While Turkmenistan may be one of the least-visited countries on earth, its capital of Ashgabat is something you should absolutely see. The city is almost entirely made of white marble. It is an interesting combination of quiet streets and markets with a feel that's almost futuristic. It's certainly a city unlike any other in the world.
Don't miss your opportunity for a truly unique travel experience in Ashgabat. Read this guide to learn about the top places to visit and attractions to see, as well as important information about
travel medical insurance or
Ashgabat's Most Popular Places for Travel
Looking almost like a futuristic world, Ashgabat is a capital like no other. A far and wide expanse of desert and contrasting white marble buildings characterize Ashgabat. If you are up for exploring some interesting sites, here are the top places in Ashgabat not to miss.
At the center of the city stands Independence Square. Here you'll find several government buildings, parks, fountains, and a horse statue. The buildings are all made of pure white marble. This place is visual proof that Ashgabat has the highest density of white marble buildings in the world. You'll also find the largest indoor Ferris wheel here. The place also holds a record for the most fountain pools in a public space.
The Tolkuchka Bazaar is the biggest market in Turkmenistan, and among the biggest in Asia. You'll find over 2,000 shops here, and you can peruse carpets and furniture. When you feel hungry, you'll get fresh and dried fruits and nuts to munch on.
Built in the characteristic Turkmen style of white marble adorned with gold, Gypjak Mosque is located just outside the city. It is peaceful and calm here, with few visitors. Also, check out the mausoleum of Turkmenbashi – the former dictator of Turkmenistan – next to the mosque.
Fortress of Nisa
Nisa was an old town of the Parthian Empire. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but is not as busy as you'd expect. You may have the whole site to yourself to explore without bumping into another traveler.
Walk of Health
The President of Turkmenistan urges the citizens to visit this 30-kilometer ridge along the mountains for better health once every year. Health benefits notwithstanding, the mountain scene is a welcome change from the white marble city. If you're coming here in the summer months, arrive early to avoid the midday heat.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Ashgabat
Turkmenistan has a cash-dominant economy, but try to only carry the money you need for your daily travel. Pickpocketing is possible, so keep your cash and valuables secure at all times.
In Ashgabat, it is prohibited to take photos of any government or military installations, or to take pictures in transport hubs. Be sure to ask your guide before taking a photo. Breaking this rule could land you in legal trouble.
Smoking or using tobacco is only permitted in designated areas. Also, public displays of affection are looked down upon and should be avoided. Another thing to avoid is voicing political criticisms of the government, which is considered a sensitive topic.
If you are setting out to explore Ashgabat in a taxi, don't go for curbside pickup. Instead, ask your hotel reception staff to book a yellow taxi for you. The yellow taxis are licensed. Using those will save you from the trouble that comes with unlicensed drivers.
Your personal safety in Ashgabat is your responsibility. Always carry your travel documents and identification, as authorities may ask for them at checkpoints. Don't visit isolated areas alone after dark, and don't use public transport late at night.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Ashgabat - FAQs
Travel medical insurance is specifically designed to provide coverage for necessary medical care during an international trip where your domestic health insurance may not be accepted or sufficient. It can allow you to take advantage of timely care at private facilities with less concern about having to pay for a large bill out of your own pocket.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Ashgabat?
Medical mishaps can happen anytime; even when you are enjoying a unique holiday. If one occurs and you don't have proper coverage, it could result in your bank account being drained faster than you can believe. Consider the fact that the medical facilities in Ashgabat may not be equipped to handle all emergencies. If your condition warrants it, emergency medical evacuation to a different city or country may be required. The cost of this can be significant, and is not something you want to be responsible for paying yourself. It only makes sense to a have appropriate coverage with travel medical insurance.
What should I look for in my Ashgabat travel medical insurance?
Your Ashgabat travel medical insurance should have features that meet your needs and give you financial peace of mind. The list of things to consider differ from person to person, but here are some options you should look into:
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Ashgabat - FAQs
A canceled trip can go beyond just a disappointment when you've already got a lot of money invested in it. The airline tickets and hotel reservations you paid for up front won't just deposit the money back into your account if your trip has to be canceled. In fact, the money you've spent on them may not be refundable at all. Though you can't avoid having to forgo travel plans in some situations, you can have a way to be reimbursed if they're canceled with trip cancellation insurance.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Ashgabat travel?
You being able to take a trip to Ashgabat or not depends on multiple factors, and many of them are outside your control. If you get sick, suffer an injury, or have a death in the family, you may have no choice but to stay home. Travel restrictions, natural disasters, and canceled flights can also make a trip impossible.
If you have trip cancellation insurance, you can avoid the financial fallout of these situations. Your insurance can provide you with the opportunity to be reimbursed for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses if your trip has to be canceled for a reason covered by the policy.
What should I look for in my Ashgabat trip cancellation insurance?
The right travel insurance coverage for you will depend on your needs and budget. Most plans will offer trip cancellation coverage, but the benefits can extend beyond that. Consider these coverage options when shopping for your plan:
Read the policy-related documents carefully before finalizing any policy. Unless a reason is explicitly stated in the policy document, you may not get coverage for it.
Before You Travel to Ashgabat - Do This
Apply for the right visa. You can book a guided tour, or you can apply for a transit visa that lasts for three to five days.
Pack appropriately. Ashgabat can be very hot, so pack plenty of sunscreen, light clothing, and a refillable water bottle.
Get the right insurance. Do your research, and purchase
travel medical insurance or
with suitable coverage for you.