital can also get to Ashgabat on S7 wings (4 times a week).
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Turkmenistan is 6.118 million (2021).
Citizens of Belarus and Ukraine will have to fly to Turkmenistan with a transfer in Moscow, Istanbul (with Turkish Airlines) or Tashkent (with Uzbekistan Airways).
Visa to Turkmenistan
Citizens of Russia will need a visa to visit Turkmenistan. In addition, it is worth taking out a medical insurance policy for the entire duration of the trip in advance.
- How can a citizen of the Russian Federation obtain a visa to Turkmenistan for a trip to the family
Import and export of the national currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is allowed in unlimited quantities, a declaration is required; export – no more than the amount declared at the entrance. Duty-free import of 200 cigarettes or 200 g of tobacco, 2 liters of any alcoholic beverages, personal items within individual needs is allowed. The import of drugs and drug-containing drugs, weapons, ammunition and explosives, pornography and any materials that can offend state power and violate moral standards is prohibited. The export of antiques and works of art is possible only with the permission of the Ministry of Culture; carpets and jewelry – with a document confirming their legal acquisition.
Hotels in Turkmenistan are diverse: in the capital, these are brand new “five” of the world’s leading “chains”, and “Soviet” hotels with a very meager range of services, and nice private mini-hotels.
Money and currency exchange
The monetary unit of the country is the Turkmen manat (TMT), in 1 manat there are 100 tenge. Current exchange rate: 1 TMT = 16.46 RUB (1 USD = 3.5 TMT, 1 EUR = 3.68 TMT).
It is better to bring cash into Turkmenistan, although it will not be difficult to find ATMs that work with the international “plastic” MasterCard in the capital (but in other regions of the country it is already more problematic). Money can be withdrawn from a Visa card around the clock at VneshEconomBank’s ATMs.
When exchanging currency, preference is given to dollars; It is advisable to take a large number of small dollar bills with you. You can exchange currency at bank branches (most are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 17:30, many of the exchange offices at banks are open around the clock), in hotels and at official exchange offices. The latter accept only “fresh” banknotes of the latest issues and series, without scuffs and inscriptions. There are also street money changers, and their rate, as a rule, is significantly more profitable than the official one, but you can contact them only at your own peril and risk. You can pay with a credit card only in a few prestigious hotels and restaurants in Ashgabat, as well as in airline offices; in the rest of the country, only cash is accepted for payment. Traveler’s checks can only be cashed at a few banks.
Useful phone numbers
Embassy of Turkmenistan in Moscow: Filippovskiy per., 22; tel. +7 (495) 691-65-93; www.turkmenembassy.ru _ consular department: M. Afanasevsky per., 14 building 1; tel.: (495) 695-37-16, 690-32-58.
Embassy of Russia in Ashgabat: Ave. Saparmurat Turkmenbashi, 11; tel.: 12 941-278, 941-505; www.turkmenistan.mid.ru _
Consular office in Turkmenbashi: Magtumguly st., 81a; tel.: 243 770-83.
Codes of some cities: Ashgabat – 12, Turkmenabad – 422, Dashoguz – 322, Mary – 522, Balkanabat – 222, Turkmenbashi – 243.
Unified rescue service – 03.
While in Turkmenistan, you should follow standard security measures: keep documents and valuables in a hotel safe, do not take large sums of money with you, and always keep an eye on your bag and wallet. In crowded places – in markets and bazaars, you need to beware of pickpockets. At night, it is better not to walk alone, especially in unfamiliar areas. A trip to the border regions of the country is possible only with official permission and with a Turkmen escort.
In conversations, one should not touch on the topic of politics and the controversial era of the reign of Saparmurat Niyazov, as well as everything related to this in one way or another: from the artistic value of the book “Rukhnameh” to the golden statue of the “father of the Turkmens” on the main square of Ashgabat. Given that the state religion of Turkmenistan is Islam, one should show respect for the norms of Islamic morality and not dress provocatively.
You can drink only bottled or boiled water, wash fruits and vegetables and brush your teeth with it. In bars and restaurants, you should order pre-chilled drinks and refuse food ice.
Carpets and horses are the two main treasures of Turkmenistan. It is unlikely that it will be possible to take home a handsome Akhal-Teke horse (although nothing is impossible), but anyone can buy an authentic Turkmen carpet or rug.
The internal transport of Turkmenistan is represented by planes, trains, buses, minibuses and taxis – official and “illegal”.
It is most convenient to cover long distances on the wings of Turkmenistan Airlines and other local carriers: many flights daily connect Ashgabat with Dashoguz, Mary, Turkmenabad and Turkmenbashi. The fleet consists of brand new Boeing 717s, which makes the trip very pleasant. The cost of tickets can be safely called a penny, the only inconvenience is the high demand for tickets with a limited offer; Reservations must be made as early as possible.
Officially, tickets for domestic flights go on sale 14 days before the date of the flight, but they are immediately swept away by resellers, so it is likely that you will have to overpay when buying a ticket at a travel agency.
By train, you can get from the capital to Turkmenbashi, Mary and Turkmenabad. There are no electrified lines, the trains run on thermal traction and move quite slowly: the journey from Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi, for example, will take about 12 hours.
It is convenient to travel between cities by minibuses and buses – it is cheap and fast. The first ones traditionally set off when all the places are occupied, and the second ones go on schedule. A trip from the capital to Turkmenbashi by minibus will take 6 hours and cost about 8 USD, Mary can be reached in 4 hours and 3 USD. Travel in intercity buses will not cost more than 2-3 USD, even for the longest distances.
Taxis, most of which are privately owned bombers, are a convenient way to get around cities. In order to stop the car, you just need to stretch out your hand while standing on the side of the road – it is guaranteed that if not the first, then certainly the second approaching car will stop. Fares by European standards are ridiculous – 0.30-0.40 USD for a short trip and 0.60 USD for a longer one. The price must be negotiated in advance and, of course, you must follow the elementary rules of caution when getting into an unfamiliar car.
Rent a Car
To rent a car in Turkmenistan, you will need an international driving license. The driver must be at least 21 years old and have at least one year of driving experience. Roads outside the capital and major cities are narrow, unlit and often unpaved, so extreme caution must be exercised when driving.
The ideal option for renting a car in Turkmenistan is with a driver, since at any taxi rank you can find a driver with a car who is ready to ride you all day long for a set fee. You can also hire a car with a driver at local travel agencies. Renting the most affordable option will cost 50 USD per day.